Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Sweet Tooth Infographic

Nursing Your Sweet Tooth
Created by: www.OnlineNursingPrograms.com Sugar is so prevalent now, that things touted as healthy still make a large portion of total sugar consumption. This is especially important for parents with small children, and You HAVE TO read the nutrition facts on fruit juices and dairy products marketed to children. Parents generally know that giving kids a hand full of M&M's will turn them into cranky little energy monsters prone to bouts of hate and discontent, but most parents don't realize an organic strawberry milk from a prominent Organic "health food" company like Horizon has 23g of sugar in it! How many M&M's are in a box? One gram of sugar is about the size of an M&M. Fruit juices are the same way. They are marketed to kids for parents, put on the bottom shelves of grocery stores so little hands can grab them and plead their parents to buy them. A whole natural food is stripped of all it's basic parts and refined down to the juice, concentrated, mixed, stabilized, held in a tank, and then mixed with preservatives, non-artificial artificial flavoring, water, and sugar to be packaged into small kid-sized containers to be shoved into a lunchbox next to a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and a bag of Doritos. If it's a health conscious parent, the kid may get some pre-packaged apple slices with a caramel pack. This is assuming there isn't a soda in there instead! /rant Read your labels folks.

Thursday, June 28, 2012


Always remember there was nothing worth sharing like the love that let us share our name
-The Avett Brothers
Ladies and Gentleman, Introducing: Goldie Cleopatra Fout
6Lbs 11oz, 19 1/4" long

It was a long, stressful couple of days, and with Tropical Storm Debby dropping shite-loads of rain on north Florida, luckily we didn't have to kayak to the hospital! The weather is back to beautiful now, Baby and Momma are doing very well, and Goldie is adjusting nicely to being a part of the world. Momma did such a great job, and we're all so proud of her. She took great care of herself during the pregnancy, and it really shows. The doctor, at one point even said: "Momma has been feeding her well!" She is so happy, pleasant, and healthy. She's such a blessing.
If you were wondering how DB is doing with being a big sister, all I can say is she's super excited. She loves her little sister, and I can't wait for us to get home so we can get everyone settled in. I will be doing my damnedest to keep providing, nurturing, teaching, and looking forward so these girls will want for nothing. Dixie is already a hurricane, so these two together will change the world. Smart, sassy, and beautiful is a lethal combination. Look out World.

I haven't been too active on the blog front lately, and what I have been has been minimal. I haven't really felt like contributing to the noise; and have instead been in favor of reading, watching, improving my fitness, and taking care of my family. I never announced on here we were expecting another baby, but here she is. Please welcome the next little adventurer to the fold.

She favors her momma. Like her momma, she's absolutely beautiful.

She's perfect.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Unleash the Kraken

It's always great to have intellectual conversations about the human diet. I'm sure this video has been seen by most, but I just found it, and it's so insightful, I'm sharing it. Matt LaLonde on Evolution TVOL's youtube channel. This was linked in a tweet from the Paleo Answer on twitter. The Paleo Answer is Loren Cordain's newest book; hopefully soon to be added to the required reading list! Synopsis: Paleo is backed by science, rather than dietary dogmas/ Beware: Contains Science

Saturday, February 11, 2012

2 years

I know every parent says this when their kids hit a milestone, but I really can't believe she's 2 years old. I still haven't completely wrapped my head around the fact I'm a dad! It's pretty amazing when the smallest, yet most important part of our being human -- passing on our genes -- turns into your whole reason for doing anything at all. I've never felt so important, so small, so connected, or so human before. Happy Birthday DB.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012



Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Friday, September 23, 2011

Shotgun Post - Multiple Updates

Vibram update
For those of my followers wondering "Hey, I wonder if Mike is still wearing those funny shoes?"
Yes. I am wearing my funny shoes, and I have accidentally increased my weekly mileage quite a bit, sue to the pure awesome feeling of running them. The calf soreness and pinky toe cramping has gone away, and I feel good on the go.
Today, fueled on nothing but black coffee and a coffee mug of homemade beef broth, I set off on a run with no real plan as to what the final distance would be. I new it would be at least 3 miles, but I had no intention of setting a limit. The weather has been beautiful yesterday and today, with the humidity of the summer finally dropping off and a nice north wind blowing through gently. It was 84F when I started (29C for pretty much the rest of the known world), and sunny. To facilitate my daily dose of Vitamin D, I was clad in nothing but a pair of baggies with my communication device (page/cell/2way comm phone affectionately known as "the bat phone") in my wax pocket, my VFF's, a reflective belt (you know, for safety ::facepalm::), and my Simple Hydration Bottle; which we'll get to later. It felt great. I can't remember the most comfortable I have been on a run in a long time. I took it slow, never got winded, and just enjoyed it. I walked some, but it was more a run than a walk. The sun was brutal, and I wanted to keep running to see how far I could go. After the first 5 miles or so I decided to refill my bottle, get some water and a sip of broth, and I picked up my fishing shirt to cover me up. visual reference here
I ended up with a combined total, according to google maps, a 9.7mi Run/Walk fasted, in VFF's, and in a fishing shirt. This is pretty much the longest run I've completed that I know of. I'm not a distance runner by any means, and actively avoid chronic distance. I just wanted to see how far I could go. I definitely ran more than I walked, and it took about 2 hours to complete it all, but I will still put it up there on the accomplishments. I'm not training for any races.

Simple Hydration
I found out about the Simple Hydration bottle when one of my searches for the end of the internet led me to Kickstarter.com. This is a site that lets people give small sums of money to fund projects that would otherwise not get off the ground. It works similarly to a PBS fund drive, where you pledge you support, and various levels of support equal different gifts in return. However, you only get charged if the project meets it's funding goal. I loved the idea fr the bottle founder Brian Hock came up with, and saw the potential so I pledged my support, and have a bottle now to test and evaluate. Verdict: I love the little thing. It gets hot enough for the crawfish to crawl out pre-boiled here in the summer, so the idea of a bottle I can take with me on my half naked runs was spot-on. Truth be told I use it more as a basting brush than it's intended purpose, but keeping my skin cool and my bandanna wet gives me more endurance on those searing days. It works best with a strong waist band or a belt (more reason for my reflective belt, you know, for safety ::facepalm::), as I've had a hard time keeping it in place with lightweight running shorts, but it's small enough and designed so well that it fits in the palm of your hand and you don't even realize you are carrying a bottle at all. I have run with bottles before in the past carrying like a football tucked in your arm, but it's difficult staying relaxed carrying it that way. Camelbaks are sufficient, but I don't need that much water on short runs, and I prefer to not run with straps on my shoulders. The Simple Hydration bottle works great. It also fits in my weight vest, when I'm wearing that. I can say with confidence this bottle would work great in any active situation. I wish I had one of these in my military training days. I plan on purchasing a couple more.

Running in a Fishing Shirt
I honestly don't know why I've never tried this before. With the heat and the sun in the south, I just can't completely give-up using sunscreen. I put it on my tattoos to help keep the color lasting through the ages, and pretty much go without on the rest of my body, but I feel a tad guilty about it. Humans evolved many different ways to tackle the problem of sun exposure, or lack of as in the case of my European ancestry, and the modern chemicals in "SPF T-shirt" probably aren't doing me any good as they absorb into my skin. Even when I have a nice summer tan; I'm loaded up on bacon, butter, coconut oil, and tomatoes; this blond haired blue-eyed kid still gets a sunburn. Plus, tattoos have the unfortunate effect of heating up hotter and earlier than the rest of your skin, which I suspect has something to do with the Ink being made out of metal (probably not the healthiest choice, come to think of it). Sunscreen helps a little. The obvious recommendation is to get out of the sun or put on clothes. This hampers the running process.
Traditional cultures in hot environments wear loose fitting lightweight clothing that covers up exposed skin. Arab dessert cultures wear robes, Indians and Pakistanis wear loose pants and shirts, and the Tarahumara from the Copper Canyons of Mexico wear traditional blouses and loincloths when they run their great distance races though the mountains in extreme heat - just to think of a few. The Tarahumara are the inspiration for my fishing shirt run.
The Great Arnulfo Quimare
I was cooking in my skin on the first half of my run with my mind pumping away as it tends to do on runs, and I realized a fishing shirt is about as close to the traditional Tarahumara blouses as you can get without going an expedition to Old Mexico to acquire one. This is a shirt that is designed with sun protection in mind with a UPF30 advertised on the sleeve, and it's vented to allow for the breeze to flow through and still keep you in the shade. It's made of a lightweight synthetic material and is built for the movement required to cast. Seems like a perfect piece of running wear to me. I have looked at the UnderArmour heat gear before, but can't justify the price tag. My fishin' shirt was picked up at Gander Mountain for considerably less, and you can find them online. The big brand names creep up in price, but whatever.
This led me to wonder why the popularity of sun shirts aren't higher in the Ancestral heath and fitness circles. Vibrams, moccasins, running sandals are all picked up from the idea that our ancestors were right, and old ideas were merely improved (VFF's being the "improvement" to the human foot) why not traditional apparel? Runners are always making sure to have the newest technical gear to run in, but go out of the way to be minimal on their feet. Is traditional apparel the next untapped market? Time will tell. Maybe I will see more folks running in fishing shirts.

