Rewind and Fast Forward

18 02 2011

It’s been a while since I updated, and I always feel awkward writing here after such a long hiatus.  It’s kind of like running into that friend in WalMart.  You know, the one you were cool with once but haven’t spoken to in a long time.  Not really awkward, but just kind of…weird.  I figure a good way to return to the blogosphere would be to recap everyone on what I’ve been up to in my absence, and the cool things that I have coming up in the near future.


  • I’ve finished my first round of P90X, and I was more than impressed with the program.  Over the course of 90 days I lost 36lbs, went from about 23% body fat to 13%, and got into the best shape that I have ever been in.
  • Since I finished P90X, I’ve gained about 15lbs of the weight that I lost back.  I wouldn’t really say that I failed at maintaining my diet and condition.  It’s more like I didn’t even try to.  After I finished, there was Thanksgiving, my wedding, Christmas, New Years, and two birthdays in the family (all of which we ate huge dinners for).  So for the two months following P90X, all I did was pretty much eat junk and not work out.  But thats okay, I’ll be getting back on track again soon.
  • I’ve very casually leveled my Shaman, Peedrinker, up to level 72.  So far, I’ve really enjoyed getting back into WoW.  The portion of Cataclysm that I’ve experienced so far, which was the revamped zones in Azeroth, was a blast.  I had a lot of fun leveling through them with my friends.  I’m now a full blown Elemental Shaman, running a Resto offspec, and enjoying every bit of it.
  • I’m sad to say that Latency Lowlifes, the guild that I was raving about a while back, has since crumbled.  With the release of the Rift beta shortly after the Cataclysm release, mostly everyone else lost interest in WoW after getting into the familiar BC content.  But thats okay.  I still keep in touch with them on twitter, so I’m not groveling yet.  Once I hit 85 on my Shaman, I’ll be looking for another guild that I can be active and raid with, which I am looking forward to.
  • Look up.  I changed my header!


  • Starting this coming Monday, I’ll be officially kicking off my 2nd round of P90X.  I’ve attempted to start round 2 already, but wasn’t able to get very far because of sicknesses and other unforeseen circumstances.  But I’ve spent the past week or so preparing myself mentally, stocking up on the food and supplements that I need, and getting myself excited to do this thing again.  This time around, I’ll be cutting as much weight as possible during the first month, and adding some bulk during the last two months.  I’ll be making a post in the next few days on how I plan to do this.
  • I also haven’t forgotten my promise to review OxyElite Pro, and will be posting that up in the next week or so as well.
  • During my journey to expand my Shaman skills, I’ve found some very resourceful blogs that helped me out a lot.  I’ve noticed, though, that there are multiple good blogs for Resto, and not very many for Elemental.  So I plan to start posting more about my Shaman, the useful things that I learn while I level and raid, and the experiences that I find humorous and intriguing as well. I’ll probably take more of an active blogging approach to WoW and the Shaman class in general that I have in the past, and the health and nutrition information will probably take a backseat to that.
  • I hope to change the theme of the blog soon, so if you see something that looks jacked up, thats most likely why.  But just in case, leave me a comment or email me and let me know so I can get to fixing it.
  • I’ve marked off a thing or two on my list of goals for 2011 already.  I’ll be marking off more as I go.

And thats about it.  I’m excited to get this blog rolling again.  I have some big changes planned for this year and I can’t wait to bring them to life.  Hopefully I’ll have a few folks around to enjoy them with as well.

My goals for 2011

29 12 2010

I am a “lists” kind of guy. I like to make lists. Even when it comes to pointless things like the books I want to read, or the movies i want to watch; I just like to make lists! So naturally, I’m going to make a list of my goals for the year of 2011. I don’t really like calling them “resolutions”, because who actually calls goals resolutions? You don’t say “My resolution is to finish this report by Friday.” Besides, the whole New Year’s Resolution thing is worn out, and it can intimidate people into not setting any goals at all for the upcoming year. Its a brand new year and setting some short-term and long-term goals wouldn’t hurt anything. If you don’t meet them, then so what?

I thought I would share my list of goals for the upcoming year for a few reasons: (1) I’ll have somewhere online to reference and mark off the goals that I reach, and remind me of the ones that I don’t. (2) As I complete each goal, I will mention on the blog how I did it, how it has affected me, and what I gained from it. It will be interesting for me to look back on, and hopefully interesting for you to read as well.

And so, here are my goals for the year of 2011. I took the time to categorize them into professional goals, personal goals, and financial goals. I also noted whether they are short-term or long-term commitments.

