Sunday, January 25, 2015

Excuse me, but who are you?



I find it interesting on how we define ourselves,because that plays a large part on who we become. 

I spent the first decade of my marriage trying to make ends meet and still keep up with the Jones's of the world.   I allowed myself to be judged by everyone else’s standard and for my efforts I was rewarded with obesity and depression. All of which were my fault for letting some outside source dictate too me the meaning, not just of life ,but rather the meaning of my life.

Out of the blue my wife wrote me a letter one day  that I will never forget. It was simple, a little check list to remind me of who I am, of who I want to be. At the same time I was turning 40 and my Aunt in England called and said “well life begins at 40!”.  So simple and perfect, just what I needed to hear out loud.  I wrote my wife back a letter as well as reminded her who she is and who she wanted too be.

We remind our children that as shocking as it seems we are also people. I will never again let myself be placed into a category again where  I don’t follow my heart. If you are very happy and content in your life then bravo and perhaps you might share with others what you have learned. If your not however then I think its time you consider who it is you want to be.

Its very important to find your passion and follow it, your only limited by your efforts. Some examples from my world.

One of the things my wife wrote me was “See your self as a musician with a day job”. The problem I was having with that was I OK with sitting around in my basement picking out a Beatles song or a Led Zeppelin riff but I’m not an entertainer at all ,so the stage was not a place for me. The solution for me was a home studio. Here was a spot in my house where I could release every creative thought I had and challenge myself. The result of this effort was I made a CD called “Cellar Door” and called myself “the basement gypsies” (now on ITunes and Amazon got to do the plugs).

My wife had a similar passion with photography that gave way to family needs and the camera equipment was all sold. Times change  and now enter the digital era and before long we set up a small business we call “Shona Skye Creative” in which my wife Kristy and our partner Jay Swisher are taking photography to a new level so anyone can get afford artistic family photos , landscapes and fine art. (Please note the link to Shona Skye on my page ,WOW  Two Plugs!!! I know I’m shameless!)

The point to my ramble is find your passion and go for it, you never know where it will take you. Life for me really did start to flow when I turned 40. I now look at the world as a constant change,nothing is stable ,nothing ever was . We are all living on the brink and at any moment we could slip or get pushed off the edge. The only thing I depend on is whatever is going on now is real and present,but it also  will all too soon be a shadow.

I’m not the least bit morbid, in fact I have learned to embrace all  change the same as a new chapter in a book.

I get accused of being too upbeat from my family and its true, I feel great and I’m very happy. I find joy in everyday life, sometimes I have to look a little harder.


So who are you?   I hope your happy in what you do, if not find out how and start taking the steps to reach happiness.

Peace and Love all

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Out of balance?,then step off the scale


Hello All,

A co-worker approached me and was very frustrated with the results from her scale. She felt she has done everything right and was not losing enough pounds, in fact she said if she did not see a difference by her next weigh in she felt like jumping off a bridge. I would toss the scale over the bridge myself.

She is stuck in the brainwashed pattern that the most important number in your life is that number on the scale. To be fair there is value in a scale if you want to see how many pounds you are at any given moment. I decided to try an experiment for one month and weigh myself everyday at random times/the same time or whenever I came across a scale.The results were my weight bounced around from as much as 7 pounds in one day and as little as 2 pounds over the 30 days even though I was exorcising and eating healthy.

I have also been caught up on the scale madness in the past because I believed everything I heard instead of challenging conventional wisdom.

Now for the same month I watched the scale I also took measurements at my neck,chest,hips,waist and thighs. The scale did not account for the lean muscle I am slowly building. A simple cloth tape measure did,and so would a pair of jeans or a shirt that was too tight to button. This year I gave up using a Fitbit because after a year of using it I had developed a good habit of walking everyday to get in my 10,000 steps. I may have days when I am well over 10,000 or just under that exact number doe not matter ,what matters is I am moving everyday.

Tools to track your health are just that, a tool and nothing more. They should not become your justification for happiness.  I am all in favor when you begin a weight loss program of checking your weight and your body fat percentage (far more important) along with your measurements. If your focused on numbers your missing the big plan of being fit and healthy.

I’m working on adding more muscle to my frame to help burn off the extra fat I have still. I check my stats at the start of each month. I see my daily progress in how well I feel , ease of lifting something heavy and the fact that its been over two years since I was sick.