The Rugged Beauty of Swampy South Louisiana

Louisiana has a strange charm. It's downright sultry in the summer, with heat and humidity that would choke a ghecko; Reptiles, Arachnids, and Insects that live off your suffering and can certainly ruin your day abound; and the area has to deal with the occasional Category 5 hurricane that rolls through and knocks all the trailers off their pilings (they will put a double wide anywhere down here). However, over the course of the last two years I've grown very fond of life here, and the scenery is very beautiful when it wants to be. The sunrises and sunsets are spectactular, beside the heat, the weather is pretty awesome most of the year, and the fish and wildlife are pretty awesome. The people are the friendliest you'll ever meet, and the food culture is one of a kind.
I love getting off the road here and just running or hiking. I work very near the locations on Swamp People, and I can decipher the coon-ass dialect so well I don't need the subtitles on the show. Gators, Snakes, Spiders be damned. I still run trails. I do wait for the grass to be cut, and I have regular run-ins with fire ants, but so far I'm still higher on the food chain. I don't plan on changing my habits anytime soon.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Fasted Training

As I laced up my running shoes (first time since buying my VFF's) for a 5k on the gravel road, the lightning struck and the rain started falling. So I've been pacing around the crew trailer waiting for it to stop. There are squall lines in every direction today, so I was hoping to get my run in before it started storming again. I wanted to post a link to a guest post by Jason Fitzgerald this morning on Naturally Engineered I've been following David Csonka for a while now, and his blog is a great resource to all things Paleo and Fitness as well as a great place to start if you are just getting into all of this. Strength Running, likewise has been extremely helpful to me in improving my running ability. Both these guys know their stuff, and are talented bloggers who can really convey the information in a concise, understandable way.

Perfecting the Art of Fasting Before Running
The article deals with fasted-state running, and actively challenges the old adage that you need to carb load prior and during a run to perform well. If you are training for a race or race season Intermittent Fasting lets you work in a way to train your body to metabolize and store glucose in your muscles more efficiently. This definitely a must-read article.

In my own experience, I have switched almost entirely to fasted runs. I have not been putting in as many miles as a competitive runner, but rather supplementing my training, and maximizing the mind-clearing benefits of runs. I was starting to ratchet up my mileage before I started running in VFF's, but dialed it back down when I was breaking them in. I made up for the shorter distances with more frequent runs. It is very cathartic to just float along nearly barefoot, and I have to say it is mildly addictive when you are already into fitness. My already minimal (9mm heel drop) NB100's feel like cowboy boots compared to the KSO's. The only reason I am putting them on is I want to run on a gravel road, and gravel has been my arch nemesis lately. I really just want to run my old 5k on gravel just to get away.
I have not eaten a traditional breakfast in nearly a year, and now if I run with anything more than half a banana in my stomach I feel nauseated the entire run. Running with the fuel low light on has been nothing but a blessing to my runs. I get a nice little pulse of energy after the first mile that catapults me through the rest of the run. The only exception being on very high heat and humidity days where I'm just getting beat down by the elements. Most of the time fasting helps cool your body down as well, so the summers are a lot more bearable here in the deep south.
I have also completed many military fitness tests while fasted with my Navy PRT scores getting better, and my Search and Rescue Fitness Tests and Evals getting better. Swimming with anything in my stomach has generally been a bad idea anyway, due to the nausea and cramping associated. The Conventional Wisdom would be that an individual needs a large number of calories before during and after to fuel these workouts, but the opposite is true. I now perform better on an empty stomach than I do with even a light breakfast. Light breakfast being a powerbar or a piece of fruit. Now I fuel myself with a good cup (usually more) of French Pressed coffee, and at most a tiny piece of very dark chocolate to counteract the acid. Coffee and Chicory seems to provide the best results, as the chicory takes away the acid, and is high in magnesium.

