About Me

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Hiddy Hoo Electronic Neighbors. I'm your every day 'Joe' comfortably settled in to my middle-aged life. I enjoy being active, being healthy, live music, taking weekend motorcycle trips around the Upper Midwest, cooking and trying to be a good role model for my teenage son. I was a fat guy, in the summer of 2010 I made the switch. The only reason I look back there now is for motivation. Cheers!! Be well!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Two PR's Fall In 2013, So Far.....

When I accomplish certain things it causes me to reflect on my path towards health.  It wasn't that long ago that I was almost 38 years old, 270+lbs. and completely out of shape (unless you consider round a 'shape').  I witnessed a life changing event (lost a close family member) and told myself that I better get healthy before my 40th birthday, for myself and for my family.  With that, I made a commitment to gaining my health back via running and a healthier diet (not primal then).  Two months after that I ran my first 5k race.  Up to that point, that was the farthest I had ever run in my life.

Since then I've finished 1st, 2nd and 3rd in my age group at different events and have found that trail running is MUCH more enjoyable for me that road running.  Most surprising was learning of the mental health benefits that running provides me.  I would have never guessed that a 5 mile run would completely eliminate the struggles and stresses from the work day.  I haven't, and still don't, consider myself a competitive runner.  My only competition is the clock and my previous times and paces.  Likewise, I'll never be a distance runner, two knee surgeries on the same knee in a 3 year span limit me to not going over 7 miles.

That said, I ran a 5 mile race in March and set a new personal best pace of 7:28/mile.  And earlier this month (May) I completed a 10k race in under 50 minutes.  That 10k goal of under 50 minutes escaped me all of last year, glad I got that one out of the way.  Next goal is a 10k trail run under 50 minutes.

It's fun to keep checking these things off my list of things to accomplish, especially considering that it wasn't that long ago that I was a completely unmotivated and unhealthy couch potato.  I still find a ton of motivation when I look back and think about where I've come from.  If anyone's interested, when I did hit the big four-oh, I had lost a total of 75lbs.  Since changing my diet and lifestyle to a 'Primal' one, I've lost an additional 12lbs.  Needless to say, it feels excellent.

Cheers All.  Here's to Health!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Foods I Won't Live Without

Foods I Won't Live Without
We all have out 'favorite' foods, but these are my foods that I won't be without.
  1. Eggs.  I eat one or more eggs virtually every day.  My typical weekday breakfast is two hard boiled eggs.  For me, it's a perfect way to start the day.  Whether it's hard boiled, over easy, sunny side up, fried hard, scrambled or the main part of one of my favorite omelets, Eggs are one of the 10 foods that will always be a big parts of my Primal table.
  2. Red meat, specifically Venison.   Growing up in a family that values being outdoors, hunting and fishing have always been a part of my life.  It also goes without saying that table fare is always first and foremost.
  3. Brussel Sprouts.  Sauteed or fried, love these little things
  4. Avocado.  One of my go to 'power' foods.
  5. Chicken.  Is there a more versatile meat out there?!
  6. Berries. Blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, strawberries.  Technically that's 4 foods in one, but who cares, they're all excellent
  7. Greens.  Kale, iceberg, romaine, etc.  Love all of them.
  8. Almonds.  Is there a more perfect daytime snack food?!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013


First Race of 2013 Is In The Books...and it was good.

The running season kicked off with great success for me.  I set a new PR with under a 7:30/mile pace.  I beat my previous PR by over 15 seconds.  Didn't expect it either.

As I've documented, I've been eating and living primal since 12/2/2012.  Race day was exactly three months of living primal and it was also the last day of my P90X Lean workout routine.  The before and after pictures show noticeable change, mostly in the reduction of body fat and looking (and feeling) stronger.

(Here's a pic after the race, Yes, that's beer in those glasses.  I earned it! lol)
The biggest surprise for me during the race really didn't have anything to do with being primal.  My surprise came from the benefits of cross training.  Truth be told, I hadn't gone for a run in almost two months.  The P90X Lean workouts were all I was doing during our northern Winter months.  I was surprised by how comfortable I was during the race.

The next race is a shorter 5k at another local Brewery....see a pattern here??  LOL

To quote a good friend of mine, 'if you don't take care of your body, where are you going to live'.

Be fit, Be healthy, Be well!


Monday, February 18, 2013

The Mirror, Not The Scale!!!

