Thursday, October 23, 2014

21 days of paleo


Hello All,

First off 99% of this information I gathered from reading Mark Sisson’s Primal blue print, I can not recommend this book enough. It simply changed my life for the better. The one percent that I have to offer is my personal experience trying the paleo lifestyle.

Just to recap about three years ago I started paleo and after losing over a hundred pounds of fat I slacked a bit and a good 25lbs came back. This year 2014 I decided to get more focused on not just the food but working out. The results for me were I quickly lost the 25lbs and replaced it with lean muscle. OK so what is the big secret to losing fat and gaining lean muscle?? EAT REAL FOOD AND MOVE MORE! That’s it ,but here is my take on the 21 day challenge from Mr. Sisson.


Give up all  of the following : Bread, Pasta,Milk, Sugar, Vegetable oil, all grains so no Corn .

Still with me??  Ok then what can I eat?

Eggs, Meat, Chicken,Fish, vegetables, fruits, smoothies, Red wine,coffee,Almond milk, almond butter,coconut butter and coconut milk Nuts, almonds, walnuts, pecans

Work out;

everyday no exceptions 10,000 steps that’s less then five miles and you can break it up through out your day. Grab a fitbit or whatever gadget you choose and keep track of your steps.

Push ups, squats,planks and pull ups (still working on these) Use your own body weight for a workout.

I love to workout with Kettlebells but yard work is just as good.

In the primal blueprint Sisson lists his 10 basic rules and  my version is this.

1. Have fun

2.Sleep eight hours

3.Get some time in the Sun and the fresh air

4.Eat real food (nothing processed out of a box)

5. go for long slow walks

6.Use your brain and challenge everything including this

7.Lift heavy things now and then

8. Sprint full out for one minute like your life depended on it (it does)

9. Ignore the scale

10.Be kind ( I believe we all have the power to be good or evil ,why would you want to be the person that causes pain?)

So what I did which now seems a lifetime ago was started with going for a walk and then making my own meals instead of fast food. I  found after 2 or 3 weeks my cravings for sugar went down. My strength is better today then a week ago. I really believe in this lifestyle and I never look at it as I have to do without.

I use to love fast food, now the idea of it turns my stomach. I use to be so lazy I would pace in front of the microwave, now I enjoy going to the farmer markets and preparing my meals. I believe in myself now after a life time of self loathing. I have gained control by changing my thoughts which then change my actions. I can not control outside forces but I can control how I will react to them.

This is the very time of the year I first started, Halloween through News Years I was able to lose about 40lbs of fat and when the New year arrived I was on the home stretch.

This is a life style change my midlife crazy if you like, I live this way 24-7 as best as I can. It can be tough when I have four other people to feed who do not like what I eat and when money is tight I have to eat a frozen pizza here or there but I then adjust my workout.

There is a solution to every problem if you want to find it. I have very strong beliefs based on my own personal experiences. I study a lot of self help philosophy and the common core is taking responsibility for your own actions.


I chose to be fat and lazy, now I choose to be healthy and strong. A lot of folks helped me along the way and continue to, so I need to pay back and if I can help you please let me know. If you live in the St. Louis area I hope to see you on the trails hiking or biking about. If you want to contact me send me and email and I will try and help you out.

This is the big event, the curtain is up and this is your stage.

Peace and Love all

and here are some before and after pictures of me I hope inspire you to change and always to remind myself never to go back. 2009-07-11 Dylan's Graduation Party 004Mark's B-Day Weekend @ Lost Valley 08-27-04 - 08-29-04 (17)2009-07-24 Lost Valley Weekend 002

Here’s some more recent pictures of me.10460842_10203816128316939_513074821069364664_o10497148_10203248769413321_3674156372830363527_o

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The October Challenge


Hello All,


I love a fresh start and since it’s the first of October I thought I would start a new challenge for myself. I have gone on a lot about my weight loss but the one thing I have yet to achieve is break 200lbs. I do most things correct and I wrote awhile back about getting off the scale and not worrying about numbers but I gotta admit breaking 200lbs stands out to me. So I decided to drag out my scale and see where I am at.

214lbs!  Now because of my weight training and diet my clothes are down and I feel very good but for the next 30 days I am going to allow myself to fixate on shedding 15lbs or so. I will not being doing anything stupid to rush it along but I will be paying close attention to my intake as well as my workouts. I am documenting everything with all my measurements and I will take some photos as well. At the end of this month I will share my results  and what I discover along the way.

I have a few new things that I will ad to my workouts and if they pay off I will share them as well.

So that’s all for now and check back in 31 days and find out how I did.


Peace and Love all!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Fall for this!


