“Before” and “Current” Photo OVERLAY!

April 30, 2012

I met my friend Steve in 6th grade at West Maple Middle School, and now here in California, not that far from me. I’ve always known Steve to be smart and talented, but last week, after I shared my glowing-yellow-wall “Before” and “Current” pictures and the cool silhouette photo, Steve shot me the following email:

“Your new photos inspired me to Photoshop your new silhouette onto your ‘before’ picture. I tried to line up your ears and elbows to keep the two pictures proportional, and I think it turned out pretty well!”

And this was attached:

I absolutely LOVE it – it’s so unbelievably cool! No need for “Before” AND “Current” pictures… Steve combined them into one! This is going immediately into the Photo Gallery. Thanks, Steve!

Movin’ on…

Did you have a good weekend? Mine was quite nice, except for the jarring realization on Saturday that my 163-story stair climb fundraiser challenge is only one week away. If you’re struck with a sense of deja vu, it’s because I already wrote a post about the stair climb being one week away, but that was before I injured my foot and postponed the climb for two weeks.

Now my foot feels a whole lot better – I’ve been gradually putting more pressure and weight on it during my workouts over the past few days, and there’s been no flare-ups or pain whatsoever. On Saturday, when the one-week-away realization hit me like a truck, I decided to ramp my StairMaster training back into high gear. After all, thanks to the injury, I’ve only been on the StairMaster once in the past two weeks.

I ended up spending 21 minutes on the StairMaster, and climbed 84 stories, burning 318 calories. Not bad at all. It’s only half of the 163 stories I’ll be climbing this Saturday, but I hope to get one or two more training sessions in before the big day. I’ll be ready.

And I get to add a new tower to my Skyscraper Collection!  I plan on taking a little (or big) break from the StairMaster after my challenge, so I thought I’d add another landmark to my collection while I still could.

You know it, you love it… the latest addition to my collection is…


It’s 77 stories tall, and I’ve wanted to add this guy to my collection for a while now.

My favorite thing about the Chrysler Building was how Walter Chrysler and architect Willam Van Alen, during the building’s construction in 1929, kept the now-famous 7-story, 185-foot spire a complete secret. No one in the press knew it existed, and it was constructed within the lower part of the building, so no one could see it taking shape. Then one day, to everyone’s surprise, it was hoisted and bolted into place in just 90 minutes. Just like that, the Chrysler Building became the tallest building in the world, edging out 40 Wall Street, another building under construction at the same time. The Chrysler Building only had the world-tallest-building title for 11 short months, though… then the Empire State Building came along.

And here’s something I just learned while researching this post: The Chrysler Building has never been owned by the Chrysler Corporation, nor did the Chrysler Corporation pay for its construction, even though their headquarters were there from 1930 through the ’50s. Walter Chrysler paid for it himself, so that it could be passed down to his children.

FUNDRAISING UPDATE: I’m almost there! I’ve raised $1,555 dollars, which means I’m 95% of the way towards my $1,630 goal. Only $75 short! Can you help me with those final few bucks? Click here to read about the stair climb, and CLICK HERE TO MAKE A DONATION. Thanks!

Finally… I went to the pool yesterday for my second swim in a week (read about the other swim here). My friend Emily came along, and the pool was very crowded and it was hot. I got in 2,100 yards before calling it a day, and then Emily and I walked across the park to a… carnival!

I love a good rickety carny-operated ride, but unfortunately, I didn’t have any cash money on me, and the ticket booth didn’t accept credit cards. I did take this picture with the Ferris Wheel:

I took the exact same picture at Disney California Adventure with Mickey’s Fun Wheel (see it here). I guess it’s my thing with Ferris Wheels. Yep, me and Ferris Wheels have a thing. Jealous?

Even though Emily and I didn’t ride any rides, we did buy a snack (er… Emily bought us a snack, to be specific). There were a lot of options: Funnel Cakes. Cotton Candy. Nachos. Corn Dogs. So what did we decide on?

Roasted Corn on a Stick!

There was a row of Food Trucks, and this came from the Corn Heaven truck.

I got mine with lemon juice, and added some Cajun seasoning. Might have been the best corn I’ve ever had! I definitely wanted to go back and buy 4 more ears, although that’s where the lack of funds became an issue.

