Sunday, December 27, 2009

Let's go out and play!

Yesterday, I was not able to go out and do my normal Saturday trainings.. the weather was gloomy and raining.. my mood also bit gloomy.

Today? It is extremely bright out-there and just waiting for me to go out and play!!

Let's go folks. Stop reading this blog, and let's move our butts.

The post wouldn't be complete without Rocky's training montage...!

If you've the soul and perseverance, you can achieve anything in life!

Stay strong!
Sher Khan.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Two foods that you should NEVER ever EAT!

I've said it many times, and I would like to say it again here.. If you think why your bad cholesterol (LDL) never ever improved, and you're having a hard-time trying to reduce your fat.. please look at the content of the food you're taking... if it contains any of these 2 substances.. that's the culprit.

I bet you if you can avoid these in your dietary intake, YOU SHALL IMPROVE YOUR LDL CHOLESTEROL AND LOSING THE FAT!!  GUARANTEED! (even if you're not exercising..). I'm saying these based on my personal experience.

Check out my previous post on the Two Evil Foods that you should avoid.

Get it?

Here's more of my previous post that is relevant;

Santan is bad for you?? *bs*

Friday, December 11, 2009

Diabetic + Obesity = Diabesity !!

Recently, I had a pleasure reading and view an excellent new blog post from my defacto nutrition guruDr Mark Hyman. Doc Hyman is no stranger to me (I've started my new lifestyle after I read his bestseller Ultrametabolism book back in 2007 - see my earlier post on this).. and the book is still relevant till today, and followed by his ever popular blog posts).
In his recent blog post, he basically re-affirms the message that he has always preached, but slightly in a new twist and updated facts.

He talked about how people with diabetes type 2 can reverse the disease. How about that?!!!
He went into detail talking about the new buzz-word - Diabesity, the term that was originally coined by Shape Up America, Former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop Foundation. How our modern 'convenient' lifestyles created this epidemic, and worst, our modern medicine practice just way off track in treating the symptoms.

Wonder what it is all about? Put your speaker on, and view his video.

Here's Part 2 of the above video. Doc elaborated the facts that diabetic is neither hereditary nor genetic disorder, it is a direct outcome of dietary and lifestyle factors turning on all the wrong genes that we've complete control over. Excellent stuff.

If you've not read his UltraMetabolism book, I highly recommended it. It teaches you to know your body better, and how food interacts with you genes - so you know what to put into your body. Use food as the medicine to heal your body (see my earlier post on that).
You can easily find the book in local bookstores - MPH, Kinokuniya, Borders - I've seen them myself... don't walk, run to get it (and burn more calories ;)

to your good health,
Sher Khan.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Going with 'the flow' - a bodyweight workout!

Recently I've started to learn a new technique in bodyweight workout. If you've been following me, you know I'm such a big fan of bodyweight workouts - just use our own body weight to do an effective full body workouts - no gym required. I've introduced you earlier my defacto training guru - Craig Ballantyne's Turbulence Training program, and I am still using most of his technique in my daily workouts. You'll see the famous technique like spiderman pushups, prisoner squats, lunges, jack-knife, mountain climber, etc that I've been doing... all thanks to Craig.

However, quite recently, as I said, I've discovered a new technique that I've not seen before. It's still a bodyweight workout, but the movement is slightly different - they called it the Circular Strength Training (CST) Bodyweight. As with the name.. circular.. flow..elastic energy..mobility..  all integrated into this technique. It looks easy, but I challenge you do it yourself. You can do it anywhere.. so no excuse eh..

Coach Adam Steer seems to be THE MAN for this, along with Scott Sonnon... Check out one of Adam video here..

Another one here.. my fav.. Quad Squat.

If you've some more time, check out Scott FlowFit program here

These days, I've been mixing these techniques together for a full body weight high intensity workouts.

Great stuff. check it out guys.

Sher Khan.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Dark Side of Soy...

Something that I wanted to share with you guys with regards to Soy (or Soya in malay language).

I've always think soy (beans and drinks) is an essential and good source of protein into my diet. Since the early days of my journey, I consumed a LOT of soy. I used to buy the low-sugar soymilk varieties, and consume tempeh/tofu quite often as my alternative source of protein (besides chicken/fish). I've also progress even further by getting my own organic soy beans and grind myself to create my own ultimate protein drink (I tend to not going into the whey protein powder route). It somehow became my essential healthy food and drink (I even made some snack of dry roasted soy beans) for a while.

I was shocked the day I read some not-so-good articles saying Soy is actually bad for us (some time late last year I think), but I didn't believe it. Infact, I've ignored it!!

Few months past-by, and although the industry still market soy as the health food, I keep seeing published articles (either online or offline) on the negative effect of soy to our bodies. More and more articles now has scientific proof that SOY IS ACTUALLY BAD FOR US!!!

Shocked? well, we've been fooled by the billion dollars soy industry. I'm not a scientist or a doctor, and have no authority to comment. However, the least I can do is to point you some of the MUST READ articles....

YES.. please avoid soy... or at least, take it in moderation (as in with other foods/drinks as well). Me? I've embraced it. Although I've not completely remove soy from my diet, I don't see soy as a health food anymore.. that includes soy products (like tempeh, tofu, tau-foo-fah, soymilk, etc) as much as I can.

Now, what do you think? any experiences to share?

to your good health,
Sher Khan.

You can never out-train a bad diet..

Many times I when I am at the table having meals within budding friends or family - they typically commented on the things I eat (if strangers - they'd have that stares). They're commenting because normally they're concern of my well-being (thanks guys!). They said I'm restricting myself too much, and it's ok to eat more of the not-so-healthy-stuff once in a while... and later go and exercise to burn those calories!

Guys.. It's ok.. no worries. I'm not missing anything... I'm still pursuing my quest, and I need to constantly reminding myself towards it. I did mention before that we can never out-train a bad diet. Out of my personal experiences, if I'm going so easy on my diet (still within limits, but larger portions), and still rigorously training myself - I'm not going anywhere.. infact, I'm going the opposite way. I've proof that before.