I so love the Fall of the year, cool nights ( we burn logs on our back deck at night and watch TV or just talk) Halloween is just around the corner and the air is so fresh. It is also the time a lot of us turn to comfort food and leftover candy then its  Thanksgiving  and before long the whole Summer of working out is washed away. I have been guilty of this myself last year. Its easy to reverse your hard work and its cold so you hide for awhile behind your sweaters and coats but your not helping yourself at all. So I set up my Fall workout plan.


I walk at lunch now because soon after I get home from work its getting dark, I also get in as many extra steps through out my day  so by the end of the night I have at least 10,000 steps or close to five miles of walking.  I drop and do push ups through out my day as well just to add a little to my day. Every other day I work out with my 35lb Kettlebell and for me I need that day of rest in between.

That’s it, that’s my easy plan and it should go without saying I follow the Paleo diet close to 90% of the time. I enjoy a glass of red wine here and there and maybe once in awhile I will indulge in a treat like ice-cream or a big cookie but I find a little is enough. I don’t make it taboo I know if I want something I can and that has helped me say no more then yes.

So just a reminder to you as well as myself, the cold weather and short days are coming so figure out your plan not lose any ground you have gained in becoming a better version of you!


Peace and Love !

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Failure does not work


First we start off with the spark of an idea, we then plan and at long last we take action and the journey begins filled with all sorts of adventures and pitfalls. I’m not writing about a new adventure film or novel, the action here is all of a personal journey to make that small spark of an idea become a flame that you can share or take pride in.

So many people are within a stones throw of reaching their goal when they are set upon with what they consider to be failure. Failure is not a permanent state unless you allow for this. Failure only happens when you stop working and surrender to this brief moment and make it your status forever. My constant rebel yell is “change your thoughts and change your life”!! I once saw a cartoon in Mad magazine of a man digging for treasure. He had dug pits everywhere and found nothing, the cartoon revealed in all of the pits he was only a scoop away from finding his treasure. This is how failure works, we listen to the voices of doubt in our own mind, we allow energy vampires to suck the joy out of our work towards a goal and we become tired and fed up and quit. This is the difference between the man who finds the treasure and the man who does not. What is your goal? How do you reach it and how long will it take?? Do your work, investigate everything you can on this spark and build your fuel for your fire. Some people will try and stop you and tell you “you can’t do that!!” what they are really saying is they can’t do that and can not stand the thought of you doing it.

I make new goals all the time and for the past decade have been some of the best times of my life. Inspiration can be found in so many places, read about the efforts of the people who reach their goals and you find all of them had endless struggles to fight up hill against all sorts of odds when the fates seem to be against them. The trick is to keep on working towards your goal. Failure to me is the lack of work.

I’m working on a new CD  of original music and my goal is to make a CD that impresses me! I tried this a few years ago trying to impress other people and I regard that as a failure on my part. My aim was not on the right target,I should have made it for my taste. Lesson learned, so I am starting again. I have several tracks finished and each one I listen to again and again and If I am not moved by the music it goes in the bin. The result of my efforts this time will be a success because I have made a CD that brings me joy, if it sells and other people enjoy it how wonderful for my ego and my bank account .  Whenever I think back on my past failures each of them carry the same handle –I quit working on them!

Do the work, never give up on what you believe in and enjoy your days!

Peace and Love all!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Good bye Scale!


In my journey into better health I have to remind myself to watch out for anything that does not serve me along my way. Recently I added a fitbit to track my daily steps and I found this to be a very useful tool. I can see just how active or lazy I was in a given day. Do I really need to have a gadget on my wrist to inform me if I was lazy or not?, no but I do enjoy the reminder and I find I feel better when I have walked at least my 10,000 steps. Some days I don’t do as well so I might move more the next but most days I have no problem with 10,000 steps. In short its fun and useful to me, I would not be lost without it but I have it and I will take the little atta boy it delivers on a good day.

Now comes a subject touchy to many of us and I have decided today its time to step off the scale. The common bathroom scale has some valid points as a reference guide but it does not tell the whole picture. It will tell you how much you weigh at this given point in your day. I have weighed myself several times in one day (absurd when I think about it out loud) and I have seen almost 10lbs of difference in a day. Down 3lbs and I feel great,gain back a 1lb and my mood is shot for the rest of the day. I am a very sensitive person and so I have come to terms with the scale just does not serve me. I have seen so many examples where the numbers just don’t add up to what is really going on. I have added kettle bell work outs to my life and as I add muscle I am trimming down more and weight seems to be the same. Less fat more muscle, clothes are loose,I feel stronger so why should I bother anymore with this wee machine??!!


