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August-September-October-November 2002 Newsletter

The dog pound is in the house Heeeeeey! I am baaaack...
I cannot believe that it's been three (or four?) months since I last time updated this newsletter. I don't even know what I should blame at? The good think is, that I am getting together FTP software, and the HTML editor for my little laptop, the computer that I use for everything but my web-work. And it all got always too complicated to go back to my old Mac, switch the cables here and there, transfer the files from one computer to another... so I've been always procrastinating with my web work. But here it comes, I am typing this on my laptop. So I hope that from now and on, the updates will be much more often, if not weekly, or maybe even daily???

Tennis ready in Scottsdale, AZ So I hope you all had a great summer! I sure did. As I stated in the last newsletter I started to play tennis again. After 20 years of break. I've been practicing and working on my strokes and getting my consistency back. One day in the beginning of July, when my tennis partner didn't show up I went to the beach to hit on the wall (we have a wonderful, huge, high wall out there, with a ocean view!) and there, I was "found" by a guy who's been riding his bike to rehabilitate his knee. It showed that he was a tennis pro from Arizona, vacationing in Los Angeles for the whole summer. We started to hit together and I've been having a wonderful tennis practice the whole summer. In the middle of September, I went to Las Vegas for 8 days for the USPTA's World Tennis Conference. It was so much fun! Classes and lectures from morning to night, parties and margaritas in the evenings. My diet was all messed up - buffets for breakfast and lunch, margaritas for the dinner. When I got back home, I was 9 lbs heavier. Oh my Lord. Almost no training either, no time for that. So after my return, I had to go back to my healthy eating. No more beers!

The fighter pilots - Lena Johanessen and myself The first two weeks in August, myself and a bunch of other fitness and bodybuilding girls and pros, were shooting the movie about the planet of Amazon women. It was an interesting experience. Even though it was fun to shoot, it was lot of waiting around and not doing anything. I don't really like that so much. I like to be efficient with my time, produce things, move around... so I was kind of "bored" and realized that I don't want to be involved in the movie industry that much... Maybe some commercials and stuff, but that's about it. The movie should be out in December. A perfect Xmas gift! Check the progress and all the info at www.surplusmale.com

August 12 was my birthday. I got the best gift, 5 days earlier. I was invited to the INS for an interview regarding my green card and removing the temporary condition on it. You guys, who's been at the INS, you know the atmosphere... It's depressing... all these lines of waiting Mexican people, they wait for 7-10 hours. Luckily, I could get in through another door. It's not so much happier inside either. It's about peoples' lives out there. I was waiting for the officer to pick me up, and the energy in the room was so low. Finally, I was invited to come in and follow the officer, through the corridor, doors and booths inside. We walked in his office and first thing that came out of his mouth was: "stand here in front of the chairs, but DON'T sit down." Geeeee, what was this about. You should see me how obedient I was... :-) Well, eventually, I realized - I had to sweat to tell the truth but the truth... My interview was about 1 hour and eventually, Mr. Officer shook my hand with congratulations. Yeah, what a perfect birthday gift.

You almost never see me without the smile In the middle of August, I spent a beautiful weekend at the Bellagio in Vegas. I went to see the K-1 fights, that was so much fun, to see all these boys beating and kicking themselves up. I also had the opportunity to see the "O" show. It's Circus de Solei, but all is on the water. These performers are such amazing athletes. The show was excellent! I recommend it if you have plans to visit Vegas. The Bellagio weekend was really relaxing - I was spoiling myself in the gym, in the spa, jaccuzi, steam, massage, nice food, more gym, spa... If somebody would ask me to move in to Bellagio, I would... LOL

Bill Dobbin's picture featured in the Ironman Magazine Back in May, I was having a photo shoot with Bill Dobbins, and he did wonderful work! We got more than hundred wonderful pictures. Some or many of the pictures will be in my gallery soon. Also, you can become a member of Bill's site and see them there. He has two sites: www.billdobbins.com and www.billdobbins.net

I also will have a few of 8x10 for sale. On of them (this one to the left here) was published in the pictorial in November issue of Ironman magazine. Six Foot Booty Hanging On The Fence.

