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 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!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Daddy's Silly Shoes

I finally joined the Vibram Five Fingers shoe club Sunday. I was putting off the inevitable, I suppose, as my running around barefoot eventually resulted in torn callouses on the bottom of my feet that I was unaware that I had. Apparently, years of wearing steel toed flight boots had left a few manageable callouses on my big toes and inside of the balls of my feet. My barefoot run on the road after a rain a few weeks ago resulted in tears on said callouses similar to tearing a callous whilst kipping pull-ups at a CrossFit gym. I guess I was just so in the moment on my little run, that i didn't realize I was toeing off too much. I had been sprinting in the grass for a while, and wanted to top off the workout with an extra mile mostly to test my feet on the road. It felt amazing to get out and run without my shoes. Such a freeing experience, and my form was effortless. I felt like I was floating.

I switched to the New Balance 100 almost 2 years ago, and still have the same pair. They are just now starting to show signs of wear after 2 years! The follow-up, the NB101 will be a purchase soon, but I may look into getting the 8mm drop cobbled out to a zero drop, or start cutting and filing the rubber down, Anton Krupicka style:

Skip to :53

Well here I am now. I Finally purchased a pair of the VFF's. Call me a late adopter. I am so late on the scene of barefoot footwear. Forgive me shoe hipsters. VFF's are sooo 2009. I just couldn't justify paying so much for something so ugly. They are so stupid looking, in fact, that my 18 month old little girl laughs and giggles at "Daddy's Silly Shoes." She doesn't have the verbal agility to make her words sound like mine, yet, but she sure has the tone down. She bushes and giggles as if to say: "Dada! those aren't shoes. They make your feet look like monkey feet!" Leave it to a toddler to bring things into perspective.

However, they have a very functional purpose. I have been trying to break these in slow, but it's difficult to not just take off on a jog everywhere. The standard recommendation is to cut your running volume to 10-20% of your normal distance for the first week, with a 10% increase each consecutive week. I spend as much time as possible barefoot, including on my workouts already, and I run in a fairly minimal shoe as it is. I've been focussing on my running form for over a year now on every run. I make sure to kick my shoes off and do barefoot sprints when i can, and i run barefoot on the beach quite a bit. I didn't think this wold be a painful transition. HOWEVER, the calf pain this first week has been painful. I cut my distance and speed down a lot, since it's impossible to go to a full 10% of 20 miles a week without riding in a wheelchair. I tested it out with my normal 5K on the road with the intent being to stop as soon as I felt any fatigue, and walk. I made it to the 2 mile mark lighter and faster than any other run I have had. I didn't even feel like I needed to stop at the 1.5 mile turn around. No lung cramps, extremely relaxed, It was hot and humid, but I just kept running. I stopped at 2 miles only because I was concerned about the break-in period. It hit all at once. One minute I was running free, feeling like Prefontaine (moustache and all), and then full stop the next. I walked back the next mile, and by the time i was back at my crew trailer I was feeling the tightness. I skipped the run the next day in favor of a bodyweight workout to push my weightloss protege through, and capped it off with a short jog to work on form. I was sore, but not to the point of barely being able to walk. The next day was a lifting day, and at one point I had to remove the shoes due to the cramping from wearing the shoes. Simply being barefoot was brutal, but it was worse with the shoes on.

Here is a video from RunBlogger showing the calf muscle contraction during a run with VFF's

This leads me to a conclusion: The VFF Break-in period isn't necessarily from the muscles in your feet being atrophied from years and years of being shod, but in my case at least, from the unatural position of the toes being held in more of a splayed position. While running unshod, your toes splay out and spread looking for ground. The big toe is the driver, and the little toes are the stabilizers. The VFF's facilitate the splaying out, but when you relax and try to grip the ground, there is a resistance. This puts the pinky toe in an awkward position, and the small muscles incorporated in the movement get worn out from having to hold the toes in a splayed position. The break in period is to acclimate your legs to this new dynamic.

Now it may be the case, that as the sole breaks in, my toes will be able to relax on the upstride. I haven't got that far yet,as this pair of KSO's only have about 4-5mi on them with some weight training and some tree climbing. It has to be said that so far, I am not unhappy with the purchase, and the shoes live up to the hype. I would like to give the ZEM360's a try as well, but that will have to be in the near future. I did get out today and run a "follow-the-leader" style circuit around the camp today, and afterward worked on my MovNat skills in the liveoak tree out in front of the crew trailer. After a rest day yesterday, my legs feel fresh and ready to go. So far, so good. I can say I will be wearing the shoes a lot in the future.

ALSO: I can say 2 more things slightly related. 1. I conquered a branch in the tree that I dubbed my "MovNat" branch. I have been using this branch to try and work on my natural movement sklls. I today, for the first time, went from a dead-hang in to the tree via a muscle-up, and then down over another branch. 2. I am definitely NOT too old to climb trees.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Summer in Ohio

Summer adventures are mostly over now, and it's back to the status quo. My little family unit traveled many many miles, braved storms, traffic, puke, poop, tantrums, random crack-heads, sleep deprivation, "heat", power outages, and still managed to be where we needed to be, and see who we were supposed to see. We traveled far and wide, but we returned safely, and have some great experiences to live with for a long time to come. I have to put up some links and some recommendations for places to visit if you are ever in Columbus, OH.

1. For the best cup of coffee you will ever have, you have to visit Luck Bros' Coffee House in Grandview. These guys really know their stuff, and my wife and I make a concerted effort to stop in there whenever we pass through. They do it all in the realms of coffee. There are tons of places Columbus has to offer, but I can't speak for them all since I haven't had a chance to see much of my old stomping grounds in the last ten years. But this place is the real deal. Also, there is a cute little park across the street, so if you have youngsters, you can get your coffee, and walk over to play.
2. For the most aamzing Ice Cream I have ever had, check out Jeni's Ice Cream. We bought a pint at the second stop in at Luck Bros' and I can only describe it as out-of-this-world good. I have had some decadent desserts, but nothing compared to this ice cream. To quote the master:
"Every day I’m surrounded by an ice cream-making crew of artists, writers, photographers, bakers, big-brain mathletes, travelers with omnivorous cultural appetites, and world-class experience gatherers."

