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Showing posts from 2013

Knowing Your Values Can Be the Difference You Need

What are your values? It seems like an easy enough question.  Everybody has them, we all know what they are, so what's the big deal with discussing them? So do it. Write them down, and explain a bit about WHY you have those values. Done yet? Not as easy as it seems, is it.  And that's a big reason that many people never do this simple exercise (notice I said simple , not easy) - it's hard!  But I would be willing to wager that the people who are struggling the most with finding happiness, success, prosperity, or any number of other trajectories in their lives have never taken the time to sit down and do this simple little step. And that's a mistake. "Don't work harder, work smarter" is a catchphrase we hear a lot from efficiency and productivity experts, the folks who look at how things are being done and how they could be done better.  And that's great for places like factories and organizations with built-in systems to get things done.  B

Sleep Disorder Study Shows the Problems Most Autistic Parents Have With Treatments

Autism is hard not only on the people who have it, but also on the families who love them and are trying desperately to help them.  And it sometimes seems that with each discovery about it, the treatment is confounded by another facet of the affliction. Photo by sdminor1 via Flickr Case in point: Autism Speaks posted an article yesterday on a study about sleep disorders among autistic children .  And yes, as most parents of autistic children can attest, autistic children have a higher prevalence of sleep issues - getting less sleep and frequently less-productive sleep. But here's the deal:  if we look at the recommendations for improving sleep, we frequently come across suggestions to reduce or remove stimulation from electronic devices such as TV, computers, iPads, etc.  But in many cases these are the very items that autistic children are the most attracted to, not to mention the very items that they use for simple communication, for filtering out the mass of stimuli they

Tough Mudder Ohio 2014 - Who's In?

As many of you probably know, I love my obstacle course races (or mud runs, as many call them).  I talk a lot about them, because I love the feeling of getting outdoors and really testing your entire body with a good obstacle course.  I even liked the obstacle courses we were "forced" to go through at my two Army ROTC summer camps - because they were fun and they let you do stuff that you didn't get to do every day. Thus far, in my short obstacle course race career, I've run a bunch of fun races:  in 2011 I did the Warrior Dash and Ruckus races; in 2012 I ran the first Mud Ninja race and the Hell Run ; and this past summer I did the Savage Race and the second Mud Ninja race.  And it was at Mud Ninja 2013 that I had the best time I've had so far with a race as I went through it with a team of friends. So now I want to take it a step further and take part in what many consider to be the granddaddy of all obstacle course races:  the Tough Mudder .  The Ohi

Mud Ninja 2013: Double the Mud, Double the Challenge!

Photo by Traci Auerbach (Note: I had written this for another purpose closer to the race date, but after it wasn't used I decided to add it here.  Hope you enjoy! -- Jamie) Last year's inaugural Mud Ninja was, by all accounts, a success. And amazingly enough, the 2013 iteration was an even greater one! To start, the size of the Train 4 Autism: Columbus Chapter team went from four to eleven. Joining the 2012 team of Jamie and Jenn Fellrath, Joe Auerbach, and Joy Beer were (Train 4 Autism: Columbus sponsor) MovNat Ohio owner Lori Crock, Chris Muczyk, Stacey Mustard, Ryan Jewell, Jaye Puckett, Amy Dorris, and Eli Brickey. Monthly technique and training sessions with MovNat Ohio leading up to the event were definitely a great help as the day began. And for several, the Mud Ninja was their inaugural attempt at a mud obstacle race! It should be noted that starting one's obstacle racing experience with the Mud Ninja is akin to beginning one's musical pursuits

Don't Hold On...

