John Y’s Musings from the Middle: The Beverly Hillbillies in Boca

10006221_10154036606585515_1122170479_nTonight my wife and daughter and I couldn’t decide if we should order room service for dinner or go out. We decided, since we were in Boca Raton, to go out –to our favorite Italian restaurant after driving by the old apartment complex where Rebecca and I lived briefly when we were newlyweds in the early 90s. I was fresh out of law school and working for Kenny Rogers Roasters. It was an exciting time in our lives and our son was born in a Boca Hospital just down the road from our apartment a few months before we moved back to Kentucky.

Lots has happened since then and tonight our daughter was with us and we wanted to share our memories with her. Unfortunately, our favorite Italian restaurant was no longer around but we found an excellent substitute, Trattoria Romana, a 4 1/2 star restaurant nearby. The problem was we were looking a little ragged and unkempt after driving 5 hours from Key West. We were wearing sweatpants and, in my case, was unshaven and wearing a rumpled shirt. But we were determined to retrace our steps the best we could for old times sake.

As we walked into the elegant restaurant we could tell we stood out in an awkward and uncomfortable way. We felt like the Beverly Hillbillies had just walked into the Boca Raton country club and at any minute we would be asked to leave. We joked among ourselves that maybe we were making other people uncomfortable that they may had overdressed tonight. After some uncomfortable self-conscious banter we were seated. Not beside the kitchen door–which was what I expected– but in a secluded corner tucked away from visibility from anyone save the waiter. It was obvious but not offensive if were willing to suspend disbelief long enough to get through an appetizer and entree.

We continued to chuckle and joke among ourselves as the waiter brought bruschetta to our table. I tried to eat the bruschetta while ordering but ended up dribbling oily chunks of tomato in an orderly pile beside my plate instead of inside my mouth. My daughter was laughing almost uncontrollably at how deftly I was fulfilling the stereotype we assumed our waiter had of us–and I wasn’t being self-deprecating. Just self-fulfilling.

I wanted to play it up with the waiter and ask if they served possum and grits. But I didn’t. We ordered rigatoni and ravioli, two entrees easy enough to pronounce–and split the two entrees among the three of us. So far, so good. We skipped dessert and asked for the check before something really embarrassing happened.

jyb_musingsAs we slinked out I joked with Rebecca and Maggie that maitre ‘d was probably expressing relief that we were leaving quietly and not creating a spectacle. We laughed again amongst ourselves and filed in line behind several older regulars at the restaurant who were chatting and chuming it up loudly and proudly–and a little intoxicated. One, a distinguished looking man of about 70, turned to me and peering over his bifocals couldn’t decide if he should give me his car parking stub or not. So he just held it out in my direction in an uncommitted way so that if I were the valet I would know to take it but if I wasn’t it would look like he was just making it known he had a parking stub but wasn’t directing it at anyone in particular.

I was laughing to myself at yet another slight– but also, by this time, getting a little irritated. So I responded by pulling out my parking stub and offering it to the distinguished 70 year old man. “Could you, uh, please get my…Oh wait! I’m sorry” And then the man’s friend interjected laughing, “He thought you were the valet and tried to give you his parking stub” We laughed together and I said I would be happy to get their car if they were good tippers and not in a particular hurry.

Then some other friends from their party came out and we tried to chat but one of the other gentleman, also about 70 and distinguished looking, said to his group just loudly enough for us to hear, “Open the door and anyone can walk in.” He was referring, apparently, to us–the riffraff in sweatpants and, in my case, unshaven and with a rumpled shirt.

I thought to myself. “Surely, he’s not referring to us.” But my wife and daughter assured me he was.

I looked at him agog and thought to myself, “What do you say to that?” I didn’t say anything. And at that moment the valet pointed to where our car was parked across the lot rather than deliver it to us. We, staying consistent, only had $1 of cash left and used it as our tip. I was very discrete in handing it off hoping the valet would think he got a larger single bill than a $1 and wouldn’t notice until we had pulled off the property.

The drive back home we joked about our dinner experience as outcasts and I tried to think of something clever I wished I had said to the man who made the rude comment about opening the door and anyone walking in. But nothing at all came to me. Which confused me. I am usually good at telling people off after they offend me and I am driving home having an imaginary conversation with them and putting them in their place. I was offended but other than fantasizing what it would have felt like to punch him (which, of course, I didn’t), I couldn’t come up with a clever or funny retort. And didn’t really even want to. It just felt like any way I could respond to such a rude comment would automatically devalue me more rather than put the other person in his place. (Especially if I haven’t shaved.)

And that, I suppose, is the lesson I learned tonight.