"We create ice creams we fall madly in love with, that we want to bathe in, that make us see million-year-old stars. We devour it out of Mason jars, coffee mugs—whatever we can get our hands on. Handmade American ice cream = Bliss with a big B. Every single thing we put in our ice cream is legit. Generic chemist-built ice cream bases and powdered astronaut-friendly gelato mixes? No, ma’am. We build every recipe from the ground up with luscious, Snowville milk and cream from cows that eat grass. With that exquisite base, we explore pure flavor in whatever direction moves us at any moment, every day, all year."

Local Produce from my home state, hand-made artisanal products, grass-fed cows... Yeah. I'm in. And, they deliver!

3. I try to stop in Amish country whenever I can, and if you find yourself driving though Ohio, a small detour off the beaten path may be worth your while. There is a small country store just outside of Bellefontaine near theAmish settlement of Belle Center called the Country Variety Store and Bakery. When i was just a young pup, my grandmother would take me in there on the way home from Camp Wesley in the summer. Back then the refrigerators operated off of natural gas, and there were no lights. It's a little different now, but it's still the quaint country store it always was. I picked up a cute little hand-made rocking chair for my daughter, and some egg-noodles.

4. On a recommendation from family, we stopped in at Marie's Candies(!). I know this doesn't fit in with most of my principles, but they hand make all the chocolate in the basement of a converted train station, and the story behind the place is pretty cool. The chocolate was awesome, It was a special treat, and it even came with a warning at purchase "now this doens't have any preservatives or stabilizers in it, so keep it out of the sun or it will met in your car." They follow the same recipes that Marie herself made when she opened the shop when her husband came down with polio in 1941. The business started as a way to provide a living for the family. They have been in business since 1956, and you can take tours of the little old Train Depot where they make the chocolates today. This place is definitely worth a detour.

We stopped in Asheville, NC on the way back home to our little cottage by the sea. We made a point to go to Tupelo Honey Cafe for breakfast the next morning. This place is one of my favorite restaurants in the world. I'll let them speak for themselves. If you are ever in Asheville, stop in.

I did get to get a run in while there, and i have to say I underestimated the hills. I see more bridge runs in my future to compensate for the flatness of Florida and Louisiana. I saw enough of my old spots to miss them terribly, but Not enough to remember why I moved the hell away in the first place. Ohio in the summer and fall is one of the best places to be. It's the other parts of the year that can suck. What i miss most is the open spaces. I'm definitely a country boy at heart looking for a simpler life. I feel a strong connection to my family land that will never be broken. A little bit of the Blanchard River will always run through my veins, and I will always long for the clear skies and clean air of my childhood. I guess it must be a shift from my twenties to my thirties.

I would have posted more pictures, however we were so busy chasing a lightening fast toddler around, there weren't many pics actually taken; neither were videos. I suppose this is why family albums always seem to hit a lull when the babies get bigger. Once kids get mobile, they surely don't sit still for pictures. Especially when they are little adventurers like their daddy!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Summer Break

I have a lot of Summertime Daddy things to accomplish in the next couple of weeks, so I will not be writing anything. I will instead be grilling meat, enjoying time with my family, chasing my little girl around like a bear, and getting into some regular old neighborhood adventures. I'll be back in a few weeks.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

n=1; The Paleo-Libertarian Connection

"Society everywhere is in conspiracy against the manhood of every one of its members. Society is a joint-stock company, in which the members agree, for the better securing of his bread to each shareholder, to surrender the liberty and culture of the eater. The virtue in most request is conformity. Self-reliance is its aversion. It loves not realities and creators, but names and customs."
"Whoso would be a man must be a nonconformist."
Ralph Waldo Emerson - "Self Reliance"
"Any fool can make a rule, and any fool will mind it."
Henry David Thoreau

There is a deep seated vein of Libertarianism within the greater Paleo community. For a long time, I have been searching for the connection between the two. Paleo is about using an evolutionary approach to diet, health and wellness, and fitness. It has been around as a published diet in one form or another for over 40 years, but the most recent form has been more of a movement than one set of rules and guidelines that constitute a "diet" that one can start and stop at anytime. Paleo, while not being considered mainstream, is comprised of a network of bloggers, scientists, health professionals, and authors that all lend a unique voice to the greater "Paleo-sphere." The principles and guidelines are fluid, so as new information comes to light, studies published, and talking heads are refuted; the idealogy adapts to reflect the findings. This is a true grass-roots movement moving at the speed of the internet in the information age. The information is available to provide a solid framework for health and well-being as our peers and relatives are dying of the Diseases of Civilization or Syndrome X.

The Paleo Crowd is growing. It's doubling every year, as evidenced by the 2011 Paleo Community Survey. This is nearly a movement considered "radical" by some in the mainstream. When people start to do their own research into this way of living, eyes begin to open to a history of deception, bad business, legal roadblocks, and government SNAFU's all mired around the pseudoscience released shortly after WWII, and perpetuated by Large Media Outlets and US Government Bureaucracies. I liken it to falling down the rabbit hole, waking up in Oz, or taking the red pill; it's waking up to a painful reality. The Conventional Wisdom of the day, spread like manure by Big Pharma, Big Cola, Yum Foods, McDonalds, Disney, ConAgra, ADM, Monsanto, and the bureaucratic arms of the government (which are simply mercantilist policy makers that have revolving doors to the industries they govern. Conflict of interest, much?) are precisely why the US is getting fatter, less healthy, and has a lower life expectancy than previous generations. Medical care is supposedly better, but it really just keeps you in a perpetual state of sick and miserable, so you have to keep taking the drugs to treat symptoms while ignoring the cause. The same Conventional Wisdom is taught briefly in med school and flawed studies funded by the industries most benefiting are pushed as fact (pseudoscience). Our country gets sicker, and as we start to figure out how to fix it, the regulations are passed to stop it. The key is to look in ourselves.