Use The Mirror, Not The Scale


It wasn't that long ago that I used the scale on my bathroom floor as a barometer for how my diet and exercise plans were doing.  I ran at least 5 miles every other day....and not just flat road runs, I was running hills that served as ski hills during our winter months (still love trail running, btw).  I weighed myself every single morning before I hopped in the shower, usually around 6:45am.  My weight was 199 +/- 3lbs.  On the days that I didn't run, I'd drink some beer, have some cheese, but overall I stuck to my relatively low-carb diet plan.  Through all that running and eating 'right', I still had that bit of fat around the waist that I couldn't get rid of.  I continued running and eating what I thought was a good diet.  Fast forward through to November 2012.....

November 2012 was the month that I broke some of my rules.  I went on three hunting trips, one out of state and two in state.  While I was on those trips convenience food was necessary.  I wasn't eating garbage or junk foods, but I was eating pizza, bagels, sandwiches, toast, etc, simple foods that were easy and filling.  I weighed myself before leaving for my last hunting trip.....212lbs.  I felt fat.

When the calendar hit December 1st 2012 I committed to two things, changing to a primal diet and doing three months of P90X Lean.  The extra 10 lbs that I 'found' in November fell off right away, thankfully.  And, another quick change was the view in the mirror.  I weighed the same, but the clothes were fitting differently.  I used to be able to wear the clothes from my 'fat' days (pre June 2010), but those were no longer just too big for me, they fell right off of me.

Long story short, use the mirror and your clothes as a barometer, not the scale.  I still weigh myself every morning out of habit and curiosity (196.5 this morning if anyone's interested).  But, the change that I see in the mirror is where it's most noticeable.  Body fat continues to disappear and muscle is getting bigger and showing itself.  Your scale might not change, Hell, it might even go up if you're building a lot of muscle.  Don't worry about it.  Use the mirror.  I did, and I'm going to keep using it.

Cheers All!!!

Monday, February 11, 2013

The Traditional Wisconsin Fish Fry

The tradition of a Wisconsin Fish Fry goes deep for us Wisconsinite's.  A good filet of Haddock, Walleye, Perch, Bluegill, Crappie, etc, dredged in a light beer batter (of course beer, it's Wisconsin!), then fried is oil until the filet is cooked through leaving a light crispy crust over the flaky filet.  Add some french fries, cole slaw and potato salad and it's heavenly.  Add a Brandy or Whiskey Old Fashioned and I think we'd all accept you as an honorary Wisconsinite.  

If you're inclined to read a short bit of history, Travel Wisconsin has a short story here.

Obviously, reading that first paragraph, nothing as it is there would find it's way to our primal tables.  But, that doesn't mean that you should give up on keeping some traditions alive and well.  Eating fish on Friday's doesn't mean it has to be fried in unhealthy oils or served with a mountain of french fries or potato salad and cole slaw.

Out with the old...
In with the new...

Fried Cod loins with sauteed fresh Brussel Sprouts with mushrooms and bacon.

For the Brussels.....
- Halve and clean Brussel Sprouts (Clean more than you think you'll need, they're excellent)
- In a large pan, Cook 1lb of bacon and save the drippings
- Set the bacon aside, when it's cooled enough, crumble to small pieces.
- Clean and Quarter cut mushrooms (I used the mushrooms stems, because we made stuffed mushrooms as an appetizer and I had to do something with the stems)
- Lay the halved Brussels cut side down in the hot bacon drippings, they cook in about 15 minutes.  Add the mushrooms after about 5 minutes, add the crumbled bacon after 10 minutes.  They're done when the bottom in a deep brown.  Brush them with drippings from the pan.  A nice little addition is adding some Pecan pieces.

For the fish.....
- Beat two eggs in a dish large enough to soak your Cod Loins
While the Cod loins are soaking in the egg wash
- Heat a good amount of Coconut Oil and a least a half stick of butter in a large pan.
- When that's melted and hot, add Cod Loins.  They'll cook fast, flip them after 5 minutes and cook until completely firm.

Have a glass of Red Wine and this is a nice, primal twist to a traditional Wisconsin Friday dinner.

One quick note, I can't and won't take credit for the recipe for the Brussel Sprouts, nor do I remember where I found it to give the proper credit. 

Enjoy.  Cheers!!!

Friday, February 8, 2013

The KISS Rule

Primal for Dummies (me).

With my apologies to Geico, it's so easy a Caveman can do it.  There's really no confusion with a Primal diet, 'fresh' and 'natural' are the two words that come to mind.

