Tuesday, June 26, 2012

My Ten Rules for Getting and Staying Fit

1)    Do not diet - a good lifestyle leads to good health, a short-term fix to failure.
2)    Eat in Abundance: Meat, Poultry, Fish, Eggs, and Green Vegetables.
3)    Eat in Moderation:  Fruits/Berries, Nuts, Seeds, Root Vegetables, Dairy, and Oils.
4)    Avoid: Sugars, Grains, and Alcohol.
5)    Cook From Scratch: Restaurant and Processed Meals are hazardous to your health.
6)    Walk, Bike, Run, Swim:  3-5  times each week.
7)    Cross Train: 2-3 Times each week - diverse work-outs using lift, push, pull, jump, punch, throw, balance, stretch exercise variations.
8)    Absorb Natural Sunlight: spend up to an hour outdoors each day.
9)    Stimulate Growth Hormone: Get lots of Deep Sleep (consistent pattern of 8 hours every night), Lift Heavy Weights, and Fast Intermittently.
10)    Embrace Manual Labor:  Incorporate Exercise into Daily Routine - Bike to Work, Walk to Store, Do Your Own Yard Work, Use Hands Tools, Dig Garden by Hand.

People often ask me how I keep in shape, what do I do. Well, here it is. I can write a full chapter, maybe more, on each of these rules. For now, I just wanted to spell it out.

Often, when asked, I don't always give a complete explanation. Diet/Fitness seem to me to be like Politics and Religion - everyone one has an opinion on the subject, they are often ill-informed and loosely based on fact and/or logic, and they are near impossible to change. Not to mention, the emotional and potentially hostile response one might get. My guess is that to most people - those immersed in the mainstream, commonly accepted way of 21st Century life - my lifestyle may seem a bit extreme, or inconvenient. I can say with full confidence, having lived it for years, that it is not. My health-based lifestyle strives to mirror those of my ancestors whenever possible and practical. So, if it seems to differ, be extreme or "weird", that is a recent phenomenon. Countless centuries past and, more importantly, what my DNA expects, is much more consistent with my lifestyle.  

Instead, the issue is one of mindset. If you can't think outside the box, then you can't eat or exercise outside the box either. And, like so many others in that category, you will struggle with your health for the rest of your life.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Peppers and Eggs

My Italian grandmother knew more about diet and nutrition than most mainstream dietitians and fitness gurus today. Contrary to popular stereotypes, she did not eat pasta every day. Instead, she built her meals around meats, fish, eggs, vegetables, fruits, and dairy (esp lots of yummy cheeses), buying them fresh and daily at the market. One dish she loved to make when she got a nice batch of peppers was "peppers and eggs". She'd fry the fresh peppers in Extra Virgin Oil Olive, imported always from Italia, and then mix in the scrambled eggs, yokes and all. Salt and pepper to taste. It you prefer, grate some fresh Romano cheese on top right before eating. 

That's it - simple, nutritious, and what can be more Primal than fresh veggies and eggs?

Usually, when my grandmother got a fresh batch of peppers, she wouldn't wait until the morning - she'd cook up the peppers and eggs for dinner. I can still remember the aromas and the taste when coming home from classes....and her proud smile as I cleaned my plate and went back for more. I've carried on the tradition, making it a regular breakfast choice. Living in Texas, we have a long growing season for peppers and I'm still harvesting them in my backyard garden in Mid-November. Here are some pics. Hope you like it. Buon Apetito!  :-p


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Cold Weather Combos

66-70F:  2 layers; 1 sleeveless and 1 short sleeve
61-65F:  2 layers; 1 short sleeve and 1 long sleeve
56-60F:  2 layers; 1 Coldgear long sleeve and 1 short sleeve, open gloves
51-55F:  2 Layers; 1 Coldgear long sleeve, 1 long sleeve, open gloves
46-50F: 3 Layers and balaclava; add leggings and full gloves
41-45F: 2 Cold Gear Layers and Jacket, full gloves, balaclava, leggings
35-40F: 3 Cold Gear and Heavy Jacket, Heavy gloves, balaclava, leggings
32-35F: 3 Cold Gear, Heavy Jacket, Heavy Gloves, Full Mask
Below 32: Add Helmet Cover and extra leggings
Below 20: Telecommute!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

More Bike Trail Images

These photos are from the second half of my commute to work, in Richardson, TX. Like Plano, they are doing an outstanding job providing bike routes for their citizens. Soon, when the two cities are connected, it will be the most amazing commute - one of the best on earth, IMO.