The added benefits of increased insulin sensitivity, lower caloric load over time, and better fat metabolism, have all helped push me through plateaus in fitness and weight loss; and the "second wind" sometimes achieved gives the benefit of pushing through some grueling workouts leading to my better over-all conditioning. I am unsure as to this effect is from the release of liver glucose after gluconeogenesis from the previous night's protein, or if it is simply keto adaptation and the point at which the mitochondria switch over to burning ketone bodies (fat) as fuel. Either way, it has been intuitive to me to eat and work this way, so I will not be switching back.

If you are interested in learning more about Intermittent Fasting as a method, here are some very helpful links that I still follow on a regular basis:
Martin Berkhan at Lean Gains
Johnny at The Lean Saloon
Brad Pillon at Eat Stop Eat
Mike O'Donell at The IF Life
The Fast-5 Corporation

***I do want to state, that unless you have your diet really dialed in, and all the crap removed this will be a very difficult transition if this is something you are wanting to try out. A lifetime of poor dietary choices perpetuated by our consumerist society will not provide enough of the necessary nutrients for your body to run efficiently. Start with making REAL FOOD your primary source of fuel, so the need to snack on junk all day is eliminated. This is imperative. Fasting is intuitive once you can eat well enough to be able to skip a meal. Garbage in Garbage out. If you get light headed by dinner time after snacking all day, then it's time to reevaluate your food choices.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Not Everything in the South is Fried

Before reading this post, I recommend you click this link for some audio ambiance

There is a huge benefit to living near the water - SEAFOOD!

The biggest problem you run into in the South (capitol "S") is the heavy breading, and short cooking times in hot "trans-fat free" industrial oils ruining otherwise delicious fresh fare. I love oysters on the half shell, but for some reason, I can only find them battered, fried, and stuck on a po' boy bun around here, and shrimp tends to meet the same fate. Luckily, there is a culture of food down hyeah that isn't all about fried fried fried. Almost any seafood restaurant you go to, outside of a po' boy shop on the side of the road will have boiled seafood. Crabs, shrimp, crawfish are all still snappin' when they throw them in the pot, with a healthy portion of spices, corn, sometimes sausage, and red potatoes. it's only a few minutes, and you have a beautiful pot of spicy fish candy ready to be cracked open and shoved in your face!

If you've never had blue crab, then you are truly missing out on one of the best edible creatures on the planet. People think of crabs, and they think of crab legs imported from a cold and dangerous location somewhere near the arctic circle only to break open the shells and dip the meat in clarified butter. While all this is fine and dandy, since it gives us entertaining reality television on the discovery channel, it definitely isn't the most tasty crustacean swimming and crawling across the bottom of the Ocean. As anyone along the East and Gulf Coast knows, blue crab is fish candy! It's like swimming bacon!

Now you can buy peeled and de-veined shrimp already cooked, and you can buy jumbo lump crabmeat for $30/Lb, but why mess with all that, when you can peel or pick it yourself? The locals just grab and go start picking. It really is a lot better when you pick the meat off the shell instead of worrying about all the bread in a crab cake or devilled crab. It is such a nice change-up from the usual fried nasty, or the greasy burgers on most people's plates.
Here is a link to a video explaining how to pick your crab

Shrimping has just started again here, and word has it the boats are doing really well this season. I'm going to go look for a good deal on the side of the bayou. I love this stuff!