So these were the most interesting moments of a beautiful summer in Venice Beach. Now, the fall is coming - it gets dark way too early. My fall and winter endeavors are more "quiet". I think I'll be hanging here by the ocean, working on my tennis, because I plan to play tournaments the next year. It's going to be an interesting combination - a bodybuilder and tennis player! I promise to update my web site more often. Now when I have it all set up on my laptop, there shouldn't be any excuses, right? (so now, after creating this page for hours in my new software... of course I didn't read any manual or anything... and without knowing, while testing some buttons, I switched to an "expert" mode... gee, and I thought all these buttons and commends are way to complicated. At least I didn't switch to "hardcore", that would be truly challenging!)

Before I say farewell, thanks for the orders of my video, hope you enjoy it. If you are new, and never heard of it, check it out, "The Lioness" is back in the stock.

Time Saving Cooking Tips for Busy Athletes

Written by Estella Juarez, About Guide to Bodybuilding

Today’s world moves at lighting speed. Busy people often fall prey to the fast food restaurants that have cropped up in response. For the person seeking to build muscle, fast food is not a viable option. Fortunately, with just a little planning and advance preparation, you can keep fast food runs to a minimum.

Six Tips on Healthy Cooking for Lives on the Go

  1. Cook in Bulk. Set aside 2 one hour periods per week to cook staples that you can use all week. For example, store a covered container of cooked chicken that you can re-heat plain or turn into a quick stir fry. Cooked chicken can be refrigerated 2-3 days, so you can save time just cooking once to cover several days.
  2. Freeze in individual portions. Store pre-measured or weighed foods in individual portions. Plastic "snack" size bags hold approximately 1/2 cup of cooked rice or dry oatmeal so keep a few on hand. When you have leftovers, immediately freeze them in plastic compartment trays with snap-on lids. For example, save leftover rice, broccoli, and chicken for a wonderful homemade frozen meal to take to work.
  3. >
  4. "Flash" Marinate. Keep those taste buds entertained so you aren't tempted by the desire to eat out. When you get back from the store, cut and measure out your chicken or beef into your specific size portions. Seal each portion and toss in spices, lemon juice, salsa, or any other marinade and freeze. When you take the chicken out to thaw (in the refrigerator to limit bacteria growth, of course), it will simultaneously marinate and defrost.
  5. Precut. Wash and precut broccoli and lettuce heads when you get home from the store and store them in a big bowl. A damp paper towel across the top of the greens and a lid will help them keep all week. You can ali more vegetables to the salad if you have time or just use the greens as a base to many kinds of salads you have during the week.
  6. Pack meals the night before. Packing your meals the night before ensures you won't be in a scramble for emergency protein at a fast food joint or have to drink protein shakes all day. You can even prepare your breakfast so that all you need to do is warm it up in the morning.
  7. Maintain a store of emergency food. Keep a small stock of emergency protein like canned tuna, canned chicken, and protein powder at work, in your car, in gym bag, at home and anywhere else where you are frequently. You may also wish to keep oatmeal and natural peanut butter on hand for carbs and fats.

Fast Food

From the promo shoot Personally, I have never been tempted to get me a hamburger or stuff like that. You know, I am the (cashew) nut freak... When I was growing up, we did not have fast food around, so I never got the habit. But I understand how much Americans love the MacDonald's stuff - hamburgers with fries and a milk shake... ouch, what a calorie bomb. Almost all your daily calorie intake in one meal. In stead of 5-6 small meals. Some people are just so used to eating fast food, that they don't really know what is good and what is bad. Here are a few tables with the worst fast food, and a few better choices, in case you really have to stop by and get yourself burger. The red star at some choices means "Daaaamn"...