Eating veggies at a carnival?

Keep it up, David!


We Have A NEW Winner! Plus, Kitchen Sink Smoothie

April 28, 2012

Happy Saturday!

So I have bad news and I have good news. The bad news is that Randi Marie Simpson failed to come forward to claim the Edible Arrangements fresh fruit bouquet that she won yesterday. As I explained when I announced the contest, and again when the winner’s name was announced, the winner has 24 hours to email me to claim their prize. Unfortunately, Randi didn’t email me – and I checked my Spam folder and everything.

The good news is that someone else now has a chance of winning the fresh fruit bouquet! I went through the same process as before with the random number generator at random.org, and a new winner was generated. That number was 81, and the 81st comment belonged to…

GEORGINA FIGUEROA!  Yay, you won! Here’s Georgina’s comment:


Same rules apply: This post went live at 7:15pm PST on Saturday, April 28th, and you have 24 hours (until 7:15pm PST on Sunday, April 29th) to send me an email at keepitupdavid@gmail.com to claim your prize. Remember how, when you left the winning comment, you had to provide an email address? You gotta email me from that address (which I can see but no one else can) so I know it’s you and not an imposter!

I’m tired of picking winners. Georgina, come claim your prize!!!

**Update: Georgina has claimed the prize. Congrats, Georgina!**

Moving on…

I’ve never been a huge smoothie person. I’ve enjoyed them occasionally, but it rarely crosses my mind to make my own smoothies in my own kitchen. That might be starting to change. And I have frozen fruit to blame thank.

A few weeks ago, I came across strawberries at a ridiculous prize: $1.25 for a one-pound container. I spent $5 and bought four – I couldn’t pass it up! Unfortunately for me, it was one day after a big visit to another supermarket, and I was already loaded up on fruit. So I washed and hulled all 4 pounds of strawberries, put them in a big container, and froze ’em.

Earlier in the week, it occurred to me that the strawberries would make a great base for a smoothie. They’d both flavor and chill the smoothie at the same time, and I do love when fruit is capable of multitasking. So I made a smoothie. And I enjoyed it.

Yesterday, I made another smoothie. And I jotted down what I used to make it, so I could share with you.

There are a bazillion smoothie recipes out there, and I didn’t look at a single one. I pulled out all my fruits and vegetables and tossed a bunch of stuff in, including a few things that probably have no right being in a smoothie. But that’s the joy of smoothies (and why I call mine Kitchen Sink Smoothies): You can throw pretty much anything in there, and add enough fruit, and it’ll taste great! I have a hunch I’ll never make a smoothie the same way twice.

I started with about 1/4 cup skim milk. Then I added a handful of frozen strawberries, and a handful of frozen grapes (which taste awesome frozen; they’re a great snack all by themselves). Then I went through my veggies to see what was closest to going bad. I settled on 3 roma tomatoes and a zucchini. I roughly chopped ’em up, and added them in. And, just to bulk it up with veggies a little further, I added 2 baby eggplant and a radish (I thought the heat might be a nice touch). Then I added more sweetness by throwing a pear and kiwi into the mix.

The end result, as shown above, wasn’t sickly sweet. It was perfect. Couldn’t taste the zucchini or eggplant (the two items I was most skeptical about), and because of all the veggies, I didn’t worry about it being a huge calorie bomb, like some smoothies can be (especially at juice bars). It ended up being a lot of smoothie, too – I was drinking smoothie for half the day, without any guilt at all!

I’m already thinking about what I can use in my next smoothie.

Keep it up, David!

Who Won the Giveaway? WAS IT YOU?

April 27, 2012

The Big Day Has Arrived!

In total, there were 911 entries in my Edible Arrangements giveawayNINE HUNDRED AND ELEVEN! That’s a lot of entries! That’s hundreds and hundreds more than I was ever expecting! I guess a lot of people really like Edible Arrangements, and I don’t blame them. I do too!

So which one of those 911 blog comments is the winning one? I used random.org to pick a winner. First, I plugged in the parameters: I wanted a random number between 1 and 911.

Then, I clicked on that “Generate” button, and here’s the random number that was generated for me:


So who had the 788th comments? One-handed drum roll, please…

The 788th comment belonged to… RANDI MARIE SIMPSON!

