Making Safe Zones Out of Crises Moments

A safe house is a secret geographical address known to field agents which is a prepared location used in planned and unplanned situations. These houses are usually not elaborate, fancy homes but non descript in nature and safe in the fact that only a small number of people know about them and they are rarely used, therefore not attracting unwanted attention.

The key words for our purposes here in the HealthiER field are Prepared and Non-descript.

I need prepared, simple go-to foods that are safER than the sandwiches, potato chips, ice cream and cookies in which I indulged prior to my endeavor to live cleaner and leaner. Enter yogurt cups, oatmeal cookies, granola bars, nuts and fruit.

For those of us eating in a strange new land (six mini meals a day is rather strange. I still haven’t gotten used to it) the after breakfast snack or the before dinner snack can easily become an eating binge that empties the kitchen of everything not bolted down or painted gray (navy terms creep back in occasionally). My working fix (the fix that works really well most of the time) is to;

  • eat something that I know in my head is supposed to be filling
  • eat only one of them
  • leave the kitchen knowing that the hunger sensations WILL go away until the next sanctioned meal

An oatmeal cookie, single serving yogurt cup, large handful of nuts or a granola bar does the trick. Instead of ingesting several hundred calories of sandwich and chips, which is all high carb that will never even come close to getting burned off (drop and give me 1,000 you maggot!), I enjoy something I like while putting something healthiER down my sushi hole.

Spend serious research time preparing for success during the hard moments; we already have the easy moments covered.

See you after the next weigh date


Outdoor Grilling Tips

If direct cooking is so healthy, then what is indirect for?

Indirect cooking is for larger pieces of meat, fatty foods, ribs, extra thick steaks, etc. One really good application of indirect cooking on the grill that maintains a healthy result is pouch grilling. Wrap up some sliced potatoes, chunks of pork, chicken or fish in foil pouches and grill over indirect coals or burner until done and juicy. Remember to pepper to taste; leave the salt out completely if you can. If not, just add a pinch across the entire mess.

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The Baby Step

baby steps

One step at a time, baby!


In every major military campaign, the war was won by taking a few yards at a time. Whole countries have been overtaken by focusing assets on miniscule but important gains, while minimizing expected setbacks. Many lost battles were figured into the whole, and results overall were labeled as acceptable because the war was won in the end.   

Look at how far left the current administration has taken the direction if not the entire position of our country politically and socially. Mr. Obama did not accomplish this himself. Our country has suffered such setbacks as far back as FDR’s new deal. This set the stage for Mr. Obama’s renewed attack on our republic after we have all accepted FDR’s forced wage theft under the guise of support of the less fortunate. Since we are used to the government taking money right out of our pay checks since 1933 and handing it over to folks thousands of miles away, what is a few trillion for bail outs and socialized health care?   

Aye, just a tad off topic. But these are the things that keep me awake at night. Hillary was right about at least one thing, be careful what you wish for, you might get it. I haven’t worn my DEFEAT HILLARY COMMUNISM t-shirt for several months, now.   

Acceptable losses. This is the perspective of the general and the executives. This can not be the attitude of the foot soldier. The grunt on the ground must be relentless in his efforts or he will die.   

These are merely facts of engagement. They are truths.   

The truths by which the HealthiER Weight Warrior lives might be less grandiose, but enjoys no less of an impact. If we don’t stick to our guns and execute our plans, day in and day out, we will die earlier among other things.   

I have been battling with the lack of losing weight recently for several weeks mainly due to the time of year. Every year around this time we enter into a contract with the alarm clock. We get up hours before it goes off, and it promises not to bother us when it does manage to squeak out its late announcement at 7am. And then, if we’re lucky, we get to sleep for about four or five hours before the next getup. I’m not complaining; I’m just sayin’ … (It’s complaining. Don’t kid yourself.) On top of that, we are moving.   

Moving has been glamorized by many men as anything from Hell on Earth to I’d rather just go get all of my wisdom teeth pulled at once, without anesthesia.   