One of the major tenets of the paleo paradigm is to "see what works" or "listen to your body" and adapt your personal plan around this. This is what is referred to as an experiment of one or n=1. n=1 is the ultimate expression of self-reliance. It makes no difference what others are doing. It makes no difference what the mandated government sponsored info-graphic of the day is, you will eat according to your biological make-up (this is exactly what the giant food producers are afraid of, and have been keen to react to because it pulls you away from the independence of subsidized grain; but that's another post). This is freedom. This is Liberty. When the shady practices of the mercantile government bureaucracies, reactionary politics, and the helplessness of the healthcare industry get your feathers all ruffled up, you start to see the logic behind Libertarianism. The government has no right to tell you what can and can't go in your mouth, what you need to do for exercise, or what you can do with your own private property. The Information Age has provided the opportunity for the little guy to actually see the bigger picture. This is a Renaissance, and all the information is at your fingertips. You can see the error of picking one of two sides. They are both wrong, and hamper the liberties of every individual in this nation. Laws are made, policies follow, and generally never go away. People complain and want to gubment to help them, but the road to the dark side of capitalism is paved with good intentions. Follow the money. The well being of the citizenry is not high on the priority list.

Maybe as time goes on, the tidal wave of sea change will influence the political landscape of this country. Right now we are seeing the result of the hippies and veterans of the Vietnam war all grown up, and in positions of power. The next generation (this one) can see the errors of the past and will strive to fix it. It is up to us to preserve the ideals laid out for us by our founding fathers. If the wake-up call for most people is through the food they eat, then so be it. I hope more people wake up. Do we need to have a brand name? To some extent, in this day and age, yes. You can only fight buzz words with more buzz words, soudbites with more soundbites, tweets with tweets and Facebook messages. Spread it around.
“First, they ignore you.
Then they laugh at you.
Then they fight you.
Then you win.”
Mahatma Ghandi

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Paleo Diet Infographic

For the Paleo crowd, I'm late on this, but I am posting this up for the people who are not associated with the Paleo community... Yet.

From Patrik, who brought the world PaleoHacks and
Here is the Paleo Diet Infographic:
Paleolithic Diet Explained
Learn more about the Paleo Diet.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Renaissance Plate: The Artist's Table from Emiko Davies

I found this little gem on Twitter today, posted by Lonely Planet from Emiko Davies a Citizen-of-the-World type travel and food blogger in Florence, Italy. The Artists Table details a few days in the life of the Italian artist Jacapo Pontormo in the spring of 1554, late in his life.

On the 11th of March 1554, on Sunday morning, I ate lunch with Bronzino—chicken and veal—and felt well (it is true that I was in bed when he came for me at home. It was quite late and upon getting up I felt swollen and full. It was a very beautiful day). In the evening I ate a bit of roasted dry meat which made me thirsty.
Monday evening I ate a cabbage and an omelet.
Tuesday evening I ate one half of the head of a kid and soup.
Wednesday evening I had the other half, fried, and a pretty big helping of zibibbo grapes, and 5 quattrini of bread, and capers in salad.
Thursday evening, a soup of good mutton and salad of goat’s beard.
Friday evening, salad of goat’s beard and two eggs in an omelet.
Saturday, fasted. Sunday evening, which was the evening of Palm Sunday, I ate a little boiled mutton and salad, and had to eat three quattrini of bread.
Monday evening after dinner I felt very lively and agreeable. I ate a salad of lettuce, a thin soup of good mutton and 4 quattrini of bread.
Tuesday evening I ate a salad of lettuce and an omelet.
Holy Wednesday: evening, 2 quattrini of almonds, and an omelet and some walnuts. And I did the figure that is above the head [of another figure]. The Duchess came to San Lorenzo; the Duke came, too.
Thursday evening, a salad of lettuce and some caviar, and one egg.
Friday evening an omelet with fava beans, and a bit of caviar and 4 quattrini of bread. Saturday I ate two eggs.
Sunday, which was Easter morning and the Feast of the Annunciation, I went to eat lunch with Bronzino. And I ate dinner there, too.
Monday evening I ate a salad that was of borage and a half-lemon, and 2 eggs in an omelet.
Tuesday evening I was all hoarse and ate a rosemary bread and an omelet and a salad and some dry figs.
Wednesday, fasted.
Thursday evening, a rosemary bread, an omelet of one egg and a salad and 4 quattrini of bread, in all.

The blog post touches on the foibles of Pontormo and his food log, interestingly enough considered neurotic and obsessive (hmmm). and some of the other interesting things of Florentine Renaissance life, but the most interesting thing I noticed, beside the minuscule amount of bread on his menu, was the fasting. He generally ate one modest meal a day with just enough to keep him going through until the next except for the occasion of a religious feast! This was a painter who spent his days painting into wet plaster, and staying active.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Karen Pendergrass: Vegetarian Chicken Rant

Karen Pendergrass is behind the Paleo Approved Label. Share this, forward it on, and maybe people will stop believing in all the Vegan propaganda.

Humans are omnivores too.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Burning Rubber

You got tires? I got tires.

15yd tractor tire flip
15 push-ups with feet on tire
15yd tire flip
10 back extensions
10 GHD sit-ups
10 Chest to Bar pull-ups
20 sledgehammer tire slams (10 each side

5 rounds AFAP w/20# vest

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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

My Day Job

This is a video of the Crew of Cougar 61 training at the BP West Sirius. The crew did a great job with the video. This is an awesome view of us getting it done. If we can't land on a rig, and there is medical emergency, this is how you get picked up to go to the hospital. This is why we train.

I was asked once why I train. I want to be conditioned for the rigors of the job. It is also fun. Functional fitness keeps me ready for anything life can throw at me.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

I speak a lot about family here on Every Day a New Adventure. Fatherhood is truly the greatest adventure I have ever been on, and it just keeps getting more exciting everyday. However, I couldn't do this without the support of my beautiful wife, the mother of my beautiful daughter. She is truly amazing, and I can't be more happy she is the Mother of my child. While daddy is out trying to make a living, she is there making sure little one grows up healthy, happy, strong, well-rounded, beautiful little girl. She does the hard work with little in return. She's changed diapers, kissed booboos, nursed and cared for, protected, and guided little one through everything this life has shown her; and will be there for the rest. Today is just a way to show the world honors you for all the hard work, tears, and joy you have put in it. I love you, and look forward to all the adventures we will have in the years to come.

