The Chef Travel

Sometimes you bite the bear….

Back from Chi-town, I felt pleased about how I planned my meals and stuck to them.   I was really looking forward to doing the work. Mack scheduled four workouts for the calendar week, and with the diet modifications we were slowly implementing I was able to break the sound barrier (300 lbs) by July 4th.

I started to settle into a rhythm between working out, a modified diet, and living a normal life.

A normal day’s diet looked like this.

Two soft boiled eggs, 2 strips of bacon or jamon, banana (optional if hungry) and coffee,


Post workout   cashews or marcona almonds, berries and lots of water


Cured salmon, jamon, avocado, artisanal cheese, lots of water


Vegetables, vegetables and more vegetables.

I transformed form a carnivore to an herbivore. My diet changed from 90% meat and fish with a side of 10% vegetables to the opposite end of the spectrum. I was consuming 90% vegetables and 10% fish and meat.

This is not something I ever thought I could do, but I bought into it cold turkey, and was partly forced to do so because my body was asking for a change.

I had another scheduled weekend trip to visit my friends at Fire Island, but again planned well by heading to the farmer’s market and buying all the produce and fruit I would consume for the weekend..  We went clamming out on the bay, and I cooked up some great linguini in clams (the only real carbs of the whole weekend.)

On my return, I decided to try to hit one my early goals which was to get back to the dojo. It was hard at first, but I dove right into it, lightly practicing in judo, aikido, and jujitsu. After twenty years of practice, martial arts is in my body and blood. I know the movements and can perform them without much effort. The only challenge is getting around my weight, joint pain and heavy breathing.

But the real challenge was the gout attacks. My left ankle was under constant attack, so much so that I needed two canes to get out of bed and hobble around the apartment. I simply had to cancel several work out sessions. For some reason the pain was at its worst. It felt like my foot was caught in a bear trap and the bear was jumping up and down on it every second of the day. I was brought to my knees and literal tears. I took the prescribed medication and followed an absolute strict diet, but was still under attack. What was happening to me?

The show arranged for me to speak to a nutritionist out in L.A., and she informed me that my body was like a volcano, and I was feeding the fire with any deviation to my diet. I was pouring gasoline on the flames.

But I wasn’t. I was following a zero purine diet. A life of no drinking and 100% vegetables, even avoiding veggies with high purines. My frustration was at an all time high. I couldn’t work out, I couldn’t eat and drink what I wanted, and the reward was that I was sicker than ever. I thought about quitting several times.

Mack cautioned me to weather the storm. Slow and steady wins the race. It would be my mantra and battle cry. Snail power!

Because I was so hobbled on my feet we concentrated on weight lifting, T-Rx, and interval training. Mack made a lot of adaptations on a day to day basis according to how I felt. The physical therapy at the end of the workouts always mad me feel better in the end of ours sessions.

Two weeks later I started to feel a little better, but I had decided that enough was enough. I had planned a trip to Beacon NY with Michelle and knew there would be a lot of walking involved. By some miracle, the gout cooperated just in time and I was able to do a lot of walking.

I think on my best day I walked over 20,000 steps! I was again very careful of my diet and even drank a little, all the while weary of a return attack.

Weight as of July 19th 284 lbs.

Next up Weight Loss Wall and IT band

By Chef Mateo

Just a man in pursuit of all things delicious. Eat and Drink life!