I recently read a post on Dakota Jones' blog at www.irunfar.com entitled Food (link here).  Putting some of the humor aside, one of the points that's made is; instead of focusing on what you should be eating, it's probably easier, at least initially, to focus on what you could or should be removing from your diet.  Not everyone is going to like the thought of snacking on a tin of Sardines (in oil of course) mid-morning.  It's easier to accept that we should/could change out that mid-morning junk food for a healthier choice, whatever it is.

If you're even a shred of a cook in the kitchen, there are a ton of excellent meals that can be easily prepared.  
Here's a good reference that I use.  
Likewise, here's another site full of recipes.
 (It's also noteworthy that Mark Sisson's newsletter is excellent, and it's free to subscribe)

There are really only two things that I require for when I cook my meals.  First, they must taste excellent.  Second, they must be easy to prepare.  And yes, you can have all three, easy, tasty and Primal all in the same meal.

My diet consists of a lot of eggs (love, love, love eggs!), chicken, venison, spinach, almonds, fish (not battered), brussel sprouts and yes, red wine.  :-)

For me, I apply the KISS rule, Keep It Simple, Stupid.

Cheers!!!  Be Well!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

New Blog, First Post

I started this blog as a way to share what I've experienced during my, so far short, 2 month Primal Journey.  With this I'll share some results that I've experienced, share recipes, share resources and give some quick tips on what's worked for me.

About me......
 Like many I was active in High School sports and that continues through my young adult years.  When I hit about 30 years old a few extra lbs. started to make an appearance around the waist.  That continued and sped up through my mid 30's.  By the time summer of 2010 rolled around I was 273lbs and already had one knee surgery.  In early June of that summer my family experienced a life changed event for all of us.  We all walked away from that shaken.  Each of us found our own escape from that.  I went for a walk on the evening of June 19th.  I walked to a local middle school and walked around their running track (.25 mile), then walked home.  I told myself then that I was going to run around it the next day.  On Fathers Day 2010, I left the house with the sole purpose of running, not running to the grocery store, but running to see if I could run.  I walked to the track and willed myself to run one lap.  I thought I was going to die about 1/2 way around, but I made it the whole way.  That was the beginning of a life change for me and I haven't looked back.  On Aug. 22nd that same year I ran my first ever 5k.  My only goal was not run the whole way and not have to walk.  I finished it in 34 minutes and change.

In that time from mid June to August 22, 2010 another change for me took place, my diet.  I worked hard to be able to run, and it was hard for me then.  The last thing that I wanted to do was make it harder by eating 'garbage'.  My thought process was that I was working so hard to run, by changing my diet it could help make it a little easier, or less difficult.  I really didn't follow a diet, per-say, but I did change what I was eating.  If I thought it was good for me, I ate it.  I also started educating myself on the various diets that are out there, Primal, Paleo, Fruitarian, Vegatarian, Vegan, etc.  I kind of hand picked what I thought would be good from each of them and blended them into my own hybrid of all of them.  It worked for me, and when the spring of 2012 rolled around I was tipping the scales between 198 - 202.  2012 was my most active running year ever.  From March to October I ran at least one race per month, and some months I ran up to three.  In addition, I ran every other day, at least 5 miles.  The only exceptions were before a tough race, I would then rest my legs or go on a short 2.5 to 3 mile slow jog.  After all that running, I felt excellent, but I couldn't get rid of a little bit of fat around my core section.  Despite some P90X core workouts and lengthy cardio workouts, it was still there.  I finally looked at my diet closer.  With winter looming and my running schedule prepped to slow down, I was determined to find a diet that would work for me through the winter.  The choice was easy, Primal was the best for me.  With the way I was already eating, there were only a few key things to change.

With the single exception of baking, I enjoy cooking and creating meals.  From simple to complex, the only thing that I require is that they taste excellent.  Dinner can me as simple as a filet of baked fish or a two egg spinach omelet, or as complex as brining and smoking a whole turkey for most of the day.  I'll share the recipes and results.  Most of the recipes are not mine to claim, and I'll share the source if I remember where they came from and on new ones too.  A Primal diet is NOT a boring diet, nor is it an expensive diet.  It does, however, require a commitment and some dedication.  More on that in later posts.

I hope you enjoy reading this.  I'll update this as I continue to go forward, I'll look in the rear-view from time to time (there's a lot of good motivation back there) and I'll jot down some random thoughts too.

Cheers All!!  Be well.