Wednesday, June 29, 2016

How I Saved Money Eating Organic

Last week, I shared how by using simple accountability principles, I was able to identify certain key problem areas in my weight loss journey.

By identifying them, I was able to increase my weight loss an extra pound a week. That is insane! What's more, I also was able to enjoy better brain food via books and get more well needed sleep.

1 stone, 3 birds.

Another thing I noted was how I was just throwing away food. Leftovers accumulated in my fridge, tossed week's end for a fresh supply.

Houston! We got a problem here!

I'm here hemorrhaging food and money while complaining about the price of organic produce! It not something I could just bandage.

Some were just small portions but others could be re-purposed into new meals with ingenuity.

Come on! There has to be a better way!

Luckily I was building my nutritional play book and found a few. I want to share them with you.

Food Hacks

Every week I was discarding Italian style ground beef to make room for Mexican style ground turkey. It was an endless cycle of needless refuse going on and on.

Realizing this fact, one day I asked myself an interesting question. Why couldn't I just salt, pepper, and garlic one bunch of one meat? Then toss that same meat in Taco or Pasta sauce the day of the meal for added flavor.

Worth a shot, right?

Well the food came out great, the food was devoured. The kids asked for more. The wife complimented my cooking. I knew then, I had something in the works. Let's see how far I could take it.

Lettuce Hack

Every other week, we would also waste an entire head of lettuce. Come on! No judging. We've all done it, right?

Now my hack for iceberg lettuce is removing the outer layers Monday Night for Taco Tuesday lettuce wrap tortilla alternatives before chopping the rest into Monday Night salad.

Stir Fry Hack

Mondays are also typically chicken, broccoli, and rice night. Don't hate the stereotypical healthy dinner!

Another hack is re-purposing Monday's leftovers for Friday's Asian inspired chicken stir fry. It's pretty much the same meal done different.

I mean, sometimes I need to cook up some extra rice, noodles, or veggies but the chicken is already prepared. Chop it up, add stir fry sauce and olive oil, and fry.


Because I began to reuse leftovers and re-purpose meals, my food costs for a family of 5 dropped. The result? I was able to transition to an organic dominant diet.

This is a case study of one so I don't know if this is typical but it's at least worth investigating. Try it out.

To You

How much money could you save by eating healthier? In the end, for me, quite a bit. That's another huge victory I discovered.

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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Boob Tube Zombie

An interesting part of accounting is you can build a nutritional play book. You also end up learning a lot about yourself.

One thing I found out is I'm far more likely to consume a ton of calories after 10 pm. 2 tons when watching TV with my wife at night.

Popcorn appears. Wine appears. Chocolate appears.
It's there. It's convenient. It's easy.
So it's consumed. Mindless. Without Account.

Destroyed Progress

I started tracking and accounting for it. You know, the whole accountability part. I woke to a glaring hole in my diet, a devious deficiency in my nutritional strategy.

I was a late night food druggie!

No matter how good I did during the day, when I watched TV after 10, without thought I'd destroy all my work!

Boob Tube Zombie

If you're anything like me, 4 hours vanishes every time I look at a TV. I'm not even saying Binge watching from time is bad but when it's the norm, that's the issue.

Last year, a decent sleep was the actual exception. I would watch shows all night while snacking and would get about 4 hours of sleep.

Guess what?! Next morning I was a boob tube zombie. Walking tired and groggy, I'd end up making more bad dietary decisions to stay awake. It's a vicious mindless cycle. Unsustainable.

Sounds familiar?


So now I go upstairs at 10 pm with a glass of water to read a book. It's been a great! That extra 1000 calories a night actually is easier to avoid on the other side of the house.

I also get more sleep this way. I'm usually happy with 30 minutes of reading and go to bed by 10:30. Now instead of 4 hours, I get 7-8.

I wake up refreshed and happy instead of tired and groggy. I'm also not dragging in the morning so I' m able to make better breakfast decisions. Win Win!


I found I burn about 100 calories an hour sleeping. While great, the kicker is not consuming the offsetting calories at all! It's dodging the temptations while burning the sleep engine! It's great!

Of course, usually once a week I will still watch TV at night. Those nights I still consume more calories then usual but it's now the exception. I'm also more aware of what's going on.

The process is less mindless and I can better control it. The goal isn't always to cut all the junk food in your life. The goal is to be healthy. Health isn't just the food you consume.

Health is also the time you enjoy with your friends, family, and loved ones.

One more thing

Another interesting part of accounting I discovered was how I cold save money by eating healthier food.

I'm going to dig deep into this topic in this week's newsletter. If you aren't subscribed. Now's a great time to join.

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Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Hacking Accountability to Combat Depression

Just like food, you consume thoughts.

Consider that for a minute.