Don't hold it for too long! Image by michitux via Flickr I always like it when different parts of my life come together in a common theme or idea.  That's been happening a lot lately, particularly after reading Mark Sisson's The Primal Connection: Follow Your Genetic Blueprint to Health and Happiness , and comparing it to what I've learned via .  The ways that J.B. Glossinger and many other success coaches and personal evolution gurus teach us totally jibe with the ancestral instincts that we've evolved with as per Sisson and others.  It's really amazing. Case in point:  today, J.B. told us the story of a lecturer who came into her lecture holding a glass of water.  Expecting this to lead into a glass-half-empty-or-half-full story, the audience was surprised to hear her discuss just how that glass is like stress. Holding that glass out for a minute would be no big deal.  It really doesn't weigh that much, and no one would have troubl

A New Awakening

I've been running a lot of blogs over the years - this one at; PaleoMental and MyPrimalTrek, and a few others.  And honestly, they've all been fun to do. But I'm going back to the beginning a bit now, and combining all those posts back into one place here at Why?  Because they're all me.  They're all facets of who I am, what I'm interested in, and what I'm trying to do in the world and for the world.  I want people to be more healthy, body and soul.  I want people to have fulfillment.  I want to share what I'm doing in the world with a lot of people and hopefully help them move forward in their personal evolution. Trying to split all that out into the various "topics" via separate blogs was just getting too scattered.  I didn't feel the freedom to explain how health is a personal development topic, or how MovNat practice improves more than just the bodily health aspects of life. Here I can talk about ALL

Review: VivoBarefoot Achilles Sandals

The world of barefoot running/minimalist footwear absolutely fascinates me.  A big part of that comes from my high school years, I think. I used to be more of a runner when I was younger - running in 5 and 10K races with my parents a lot - until I hit high school.  Then, I ran one season with the cross country team and got runner's knee right at the beginning of the actual season.  Though I struggled through it I never really enjoyed it.  And that injury interfered with my competitive swimming (I was a breaststroke specialist, a stroke with a powerful whipping kick and lots of knee action) and gave me a lot of pain for the next couple years even though I stopped running.  Seriously - I had trouble walking down stairs without pain through my first three years of high school.  Pretty bad.   I think a lot about how things might have been different for me had I worn minimalist shoes growing up and especially in high school cross-country.  Sure, we were kids in the 70s and there was ple

Whole 30 - COMPLETE!

Me, at another finish line (the 2010 Warrior Dash Ohio) It's over.  Well, in 3 hours, it'll be over.  It's 9:05 PM on Day 30 of my Whole30 challenge, and I did it. What did I accomplish?  Well, nothing particularly new since I went through this in 2008 with my first Primal Blueprint challenge, with one exception: I have solidified myself a lot - lots of body fat gone and replaced with lean muscle - again. I've improved my immune response - even when everyone else in the house got sick for a couple days with colds, etc., I had a slight case of the sniffles at worst. Stress levels have gone down a lot. I've created some great habits in cooking and, most important, preparation for cooking. I went dairy free for 30 days for the first time in my life.   The last one is the most interesting to me, honestly.  I'm interested to see what happens when I introduce dairy back into the swing of things.  I recall Amy Kubal talking about how it affected her on the Health and C

Whole 30 Days 18-25: Back in the Evolutionary Swing

Just as I discovered when I first tried out the Primal Blueprint back in 2008, it is sort of amazing how quickly the body returns to processing the way it should be.  Only about three weeks into this Whole30 effort, I'm feeling fine and not feeling any real cravings that aren't habit-based (as opposed to nutrition-based).   I make that distinction because I do have cravings that are habit based. I used to have coffee with heavy whipping cream every morning before this Whole30, and I'd been craving that pretty heavily as I started my work day.  I no longer have that dairy craving - even though it was basically healthy, this is the first time I've ever actively cut dairy out of my diet and I'll be interested to see what happens on May 22 when I add it back in. I haven't given up coffee, I've been having bulletproof coffee with ghee or coconut oil at home and I've been taking it black at work when I've wanted it (and even that has gone down quite a bit