I know now how hard my mother worked to keep myself and my brothers well. She was there for the bumps, bruises, breaks, grass stains, muddy footprints, bloody noses, tears, and laughter. She was there when things were tough, and never let us know about it. She was there keeping us safe, or bailing us out of trouble. She was there cheering us on around the turns of the track, rounding the bases, kicking soccer balls, drumming in band competitions; and she gasped in fright every time a pole vault attempt went the wrong direction and missed the pit. She with my dad were responsible for my brothers and I even when we didn't know it, or were trying so desperately to grow up. Thank you, Mom, for keeping me from hurting myself, others, from getting into too much trouble, and for just being my Mom. You have taught me so much, and I have everything in the world to thank you for. I love you.

To all the mothers out there. Thank you for all that you do. The work you put in and neverget credit for is noticed. The world doesn't run without you. Thank you.

Thursday, May 5, 2011


Just before Christmas, I re-sprained my ankle. This tendency to happen is going to be with me for the rest of my life, and i have to be prepared to not only know my limits, but to be able to strengthen it back up if it happens. It caught me by surprise, and I thought I was strong enough for it not to happen. I was wrong.

But, 4 months and some change later, I am back to normal. Hell, I am past normal. I set a new Personal Record on the deadlift at 424Lbs. (silly metric weights). Last month I scored the highest I scored on the Navy Physical Readiness test since I was 20 and there was a Marine adding extra push-ups to my score. All of these fasted, for the record. I would venture to say I am better.

I set goals of self improvement. I still have a long way to go with the gymnastics and bodyweight training, but I notice a difference the more I train, and the more fat I lose. I set a goal weight at 190 Lbs back when my hungover bloated ass decided i was getting too fat. I have since passed that original goal only to see that I have farther to go. I am not wasting away. I am not losing muscle. I am simply losing fat. I bought new jeans only to find that two weeks later, they don't fit. I went down a jacket size, and my suits don't fit. These were all things that fit great when I was at what I thought was a good weight at 200, but now i look at pics of me at 200, and I can see the difference. I know this isn't a lot of weight, but the differences in my face and waistline show the truth! I thought i was genetically predispositioned for corpulence, but I figured it out. Genetics be damned!

In other news, Osama Bin Laden is Dead. Nothing has changed. We are still fighting wars all over creation, bleeding ourselves dry with poor economic and foreign policy, living and dying under a bureaucracy that subscribes to no one's politics while watching the yellow journalism on cable blaming the president. I hated that piece of shit as much as anyone out there, and that bastard is directly responsible for the most heinous acts of our time, but doe sit matter whether he is dead or alive? No.
I found this piece the other day. / Between war, stifling economic poliy, natural disasters, and the 24/7 sensationalism of it all, Are we winning?

I am currently devouring Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond. This book is a real eye opener in terms of the rise of civilizations and the uneven distribution of the world's power. There are so many questions that spin off of it, I won't go into until after I read the book. It's very amazing in it's scope and thoughtfulness. I suppose that's why it won a Pulitzer.

I hope to recover from my slump on the blogging. I have been torn lately with all the cognitive dissonance within the Paleo movement lately. I almost want to stop using the term. It's really just a brand after all, and I suppose a brand is necessary in today's world.

Anyway, Here is some awesome music.

Local Natives | Who Knows Who Cares | A Take Away Show from La Blogotheque on Vimeo.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Robb Wolf: Sh*t Fox News Says

As is usual, Robb Wolf says what I'm thinking much more eloquently. I usually agree with Stossel on a lot of issues, but this just shows you have to trust but verify.
Sh*t Fox News Says

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Updates Coming Soon

Updates are coming soon. I have been too busy to put together a good post.

The weather has been nearly perfect, and a nice little visit from family have made the idea of a blog far from my thoughts. I get to play Navy quite a bit coming up, so it may be a week before i can get all these thoughts lined up together. Family, beaches, fishing, weddings, the Reserves, springtime, and Beaches (did I already mention the beach?) make for great reasons to get out of the house and away from the blog. I will return when I can.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Louisiana Saturday Night

Twist the tail, peel the tail, pinch the head and suck the fat, eat the tail meat. Sip frosty cold adult beverage. Repeat.

this was about 5 pounds for round 1

The best part about the Louisiana Cajun culture is most definitely the Crawfish. Every spring the mudbugs start getting big, and the rice ponds are filled with the suckers. It blows me away how many are in a sack, and we boiled two sacks or 72 pounds worth of crustaceans. I don't know the chef's personal recipe, and he wouldn't tell me if I asked, but I know it was awesome. The smell of a pot of boiling crawfish is like nothing else, and once you smell it, you will say the same. The closest thing i can think of is lobster. Crawfish, however, are more tender and there is the "fat" in the head. The real cajuns and folks in the know will suck the head, and maybe even give a little pinch to extract the flavor. If they are big enough you may even be able to get some meat out of the claws. Down here people don't look at you sideways if you shove your pinky finger into the head and pull out the fat, either.

Round 1. We could only boil so many at a time!

I am spreading the word about the Paleo movement one belly at a time. I know the seasonings that go into a boil may be considered off limits, and some of the paleo reenacting purists could get on my case about this, but honestly this is one of the most traditional and most primal meals in Cajun culture. Crawfish were a meal handed down by the Attakapa and Chitimacha Natives to the first Acadian settlers when they immigrated to the area in the middle part of the 18th century after the French and Indian War. These little guys are mostly shell, and what meat is there is delicious and nutritious. It takes about 5 or 6 pounds of crawfish to make a pound of tail meat, and each ounce of that meat according to, leaves you with 15g of protein and plenty of zinc to keep your pirogue in the water. A pirogue is a boat not a potato dumpling in case you were curious.