There's people asking me.. "what if i maintain my healthy diet all the time, but not doing exercise as much, or trying to avoid it? it seems to work for me".

Well, when you don’t exercise, you place the entire burden of weight loss on your diet. If you become more active, you can eat more of the things you like -- and still lose weight. The key is finding an exercise you enjoy. If the treadmill seems tedious, try swimming, biking, or badminton, all of which burn more calories than walking. Spend time at different activities until you find one you want to do on most days. Yup - consistency is crucial.. you'll burn the calories throughout the week, not just on weekend (see my weekend warrior :) post).

So, anyway.. today is saturday. Yup, it's a weekend. If you've not exercise as much this whole week, nothing beat of doing something to move your body!... go out and have fun!

let's stay healthy.
Sher Khan.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Training, not exercise..

I've been covering quite a bit on 'nutrition' for the past few posts, and I've a few feedback asking if I could update on what's up on the exercise front.. Well I like to call it 'training', the word 'exercise' scares people off. I like to call it 'training' is because I know I'm working towards something. I'm training myself towards achieving my goal, not just mere ad-hoc exercises to kill some times or just an ad-hoc activity without specific goals.

Famous quote - "He who fails to plan, plans to fail"  - the training is just a part of the plan.. to succeed.

Yesterday, I was again at the public sports complex in Kg Pandan. It was raining heavily since 4pm, and luckily by about 6pm, the rain has somewhat stop (though slight drizzling throughout the hour). I had to go outdoor because I'm not at home (at my sis-in-law place - my typical weekend family visit routine). Anyway, here's my yesterday routine at the stadium.

Look at Hugh Jackman - at 42+yo, but still lean and muscular. Such an inspiration.

I do it continuously without long rest.. just enough to catch my breath - max 10sec. I called it superset training:
1. warm-up - jumping jack 50x
2. lunges - 10x per leg
3. single leg squat - 10x per leg for 4x
4. spiderman pushup - 20x
5. prisoner squat - 20x
6. burpees - 10x
7. ran 1 round on the track at moderate pace
8. sprinting 100m, rest 10sec, sprint again 100m - for 4x
9. spiderman pushup - 20x
10. reverse crunch - 20x
11. sprinting 50m and back - 3x
12. elevated push-up - 10x
13. finish off warming down with 1 round running at moderate pace.
14. light stretching

That's it...finished just about 10mins before 7pm, and left the stadium. Gulping down 1 bottle of water, and 4 pieces of dates.... Cooling down before hitting the shower.

Today, bright Sunday, I'm planning to go to the gym later in the evening to work on some of the muscles even more.

So.. how's your weekend?

Sher Khan.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Eating right.. Torture?

The most important reason why I want to lose weight is nothing more than trying to be healthy, as I've mentioned before, losing the fats (and the weight) are just the side-effects of trying to be healthy.
Now that I've lost some of the fats, at about normal BMI range, I still continue trying as much as I can leading a healthy lifestyle - by eating right, and exercise regularly.

Interestingly, many people associating eating right/healthily with torture. They said I'm torturing myself by not having what God have given us - to enjoy the food and this life! No point of torturing ourselves that way, and everyone dies anyways!

That's their viewpoint - I respect that.

Well, not that I've not enjoyed the foods before, I've enjoyed it so much without restriction whatsoever back then - at least for the 34 past years (now I'm 36) already - that made me what I was. I've been there fighting with my weight for as long as I can remember - it's not an easy life. I think can write a whole book talking about an experience being a 'big' guy - the problems, frustration, anger, self-esteem, how hard it was, how to remain calm when a child innocently taunt you, or the shame of you're being kick-out of a roller-coaster ride because you can't fit into the tiny seat, or the feeling of when you see the person next to you on a plane/bus is not comfortable because of you.. etc etc )

I do not intend to go back there.

Contrary to popular belief - I don't think I'm torturing myself. I just see the food differently these days - I don't see McDonald's or KFC or any fast-food are categorized as food at all. Let me put that into an example - let's say you see a pizza that has just freshly baked out of the oven.. hhmm, the aroma is enticing, the look of the melted cheeses, the overall toppings.. they looks so delicious.. you think.. YUMMY!!
Now, just imagine suddenly.. your 2-years old angel, out of nowhere, throw his poo and landed nicely on the pizza!!!...  what would you think at that moment?.. it is something you can eat? the pizza is a food to you now? yummy?

Sorry, I exaggerate that too much, but I hope you get my point.

I don't see those things are food anymore - so I don't miss them or don't feel that I'm depriving myself!
I post something similar to that before.

Let's be healthy,
Sher Khan.

Monday, October 19, 2009

That Little Voice Inside of You...

I've a confession to make.

Last saturday, wifey and me went out for a dinner, and wifey ordered a nice dessert - Hot Fudge Sundae, as depicted here.

I tried as hard as I can.. not to indulge. Well, I manage to abstain. ... for a couple of minute, until, wifey scoop a spoon, and feed me!... ahhhhh... it was heavenly! ;)   That later, I pickup the spoon myself, and dig a couple more scoop and feed myself!!!!!!!

Then I hear those little voice inside of me.. "Sher, what the hell are you doing????!!!!" That voice continuously whispering (err.. infact it sounded more like screaming) inside my head for hours and hours, that made me so damn guilty!

Not just that, the voices seems to flash the old images of me everywhere I look, and it drives me crazy!!

Feeling downright guilty, the next day, early sunday morning, just after a heavy downpour, by 7:30am, I'm already at the nearby park pounding the pavement. I was at the Alam Damai Park (nice place - first time there, slept over at my mom's over that weekend). I was running and sprinting along the track, doing some bodyweight routines, including stairs climbing/sprinting - for approximately 2 hours non-stop.