Whole 30 Days 15-17 - Getting to What's Important

Well, I'm over halfway done with my Whole30 experiment and I'm feeling great!  I haven't posted as much the past few days because I honestly haven't had anything new to report - other than what I've been eating.  And it's been clean, I promise.  I did a big batch of pulled pork from Everyday Paleo that was delicious the other night, so I'll pass that on . But yesterday, as I was walking through my office and past the vending machines in our office, I started to get cravings for chocolate.  I'm a confirmed chocoholic, no doubts about that.  And for the most part, it's been a very manageable thing just by having a few squares (3-4) of some kind of 88% or higher dark chocolate when I get those cravings - the stronger chocolate seems to kick the cravings in the butt more easily.  And eating more than that (of the ultra-dark stuff) gives me a headache, so I know that there's something in there that is making me respond poorly. Before starting this Who

Whole 30 Days 12-14 - Starting to Feel It!

One of the reasons I went on this Whole 30 was that I felt the need to really tighten up my diet after a few months of being MOSTLY Paleo/Primal, but erring a little too close to the 80% as far as 80/20 goes.  Eating not-so-Paleo stuff wasn't affecting me as much as I'd thought it should, basically - my system was becoming deadened to a great extent and I felt I was heading back to the way I was feeling pre-Primal Blueprint. I LIKE feeling Paleo - knowing that I'm doing what I can to take in the best food and live in the healthiest way possible.  And I like knowing that my body is going to give me a gastric "Nuh-uh" when I eat something that shouldn't be in there. So over the weekend, I did my best to eat clean and within Whole 30 guidelines.  Friday was a typical day, sardines/salad for lunch and dinner was the Godlike Baked Chicken recipe from FastPaleo.  Plenty left for the rush of swim lessons night for Duncan this evening. Saturday our family was volunte

Whole 30 Day 11 - The Power of Knowing Some Quick Meals

Last night was pretty simple, yet pretty great for food. Breakfast/lunch were similar to previous days - sardines, then roast beef with broccoli and multicolored cauliflower (serious question: does eating multiple colors of the same vegetable count as part of efforts to "eat five different colored veggies"). The kids and my wife wanted pizza for dinner last night, but obviously that was not going to work for me.  And we'd eaten all the defrosted ground beef with last night's burgers, so no chance of doing a Meatza (even though that would have been delicious and now I'm craving it). I'd originally planned to do some chicken thigh-based meal on hamburger night, but the ground beef had been out longer and we needed to do something with it before the chicken.  So last night, to use up that chicken, I cooked it up with julienned carrots with some bacon fat, pink Himalayan salt and pepper, in my favorite pan in the house: our cast-iron skillet. And it was delicious.

Whole 30 Day 10 - It's Not Who You Know, It's Who Your Mom Knows

Yesterday was fairly standard in the world of my Whole30 challenge. Polar Kippers for breakfast, big ass salad for lunch, and then on to dinner.  It's almost getting rote and repetitive, and I'm surprised anyone is still reading this.  (I'm KIDDING). But dinner brought up a pretty good improvisation that was made possible by my mother.  I mean, technically without my mother this blog doesn't exist, nor do I.  But this is a bit more direct than that. About a month ago, my family was out visiting my parents in Arizona, where they retired from Michigan.  Can't blame 'em too much, really... we were swimming and running around in shorts at the end of March.  It was pretty awesome.  Great hiking, lots of activity, the whole nine yards. Well, Mom has this "salsa guy" she goes to for her salsa - he's the owner of the San Pedro River Valley Salsa .  And it's REALLY awesome stuff.  All natural ingredients and just the right amount of real spice - not jus

Whole 30 Day 9 - Proper Prior Planning Prevents Poor Paleo Performance

Our society has become very accustomed to the quick meal, which is obviously a big reason for much of the obesity epidemic that is plaguing us today.  Cheap, ready-to-go foods that require little cooking knowledge and no preparation have become standards in America and elsewhere - even to the point where various brand names are synonymous with good times, family occasions, etc.  I remember my mother waxing nostalgic about watching football with her parents and eating Stouffer's French Bread Pizzas, and of course sharing Oreos with milk is a tradition to pass down from parent to child.  Hey, the commercials tell us so, right?   My point here is that, because of that "I can always just pick something quick up" mindset, it's sometimes a challenge for us Paleoistas to get into a habit of preparing meals ahead of time - or worse, preparing food for preparation ahead of time.  Case in point: Tuesday night dinner.   I'm getting a bit ahead of myself, though.  Tuesday sta