Either you hate 'em or you love 'em, but I know I love dem bugs.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Fresh Kill Like a Boss

Richard Nikoley at Free The Animal posted this. I love the camera angle when the three hunters stand up and stroll up to the lion pride like a boss. No fear. They just casually and confidently walk up top hundreds of bloody teeth waiting to tear into some flesh. I mean, what's a little twig of a human to a lion compared to a wildebeast? It's like the primal version of Office Space. "I can't say I've been missing work, !gembeh" Absolutely brilliant. This is what human is. We are the Top tier of the food chain.

Is it bad that I start thinking of ways to cook a Wildebeast shank? I wonder if they smoke the hock to throw in with some cassava? Do they have tony Chacherere's in Africa?

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Mega Dinner

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I have been working out hard again now that the weather isn't nasty, and my ankle is getting back to normal. I haven't been blogging as much lately for more excuses than i can think, but I am here now. Yesterday was the first time in a long time that I can honestly say I was really hungry. I made homemade veggie soup for dinner, and i could Just. Not. Get. Enough. I ate soup until it was coming out of my ears, and then had another bowl. I was full, but still hungry. When I woke up this morning, I knew it was a legitimate hunger, and not just the occasional morning empty that passes after the first sniff of coffee. Luckily, there was a banana pancake waiting for me and a cup of coffee! My trailer mate had extra bananas and threw together a paleo pancake on accident. Basically: mash-up two ripe bananas, a whole egg, and some nut butter into a batter, and fry in butter. These were so good, and blew away any attempt at a paleo pancake I have ever tried before. Dumb luck.

After a hard workout at noontime, I was STARVING. Legitimate, depletion of bodily needs hunger. I checked (with a ketostick), and I was still in ketosis even after breaking a fast earlier in the day. I had planned on eating ad libitum today after last night, so it worked out, but I downed 3 eggs and a whole ham steak! By three in the afternoon the headaches started kicking in, and I was already hungry again, so I could tell I needed some starches. I ate an avocado.

It was dinner time shortly after, so I made this feast: I had a giant ribeye with the bone on, a boat-load of broccoli and some roasted vegetable medley. It was a dinner of such epic proportions so as to not be contained by one single plate. The steak covered one plate on it's own merit. I usually only eat like this on holidays. The only thing I would have added was a glass of wine, but unfortunately on call, I am unable to imbibe.

I will make an observation on fasting with a Paleo diet. You HAVE to make sure you can listen to your body to interpret your caloric and dietary needs. Eat when you are hungry, but don't when you are not. If you are lacking in something suck as Iron or Magnesium, or Potassium your body will tell you. I know when I start getting serious headaches that don't go away, I NEED starch to replenish my glucose reserves. If I eat something sweet I just feel like ass anyway, so this is where rice and root vegetables come in. Rice has never given me problems, so i never omitted it completely; but potatoes I use VERY sparingly. I limit them to rare occasions and never eat them alone. I always throw in some fat and usually other veggies.

With fasting most days, I have managed to curb my issue with boredom eating, push past the plateau at 200Lbs, and really figure out what works for me. The more I drop, the better I feel and perform. I also have had to adjust as i get lower in Bodyfat. I attribute this to having less of a store to draw from. When I was 230 and 20%BF, I could stand to have a few nutritious meals derived of my own bodyfat stores. I wish I knew the physiology of ketosis prior to then, but that's all hindsight being perfect and all. I still try to stay pretty low on the carb scale most of the time, and I use the headaches as a guide as to when I need to refill the tank. I passed my weight goal, but it was based on my bad math skills trying to figure out my lean body mass, and my body fat percentage still isn't where I would like it to be. I also want to push it a little to see how far this method takes me. I could look as good as I did after graduating from SAR school when I was 20 years old. That is pretty cool.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Ulysses in Iceland

Ulysses from Christopher Herwig on Vimeo.

a poem by Alfred Lord Tennyson recited by Alastair Humphreys while crossing Iceland by foot and raft in July 2010

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

I've Been Missing

I haven't put up a post in a little while. A little cutie I know just turned 1 year old, and I have been completely absorbed in daddy mode.

I honestly can't believe it's really been a year. It feels like just last week she was a little baby burrito swaddled in my arms, and now she's walking and talking. Time goes so fast, and even faster when you travel, and faster still when you have a baby. This being a daddy thing is truly my greatest adventure, and I can't say anything would top it. She's already as fearless as Daddy, so I can't wait until we can go on little adventures together! This summer will be spent at the beach and running through the nature park. I can't wait.

Happy Birthday DB.

Grilled Beet, Fennel, and Jazz Apple

Beets. My extent of beets has up until this point been limited to Pickled beets, and the eggs pickled in the beet juice after the beets had been consumed. I can't say I had much of an opinion on them, other than they remind me of my boyhood in Ohio, and the black dirt from our gardens that give them the earthy goodness. Beets were truly a staple around the family, but I was too young to have developed the complex palate for them. My father and brother have been talking about how good roasted beets are recently, so I of course had to pick some up at the commissary. Adventures in fine dining, and grill mastery experimentation are a welcome experience in my little household. I have to say this turned out better than expected.

Grilled Country Style Ribs in Orange Marinade, Roasted Beets and Grilled Fennel with Grilled Apple. There was a homemade beef broth mushroom soup for a first course.

This turned out so much better than I expected it to. The pork shoulder is pretty fire (no pun intended) and forget, and always a crowd pleaser. The shoulder cut is so deliciously marbled with pork fat, and the charcoal grill does a terrific job of searing and caramelizing the outside, so you have a tender, juicy hunk of delicious pork. A simple marinade and some time over the coals, and you have a big chunk of awesome. The Beet dish was truly a wonder. I had never cooked with either beets or fennel before, and didn't really know what to expect. Fennel was one of those foreign vegetables that I had on my list to try, but never got around to. I highly recommend this dish to anyone who wants to impress a dinner party, or needs something cheep and moderately simple to bring to a pot-luck picnic or family function. It works well warm, but would be just as great as a cold salad. If you serve it cold, I would suggest adding walnuts or pecans to even out the texture and give it a bit more crunch. It's also a beautiful dish to serve if you are wanting for color on the plate. There is nothing like the color that pours out of roasted beets. A natural magenta that stains your hands, it leaves streaks of red all through the fennel and apples. The picture doesn't do it justice. It's truly food art if you give it a chance. The sweetness of the apple, the subtle anise cabbage-like flavor of the fennel, and the complex, earthy-sweet of the beets all stand alone on their own merit, but the trio is a concerto of flavor on your palate. Try this one out!

