Day 3… a short update!

24 April 2011

Last night I stayed in Sahagun in a church converted Albergue. To my great surprise, I had the best sleep I have had for a very long time. At one point I woke up and the place was so peaceful and so quiet that I actually got worried thinking that everyone had left and I was the only one left in this big church!

So after a great rest, I started my walk just before 7am without breakfast and if anyone know me well, they know that it is simply not good! In fact its probably one of the few things that can get me in a bad mood! So obviously I was walking fast only to get to the nearest place to have food…and then the strangest thing happened! As I was following the Camino signs on the road, someone kept shouting wait wait… So I stopped … The man told me not to follow the signs and go on a different route as the original route was one long route without too much to see… I was told to follow the man in front…hungry as I was, that is exactly what I did!
The man in the front however was walking very fast and I lost sight of him within a few minutes… As I was starting to regret the new route after an hour, I saw signs of the next village and a cafeteria 😀
…The man in the front…there he was! Sitting outside waiting for the cafeteria to open! So I went and sat next to him waiting and we started talking…I saw the polar HRM he was swearing so we ended up talking about WatchFit. He was very fascinated and told me about the restaurants he was managing and the big restaurant, which was connected to a sports centre with thousands of members!! He loved the idea of having the menu linked to watchfit and gave me a great idea about the members at the sports centre! I got so much information from him within the very few minutes we talked that after my breakfast and for the next 30km my head was full of new ideas! It was great…

My battery is running low…more update tomorrow…

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Day 2… Camino de Santiago symphony!

My journey started yesterday in Carrion de los Condes.
My bus arrived there around noon and after a lunch and a quick walk in the village, I started walking towards Calzadilla de la Cueza… 17km on a beautiful green path where there was absolutely not a single human soul to see and all you could hear was the soft breeze between the few trees every now and then… and the few birds who were flying from one tree to the other where possible and with similar pace as me…singing…it almost felt like they were following me to keep me company lol…

5 or so hours later, there I was. I checked in at ‘Albergue Camino Real’, got my stamp by the lady in charge (who I became good friends with at dinner and promised to take care of the Albergue for a week if I can later in the year) found my bed and tried to get some sleep…

My first hostel experience and Oh boy…!!! This was an experience!!

Have you ever tried to sleep in a unisex hostel with ‘snoring symphony’ shaking the whole building?
At first I was in shock and had no idea how to react and more importantly, how to fall asleep!! I tried to ignore the symphony and concentrate on my tired legs…after a few hours of trying, I realised that it was simply not working!

So I decided… How about trying to find a pattern in the various sounds coming from all different direction? It was actually very funny and as it was almost perfect! I even recorded it on my phone! 🙂 They made a few mistakes every now and spoiled the whole concert but overall it was a very good performance.

I’m not sure how long the whole concert lasted but it helped me to finally fall asleep!

I woke up at 6am, got ready and went to the breakfast bar where all the other pilgrims were having breakfast. I met so many interesting people there including the ones working there! I promised that I would be back one day and started my journey around 7ish…

I can simply not describe how wonderful it was to start my walk at that time. The sun was just coming out…singing birds everywhere…the smell of burned wood as I was leaving the village, the smell of freshness in the morning…the sound of the running water… Simply indescribable!
22 km away from Calzadilla de la Cueza, and around 5-6 hours on foot in a perfect weather, I arrived at Sahagun. I wasn’t sure if I should stay here tonight or continue. However, after having lunch I started walking and I have ended up in Cluny Albergue by chance as I started talking to someone who was walking there and got distracted!

Perfect timing! As I’m looking outside the ‘church type’ window I see that the rain has started! Its funny as its almost like the rain is avoiding me. Yesterday, the pilgrims arriving only an hour later than me were wet from top to bottom where I saw absolutely no sign of rain on my way…and here I am today! 😀

Dragon luck that is!!
And the journey continues…

Day (1) A journey within the journey

22nd April 2011

After nearly two long and overwhelming years with things that changed my direction in life for ever, followed by a move to a new country where not many speak your language to find a place to live and start and complete 13 months of a demanding MBA course and of course working on a project that I, like any other passionate entrepreneur believe that will change the world… here I am… In a bus to start my journey “Camino Satiago”

Why? Because I have learned that life is not only about one big journey but many journeys within that journey and that each will prepare us for our next destination.

Beside being the best way to enjoy the beauty of this country, I am hoping that it will further strengthen my belief in “everything is possible” and that by focusing on the opportunities and the rewarding things that a challenging journey can offer us, we can learn to benefit from any situation.