Whole 30 Day 8 - Catch As Catch Can

It was a busy day, and my food choices were a prime indication of that.  Can't wait till things slow down a bit so I can cook up some more meals. Typical morning food-wise - sardines and some black coffee.  Not that it has anything to do with Whole30, but my morning was delayed a bit when someone reported that a backpack had been left in front of our office building and they wouldn't let us in because of the potential bomb threat.  So I got coffee at Cup O' Joe and waited it out there. Lunch was easy - I had a leftover grilled turkey thigh that I noshed on, and supplemented that with some carrots and celery dipped into guacamole.  Delish. Dinner was fractured - my son had swim lessons last night, so I grabbed a handful of macadamias before lessons and then basically had a repeat of lunch for dinner. I'm going to have to put together some more big meals so that we have more leftovers.  But I'm getting back into the swing of what's tasty and healthy and what's

Whole 30 Days 5-7 - The Weekend Challenge

Hi everyone, I'm back with another update on how I'm doing on my Whole30 challenge.  Happy to say that I made it through the first week without too much effort! Friday was the first time that my wife and I ate out - but I'll get to that in a moment.  The morning was pretty typical, though I did have some black coffee after a late night waiting for my son to fall asleep (he's autistic and very impulsive, so one of us generally waits to hit the sack till he's out so that he doesn't get up and do something that we're not in favor of, like crawling out onto the roof).  Sardines with tabasco...yadda yadda yadda.   Lunch was another pork chop, this time with a salad that I picked up from the local Kroger salad bar (which is surprisingly good.  I eschewed the bacon I normally get because I suspect that it was cured with sugar, but had plenty of great veggies and some hard-boiled egg.  Again I used my balsamic vinaigrette. When I got home, I had a handful of macadam

James Bond - Paleo?

Just a quickie before I put up my main Whole30 post for today - I wrote an article for the excellent Being James Bond website today about the Paleo Diet.  It's strictly an introduction article, not as in-depth as many are used to, but I hope it answers some questions for my buds over there (and stirs some great conversation as well). Hope you'll check it out!  I'll have a follow-on article later on as well. The Paleo Diet - Part 1 @ Being James Bond.

Whole 30 Day 4 - Ad Hoc Meal Time

Had my first on-the-go meal challenge yesterday on Day 4 of my Whole30 challenge, and it was a success. The day started the same as usual - sardines in the morning (again, slightly earlier than the previous day - I think I'm going to need to start doing breakfast regularly for a while), with a leftovers lunch of pork chop and sweet potatoes from Tuesday's dinner.  A little Himalayan salt on them, and we had a winner. And I need to stop typing "Himalayan SEA Salt."  Anyone with an ounce of geography knowledge in their head is gonna crucify me for that one.  At least I'm correcting it when I do it. So, the first challenge: last night I had a meeting at the normal dinnertime and I didn't have time to get a typical dinner made.  So we had to do the early snack plus later dinner thing - and time was a factor because we had to get the kids to bed as well. Snack was a handful of macadamia nuts that I'd bought a while back from Fresh Market in Columbus.  