In the afternoon, I heard that little voice again..... "Not enough Sher!"

Later in the evening, at around 5pm, I was again at the gym, doing deadlifts, bench presses, squatting, and bunch of other weight bearing workout for a solid 1 1/2 hours.. I was flatten out to bed by 10pm.

This morning, with some aching body, I heard that little voice again ... "Hope you've learnt your lesson Sher..!"

Yes, nice dessert, but gruesome workout to burn it all off !!

Lesson learned? next time.. stay away from the dessert... not worth it. ;)

Let's stay healthy!

Sher Khan.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Being fat is a choice

I used to believe that being fat is hereditary. It is because I've been fat all my life and my entire family (my 6 siblings, including parents) is considered either overweight or obese.

I used to think that our family has been 'cursed' (for a lack of better term), and there's nothing much that we can do. We were used to be associated with our late grandfather's business - he was a successful butcher, got herds of cattle, and had been a very well-known businessman in the town market of Kota Bharu, Kelantan - he's known as the 'taukeh daging Mahabat' (Mababat the butcher). If you're in town, and looking for nice red meat - you can't be wrong with Mahabat! and being the family of a butcher, there's something in our genes that our destiny is to be big and fat!

No kidding - that is how we're used to believe... well at least for me. So I thought, why bother to take care of my health, I'll be fat anyways.

In my recent years being able to reduce to where I am now rendered that believe is a myth/hoax.
(My recent weight loss video).

Here's what I've read recently:
It's official—your propensity to lose or gain weight isn't written in your genes. Swedish scientists reporting in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition conclude that the oft-maligned FTO-gene—which previous studies have linked to runaway weight gain—will only increase your risk of obesity if you also lead a sedentary lifestyle. Bottom line: Being fat is a choice, not an inherited trait.

There you go. It's not me saying, but scientist.

So, don't blame it on the genes, family, etc. It's all within ourselves. Either you do or don't. All is within your control - take charge of it, and you'll lose that bulge.

See some of my previous posts related to this:
You are what you eat.
Results don't lie.
I told myself.
and more at the archives.

To your good health,
Sher Khan.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Muscle is Hard to Build and Easy to Lose

We've heard time and time again on when we get older, its harder to keep our muscles healthy. Worse if you're sedentary, by the time you reach 40, your body will feel is starting to falls apart, and all sorts of health issues started to happen.

That's because after 40 the entire cellular structure of the body is now completely changed and none of the cells remain from your younger years. Unless your already doing resistance training of some kind your metabolism and cellular repair slows down and you just don't "feel"right anymore. But if your already into working out then 40 often comes and goes without a notice. 

Read more of that by Dr. Mercola at his website. Don't miss it.

Let's stay healthy.

Sher Khan.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Gynostemma - Another superfood not to be missed

There are two common types of drink that I normally consumed. Plain water or green tea on a daily basis, and veggie juices 2-3 times a week. Occasionally (1-2 times a month) I would indulged in black coffees (no sugar added of course), and once in a blue moon (once in 3-4 months) - those nice mochas at starbucks/coffeebeans (with low fat milk). I've not taken the local infamous teh tarik (milk tea) for like ages now. Fruit juices? nope. (see my post on fruit juices on over-hyped health claims)

I personally think the calories required by our body should comes primarily from the food we eat, not drinks. Most people didn't realised, we consumed way toooo muccch of sugar in our drinks (like most canned/bottled beverages/even the 'healthy' fruit juices) - it creates a high insulin level in our body almost instantly makes us wants to drink and eat even more! - it's a vicious cycle of fighting against the appetite. Balancing your sugar level is the key to losing the flab. See my post on sugar in our foods.

Anyway, recently, I've started to mix my usual doze of green tea with a new found tea. It's called Gynostemma (chinese called them Jiaogulan).

The loose dry leaves of gynostemma. I take about a spoonful of it, and steep it in the pot for 20mins.

We all know the health benefits of Green Tea (loaded with phynonutrients of EGCG (anti-cancer), catechin, and it's thermogenic effect that assist in losing the weight), but a reference to Gynostemma? nope, I've never heard it before.

I stumbled upon it recently while shopping at a specialty tea booth and I immediately seek Uncle Google help for the details. Well, check it out for yourselves - it's loaded with good stuff!! it's a chinese 'cure-all' kinda of tea. Used to be taken only by the Emperors in China.

Some points on Gynostemma health benefits:
(taken from ezinearticle)

  • Cholesterol
    Scientific studies have confirmed Gynostemma ability to assist the regulation of serum cholesterol, triglycerides, LDL (bad cholesterol), and HDL (good cholesterol, which helps to metabolize cholesterol from the arteries).
  • Blood Pressure
    Gynostemma has been widely reported to be effective in maintaining healthy blood pressure levels. Although the exact mechanism is still being researched, studies have shown that Gynostemma improves the metabolism of the heart directly as well as enhances the release of nitric oxide in the body, which helps to relax the coronary blood vessels.
  • Digestion
    While Gynostemma is great for regulating cholesterol, it also assists a good weight loss program, by improving and strengthening digestion. At the same time, it helps an underweight person by assisting the absorption of nutrients. This regulatory effect on bodily functions is the hallmark of an Adaptogen.
  • Strength and Endurance
    The results of human studies confirm that Gynostemma can enhance the contractility of the heart muscle and heart pumping function. Other studies have shown that the saponins in Gynostemma increase strength and endurance in the body. Considering these findings overall, Gynostemma becomes the perfect herb for anyone who wants to improve his competitive edge in any field of athletic performance.
  • Immunity
    Gynostemma has also demonstrated an ability to support the immune system when under the siege of various destructive agents. Gynostemma has also shown its effectiveness, in clinical research studies, as a potent immune modulator. It increases the production of Lymphocytes, Phagocytes, and Serum IGG.
  • Adaptogenic Properties
    Gynostemma has a biphasic effect on brain functions, energizing or calming the system depending upon need, as well as on the regulation of hormonal functions in both men and women. The healthy maintenance of these physiological actions plays a major role in the body's ability to cope with stress.
  • Antioxidant Properties
    The results of many scientific studies show that Gynostemma powerful antioxidant quality protects against free radical damage

See a more detailed analysis on Gynostemma here.

