Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Joys of Grilling with a Chimney

Food is such a magical thing! There are certain ways to prepare food which seem to bring all of the flavors to life. Nothing seems to elevate food better than when you use a grill and real charcoal briquettes to cook with. You get all of the great smoky flavor from the briquettes and the delicious caramelized crust on the meat. It is truly a symphony of flavor when it is done right.

The biggest problem facing most grillers is getting the coals to be just right so that you can get the most out of your grilling experience. Eagerness and improper techniques stand in between those who could possibly have a great meal and those who have a meal which tastes like lighter fluid. There is, however, a very simple tool which can help you to have the best coals which produce the best grilling possible.

The chimney is a very simple device which has the ability to transform regular charcoal into the glowing hot embers that you want to cook from. The design is very simple, yet very elegant. It is quite simple a metal cylinder with some holes punched in it. It holds all of the coals that you need for a standard grill and has a compartment in the bottom so that you can stuff a few sheets of wadded newspaper as your starter.

I bought my wife a Weber chimney for an early birthday present and like a kid in a candy store, I could not wait. We went ahead and grilled up some pork chops from a pork loin. Lighting the chimney was extremely simple and the deep orange flames produced were like nothing I have ever seen before. When the top coals had a fine layer of grey on them, we poured the bright red coals into the grill and we were ready to go.

These coals were hotter than anything I have ever cooked over before. They produced a great hot grill which produced perfect grill marks I have only ever seen while cooking in a restaurant. The flavor from the charcoal was dynamite without any trace of lighter fluid flavor because none was used. We have seen the light of grilling and there is simply no way that we can ever go back.

Guest Appearance by Will Ferrell on “The Office”

Will Ferrell has been a very busy man lately! He has been pioneering "Funny or Die" from a few funny videos made with friends to what it is today. The viral internet following gave way to a loyal television following as well. On top of this, he has enjoyed a very successful movie acting career. So, what is next for this successful actor? A television series? Probably not!

The rumor mill is at it again churning up ideas such as the one where Will Ferrell will replace Steve Carell on "The Office". The facts as we know it is that Will Ferrell will be guest starring in four episodes later this season. He will be playing the part of a branch manager from the home office. He is also supposed to be just as inept, if not more so, than Steve Carell.

To me, this does not seem like anything more than a ratings ploy. Will Ferrell is showing up on a sinking ship with the lead actor on the way out. Of course, it will work though! Everyone, including me, will tune in to watch or DVR it. We will all tune in because even bad comedy is good in the hands of Will Ferrell. What this turns into after the four episodes is anyone's guess.

What do you think will happen? I would love to hear your feedback on this interesting turn of television events!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Pumping Iron – Losing Weight

I did not get out yesterday to work out after all. I did, however, get out today. I was disappointed in the lack of ability to walk a long distance. I was only able to walk for 15 minutes before it felt like my legs were completely on fire. I was scared of a shin splint which seems ridiculous when all I am doing is walking, but I guess that is what happens when you are so hopelessly out of shape. Anyhow, I walked at 3.5 on the treadmill for 15 minutes and broke a pretty decent sweat. I feel as if I am going to rip apart my leather Converse shoes at any given time as I think they were made more for fashion than they were for active wear. Come on Asics. I am ready for my endorsement deal!

Anyhow, I did improve my lift on the iron for my upper body. I moved up to the number five on my chest, lats and arms. It was a big jump for my arms which I felt at the end of the workout, but I think I am still ready to make the progression to the next weight plate for each body group. I do not feel as if I will have a problem with my chest burning tonight and tomorrow morning which is a great thing as I do not want to tear anything just as I am getting started with all of this.

You know, I just looked back and it seems that I was walking at 3.0 for 20 minutes on Monday. No wonder it was so much harder to walk today. I was going an extra .5 faster than I was originally. I did not mean to go up in speed until I hit 30 minutes of continuous walking on the treadmill. I will take it back to 3 next time I work out. I am hoping that I will get back out tomorrow. I drank a big glass of 2% Horizons milk when I was done to get some protein in me.

I still had about three Yuengling last night while I was relaxing. I will not give up the beer as I still want to enjoy life. Who else out there is swizzling the beer and still losing weight?

P.S.- When I originally weighed myself, I do not know if I was blind or just wishful thinking, but the scale read 272 not 260. Today the scale was at 270. Dunno if that is significant or not as I still have yet to devise a time in which I should be weighing myself. More to come…

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Another Rainy Day in Georgia

You know that it is difficult to find motivation and drive when it is a rainy day outside. Of course, when you are trying to lose weight, it should be all the motivation that you need. I took a look at my Hilton Head pictures again yesterday and it reminded me of just what I do not want to look like when we go back this year. I just got myself some new sweat pants so that I will not have any excuses. Still no contract with Asics or anything, but I am working on it. I have yet to go to the gym yet this morning because I needed to take care of my daughter this morning. I figure that I will go to the gym before I eat lunch.

By the way… I realized that I did not post on here exactly what I did in terms of my workout yesterday. It almost pains me to write what I was working out with knowing what my background is. I used to work out every day with 185 pounds for my chest and 125 pounds for my arms. Yesterday I was working out with far less weight. I am not sure exactly what the weight is, but it was the number four that I used for my chest and back. I then used number three to do my biceps and triceps. I did 3 sets of ten each. I wanted to move up in weight when I worked out again for upper body tomorrow, but my chest is sore today, so I think I have the right amount of weight. I will go up to number four for my arms though.

I am planning to work out lower body today after I walk at a good pace for 22 minutes. I did 3.0 yesterday for my speed on the treadmill. I do not know if that means 3 miles per hour or if it is an arbitrary number. I am going to stick with that speed at least until I can get up to 30 minutes. I will weigh myself before I go to work out so that there can be a somewhat accurate track of my weight. I have already eaten breakfast which is one of the reasons why I am blogging right now rather than working out. I may even get a second post on here after my workout. We shall see! Until then…

Monday, January 24, 2011

A New Beginning (Part 2) – Fat Loss Methods

So, I have not really stuck with my promise of going out and at least walking every day. Tragic, I know! I weighed in today at 260 lbs. (that is 118 kg for my European readers). I am so terribly out of shape it is not even funny. Some of the shirts I was fitting in just five years ago at my wedding do not even fit me anymore. At that time I was wishing that I was a few pounds lighter. Now I am wishing I was about 70 pounds lighter. It is time to go through some fat loss methods.

I got out today and worked out in the gym. I walked at a decent pace for about 20 minutes so that I covered the equivalent of a little over a mile. I plan to get out there tomorrow and walk at the same pace for at least 22 minutes. My goals are to work up to walking at a decent pace for 30 minutes and then incorporate some running in so that I can slowly work towards one of my base fat loss methods. I have lost over 40 pounds simply by doing this in the past.

I am also looking to incorporate in some weight training exercises into my fat loss methods. I figure that I will be able to do three days of upper body and two days of lower body weight training every week with two days off. I will start with the cardio to warm everything up. I will move to the weight machines to tone myself and hopefully build some muscle. At the very least, I will be able to burn off some of the fat that surrounds my muscle so that I will start to look better. I will get a picture up here soon to serve as my before picture and I hope that you all will follow along as I make my transition from fatty to sexy. Enjoy the journey and give me any advice or encouragement you have along the way.