In the future when I go to a nice restaurant, I will try to dress more appropriately. If I do that I won’t feel as awkward and have to make inside and self-deprecating jokes about myself. Or pretend I don’t know who the valet is. And if someone treats me rudely by making an insulting remark, there’s nothing I need to say at all in response. Just let it lie and leave it with the rude person un-responded to. And just fantasize about punching the rude guy in the face (even though I really don’t) as I drive off the lot–after tipping the valet $1.

Josh Bowen: 10 Fitness Must-Knows

When starting or continuing a fitness program, it is vital to know the “insider information” from the pros. The following is a satire, a joke and a ruse designed to make you laugh and or cry while evaluating your fitness knowledge. Be mindful that some of us believe in these principles. Proceed with caution.


1. The proper amount of protein intake each day

All of them…duh.

2. Monday is International Chest-Day

chest day

Nothing is scheduled…nothing.

Read the rest of…
Josh Bowen: 10 Fitness Must-Knows

John Y’s Musings from the Middle: Diet Update

Diet-Meme1Week 10 of my diet and down 14.7 lbs (oh hell, let’s just day 15 lbs!)

My goal is 12 more pounds. Not sure why that is my goal other than Kent Oyler, who is my height and much fitter than I am, told me what he weighed when I was starting my diet and I decided I wanted to look like him. We were at an event at the Kentucky Science Center and talked about it. I never told him that because it sounds kind of creepy but it’s the truth.

I lost 12 lbs the first 6 weeks and only 3 lbs the past 4 weeks….but I am moving in the right direction–just slowly.

It may be summertime before I have my Kent Oyler-esque bod. But I looked at a picture of Kent and I on Facebook just now and I think it will be worth the wait. And that sounds really, really creepy and is probably something I should have just kept to myself. But dieting finds the strangest motivators and that is all I am trying to say.

And if Kent sees this post please know that just because I imagine your physique in my mind daily as an idealized motivator for my diet, I am not imaging your body in any kind of weird way that should concern Kathy. I swear. It is just a dietary tool and totally normal, I am sure. I hope. And thanks for being my inspiration. And I don’t mean that in any kind of weird way either. I really don’t. I swear.

jyb_musingsLook, all I am trying to say here is I have lost 15 lbs and have 12 lbs to go. And when I get there perhaps Kent Oyler and I can dress up like twins one day just for fun. OK, I know that is really, really weird and I am totally joking. Promise!!

Although…I suppose it could be kinda cool. But probably not. Not “probably not” that I will lose the additional 12 pounds but “probably not” that when I do Kent and I will dress in the same outfit one day. Unless, of course, Kent insisted on it. Out of respect for him I would have to consider it then. But it would have to be his idea. And even if I ageed to do it I would pull Kent aside and tell him I thought his idea was a little weird and I wasn’t completely comfortable with it. But I would do it anyway because Kent’s a good guy I respect a lot and I feel like I owe him.


Diet update: For the first time in 3 months, I went shopping for a new pair of pants.

3 months ago I wore a 38×29 (and was pushing it at 38 in and measured 39″) –but today fit comfortably into, get this, 35×30 pants.

That’s right. I have lost 4 inches in my waist.

But perhaps even more impressive, I have –apparently–grown an inch as well. And I wasn’t even trying to grow. Buying a pair of medium boxers ….well….that was just showing off.

Josh Bowen: Food Prep 101

“You either prepare to succeed or prepare to fail…there is no in-between.”


You have great intentions. You want to eat better. You want fitness results. But you didn’t bring any food to work today. So you go out with the rest of the crew and eat Mexican.

Is this you?

Professor JB here! I am prepared to take you through a course of food preparation. But first lets digress on why you would prepare your food:

1. Selection- I find that clients that prepared their meals ahead of time select better foods. Clients that do not prepare meals, tend to select whatever is available. Selecting whatever is available is a great way of messing with your fitness results.

2. Cost Effective- Today I fixed 3lbs of chicken and a half pound of rice. This will last for 10-12 meals. The total cost $60 or $5-6 per meal. To eat out and get the same meal would cost $10-15. That is a savings of $5-10 per meal. In other words, prepare your meals.

3. Results- Everyone wants results but few are willing to do what it takes to get them. If you want results, prepare your meals. It is that simple.

Now let us get down to the “nitty gritty” on how to prepare your food.

1. Prepare ahead of time- Take a day or two and prepare your meals for the week. Plan what you are going to have (in accordance of your goals) each day and only cook what you need.

2. Keep it simple- Try your best to keep it simple. A great protein source, a steamed vegetable and a small amount of carbohydrates (depending on goal) is a great way to prepare your meals.