Whole 30 Day 3 - Gone Fishin'

Well, Day 4 is here, so it's time for a review of Day 3.  And a good day it was! Started off with my normal breakfast of sardines - a bit earlier than on Day 2, and that helped a bit in warding off the cravings.  Notice I said cravings.  I don't think it's actual hunger any more, but rather a sugar craving that I'd developed in my loosey-goosey days leading up to this Whole30.  So I'm just going to have to power through this a bit.   Lunch was leftovers from Day 2 dinner - thick cut pasture-raised pork chop and roasted sweet potato.  I also picked up some pink Himalayan salt to put on food here at work, as that stuff is tasty and full of good nutrients.  It's also got a picture of Rachel Ray on it.  KNOW YOUR ENEMY!   Kidding.  Sort of.  This is my horn, and I'm tooting it.   Dinner was a near master-work, if I may toot my own horn a bit.  After school, I took my son down to our local supermarket (have I mentioned my neighborhood before?  LOTS of stuff in wa

Whole30 Day 2 Report - The Fog is Clearing

Hey folks - I'm still here. Yesterday was slightly challenging.   As I mentioned , yesterday started at around 2:30 AM with a headache, and some posters in my comments mentioned that I probably was feeling a bit underfed.  That's very possible.  I was pretty hungry all morning, even after I had a tin of sardines. Lunch couldn't come fast enough.   My mug, complete with Viking helmet logo on it.   So what did I eat?  After starting the morning off with a big mug o' water, which is my normal routine (I usually have at least one of these a day at the office), I ate my sardines at around 9:30 AM or so.  This continues to have the effect of keeping me guest-free in my office, but it also gives me a good shot of protein and fat to make the morning go more smoothly.   Lunch was right around noon, and I had another slab of leftover short-ribs with some of the previous night's Brussels sprouts on the side.  Those keep pretty well overnight, I must say, and they were more tha

Whole30 Day 1 Report - We Have Launch. And Lunch.

Yesterday, I started my first Whole30 program .  And it felt as restrictive as I thought it might, but it also opened my eyes to a few things about my food choices.   To put it frankly, I may have been a little more loosey and goosey than I thought when I started this thing. First, the food:  I'm not a big breakfast person during the week most of the time, but today I was a bit peckish.  So I put away a tin of King Oscar Sardines in olive oil - my favorite brand.  And there was a splash of Tabasco on them for a bit more flavor. And yes, I ate them at my desk.  I keep a 4-pack of these treats in my desk at work.  You can get them cheap at Costco - one of my favorite finds there (along with a multi-pack of Kerrygold Butter, which is not applicable for the next four weeks or so unless I decide to try to make ghee).  I find that eating sardines at my desk keeps other people away from it and I end up having fewer people bother me. I'm KIDDING.  Sort of. Lunch was also at my desk.  

My First Whole30 Starts Today

I've been following the Primal Blueprint for a long time now, as the About page indicates.  And while I've done great with the program, I've never taken it to that further step of going really strictly Paleo.  And while the Primal Blueprint is awesome, and I'll never feel bad for having "only" done it, I've wondered for a long time if I would be better served by trying something a bit stricter. And so, without further ado, I'm going to do a Whole30 .  For those who don't know, Whole30 is one of the more strict Paleo "on-ramp" programs you can do.  Created by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig at Whole 9 , it's known as one of the more restrictive plans for getting started with a Paleo Diet, but everyone who does it successfully raves about how they feel as they get into it. And frankly, I've been a bit loosey-goosey of late with the diet.  This has occurred mostly in the ice cream arena, but while I was visiting my parents in Arizona for

Dealing with Challenges to Living Well

We're all surrounded by demons, those little vestiges of conventional wisdom and temptation that keep digging into our brains and diverting our energy and attention away from healthy living and back to the dark side.  It can be even harder for the Paleo folks in the world - conventional wisdom is the rule in general society, to be sure.  But these little demons can be fought off using a simple tool called mindfulness - being aware of what's going on around you and within you, and even how the outside world is affecting your inner world. Food cravings seem to be one of the biggest culprits.  The well-documented addiction to sugar and wheat products has been a big one for me (particularly sugar).  And the number one culprit for me is the Reese's Peanut Butter Egg.  Not the cups, though those are tasty, for sure.  But every Easter (and now Halloween and Christmas, too, ever since the insidious designers at Hershey's bought pumpkin- and tree-shaped molds) these things pop o