Need I say more?? been taking it ever since. I bought the loose leave version, and steep in a hot water for about 20mins, and pour it out into a water container, then drink it continuously. The leaves can be re-used for up to 3 times. I normally having it just after dinner, for at least 2 steep, while leaving the 3rd steep in the morning for breakfast.

See my other post on Veggies Juices, Goji berries and Ginseng (that has been my common food these days).

So, what are some of other 'healthy stuff' you've found? share with me.

All the best.

Sher Khan.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Sher's Maiden Ride.. (cycling)

I was being pestered by my bro (rafiq aka upiq) to join him cycling for a while now. He's an avid cycler (is that what they called??) and had participated in various triathlon around the nation.. being big as he is.. always getting the aweeee from the audience. Check out his blog here for more of his rambling.

So, on the 3rd day of Idul Fitri celebration, after 2 consecutives days of heavy caloric dump into the body, I was looking forward for an activity to burn it all... and thought to try something different.

Let's go and ride a bicycle!

The planned was to start at the rendezvous point at Bt. 18, Hulu Langat at 7:30am. Well.. I arrived late (overslept slightly), and we pushed off at about 8am. It's my first time ever.. going with my other 2 bros. I initially thought we are the only few crazy fellas going for a bike ride at the early morning deep in the kampung of Hulu Langat, to my surprised, there are already bunch of other riders at the rendezvous point!.. some even have completed their bouts of rides!! and.. these people tend to know each other quite well.

Anyway, we rode from the Bt. 18 to the Simpang Tiga, to the Langat Dam, to the Sg. Telaka Recreation Park.... and back. It was approximately about 44km, for about 2hrs and 30mins.

View Larger Map

The ride was excruciating at some point, going up and down the hill, changing gears highs and lows, fighting with the bicycle, and most of all.. with yourself.. some points we go as fast as 30-50kmph, and at some point.. even the snails are faster than us! mixed-bag of LSD and HIIT is for sure... but I make sure I didn't stop and keep cycling even when I feel my heart is like going to explode!!.. understand it.. You just have to experience it. The view is breathtaking (riding at the kampung, the hills, the dam, rivers...).. it was fun.

this pic is with my other bro (feroz aka ucu)..

All I can say, it won't be my last ride. Will come back for more!... aiming on Perez... some day.. ;)

btw, the equipment that I've on are all borrowed, including the gloves and the t-shirt!

My bro (upiq) said.. that ride, we would typically burned at least 1000 calories.. well.. my mission achieved!

Today morning, some arching down at the back, and at my posterior!! need a good padding the next time. Thinking of doing the Putrajaya route the next.. anyone?

How's your holidays?

Sher Khan.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Sher's 6-pack quest video

Been wanting to post a video on my journey, and been working on it on and off this week, and finally please see the result.. not perfect, but.. at least something.

For the 1st time ever, I showed my shirtless body!!


I'm getting the hang of creating videos now, if you like it - I will create more!

Sher Khan.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

SEPT 2009 - My Progress.

This is my progress thus far.
Let's take a look at my infamous weight loss chart ;)
(for a larger view, pls click on the image)

As you can see, I’ve been struggling the past few months trying to maintain my weight and body fat %.
The most significant highlight since I started this journey is that – for the 1st time ever, my weight has consistently goes up during the month of April to July.
If you’ve seen my previous post during that period, I’ve kind of explained why that is so (earlier post - My Progress So far).
Also, if you remember, in May09, I’ve also started on a new regime (may post - Stop.. New Plan) after too many comments from people, and I’ve change my diet slightly.
The result?  my body fat increases tremendously (were at 12.7% to a whopping 17.1% !!, and body weight from 72kg to massive 76kg!!)–  YUP, I was shocked myself!!
It clearly shows my ‘new plan’ doesn’t fit me. It really makes sense – you can never out-train a bad diet. If you eat a lot, even the healthy stuff, while maintaining the same fitness level, more KG will be added to your body. My experiment proof that point.
However, I would like to think that the KG is not necessarily pure FAT, during that period (april-july), I’ve actually increases the weight bearing exercise to another level (june post - In the Gym today).
Look at this body composition table that I’ve captured.
It shows the BF% increases, also look at ‘Fat Mass’ and ‘Fat Free Mass’, it fluctuates. Well, I’m not a doctor/physician, I’m just assuming there’s some level of muscles mass being added somewhere, I did ask around, but not getting any convincing explanation.
Again, I may be wrong here. I’ve stopped going to the wellness doctor that I used to go (no expert opinion). Someone care to explain?.. anyone?
So, you asked, what’s next?
After seeing the poor July result, I’m back to my typical routine. One thing that I’ve realized/discovered is that -  in order for me to progress better, I need to do this: maintain my diet with healthy portions and I’ve to increase the intensity of my exercise routines.  I am now training harder than what I used to.
BTW, my plan to get 6 pack by end of the year (march post – My progress so far)? With this slight detour, I may missed that target.. I’ve to add a couple months to it.. say March 2010?
So, there you go on my latest update.
Anything not clear? Question? Drop me a note.
Let's get healthy.
Sher Khan

Monday, August 31, 2009

My Grocery List

I got some of the common questions asked:

  • What do I put into my shopping cart?
  • Do I need to read food labels every single time?
  • There’s so much things on the shopping aisle, how would I know what’s good?
  • What are the guidelines?

I’ve said it, and I’ll say this again – natural real whole food diet. What the heck is that? some example? Some of my past post on this topic:
What's Natural Whole Read Food?
Celebration = Food !
Two of the Most Evil Food
Counting Calories?