3. Variety- If you want variety for taste purposes, use different seasoning and sauces to switch it up. Keep the additives to a minimum but also it is important to have fun with your meals. Getting a cookbook and trying different recipes is a great idea as well.

4. Fun- Try you best to look at this as fun, rather than a chore. This process is to help you see fitness results and keep you on track and more efficient.

For you enjoyment, here are some of my lovely clients food prep pictures:

food prep 2

food prep 1

food prep 3

Yours in fitness,

Josh Bowen: Some Helpful Charts




John Y. Brown, III: The Silver Anniversary of a Golden Partnership

“Look before you leap. But don’t stare.”

1653456_10153927893005515_1320887543_n50 Years Ago Today (on March 4, 1964)…..a young restless attorney who didn’t have the passion for the law his father did and who was recently married with an infant son decided to throw caution to the wind—in large part because the more cautious road ahead held limited appeal to him–and to leave the practice of law to pursue the unlikely business proposition of selling a unique fried chicken recipe packaged in red and white buckets and promoted by a senior citizen in a white suit, string tie who sported a goatee and was named Colonel (he was commissioned a Kentucky Colonel years Harland Sanders.

Today 50 years ago was the day that my father (and his financial partner, Jack Massey from Tennessee) bought the rights to sell Colonel Sanders 11 secret herbs and spices and the day Kentucky Fried Chicken Corp was incorporated.

It was a very good day for my family, Kentucky, Colonel Sanders, people who like fried chicken and the practice of law.

jyb_musingsIt was a less momentous day for poultry everywhere.

Happy 50th Anniversary to a dreamer, my dad to dreamers everywhere for that matter), a man who dared to act on his unlikely dream. Until it wasn’t just a dream anymore.

John Y’s Musings from the Middle: Diet Update

dietingEntering week 7 of my diet/fitness plan.

Holding steady at loss of 13 lbs. Actually 12.6 lbs. But we round up here in KY.

Workout I would describe as like “Across Fit” –something you might find opposite a “Cross Fit” workout. But it is happening.

Finally, still no steroids or other PEDs. Although I am taking one Garcinia Cambogia tablet each day. But still don’t know how to pronounce it.


Diet tip for calorie counting.

Just knowing how many calories are in a serving of food is helpful but not enough to cause us to make the best dietary decisions.

I have found that multiplying the calories by a factor of 5 for foods I want to eat, and dividing calories by a factor of 5 in healthy foods I don’t want to eat, makes it more likely I will make better choices than just knowing the actual calories.

For example, a single pecan braid from Panera Bread has, according to my system, 2,350 calories (instead of 470)

And a serving of has just 6.2 calories (instead of 31)

So, do I eat the food choice with 2350 calories or 6.2 calories?

See how that works? Now it isn’t so obvious that the pecan braid is the better choice–and could really go either way.


How to eat your way to good health –without changing what you eat.

Just leaving Japanese restaurant and have decided the Japanese, as a population, are thinner and healthier than Americans NOT because of their diet (fish, rice, etc) but rather because they have to try to eat with chopsticks instead of a fork, spoon and knife.

jyb_musingsIf I had to eat with chopsticks my whole life, I’d be at least 50 pounds lighter. You just plain old give up before you are halfway through any meal.

Chopsticks, not diet, is the key!!


An ad I would like to see…

“Want to get in shape?

It’s really not all about the shoes.”

John Y’s Musings from the Middle: Diet Updates

1549541_10153819657710515_36638498_nInto week 5 of diet/fitness regime and down 13 lbs and 2″ in waist.

Without even holding in my stomach.

Very much.


So what do you do when you are on a diet (and really committed to it) and are craving your favorite sandwich at Steak & Shake, a Frisco Melt, just as you are approaching a Steak & Shake restaurant?

And look up the calorie count and find out it has 1173 calories?

You suck it up. Feel the pain. And keep on driving.

And realize a piece of you just died.


John Y’s Musings from the Middle: Colonel Sanders

1551700_10153814952580515_1803988779_nI fully support YUM and think they are a great company and corporate citizen. But the other night I was parked across from a KFC restaurant and for several moments couldn’t stop staring at the logo rendering of Colonel Sanders.

It just wasn’t the way I remember the Colonel looking. I’m no Colonel Sanders expert and only met him a handful of times…But something about this logo image bothered me. This man pictured in the logo looked pleasant, harmless, bland, and a little metrosexual. Frankly, he looks more like a Walmart greeter (no offense to Walmart greeters) than one of the century’s great restauranteurs and entrepreneurs.

