fat2plant

The power of adding plants to your life!


3 Comments

Pinch Me Because I think I’m Dreaming!!! I Did Whaaaaat?

I had the AMAZING opportunity to chat with Author/Cert. Nutritionist/Health Coach/Runner/All around AWESOME guy Sid Garza-Hillman for the latest episode of the Approaching the Natural Podcast (available on iTunes or by clicking the image) also check out his website Transitioning to Health!!!

I hope you enjoy it!!!!!

photo

 

logo-long-e1363712490579  



 

 


5 Comments

Hikapalooza the Fifth Day!!!

What a difference a day makes….

photo 1 (2)

Today I didn’t pick the trail until this morning and decided on one I had done before and was pretty comfortable with, I went with the Kiwanis Trail in the South Mountain park system. The funny thing with this trail is that last week when I started thinking about this hike a day for spring break I thought this trail would be to long and challenging for the boys at 2.7 miles in length. Well with a technical 5 miler and two other 2 plus milers under their belt this now seemed like a very doable hike for these super trekker kids. The backpack was double checked and we loaded up and headed to South Mountain with a quick stop at Circle K to refresh my depleted gum stash. Taking the trip through South Phoenix is always full of interesting things and people even at 8:30 in the morning and just like that you go from the city to a huge nature area.

photo 3 (1)

I was happy to see only 3 other cars in the small lot at the trail head as today was going to be a take our time and no rush type of hike. Everyone had good attitudes and only Munch had to pee so things couldn’t get much better. Once I got Munch situated behind a bush to handle his business I got the other 2 some gum and then we hit it. I had already figured I was going to be carrying Luc more then normal with his little legs tired from a week of adventures, but it turned out to be most of the day. The perks of being a super special two year old… This was the first hike where we were able to see petroglyphs on the rocks not far off the trail but far enough after the snake nobody dared explore. The weather was perfect in the ravine that our hike lead us through mostly shade with some sun patches. As we made our way up the trail before we knew we were climbing the last bit up to the main road that ran through the park. This where a vote was taken we carry on across the street and jump on the National Trail and finish up at the 85 year old rock building on the top, Munch voted yes and Drew said nay and the yes’s had it. Drew slightly dejected fell in behind us as we headed up the last little bit of climbing for the day, the reward of a snack kept the pace up and with Luc in my arms we made it lickity split. Once at the top you could see how much crap was in the air today more than normal for sure, a quick photo and some water plus the much anticipated snack everyone was ready to head down and call it a day. With very little traffic we were able to knock out the return in almost half the time plus with Luc on my shoulders for all but the last 100 yards it the day was done. With only a couple minor falls and some very knotted shoulders today was the kind of mellow no stress hike the boys need to avoid becoming jaded about hiking. Today was nearly perfect and will be hard to top but we shall see what tomorrow holds….

photo 2 (2)

-F2P

 

logo-long-e1363712490579    take a hike


5 Comments

Hike #4 : The missed turn…

photo 1

Today was already starting out with a little less enthusiasm then the 3 previous days, but we still were able to get out of the house by 8:30.  I had decided last night that we would be hitting the Piestewa Nature Trail 304 I read in Take a Hike Phoenix that it was a super kid friendly 1.3 mile loop, just what I was looking for especially with the current attitudes in the truck.  We got the trail head and 2 of the 3 boys had lightened up but my sweet Drew had dug in and was ready to battle for the next hour or so…

photo 4

We set off and I decided to help Luc up the first little climb just to avoid an early burn out and potential melt down from a hyper sensitive touchy group. We quickly crossed paths with some young ladies who tried engaging Drew in a chat about lizards and he not only ignored them he gave them the “why do you think you can speak to me?” squint and stare. This is where I draw the line and its time to have a little chat, it went something like this….

”you want to have a bad day? Okay have one, but you’re not allowed to be rude and try to ruin others good day. So you need to take a seat on this rock and we will come back for you in a bit, but once you’ve decided to snap out of it you can try and catch up.”