Here are my recipes:

Beet, Fennel, Apple salad
3 Beets with tops removed
1 Large Fennel Bulb
1 Large Sweet apple (I used a Jazz Apple)
Sea Salt
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
White Wine vinegar
1/3 cup Beef Stock

Prepare the beets: Roast beets in a foil packet on grill 30 minutes on each side or until tender through. After roasting, peel beets, and slice thin.
Prepare Fennel: Remove top and root of fennel bulb. Slice in 1/4 inch slices, and coat with white wine vinegar and olive oil with salt. Grill fennel on each side until seared. Remove from grill and place in saute pan with a dash of vinegar and Beef stock. Salt to taste, and saute until softened and separate pieces of fennel.
Slice fennel core into thin slices as well.
Prepare apple: peel, core, and halve the apple. Grill on the core side until carmelized. The sweeter the apple, the more caramelized the apple gets. Remove from grill and cut into small cubes.

Combine all the ingredients together in a large serving bowl. Salt to taste and drizzle with EVOO and White Wine Vinegar.

If anyone wants to duplicate this recipe and take better pictures of it, please post them! I never plan on making food posts until after I have eaten half of the dish, and the light in the room is too low for a quality pic.

Citrus Marinade Pork Country Style Ribs
Pork Country Style Ribs/ Pork Shoulder
3 Cups Orange juice
1/4 cup Spicy Brown Mustard
3 Cloves Garlic
1/2 Medium Onion
honey (optional)
4 TBS Cajun Seasoning
Hot Sauce to taste (I like Iguana Radioactice pepper sauce)

Combine ingredients in gallon zip-lock bag, and let stand in refrigerator for a minimum of 3 hours, but preferably overnight. Grill. Let rest. Serve. Yum.

Pork is so tasty and simple. Pair it with any good vegetable, and you can't go wrong.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Hunting Morels from the Perennial Plate

One of my favorite meals of all time was from my childhood. Cast-Iron Morel Mushrooms in Butter over steak... in the woods, on a camp-stove, with my dad on a turkey hunting trip in the hills of Pike County, Ohio. We spent the day walking the hills in the forest looking for turkeys, and found a good patch of morels along the way! We filled our pockets and a hat with them, and continued on.

We used to go specifically Mushroom Hunting around the woods around the family land on the Blanchard River as a little kid. I would be following my dad or grandfather along the railroad and down into the woods, usually finding more briars and burrs than mushrooms, but being 3 ft tall did help with the view, however. We would find enough to cook for dinner, and that would be enough. Sometimes we would find enough for gifts to relatives or to eat later. More often than not they didn't last longer than that evening. It was a rare and special occasion.

Being a young kid, I didn't have the evolved tastebuds yet, and didn't like the flavor of the mushroom. It probably had more to do with their alien landscape appearance, and pungent aroma than flavor, but I didn't really give them a chance. By the time I was older and we went hunting for turkeys, I had developed a bit more refined taste. I was hesitant, but the smell of the butter in the pan with the perfume of those morels was amazing. Paired with some local steak medalions from a little store down the road seared in the same pan, in the same butter, and topped with those mushrooms.... devine. The scenery, the day, the chill in the air as the sun set on the other side of the hill, the fog rolling in from over the crest of the ridge across the lake. It was truly a unique and amazing experience. Nothing fancy, no extras, no tablecloths. It was perfect.

I've been addicted to The Perennial Plate series of episodes lately, about Chef Daniel Klein in Minneapolis who creates the adventure of sustainably sourcing his food to show the viewer the appreciation for where our food comes from. It's incredibly enlightening, and insightful with weekly episodes chronicling his adventures in food. Episode 7 specifically, is about the sourcing of Morel mushrooms, and subsequently what led me to reminisce about the hunting trip with my father in the woods and one of my favorite meals of all time.

The Perennial Plate Episode 7: Hunting Morel Mushrooms from Daniel Klein on Vimeo.

I'm in the process of starting from the beginning and watching every single episode in order. I would recommend the same!

Thursday, January 27, 2011


I'm trying to figure out how to work this into a competitive sport, but until then my dog, Trash-can Trailer Betty Duuuvall skate around the neighborhood when we can. She enjoys grabbing the leash with her mouth and pulling me through the streets on my Gravity Board, and I pilot us safely - avoiding automobiles, bicycles, other dogs, rough pavement, and heeding to all applicable traffic laws.

Dog-Boarding from Mike Fout on Vimeo.

We have been known to speed upwards of 24MPH on level street with good pavement. I like to throw in some check slides and deep turns to keep my Gravity Board skills relevant. There aren't a lot of hills to bomb in North Florida. I enjoy wakeboarding and surfing, so being pulled behind a canine at equivalent speeds is the logical progression when there are no waves, boats, and your dog needs some exercise. She nearly knocks through the garage door loony-tunes style when I put on my shoes and grab my board. It takes no effort in getting her to run and pull me. She is half boxer, so her energy level is through the roof. Normal backyard exercise is not nearly enough to keep her from going nuts. Skating around the neighborhood is her favorite.

If you are ever cruising through Atlantic Beach, FL; please don't hit us.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Quick, While the Little Ladies are Napping!!!

I haven't been as diligent with my writing lately. My time off work is actually busier than time on, what with Navy Reserve duty, Family stuff, Date night, and the quality time I spend with my little girl and her momma, I don't even think about this thing all that much. Sorry, Blog. You're just a hobby.