Some not so healthy MacDonald's choices:


Serving Size Total Calories Protein (grams) Carbohydrate (grams) Fat (grams) Sodium (mg)
French Fries
Large *540 8 *68 26 350
Sausage Biscuit w/Egg
1 *490 16 31 3*3 *1010
Bacon, Egg & Cheese Biscuit
1 *480 20 31 31 *1410
Breakfast Burrito
1 290 13 24 16 680
Sausage McMuffin w/Egg
1 440 19 27 28 890
1 470 15 45 26 890
Quarter Pounder
1 430 23 37 21 840
Quarter Pounder w/Cheese
1 530 28 38 30 *1310
Crispy Chicken Deluxe
1 550 23 54 27 *1180
Big Mac
1 *590 24 47 34 *1090
Big N' Tasty w/Cheese
1 290 12 37 *37 *1210
Chicken McNuggett
6 pieces 290 15 20 17 540
Cheese Danish
1 400 7 45 21 400

Some MacDonald's better choices:

Food Serving Size Total Calories Protein (grams) Carbohydrate (grams) Fat (grams) Sodium (mg)
Garden Salad 1 100 4 7 6 120
Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad 1 100 17 3 2.5 240
Chicken McGrill 1 plain 340 26 45 7 890
LoFat Apple Bran Muffin 1 300 6 61 3 380

Some not so healthy Burger King's choices:

Food Serving Size Total Calories Protein (grams) Carbohydrate (grams) Fat (grams) Sodium* (mg)
Croissanwich w/Sausage, Egg & Cheese 1 500 19 26 36 *1020
Biscuit w/Sausage, Egg & Cheese 1 650 20 38 *46 *1600
w/o icing
4 rolls 440 6 51 23 710
Whopper w/Cheese 1 *780 34 55 *47 *1390
Double Whopper w/Cheese 1 *1020 53 55 *65 *1460
Bacon Double Cheeseburger 1 610 38 32 *37 *1170
BK Big Fish 1 *710 24 67 *38 *1200
Chicken Sandwich 1 660 25 53 *39 *1330
Chicken Club Sandwich 1 *740 30 55 *44 *1530
French Fries large 500 6 63 25 940

Some better Burger King's choices:

Food Serving Size Total Calories Protein (grams) Carbohydrate (grams) Fat (grams) Sodium (mg)
Whopper Jr. w/o Mayo 1 330 18 32 14 470
BK Broiler
w/o Mayo
1 390 29 51 8 1010
Chicken Tenders Sandwich
w/o Mayo
1 290 13 46 10 570

Healthy foods shopping list

Now for you, who got disgusted by the nutritional information above, and decide to take care of your body and start eating healthier, here is a little shopping list, of foods that are good for your health. And don't forget, always check the labels when you are shopping. Sometimes you might get surprised what is "hiding" in that box. Try to avoid saturated fats and sugars (hey, look at the nutrition of a can of a coke... yum, yum, chemicals, sugars...)
Complex Carbs
Fibrous Carbs
Other Produce & Fruits
Healthy Fats
Dairy & Eggs
Condiments & Misc.

Fasting and protein utilization


A very important factor in building muscle is optimizing the way your body utilizes protein. Fasting has been shown time and again to accelerate the body's ability to produce protein in skeletal muscle. Studies performed at Cornell University show that when subjects are starved for 24 hours, cellular energy decreases but there is no decrease in cell protein. The body relies heavily on fats and carbohydrates for energy during a fast but spares protein, and if you time the breaking of the fast properly, you can optimize your protein utilization.

According to scientists from Pennsylvania State University's College of Medicine in Hershey, protein synthesis in skeletal muscle is markedly stimulated (180 percent of control rate) within three hours of eating in subjects who had fasted for 18 hours. This would be the time period between starvation phases II and III.

Researchers at the Gumma University School of Medicine in Maebashi, Japan, found in their studies on protein synthesis and utilization that starvation considerably increased the amount of the peptide transporter present in the small intestine. This peptide transporter is responsible for the uptake of small peptides (amino-acid chains) in the small intestine. Therefore, during starvation more peptides are absorbed for the synthesis of protein. An interesting side note of the study is that dietary administration of amino acids decreased the amount of peptide transporter present in the small intestine.

Another substance critical to protein synthesis is AMP-activated protein kinase. This is an enzyme important in cellular adaptation to the stress of starvation.