…and away Luc, Munch and I went. Maybe 10 feet of trail were covered before a teary seven year old rejoined the group and once again we were 4 and onward we went. At about 25 minutes in we had reach a ridge and figured it was a good time for snacks and drinks, this was welcomed with open hands and mouths. Out of no where I was struck by the quart and a half of water I drank earlier wanting to exit my body but there wasn’t an ideal place to relieve the pressure, so we carried on and this is where the day was about to make the day EPIC. I finally found a spot off the trail and still able to see the boys, once the euphoric relief had come to an end we marched on. Slowly as the minutes and steps passed I started to get that feeling that we had missed the turn that would have finished the loop back to the parking lot. I went to retrieve the trail guide when to my surprise it wasn’t in the backpack but rather next to my bed where I had been scouting out today’s hike last night. I pushed on with a 15 min time limit set internally for the next evaluation of the situation, and the distance covered in that 15 minutes had to be a record for a 2 year old because we covered some ground with no left turn to be found. At this point I was pretty sure we had ended up on the 1A trail mostly to the trail markers that said “1A” its usually a good indicator anyway. So we took a break to get some more water in and I made the decision to keep moving forward , I was pretty sure this trail was a loop and the fact it was still in the 60’s out the adventure began. At this point we were squarely on the back side of the mountain from where we had started which solidified my decision to just not turn back and just return the way we came. To the north I could see what I was pretty sure was Trail 100 that runs east to west through the length of the park for almost 11 mile one way which all I could think about is how much I want to run it, but that was for a different day. Then out of no where there was the VOAZ trail that headed south and appeared to head up the mountain, but I didn’t recognize the name and there were no one else around so we continued on the trail we were on. In hind site if we would of hopped on that trail it would have taken pretty much back to 304 the trail we were on, oh well next time. This was the moment I truly didn’t know where we were and I thought “this is a great chance to teach some life lessons” so I told the boys we were lost but we were lost together. They took the news a lot better than I had anticipated I told them “we will be fine, we have water and snacks” I’m pretty sure that’s all a 7 and 6 year old care about. We had been on the trail for about 2 miles and had only carried Luc a few times I was prepared for a melt down from him as we kept going into the unknown. We had started heading straight west and had gone about a quarter mile when we had another opportunity to take a left and head south so I took it and this was about the time Luc had had enough, to my shoulders he went. We began our blind faith climb up the trail that I know now is called the 1A irregular, we moved at a good pace up to the ridge. Once on the ridge I could see what I wanted to see it was the Freedom 302 Trail that looped around the mountain and would take us back to the promise land, down the other side of the ridge we headed down to the sweet Freedom Trail. We had now surpassed the time and distance we had spent out during the previous hikes and the temperature had began to start creeping up we took our last snack break. Spirits were incredibly high we crossed paths with and older couple and rude boy drew was the first to say “good morning”, things were looking good. I was pretty much carrying Luc in one way or another all the time at this point. Then it happened…. There was a snake on the trail that drew had stepped over without having a clue it was there. The good news it was an just an 18 inch garter snake taking in the rays he looked up and noticed the crowed and headed into a hole, however this was a great teaching moment for the importance of trail awareness. Munch on the other hand only knew that there was a snake and a mini melt down would be with us until the end, no hysterics just a light sob and snot. We finally made our way the mountain until we connected to the Summit Trail and talk about culture shock, we went from seeing 4 people all day into one of the busiest trail in the Phoenix Parks. The descent was quick as there was a resurgent of energy now that the parking lot was in view, the rest was a breeze.

photo 2 (1)

It turns out we ended up hiking almost 5 miles and I could have been happier about the way it all played out. Its rare we can be thrust into situations that test who we are and how we are going to handle it especially when we are also responsible for children at the same time. Before anyone calls child protective service on me for being an irresponsible father, I did have my phone with full service the whole time and at any time I could of called someone or brought up a map. But I don’t want my kids to rely on that, I want them to know that staying calm and paying attention will keep you much safer than freaking out and shutting down. We also learned that we need to double check our supplies before we leave for the house to make sure we have everything, it was just a book this time. The boys now know what 5 miles feels like so if we were stranded some where they know what they are at least capable of doing. I know I have transformed myself from an obese dad to one that can carry his child up and down a mountain for miles with out losing his breath. And finally and most importantly Luc knows he can chew all my gum and not get yelled out because he is the baby and is spoiled rotten, but I think he already knows that.
-F2P

logo-long-e1363712490579       take a hike

click on the images to get more information


Leave a comment

Hikapalooza Hike Number Three!!!!!