Let’s see Randi’s winning entry, shall we?

Even though the rules said you could enter up to three times (provided you ‘liked’ and followed Edible Arrangements on Facebook and Twitter), Randi only entered once. And that was all she needed!

LISTEN UP, RANDI! This post went live at 3am PST on Friday, April 27th, and you have 24 hours (until 3am PST on Saturday, April 28th) to send me an email at keepitupdavid@gmail.com to claim your prize. Remember how, when you left the comment, you had to provide an email address? You gotta email me from that address (which I can see but no one else can) so I know it’s you and not an imposter!

I’ll reply to your email, confirming that it was received, and I’ll introduce you to the folks at Edible Arrangements, who will help you claim the prize.

If I don’t get an email by 3am on Saturday, than I’m picking another number and someone else will win your fresh fruit bouquet from Edible Arrangements! And you don’t want that to happen!

Congrats, Randi! I hope you enjoy the prize and I hope your mom likes it too!

A big thanks to everyone that entered – I know that a lot of you were first-time visitors to Keep It Up, David, and I hope you stop by again! I got a lot to say, and I’m not afraid to say it!

Keep it up, David!

Back in the Pool

April 26, 2012

Quick reminder: You have until 11:59pm PST tonight to enter to win my awesome Edible Arrangements giveaway! ENTER HERE!

If I owned a Magic 8 Ball, and had I asked yesterday if I should go swim laps, and then shook it shook it shook it, the answer that would have appeared would’ve been “All signs point to yes.”

Here were the signs:

  • When I turned on my TV yesterday morning, my TiVo was recording the episode of Will & Grace where Jack taught Will how to swim. (Jack: “They’re opening a new pool at the gym, Will. C’mon, you should come with! It’s full of cuties – it’s like hot guy soup! Well, except between 12 and 1, when Paul Sorvino does laps.”)
  • While going through the mail, I saw this postcard, for an open water charity endurance swim event:

More on that postcard later.

My point is that the postcard and the Will & Grace episode got me thinking, and I couldn’t remember the last time I swam laps. I like to think that swimming is a regular activity in my workout arsenal, but it’s been over three months since I’ve been in a pool (I had to look that up – so thankful I make note of every workout!).

So yesterday afternoon I got in my car and drove to the pool. It felt good to do some hardcore cardio – my first solely cardio workout since my foot injury – and over the course of the next hour, I swam:

  • 5 x 200 yards warm-up (200 free, 200 IM, 200 kick, 200 pull, 200 IM) = 1,000 yds total
  • 500 yards free (focus on consistent pace, 70% exertion)
  • 6 x 100 free + 50 free (the 100s were at 80% exertion, the 50s were all-out sprints) = 900 yds total
  • 2 x 200 yards cool down (200 IM, 200 free) = 400 yds total
  • Grand Total: 2,800 yards.

A wonderfully tiring workout. The smell of chlorine on my skin as I write this brings me back to my competitive swimming days growing up. And I felt more aerodynamic (or hydrodynamic, I suppose?) in the pool than every before, thanks to my spiffy, pool-friendly haircut!

For a lot of the workout, I was thinking about that postcard. It’s promoting the American Lung Association’s Distance Swim Challenge in August – an open water swimming event in the Pacific Ocean. I’ve never swum for exercise in the ocean (I’ve only frolicked and gallivanted) and the idea is very intriguing. The ALA sponsored the skyscraper stair climb I completed a few weeks ago, and their events are well-organized and well-run, so that part doesn’t concern me. It’s the actual swimming.

Open water swimming is quite different than pool swimming, and by ‘quite different’ I mean ‘much harder.’ Pools don’t have waves to contend with (sure, there are little ones made by other swimmers, but the lane lines break them up). Pools also have walls, so every 25 yards you can push off and gain momentum for the next length. Oceans lack both walls and lane lines, but they do have currents and waves, so addition to moving your arms and legs, you gotta pay attention, so you’re moving in the right direction (or risk swimming way off course or in giant circles). Plus, the lack of walls and the presence of currents (which may be working with or against you, depending on where you want to go) means it’s quite difficult to gauge how far you’ve swum (and how much remains), and that can really challenge your endurance, pacing, and stamina.