I have never met a person and thought “I wonder what they weigh at this moment so I can  justify my thought that they are attractive or healthy”  You know when you are feeling good and so does everyone else by your actions.  Numbers have their use, but to get obsessed with a number is a path to madness.

I would rather measure how  I’m feeling along with what I am doing. When I eat healthy, move often, sleep well, and laugh more my life is just better.

Go for a walk, eat more plants and animals ,avoid all the processed foods and watch how everything starts to go your way.

Peace and love

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Primal Jambalaya


Hello All, its been awhile since I posted a recipe, so here you go. Jambalaya primal style. Since rice is not a part of my diet I missed out on one of my favorite dishes until I found this in the Primal Blue print cook book.

It has all the ingredients you would expect : sausage ,onions,peppers,diced tomatoes and shrimp all added to a big pot and slow cooked with chicken broth. The trick is cauliflower, instead of rice. You just break off some florets of cauliflower and grate them and pour them over the mix and let simmer away. I have not tried this yet but it looks very easy.

the list of ingredients are:

1/2 pound of spicy sausage

1 small finely chopped onion

2 green bell peppers cut into strips

2 garlic cloves finely chopped

1 teaspoon of paprika

1 teaspoon of salt

1 teaspoon of paprika

1 teaspoon of dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme

dash of cayenne pepper

1 can of diced tomatoes

1 cup of chicken broth

1 head of cauliflower

1 pound of shrimp

4 scallions finely chopped


Cook the sausage in a large pot as it browns add some oil and sauté the peppers and onions , add the rest and let it simmer away.

I’m going to try this Friday night and see how it turns out.

Peace and Love all

Monday, January 19, 2015

St. Louis area trail’s Part one ‘Grant’s Trail”


Hello All,

I’m very lucky that I live just a stone’s throw from a terrific trail that is ideal for walking/running/biking or just taking your dog for a walk.

Grant’s trail, (named after Ulysses S. Grant)is  part of the ever growing Great Rivers Greenway organization and  at the time of this writing is an  8 mile paved path  running from Highway 55 near Bayless to just pass highway 44 in Kirkwood.


Some basic info about the trail:

The trail opens 30 minutes before sunrise and closes 30 minutes after sunset and has parking and restrooms about every two miles or so.



Walking /hiking: The majority of the trail is very flat (the trail was once part of the Missouri pacific railroad) with very little challenge for experienced hikers but it is pleasant and there is a  1/2 mile nature path that leaves the main trail and cuts through a wooded section filled with sycamore and dogwood trees and Mulberry bushes. Joining the trail is Clydesdale park which does have a nice hill that leads up to the park and it offers several different workout stations for pull ups and push ups etc..


Gravois creek runs parallel with the trail and the story goes that General Grant used to ride from near by Jefferson Barracks to see his future wife Julia Dent by following the creek. Julia’s folks as a wedding present gave them the land that is now Grant’s farm which you can  walk/ride on the trail and pass by the famous Clydesdales horses.

According to park history in the 1700’s the Kaskaskia and Tamaron tribes lived along this creek, to quote the Indigo Girls every step of this land is sacred!

Wildlife common on the trail includes:

Deer,wild turkeys, foxes,owls and hawks along with the occasional rat snake and even coyotes. Now I know this sounds like an urban legend but once I saw a huge turtle swim across the creek only to disappear under the water and it looked about the size of a manhole cover. A few days later I was in the same spot and a old guy was there and he asked me if I ever saw the big turtles down this way,he said they came from Grant’s farm. I have never seen one again but I do stop and look when I pass that section.

In short:

This trail is almost my second home if for no other reason then it is less then two blocks from my front door. So it will always be close to the top of my list as an all around go to trail. I use it for after dinner walks with my wife and enjoy a nice two mile path section. On the weekends I often go for a five mile hike that turns off to Clydesdale park and return through Gravois creek.  I always find something of interest on these walks and is my time to get back to nature and chill out.

Where this trail really shines though is as a  bike path. Eight miles of smooth paved asphalt with very little in the way of hills and if you choose to start at Orlando’s garden you can ride through to Kirkwood just over a bridge on highway 44 rest up drink some water and  then head back and get in a nice 16 mile ride. Which ever direction you choose to start at you  will find parking and restrooms near by. The trail runs right through the Crestwood area if you want to stop to eat as well. I have nothing but praise for the folks that run and maintain the trail, it always looks well maintained and not a bad way to spend your time.If your in the South county area of St. Louis stop by and check it out.