photo 2
Today we headed to west and were joined by Grandma Teresa and Auntie Sara which the boys were thrilled about. The trails we tackled today were located in the Thunderbird Conservation Park and let my sister take the lead since this was her hood and she had trekked this area before. Again the weather was perfect and the volume of traffic in the parking lots reflected that and I knew today was going to have a lot more people interaction than yesterday.  Today was Drew’s day to carry the backpack and he immediately took out his North American insect guide that he didn’t get to use yesterday.  And we were off..
 T-Bird Map for Trails Brochure1
We started off on the desert iguana trail heading east for about 1/4 of a mile on a fairly groomed and flat trail until we reached a paved road. Drew was quite the chatter box today with his new audience to spew endless knowledge and facts for there enjoyment, Luc on the other hand was getting uptight about the separation between the 2 groups that had formed within our hiking party.  Munch meantime just enjoyed the time that someone was going to hold his hand the whole time, as we made our ascent of the drive way, Luc had had enough and broke free to stop my sister and I’s progress until everyone else could catch up and proceed together. We hopped onto the sunrise trail and right away had traffic to deal with not only passing but also descending some walking some running and this created a small bit of anxiety that, as I write this, seems silly since everyone one was completely patient and courteous. However the terrain plus grade may have been a bit much for Luc’s little legs, but he would have non of it when I attempted to put him on my shoulders, he won that round. As we moved onward we came to a fork in the road, either continue up steep switch backs to the summit or follow the loop back around to where we started I choose the latter. We were still considered to be on sunrise trail but soon merged into the ridge line trail and I would say had put in at roughly a mile at this point and everyone was in good spirits expect maybe Drew who was grumpy but he was with out reason when questioned about it.  The trail had enough loose footing I didn’t give Luc the choice and put him on my back and we quickly descended the just under half a mile of trail until we came to the coach whip loop trail and hung a right.  The insect trail guide had been put away so I really knew Drew was grumpy so I made the call to get some snacks in the blood stream and hope for a better attitude to return. This trail had flattened out and was hard packed so Luc had some freedom which led to a couple of off trail exploration that was quickly squashed. We finished the loop and returned to our starting point where now 2 horses were being saddled up and prepped for the trail themselves, all and all it was good day. I estimate right about 2 miles covered over an hour. But the horse made me wonder something, why don’t riders half to pick up their animals droppings….?
 instaphoto 1 (1)
Until Tomorrow.

-F2P

logo-long-e1363712490579

 

 

take a hike


5 Comments

Hikapalooza Hike #2 Double Butte Loop!!!

Today’s hike was a pretty big step up from yesterday’s jaunt up Hole in the Rock, today’s hike was on the Double Butte Loop trail which was also part of the Papago Park trail system. Though its spelled BUTTE in a house of boys it was pronounced BUTT with lots of giggles every time. Go big or go home was today’s theme going from under a mile yesterday to almost 2.5 miles today was going to be huge test for 6 short legs and possibly a bigger test of patience for me.