Without the help of our good family and friends, Dan & Cindy Woodward and Mike and Michele Rippy in Dwight, Illinois (L&M Limo 815-584-3414 the new wood floor would not have been laid, the bedroom carpets would not have been shampooed (Corie Marks did all of that), the new Internet cable would not have been installed from the north end of the house to the south, all done in the crawl space through sand, rocks and dirt, the multiple garage sales and stuff moved and a really cool place to hang our hats during the year long interim between houses would not have existed.   

Really, my wife Corie headed everything up and did much of the work herself. Bonnets off to her.   

The point is, retraining one’s self to a new way of living is really a full time job; one that is made almost impossible while engaging in a 911 life. We are dealing with tendencies built in since childhood and reinforced for over thirty years of incorrect eating habits. One might correct a bad habit, but that comfortable, special, warm fuzzy one enjoys when practicing the incorrect habit doesn’t ever get completely squashed in my estimation. Like my friend Gio says, “I came up with that all on my own.”   

This type of Manchurian Candidate reprogramming takes up real mental resources involving not only cognitive facilities but emotional assets as well. And, it’s the emotional reset button that really needs the workout. Islamic suicide bombers have nothing on the overweight foodie who learns a new healthiER way to live.   

So, since I have now completely a moralized my inability to maintain a successful weight loss track while running hither and yon putting out task fires, let me say that I still believe that there is no excuse for dropping my responsibility of staying on target through difficult times. It is the difficult times behavior that largely will spell either ruin or success. Anyone can do something simple; it’s the hard things that count.   

Here’s some good news in the midst of the storm, I stayed under 290. I believe that the highest I got up to was 289.7 (Ha!  I said under 290.) Actually, today I am at 284.5. In the old days I would have completely fallen off the wagon and thrown myself under the bus, eating up to the 300 pound oblivion with which I am so familiar; and beyond.   

My goal this week is to creep down to 283 by Saturday.   

One of my goals is to achieve a state that I have just witnessed where my setbacks are much smaller than my gained ground. I may have lost Sicily, but I am on my way to gaining the whole of Italia!   

Viva La Revolution! Oh. That’s French.   

Well then, I may have lost Marseille, but I am on the way to winning the whole of France.   

Hmm. Me thinks of French fries.   

See you on the other side of that next scale date.   


Weekly Grilling Tip for HealthiER Eating.

Direct grilling


Be Direct. Direct grilling means cooking the food directly over the coals as opposed to relying more on the convection of a closed lid to create the oven affect . This is most successful with the healthiER foods like smaller cuts of fish/seafood, chicken, veggies, etc.  

One of the things about cooking over direct, high heat is the carmelization or otherwise texturing of the food’s outer surface. Browned and crunchy is always more interesting. We see it in breads, steaks, fish and even roasted vegatables.


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Narrow Your Focus: Guest Blogger

Every once in a while, someone puts out a well gelled thought that draws from me the reaction that I really wish I would have said it that way. This is one of those moments.

although I did mention plateauing one’s efforts at weight loss, using the baby steps method, WaddlingWoman hit the fat nail right on the sweet spot.

The above link will expose you to the Fat Lady Sings blog. Read it and enjoy.

I am in an office move and just finished a grueling but very rewarding week at the largest full contact football camp in America, shooting (photographing) and cooking breakfast.

Be back next week.

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That Wascally Weight Loss Scale: Why I Ought to…

Saw Tooth graph


Daily weighing usually shows a roller coaster affect in weight values. A graph of dailies will look like a saw tooth while a graph of weekly weigh-ins will show a gradual slope down. Since emotions often follow the weight curve of which we are aware, it is best to not weigh daily.  

Professional weight loss consultants and authors from Suzanne Summers to Bill Phillips strongly suggest not weighing daily, but setting and striving to meet weekly goals. Be blind to the daily fluctuations and look forward to that lower number on Sunday morning.  

Slope graph


Why is this?  

Mostly, it’s part of a comprehensive motivational support system. Which is fanshy shmanshy speak for not wanting to get you all depressed every time you see something you didn’t expect which sends you into a feeding frenzy which empties your house of all food. Even the cat runs and hides when you start ripping open boxes of taco shells and eating that last, rusty can of sauerkraut hidden back behind the coffee filters over the fridge.  

Here’s why the body fluctuates so much.  