I have problem areas of too much fat around my stomach (love handles) but I do take a tape measure and check that once a week. Now this is a tool to pay attention to, measure your widest area around your belly once a week, men should be under 40 inches and women under 35 inches for better health. I know at one point my belly was something like 58 inches and now thanks to paleo eating and primal workouts my gut is around 42 inches. I have away to go but I am no longer going to judge my health by the number on the scale.  I feel the same way about age, If we did not have calendars what age would you call yourself? I feel very young at 50, I remember thinking that thirty was a very old age at one time, then I turned 30 and it was just another day. I look forward to improving my health  and my mental well being, so every now and then I stop and look about and see what works for me and what does not. Make a check list perhaps of your daily habits an see if they are good for you.

I’m spring cleaning my life, I no longer want to have burdens that pardon the pun weigh me down. So for me its time for the scale to go, I was going to make a big deal of when I dropped below 200lbs but I am choosing to live in the present and celebrate each day that I am doing my best. 

Wishing everybody the best in your search for what is healthy and I hope my little insights help someone out, I know I stand by the thought of challenge everything you are told and find out for yourself.


Peace and love all!

Monday, June 30, 2014

Coffee smoothie


Hello All, I tried this tonight after a long day and I was looking for some energy before I  took off for my evening walk.

This was for a single serving in case I really goofed up. I took my regular size travel cup and more then half filled it with room temp coffee. I add several ice cubes and some cinnamon, a cup of Greek yogurt , one egg and topped it off with some almond milk. Tossed in the blender for 30 seconds and tasted pretty damn good.

Give  it a try sometime!

Its been a little of thirty minutes since I drank it and I’m refreshed and ready to go hike my nearby trail.


Cheers all!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Energy for the whole day

I asked out loud if I could help anyone and a friend asked me out about energy and my wife has asked me about feeling drained and what is the answer.

I would start with first of all a good nights rest. We all need to recharge and 7 or 8 hours is a must, if your only sleeping fours hours then you are going crash. If you have poor sleep habits (I sure did), then you need to work on it. some tips for better sleep get away from the unnatural lights TV, PC’s cell phones. When the sun goes down my lights start to turn down as well. I prefer candles and sitting out in my yard and watching the sunsets. Its my time to unwind. You can watch TV shows anytime now so why not enjoy a glass of red wine and enjoy your evening outside.

Food is perhaps the most important thing for energy because it is our source of fuel. Make smart choices and you will go all day, bad choices and your blood levels will crash and burn. I know for years I used to eat fast food for lunch and everything single day around 2pm I wanted to take a nap. When I got home after five I would be  hungry again and then sleep for an hour and eat and then stay up all night with just a few hours of sleep and repeat the whole mess again.

When I discovered that my problems came from food within days I started to feel better. So what to eat??

Protein is a great way to get energy so , eggs are at the top of my list every day for breakfast, so many ways you can make eggs, just the best!

Chicken, red meat, fish and yogurt all things I eat every week.


Vitamin B

Dark leafy veggies like spinach , kale, and turnip or mustard greens.



Blueberries , raspberries, pineapple, coconut, bananas, apples.

Nuts: Almonds, cashews, walnuts

Smoothies: My personal favorite smoothie is very simple and tastes great and is filled with nothing but good stuff for you.

I add one banana, a cup of frozen blue berries, small cup of Greek yogurt,a spoonful of almond or cashew butter and then I fill the blender about half way with almond or coconut milk. If I have any kale or spinach on hand I toss that in as well.

I do not skip meals and I never eat bread (bread converts to sugar very quickly and slows you down) I also do my best not to eat any sugar(sugar gives you a false energy and then you crash even worst then before).


I like a handful of almonds or a cup of Greek yogurt .


I drink water all day, if your even a little dehydrated it wall slow you way down.


This is your bodies thermostat for burning fat, so to keep the fires burning I do all sorts of little tricks. I add hot sauce to my meals, I add cinnamon to my coffee and I eat a lot of hop peppers as well.


The number one thing we all need to do more of. Get off your butt and go for a walk. Walking does so many good things for us I could write about it and nothing else. Just walk , go around your block, walk through the woods just get moving.

Lift weights:

When you build muscle you burn fat 24/7. The more muscle tone you have your body will work for you instead of against you.


Get out and spend some time in the sun, your body craves it.


Now this is new for me and I admit I have a long way to go on learning this,but your mind and spirit I feel have to be on the same page as your body. Find a quiet spot and choose a word and repeat it , when your mind starts to wonder away from the word, take note of it and resume with your chant. I was amused at how often my thoughts kept trying to interrupt my little chant.

  Start slow but everyday try adding some new things to your life and at the same time remove a bad habit or two.   I will continue to post my recipes as I stumble on them and please write me if you have any questions. This for my pal Kina,every now and then you meet someone who just has a glow about them !

Peace and Love all!