When we go through hard times in our life, we often wait impatiently for the situation to change, thinking that “once this is over, all will be good again and we will be happy again”.
But this often prevents us from enjoying all the beautiful things on our path, seeing the opportunities that the new situation has brought and of course… missing the moments that actually would have made us feel happy…if only we could see…

What I really have come to accept is this: Happiness truly comes from within and by being able to really live every moment in life to the fullest. No change or situation in our life would make us happy if we are detached from our own self.

Knowing ourselves and being comfortable with who we are is therefore the really first step. Its not about changing so that we are being accepted by others but its about accepting ourselves. Its about focusing on things that make us a happier person!

So my aim is to enjoy every moment to the fullest by trying to find the soft parts on a path that otherwise looks pretty rough without the right focus…
With this aim, l begin my journey…

An easy way to lose weight?

How about the Smart Way?

We’re all time pressured and so most of us tend to look for the easiest  and quickest solution to any problem. So when it comes to exercising to stay fit, is there an easy short cut? Just how much time should we be spending on a daily fitness routine?
Faster than you can type the question, Google summons up an overwhelming 17,400,000 results (0.18 seconds)  Unfortunately we spend a lot longer sifting for quality rather than the quantity of results – an almost daily challenge when we are confronted with confounding advice from both reliable and dubious sources?
Conventional wisdom suggests 30 minutes walking each day is a good starting point. That’s been the recommendation for years from the World Health Organization in Geneva, the Department of Health in the UK and the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition for quite some time.
It’s not absolute gospel and many experts (and governments) now suggest 60 minutes should be the real goal, and perhaps for some even 90 minutes to prevent unhealthy weight gain. How can anyone fit that into the day?


Easy! What we forget is that this is not about spending a solid hour in the gym – but adding up our daily exercise so it amounts to an hour every day. That five minute morning rush to the tube or bus stop counts, so does the walk to the office, getting free step exercise whenever you can on stairs or even the escalator earns you a lot of extra minutes, and by the end of the day tired or not, walking home the long way round to add 10-15 minutes can top you up to 60 minutes without really trying.
A lazy stroll isn’t as good as a brisk walk. The aim is to get a bit out of breath and work up a sweat. And for the really time pressured, you can cut the number of minutes you need to spend each day in half by jogging instead.
And if you really can’t manage to do it every day (why not?) then you can ‘bank’ your exercise debt and earn credits by having really long energetic walks or runs at weekends to make up for the hours you skipped during the week.

How much did you move today? #watchfit

Day 351… WatchFit game made us lose 14kg!

(graduation date is out: 20th May 2011…the challenge extended to 379 days)

28 more days to go… (21 April 2011)

Lose Fat or Lose Cash competition was a GREAT success! The creation of the App to be taken to the next level!!

NO one actually lost their money. While it was a great drive and a big incentive in the begining, once we started losing weight together, we were more motivated by our own achievement more than anything. So we ended up playing on very friendly terms and by keep motivating eachother.

Together we lost nearly 14 kg with one participant losing the most. She came to me one day (she looked absolutely amazing by the way) and she told me how happy she was and she really thanked me for her achievement. While I told her that she has only herself to thank for, I must admit that I felt absolutely amazing by knowing that I had managed to inspire someone to do something which is making them a happier person.

Sometimes, it takes so little to inspire people and to create a viral effect of health and happiness!

What was the healthiest thing you did today? #WatchFit

Day 300… 3 day detox!

76 more days to go… (1st March 2011)

The detox on the day of traveling was rethought with a rational mind so obviously it did not happen! No regrets…specially with all the crazy things I have had to sort out lately. My initial 1 day trip to London turned out longer, resulting in a wasted return ticket…which is becoming more of a habit by the way!  The trip to South Africa was also simply not meant to happen… with a boarding card in my hand just before boarding on the flight to Johannesburg, I turned around…that is another full story on its own!

So…now I am in Madrid with a pending detox! I am actually considering a longer detox this time. I think too much traveling has upset my stomach…or it is perhaps the omelet I had this morning with the egg I found at the back of my sorry looking fridge! What ever it is, I think I would benefit by a good cleanse!

I have been looking at different options and came across a 3 day cleansing detox which apart from day one, doesn’t sound too hard to complete. I am considering to do the shopping tomorrow and start it on Thursday!