A small update: My weight loss continues! I am at 195Lbs. and this would add up to 35lbs. Lost over the course of the last year. I know it's not a large figure, but I have been more recomposition oriented than weight anyway. My lean Body Mass has increased, and my bodyfat% has gone down. I have hit the last notch on a belt I have had for years! The jeans I bought at Christmas to fit are now too big. I'll take that and run with it.

It's definitely becoming apparent on the outside too, as I have gotten comments on how I have trimmed down as well. I had a conversation with a friend who is also trimming down about how the appearances make a difference. Our "new skinny is our old fat" and it feels good to be noticed, but it's kind of a wake-up that you really did get fat. I never got to the point of obesity, but it was definitely not where i wanted to be. I feel great eating this way, and I am stronger, leaner, and faster so I don't see any changes in the near future. In fact, I had a momentary lapse of reason after "date night" Sunday when we went out for mexican (hurt us both) and the Drive-By Truckers show at the Freebird in Jax Beach. We spent all of Monday indoors recovering, and I slipped. We ordered pizza. I felt so dirty. LOL.

The biggest thing is this: As you reach your goals it is easier to justify a little cheat here and there. Use the negative impact it has yon your immediate feeling to remind yourself that it makes you feel like dogshit, so you don't do it again for a very long time. Alcohol used to be a major player in my recreational time. I still enjoy a few drinks, but I have to be more careful now. The fact that I turned myself into a lightweight is one factor, but the hangover is the real devil. My resolve is gone when it comes to recovery. I know a great big steak and brussel sprouts would be the thing to get me back to normal, but I end up eating a giant bacon cheeseburger (with the bun) or a whole thin-crust pizza by myself. I of course feel even worse after eating this, and it takes a few days to straighten back out. Food hangovers are worse than booze hangovers. I think they always were, but I could never tell the difference.

Now I want to use my mistakes as a lesson for anyone else getting into this lifestyle. It's not a huge thing to throw in a few cheat meals every once in a while, but just be smart about it. If you are going to pig out on Dominoes and beer, Just add a long fast in before hand, and try and eat well the next day. Use how bad you feel to enforce the good habits. You end up minimizing your indulgences over time just based on how you feel. I knew Mexican and rock and roll were going to mess me up, but I didn't anticipate the Hangover and the binge that came with it. You can sweat little things like nitrites in Bacon or the Omega-6 Content in Conventional beef, but the fact of the matter is, there is more pollution from a night out on the town than a whole year of eating Walmart Steak. Just plan for it.

On another note... My little girl has been getting more and more mobile lately. I am experimenting with a vimeo account, so hopefully there will be audio/visual excitement on my blog in the near future.

She just started truly walking last week.

DB Walks from Mike Fout on Vimeo.

Blueberries faked in cereals, muffins, bagels and other food products - Food Investigations -

Blueberries faked in cereals, muffins, bagels and other food products - Food Investigations -

Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Importance of Decompression

When you live and work in the same place, whether it is on a ship at sea, in a forward operating base in Jihadistan, on an oil rig, logging, in a helicopter camp, any number of various situations; you find yourself getting burnt out on the same places and faces. A low level of stress tends to build over time, and at times you get the full on "bored to tears" mentality. Some of my best writing has been owed to black coffee, isolation, and boredom. Everyone has their own coping mechanism -- mine happens to be fitness. I relieve my stress by working out everyday. I love sledgehammer slams to get out aggression, and muscle-ups for greasing the groove. I have a set of rings in a live oak outside the trailer I sleep in while on shift. When i need a breath or two of fresh air, I go outside and do a couple of muscle-ups. Sometimes I'll throw in some L-dips in there too. Pull-ups on our home-built bar are a good time killer as well. I have attained my goal of being able to do bar muscle-ups as well, but they are harder on my hands than on the rings. The best decompression exercise -- the great equalizer -- however, is running. I try not to over do the running, but sometimes the best way to "get away" without going far is to just go for a run. Last year I started incorporating weighted Mile runs into my warm-ups, and the occasional 5k run, but it has turned into something I look forward to. When my shift starts hitting day 10, I am about to lose my mind, and I need a good reason to get away from the camp for a little while, a quick run is the best prescription.
Now I'm not one to spend hours upon hours running, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with getting out and spending a chunk of the day out stretching the legs. I usually stay less than 4 miles, but only because i get bored. If I had a longer trail here, I probably would go longer. I just get bored. I also love throwing in sprints and plyometrics into the workouts. Power skips are a great power exercise as a warm-up or full out workout. I wish I had rediscovered them sooner.

This was of course until just before Christmas, when I was out warming up for a workout and rolled my ankle. I felt two pops and had the shooting pain, all too familiar from my first sprain. I guess it was colder than normal, and I landed just awkward enough to roll it. Not good. I fought through the pain, and tried to keep it moving - partly to make sure it wasn't broken, and partly to keep it from seizing up. I just grit my teeth and hobbled the 200 yards back to the trailer. I immediately took 4 ibuprofen, some fish oil (for the anti-inflammatory effect) and threw some ice in a bucket. Within an hour it looked like this:
From Drop Box


The point of this story is that I have been in the process of rehabbing this bum joint back to a strong workable joint that I can rely on to get me from point A to point B without too much pain. So far it's working pretty well, and my hopes of retaining or improving the range of motion from after the initial sprain is pretty close to a reality. After the first time I sprained it, I was just out of the Navy, without insurance, and working in a warehouse where i was on my feet most of the day. It healed, but took a long time, and had no formal rehab to help it along. Ironically, the sprain is what led me to this path of constant improvement, and crossfit, Paleo, Health, etc. This time I have learned from my mistakes, and I want to strengthen and improve my ankle, not only to minimize further injury, but to get back to a point where I can run again. I finally learned to love running, and now I can't do it!!!! What kind of karmic shit is this!?

