sea Urchin

I used to freedive by myself as a teen growing up in Hawaii

Nikon nikonos 3I used to freedive by myself as a teen growing up in Hawaii. I carried a Nikonos III and a knife. I tied my leg to a 100′ white nylon line that tied to a float and a dive flag. I launched from Kaimana Beach.

Whenever I got hungry, after a couple hours or so, I would tuck into the plentiful sea urchins, tapping open a hole on tip with the butt of the dive knife, like in this photo, but with my fingers instead of a spoon and spiced with brine.

mahi WreckI didn’t drink water until I ended up kicking to shore. I wore these fins and ignored things like shallow water blackout and the buddy system.

I could easily hyperventilate, take a deep breath, and then kick down to the the Mahi Ship Wreck.

Ha ha! Memories of Hawaii.

Smoky Chipotle Refried Beans

Smoky Chipotle Refried Beans

Smoky Chipotle Refried Beans
Serves 8
This delicious vegan treat is featured in Scott Jurek Eat & Run book and looked so delicious that I ordered even the crazy ingredients like dried epazote and dried Kombu seaweed!
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Prep Time
8 hr
Cook Time
1 hr 35 min
Total Time
9 hr 35 min
Prep Time
8 hr
Cook Time
1 hr 35 min
Total Time
9 hr 35 min
  1. 3 cups dried pinto beans
  2. 1 medium white or yellow onion, chopped
  3. 2-3 garlic cloves, chopped
  4. Half inch piece dried Kombu seaweed
  5. 1-2 dried whole chipotle peppers or canned chipotles in adobo to taste
  6. 1 tablespoon chili powder
  7. 2 teaspoons dried epazote (can substitute cilantro)
  8. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  9. 1 and a half teaspoons sea salt
  1. Soak the beans in water to cover by 2 inches, 8 hours or overnight. Drain and rinse the beans in a colander a few times, then transfer to a large pot. Add the onion, garlic, seaweed, chipotles, and spices. Add water to cover the beans by 2 inches. Bring to a boil and simmer over medium-low heat for about 1 hour, or until the beans are soft and cooked through.
  2. Drain the beans, reserving 4 cups of the liquid, remove the seaweed. Remove the chiles, or leave one in if spicier beans are desired. Cool the beans for 15 minutes, then place in a food processor along with half cup of the liquid and process until smooth. If desired, you may thin the beans with additional cooking liquid.
  3. Return the pureed beans to the pot with the olive oil and salt. Simmer over low to medium-low heat for 20 minutes to allow the flavors to blend. Serve warm.
  1. Refried beans keep refrigerated for 5 to 6 days or freeze well several months.
Adapted from Swupper via Eat & Run
Blue CFF Fit 12KG Kettlebell Competiton

I’m swinging a kettlebell for 90-seconds every 60-minutes

Get Fit, Get Fierce with Kettlebell Swings Book Cover Get Fit, Get Fierce with Kettlebell Swings
Don Fitch
Exercise & Fitness
Well-Being Skills
April 19, 2013

I am very sedentary. They tell me that sitting kills. So, I took to kettlebells. I work from home so I can workout during the day. At first I would do one 45-60-minute kettlebell workout but then I discovered Get Fit, Get Fierce with Kettlebell Swings: Just 12 Minutes a Day to Lose Weight, Prevent Sitting Disease, Hone Your Body and Tone Your Booty! and feel like I won the lottery.

I could get off my butt every hour (I am using a GymBoss interval timer to keep track of it) and swing my kettlebell for 90-second every 60-minutes. They say that the two-handed kettlebell swing is all you need to get oneself into phenomenal shape, both fitness and strength.

I don't even really break a sweat, though I am only running a 12kg kettlebell until I can slowly build to my 16kg, my 20kg, and ultimately my 24kg bells.  Even though the workouts are for only 90-seconds every hour, maybe 6-12-times-a-day, they really build up and I can feel it in my glutes and hamstrings almost immediately.

The only thing that one must do is to be sure to stretch and not to just sit down on the couch right afterwards.  As kettlebell god Pavel likes to say, after you do kettlebell swings, you need to make sure you don't hunch forwards, that you should sit or stand proudly upright. 

So, if you decide to add Get Fit, Get Fierce with Kettlebell Swings into your workout routine, be sure not to underestimate their effects on your entire body. Warm-up, cool down, stretch, and be sure not to allow your body to seize up. 

If you give maybe 90-seconds to stretching and cooling down after every 90-second workout, you've still only "wasted" a total of 3-minutes every hour on exercise, a combined 18-36-minutes/day, max!  More like 9 minutes if you don't stretch and 18 if you do.

Get Fit, Get Fierce with Kettlebell Swings: Just 12 Minutes a Day to Lose Weight, Prevent Sitting Disease, Hone Your Body and Tone Your Booty!