Whenever you pick-up a food item, don’t be fooled of by the excellent marketing terms on the front of the packaging (it’s a multi-billion industry to create statements/branding/catchy statements that is the most appealing to people like you and me!).  These days, knowing the consumer is a bit more educated, the food manufacturer becoming even more creative with their ‘Health Food’ claims… ‘all natural’,’fat free’,’no cholesterol’,’no salt added’,’sugar free’.  Whatever it is… always…always…always… look at the back of the packaging, and read the ingredients list. That’s what really you’re getting..  the longer the list (sometimes you can’t even pronounce some of the stuff in it) the more reason for you to put it back on the shelf.

Watch this youtube video of Health Food vs. Healthy Food. Must See.

‘Ahh.. Sher, too complicated’. No, it’s easy, really. Pick the ones with the least amount of ingredient. Less is More! (more of good nutritional value that is). Example? A watermelon has 1 ingredient… watermelon. Apples?.. apple. Rice? Brown rice. Eggs?.. eggs. Broccoli?.. broccoli. Oats? ..oats. Bread? whole grain.. hah..beware.. this is a trap. See my earlier post on bread. Nuts is good right? yup, but not the honey roasted, salty types. Go for raw and dry-roasted nuts.

Even more confused? Put it this way, whenever you picked an item, do this test by asking yourself.
"Have my ancestors eat this stuff back then?" If the answer is no, put it back...

All the best.
Sher Khan.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Ramadan is back!

Interesting message from Obama. Thanks for the respect to the muslims.
We're in the Ramadan (fasting month) now, and the most favorite topic some of you been asking me is on how does one eats during this period.
I did a post on that last year, and looking back at the post - I've not digress much. So, it's still very relevant on how I will lead this year again on how I do my nutrition and exercises.

So here's the post:

Today, just before Iftar (the breaking of fast), I did some short exercise at the nearby park (was at kg pandan) - ran about 2km, and do my bodyweight routines - all about 40mins.. back home just nice at 7:15pm getting ready to iftar.

How's yours so far??

Oh btw... I've a long-awaited post that my readers has been asking - 'my progress so far..' - I've the details compiled, just that.. it's taken longer that I've expected (been really really busy at work)... some shocking details to share it with you...for the 1st time ever, the scale is going upwards!!!.... jeng..jeng..jeng.. wait for that post..

be good.
Sher Khan.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Give yourself a metabolic tune-up!

Hi all,

I've talked about mitochondria and the importance of it here before (see my old post on it). It's the key to control our metabolism...

Just saw an excellent article on this by Dr. Mark Hyman... and he actually sums up exactly how I've been doing my exercises and nutrition. (refer to my old post - What kind of Diet Are You On?)

Here's it goes (cut & paste it for your enjoyment)


How to Give Yourself a Metabolic Tune-up

Are you tired and worn out?

Do you have sore muscles, fatigue, and brain fog?

If so, you might have metabolic burnout!

Imagine if you could find a way to tune up your metabolism, increase your energy levels, think clearly, and feel less achy.

Imagine if you could prevent diabetes, heart disease, Parkinson’s disease, and dementia.

Imagine if you could heal fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome.

Imagine if you could get to the roots of aging, slow the whole process, and eliminate most age-related diseases.

These aren’t just fantasies.

All these things are possible—if you give yourself a metabolic tune up.

You might have heard of the rats fed high doses of resveratrol, the plant compound found in red wine. But did you know that those rats lived 30 percent longer than their peers – the equivalent of an additional 120 human years -- even though they ate a bad diet.

In fact, they became fitter and lost weight even while eating a poor-quality, standard American diet.

How could they eat high amounts of bad food and not exercise, yet still become fitter, AND live 30 percent longer than the average rat?

One word: MITOCHONDRIA -- the source of your energy.

The resveratrol protected and improved the function of the mitochondria through its effects on special master-aging genes.

So what are mitochondria and what do they have to do with having more energy, losing weight, and living to be 120 years old without any disease?

Today you will learn the answer to that question. And I will provide you with 8 tips you can start using today to give yourself a metabolic tune-up and boost your energy metabolism.

The key to more energy lies in providing your mitochondria the right environment to thrive. When you do, you can boost your energy metabolism. Doing this is the 6th of the 7 keys to UltraWellness, and it is absolutely essential if you want to obtain optimal health.

So let’s look at what mitochondria are and what they do.

What Are Mitochondria?

Mitochondria are the little factories in our cells that take the foods we eat and the oxygen we breathe and convert them into energy. That energy is called adenosine triphosphate, or ATP, and it is used to support every function in our body.

Each cell holds hundreds or thousands of mitochondria; they are found in greater amounts in active organs and tissues such as the muscles, heart, and brain. In fact, we have more than 100,000 trillion mitochondria in our bodies, and each one contains 17,000 little assembly lines for making ATP.

Why are these are these little energy factories so important to your health?

The answer is simple: Mitochondria are the place where metabolism happens.

When your mitochondria aren’t working properly, your metabolism runs less efficiently or can practically shut down.

Problems occur because these powerful energy producers are VERY sensitive to damage.

And when they are damaged, you suffer all the symptoms of low energy—fatigue, memory loss, pain, rapid aging, and more.

Fatigue is the most common symptom of poorly functioning mitochondria, and it is the reason we tend to poop out as we age. We add constant insult and injury to our mitochondria, and this causes them to break down and stop producing energy.

The main way your mitochondria are damaged is by uncontrolled oxidative stress. That may sound complicated, but in reality we are all familiar with “oxidative stress” even if some of us don’t know what the term means.

Oxidation is the rust on our cars, the brown color that appears on an apple when cut and exposed to air, the rancid vegetable oil in our cupboards, even the wrinkles that form on our skin.

What most of us don’t realize is that our own tissues are rusting, our own fats are going rancid, and our brains are melting as we go about our daily life.