In an article in the December 25, 1998, Journal of Biology and Chemistry the authors assert that, thanks to AMP-activated protein kinase, protein production dramatically increased in test subjects who had fasted.

The utilization of proteins and the involvement of lipids (fats) under starvation conditions was investigated by scientists at 15 the Centre d'Ecologie et Physiologie Energetiques, in Strasabourg, France. They that the shift from Phase II (protein sparing) to Phase III (increased protein breakdown) there is a change from the preferential use of lipids to a preferential utilization of proteins. They also found that the total activity of the enzyme carnitine palmitoyl transferase was substantially higher in subjects at the end of Phase II of starvation.

Carnitine palmitoyl transferase is responsible for helping to create palmitoylcarnitine, which facilitates the transfer of long-chain fatty acids from the cytoplasm of the cell into the mitochondria during the oxidation of fatty acids. Carnitine palmitoyl transferase was 48 percent higher in subjects studied at the end of Phase II than it was in fed subjects but was similar in fed subjects and subjects studied at the beginning of Phase III. And the total activity of fatty acyl-CoA (the coenzyme responsible for fat oxidation) was 73 percent lower only in subjects studied at the beginning of Phase III. It appears that a fast must be broken at the end of Phase II or the very beginning of Phase lll for ultimate protein synthesis and fat burning.

A viable option for those who wish to try fasting for muscle growth and health would be to have an early supper, fast overnight (approximately 18 hours), weight train upon waking, and then eat a meal of high-quality proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. Or one should fast throughout the day and break the fast with an evening meal.

Interesting note on strength ratio - men vs women

My darling Peanut is in love with me  :-) Written by Dr Mel C Siff: Here, it is useful to begin by noting that many studies have shown that the strength of a woman is approximately two-thirds of that of a male of the same bodymass and age, with both male and female reaching peak strength at about the same age. This difference is due largely to the greater percentage of lean muscle mass in the male, because muscle strength in male and female is virtually the same (4 kg per sq cm cross-sectional area).

Studies by Hettinger (1961) have revealed that there is indeed a different strength ratio for different muscle groups in the male and female. These ratios are consistent with other research, which reveals that upper body strength in women generally tends to be lower than that of men of equivalent body mass. They probably reflect the differences in type and intensity of work undertaken by the average man and woman in daily life and it is likely that such differences will decrease or disappear among similarly trained male and female athletes. The following table summarizes these findings (see Ch 3, Supertraining 2000).

Strength Ratio (female to male):
Elbow flexors and extensors 0.55
Trunk extensors and flexors 0.60
Finger flexors and ankle extensors 0.60
Finger adductors and knee extensors 0.65
Hip flexors and extensors 0.80
Knee flexors 0.80

On a funny note - What a difference 30 years makes...

1972: Long hair  
2002: Longing for hair

1972: The perfect high
2002: The perfect high yield mutual fund

1972: KEG
2002: EKG

1972: Acid rock
2002: Acid reflux

1972: Moving to California because it's cool
2002: Moving to California because it's warm

1972: Growing pot
2002: Growing pot belly

1972: Trying to look like Marlon Brando or Liz Taylor
2002: Trying NOT to look like Marlon Brando or Liz Taylor

1972: Seeds and stems
2002: Roughage

1972: Popping pills, smoking joints
2002: Popping joints

1972: Killer weed
2002: Weed killer

1972: Hoping for a BMW
2002: Hoping for a BM

1972: The Grateful Dead
2002: Dr. Kevorkian

1972: Going to a new, hip joint
2002: Receiving a new hip joint

1972: Rolling Stones
2002: Kidney Stones

1972: Being called into the principal's office
2002: Calling the principal's office

1972: Screw the system
2002: Upgrade the system

1972: Disco
2002: Costco

1972: Parents begging you to get your hair cut
2002: Children begging you to get their heads shaved

1972: Taking acid
2002: Taking antacid

1972: Passing the drivers' test
2002: Passing the vision test

1972: Whatever
2002: Depends

See you in December!!!
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