(L) = Long-term
(S) = Short-term

(L) Blog more often / Show more dedication
(S) Find a new job / Move to day shift
(L) Finish and manage website for Five Star

(L) P90X round two (and keep the weight off!)
(S) Take my wife on a date to the beach
(S) Read The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman
(L) Read my Bible and pray more
(L) Be more active in church
(S) Paint/Renovate at least one room in the house
(S) Deep cleaning of the house
(L) Improve my handwriting
(S) Inspire Someone
(L) Have a more positive attitude in general

(L) Save more and spend less
(L) Pay off my truck
(L) Pay off half of my credit card debt

And there you have it, my goals for 2011. Have you made any plans for the new year yet? Do you plan on doing so? If so, share some of them with me.

It’s that time again

6 12 2010

So a lot has happened since I last posted here.  The biggest and most time consuming thing was definitely marrying my girlfriend of four years.  The wedding went great, which I am very thankful for considering all the time and money that my wife invested into it.  We also went on our honeymoon to Gatlinburg TN, which was great as well.  We stayed for a week in a cabin with an amazing view and did a lot of catching up on R&R.  The hot tub on the porch was put to good use.  I was a bit disappointed when I discovered that it wasn’t a hot tub time machine, though. On the last day there, however, we were rear-ended by four old ladies in a Chevy Impala.  They were sweet old ladies, and I felt bad for them, but I guess thats what happens when you look at Christmas lights instead of brake lights while driving on a busy highway.

I also finished up P90X.  I lost 36 lbs while doing the program, and I really had a great time learning about fitness and nutrition in a way that I never had before – by experience.  I am sorry to say, however, that since finishing in November, I’m already on my way back up the scale.  I haven’t crossed the 200lb threshold again yet, but I’m getting close.  Since getting married, I’ve eaten nothing but wedding cake, cheese cake, turkey and dressing, fried chicken, and basically all the things that I had taught myself to stay away from during the program.  They have tasted great, but I can already see my stomach growing back to the point that it was when I started.  Three months of labor being overtaken by one month of cake and lack of exercise doesn’t seem quite fair, but I guess I have no one to blame but myself.

I plan to get back into it soon, but with the Christmas holiday coming, and with the size of my family and the amount of dinners we eat together, I might just be better off making it a new year’s resolution for 2011.  By that point, I should have my wife’s 200 pairs of shoes moved into the house, all of our wedding gifts cleared out of the living room, and have some space to work out again.  But I can cross that bridge when I get to it.

Since my last update, I’ve also started another job.  I’ve been working part-time with my uncles in the family business.  They do freight management and global logistics.  At the present moment, I’m working there on Thursdays and Fridays (days off from my full-time job), but I’m hoping to get a full-time position within a few months.  They are looking at purchasing a warehouse for freight storage and management, and if that is followed through with, I’ll be the General Manager there.  So here’s to hoping.

Well, theres the biggest reasons that I’ve been slacking on updates lately.  It’s not that I’ve neglected the 2 people who read this blog, and its not that I haven’t wanted to post here, but it was just that over the past two months or so I have been completely swamped with stuff.  But hopefully now that the wedding is over with and we’re getting settled into my place, I’ll be able to write more.  I’ll be posting again later today with some thoughts on the release of Cataclysm (which is tonight), my expectations for it, and how I plan to take over the world of Azeroth.

*Queue evil laugh*

Oxyelite Pro

19 09 2010

As I mentioned in my About page, I am doing the P90x at-home fitness program at the time.  I’m currently on day 35, and I have already seen some good progress from where I was when I began.  However, I’m not satisfied with the slow loss of fat in my stubborn areas (lower stomach and love-handles).  In order to gain a little headway in my mission to lose the spare tire, I’ve decided to incorporate a fat-burning supplement called Oxyelite Pro.  I did a lot of research on it before ordering from amazon and a majority of people have who tried it say that they are more than satisfied with the product.

I started taking OEP only two short days ago, so I can’t really say how well it is working for me yet.  But everywhere that I look, I see people raving about how it boosts weight loss when incorporated with a high protein/low carb diet and intense workout regimen (like P90x), while also providing better focus and extra energy throughout the day.

As I use this product more, I plan on posting a full review of my experience with it and my impressions on how well it works.  So if you’re interested, stay tuned!

Sharpen your mind – Read a book

10 09 2010

Over the past few months, I have really rediscovered an old hobby of mine.  It is something that is relaxing, rewarding, and is a healthy activity for my mind.


Before I started reading again, it had been probably 4-5 years since I had read a book just for the enjoyment of it, or because it interested me.  For the longest time I honestly just saw no need to pick up a book.  Why would anyone read a book when there are movies to be watched, games to be played, and websites to be checked?  I mean, when you think about it, books are really quite boring in comparison to gaming, which provides interaction with the game, interaction with other people, and challenges you on multiple levels.  I mean, how can books compete with a force like that?  Well, I have come to realize that books have a lot to offer that movies and games just cannot provide.