When I first started riding into work back in 2006, it was just me and no bike rack. Now, I've got a great place to park and lots of company!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

You Can Run, But You Can't Hide!

Technically, you could say I biked home from work today. But, it felt more like swimming. A large storm system had been edging its way toward the DFW Metroplex all day. I kept a watchful eye on it. So, in the afternoon there came a critical decision point - leave immediately and try to beat the storm home, or stay put and wait it out. Thinking I was good enough to determine its intended path and, given some margin of error, I could still beat it home, I chose the former. Bad choice. I got drenched. But worse than the thorough soaking was the shear terror from the lightening and thunder!

It took 45 minutes to get home, and as you can see from the weather radar, it didn't look too bad when I first headed out. Just a light drizzle. Kind of refreshing, really...

 But, things changed fast and got real colorful just after 15 minutes into the ride...

So,the moral of this post is:  you can try to outrun a thunderstorm, but you can't. And, when it catches you - it will catch you - there's no place to hide. Be careful out there!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Milk Madness

Just this past week, the FDA announced it has been conducting a yearlong sting operation to expose and end the sale of contraband in Washington, DC. The outlawed commodity and the criminals? Raw Milk sold by Amish Farmers from Pennsylvania!

Luckily, I can get Raw Milk locally at Lavon Farms, the last operating Dairy Farm in Collin County, Texas. There, the Moore Family offers a whole line of fresh, unpasteurized dairy products. BTW, the milk is also non-homogenized, so you can see all the delicious cream floating on the top third of the bottle. Yummy!
So, why drink Raw Milk? IT TASTES GREAT! Better than anything you can get at the store, I guarantee it. But, it is also better for you, because it contains all of the good bacteria (like yogurt, but more) that gets killed off by high temperature pasteurization in store bought milk. People who are lactose intolerant or suffer from allergies swear by it.

From a Primal Perspective, it is chemical free and unprocessed. Raw milk also has less sugar, especially if it is from Jersey Cows. And, the long-chain fat molecules in non-homogenized milk are not broken down like store brands, making it easier to digest and burn for energy. For those who want an effective, truly all-natural recovery drink to replenish glycogen and leptin levels after a high intensity work-out, Raw Milk is an outstanding option.

For a more comprehensive explanation of the benefits you can visit http://www.raw-milk-facts.com/raw_milk_health_benefits.html.

Yes, there's a downside, but not if the dairy farmer uses safe, clean, sanitary methods and tests all milk prior to placing on shelves. Lavon Farms does ALL of the above. My take on all this is that humans have been consuming Raw Milk from goats and cows for 9,000 years. Entire cultures, just one step away from a hunter-gatherer Paleolithic existence, have thrived on dairy for countless generations. I'm not going to deprive myself of all that goodness.

If you like to "buy local", what better way than buying fresh milk directly from your local farmer right at the farm? I took it to the next level this weekend by going to and from the farm on my bike and transporting the milk in my pannier (ice packs not included). It is 7.2 miles each way, and fortunately for me, all but 1 mile of the trek is trails! It was a beautiful adventure. Here are some pics...

Fresh, wholesome Raw Milk - packed, "refrigerated", and ready to head home!  :-P

Friday, May 6, 2011

Bike Trail Images

We've been having beautiful Springtime weather this week, so I thought I'd share some images from the commute. These pics were all taken along Chisholm Trail in Plano, TX.