Sunday, May 31, 2015

On Dating in Brazil: Sex On the Beach

“Hey Rasta Girl!”

 So I’m walking along Ipanema beach, trying to stretch my legs a little while I nurse a few injuries before heading to work at the Project when…

“Hey Rasta Girl!”

This was not said man’s first attempts to get my attention. A couple feet back I had heard the familiar cat calls but remained intent on listening to the DC trap music that was making me feel all warm and fuzzy inside with thoughts of home.

Homesickness has been gnawing away at my insides more than I would like to admit, and my hiatus from fighting is not helping. Taking walks along the beach that is 3 blocks away from the Favela where I live is a good reminder of how bad-ass my life is and how not homesick I should feel.

My therapy was interrupted by this man, apparently so attracted by my dreadlocks, that he felt the need to come running off the beach after me.

And then he starts “the spiel”
Brazilians are known for their amazing asses, their exotic language, their beautiful beaches, and their godlike, steroid induced, out of this world abs… they are NOT, however, known for their originality, so I generally find myself rejecting the same lame sexual advances time and time again.

Within 5 minutes of meeting this strange man that was BBQing on the beach with a blonde girl and another person that I paid zero attention to, he offered me food, a joint, and… an orgy (with the blonde and/or two other girls). WTF, where do people get off nonchalantly offering sex to strangers as if it were exchanging business cards! How is that socially acceptable, better yet, how has that become the "norm". 

I used to joke around and say if people want to date me they best come correct and bring a resume. Well, Dude came correct and wasted no time in dropping his credentials. A black belt from Gracie Barra, Gordo Jiu Jitus… name drop here, name drop there, and so on. It’s a small world because I actually know Gordo as well. Then he began to elaborate on a menu of women, 3 to be specific, that he had to dish up if I was one of those people that "preferred that kind of thing".  I wasn’t impressed by his resume or anything else he had to offer, so I scurried away, popping my headphones back in my ear as I reflected on the situation that I had just escaped (oh we are now Facebook friends though).

Longboarding around Ipanema. 
For fun and because I have no car!

Dating in Brazil is somewhat of a nightmare. Conversations like the previous one are not an anomaly, as Brazilians tend to be very straightforward in their sexual intentions, wasting no time in trying to get what they want. They circumvent unnecessary dating rituals like dinner and movies and go straight for, “Oh, you live alone, can I come by”.

Women, in turn, have acquired their own defense mechanism, demanding money. If men have lost the art of romance and the ability to swoon, fine. That leaves women to just straight up ask for what they want. Money to maintain hair, nails, bikini waxes (this is Brazil after all), and whatever other random desire they may dream up.

Flying kites in Galo...
3 blocks from the beach

So, yeah, romance has been reduced to a financial transaction. Sex something that a mutually beneficial act between two parties. Love has become obsolete.

In most cases…

If it wasn’t for my homeboy Birrin that spent HOURS and HOURS on end video chatting his MRS and 1yr old daughter during our recent trip to Brasileiros in South Paulo, I might have lost faith in men in general. 

Around the Way...
Live from the Cantagalo Favela

A Seneagalese wrestler staying at Connection Rio
Stopped by the Cantagalo Favela to show us some of his moves

Random stuff often happens in the Favela
Padre Nuestro... Our Father... 

Thursday, May 21, 2015

6 Pack Attack: The Nico Ball Diet

Everybody gets on me about the way I eat... or the way I always walk around with no shirt... So I thought I'd lay down a little insight on diet and try to be educational for once.

Weigh in pics at 118lbs (left), 108lbs (top), and 110 lbs
Diet makes all the difference. 

Remember when you were in middle school and you used to do those math equations that were like….

“If Sally has 2 green shirts, 1 blue shirt, and one pair of jeans, how many different outfits can sally make?”

Well that’s what the “Nico Ball Diet” is like… I mean, really its how every fighter and body builder here in Brazil eats. “Chicken and sweet potatoes” is the key to achieving what Brazilians call “being dry” or cut or ripped or just down right sexy!

Drying out, it should be noted, is different than bulking up.  The goal is to develop more muscular definition and functionality as opposed to full on mass.

The magical diet combination includes: Chicken breasts, sweet potato, whole grain rice, and whole grain pasta.  You can throw in fish too, but my lack of cooking skills leaves me eating canned tuna, which is filled with sodium and other preservatives.

On top of the basic combination, I eat a ton of fruits and vegetables. Every Tuesday, I go to a farmers market and stock up on a ton of colorful things, some of which I have no idea what they actually are… like Cacui.

But whatever, its healthy.

So basically, all I ever eat is…. Chicken with sweet potatos, egg whites with sweet potatos, chicken with whole grain rice, and tuna with whole grain pasta. Then add in some colors (fruits and veggies) to make it pretty and get the right vitamins and viola… abs

Oh yeah, I forget to mention…. The don’ts

I don’t eat fat or sugar and I cut out any unnecessary sodium and carbs. 

Anyone that truly knows me, knows that I consume and unhealthy amount of coffee with a ridiculous amount of sugar on a daily basis!

Well not anymore! I use honey to substitute sugar and I don’t drink juice or soda. Yeah juice is just as bad as soda must of the time, worse if you consider that fact that it tries to disguise itself as healthy. This also means no acai! Whomp whomp! No that’s a lie no one goes with no Acai but I only have 1 a week, if not every two weeks. So basically all I drink is water and supplements, AAAAND, I make a lot of natural juices with fresh fruit (and spinach) when my body can’t bare any more water intake!

Fruits, veggies, and a ton of vitamins!
Nothing frozen, nothing processed! 

One of my friends even has me drinking (and even worse, enjoying) beat and carrot juice. I throw in some cucumber to sweeten it up which is ok. What isn’t ok is putting in orange. It’s a really common to find the combination of beats, carrots, and oranges, but apparently, the acidity from the oranges messes with the nutrient absorption of the beats and carrots, so you end up gaging down beats for no reason!

Beats, Spinach, and Carrts baby!

No fats
That means I don’t eat butter! I’m sure there are many other things that fall under this category but butter is the big one. I cook with olive oil (because I can’t afford coconut oil). The only kind of cheese I eat is “quejo minas”. I’m not a foodie, so, I can’t explain why this cheese is the only kind of cheese I can eat, but whatever, I do as I’m told. I have heard from a friend that quejo minas forms a big part of the Gracie diet as it balances out the acidic levels from the massive amounts of fruits the Gracies try to shove down your throat! From a more practical perspective… cheese is yummy especially when you can’t put butter, salt, or ketchup on stuff to get some of that good old American super-processed taste that I know and love!

No turn up!
This means that I can never, ever drink! Ever! Between the desire for amazing abs and the fact that I compete Jiu Jitsu every month, I pretty much annihilated my alcohol tolerance. Alcohol in itself is bad for the body as it causes dehydration and lowers blood sugar, which in turn, lowers athletic performance.

But all science aside,  take into consideration my sport of choice: MMA. Ever get punched in the liver when it’s filled with Henny? It hurts… a lot. Your capacity to deal with a hard body shot is increased incredibly when your liver isn’t busy trying to save you from alcohol poisoning!

Get Hip
Gym Jones and its founder Mark Twight are famous for sculpting the sexy beasts from the movie 300. His philosophies on working out and fitness are definitely worth checking out if you are a serious athlete!

The physical work is not enough, if your only paying attention to your training and your recovery YOUR NOT DOING ENOUGH!!! No amount of hard work can balance out diet deficiencies! 

I come here every Tuesday to buy my 
fruit. We talk about fighting and he 
feeds me!