Every second a hero's feast of thoughts lies before you. Some thoughts are your own while others are from those you know. Still others from origins not immediately obvious. They all sprinkle across the table before you, ready for consumption.

The question is... With which thoughts do you feed yourself?

Like food, not all thoughts are healthy. Some can even make you physically ill! Healthy and unhealthy, positive and negative, good and evil, life giving and toxic! Your tables is a smörgåsbord of different thoughts.

Which ones are you eating?

A Mental Harvest

Thoughts dictate emotions and emotions dictate actions.

When you consume a seed of thought, you bring it into your own body. Once within, you water and grow the seed into a plant of emotion. Eventually, those emotions bud flowers and bear forth the fruit of our actions.

I ask you, Does an orange tree grow apples and an apple tree grow oranges?


The seeds of you consume dictate the plants you grow which dictate the fruits you harvest.

This is not just a physical truth.

What Do I Do?

Become aware of what you consume! Open you eyes to your thoughts and know the seeds you plant. Record them so you may discern what is healthy from unhealthy.

Just like you record healthy meals, write down healthy thoughts about yourself. Likewise when recording a snickers, write down unhealthy thoughts about yourself.

For it is important to identify both. How much more difficult is the foe you cannot see? How do you know which plant to water and which weed to pluck?

How Can I Hack This?

As you record your thoughts, do not judge them. Accept them for what they are.


We all consume some effed up thoughts. You are not alone. Sometimes the dreaded deep fried twinkie of negative thoughts attack us when we least expect it. It happens to us all. This is how we learn how to keep that jerk from tripping you up and kicking you while your down.

On the same token, remember to record your positive thoughts too. Seek out persistently positive thoughts and welcome them like an old friend. Write them down and record them like a friendly letter to yourself.

The Tome of Positivity

Once you have a few positive thoughts, grab another notebook and transcribe them. Let's call this the Tome of Positivity. It's like a healthy living cookbook for the mind. Refer to it whenever you are mentally hungry for positivity.

Write other positive things like motivating quotes and simple small daily victories. Fill up this book with everything that uplifts you. Read it every time you thirst for spiritual water.

As time progresses, you'll notice your mental appetite will start to change. It is just like in weight loss, your physical appetite changes as you continue to grow healthier. I'm not saying you'll never been tempted with the mystery meat nuggets of negativity.

I'm saying it will be easier and easier weekly to drive by that drive thru line of self doubt.

You don't have to be a slave to those thoughts.

You don't have to consume them because you have built and grown your own garden of positivity thinking with fresh and healthy fruit just wanting to be delightfully devoured.

This changed my life!

We consume with our mouths 3-6 times a day but we consume with our minds 3-6 times a second! If I can lose 80 pounds in 1 year. How much mental and emotional baggage could I lose in 1 month?

Enough to weep in joy. Enough to cry in thanksgiving. Enough to slay some of my scariest dragons I ever imagined.

Because that's what most of them were, Imagined Dragons.

And the dragons I ran from for over a decade? They turned out to be nothing but ugly lizards casting long shadows.

So could be yours.

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Thursday, June 09, 2016

Hacking Accountability

Okay, so logging your food is tedious and boring. I get that. I feel you. I felt the same way.

At first it is going to be tedious and boring.

The gold is worth the dig. Risk out on it and you'll see.

I just want to go over a few perk I found on my personal accountability journey I think may convince you to pick up your mental shovel and start sifting.

  • The week you lost 5 pounds. You don't have to work to remember what you ate to get there. It's written down.
  • The week you gain 5 pounds. You don't have to work to remember what you ate to get there. It's written down.
  • You become more aware of the food you consume. You are able to assign nutritional and caloric values to food.
  • You can review and begin learning what foods are a great fit for your goals and what foods are a bad fit for your goals.

The Fun Stuff

This is when you can start hacking the system in your favor. This is where the Nutritional Rubik's cube finally makes sense.

This is where you really start winning. This is where it gets fun.

  • You can slowly start divorcing from meals that are bad fit for your goals. You don't need to go cold turkey on junk food.
  • You can start adjusting meals that aren't a great fit into meals that may be a better fit for your goals. This is where you get to play with your food!
  • You can start repeating meals that are a great fit for your goals. All you need is to find like 10 meals and you win.
  • You can start planning in advance what meals to eat that match and/or beat your goals. Victory.


Even with junk food, you can win with this process.

Let's take Jake's 1000 Calorie Burrito Story.

For lunch, it's not the best idea, but if you halve it and save the other half for dinner or split it with a friend, you are winning!

I do this all the time with my wife. We'll split entrees. When done, we are very satiated. We aren't overstuffed miserable, and the ticket is very reasonable.

Depending on how comfortable you are, you can do the same with a friend or even a coworker. Most restaurants will even split the plate for you. Some charge a small fee but it's reasonable. Ask.

In Review

I want to hit up a few more points.