It is incredibly rewarding to flip the last page of a great book.  If it is a fictional book, it gives you the freedom and the thrill of exercising your imagination.  It is very relaxing to sit back, read a book, and completely envision everything that the author is telling you.  Sure a plot and a setting is provided by the Author, but the fine details are up to you to decide.

For the fantasy lover, check out The First Law Trilogy by Joe Abercrombie

I enjoy reading fantasy books a lot.  They compliment many of the games that I play, which makes for a more enjoyable experience while both reading and gaming.  But I also enjoy reading books that motivate me.  Whether its entrepreneurial motivation, spiritual motivation, or health motivation, I find them all interesting and enjoyable to read, and I come away from the feeling inspired and motivated.

Entrepreneurial motivation at its best: Crush It! by Gary Vaynerchuck

The book mentioned above is truly a great book to read.  Gary Vaynerchuk, host of Wine Library TV, is a guy who invests everything he is into his passions, his business, and his life.  He is truly a motivational guy to the core, and I am appreciative of this book that he has written.  If you are a blogger, a gamer, or hell even a tennis shoe collector, I definitely recommend you give this a read.  Its relatively short, so it is not a huge time investment.  I read it in 2 days on and off.  After you read it, you will be glad that you did.

So I’m looking for a new book to read.  What are some of your favorites?  Anything you would suggest for me to read?

Nike releases an iPhone app for runners

7 09 2010

I’ll start by saying that I’m not the biggest fan of Apple, Steve Jobs, or the iPhone.  But I realize that there are many out there who live and die by their Apple products, and especially by their iPhone, so this post is for you.  Look at how selfless I can be ;)

Nike released an iPhone app yesterday that was made specifically for runners.  The app will only set you back $1.99 and is loaded with features that will prove useful to those who enjoy a frequent jog through the park, around the block, or on the treadmill.  It works by pulling information from the iPhone’s accelerometer and GPS to give the user accurate and and useful information to help runners stay fit and keep motivated.

The app allows runners to map out runs and track their progress.  It will work both indoors and outdoors, with or without a GPS signal, free range or treadmill.  When running a mapped route, the runner can see a breakdown of their pace, distance, time, and calories burned.  There is also a “Challenge Me” mode which will push runners to go greater distances, longer times, and quicker paces than previous runs.

If you are an iPhone user who is interested in the app, it can be found here (iTunes link).  There is no word on whether or not an Android version of the app is in development.  But if it is, my $2 is theirs!

Startling facts about Childhood Obesity

6 09 2010


Most of us probably know that there is a growing problem in our country today with childhood obesity.  But how serious of a problem can it be?  Well, turns out that it is more serious than you would think.

I read an article today published by the New York Times that featured a study of childhood obesity within the city of New York.  Of the 637,000 children from kindergarten to eighth grade who were part of the study, 40% were either obese or overweight.  Nearly half!

Parents should use more caution when preparing meals for their children.  I understand that switching to a healthy meal plan involves time, money, and dedication, but when looking at the risks of childhood obesity and the lifelong struggles it can cause for children, the sacrifices are definitely worth it.

Childhood obesity can result in high blood pressure, high cholesterol, bone and joint issues, sleep apnea, asthma, diabetes, and poor self-esteem in children.  As obese children grow into obese adults, they will face additional health risks like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, osteoarthritis, and various types of cancer.

If we want a healthy future for our country, we need to take an active role, as parents and as adults, in fighting the growing concern of childhood obesity.  Teach your children the benefits of living healthy.  Spend time outside with them playing sports, riding bikes, fishing, or anything else that will make exercising fun for them and rewarding for you as well.  Leading by example is very important.  The old “do as I say, not as I do” attitude simply will not be enough to instill a healthy lifestyle for your family or yourself.

Quick and easy tips for healthy living

6 09 2010

So you want to experience the benefits of being healthy.  A healthy lifestyle leads to having more natural energy, getting sick less, being proud of your appearance, and just feeling better in general. The problem is, there are only 24 hours in a day, and there are other things to worry about.   A family to provide for, bills to pay, friends to see, and interests to catch up on.  How can you possibly fit another commitment, a lifelong one for that matter, into your schedule?

Maybe you’ve tried to live a healthier lifestyle at times in the past, but your attempts to resist the pizza, the beer, and the tube were all futile.  Perhaps you worked out for a few weeks, and when the results weren’t immediately evident, you went back to the comfort of your lazy boy recliner.

Sometimes taking on an overwhelming change in lifestyle can doom you for failure.  Sometimes its the small things that will make the biggest impact in the end.  Here are a few small changes you can make to your everyday lifestyle that will make a lasting impact on your health and your overall quality of life.

Prepare yourself mentally. Having the right mindset is half the battle.  Before you start your journey toward a healthy lifestyle, take a day or so and ask yourself why do you want to pursue a healthier future?  Are the sacrifices worth the gains?  (hint: they are!)