What starts this process is some insult—too many calories, smoking, a sunburn, exposure to toxins, anti-nutrients, sugar, and more—that tips the balance, starting a chain reaction of cellular and tissue damage that leads us down the long road to weight gain and chronic illness.

The ultimate outcome of oxidative stress and the resultant loss of energy is death!

But the good news is that we can counteract the damage by giving ourselves a metabolic tune-up.

Let me explain ...

What Is a Metabolic Tune-up?

Dr. Bruce Ames, a renowned scientist from the University of California, Berkeley, has spent the last decade discovering how we can give ourselves a metabolic tune-up.

In one study, he gave two compounds to old rats who were tired, wouldn’t get on their treadmill or swim very far, and couldn’t find the cheese in the maze. These compounds make mitochondria run better, boosting metabolism.

They are alpha-lipoic acid and acetyl-L-carnitine.

Overnight, these old rats became young rats. They got onto the treadmill, swam long distances without fatigue, and could easily find the cheese in the maze, just like their young, healthy counterparts.

How could that happen?

Well, Dr. Ames simply gave the cells the raw materials they need for optimal function. That’s it!

You can do this too, and the process is very simple ...

First, find the things that damage your metabolism and mitochondria, then eliminate them.

Second, give your body the things that help mitochondria function optimally.

Here’s how you do that.

8 Tips for Giving Yourself a Metabolic Tune-up

The first step to giving yourself a metabolic tune-up is locating and eliminating the causes of damage to the mitochondria:

    Eat less processed food, junk food, sugar, and empty calories. In fact, you should really avoid these things altogether.

    Detoxify by getting rid of environmental and internal toxins.

    • Cool off the inflammation in your body.

    • Balance your hormones.

Once you’ve done that, you need to boost your mitochondrial function and provide the mitochondria with the correct environment to thrive:

    • Try interval training, which increases the efficiency and function of your mitochondria, and strength training, which increases the amount of muscle and the number of mitochondria.

    • Eat whole, real, colorful plant food. That’s eight to 12 servings of fresh vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts, seeds, and whole grains every day. These foods are full of antioxidants and phytonutrients.

    • Take mitochondria-protective and energy-boosting nutrients such as acetyl-L-carnitine, alpha-lipoic acid, coenzyme Q10, N-acetyl-cysteine, NADH, D-ribose, resveratrol, and magnesium aspartate.

    • Increase your intake of omega-3 fats to help build your mitochondrial membranes.

Taking care of your mitochondria and giving yourself a metabolic tune-up will allow you to increase your energy, lose weight, and age well. It is a cornerstone of creating lifelong vibrant health.

To your good health,

Mark Hyman, M.D.


all the best.

Sher Khan.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Durian.. good or bad?

I'm tempted to write a post on Durian.. it's in season now, and they're in abundance this year!

Since I started my journey (2 years now), I've been abstaining myself from it. I know, durian is a fruit, and how bad can a fruit affect our health right?

Right, it's a type of fruit, that is highly nutritious (and highly addictive or respulsive) - do you know that durian is one type of fruit that actually has a protein (the soft type), that beneficial as a muscle builder??!!

So why I've been avoiding it? even my mom was sooo surprised that I've not touch it (we're the only few in the family who shares the love of durians). During the season, she would normally prepare an extremely delicious 'pulut durian' and 'pengat durian'... (I'm saliving right now just writing about it)... well, that's exactly the reason - if I were to touch it, then as they say, the rest would be history (my diet that is).. no matter how strong my willpower, it will suffer.... so instead of even taken a piece of that thing, I've told myself to best avoided it completely!

...but that was then.. this '09 season.. ha ha ha.. I'm back with a vengeance. Now that my weight is at a normal BMI, and I am more discipline in my eating habits... I've finally allowed myself to eat some... but wait.. still no pengat, no pulut (loaded with sugar & glutinous rice/refined carbs)... just pure, natural, raw durians.. as the nature intended it to be!

It's as good as a fruit can be! ... it's heavenly!! YESSSS!

See the nutrition facts of durians here

One thing to highlight (besides having a high-level of soft-protein thing i mentioned earlier), durian contains high-level of amino acid tryptophan, known to alleviate depression/anxiety by raising the levels of serotonin in the brain...

So.. durians anyone? ;)

to your good health.
Sher Khan

Saturday, June 20, 2009

In the Gym today..

Gotten few personal email asking what's my typical routines in the gym.

I've actually posted some of gym routines in my previous post - catch it here:

If you've been following my journey here, you'll know that I'm not much of a gym fan. Infact, I don't even have a gym membership whatsoever. The gym that I went on the weekend is a public gym that I pay for MYR2 per entry. It's at Kampung Pandan Sports Complex... simple stuff, nothing fancy. I tend to go to the gym on Saturdays is because on every (almost) saturday I would visit my sis-in-law (my ritual weekend family/relatives visits) where I would bring my little family (the wife & 3 kids) to visit them. While I'm there, in the evening, I needed to do my exercises, and found the sports complex seems to be the most convenience venue.

Anyway. Go and checkout the links above, and you'll get to see what have I been up to in the gym.

Oh.. today, this was my routine:
1. warm-up / stretching routines
2. incline push-up
3. chin-up
4. barbell deadlift 40kg
5. brench press 30kg
6. barbell front-squad 20kg
7. bunch of bodyweight routines like dumbell lunges, dumbell swings..
... and some more routine that I don't even know the official names of it - maybe I'll start posting my own personal youtube videos to share with you..

The trick is.. focus on multi-joint, multi-muscles routines. Forget the dumbell curl, or tricep curl, or even crunches. To melt the fat away, you need to increase your intensity level, focus on your routines to complete within 1hr max... i'm done within 45mins only (for strength)... half-dead already by then.
After the strength training - then go on and do interval cardio training - this is the key. Interval training will keep your mitochondrial level at it's maximum rate that will boost your metabolism at its peak for up to 24hours!

