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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Answers Behind the Answer

Recently a friend asked for a few weight loss pointers. Instead of the standard fare, I want to share what made it possible for me to follow the standard fare. An answer beneath the answer. I hope this help someone as much as it helped me.

Start recording what you are doing. Write down when you’re waking up and when you are going to sleep. Don’t judge what you write, just write and start becoming aware of it, and yourself.


After you get a feel of what you are doing , start recording what you eat. Record when you eat, and where you are, physically, emotionally, write whatever you can. Try to be a little more detailed then you think you need to be. Again, don’t judge. Even if it’s 3 donuts and 2 kolaches. It’s not a test, it’s an exercise is mindfulness.

As you continue recording what you are doing, you begin to  learn a little bit about yourself.  Go ahead and add what you do with your down time. Is it TV time, reading books, scrolling away hours on social media? Don’t judge the actions, they aren’t good not bad. They are just actions.

You are learning yourself. You need to have a basic understanding of yourself, to make a change in yourself.

After a few weeks of getting interested in yourself.  After a few weeks of writing, recording, and learning about yourself. Then, you will have measured a basic baseline of your habits.

One cannot manage what they cannot measure. Same is true , one can begin to manage what one has measured. Congratulations, you have been measuring yourself. Now let’s try on a few adjustments and discover the magic happen in front of our eyes.

Managing Measurements

Choose one small thing you discovered about yourself these past few weeks. Attempt to change that habit. Extra points if you shift it into a better habit.

I'm not saying to fix a bad habit. Don't try to become perfect in that area. Just shift it. Think about small adjustments, weekly. The Grand Canyon wasn’t carved by a single, intense droplet of water. It was many small droplets over time.

Likewise, one significant change likely will just produce disaster. Let's try the small steps daily to reach the big changes. Instead of jumping into foreign worlds of discomfort, let's nudge the edges of existing comfort.  Let's nudge them toward your eventual goal. We can always throttle it up more as we journey on. No need to slam the pedal to the metal at the starting line. Think marathon, not sprint.

Examples

Maybe instead of 2 hrs of TV a night, try 1 hr of TV every other night. Use the other hour to go for a walk, or catch an extra hour of sleep. Try it 3 days a week. Over the course of a month, you will notice a change.

Maybe instead of 2 servings, try 1 serving 3 times a week. You can also prepare more later, if you really are hungry. But are you hungry, or are you conditioned to eat? Do you know the difference? Eat half the food you think you need. Find out. Instead of rice, try a serving of broccoli. Instead of chicken, try some lentils. Get curious. Get interested. Don't go crazy, just try new take on a familiar meal once a week. You can always go back if it didn't work. You can always change something else. 

Maybe decide to unfollow a facebook feed of guilty pleasures. Sure, we all love animal videos, but getting lost in them for hours, who does this help? You? Instead, consider following an inspirational page. Follow a few people who took the path you want to go. Communicate with them, ask them questions. They might provide insight, and help you on your journey. Not so much the case with animal videos. Right?

The Good News

Come to term with where you are. It’s not where you want to be. The good news is... That’s a good thing!

In the Hobbit, it’s the path between the shire to the volcano which makes the story. Success isn’t linear and weight loss isn’t a straight line. You will have days where you will fall off the wagon. Forgive yourself in advance. You are human. Get back on the wagon. It’s waiting for you.


One last thing. Keep asking questions. Keep being interested. Keep exploring who you are. You only get one body on this crazy trip through space on this rock. Try to have fun in it. Sometime the junk food is the healthy option.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Fun Free Facebook Event Weekend

May 19th to 21st

This weekend was a Fun Free Facebook Event Weekend.

I want to share with you my weekend in hopes you may find some Fun Free Facebook Events. They help me and my family be more active. I recommend checking them out on weekends not already booked.

May 19th – Houston Dynamo vs Galveston Harricanes

We batted the idea of going to see Guardians of the Galaxy II for a while but ended up doing this instead. I’m glad. First off, it was free. Second, there was a playground nearby. Third, it was a cool evening and we won’t get many more until winter.