 photo

We arrived at the trail head this morning and the weather couldn’t have been more perfect with the temperature right around 60 and with only few cars in the lot my hopes for the day were already pretty high. Munch, the middle boy, would be carrying the back pack on today’s adventure.  The contents of the pack was, of course, water plus a few snacks, a pair of gloves, baby wipes, a field guide of North American insects, a 7 in 1 tool, and most importantly my copy of Take a Hike Phoenix which has a map of the trail in it. A quick photo in front of the trail signage and review of trail etiquette and how to avoid being eaten we were off! The trail was very well established and marked well with the blue 5′s on the trail markers which was made things super easy to stay on course and also gave the boys something to focus on. The first segment flew by and we arrived at the Eliot Ramada in about 20 mins and took a moment to drink up and do a quick check of everyone’s well-being and general attitudes, and all were good. At this point we could have just turned around and returned to the head or headed west and taken the shortened version of the loop which I had originally planned on with it being just over 1.5 miles, but with spirits high we headed east to tackle the Big Butt (butte) Loop. The trail begins to get a touch more technical with looser footing on the rolling parts.  This is where we had our first and only skinned knee which was handled like a champ and not one tear shed. As we round the mountain it’s the first time we cross path with other hikers and without skipping a step the boys fall into single file and stay to the right and allow the not as friendly as us folks pass, I praise the boys for their manners and effort as we continued on our way. We approach the back side of the mountain we reach the amphitheater which is used as another trail head since it has available parking on the road there is a small group of people running the stairs and I usher the boys through quickly to avoid Luc wanting to participate and mostly a meltdown. Once we are free and clear of the group and I offer up snacks and another drink break which was received with open arms, the snack part anyways.  We take a moment for a picture or two and make our way back to the Eliot Ramada where again we have a fork in the road. At this point we could of returned on the original trail or continue following the loop with everyone still holding on to smiles we stayed on course to finish the loop. This puts us on a trail that again is fairly wide and flat and heads towards the western boundary of the park right along the neighboring golf course, the boys have now also been taught golf etiquette. Moments after this life lesson, Luc has decided his little legs where finished and promptly took a seat to express his feeling about the situation, with less than half a mile left this wasn’t a battle worth fighting so onto my shoulders he happily went. As the end neared the boys again responded to traffic on the trail flawlessly this time with 2 mountain bikers on a descent, the two gentlemen were very appreciative of our allowing them the right of way and I was very proud of my tired little adventurers. I put Luc back on the ground for the closing steps of our journey and as he had the day before expressed his pride of a job well done and said hello to the ladies just beginning their trek.

 photo 1

 

I could not have been any prouder of my children and how they absolutely killed it out there with little to no complaints. All 3 were treated to muffins for a job well done and a ra-ra pep talk for tomorrow’s new adventure!!!

-F2P

 

logo-long-e1363712490579

take a hike


4 Comments

The 2014 Spring Hikapalooza!!!!!

In an effort to get out and enjoy the amazing weather during the boys spring break, I’ve chosen a hike a day for the next five days that I hope they can handle. I choose the hikes out of the recently released Moon Outdoors Take A Hike Phoenix by Lilia Menconi (liliatakesahike.com)an amazing guide with over 300 pages of detailed information on hikes within a 2 hour drive of the city.

Today (Sunday) we started with a shorty of a hike with a bit of climb to test the water. I choose a hike I had done a bunch as a kid in Papago Park, called Hole In the Rock. I had forgotten how popular this trail was until we pulled into the lot and there were only 2 spots left plus I could see the crowd at the top to where the trail leads, but it was an amazing 80 degree day so it was to be expected. As we begin the ascent a tour bus pulls into the small lot and I give the “pick up the pace” nod to Sarah who is handling Lüc for this hike and we were off. Again this not being the longest, it wasn’t long before we had made it to the “hole in the rock”, lüc was very proud of his 2 and half year old self and let us all know it. Most of the crowd I saw from the parking lot had began already headed out which allowed for a little more exploration at the top, which there isn’t much to explore except the view which was exceptionally clear today. We snapped some photos and made our descent towards the parking lot this time taking an alternate route down which was a little more technical for little boys legs. Just as quick as it started we where back loading into the truck, drinking some water, and talking about tomorrow’s “real” hike…..

Stay tuned

-F2P

20140309-235059.jpg

20140309-235109.jpg


8 Comments

The Ragnar Recap!!!!!

Where has the time gone!

 

I feel like I haven’t written anything in like a month….oh wait.

 

The balance of balance of husband, parent, athlete, and blogger were stretched to their limits over the past 3 weeks with blogger losing.

 

So I will just dive back in with race recap of Ragnar Del Sol that I race in this past weekend. For those whom are not familiar with what The Ragnar series is, it’s a 202 mile relay which most teams consist of 12 runners between 2 vans and starts Friday morning and ends sometime Saturday afternoon. This is the second year I’ve participated both years with the same team and the key to a successful Ragnar is to like your team mates and have fun because 30+ hours in a van with tired stinky people can go south in a hurry. I’m lucky I have an awesome team that doesn’t take themselves too seriously and is there to have fun not set course records.

