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!

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.