Eat Before You Exercise

We all have different goals. I will not tell you how or what to eat. I may offer suggestions however I have no way of knowing what your personal goals are, body type, fitness level, cardio fitness levels, etc. There are many reputable resources out there to help you on your way.

I have studied medicine (and in part, nutrition) for twenty years. Therefore, I knew better before I went out to exercise yesterday. Some people subscribe to the idea that if you work out first thing in the morning on an empty stomach, it will help you burn fat and lose weight. I have not personally performed research on this and do not have a proper answer for you. It is a good hypothesis, however what you eat the night before is utilized where the body needs then stores the remaining as glycogen in the cells. Your body can summon a small amount of sugar from the liver when you do not have a readily available amount in your blood stream. This small amount of sugar can quickly burn off and leave you feeling crummy and drained if you do not replace it with eating.

Last month, I ran my first half marathon. Thirteen point one miles. Yesterday I awoke, went about my normal stuff for Sunday and in the early afternoon, I set out to run another thirteen miles. I missed breakfast, I missed lunch. I ate a single banana, a cup of coffee and a scoop of protein.

All things considered, the environment was almost identical yesterday to my race a month ago. The temperature, weather, wind, elevation, time of day, and distance were all nearly identical. Only visible difference was that I did not eat an amount near what I typically would ( I can eat alot!!!).

I set out at a reasonable pace, one I knew I could maintain for thirteen miles without stopping. I reached six and a half miles and was feeling great. At seven, I began feeling tired. Mile eight I was feeling very tired. I paused before mile nine. Before mile ten, my hip flexors were yelling at me and I had to pause again. I was beginning to feel like garbage. The last two miles were a mixture of walk and run. I was throwing one leg in front of the other, stomping the ground, no longer light as a feather. I was not even looking up to see what was around me. I just wanted to get it over.

I made it to my destination. I checked my distance, time, and pace per mile. I had run two minutes and ten seconds slower per mile than on my half marathon race day. That equated to 28.17 minutes longer I was on the trail. Twenty eight minutes. If I had doubled my effort and decided to run a marathon, surely it would have been more than an extra hour of running; if I had been able to complete it at all.

Looking at all the variables, the only difference was I did not properly eat to prepare for my run. I had run out of calories, I had run out of fuel.

One hour after finishing my run, I began to feel so absolutely terrible. I was attempting to hydrate and replenish my fuel. My wife recognized the signs as she has run many a half and full marathon. I was uncharacteristically grouchy and irritable. She provided me with quick energy and some high calorie food. About three hours after my run, I was feeling significantly better. Five hours after my run, I was singing and dancing around, acting normally goofy.

In another post, I said we can all serve as examples for others, be it a positive or negative example. I would encourage all of you to choose wisely. One might fuel the vehicle before setting out for a long drive. We should fuel up our own engines. It will make the journey much more enjoyable.

Make it Fun.

God Bless.


Ireland and Irish Adventures Part Two


I camped out in the eatery of Clontarf Castle and found a few snackables.  While my friends took a nap, I meandered through the local roads enjoying the multicolored doors, the deeply manicured front yards separated by short black rod-iron fencing.  The size of the front yards were tiny and close to each other yet made up for the size with beauty.  Locals were either at work, stepping out their front door, or delivering packages to the houses on the street.  Some were out enjoying walks.  I strolled down to Dublin Bay and watched as huge ships came into port and docked.  I wondered what all those vessels carried. As a vessel, what would I carry with me? I sat on a cement wall and watched as folks tossed frisbees, some of which hung on the breeze for a moment before finding their way back to earth.  I felt alive and soon found my way back to earth.  I got off the cement wall and headed back to the hotel.

The image of the doors was found at:

Imagine Today Was Your Inauguration

Today is a great day.  As a nation, we have the right to vote.  We have chosen our President. Today is the Inauguration.  Later today, balls and galas will be held.  Private parties will provide people a chance to party.  Many question the legitimacy of the cost of such events and if they are worth it.  Imagine for a moment that you were elected President.  Imagine yourself raising your hand and swearing to uphold the Office of the President of the United States.  How would you celebrate?  What sort of party would you hold?  Where would you host it? Who would you invite? What would you wear?

Ireland and Irish Adventures Part One


A few years ago, I flew to Ireland. The plane landed, I boarded a bus and headed to a renovated castle hotel in Dublin named Clontarf Castle. I dropped my bags and set out on the first leg of the adventure. It was so green! This will be the first of a several part post on my Irish adventure.

The tour guide had us load up and set out on our first stop.  No sense in sitting around the hotel, I was there to travel. I had not yet eaten breakfast, the sun was up and it was time to explore. First stop, Jameson Irish Whisky Factory.

The tour explained the history of the Jameson family and factory, distilling process, and ended with a taste testing. Though I had not yet eaten, I figured that I did not travel all that way to just observe. I came to explore, live, and experience. I raised my hand and was selected as one of four to taste various Irish Whiskeys. First we learned about bourbon and were provided a very liberal amount of bourbon. Secondly, we learned about scotch. Again, a similar amount of scotch was placed before me. Then, they lined up four different Irish whiskeys. We learned about each and were given the same amount of each. At the end of the tasting, we were able to vote for the one we thought had the best qualities. I chose the one I thought was best and was provided with an even larger, sizeable amount of whiskey and an Official Irish Whiskey Taste Tester Diploma. Seven beverages in all and I was feeling pretty good.

