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?
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.5

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.