Real Life On Hold - these are the adventures of California native Travis Emmel, as he takes time off from the rat race to travel and see the world.

Journal Entries

Where's My Covershot?

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

In front yards across America, the blow up Santas and snow globes have been replaced by half-dead Christmas trees, cast to the curb like needle dropping lepers, which usually means a new year is upon us. 2010…Twenty-ten. Jesus, I remember being a young teen and the concept of even making it to the year 2000 seemed unlikely. It's a sad coincidence, lest I lump myself in with the rest of the “resolutioners” who annually annoy me by flocking to the gym for the first few weeks of the year (early February for the true die-hards), but for me, January will mark a month of detoxification and rebalancing.

My wake-up call came recently when I glanced at my side profile in the mirror and realized I was starting to take the form of Demi Moore when she posed for the cover of Vanity Fair. Probably a little less sexy, too, even if you are into the whole bun about to pop the oven look. Since I’m unable to birth all of that fat in one shot, starting after the New Year’s hangover fades, I begin my goal of losing 10-15 pounds. Better eating, little to no booze and, even if it means just walking around the block, being active each day.

Santa did give me a bit of a kick-start by giving me the Swine Flu for Christmas, this year. That must’ve been good for an easy 2-3 pound lead.

I'm Back.

Friday, December 25, 2009


Monday, January 12, 2009

My Take on Huevos Rancheros

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Ingredients (available at Trader Joes unless noted otherwise):

2 Handmade corn tortillas
2 Slices of Healthy Ham
2 Eggs
1 Container of mango salsa
1 Ripe Hass avocado
Cotija cheese (not carried by TJ’s)
Vegetable oil cooking spray


1. Halve, peel and remove the pit from the avocado. Cut into thin slices and set aside.

2. Place a frying pan coated with the cooking spray on medium high heat and place a corn tortilla in the pan. While the bottom side is cooking, spray the exposed side of the tortilla with the cooking spray. Flip when the bottom side is hot/beginning to crisp. When the second side is complete, repeat with the 2nd tortilla.

3. While the tortillas are cooking, do the same with the slices of ham in another pan also on medium high heat.

4. In a third pan, also treated with cooking spray, cook the eggs over-easy so the yolks are still runny.

5. On a plate, assemble two stacks in the following order: tortilla, ham, egg, salsa, avocado slices.

6. Crumble the cheese over the top and enjoy.

Note: to time everything correctly, this will require 3 pans. To avoid cleaning extra pans or if you’re short on burners, I would cook in the following order: ham, tortilla, eggs.

Quick Hits

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Not wanting to move twice (esp. with regard to heavy, bulky objects), I decided to go the Aerobed route in the new place and leave my regular bed in storage.  All was well and good: pulled the mattress out of storage, inflated it, set up linens and prepared for a restful night's sleep.  Imagine my disappointment when the bed tried to swallow me whole at 1:00 in the morning due to a pinhole-sized hole in the bottom.  Sound sleep was systematically interrupted every two hours following with a need to reinflate the bed.


Whether the recent bout of working out or the preceding period of not working out is responsible, I can't say, but I can tell you that my neck is too fat to fit into any of my old dress shirts.  I had to undo the top button at lunch yesterday so my food could slip past the collar.  It's also helping to curb my recently acquired habit of cracking my neck since I can barely move my head without cutting off the blood supply to my brain.

Other than that, just been doing a lot of work on the Penske file.

The End of the Line

Sunday, April 27, 2008

It's official: The adventure is over.  Tonight marks the eve of my return to the real world.  The last 14 months have been nothing short of incredible -- so many amazing adventures and experiences it's hard to believe it was only that long.


I feel like I'm returning an improved person.  This last year has provided me with a lot of insight and perspective and I can truly say I've grown during that time.  Backpacking across Europe taught me the value of minimizing and distilling down what is really needed to be happy.  Living away from Southern California reiterated the value of friends and family and how it's easy to take the time spent with those who are close and are readily accessible, for granted.  Not being able to play with the ice hockey team or see the guys for the weekly poker game helped me to appreciate all of the social activities that filled my time and the camaraderie created within.  And, finally, not being able to find a decent carne asada burrito in what some argue to be the world's greatest city, somehow leads me to believe that I belong in the World's Finest City.


So, I'm back.  Del Mar is where I'm calling home until my place opens up again in July and then I'll be moving back in there.  The new job starts tomorrow so I'm dealing with the seemingly foreign concept of a routine -- something that I never thought I'd say I'm looking forward to.  While the fast, erratic pace of the last year was exciting, stability sounds very welcoming, at the moment.


Would I do it all again?  Without a moment's hesitation.  I think 2020's looking good for the next go-round...

It's Bathing Suit Season

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

I've had a few people ask me about working out and fitness lately (summer must be just around the corner), so I thought I'd share the workout plan I've been using for the past couple of months as it's been extremely effective and requires very little time investment. The regimen is based around a little known study that was conducted at Colorado State University during the 70's. Tim Ferris, author of Four Hour Work Week, distilled the experiment down and provided a simple, easy to apply routine.

The first, and best, part of this workout is that it only requires two 30 minute visits to the gym each week. Each visit is comprised of a full body workout, as it is important to incorporate as many of the large muscle groups as possible (especially the legs) in order to illicit a maximum hormonal response, which helps to build muscle and burn fat. To further boost the number of muscles used, only compound exercises are performed. Another key to this plan is to use a very low cadence when lifting – 5 seconds in each direction. This will help to increase the amount of negative resistance placed on the muscles which is where a lot of the growth response comes from. It should be noted that if you are already working out and start doing this plan, you will probably need to drop the amount of weight you're used to lifting; don't worry, the strength gains will come very quickly. For mass gains, wait about 3 minutes between exercises; for toning and fat loss, rest about 30 seconds between exercises. Finally, only do one set of each exercise, to failure (should shoot for ~10 reps).

Here is a typical workout (after warming up for 5-10 minutes):

* Squats (if you're not comfortable doing squats, leg presses would be an acceptable substitute, although not as complete)

* Chest (e.g. incline, regular or decline bench. flyes, etc)

* Outer Back (e.g. lat pulldowns, wide-grip rows, etc.)

* Shoulders (shoulder press or raises)

* Inner Back (seated rows, bent over rows)

* If you've still got energy at this point (I rarely do), you could do one more chest/tri (flyes, dips)

To further speed fat loss, a couple light-medium cardio sessions a week could be added. Eating is always plays a role in fat loss/muscle gain. I had very good results following the guidelines in the Abs Diet; a slow carb would probably be effective, as well.

In the 2-3 months I've been doing the plan I've seen substantial gains (and my eating has been far from perfect). I've lost at least 3-4% body fat and added well over an inch to my chest and legs (a lot of my dress shirts are too tight across the chest, now). To successfully monitor progress, I would recommend keeping a journal of each workout (amount of weight, reps, etc).

Copyright 2007, Travis Emmel