I enjoyed the walk back to the bus with my diploma in hand. Thankfully, I did not need to drive. As I boarded the tour bus, I decided it would be a good idea to find some food. We headed back to Clontarf Castle Hotel. I peered out the window and appreciated the beautiful scenery. At the hotel, I de-boarded the bus and headed to the hotel eatery. It was the beginning of a fun adventure.


Abortion and Guns in the Land of the Free

As a nation, there has been much discussion lately regarding gun laws, gun rights, and sorrow that has been felt as a result of recently publicized shootings. There is no doubt that death by firearms is a preventable event. We can educate on gun safety and screen people prior to purchasing guns. We can even spend up the national debt putting more resources into mental health and changing laws to restrict more citizens.

I personally researched the following statistics and am presenting this. I do not belong to any political organizations or lobbying organizations. I have no hidden agenda. I am simply a law abiding citizen of the US who can read and interpret data.

The Centers for Disease Control records data of causes of death from all reported causes in the United States. The data from the year 2009 is their most recently completed and published statistics and therfore the following numbers are from 2009.

Deaths by abortion in the United States for 2009 was 784,507. Homicide by firearms was 11,078. Deaths of US service members in Afghanistan and Iraq was 466.

Let’s take another look at these figures. Total Coalition deaths for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan from 2001-2013 as reported by was 8,062.

In 2009, there were 772,963 more deaths by abortion in the US than deaths by firearms in the US and service members dying in a combat zone combined.

It is safer to be a service member or contractor in a combat zone and to live in a free country where citizens have the right to bear arms as provided by our founding fathers than it is to be an unborn child in the United States.

We can continue to allow our appointed congressional members to follow the hype, listen to the biased news organizations on television, cable, and satellite. We can continue to listen to the rhetoric of our elected executive as he pushes his own agenda. Or we can use the minds that God gave us and look at the real numbers.

Once upon a time when I was in Afghanistan, an Afghan soldier stepped on a land mine. His body was ripped to pieces. There was nothing left except chunks. I saw feral dogs eating what was left of a human being. A few minutes before, he was a precious human, loved by someone, trying to protect his country and his family. Several minutes later, he was eaten and drank by dogs.

If killing a person is a bad thing, if killing by guns is evil, then what about killing unborn-innocent children? Or is that interrupting your right to choose? Is that an inconvenience to take away that right? Then why inconvenience those in our country who follow the laws, purchase, own, and maintain firearms?

I ask that we all think for ourselves and not be persuaded by emotion. The deaths at Sandy Hook and other shootings are tragic. But let us not forget we have a moral obligation to protect those who cannot care for themselves. Be it an elderly person with dementia and has lost the ability to control their bowel and bladder, an autistic child playing in a neighborhood street, or an unborn child, we must look out for and protect those who cannot protect themselves. I ask that as a nation we reconsider our priorities. Pray and mourn for those we have lost. Let us rebuild hope in our lives and see the positive potential in every person. Nobody wants their own life to be taken away from them. Each life is precious. Let us not take life away from others before their life has even had a chance to take a full breath.

God Bless.


Crêpes are Fun

Bon jour. Today, I bring to you a recipe for fluffer nutter crêpes. Growing up, I looked forward to my grandparents making their ” rolled-up pancakes”. They have passed on many years ago without passing on to me the recipe. I set out to try to recreate it six years ago. Since then, I discovered what I thought to be rolled up pancakes were actually crêpes. My wife purchased a Julia Childs cookbook and since then, I have made sweet cinnamon crepes for my family most weekends. This basic recipe has brought so much joy to my family and each member loves to help make it as much as they enjoy eating it. Tonight, I made a variation after digging through the pantry. We had a few things laying about and I followed my family’s request; fluffer nutter crêpes. I made the basic crêpe recipe as prescribed by Julia. (ingredients and publisher information below)

**It is important to set in the fridge for at least two hours to allow the molecules to become a brilliant compound.
**Heat your pan to a low-medium setting, coat the pan with a pat of butter.
**Once it has been satisfied with a bit o butter, paint the pan with a thin layer of batter. When you can gently lift the edges with a spatula, slide it under, and flip.
** Immediately add your filling and begin rolling with the spatula. With a second (spatula, wooden crêpe stick, other implement), hold the developing crêpe in place as you roll. Remove from the heat before the crêpe becomes stiff. Place on a plate and decorate.

I find that the first crêpe or two are a test and are usually given to the dog.

You shall find the basic crêpe recipe from Julia Childs’ Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Knopf, Borzoi Books, 2010; page 191.

1 cup cold water
1 cup cold milk
4 eggs
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups flour (scooped and leveled)
4 Tb melted butter
( I add a dash of vanilla extract, grated nutmeg, and cinnamon to the mix)

For sweet cinnamon crêpes, I add a mixture of white granulated sugar and cinnamon mixed to the inner aspect before rolling then decorate the outer with a pinch.

For fluffer nutter, place a dollop of creamy peanut butter and marshmallow fluff.

Use you imagination; be creative. Crêpes can be used for any meal.

In addition, pages 21-23 of Crêpes, 50 Savory and Sweet Recipes from Martha Holmberg, published by Chronicle Books in 2012 has several techniques with photos how to fold and role your crêpes.

Enjoy. Make it fun!