Oh, and have I mentioned that oceans are salt water, whereas most pools aren’t?

There’s also sharks. I’m not afraid of sharks, but the list of differences between pools and oceans would be incomplete without them.

Yep. Open water swimming is a whole different beast than pool swimming. And I’m considering registering myself for this event. Right now I’m just considering it – I don’t think I’ll make a decision for another month or so. Right now I have my upcoming stair climb challenge to focus on (have you donated yet? It’s goes to a great cause!), and then, after that, I have another fitness challenge already lined up at the end of May that I have yet to mention on this blog (one challenge at a time, folks!). So if I make a decision in early June, I’ll still have over two months to train and prepare.

I’d also have to pick the distance. The event offers 1.2 mile, 2.4 mile, 4.8 mile, and 12 mile swims. My gut says go with the 1.2 mile, since it’s my first open water event. 1.2 miles is very doable for me in a pool. It’s 2,112 yards – that’s almost 700 yards less than I swam yesterday. But I have a feeling 1.2 miles in open water would feel a helluva lot different.

So, I’m thinking about it. Have any of you done any ocean swimming, either as a stand-alone event or as part of a triathlon? How did it go?

Meanwhile, I just calculated that yesterday’s swim was 112 lengths of the pool, which is a hair under 1.6 miles.

Keep it up, David!

Weight Chart Update AND Underground “Before”/”Current” Photos!

April 25, 2012

The last time I weighed myself, two weeks ago, I had to give myself a big ole pep talk. And I needed it. And it worked! The past two weeks have been full of good choices and healthy eating. But I also had a major body part conspiring against me: my foot. After injuring it last week, I spent the better part of three days plopped on my couch, icing and elevating it. I did make it to the gym for some upper body workouts, but I also ended up having a couple more rest days than I had planned.

Given the circumstances, I’d quite happy with the results of yesterday’s weigh-in:

Maintaining my weight is a good thing. Nope, I’m wrong… it’s a GREAT thing.

Here’s another shot of my weight loss chart:

This morning I took a good long look at the first year of my chart, which I condensed, a few months ago, onto two pages. These two pages will always be a great motivator for me:

So, for everyone keeping score at home, maintaining my weight means I’ve still lost 162 pounds. And counting.


I was downtown a few days ago, and some friends and I went to lunch. We headed over to 505 Flower, which is an office tower that has an big underground shopping center beneath it. The shopping center is mostly restaurants and eateries, and I had a fantastic salad at a place called Salata, a Texas chain that opened their first California location last year.

As exciting as that salad was, what was more exciting was that it was my first time at 505 Flower in about three years, and I had the chance to update a “Before” picture!

505 Flower has these glowing yellow and blue walls near their escalators, and, truth be told, they’re kinda cool and kinda hideous at the same time. Three years ago, I got a picture with my friend Heather in front of the wall, and it’s a terrible photo. It was taken at 1am, and there’s nothing I like about it, and that what makes it a perfect ‘Before’ photo!

You can see the version with Heather (and a more recent picture with Heather, who has lost 50 pounds, by clicking on Photo Gallery – there are lots of ‘Before’ and ‘Current’ photos there).

And here I am, just a few days ago, in front of the very same wall:

Pretty. Effin’. Sweet.

A note to anyone who finds themselves at 505 Flower: as tempting as that glowing wall may seem, it’s a really tough background for a Kodak moment. My friend Maya took the above picture, and she took about 15 just so I could have one that turned out semi-decently. I have a hunch that not many people will look good in front of that shade of glowing yellow. But if you’re in downtown LA, I invite you to go and prove me wrong!

I actually LOVE another picture that Maya got of me – full silhouette!

This picture makes me want to shout GO BLUE! – and if you’re a fellow University of Michigan alum or fan, than you’ll know why.


PS: Tomorrow’s the deadline to enter my giveaway to win a $68 fresh fruit bouquet from Edible Arrangements. Have you entered yet?


Fiddlehead Fern Fail

April 24, 2012

I like to bring home new things that I find in the produce aisle and experiment in my kitchen, and this post is about an unsuccessful experiment. They can’t all yield gold. Sometimes they yield… um… mud. Brackish swamp water? coal? Not quite sure how to finish that analogy.