 

My prep started the day before at the grocery store where I loaded up on dates, dried bananas (not fried banana chips), gin-gin ginger candy chews, and water. These are my “supplements” since I knew we would be eating in restaurants where I could eat full meals so I didn’t need to buy pounds and pounds of fruit. Sarah was with the older boys are their variety show, the variety show that has my blog slacking due to the shuttling of 2 little boys to rehearsals on top of their already heavy social schedules. It was just me and the baby badger for the night and we ate snacks and watched dumb things on TV instead of packing for the race, but eventually he went to bed and I was able to knock out what I needed too. After everyone got home and settled in for the night I went to bed at about 11…

 van 1

Race morning started at 2:15 AM when my alarm sounded and it was a little rough getting going. I had everything laid out so getting dressed and out the door was a fairly quick process and I was off to pick up my sister and rendezvous with the rest of my van 1 team mates. Before you know it we arrive in Wickenburg, and after a safety/rules briefing our first runner was off and the 2014 Ragnar was under way. As the 3 leg runner I had about 2 hours to get ready for my turn and before I knew it I was up. My first leg was 7.1 miles all on road so I went with my new Altra Torins. I was also required to wear a head lamp and reflective vest “night” hours are from 5p to 9a and it was just after 8. I was off the weather was a perfect 55 and sunny with minimal traffic expect for the support vans. I kept the pace comfortable and ended up handing off the baton in 50 minutes and change. This is where the Ragnar experience gets fun, because now I was done running for 12 to 14 hours. First thing I ate almost all of my dates and the stuff I packed because I hadn’t eaten breakfast and was starving at this point. After the quick recovery it’s vital to not only be a great teammate but also a great participant. Our van is stocked with 20+ signs ready for any occasion along with noise makers and other devices of silliness to pick up runners spirits this becomes even more important farther into the race you get. Runners 4 and 5 rock their legs and once the baton is handed off to runner 6 the final runner of the first segment we drive ahead to the next exchange where we will hand off to van 2′s first runner. This exchange point obviously had a lot more going on than our 5 previous due to both vans being there and it being van 2 starting point, we meet up and wait at the exchange corral and before you know it the exchange happens and we are free for 7 or so hours.

 run ocp

We decide the best option is to find a place to eat near the next exchange point and we head there and find a Chipotle and enjoy a real meal. The decision was then made to just crash at the high school where the exchange was located next to the school was a retention basin/park that became a “refugee” camp and people everywhere sleeping. I hung out in the van due to grass and me not getting along in the past I had just passed out when the love of my life calls and that’s all she wrote on sleep for time being. The weather that had been perfect for me and my van had become an above average temps reaching nearly 90 degrees, this in turn slowed down not only our teammates out on course but a most everyone else as well. We ended up hanging out for almost 9 hours between exchanges, but the time was closing in so a quick Starbucks run to get everyone ready for the late night to come. This segment of the race is urban compared to the highway running we had done earlier that day, which meant stop lights and lots more traffic Friday night traffic at that. But this crew had been through it all before and the course had pretty much stayed the same so we were good to go. The exchange happens and we are off, this is the point in the race where people can start to get grumpy be it from being tired and dehydrated to not comfortable running at night or bad van mates. These would be other peoples problem not ours, spirits were still high and I was about to run my second leg. The distance was the same as the first at 7.1 miles but the terrain was very different this time it’s nearly all uphill except for a half mile in the begin that goes through the desert and a dried river bottom and it is dark dark out there. This time I went with my Altra Lone Peaks 1.5′s, these may be my favorite shoe of all time and I think I need to do a post/video about it as a side note. The paranoid chatter from the other runners waiting in the handoff area was pretty comical, exhaustion and the dark can make people very raw to say the least. With a few minutes I was off into the darkness up a slight incline wait for the light to change then a hard right into the abyss that is the desert at night. The river bottom is one of those places that if it was the middle of the day you would tell yourself that you wouldn’t run through this shit, with 12 inch river rock everywhere with bands of 6 inch deep sand for a half mile. In the distance there was a tiny blinking red light that you run towards and then you out on to a paved trail that’s is up hill for the next few miles. I felt really solid the whole run and ended up finishing in 56 minutes which I was pretty happy with due to the terrain and incline of the course. As we returned to the van to get back on the road I was stopped by another runner wanting to know how I like running in Altras, I’m pretty sure he wasn’t prepared for the ensuing praise and information I poured on in this middle school parking lot. Of course the rest of my team gave me heapings of shit when I got back in the van and the rest of the leg was fairly uneventful everyone just grinded out their part and before you knew it was midnight and we were at the next big transition with the other van. The transition was at the Anthem community center and half the team were able to grab showers (not this guy) and freshen up a bit before our last runner made the hand off. Once the handoff is complete we knew we weren’t going to have the super-sized break we had after the first leg. With it being 2 in the morning we decided to hit Dennys for some food…