I mentioned that I had become obsessed with Don Fitch‘s deceptively easy Get Fit, Get Fierce with Kettlebell Swings ebook back in October of last year, right after I realized that swinging a kettlebell for 90-seconds every 60-minutes can very well be punishing if you go from cold to hot without ever warming up and cooling down.  

I started doing this sustainable workout and quickly injured myself.

Well, almost 8-months later and I am back at it. Starting today, I am trying it again and have been doing it all day — or, at least since I got in to the office at around noon.

Because I don’t want to hurt myself, I am easing myself into kettlebells by doing all my swings using a light-for-me 12 kilogram competition kettlebell that I bought from Christian’s Fitness Factory AKA CFF-FIT.

Blue CFF Fit 12KG Kettlebell CompetitonA reminder, if you’re going to engage in 90-seconds of vigorous kettlebell swings every hour, all day long, every day, even with only a single 12kg bell, then a stretching regimen is essential. 90-seconds is longer than you think so use the lightest weight you can in order to swing your kettlebell with perfect form for a minute-and-a-half every hour over the course of the entire day.

I’m giving it a go, though I don’t want it to replace other things I am doing like running, like my running commutes, my Concept2 rowing pieces, challenging 30-minute full-body workouts at 9Round and streaming workouts via DailyBurn.

Gymboss Minimax Interval TimerWhy am I doing it? Well, it gets me off of my duff or away from work for at least 90-seconds every hour. Sometimes I am on my treadmill desk or working sitting on my Swiss Exercise Ball and it’s not too essential that I swing every hour, other times I disappear into sedentary work on my office’s sofa and having my GymBoss beep at me that it’s time to swing my a kettlebell for 90-seconds really breaks through my tendency to hyper-focus and lose an entire day lost in work from deep in the couch.

standing-quadricepsstretch-step1I set them up simply: the first interval is 100-seconds, which gives me ten seconds to get to the bell and start swinging, and the second interval is for 60-minutes. 

I have the GymBoss set up to repeat 12-times even though the book recommends 8 sets for a total of two minutes. 

standing-hamstringstretch-step1I feel like the only stretches that I will need to do at the end of every 90-second session are the calf-stretch, the standing quadriceps stretch, standing hamstring stretch, and the hip adductors (inner thigh) stretch — what am I missing?

calf-stretch-step2What stretches should I do every time that I am missing and what should I maybe do at the beginning or at the end of my swinging day.

Anyway, please let me know in the comments.

Wish me luck! Good luck to you, too!


Running: Wed, 4 May 2016 11:17:26

Running: Wed, 4 May 2016 00:25:06

Hoka One One Bondi 3 and Hoka One One Bondi 4

Why I prefer the Hoka One One Bondi 3

My First Bondi 4s

My First Bondi 4s

I did a lot of research before I bought my first pair of Hokas and I bought them from Pacers Running’s Alexandria location for around $140.

This review is not about price, it’s about everything else and then price.

But I am a big guy so if something that costs me $140 can get me running at 46-years-old, at 300 pounds, and at 6″3″, then the price is more than fair — and quite a lot less than some of the most fancy and popular runners. 

The Bondi 4 and the Bondi 3 are pretty identical except for four changes:

  • The 4 has a padded tongue and the 3 has a flat tongue
  • The 4 has more padding in the collar than the 3
  • The 4 has more exposed EVA midsole and the 3 has more rubber outsole
  • The upper materials of the 4 and the 3 are different

Padded Tongue vs Flat Tongue

Hoka One One Bondi 3 Thin Tongues

Hoka One One Bondi 3 Thin Tongues

When I researched the Bondi shoes, lots of people were said to have complained about the Bondi 3’s flat, thin tongue, and that’s why Hoka revised the tongue of the Bondi 4, adding padding.

When Bondi did their revision between the 3 and 4, Hoka added quite a lot of padding to both the tongue and the collar. At first, I thought I would prefer the padded collar and tongue to help me lock down the shoe for runs.

Hoka One One Bondi 4 Padded Tongues

Hoka One One Bondi 4 Padded Tongues

Unfortunately, there’s just too much padding and it tends to squeeze/cinch my ankles and compete too much with my socks. I ordered an old, lightly-used pair of Bondi 3s and really loved the thin tongue and the thinner padded collar.

The 3s and 4s both come with a quick lacing system as well as a pair of regular laces.

I swapped out the quick lacing system for regular laces on my Bondi 4s and first pair of Bondi 3s; however, when I bought my second pair of Bondi 3s used off of Ebay, the extra pair of laces didn’t make it to me so I have just been using the quick laces and they’ve been fine and I don’t plan to switch them out.