We’ll get to my kitchen fiasco shortly. First: a few things to catch up on:

Giveaway. Have you entered my Edible Arrangements giveaway yet? Tsk tsk if you haven’t! I’m giving away $68 of fruit (!) to one lucky winner, and you can’t win if you don’t enter! Click here for the details.

Produce Haul. Yesterday morning, the only fruit in my kitchen was some frozen strawberries and half of a lemon, and my veggie supply was also running low. Whole Foods to the rescue! Here’s what I brought home from the store:

From left-to-right and down each column, we have: 4 navel oranges, pre-cut broccoli and cauliflower, a honeydew, a sweet onion, 2 kiwis, a head of celery, a red spring onion (more on this guy later), baby carrots, 2 zucchini, 3 red peppers, 1 cucumber, 4 Rainier apples, 1 package mushrooms, 4 red bartlett pears, 1 bag red grapes, 1 package baby heirloom tomatoes, 1 Anaheim pepper, 1 head napa cabbage, and pre-trimmed green beans.

Lots of healthy options is always a good thing!

Foot. It’s been about a week since I mysteriously injured my left foot, and I’m happy to announce that it’s felt wonderful for about 4 days now. Postponing my big 163-story stair climb challenge was the right thing to do (now I’m doing it on 5/5/12 – donate here!), because I’m going to take the time to make sure it’s all healed and I’m fully prepared instead of rushing into anything.

That said, after taking it easy for the past week, I’ve been jonesing for some StairMaster. Because I didn’t want to aggravate my injury if it wasn’t fully healed, I decided yesterday to give the StairMaster a try, but with some parameters: I wouldn’t go for over 10 minutes, and I wouldn’t exceed 60 steps per minute, which is my warm-up speed. I stuck to my rules, and after those 10 minutes, I was feeling the burn in my legs. I’m eager to get full-force back into my stair-climb training, but I know I gotta work my way up.

Ten minutes on the StairMaster was a good start. In those 10 minutes, I climbed 37 stories, which means it’s time to add a new building to my Skyscraper Collection!

Meet the AEGON Center, the tallest building in Kentucky. This Louisville skyscraper is 35 stories, and it’s the first building in my collection that is topped with a dome (it’s 80 feet high). You can’t see it that well in the picture, but out front of the AEGON Center is a statue of Alysheba, a well-known racehorse that won the Kentucky Derby in 1987. He’s also quite the stud: he fathered eleven other champion racehorses. I’d say Keep It Up to Alysheba, but he passed in 2009.

Now on to the main event!

FIDDLEHEAD FAIL. I was ecstatic last week when I saw, at the store, fiddlehead ferns. I don’t think I’ve seen them since I was in college, but I was a poor college kid back then, and much less inclined to spend money on food items I’ve never tried before.

I think fiddlehead ferns are one of the coolest-looking things I’ve ever seen in a supermarket (right up there with dragon fruit and romanesco broccoli).

I’m reminded of the poster for the 1993 movie “The Nightmare Before Christmas.” Maybe Jack Skellington is actually walking on a giant fiddlehead fern?

Fiddlehead ferns are quite literally curled up baby fern fronds. Once they grow bigger and unfurl, they’re no longer edible, so these are harvested out in the woods (they’re not farmed) for a few weeks each spring. Fiddlehead doesn’t refer to an actual species of fern, it refers to the shape of them, since they look like the top of a string instrument. Fiddlehead ferns can actually be any number of different fern species, and in the US, they’re mostly Bracken, Ostrich, or Cinnamon ferns, which grow throughout the northeast and northwest.

Fiddleheads are good sources of potassium, fiber, antioxidants, and Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. On the flip side, there is evidence that they may contain trace amounts of carcinogenics, so I wouldn’t make them a staple of your diet.

I thoroughly washed and dried my ferns, and washed them again for good measure. I decided to make a big stir-fry, so I chopped up a bunch of other veggies:

That’s cauliflower, baby eggplant, brussel sprouts, and yellow zucchini. I also added in a second new-to-me vegetable: a red spring onion. I saw these at the store a few minutes after finding the fiddleheads, and one immediately ended up in my cart. They’re pretty.