  • Learn to forecast a healthy diet you can enjoy. This way you're GUARANTEED success.
  • Don't aim for your minimum viable calories for the day. It set you up for failure.
  • Find a happy medium between a stabilizing diet and a weight loss diet and explore it. Be curious.
  • Don't sweat the days you go over your caloric budget. Log it and accept that it is what it is.
  • Stressing about food doesn't burn enough calories to be worth it. You're a work in progress.
  • Failing doesn't make you a failure. Failing is a prerequisite to success.


My next article, I'll discuss how you can use these same principles to hacking accountability to combat anxiety and depression. No kidding, this changed my life. You don't want to miss it.

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Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Accountability Establishing Consistency

I would eat healthy for 3 day in a row. I'd get my greens in and eat grilled chicken or fish. With Quinoa! I'd get ground turkey instead of beef for taco tuesday. I'd even make it a lettuce wrap instead of a tortilla!

I was doing good!

Then on the 3rd slam down a greasy 1000 calorie burger for lunch. Of course, on the 4th day I woke up full of regret and was certain I ruined my diet for the week. I was bloated and cranky and felt like a bleeding failure.

So I did what any sane person would do,

I gave up on my diet until next Monday.

Giving Up

I've wrote previously in my newsletter how lack of consistency wasn't my biggest problem but my perception of myself when I wasn't consistent was.

I want to expand on that.

When I tripped up in my diet, I mentally and emotionally started to sabotage myself. After a bad day, I woke up and saw myself as a failing fat guy who couldn't figure out how to lose weight.

I'd step on that scale and see all the work I did, canceled out.

Everything for nothing.

I Was Wrong

For my actions to change, my thoughts had to change. I had to stop thinking of myself as a fat loser and start thinking of myself as someone just trying to figure out a puzzle.

It's like rotating a few blocks on a Rubik's cube, then giving up! If you believe you'll never solve a Rubik's cube, you're not apt to put in the effort to try.

It's like this: Thoughts dictate emotions which in turn dictate actions. Once I begun to understand that, I was able to begin to rewire my thinking.

Accountability establishing consistency

I allowed myself opportunities to make positive actions, accountability became a viable choice. Once I understood failing doesn't make a failure but failing is a prerequisite to success, instead of running from failure, I looked for better ways to fail.

I let the scale tell its story and stopped freaking out at every plot twist.

No one is perfect!

Just keep working until the story reaches a happy ending.


That's the best we can do. Imperfecting their way until we are better than good. I'm still imperfecting my way towards better health!

I started with writing down what I was doing. Then I added how I was feeling. Then again how I felt afterwards.

At the end of the week, I'd go over the information and "calculate" my high score. The next week I knew my previous score and I knew how I made it. Logically by adjusting a few variables, I could adjust my final score.


In my next post I'll dive down deeper into what I did and simplify the process. You definitely don't want to miss it so take a second and sign up for the How to Slay Dragons Newsletter today.

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Wednesday, June 01, 2016


I advocate accountability groups and parters. In fact, I have a few of both.

But the biggest game changer for me has been developing personal accountability.

Before you run for the hills, let me break it down so you.

Accountability is not punishment

Accountability does not mean eating a snickers, feeling regret, then running to the gym for 3 hours of HIIT.

It does not mean eating a reeses, hate crying yourself into the fetal position, then promising to fast the next three days.

That's called punishing yourself!


HIIT and Fasting have their place in health and nutrition but it shouldn't be punishment.

Just like Snicker's and Reese's have places and it shouldn't be shame.

That's driving down resentment road with your emotional brake lines cut.

These stories don't have happy endings!

Note: HIIT and fasting is not necessary for weight loss. Neither are Snickers and Reeses. I'm using hyperboles to compare and contrast.

Accountability is accounting for something

Accountability can't exist without a proper accounting practice

No accounting = no accountability.

How would you feel if your bank only accounted for some of you money? I'd find a new bank.

I'd find one with a proper accounting practice. An accountable bank.

What about your nutrition?

Next time a snickers bar assaults your mouth, instead of being stricken with remorse. Write it down in a food journal.

Then write the other things you eat too. That's a proper nutritional accounting practice.

Instead of negatively reacting with emotion, positively respond with logic.

Then at the end of the week when you review your caloric budget, you better see how you reached your destination.

Not Easy

I completely understand. I'm not 100% on mine at all time neither. But logging your food will make it a ton easier to lose weight.

Remember, you are not logging your food to shame you, you're logging your food to understand what you're putting into your body. Once you understand and have a baseline, you can start make changing and realistically start expecting different results. Not immediate, but imminent.

I recently wrote a few articles which go into more detail. I invite you to check them out down below.

While you are there, don't forget to join the How to Slay Dragons Community where I go into greater detail and show my exact steps on how to lose over 80 pounds in a year.

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