I enjoyed watching from the sideline. It was so cool watching John imitating the various players from the sideline too.

One of the most interesting things was John rather wanted to watch to game than play on the playground. Such a peculiar boy but I think it’s good.


After a bit, a little league baseball game started over the way. John asked to watch America’s pastime instead. We walked straight past the playground on the way to the diamond, he didn’t even glance to the structure.

May 20th – Home Town Heroes Celebration

We started the day at El Franco Lee Park to drop off Colin at his Dad’s then headed here. I wasn’t sure what to expect. We found League City Police Department K9 division doing a K9 demonstration. These dogs are so cool and highly trained. I would not want to be a bad guy around them!


Near the end of it, John told me he was ready for the Firefighter Games. I guess I spilled the beans on that one so this was cut a little short, and it turns out that was for the best.

May 20th – 3rd Annual Firefighter Games of 6th street

We got to this even midway through it and boy was it cool. They had all typed of firefighter competitions. My favorite was water ball. Two competing teams use the fire hoses to blast a suspended buoy to the opposing goal. So good!


After a few matches and demonstrations, it was getting hot and the kids where tiring fast. They both crashed hard on the way back to the house. Cheers for a peaceful ride home. More cheers John went straight back to nap when he got home.


May 20th – Game Night

After a store run, Anne Marie loves to be the hostess with the moistest, we started setting up for Game Night. I had the grill fired up and food cooking while she prepped the inside.


The company came over, we chat and ate for a bit, but then it was time for the main event. Game Time.


Brian brought a game called 5 Minute Dungeon, it’s a hack and slash card game which impressed us all. We enjoyed it a ton!


After that, we considered Bureaunauts, a game created from some local friends . The thing was, it was too many rules and too late at night. I didn't have it in me to brush and instruct everyone on the rules so we turned to another game.


Oregon Trail. It was a great idea! Two cooperative games on game night was perfect. Can't wait for next time. We are planing to try out Betrayal at House on the Hill.

If you have any suggestions for cool, fun games for game night. please let me know. We're always excited to try new ones. Just leave your recommendations in the comment section and I'll get right back to you.


Thanks!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Ve-to’d – My hesitant transition from Vegan to Keto

If you follow me on MyFitnessPal (Hamenopi), you may notice my macros changed.  Once around 60%, my carbohydrates dropped to 5%. That is a huge change, both nutritionally and mentally.

Anne Marie wants to try the keto diet. That’s the high fat, low carb one. It is a radical shift from what I was doing (and planned for) but I want to support her in it. I also don’t want to prepare 3 different meals each night; kids aren’t interested in either.

The first week was tough! I missed (and still do) all the vegetables but now in week 2, I’m learning how to integrate them back into my routine.

In fact, cabbage is now back on my meal plan in week 2 during lunch. I found it surprising how excited I was to eat cabbage Tuesday. Maybe it was because I just finished working out and was ravenous. Still, I choose cabbage over bacon. That’s saying something.

Anyway, week 1 I was struggling getting enough protein. Week 2, now I’m getting too much protein. I think I’m finally figuring out and getting used to the ratios.

The thing is, I like to create my own meal plans so I understand the components behind it. I also love to cook and I rarely follow recipes as written. I see it as an art beyond the science. It worked when I was primarily plant powered. I believe it’ll work fueled with fat. I’m also logging my dietary art, because if mistaken, it’s better to find out sooner than later.

So, what does all this mean to you? Well since I’m doing keto now, I’ll be posting less vegan food and more keto food. Meat is back in my diet. Sorry to my displeased vegan friends, I hope we can still keep healthy relationships. I'm implementing every plant powered thing I can into the confines of a keto definition.

Anyways, thank you for reading. If you have any keto related questions. Please comment or email me. I’d love to connect.


Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Keto Avocado Boats

Keto Avocado Boats

  • Prep: 5 min
  • Cook: 
  • Servings: 1



Ingrediants

  • Avocado half, sliced and pitted
  • Diced Roasted Chicken (any protein will work)
  • Sautéed Spinach with diced garlic and onion
  • Crumbled Bacon
  • Optional: Crumbled or Shredded Cheese
  • Optional: Crumbled Pork Rinds
  • Optional: Mayo

Directions

  1. Use an ice cream scoop to hollow the pit more
  2. Dice and reserve scooped avocado
  3. Mix all other ingredients
  4. Scoop ingredients into hollowed pit
  5. Top with reserved diced avocado bits

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Bad Day

So, you had a bad day?


The company brought in donuts this morning and you just couldn’t help yourself, right? You even had to get a kolache, didn’t you?


And then some bad news came in which deflated you. You just don’t want to work out so instead you grab a burger. A big, juicy mushroom swiss burger, no sides held. Just think of all those calories, carbs and mayo. Yeesh!


Then back at home after work and after you've gorged a handful of Swedish Fish, you find wife had a bad day too and wants to eat her misery, and you just know misery loves company. So, you go out for drinks and burgers. Alcoholic milkshakes, really?! You got to be kidding me!


And the burger. Huge with a Y! It was a monster of taste and calories.


So, that was my last Friday. I gained 8 pounds that day. At least that’s what the scale said the next day. One may think I'd of ate the rest of the swedish fish, right?


Not this time.

I dropped 7 of those same pounds over the next 2 days. I didn’t do anything special. I just accepted that was an exceptional day and I thanked God that’s not daily tradition. I could go over all the science as to why I went up and down but that’s beyond the scope of my points.

One day off your diet isn’t going to kill you. Progress isn’t linear. It’s like a dance. Sometimes you need a step back to break through a plateau, to leap over a gap. Hating yourself for it does no good.

What I’m saying is just hop back on the wagon. No shame, spit it out. The wagon starts back up daily, and it’s right there. You don’t even have to run to catch up to it. Just hop on and enjoy the ride. Cause it’ll take you amazing places.

You know what won’t take you to amazing places? Feeling sorry for yourself.

You got this. Get back on the wagon.


Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Pineapple Pico de Gallo

A friend asked me to share my recipe for my pineapple pico de gallo. So posting it here for future reference.

I make this for potlucks and so far, it's been a smashing hit each time. The tast is wonderful and the presentation is like no other.

Note: If preferred, you can grill pineapples and peppers beforehand for a different flavor profile. 
  • Prep: 20 min
  • Cook: 0 min
  • Servings: 20


Ingrediants

  • 2 c pineapple
  • 2 c tomatoes
  • 1 c onions
  • ½ c serranos or jalapenos
  • ¼ c lime juice
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • ¾ c cilantro
  • ¼ Tsp salt

Directions

  1. Dice ingredients into small pieces, reserve pineapple shell
  2. Combine everything into a bowl
  3. Toss until thoroughly combined
  4. Transfer into hulled pineapple shell
  5. Garnish with pineapple top and chips

Friday, May 05, 2017

Shifting Focus



If you’ve followed me for a while you’ve noticed a theme. Do more with less.

Be more interested in what you do and do less uninteresting things.

During that time, I realized many things I do aren't interesting. Curious maybe, but they are distractions which take me away from more interesting things. Deeper things. I mean, even sand sparkles in the sun but it doesn’t have much of a return.

It’s a lot more rewarding to stay a course and get interested in deeper things at deeper levels. But to do that, you need to work on the basics. And the basics aren’t interesting.

What I’m saying is, to get to the dirt, one must dig through the sand. To find the rock, one must work through the dirt. To find the gold, one must work through the rock.

So, to get to the most rewarding things, you must be mindful of the basics which get you there. You need to get interested in them enough until you master them and get to the next level. And, sometimes the gold isn’t in the first rock you find so it’s good to get good in the basics, in the sand and dirt of life.

Of course, once you find the gold, you’re not retiring. Are you? You’ll need those basic skills to get you to the next chuck of gold, or better yet, your diamonds in life. So start learning to dig cause sure, sand looks shiny, but all it makes is glass.

Thursday, May 04, 2017

Time to Say Goodbye to 200

This morning again I weighed in at 200. In the past, I’ve panicked and binged my way back up to 210 before I reminded myself of my goals.