Even though I hadn’t bought one before, I was familiar with them – I think because I saw them on the Food Network or something. Basically, you cut off the dark green tops, and use the rest in any way you would use scallions. I chopped it into matchsticks (and was a little bummed it was only red on the outermost layer).

The fiddleheads went into the skillet (which I had coated with non-stick spray) first – I had read that they needed a good long 12-15 minutes to cook. Soon, I added the rest of the veggies. For a sauce, I cracked open a bottle of cilantro and lime dressing that I had in my cupboard. I like both cilantro and lime, and had read that citrus goes well with fiddleheads, so it seemed like a good fit. Plus, it’s oil-free, fat-free, and is only 5 calories a tablespoon – so I added about a quarter-cup.

For protein, I chopped up two veggie burger patties and added them in to the skillet. It was a lot of food – good for two meals, at least.

Fifteen minutes after the fiddleheads first hit the heat, I had a finished meal.

Looks tasty, right?

It tasted gross.

The fiddleheads were bitter little buggers – they had the bite and the texture of asparagus, but bitter. The dressing I used as sauce was extraordinarily acidic and sour (it has listed among the ingredients lime juice, lemon juice, and vinegar – so that’s why). Bitter + Sour = not very good.

I’m curious if any of you have had experience with fiddlehead ferns, and if so, what worked for you? Any tips or tricks?

I’m not one to give up after a single attempt (although given the fiddleheads’ short harvesting season, I may not get another attempt until next spring). I’ve already looked at a bunch of fiddlehead recipes, a lot of which call for steaming or boiling them, so maybe I’ll try one of those next time.

Even though this attempt wasn’t nearly as successful as previous ones, I’m proud that I give new things a whirl, and look forward to my next produce aisle find!

Keep it up, David!

Wanna Win Some Fruit? Enter My Edible Arrangements Giveaway!

April 23, 2012

This post is incredibly exciting… I’m announcing the biggest giveaway in Keep It Up, David history! And it’s based around one of my favorite things… fruit! Here’s how it came about:

**NOTE: The deadline for entering this contest has passed. Good luck to everyone that entered!**

Last month, my sister Laura sent me an bouquet from Edible Arrangement for my birthday. It was a wonderful gift, and I ended up sharing photos of it on the blog, as well as on Facebook and Twitter. I shared this picture of the bouquet when it arrived…

…and this pic of what it looked like ten minutes later:

By the next day, I had eaten the rest of the fruit, and it was deeeeelicious (the orange bowl, by the way, found a new home on my end table). And my tweets caught the attention of the folks at Edible Arrangements, who tweeted back, saying they enjoyed the pictures I shared, and that they had checked out my blog. Awesome! Next thing I know, an email from them arrived with an offer to sponsor a giveaway on my site! How cool is that?!?

Before I get into the details, I just wanted to welcome anyone that’s visiting Keep It Up, David for the first time. Thank you for stopping by! I invite you to take a look around. I blog about health and weight loss (I’ve lost over 160 pounds and counting), and share what I’m eating, how I’m exercising, and all my struggles and successes. You can see lots of ‘Before’ and ‘Current’ photos in the Photo Gallery, read about my history with weight on the My Story So Far page, watch my appearance on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” and check out some of My Favorite Posts. If you like what you see, consider following me on Facebook or Twitter (they’re great ways to learn about new blog posts), or you can get new posts via email by hitting the “Sign Me Up” button that’s below the head-to-toe shot of me on the right.

Let’s get into the giveaway details, shall we? I’m giving away a brand-new fresh fruit bouquet from Edible Arrangements that’s not even available for sale yet! It’s their Blooming Hearts bouquet, which has pineapple, strawberries and grapes, all arranged in a keepsake green ceramic container. Check out the arrangement on Edible Arrangement’s website.

Retail price: $68. For the winner of this giveaway: FREE!

Mother’s Day is coming up… How great would it be to give mom something healthy this year? Plus, fruit is so much tastier than flowers. Just sayin’.

Here’s How to Enter – It’s Simple!

