February 27, 2009

Moving on up

I will no longer be updating this blog. All my new content/rants/ramblings/waste of text will be posted here

February 14, 2009


Want a few ideas to lower your food costs and increase your health? Here are two things I'm starting today and plan on doing on a regular basis to accomplish both of those goals...

1) Making my own peanut butter (I freakin' love PB sandwiches, jelly is the devil)

2) Making my own bread (see #1)

February 13, 2009

When "food" isn't food

The "food" we see today is not food. It is nutrients. As a whole, we are more concerned about how much fat/protein/carbs we are taking in that we are about eating food that is truly good for us.

Did you know the reason white flour has to be enriched is because during the milling process, the majority of the grains micro-nutrients (vitamins/minerals) are stripped away? When grain was milled by stone wheels it was impossible to get the flour as fine as we see it today. The natural oils and most of the nutrients were kept intact, giving the flour a gritty and yellowish appearance. As a result, most towns needed their own mill since the flour was more likely to attract mold fungus and pests and had to be used quickly. Once metal rollers were available the flour became finer, whiter, less nutrient dense and less attractive to these pests. Lo and behold "enriched" flour that was prettier and able to sit on the shelf much longer than it's predecessor. The definition of "Enrich" is to improve or enhance the quality of.  Now take a second and ask this question...can this really be called enriched if they are only adding the elements that are lost during processing? To me that answer is no.

Back to the idea of eating nutrients instead of food in todays culture. The vast majority of food we see in the grocery store is processed in one way or another. They are shells of their natural selves (or they aren't even present in nature) with the nutrients lost during processing added later on. The system that was once a pound of ground wheat and all it's macro- and micro-nutrients is now a pound of starch derived from wheat with macro- and micro-nutrients from other sources added in. The synergy of these elements has been altered because of the over-simplification of nutritional science. Industrial food companies do not care about your health, they care about their profit. What better way to demand more money per unit and increase sales than to make obscure and minimally backed up health claims?

So what are we suppose to do? Take some time and learn about the food you eat if you care about your health. These are a few simple rules that I follow: 1) Shorten your food chain - Growing/raising your own food is ideal, but highly impractical for most. Shop at a farmers market, buy a whole hog/half cow or at least buy local food that is offered in your grocery store. 2) Cook your own meals - If you follow #1 you know your food is healthier than 99% of what is offered at your grocer. I also highly doubt you'll be adding high fructose corn syrup to sweeten things. 3) Don't eat foods that make health claims - Most likely these are the results of faulty/skewed research and a marketing tool used to increase sales and price.

This post was inspired by Michael Pollan's "In the Defense of Food" and "The Omnivore's Dilemma"

Shame Less Self Promotion

I'm starting to really hit this blogging and social networking thing hard. I've have Facebook ever since I was a freshmen in college, and had a Twitter account that was essentially useless until now. From all the advice I've received about being an "online personality", getting people to follow you and get your name out there is crucial. So...take a look to your right, and add/follow me!

February 4, 2009

Trivia Night at Hooter's

One of my professors would always start class by asking what we learned the day before. His reasoning behind this was that successful people are able to realize when they learned something, no matter how unimportant it seemed. The message I took home from that was that to be successful you must be constantly learning. In order to do this I took one of the most annoying (but incredibly important) acts from military life and transplanted it into my everyday life...the AAR, or after action review. 

Essentially an AAR is a reflection. After a mission or any type of event involving many people, the leader asks all key personnel to meet up at some point soon after the event. The whole point was to get the thoughts of those personnel so the group was able to learn from the each others mistakes and take note of each others success in that event. The common format was to give 3 Go's (things to keep the same), 3 No-Go's (things to change/get rid of) and 3 improvements (I sure hope you know what an improvement is).

As an enlisted soldier I hated these with a passion because they always occurred right before you were to be released and all I wanted to do was sleep/eat/have a beer/get home. But now that I'm an officer and have more "responsibility", every AAR is an oppurtunity for me to A) see where I jacked something up and B) see where something made a bigger impact than I expected.

Now to the point, drum roll please........GO LEARN SOMETHING! Did you just learn the CTRL+P prints your current page? Fantastic, you just saved yourself the excruciating pain of moving your cursor to File>Print. I just found out that there is a farmers market 2 miles from my apartment that offers fresh, local and sometimes organic produce/meat cheaper than my local grocery store. That little tidbit of information has allowed me to lower my grocery bill and eat healthier. 

Does it always have to be something related to your career or hobbies? Not at all. Will you get more use and excitement out of something related to your career or hobbies? You bet. Just don't be to upset if you find yourself learning a bunch of unrelated tidbits, at least you'll improve your "Trivia Night at Hooter's" performances.

February 3, 2009

The Journey

So here it is, my first post in the blog world. Honestly, I had never thought I'd be the one to write about my random thoughts or adventures. But, after my first few weeks of unemployment (in case you haven't noticed it's a horrible time to get a job, especially if you've spent the past 4 years in school) and reading about some of the more successful Strength Coaches (or whatever they chose to be called) I learned that an online identity is crucial in this industry. 

So...in the spirit of New Years Resolutions, here are a few of my goals for '09.

-Employment - Everything else on this list is 100% dependent on having the money to live.
-Get NSCA certified - Either CSCS of NSCA-PT.
-Get clients - Whether it's in a gym or starting my own practice.
-Branch Qualification - As a new "Butter Bar" in the Army I can't do anything until this happens.
-Followers - Yeah, you, the one reading this right now. I want more of you.
-Time - Get more out of what time I have by using the 80/20 rule. If you aren't familiar with the  80/20 rule, it essentially says that 80% of your results come from 20% of your actions. So in this case, I plan on cutting on aimless web/channel surfing, doing things for the sake of feeling busy and just plain stopping things that are fruitless.