There are four types of substances in our bodies that are constantly gaining and losing volume. The blood, soft tissues and organs, disposable tissues, and waste. Disposable tissues are growth based like hair and nails but don’t amount to measurable amounts, unless you are the Count of Monte Cristo and really need a cut and a trim. But then, you probably wouldn’t have an excess weight issue.  

But, water in the blood and soft tissues, and the waste in your digestive tract can’t ever really be completely and precisely analyzed for weight (and who would want to?!). Therefore, even thin folks who have weighed the same for years experience fluctuating weight values and sometimes even differing linear measurements in waist, thighs, etc.  

“Be blind to the daily fluctuations and look forward to that lower number on Sunday morning.”


Mostly though, we are talking about waste matter. You’ll find many sources that underscore the importance of keeping your food undercarriage assembly clean as a whistle. One of the more famous (infamous) anecdotes is that of John Wayne. At his death, they supposedly removed around 70 pounds of matter that didn’t belong there. Most average healthy folks carry around 5 pounds of cycling fecal matter. Very average people (those less healthy/the majority of us) carry around up to 15 extra average pounds of sludge down there. So, 70 pounds was a lot of trail food for the old cowboy. That’s a lot of beans.  

For Elvis it was around 50 pounds. Lots of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. His business end wasn’t taking care of business. It was storing it up instead.  

So, even after you start eating healthiER, your body is constantly cycling the last couple of meals that went down the pie hole. Red meats take longer than other foods; fruit slides right through as does masticated lettuce and most other vegetables.  

What really builds up are the white breads. If you eat a lot of pizza with conventional white flour crust (the best tasting kind), you’ll have a lot of Elvis and John goin’ on down there. Add to that all of the fast food burgers and fries, hot dogs; whatever comes on bread… you can see where I’m going with this. White flour products are everywhere and they produce the most sticky, sludgy, pasty, glue like matter that coats the walls of our fecal factory. Fig Newtons might be a healthier snack because of the figs (very healthy!) but the sticky, “fortified” white flour the figs are wrapped in do us no good at all.  

Bones don’t lose or gain much mass after adulthood is reached. Muscle mass can move up and down the scale quite a bit depending on our activity scale. Blood and water content in the soft tissues also fluctuate a lot depending on the current rate at which our bodies are retaining or expelling water due to hormones and potassium levels, etc.  

But, waste products are the largest contributor to fluctuating weight.  

If you are one of those average Americans (like I was) and are used to eating whatever you want that pop culture is promoting at any given moment, then when you start eating healthiER, you’ll lose weight whether you planned to or not. In the summer of 2004, right before I finished my degree from art school, my wife wanted to reward me for squeezing a four year degree into three years by taking me to The Bahamas. I didn’t want to go there all fat and bloated, so I spent several months eating just salads and we went on vacation with me just fat, (about 315 pounds) and not also bloated.  

McDonald's Fish Sandwich.


I went from eating almost exclusively McDonald’s fish and chicken sandwiches before, during and after  

The McChicken


 classes at school (for almost three years), to only eating at home and that being salads. Caesar, cob, chef, Heinz 57, whatever. The weight fell off for about three weeks even though I increased the amount of food I was eating. Also, my bad knees cleared up quite a bit and my hay fever/asthma/bronchitis completely stopped for the first time in years. I went from 348 to about 315 and stayed there until school started again; when  I went back to eating fish and chicken sandwiches at McDonald’s.  

The salad diet lasted for months, like I said, but the weight loss only lasted for about three weeks. I theorize that I lost almost 35 pounds of sludge that I had been collecting when I went from ingesting 3 McWhiteFlour sandwiches daily to 2 giant rabbit food salads daily.  

The same sort of scenario occurred this year when I decided to start this blog and eat healthiER for the rest of my life. I lost easy pounds every week for over a month. I went from about 350 down to 300 in just a few weeks; losing over a pound a day on an average. Now, my weight just trickles off. I lose as much in two weeks as I did in a single day. I am very happy with this.  

All though I’d rather get down to 200 pounds tomorrow, I’m very happy with slow and steady.  

Here are some other things I learned while only eating salads for several months back in 2004. 