  • Leave a comment in the comment section below, saying who you’d share this fresh fruit bouquet from Edible Arrangements with and why (it’s perfectly all right if you don’t want to share it with anyone – I didn’t share mine!). That’s one entry.
  • If you click here and “like” Edible Arrangements on Facebook, you can come back and leave a second comment, which enters you a second time.
  • If you click here and follow Edible Arrangements on Twitter, you can leave a third comment, which enters you a third time.

That’s it – three entries per person! And the entries must be comments on this post – entries made via Facebook comment, tweet, email, singing telegram or smoke signal will be tossed out like yesterday’s pineapple rinds.

Deadline for Entries: 11:59pm PST on Thursday, April 26, 2012.
I’ll announce the winner on Friday, April 27, 2012. I’ll use the random number generator at http://www.random.org to pick a winning blog comment, and the winner will have 24 hours to email me at keepitupdavid@gmail.com to claim their prize. If it goes unclaimed after 24 hours, I’ll pick another winner and reset the clock for 24 hours, and so on.

Once the winner has emailed me, I will put them in touch with the fine folks at Edible Arrangements, who will help arrange the prize.

Rules and Restrictions (AKA the fine print):
Product giveaway is for pick-up only at one of Edible Arrangements’ continental US locations. Order can only be placed by calling the national call center at 877-363-7848. Not valid at international stores or on shipped products. Order must be redeemed or picked up between between 4/30/12 and 5/7/12. Not valid with any other offer, coupon or promotion and cannot by applied to past orders.

EDIBLE ARRANGEMENT®, the fruit basket design logo, and other marks mentioned herein are registered trademarks of Edible Arrangement, LLC. © Edible Arrangement, LLC. All rights reserved.

What are you waiting for? You can’t win if you don’t enter!

All this talk of fruit is making me hungry… for fruit! Time to go rustle up a healthy snack…

Keep it up, David!


April 22, 2012

As I’ve already announced on Facebook and Twitter, tomorrow is going to be a BIG DAY – I’m announcing the biggest giveaway ever in Keep It Up, David history! Be sure to come back tomorrow to check it out and enter!


Yesterday was supposed to be the big day. My 163-story stair climb had been scheduled for yesterday, until I had to postpone it due to an injury (it will now happen on 5/5/12). I ended up laying low for most of the day – I was a little depressed about the whole thing, to be honest – but there was another reason I laid low: I was sore. Terribly sore. Wonderfully sore. Extraordinarily sore.

When I woke up on Tuesday morning, barely able to walk on my left foot, I knew immediately I couldn’t work out on it. I suspended my training immediately and spent two days elevating and icing my foot. But I didn’t abandon working out altogether – I still went to the gym on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, and completed three difficult upper-body weightlifting workouts, all of it seated, without any weight or pressure on my foot. And I pushed myself. I ended up benching more than I ever have before (3 sets of 10 reps with 115 pounds), and did all sorts of exercises targeting my chest, back, abs, shoulders, and arms. On the third day, I added in some leg work, although I was careful to only use machines that didn’t require pressure on my feet.

Friday ended up being an unplanned rest day. On Saturday morning, I woke up more sore than I can ever remember being. Sore throughout my entire upper body and thighs. Meanwhile, my foot felt fine. No pain at all. I’m smart enough to know that the absence of pain doesn’t mean my foot is completely healed, but I took the soreness as a sign that my body wasn’t ready for cardio yet, so Saturday ended up being a rest day too.

It’s been a while since I’ve had two rest days in a row (and three rest days in a week, as the previous Sunday had been a planned rest day as well), but it doesn’t bother me. And the soreness is gone today, so I’ll be back at the gym, hitting some more weights, and possibly trying out some light, no-impact cardio (I’m thinking exercise bike) to see how that feels.

Now that I’ve postponed my stair climb, you all get to hear me counting down to it again: It’s less than two weeks away! Have you donated yet? The money helps children!

Keep it up, David!

Tuna “Noodle” Lunch

April 20, 2012

I’m gearing up for a weekend of healthy eating. Are you? You should be. Do it.

Sorry – it’s been a long week, that’s all I got in me in terms of a pep talk.