See my post on interval training:
No time, too busy to exercise (read about mitochondria here)

well, you probably say - Sher, that's too much for me.. I'm just starting, a beginner. Well, trust me, I've been there. I've a sedentary lifestyle back then, and when I decided to get on this journey.. I've never look back. See how I started and figured this exercise thing here - My Exercise - Part 1.

So what have you been up to? drop me a comment.

Sher Khan.

What are you waiting for? let's go

Today is Saturday, the rain has stop, the sky is bright...

Stop surfing, and let's burn some calories fellas!

Watch this to pump up your motivation....!!

I've always love Sly.. and it's Rocky series.. !

Now that's an early videos of him, take a look at his upcoming movie - and at 62, he's as fit as ever!!

If that doesn't pump you up... i don't know what will. ;)

Sher Khan.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Crunches for fat loss?

I was at the gym yesterday, and doing my normal routine. There were these couple of fit and lean guys that would do a couple of biceps curls and bench presses, and then immediately after each set would stand infront of the mirror and started posing themselves.. comparing each other body... admiring each other..

Well no comments... :p

What caught my attention was - this kinda 'big' guy trying to workout (from the way it looks, he's a newbie), and these fit and lean guys saw him struggling with the equipment and started to teach/guide him of what to do. They put this guy through various crunches routines.. the traditional crunches, the leg-raises, the cable crunches, and various other crunches/sit-up routine that only focuses on his tummy..!!!

I pity the guy. From the look on his face - I'm sure that would be his last day in the gym!

I know, I know, I should have gone up to the guy and rescued him --- but who am I?.. who would listen to me? I'm not fit & lean.... (well at least not yet)

I'm also still too busy half way through my routine, and no time to go and have chit-chats (i know, another excuses..).

Seriously.. I just don't think I'm ready to start 'coaching' people.

But I did make some effort to 'show' him to follow the way I am doing it.

I was purposely hanging around close to him and did some of the multi-joint, compound muscles routines like dumbell squat, dumbell swing, burpees, deadlift, barbell front squat, jumping jack, dumbell renegade row, etc.. Instead.. I later saw him doing a seated-dumbell curl !!... hiish!

I left the gym, and went on the red stadium track, and did a 5 burst of interval sprint around the track to finish off my day.

Later that nite, I was thinking to myself - I need to share a lot more to the people out there in the real world (not just here in the cyberworld).

How do I do that? ideas welcome..

Sher Khan.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

let's have breakfast

"Let's go for breakfast".

I get this invitation everytime when I reached office or any place if it's early morning... well, 9am is way too late for me for breakfast, my breakfast is about max 30-45mins after I woke-up in the morning. (i typically wake up around 6-6:30am daily)

So what's my typical breakfast? I've posted that a while ago here, and if you've not seen it. Here it is again. (My typical breakfast).

We need to take our breakfast as early as possible because our body really needs it. When we wake up in the morning, our body 'nutrition' level is at a very low level (6-7 hours without food/water).. it's craving for nutrition (our cells screaming for it!!), and if you're still running without, the brain will tell your body that you will not getting any (bcoz the brain doesn't know when would be your next meal), and the brain will start to instruct the rest of your bodily functions (especially your metabolism) to switch into survival mode... to start conserving energy, and lower down everything. Result? metabolism slows down, the body starts to store everything.... and guess what it stores as?... yup.. fat! (instead of burning it).

So, take your breakfast early - as the saying goes, eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper.

Today for breakfast (at 7am) I had some natural low-fat yogurt, topped with ground flaxseed + handful of goji berries + raw almonds + raw pumpkin seeds + a pinch of raisins, and later a whole cut mango fruit. I'm full.

On the days I go for morning exercises - I will still take some breakfast - a quick one like some fruits and nuts, before pounding on the pavement. Then, I'll have a full breakfast.

What's for breakfast?

See my other options for breakfast:

Sher Khan.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Found yet? keep looking, & don't settled..

Great speech from Steve Jobs, the CEO of Apple and Pixar at Stanford University Graduation ceremony... to encourage the graduates to pursue their dreams.

Don't miss watching this. I particularly love his 2nd life story - ..." to love what you do. if you haven't found it yet, keep looking, and don't settled..."

i.e.. if you want that six-pack, keep going.. and don't settled. ;)

all the best.

Sher Khan.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

let's go!

It's the weekend folks.

Stop surfing the web... let's go out and burn lots of calories and build those muscles...

see above for a quick something to lift up your spirits... from one of my fav trainer.. Vince Delmonte.

what are you waiting for??!! let's put on the sporting gear and get out there!

to your good health!

Sher Khan.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Santan is bad for you?? *bs*

Recently I was in a discussion with some friends, and the topic of interest was... Santan (coconut milk) is bad for you.. He actually goes to an extend explaining he lost some weight and dropped his cholesterol levels because he has been avoiding meals loaded with santan.

If you've been following me here, you know that I shall opposed to that - that I've always encourage anything that is close to it's natural form, real whole natural food is the way to maintain a good health... and coconut milk is one of nature most nutritious food!  Yes it's loaded with saturated fat, but the good type of saturated fat, that we should be consuming it..!

Read this below article, it says it all. (thanks to my personal trainer Mike Geary for this).
I've written many times in the last couple years about the mistaken beliefs in society about saturated fat and the false perception in the media AND with MOST health professionals that saturated fat is bad for you.

If you've seen in some of my articles, I've even showed you why saturated fat can even be GOOD for you in some cases, despite every health/fitness professional in the world just accepting the false belief that it's bad for you.

I have to say I was pleasantly surprised to FINALLY see a big name publisher have some guts to publish an article about why everyone in the world may be wrong about their beliefs about saturated fat.

I received my new issue of Men's Health magazine over the weekend (Nov issue), and they have a huge 6-page article in there about the faulty research in the past about saturated fat, and some new emerging research that is showing why it may actually be more good for you than you would believe.