I had planned to use that pair only for walking on my treadmill and not for running and racing but there’s never the right pair of running shoes where you need them, be it at my office or at my apartment, so I have been running in the quick laced Bondi 3s and they’re just fine.

Exposed EVA versus Semi-Protected EVA

Hoka One One Bondi 4 EVA Sole Wear

Hoka One One Bondi 4 EVA Sole Wear

Everyone who has reviewed both Bondis have loved the 33mm EVA soles and nobody has said that the wearing off of big patches of EVA has reduced the lifespan of any of the shoes.

That said, I’m a heavy forefoot runner and the bare EVA on the Bindi 4s are really wearing off in hollows.

Hoka One One Bondi 3 EVA Sole Wear

Hoka One One Bondi 3 Sole Wear

While the Bondi 3s are virtually the same, there’s just enough rubber outsole protecting the 29mm of forefoot EVA and the 33mm of heel EVA that I feel like the Bondi 3s are just going to last longer.

The way the Bondi 4’s exposed forefoot EVA is wearing, I am super afraid that I’ll start supinating, rolling my foot out instead of getting steady support.  

I know from all the ultra runner reviews from Fellrnr and the Ginger Runner that the wearing of exposed EVA is pretty much just cosmetic and doesn’t really effect the performance or longevity of either pair of the shoes.

Lightweight Mesh vs Lycra Upper

2016-05-03 18.22.51-2I don’t have a lot to say about this except that my baby toe prefers the boxier toe box and mesh materials of the Hone One One Bondi 3 over the more snug, lycra upper that they call their ComfortFrame upper.

I have learned that these Hokas don’t need to be as cinched down as other running shoes I have run before because the Hokas tend to be more of a cushioned platform you run on as opposed to the way minimalist shoes need to play the part of being armored and mildly cushioned socks.

With the Hokas, you’re on the shoe and with other running shoes, you’re more in the shoes. Does that make sense?

2016-05-03 18.27.21-2As a result, you can leave the shoes a little more loosely tied and loosely strapped, especially in the case of my Bondi 3 shoes, because what you’re really doing is carrying around a well-cushioned landing pad with you in the form of a shoe rather than the more typical way a shoe fits.

If you’re having problems with the shoe fitting properly, you might just want to try not tying the shoes so tight.  With the Bondi 3s, I never have a problem with the storied and feared Hoka blisters that result in some crazy cutting and modding of the shoes.

That my report so far. I am surprised that I love the “before” much more than the “after,” the Bondi 3 much more than the Bondi 4.  

2016-05-03 18.28.12-2I have been bidding on as many “good enough” men’s size 13 Hoka One One Bondi 3s as I can on Ebay just to make sure I have them as far into the future as I can.

If I could never get more Bondi 3 Hokas on discount, clearance, or auction, I would be happy to commit much more fully to the Bondi 4s, though I might also be willing to try other Hoka One One models as well as give the maximalist Altra shoes a go as well, since they’re known for their wider toe boxes and their zero drop shoes.

25562625732_255f45b2fb_oThat said, let me underscore the fact that I probably would not be (able to be) commute running the 2.25 miles from my apartment to my office twice-a-day, be able to run a 45.5-minute 5k, and a longer 7-mile run without these maximalist shoes.

They’re essential to what I can do as a 46-year old man with an ACL-rebuilt, a 6’3″ frame, and over 300 pounds on my frame. They’re my secret weapon and I recommend everyone in my position do the same, even if you, like me, have no plans of becoming an ultra runner or even running a half-marathon.

Please let me know what you think. What experiences have you had? What shoes do you use and what shoes might you recommend I try in lieu of the Bondi series of Hoka One Ones?

2016-05-03 18.41.55


My last 5k in the series was my fastest by half-a-minute!

2016-04-29 19.18.42I took part in the 5-week series of 5ks called the Crystal City 5k Fridays, as you may know, and my first race took me 46:17, my second race took me 46:11, my 4th race took me 46:01 (I missed week three), and my final race took me 32-seconds fewer at 45:33!  So, I feel like I made so much progress over the course of April, especially considering too many injuries. Thanks to Pacers Running and Crystal City BID for setting this big do every year. I’ll be back next year!

2016-04-29 19.18.42

Running: Fri, 29 Apr 2016 18:25:02


Running: Tue, 26 Apr 2016 19:46:17

chile relleno

Chile Relleno Recipe

My girlfriend and I are vegetarian when we’re together. So, we’re always looking for recipes that make me happy, recipes that I love and that she can eat. Two of my favorite foods of all time are eggplant parmesan and chiles rellenos. She just popped me this recipe so I am storing here on my site, even though it’s originally from How to Master Flavorful Chiles Rellenos and Chiles Rellenos (Mexican-Style Cheese-Stuffed Chilies) from Serious Eats.

