“Look before you leap. But don’t stare.”
50 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.
It 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.
Entering 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.
If 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.”
Into week 5 of diet/fitness regime and down 13 lbs and 2″ in waist.
Without even holding in my stomach.
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.
I 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.
And 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.
When 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.
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 http://wp.me/p2T52x-61
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.
In 4 weeks I have lost 11 lbs and started doing light daily workouts.
Several friends have asked me what diet am I on.
My answer is “The disgust diet.” Which means that I have no real methodical diet at the moment– beyond eating less (and healthier) and exercising more—but that I am simply fortified with a personal disgust at how far I let myself go.
My wife and kids have been chiding me for a long time to drop some weight and get in better shape but, through a potent combination of denial and self-delusion, I was able to ignore their suggestions.
Until this picture above was taken of me on Jan 1 this year.
A picture, as they say, is worth a thousand words. And I didn’t like the sound of any of the words I heard in my mind when I looked at this picture of me standing outside the restaurant woofing down the remainder of my lunch from the “carry out” container as my family waited for me to catch up.
It’s enough to make any self-respecting fella to make some changes. And hopefully keep the “disgust diet plan” going for another month. And maybe a lot longer.
My mind on a diet.
“Ok, but how many calories would the other dish have if I only ate, like, one-third of it?”
“Or just one-fourth?”
“Or just one-fourth of both of them?”
Here a photo someone took of me today leaving my workout –after just three weeks of training.
I am as surprised as you. But it really is me.
Seriously. It is.
What? Don’t believe me?
The water in the background? Oh, that’s, um, that’s the Ohio River. I go to a gym in front of the Ohio River.
The tattoo? Oh, easy. That’s a washable I put on just joking around this morning…that’s all that is.
The bracelet? It….It…is a family heirloom, or something, I just wear sometimes and happened to put it on today before heading to the gym.That’s all.
The necklace? Um….That…the necklace. I wear that to work out in….for, um, just because it is important to for reasons that are hard to explain precisely to people who don’t work out a lot.
But, yeah, that is definitely me….
Um, OK, Ok. Fine!
Maybe not entirely me—just yet.
I mean, not me, really, per se.
Um, OK. I’m lying.
You happy now!?
It’s some picture I got off the internet.
But could be a picture of me in the future.
Maybe in another lifetime, if nothing else.
I started a new workout regiment today. And it lasted only 3 minutes.
Say what you want to about my light and low-stress exercise routine, but at least I am steroid free.
Exciting Diet Conversations.
Friend: “Well, John, what are you doing right now?”
Me: “Just sitting here, patiently, doing nothing, waiting to lose more weight… ”
This is me after making a healthy order at Vietnam Kitchen (great restaurant, by the way).
I am not happy. And making my order begrudgingly. But it is working.
Down 9 llbs in 3 weeks.
Score after 3 weeks:
John Brown: 6 6 7
Apple Fritters: 1 1 0
Game. Set. Match.
Lost 10 lbs
A side benefit of successfully staying on a diet:
No longer viewing a haircut, clipping my nails or shaving as activities that will reduce my weight.
I have been informed facetiously by a friend that there is bodybuilding competition for men ages 50-59.
I let my friend know that I believed I could put together a compelling posing routine –but the muscle mass, body tone, muscular definition, vascularity and ripped abs parts just weren’t there for me and never would be.
This is my scale.
After it gives me my weight, it calculates my BMI category –”Fat”
Lovely way to start the day. At least it doesn’t say or shout “Fat!” out loud or make sarcastic remarks to me or sigh with disgust.
On the positive side, if I can lose another pound and a half, I move from the BMI category of “Fat” to just being “Overweight.”
Take that! You dreadful, silently mocking scales!
Now that I have thinned down from “Fat” to bordering on merely “Overweight” according to the BMI chart, my taste in music has changed.
I find that now I can only listen to bands with really skinny lead singers like Chris Robinson of Black Crowes or Mick Jagger and all of the Rolling Stones.
I guess we skinny and soon-to-be-merely-”Overweight” guys just need to stick together.
Dieting and aging.
I am in week three of my diet and have lost 7 1/2 lbs. But just had a stark realization about dieting and aging.
When a man loses weight as a youth he goes from being “stout” to being “tone.”
When he loses weight as an adult he goes from being “heavy” to being “fit.”
And when he loses weight in middle age he goes from being “fat” to being “paltry.”
Click here to review and purchase
Congratulations to RP writer Josh Bowen for being named on of the world’s top 10 fitness trainers by Life Fitness magazine.
And as if that weren’t enough, congratulations to Josh again for the recent publication of his new fitness book 12 Steps to Fitness Freedom.
I haven’t read it yet, obviously. But need to. And will. Very soon.