I thought I’d kick off the weekend by sharing one of my healthy meals from earlier this week. To call this a “recipe” would be a stretch, because there was no planning or forethought – I just grabbed what I had and threw something together. It’s actually quite easy to do, and it’s really freeing to putz around a kitchen without being tethered to a recipe. I work without recipes more than I do with them. Of course, working without a recipe means that there’s a chance that the final dish won’t turn out spectacularly, but that’s a risk I’m willing to take.

This meal began the same way many of my meals begin: with vegetables. I pulled out what I had and chopped it up:

That’s red onion, broccoli, brussel sprouts, and red pepper.

I heated my big skillet, slicked it with some non-stick spray, and threw in the veggies so they could start to cook. I wanted to add some protein, so I pulled a can of tuna from the cupboard, drained it, and tossed it in there as well. The dish needed a sauce or something, so I pulled from the fridge a salad dressing (I often let salad dressings double as sauces), and this one had red pepper in it, so I knew that would go well with the red pepper I had already chopped up. The bottle was almost empty, so I finished it off. It couldn’t have been more than a 1/4 cup – just enough to coat everything and add flavor without being gloppy.

If you were wondering why the word “noodle” in this post’s title is in quotes, it’s because of my final ingredient: tofu noodles.

Fake pasta! It’s tofu, shaped and formed to look like pasta. They sell it in different varieties, like spaghetti and angel hair – I actually blogged about the spinach fettuccini kind a few months ago. You’re not going to be fooled into thinking you’re eating actual pasta, but it’s not bad, and reminiscent of asian-style noodles. And it’s a great swap, because that entire bag – which is 2 servings – has 40 calories and is fat-free. You drain it and rinse it, and either heat it in boiling water (like you would cook pasta), or, if you’re like me, you add it to the big skillet in the final minute and let the heat of the other food warm it up.

Voila! A delicious, healthy meal!

I kinda wish the tuna was in bigger pieces, but that was out of my control, as it came from a can and it broke apart from the stirring. Otherwise, my meal was tasty, and it only took about 15 minutes, from start to finish.

Don’t let anyone tell you eating healthy takes time or is too difficult!

Keep it up, David!

My Stair Climb is Officially Postponed.

April 19, 2012

The easiest way to say it is to just say it:

I have to postpone this Saturday’s stair climb. I won’t be climbing the equivalent of the Burj Khalifa (pictured at left) this weekend, but it will be done.

The postponement is because of my foot injury. It’s gotten better over the past two days, but not enough to feel comfortable working out on it, let alone use it to climb 163 stories on a StairMaster. I’m still trying to keep it elevated and iced, and I’m limiting my walking and not putting any undue stress on it.

Here’s the thing: I want to do this stair climb when I’m at the top of my game. Climbing 163 stories without stopping won’t be easy, and I want to be able to keep my focus on the task in front of me, and not worry about whether my foot will hold up through the whole thing. I want to be strong and prepared, and not nervous about aggravating an injury that may have just healed.

I won’t be any of those things by Saturday.

So I’m giving myself two additional weeks to heal, train, and prepare. My 163-story stair climb challenge is now scheduled for Saturday, May 5, 2012. It’ll be the best Cinco de Mayo EVER!

I feel a little crappy about postponing, even though I know it’s the right thing to do. So I want to take a moment to reassure everyone – especially the 39 donors (!) that have contributed over $1,450 bucks (!!) to the Whaley Children’s Center in Flint, Michigan – that this postponement will definitely just a postponement. I have no intention of canceling. I will climb 163 stories on the StairMaster. I’ve worked too hard to just give up. This challenge means an awful lot to me, and while I don’t want to let my donors down, the person I most don’t want to let down is myself.

Thank you for understanding. If you’d like to learn more about my stair climb challenge, click here. If you’d like to make a donation (I’m still $175 short of my goal!) than click here.

Even though I’m trying as much as possible to stay off my foot, I’m still hitting the gym. Last night I hit up the gym for the second night in a row of doing seated upper-body weight lifting exercises. Lots of chest and shoulder presses, rows and lateral pull-downs, and my new favorite machine at the gym, the Marpo VMX Rope Trainer, where you continually pull on a looped rope, working most of your upper body all at one time. Last night I pulled that rope for 17 minutes, burning 200 calories – and all without ever putting my weight on my foot.

Keep it up, David!