I've got to give them credit... the article was VERY well researched and put together beautifully to summarize where the studies in the past have gone wrong, and why recent studies are showing that everyone may have been wrong for the last 5 decades about saturated fat.

I'd highly suggest you read the entire article if you can. If not, I'm going to try to give you a quick summary of the findings here since it was a long article...

First of all, did you realize that although doctors, nutritionists, fitness professionals, and the media all have told you that it's a FACT that saturated fats are bad for you, this "FACT" has actually never been proven!

It's actually not a "fact" at all. It was a hypothesis! This goes all the way back to a flawed research study from the 1950's where a guy named Ancel Keys published a paper that laid the blame on dietary fat intake for the increasing heart disease phenomenon.

However, there were major flaws to his study. For one, in his conclusions he only used data from a small portion of the countries where data was available on fat consumption vs heart disease death rate. When researches have gone back in and looked at the data from all of the countries, there actually was no link between fat consumption and heart disease deaths. So his conclusions were actually false.

Second, his blaming of fat intake for heart disease was only one factor that was considered. There was no consideration of other factors such as smoking rates, stress factors, sugar intake, exercise frequency, or other lifestyle factors.

Basically, his conclusions which blamed heart disease deaths on fat intake were really just a shot in the dark about what a possible cause may have been, even though all of those other factors I just mentioned, plus many others, may be the bigger cause.

Unfortunately, Keys study has been cited for over 5 decades now as "fact" that saturated fat is bad for you.  As you can see, there certainly is nothing factual about it.

Since that time, numerous other studies have been conducted trying to link saturated fat intake to heart disease. The majority of these studies have failed to correlate ANY risk at all from saturated fat. A couple of them made feeble attempts at linking saturated fat to heart disease, however, it was later shown that in those studies, the data was flawed as well.

Do we actually have evidence that saturated fat may actually be good for you instead?

Well, let's consider a few examples...

Did you know that there are several well known tribes in Africa... the Masai, Samburu, and Fulani tribes... where their diet consists mostly of raw whole 
milk, tons of red meat, and cows blood?  Despite their very high saturated fat intake, they display extremely low body fat levels, and heart disease to natives of the tribe is virtually non-existant.

Now most critics of this example will say that it must be related to superior genetics... however this is false, as when they studied tribesman who had moved out of their native lands and started eating more modern day diets, their blood chemistry skyrocketed with heart disease risk factors.

This is true of certain pacific island countries inhabitants as well. Several studies have shown that certain pacific island nations had VERY high intakes of total fat as well as saturated fat from tropical fats such as palm, 
coconut, and cocoa. Despite super-high intakes of saturated fat, these island natives were typically very lean and heart disease was virtually non-existant.

However, when researchers followed up with islanders that had moved away from their native island and adopted a typical western diet, the heart disease factors were through the roof.

In fact, did you know that although saturated fat intake does increase your LDL bad cholesterol, it actually increases your HDL good cholesterol even further, hence improving your overall cholesterol ratio, which has been proven to be more important that just total cholesterol level (actually total cholesterol is an almost useless number... inflammation is the REAL problem, but that's a whole different topic).

Another fact worth noting in favor of saturated fat...

Saturated fat is comprised of various different types... the 3 most common types are stearic acid, palmitic acid, and lauric acid.

Stearic acid is found in animal fat and cocoa in higher levels. Research continues to show that stearic acid has no negative impacts on heart disease risks. If anything, it's either neutral or beneficial. In fact, your liver breaks down stearic acid into a monounsaturated fat called oleic acid, which is the same type of fat that makes up most of heart-healthy olive oil. Bet you didn't know that!

Lauric acid is beneficial as well. Not only has it been shown to increase your HDL good cholesterol levels significantly, but it is also lacking in most Americans diet and has even been shown to have some powerful immune-boosting effects potentially. It is even being studied currently in HIV/AIDS research to help improve immune function in patients.

Tropical oils such as 
coconut and palm are the best sources of lauric acid.

Palmitic acid is the other main component of saturated fat and has also been shown to increase HDL good cholesterol to the same, if not greater extent than LDL bad cholesterol, thereby making it either neutral or beneficial, but certainly not bad for you.

So, if all of these researchers have tried so hard over the years to point the finger at saturated fat, but have continued to fail to show a correlation between saturated fat and heart disease risk, what are the REAL culprits for heart disease?

Well, here are the REAL causes of heart disease risk:

*Trans fats (artificially hydrogenated oils)... 

*Heavily refined vegetable oils such as soy, cottonseed, corn oil, etc.(inflammatory inside the body, and typically throw the omega-6/omega-3 balance out of whack)

*Too much refined sugar in the diet (including high fructose corn syrup)

*Too much refined carbohydrates such as white bread, low fiber cereals, etc


*Stressful lifestyle

*Lack of exercise

*Other lifestyle factors

So why does it seem that so many attempts over the years have tried to lay the blame on saturated fat... do you think it might have anything to do with the muli-bil_lion dollar vegetable oil industry, which has taken over for cooking oils for what used to be mostly animal fats and tropical oils in decades past...

hmm... do multi-bill_ion dollar industries really have an influence on the way data is portrayed to the public? Of course they do! And don't even get me started on the cholesterol meds industry! Again, I digress.

I hope this article has opened your eyes about the truth about saturated fat and how you've been misled over the years.

The true FACT is that saturated fat is a neutral substance in your body, and even beneficial at times, not a deadly risk factor for disease. The REAL risk factors are what I listed above.

Now, back to my friend story, he thinks he lost the weight is because he has been avoiding coconut milk - but I'm too very sure, he has lost it because he's more aware of what he's been eating - most of it is because he dropped the junk & processed foods.
I tell you right now, do that, and you'll see your fat will melt away. (i've written all over this blog the reason of it). 

Alright! now, since we're on the topic of saturated fat, I don't want you to miss this great video from my favorite nutritionist... Isabel De Los Rios..

all the best.
Sher Khan.


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