1796461_10153814955580515_195611752_nAnd the Colonel often mumbled to himself while deep in thought about his exacting standards about whatever he was doing…..and never would have said something like “Today tastes so good.”

Colonel Sanders, as I recall him, was kind-hearted and generous but could be gruff at times, too. He always seemed like a proud and determined man, He was in many ways an artist. A perfectionist who demanded from others what he gave.

And he seemed to enjoy life. Seemed to suck out the marrow, in his own way, as Thoreau wrote.

jyb_musingsWhen it was time for me to leave the parking lot the other night, I pulled away slowly and stared again at the image of the Colonel on the KFC logo.

And decided if the new made-up image of the Colonel could meet the real Colonel, there’s a good chance the real Colonel may have taken a swing at him –and told him to get that silly grin off his face and for he and his apron to back in the kitchen. And probably given up on him ever looking as dignified as the man who came up with the 11 secret herbs and spices and left his unmistakable imprint–including his unique and distinctive appearance — on the world.

Josh Bowen: 10 Ways to Reduce Body Fat


It had become apparent to me. It didn’t take long at all. More often than not, clients came to me to lose body fat. Seems simple, correct? Not so fast. I could suggest everyone eat organic grilled chicken, raw green vegetables and do loads of cardio but that would be futile and a waste of time. So to help my clients and help loads of other revolutioners  I compiled a list of 10 Ways to Lose Body Fat. Here we go:

1. Reduce Sugar

I refer to my two favorite books on this topic; “Sugar Shock” and “7 Principles of Fat Burning” when suggesting and advising clients on reducing their sugar intake. In order to lose body fat we have to turn our “fat burning” hormones on and the “fat storing” hormones off. Reducing the amount of processed sugar reduces the peaks and valleys of insulin secretion. This increases the effect of growth hormone, which decreases body fat. Choosing food with more fiber or nutrient dense foods like vegetables, help keep insulin levels low and fat burning hormones high. Also, you can refer back to a previous blog where I explore sugar and its detrimental effects on the human body

2. Consume Healthy Fats

Fat!!! Won’t fat make me fat? As I explain in this blog post here, essential fats do not contribute to increasing body fat. On the contrary the help the body reduce the amount of body we have. Other properties such as; decreasing inflammation and improving the cardiovascular system are all benefits of consuming healthy fats.

3. Reduce Wheat, Soy and Dairy

In my new book, The 12 Steps to Fitness Freedom, I discuss the facts about wheat, soy and dairy. In most cases, these three will trigger an inflammatory response in the tissue causing the body to hold onto body fat. Soy and dairy, specifically, have been found to increase estrogen in both men and women (refer back to the 7 Principles of Fat Burning for more information). Here is a great article discussing milk and why we shouldn’t drink it.

4. Drink a Minimum of 64oz of Water

Water has zero calories and is a necessity to life. Drink it.

5. Manage Stress

Stress kills. Stress also adds body fat. The higher one’s stress, the higher your stress hormone, cortisol is. The more cortisol, the more body fat. Try massage, working out, relaxation techniques or change you attitude or situation. Either way, reduce the amount of stress on yourself to a tolerable level.

6. Increase Green Leafy Greens

Vegetables are essential in the fat burning process. They typically are low in calories and high in nutrients. Nutrients that pack a punch for burning body fat. Broccoli, kale, spinach and asparagus are all great sources of vitamins and minerals your body needs to thrive and reduce unwanted body fat.

7. Eat Complete Proteins at Every Meal

Protein helps repair and ultimately build muscle. Muscle boosts your metabolism. Eating protein helps burn body fat. The concept of complete vs. incomplete protein is some foods have a complete amino acid (building blocks of muscle) and others don’t. Beef, chicken, turkey, fish and eggs are all considered complete. Grains, nuts, seeds, beans are all considered incomplete proteins.

8. Lift Heavy Things

Resistance training boost the metabolism in the short term by increasing fat burning hormones testosterone and growth hormone and in the long term by increasing muscle, devouring unwanted body fat. Lift heavy things.

9. Fresh Lemon in Warm Water

Because lemon is an alkaline food, drinking it with warm water can help with the body’s pH levels. Also, it can help aid in digestion and waste reduction, allowing the body to rid itself of food that has not been deposited into the colon. This also helps with the skin to create a radiant glow.

10. Love the Body You Have While Working for the Body You Want

As difficult as it is, we must accept what is. Unfortunately, none of our bodies will change over night. There is a period of waiting. However, while we wait we must learn to love ourselves for who we are and not who we are not. Love yourself and your body, while you are working towards the one you want.

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