It happens. I’m not proud of it but it’s a part of my story and maybe it should be told. Maybe there’s others who struggle with the same.

Do you find yourself at a scary point and subconsciously return to familiarity?

That’s what I’ve been doing. I’m comfortable at 210. I was 210 in the Army. I understand 210. My clothes fit at 210.

But 199. I haven’t been a healthy 199 since high school that I remember. Sure, there was that time I ate raw garlic in the morning and did Herbalife but I was also in an unhealthy place in my life. I don’t talk about or think about that place much but I’m sure I’ll need to resolve those issues at some time.

On an aside. I need to transfer my photobucket pictures over to google photos. Man, did photobucket go downhill. Ads everywhere. I mean, doesn’t anyone even click on banner ads anymore? I know if it’s too much, I just start avoiding the site all together. I get it, you want to profit from what you made but holy cow. I just had to click through 2 pages full of ads to reset my password. You think I’m coming back once I offload these old pics? … Well that turned into a rant. Hope I got some good pics in there. =)

I did.

Anyway, I’m going to try my best to stay under 200 now. Maybe I’ll shift to the 195 – 205 range if it’s too difficult.

The thing is, I have my anniversary coming up and we’re planning to go out and then go on a mini vacation. Which I’m pumped about, but I want to mitigate potential weight overload. Sure, this this it’s celebratory but when will I run out of excuses?

I figure next year, I’ll read this and laugh.

So, if you want to encourage me, I could use some this month. I also have 2 weigh ins. One this Friday, one next Friday. Man did this post get lost in the weeds.


Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Get To Stepping To Get Your Steps In

If you live near Houston and haven’t been to the zoo lately, take a trip down nostalgia lane and get a ticket. But also, bring some friends.

Anne Marie, John, and myself met up with other family and took the tour ourselves this past Saturday. I forgot how much I loved it. Of course, my 3-yr old loved it too. I imagine the experience would have been different had he not.

One thing I never noticed, maybe because before I didn’t have kids, was obstacle courses for kids in the zoo.  It was hard getting John away from them but eventually we did by promising to show him the bat cave. Okay, maybe it was a little bit deceitful advertising on my part.

Anyways, we visited the bat exhibit, which was in a cave themed build, dark, with several tunnels. John found one and disappeared. When I caught up, I found him king of the bat hill.

His next favorite exhibit was the African village with the drums. He and I jammed out for a bit on them, I even taught him a few rhythms… even though he has more rhythm than I do.

My favorite exhibit was the primates. If you’ve followed me, I’ve been doing a lot of animal movements.  I just got to say, those monkeys can leap! One jumped from a squat and soared at least 15 feet onto a swinging log, then again to the other side of the enclosure. I was impressed! I wonder if I can do that?




Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Mini Pepper Pizzas

Sorry for falling off the blogging wagon but there's only so much I can do during the day and Facebook posts I kid but I ha. I've been hard at work with some projects at work and at home. However, that's no excuse to neglect you, right?

Today I want to talk about an appetizer I made, I hope you enjoy it. If you make it, do me a favor and post it on Instagram and tag me.

Mini Pepper Pizzas


I'm growing these peppers in the garden and my wife is trying a keto diet.

That means there is a ton of cheese and pepperoni in the refrigerator.

How people lose weight on keto diets still boggle me. I lost over 100 lbs. and can honestly tell you, I don’t have the discipline to stay under my calories on a fat based diet.

Still, while we’re experimenting with the keto diet, might as well make the most out of it with recipes!

Take a pepper or a ton of peppers. From the store or your garden. This one is my first pepper of the season. Let’s name him Bill.

Well, we wash Bill, then chop him and half to gut his insides. Okay, maybe naming the pepper was a bad idea.

Then we stuff the pepper with cheese. Any cheese works but if you want an Italian themed pizza, use mozzarella. I used a Mexican blend.

Then put stuff on top. Sliced mushrooms. More cheese. Bacon bits. I used pepperoni.

Start up your oven at about 300 to 350

Grease a pan and line them up.


Stick those bad boys in for 5 minutes and enjoy!