Here is how it goes:

DAY 1 CLEANSE THE LIVER WITH THIS MIRACLE JUICE

For one day you will abstain from food but drink large qualities of a cleansing “cocktail.” Its main ingredient, cranberry juice, is rich in organic acids and anthocyanins, which stimulate liver detoxification. The drink also contains lemon juice and orange juice. Both are rich in ascorbic acid (vitamin C), an antioxidant that deactivates liver-damaging free radicals, improving this organ’s ability to excrete fat and toxins by as much as 35 percent, researchers at Chicago’s Northwestern Memorial Hospital report. And UCLA studies suggest that this brew’s cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger improve the liver’s breakdown of fat and environmental pollutants by as much as 25 percent.

THE RECIPE:

To make one day’s supply, combine 8 oz. all-natural cranberry juice with 56 oz. of water in a pot. Bring to a light boil. Place 1/2 tsp. cinnamon and 1/4tsp. each of ginger and nutmeg in a tea ball and steep in the liquid for 15 minutes. Allow to cool, then stir in 3/4 cup of fresh OJ, 3/4 cup of lemon juice and StreviaPlus or another natural sweetener to taste.

THE PLAN:

Upon waking, stir 2 Tbs. ground flaxseed into 1 cup Miracle Juice and drink. One hour later, drink 8 oz of water. Every hour for the next 12 hours, alternate drinking a glass of juice (no flax) with a glass of water. Before bed, mix another 2 Tbs. ground flax in the final cup of juice and enjoy.

DAYS 2 & 3 TURBOCHARGE FAT BURN WITH THESE SUPER-FOODS

This phase of the detox carefully reintroduces foods proven by researchers at Boston’s Tufts University School of Medicine and elsewhere to aid the liver in more than 100 metabolic reactions involved in fatty-acid metabolism and energy production.

Eating these delicious comfort foods can restore your liver’s full fat-burning potential within 48 hours. What’s more, including these foods in your daily diet after your detox ends will keep this weight-controlling organ functioning at its peak.

Breakfast: 2 eggs, veggies, water with lemon
Snack: 1 cup yogurt with berries and ground flax
Lunch: Salad with beets, artichokes, 6 oz. protein (meat)
Snack: Baked apple with cinnamon and nutmeg
Dinner: 6 oz. lean protein meat, broccoli and cauliflower veggies

Here is the shopping list with the food/ingredients you need.

Groceries:

8 oz. all-natural unsweetened cranberry juice
5 quarts filtered water
1/2 cup ground flaxseed
1 box of SteviaPlus or another natural sweetener

Produce:

Vegetables:
1 large bunch of spinach
Assorted vegetables of your choice for flavoring breakfast
scrambled eggs (2 cups total)
2 large bunches dark leafy greens
Cruciferous vegetables of your choice,
like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts,
bok choy and/or kale (enough for two generous dinnertime servings)
1 can beets
1 can artichoke hearts

Fruit:
2 large apples
3 oranges or small bottle of natural orange juice
4 lemons or small bottle of natural lemon juice
2 cups berries (fresh or frozen)

Meat:
24 oz. (1 1/2 lbs.) lean protein, like chicken, fish, turkey and/or beef
4 eggs
2 cups natural yogurt

Pantry Staples:
Olive Oil
Bottled seasonings; cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg

Day 288… 10kg for cash!!!

78 days to go…(27th Feb 2011)

The game has so far helped us lose 10kg!!!! An average of 3.3kg each! It has been a real teamwork! The next two weeks won’t be easy though since we all will be in different countries! The team support would therefore have to be done ‘cyberly’! It will be very interesting to see how we will progress with the challenge and whether we would start losing some cash! Another problems is that we would not have access to our most ‘beloved’ scales! I think it is the first time in my life that I am getting so attached to my scale! In fact, I have never really liked monitoring my weight and determining my ‘fitness’ according to my weight. The reason for this is that gaining a kg or two when you have been eating healthy AND have been exercising does not necessary mean that you have gained fat! You can in fact gain weight but it could be muscles!  So don’t always interpret weight to ‘fat’! 

Tomorrow I will be flying to South Africa on a short exchange to WITS Business School and I am sure that I would have a challenge eating healthy during this trip! However,  if I fail I would actually lose 200euros since we have decided to reveal the results for two weeks instead of the usual 1 week!  I am in fact more concerned about the weekly detox day and wondering how I am going to manage to fit that in. So I am considering to complete this tomorrow while I am flying…but then again, its a long flight and eating is one way to pass time so we shall see how that goes…