 

Now if you’ve ever been to any restraint around the time the bars shut down you know things can get “interesting” and this night would be no different. We had just walked in the door and drunkard was already giving me the “you think you’re better than me?” look. When we were seated first he let me know of his displeasure and of course I responded with a shrug and a wink as we were taken to our table. Obviously Denny’s is not known for their high quality plant based cuisine, I settled with some hash browns and a plain english muffin to get carbed up. While we waited for the food my new drunk best friend made his way through the dining room and made a stop at a table to express his displeasure about something before making his way to the restroom and continued his rant on his return to his seat. The guys at the table had also been drinking so lots of words were exchanged and of course the drunken girlfriend factor that always helps in these types of situations, at this point the manager stepped in and kicked out the drunken dude and things quieted down. I took the opportunity to go change and take a baby wipe bath and wash up a bit, upon my return the food at been brought to the table and we dug in. I was pretty certain the hash browns had been cooked in butter but at this point I worked through it and wasn’t going to sweat it. We finished up and headed out to the next transition to try and catch nap while we waited for van 2 to come in.

 

The time arrived and we were not prepared for the speed of runner 12 and they called us to us she was waiting at the corral, so we hide tailed down there and made the handoff. It was now somewhere around 5 in the morning and this is the point where I just wanted to run and get my last leg done which made the time creep by. But slowly but surely our first runner finished her leg and now I was on deck just waiting my for my trying to loosen up a bit and stay warm in the fading darkness. I went with the Lone Peaks 1.5′s again since they did so awesome the stage before, and I would be running on loose pack on the shoulder of the road that the 9.1 mile course ran along. They call out our team number letting me know it’s about that time to get to it. I tried to get as loose as I could but between sitting in a van and dehydration plus the temperature I was still pretty tight and my first couple miles were up hill so I was prepared for the slow. I was off and it was tough to get my rhythm going and of course once I found it I got stuck at a red light. Once I got up the hill it was smooth sailing flat and no stop lights for the next 7 miles only thing I had to deal with was the sun rise and highway traffic. At 1 hour and 11 minutes I was finished with the 23 miles that I was responsible for and there is nothing better than finishing on a high and feeling great. Slowly but surely everyone knocked out their legs and we were finished!

 team ocp

The only thing left to do was to cross the finish line as a team, but that was still 5 hours away. So first thing first we went to lunch, however where we went I knew didn’t serve anything that I would eat so I ran to the grocery store next door and had some veggie rolls made and brought them back. Last year this wasn’t an issue this year I guess it was as the manager with zero customer service training fed me a line of B.S. about bringing in outside food is a health code violation. I laughed out loud and asked what he had for vegan low fat options and he replied “yeah we have that stuff” I again laughed and went out to a bench to consume my oh so delicious veggie rolls. I returned to my teammates upon finishing them and sat without any other issues, the waitress was decided it was appropriate to bring to our attention her displeasure with the gentleman that asked me to leave. We were all pretty sure she is the one that originally complained and now moments before we got the check she wanted us to know who the real bad guy was #classy. Once we settled our tab and headed it out we got word that there had been an accident on course not involving Ragnar but had backed up the racers and required a detoured course. With nothing else to do but wait we headed to the finish line and spread out blankets and relaxed, the boys and Sarah showed up and we all got to hang out once the rest of the team in van 2 showed we knew our final runner would be soon to follow. Sure enough not to much longer after that we saw her and met her a few hundred feet from the finish line and we all completed another Ragnar Del Sol together crossing as a team 30 some hours and 203 miles covered.

logo-long-e1363712490579                              showban


12 Comments

Back Yard Farming Friday!!!!

The biggest irony of my life is that I’m plant based and I have chickens that lay lots of eggs, and I’ve never eaten one!  At this point if I was ever to go back to eating animal products I don’t think I could eat eggs again, the egg/pooh hole is one in the same….

I now present to you my girls doing what they do, turn up the volume and enjoy!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,028 other followers