  • Don’t eat a lot of dried fruits all at once, especially cranberries and raisins. Upset stomach, messed up bowels, and the loss of human companionship for a day or two, or longer. Raisins are so dangerous and potentially explosive that I even read in a pet care article that feeding a lot of raisins to dogs can kill them. This might explain the smells emanating from my poor raisin impacted body because it did smell like something had died down there. Maybe not an entire canine, but you get my point. 
  • Don’t eat the same salad for every meal, every day. Besides getting bored with salads and the danger of reverting back to fast food or whatever being a real possibility, our bodies need variety and protein and many salads just don’t deliver. If you are going to be salad heavy in your meal line-up, add albacore tuna, chicken, sliced pork or beef, lots of beans, anchovies, nuts, quinoa, etc. If you are vegan… … … you’re on your own. I understand the draw, but I am too much of a foodie in all areas to limit myself and stay on a healthy diet. I will say this about vegans; given a choice between living on a vegan world and living on an all meat buffet world, the vegan world would reach population explosion parody much quicker than the other just from longevity standards. An all meat diet is very, very un healthy for the human body, excluding some sort of all fish diet. But, an all veggie and fruit menu wouldn’t hurt the human creature much at all. But, since God gave us animals to eat, and they taste really, really good, I eat them. Not a lot; not as much as I used to by a long way. But I enjoy them and sleep just fine at night. 
  • If you are going to try replacing red meat with other meats, be careful of the “doubling up” syndrome. Many guys stop eating hamburgers, hot dogs and steaks only to find that they are gaining weight because they are eating more pork and chicken. Go back to my article titled Help for This Moment Right Now. I mention the fact that our bodies don’t need very much food in order to operate on a normal, daily basis. If we eat too much and do that for decades, we will only live for a few decades instead of many decades. 
  • Watch out for the liquid sugar trap. For some reason, many guys think that they can eat a little more healthy but drink all of the Coke, Pepsi and Mountain Dew they want. Most soft drinks are not fit for human consumption. The same things we may drink all day long, year after year can be used to clean off car battery terminals. If you pour iced tea on top of an old corroded 12-volt battery, nothing happens. But, if you poor a can of Coke on the same battery, you’ll see bubbling and hear hissing as the acid in the Coke eats away and neutralizes the heavy alkaline deposits that caused all of that white powder to build up. Pouring that stuff down your thirsty gullet for years can’t be a good thing. And, I haven’t even mentioned that one can of Coke has enough sugar for several meals in it. 

See you after that next scale date.

Help for This Moment Right Now  

Weekly Grilling Tips: Grilling is healthiER than frying and it’s summer, I’m just sayin’…






Keep your grill hot, clean and well oiled.  

Start with a hot grill grate. Clean it with a stiff wire brush, then using long tongs and a folded paper towel, oil it. Olive oil is healthier than many others and is a little less flammable.  

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New Feature Tool on This Site

Weightloss Tips

Power Boost Statements


The list of affirmations from which I get power to overcome weak food moments seemed to help several readers. So, I posted them as a separate Page. There is a POWER BOOST STATEMENTS button on the top banner of the site, now. 

Like Gia did, print it out and place it on the fridge door. Or maybe inside the fridge door. Or maybe taped over the jelly jar. Whatever works for you.

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Go Exotic!

Crunchy, mildly sweet, somewhat moist, very filling. Good with chicken, pork or even fish.


 There is a new old grain in town for those seeking ultra high protein yet low carb and calorie.   

Quinoa is a tiny, light grain about the size of a mustard seed. It has a mildly sweet flavor such as celery or lettuce and soft texture when cooked. It is an excellent source of iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc , copper, thiamin and riboflavin. (from   

About the size of a grain of mustard seed. Passively crunchy, like a miniature grape.


My wife rediscovered it recently and I have been putting some cooked up left-overs on salad and creating some very interesting and good flavor combinations. It is said that quinoa is the most complete protein food on the planet because it contains every amino acid that makes up our ingestible protein. Just think how our bodies will react to this superfood! Burn baby burn!  

Finding new, healthy food dishes is a real fun hobby of mine. When we go shopping, I often browse the fresh food sections looking for ideas.   

Click to enlarge photo.


Chopped romaine, chicken, cooked quinoa (chilled), sliced grape or cherry tomatoes, 1T Miracle Whip, ½ T Balsamic Vin drizzled over top. 