Initially, I was going to try to write a humorous cop out for my good friend Jonathan Miller crushing me in our friendly fitness competition we begin this time last year. But I’m taking a different tack.
Since our fitness challenge, Jonathan has stayed the course, worked closely with Josh, worked out regularly and dieted reasonably and the results? He has patiently progressed physically and seen his overall health improve. Nothing that would boggle the mind or make the TV nightly news broadcast— but something significant; something noteworthy and something worth doing.
The tale of the tape? A loss of 4 pounds in weight and of about two inches in the waist and hips; and a gain of about two inches in the chest and shoulders and an increase of an inch in both upper arms. And Jonathan looks, feels and, most important, “is” healthier.
It took time, commitment, sacrifice and work. Not a tremendous amount but regularly. Monthly. Weekly. Even daily. But he did it. And Jonathan believes it was worth it. And I, in retrospect, have to agree.
Kudos, my friend. You won by default against me. But you won fair and square competing head-on with yourself. Which is, I have decided, the only real competition in every diet/fitness challenge.
That part of ourselves that can somehow keep our eye on the small-sounding prize of a loss of 4 pounds, 2 inches of fat reduced in areas we don’t want fat and 2 inches of new muscle in places where we want muscle has to “beat” the greedier part of ourselves that wants the apple fritter now; the soda pop we think we are thirsty for now; the part of ourselves that wants to stay seated instead of standing and wants to lie down instead of sitting. In short, the “Harder ‘NO’” has to repeatedly beat out the “Easier ‘YES’” –and not for a sure-fire immediate gratification. No, siree. But for sticking with the longer term plan that will show small but real improvements—in the future.
Jonathan and Josh — before and after
My experience is that the immediate gratification course is more fun but doesn’t work out as well in the long run. So for this new approach I’m adopting, I am going to have to give up a lot of little immediate gratifications. I’m just going to say it. This part sucks. It does. Big time. Wow! Ouch!!!! Hate it.
But the downside of going from immediate gratification to immediate gratification is you feel like a pinball between flippers. It’s an empty uncertain feeling until the next “hit” when you “score” some more points. I’m going to turn off the pinball machine for a while, I suppose, and plug in a device that keeps a real and boring score, like a health/fitness measuring device. There’s not the same loud bells and fun whistles but there’s also not the empty feeling between being flung from bumper to bumper. Less noise; less careening in the dark. And I will have to move beyond the pinball machine. Move a muscle, change a thought. But maybe the air is cleaner and smells better outside the arcade. And I will also have time to read Josh Bowen’s new book, 12 Steps to Fitness Freedom.
It doesn’t sound sexy or very fun, I know. But despite how counter-intuitive it all is, I am curious to find out if a year from now I report back that I like it a little better than the old way. Something tells me I will. Even if there’s no one for me to beat –except myself.
What is it about Champagne that so aptly embodies New Year’s Eve? Is it the effervescence, the silky luxury of a liquid that personifies decadence?
Is it the exoticism of a wine that most reserve for special occasions?
As surely as sequins and “Auld Lang Syne,” you will see gallons of the beverage imbibed on this night.
Perhaps it’s because New Year’s provides one last chance to indulge in a spell of revelry before settling into the quiet sobriety of winter resolutions.
Whether you’re hosting a New Year’s dinner party or just want a toast-worthy drink to pour before hitting the bars, it’s a good opportunity to brush up on your bubbly knowledge.
Of course, legitimate “Champagne” only originates in the region of France by the same name. All other bubblies are actually sparkling wines, and there are many interesting choices. California makes some excellent versions, as do Washington state and Virginia.
For inexpensive but lively European sparklers, try a Spanish Cava or a German Sekt. The Italians offer an array of fabulous sparkling wines, from the dry Prosecco to the sweeter Asti. There are also fizzy Shirazes, Rosés, and Lambruscos, all of which set a festive tone for merrymaking.
Sparkling wines are famous for their versatility with food pairings. A dry type complements everything from foie gras to spicy curry to apple pie. It’s also wonderful on its own. Save the sweeter kinds for before or after dinner, as they can overwhelm the palate and diminish the taste of many dishes.
As you’re perusing the Champagne aisle of your local wine shop, keep in mind the dryness vocabulary. From driest to sweetest, the range is Extra Brut, Brut, Extra Sec, Demi-Sec and Doux.
Ready to rollick? Here are a few picks to kick-off this boisterous night.
For a semi-sweet Italian sparkler, try: Martini & Rossi Asti.
For a fruity, Californian sparkling wine, try: Schramsberg 2009 Brut Rosé
For less than $10, this dry Cava is an absolute steal: Jaume Serra Cristalino Brut.
For classic French Champagne from a storied brand, go for: Taittinger Brut Reserve NV.
Cheers to a fantastic year and to many new memories in the making!