Chile Relleno Recipe
Serves 3
Chiles rellenos—Mexican-style stuffed and fried peppers in a roasted-tomato salsa—was one of the very first dishes I learned how to cook, using the method that my dad taught me. It mostly involved cans. I'm pretty sure that the only reason we used canned chilies back then is that it wasn't possible to get good fresh Poblano peppers in New York in the early '80s. That's not a problem anymore (and certainly not an issue near my current home in the Bay Area), and both my recipe and my technique have improved since those early can-based days. I've experimented with various chili-roasting methods and dozens of batter recipes and techniques, and I've finally nailed that salsa.
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 30 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 30 min
For the Salsa Ranchera and Chilies
  1. 6 Poblano peppers
  2. 2 pounds Roma tomatoes (1kg; about 6 medium)
  3. 1 small yellow onion (about 6 ounces; 170g), split in half, unpeeled
  4. 2 to 3 serrano chilies
  5. 6 medium cloves garlic, unpeeled
  6. 1/2 cup (120ml) chicken stock or water
  7. 1/2 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves and tender stems (1/2 ounce; 15g)
  8. 1 tablespoon (15ml) lard or vegetable oil
  9. Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the Filling
  1. 1 tablespoon (15ml) lard or vegetable oil
  2. 1 small onion (about 6 ounces; 170g), finely diced
  3. 1 teaspoon (about 2g) dried oregano
  4. 1/2 pound (225g) fresh Mexican chorizo or ground pork
  5. Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  6. 10 ounces (285g) grated Jack, pepper Jack, Chihuahua, or cheddar cheese; 16 ounces (450g) if making smothered version (see note above)
To Fry
  1. 2 cups (475ml) vegetable oil
  2. 4 large eggs, separated
  3. 1 cup flour (5 ounces; 140g), divided
For the Salsa Ranchera and Chilies
  1. Adjust rack to 4 inches below broiler and preheat broiler to high. Place Poblanos, tomatoes, onion, serranos, and garlic on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. Broil until chilies are blackened on top, about 5 minutes. Flip chilies to expose another un-blackened surface and continue broiling for another 5 minutes. Turn chilies one more time, flip tomatoes, and continue broiling until chilies are blackened all over, a few minutes longer.
  2. Transfer tomatoes, onion, garlic, serranos, stock, and cilantro to the bowl of a food processor or blender. Wrap Poblanos with foil from baking sheet and set them aside to steam. Process salsa until smooth but still a little chunky.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon (15ml) lard or oil in a medium saucepan until just starting to smoke. Immediately pour all of the salsa into pan (it will bubble very violently). Bring to a simmer and cook until reduced by about 1/2 cup. Season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside.
For the Filling
  1. Heat 1 tablespoon (15ml) lard or vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onion and cook, stirring, until softened and gently browned, about 4 minutes. Add oregano and chorizo or pork and cook, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, until cooked through, about 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Immediately transfer pork mixture to a bowl with grated cheese and toss to combine. Set aside.
  2. Carefully peel chilies without tearing them. Make a slit in one and remove most of the seeds. Spoon cheese/pork mixture into the cavity and carefully close chili back up, slightly overlapping the edges. Repeat with remaining chilies. If you are making the smothered version, you should have about 1 cup of filling left over (see note above).
To Fry
  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until it reaches 375°F. Adjust heat to maintain temperature. Whisk egg whites until stiff peaks form. Whisk in yolks one at a time until incorporated (do not over-whisk). Sprinkle with 1/4 cup flour and whisk just until flour is incorporated. Set aside.
  2. Place remaining flour on a shallow plate. Gently pick up one chili and roll it in flour to coat. Transfer to egg mixture and gently turn to coat. (You may have to spoon the mixture over the top if the chili is too fragile.) Using your hands or a flexible fish spatula, carefully slip one chili into hot oil. Repeat until pan is full, making sure not to crowd it. If there are any un-battered spots on the top surfaces of the chilies, dollop a small amount of batter on top to seal them. Cook until the bottom side is golden brown, about 2 minutes. Carefully turn and cook until second side is browned, about 2 minutes longer. Transfer cooked chilies to a paper towel–lined plate. Repeat until all chilies are cooked.
For the Traditional Version
  1. Spoon salsa into the bottom of a casserole dish. Top with chilies and spoon a little more salsa over them. Serve immediately (or bake in a 375°F oven for a few minutes to reheat if desired).
For the Smothered Version
  1. Spoon salsa into the bottom of a casserole dish. Top with chilies and spoon a little more salsa over them. Spread remaining filling mixture over the top. Bake in a 375°F oven until melted and bubbly, about 10 minutes. Serve immediately.
Adapted from Serious Eats
Adapted from Serious Eats