Peace and Love all

Grants trail

Saturday, January 17, 2015

My Primal Day


Hello All,

Some changes in my life in just the past year that have become now my daily pattern without much thought.

I get up early every day about the same time and almost always before my alarm goes off. I put on a pot of coffee and do some basic body weight workout moves, push ups/planks/squats.

My breakfast comes down to scramble eggs with spinach or a banana smoothie with blue berries and almond milk.

Lunch is a protein shake followed by a mile walk out by a pond near my office.

When I get home from work I want to eat right away and I tend to prepare my own meals because not everyone in my family has the desire to eat the way I do. It took me 48 years before I started so I keep my mouth shut. Most nights its a salad with some sort of meat thrown in, some nights I might  have a sweet potato as well and a glass of red wine.

Bed time is almost always the same time and I fall asleep quickly and always have very vivid dreams.

Another new curve I threw in the mix was I joined a gym for access to some equipment plus a place to go to in the winter.

I keep adding new things like every day I need to walk 5 miles at least or bike ride 10 miles a day. This weeks new kick is by the end of the day I need to do 300 push ups. Now two years ago I could barely do 5 push ups, but of late I’ve been making my self work a little harder and now I do little sets threw out my day.

I just keep on adding something positive and try and get rid of something negative. We all have 24 hours to work with, so did all the great thinkers and inventors of the world. I call a bad day now any day I waste my time when I could be improving or just having fun.

Fun is very important to me, so I try and have fun in all I do. I never thought I would be the type to focus and plan,make to do lists, but I must say it all pays off.

My weekends are longer versions of walks/bike rides as well as when I will settle down to watch a movie or hang with friends.

Perhaps the most primal thing I do over all is I keep on the move.

Peace and Love all

Friday, January 16, 2015

The Primal Blueprint


Hello All,


Well I must say I’m feeling very accomplished that  my story made it on to Mark’s Daily Apple! I can not say enough good about the results I have had  in my life since I first read the Primal Blueprint, Please check out the feature and the rest of Mark Sisson’s page for amazing tips to better your health. I always have a link to his site on my blog.


Peace and Love all

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Winter Hiking


Hello All,

I have notice ever since I started walking on a regular basis and hiking (I call it  hiking anytime I’m not on a smooth paved road or trail) that if I’m sitting still for too long I get anxious to move. This surprises me,  a guy  who use to watch a show I don’t like because I could not find the remote control and was too lazy to roll off the couch.  The winter has blown in and so I sneak in a short mile walk everyday  instead of sitting in our lunchroom. My lunch is now a protein shake and then I head out for a walk.

You do not need to be out for long before the cold finds all of your exposed spots. The simple thing to do is be prepared and take note when your out what your missing and what would have been useful to you.

Quick story, on a cold Saturday morning I went out for a walk wearing my vibram five toe shoes, now these are popular in the primal  world so I gave them a shot . Pros you feel like your walking barefoot but protected (sounds like an add for something else) and great for your balance and just feeling the Earth.  Cons I found out on that cold Saturday walk I had wore holes in both of the shoes and I had stepped in a few icy puddles. Well soon I was aware of the pain and I looked around and I was about two miles from home. My feet were freezing and because of the ice it was hard to move quick, in short I was not prepared and had I been out further I might have been at risk for frostbite.  Still love Vibrams just not for Winter as far as I’m concerned.

So bad things can happen and trouble can escalate in no time at all.

Here’s my basic list on my short day hikes (under 10 miles)

Layered clothing: I wear a long sleeve thermal shirt and add on a tee shirt and wear a water resistant jacket.  track suit pants again water resistant. Scarf,wool hat and insulated/water resistant gloves.

Cell phone and if I’m walking alone I let my wife know where I ‘m hiking and when I plan on returning. I get into some remote spots on my own with no service and its just a good plan  that someone knows where you are at.

I fuel up before hand but I like to have some type of snack handy like trail mix.

The solitude of Winter walking is wonderful and speaking for myself mandatory for peace of mind. The air is crisp and sounds travel far making the whole experience seem like your on a different planet. So please don’t miss out on the beauty of Winter or get hurt by not thinking a bit before you hit the trails.

If you have some thoughts or tips to add to this I would love hear from you.

Peace and Love all!