I must say what I imagine my sisters and mother must be thinking right about now, after seeing all of these super healthy foods I’ve been eating: “Who are you and what have you done with Stu?!” 

The old Stu tried most if not all of the superfoods that would appear on family get together tables, and then proceed to hunt for something eatable like the “real” potato salad instead of the cauliflower variety. Today, I haven’t completely replaced the old food list with the new one, I have actually just broadened my food horizons. It is true that I mostly eat salads, fish, chicken, instead of pizza, burgers etc, (Just had Taco Bell last night. Have you tried those chalupas? Woa!) but I enjoy such a broader variety of foods in generally smaller quantities that eating healthiER is actually made much easier than it used to be. 

A larger list means more variety. This computes to a more interesting food life week in and week out. 

See you after that next scale date

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Help for This Moment Right Now

I was today asked for some encouragement from a fellow healthiER living warrior. Here’s what I’ve been thinking about lately. Why was I able to finally go down a size in clothes when I failed so many other times?

Our bodies are amazing. God made them to do so much on just a smidgeon of nourishment. If cars could work so well, gas tanks would only be measured in table spoons and not gallons.

You’re probably not encouraged yet. It’s OK, you’re not supposed to be. I’m not there yet.

Consider stories of starving people who go days with nothing, not even water. But the body continues to operate, living off stored energy from fat, and then when that runs out, muscle, then when that runs out, not even doctors understand from where the human body gets the carbs, amino acids, or anything else to stay alive. They do know however, in every documented case, it was those with the strongest will and most optimistic nature that lived when all others died.

You may now begin to be a little encouraged.

One’s propensity to eat when the body doesn’t need food is entirely a learned behavior. This is a known fact and not up for interpretation. God, in His infinite wisdom tied the act of eating to our emotions, and not another part of our brain. Being a function of our emotions, our eating pattern is a part of our character, and not a part of our physical nature.

Therefore, it is a learnable trait, and as such can also be modified.

There are a few things that are such. Eating is not the only important function that is required for survival of the human race, but is driven by character instead by need.

The two obvious ones are sex and eating.

If sex and eating were not enjoyable, our race would probably not have lasted much longer than Adam and Eve’s life spans in the Garden.

But, God decided anyway to build us in this fashion. He knew what He was doing. The lord even had to warn us not to over indulge in pleasing these two human passions. Those who over indulge in the sexual realm have their own problems, usually much worse than those who only over eat.

I think it is really interesting that there is a natural ascetic connection between over eating and desiring sex. One who over eats will not enjoy natural sex with one’s spouse near as much as one who is more fit. So, God knew that there would be a natural balance of sorts as far as natural survival of the race in procreation. But, for the individual who has over eaten to obesity, like me, this is no help today, right now, this moment in the area of fighting the food battle every time I’m hungry.

For that, I need practical planning that works for the long haul.

Knowing that my eating desire is a learned thing, I am encouraged every week that I lose weight, because I know that it is getting easier, and will at some point become almost second nature. I have been battling seriously in this food war from the trenches, for over a decade. It has gotten easier, much easier.

I really enjoy riding my bike, working out, doing physical things around the house and working on physical projects whenever I can. I used to avoid exercise.

I really enjoy eating healthier: salads, fish, chicken, pork (the other white meat). I used to avoid salads and joke about rabbit food as I downed whole pizzas and packages of chips and cookies.

       “OK, get ready to be both encouraged and strengthened.”

During the difficult moments, I tell myself a short list of reoccurring truths; almost like a mantra, and it ALWAYS helps during those moments.

OK, get ready to be both encouraged and strengthened.

-God, please help me right now.
-I CAN eat right now, just a very small amount. A very small amount right now is OK. One small bite and just walk away.
-I’ve lost so much weight; I don’t want to waste all that effort over this one moment.
-If I pass this test, it will strengthen my resolve now and in the future, prove the naysayers wrong and me and God right, and I will lose weight again by tomorrow by acting now upon my desire to be thinner forever.
-Besides, I can always eat a little more later if I am truly hungry. Just one small bite and just walk away.

These are my daily and sometimes hourly tools to eventual weight loss.

OK, now you can be encouraged. 🙂

See you after that next scale date.

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