This has been the most difficult part of all this. With my diet being clean, my self experimentations and rehab, and constant attention the re-hab is going extremely well, and I have progressed rapidly over the last month. I learned after the first sprain, that to properly re-hab the sucker, you have to let it hurt. Sprained ankles are torn ligaments, and because they are so dynamic and very bony, they are prone to scar. The scarring is what leads to loss of mobility and ROM. When attempting to regain mobility through stretching and strength exercise, this scar tissue tears away, and... HURTS. If I would have known this the first time, I would have been back to normal in two or three months, but it ended up taking 6+. It has been 3 weeks, and I am almost back to where i need to be. I stretch it constantly, and I stay active. I have been able to ditch the support brace after 2 weeks, and I have started balance exercises again. The swelling is gone for the most part unless i really torque it. I have to occasionally ice it after a good day. I have been making sure to walk as far as I can every few days, and I can still squat and deadlift, so I throw those in. A good three or four mile hike with a weight vest on is a good low impact adventure to try and clear my head. Yesterday I had a chance to get off road and walk on the levee, and feel like I was out in the woods. I took the camp dog Cracky with me. She had a blast.

I will not be crippled. I just can't run yet. It feels like there is damage inside the joint somewhere, and I am hesitant on pushing it. The impact forces just aren't feeling very awesome. It's awesome to get out and take a hike. I feel great when i wear the 50Lb. vest, but it's just. not. the. same. I need to be able to run. Walking is ok, but i am too alone with my thoughts.

Any recommendations for increased healing times and re-hab ideas are welcome. Please comment.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Levee Swamp Hike

Hike by the canal. How's that for rehab?
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4 Miles off road with a 50Lb.Vest is a perfect way to get "out of the zoo." The softer ground was more forgiving on my ankle. Also: admire my awesome Beard. Don't be too jealous.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Gary Taubes on the Brian Lehrer Radio Show

Good Calories, Bad Calories was the book that stoked the fires for me with my search for the correct dietary approach. He has SO much information, and is very adept at putting it on paper and in context within the frames of a book. He is however hard to listen to in an interview. Every interview I see with him, he is treated like an outsider quack. He gets so wrapped up in the data, that he isn't persuasive. The information in his books are truly stand alone, and I think that is what made Good Calories, Bad Calories so influential. The research has been done, the common knowledge of our great grandparents has faded; but the establishment of Time magazine and the McGovern Commission has cemented the dogmas of Low-Fat-19meals-a-day-weightwatchers-marieosmond CRAP into the zeitgeist of the weight loss industry, and we are getting fatter because of it. The biggest hurdle is getting people to pull their head out of Jillian Michael's booty hole, put down their diet coke and wise up. The main stream will find his work eventually, I suppose.

Taubes' New Book Why We Get Fat: And What To Do About It is on the shelves, and I have mine on order.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Suddenly Music

I haven't posted enough music in this thing lately. I love the simplicity of this recording and the video. True songwriting should be able to stand on it's own merit, and this song exemplifies that. With nothing but a guitar, an autoharp, barefeet on a wooden floor, natural acoustics and human voices this song manages to blow me away.

Plants and Animals - A Take Away Show - Bye Bye Bye from La Blogotheque on Vimeo.

Check out the rest of the Take Away Shows from La Blogotheque, and you can see and here these bands playing their music completely stripped down, and not produced. I love it.

Expectations For 2011

I make a point NOT to make Resolutions at the New Year. I work better with goals in mind, rather than a half-hearted attempt at resolving to change something that needed to be changed in the first place. It has never been a good source of motivation for me, and from observation, not many others. I want to set a few goals in this post, but not exclusive fitness goals. I want to be a more consistent writer. My posts have been sparse lately, and I only have myself to blame. I find that when I have an actual person to listen to me rant and rave, I tend to get out what's bugging me, thereby negating the desire to write it all down. This is unfair to my readers, even if it is still a small number. I would like to get my traffic up.

I know there are hacks to drive more traffic through social media, but I had to put that crack pipe down for a little while. Facebook had become a holding tank for all the BS I don't like about the human race in general, and I had to give it up. I would prefer to see my friends in person rather than online. I have tossed around the idea of twitter strictly for traffic to this site, but meh. I just don't want to mess with it. If this keeps my traffic lower than it needs to be, then so be it. I have only put a few decent pieces on here in the last few months anyway. If I was writing things worth sharing, I feel like it would stand on it's own feet. The blame is on me. I need to be a more diligent blogger.

I am interested in seeing what other bloggers out there use for motivation in getting their posts up. I read a lot of extremely good blogs out there that seem effortless, yet full of outstanding content and opinions. My link list is too short to hold everything i read on a daily basis. I try to post the best of the best (in my opininon) whenever I come across it. There is so much inspiration out there. Richard Nikoley and his blog Free the Animal has been a huge inspiration and motivator, and one of the loudest voices in the Paleo community. Likewise, Melissa Urban, who wrote the Urban Gets Diesel blog, and evolved it into a business and HUGELY influential program in the communtiy at the Whole9. As a blogger (did I just say that?), these two have been the most influential.

I do not want to be a parrot. I don't want to be the kind of writer that just takes someone else's Idea and redoes it in my voice. Every time I read a dark chocolate review, I want to throw up -- my coffee and dark chocolate. Whenever I see the Banksy picture of a Neanderthal holding McDonalds again I just want to stick a butter knife in my eye. It's been done to death. I used to post recipes, but honestly, there are enough Paleo and Primal cookbooks out there that my recipes are just drops in the bucket. It's extremely easy to cook Paleo foods. Just don't use flour, sugar, corn, rice, soy, canola, or feces. Especially the feces. No one wants that in their food. I could post workout advice, but I am not a personal trainer, I am not a crossfit trainer. Does that make my opinion less valid? No. It's just an opinion. I am at a loss. Where am I supposed to take this little blog?

Here is my Goal: Write more. It doesn't even need to be anything all that grandiose, or anything with a limited scope. I am Paleo, I workout, I travel, I am a dad, I play and listen to music. I have a multitude of topics to cover, so I just need to cover them. I am still burned out on social media, so if you like something i write, do a guy a solid and link to it every so often. If it sucks, tell me. I respond to criticism. I love getting comments. Drop one. I will do my best to stay caffeinated motivated, and fresh words falling into my laptop. The more I voice my ideas, the better I get at implementing plans.