Lose the sodas. Sodas are one of the leading contributors to obesity in our country today.  Soda is extremely high in sugar and calories, has absolutely no nutritional value, is a large contributor to tooth decay, leads to caffeine dependency, weakens bone strength, and highly contributes to weight gain.  The diet alternative is of no more nutritional value, either.  Drinkers of diet soda are still vulnerable to the acidic effects of soda.

Meditate for 5 minutes a day. Meditation is widely associated with weirdos and hipsters, but it would be foolish to ignore the benefits that even a small amount of it offers.  Meditation is great for stress relief, helps with relaxation, increases blood flow and reduces the heart rate, reduces anxiety, decreases muscle tension, and enhances the immune system.  You don’t have to be sitting cross-legged on the floor to meditate effectively.  Just straighten your spine, keep the crown of your head straight up, close your eyes, and focus on breathing slowly and steadily.  If meditation interests you, the internet is crammed full of useful information on how to get your feet wet.

Floss daily. Flossing on a regular basis helps decrease your risk of gum disease.  Some research has linked chronic gum disease to stroke, heart disease, erectile dysfunction, and low birth weight in newborns.

Swap the elevator for the stairs. Choosing the stairs over the elevator on a daily basis will result in reduced blood-sugar levels, which can help reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.  Also, climbing stairs burns seven times the number of calories expended standing inactive in an elevator.

Drink skim milk instead of whole. Skim milk has 60 fewer calories, 7.5g less fat, and more calcium than whole milk, making it much better for weight loss.  If you dislike the taste of skim milk, slowly work your way down from whole milk.  Go from whole to 2% for a week, then down to 1% for a week, and eventually to skim.  Just like anything else, it will take getting used to, but you will get used to it.  I now prefer the taste of skim milk to whole.

Stop eating 3 hours before bedtime. This tip is a bit of a two-way street.  Eating and snacking before bed is not good for you unless you burn at least 600-700 calories a day and your metabolism is amped enough to burn the calories during your sleep.  If your metabolism is ready to tackle late night eating, a protein shake just before bed can actually be healthy for you.  So take this step according to your current amount of physical activity.

Sleep better. It is recommended to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep a night.  Sleep is actually a connection between your mind and body, and both aspects can suffer from a lack of sleep. Unhealthy sleeping habits can also make you prone to high blood pressure, diabetes, and a lower metabolic rate.

Swap butter for cholesterol free butter. Butter Buds is my weapon of choice here.  There is very little difference in taste, and Butter Buds has no fat and only 5 calories per serving.

Of course there are many other simple and effective ways to live a healthy lifestyle, but these are just some of the things that can be done with a minimal amount of time, effort, and expense.  If you are wanting to get on track to a healthy future, but don’t know how or when is best, these tips are a good place to start.  No more excuses!

Coffee vs. Tea – Health Benefits

5 09 2010

The Coffee vs. Tea debate is a widely disputed one.  Both have been enjoyed around the world for centuries and many consider one or the other to be a vital part of their daily routine.

Tea was discovered by the ancient Chinese ruler Shen Nong, when a fateful leaf fell into his boiling water.

The history of coffee began much later and is believed to have been first cultivated in Arabia near the Red Sea in 674 A.D. The story of Coffee dates back to the 1400s, when a Yemeni shepherd named Kaldi noticed that his sheep began to act unusually frisky after eating berries from an unfamiliar plant. Curious, Kaldi picked one and popped it into his mouth. Within a few minutes, he was as hyperactive as a kid. He told of his discovery of this stimulator to scholars who used it to keep awake, and then someone made a “tea” out of it (“tea” out of coffee fruits without the bean is still known in Yemen and has a similar, but milder effect). The story says that then one day someone dropped a bean into the fire by accident, and thus coffe was born. Mocha, an old yemeni port, was the first and for a long time the only place to export coffee, hence the name “Mocca Coffee”.   –

Tea has been around for ages, but coffee is probably the most popular choice in America today.  So which is more beneficial to our health?  Well, lets take a look at the pros and cons of each:



  1. Great source of energy through caffeine
  2. Provides antioxidants helping regulate blood sugar
  3. Provides antioxidants reducing the risk of diabetes
  4. Provides relief of asthma
  5. Lessens risk of Parkinson’s by providing dopamine to the brain
  6. Helps decrease the formation of gallstones


  1. Increases heart risk when taken in excess
  2. Increases cholesterol
  3. Causes sleep problems
  4. Irritability
  5. Anxiousness
  6. Most of the benefits are acquired when consumed black, without creamer or sugar
  7. Discolors and stains teeth



  1. Provides more antioxidants than coffee
  2. Helps fight numerous types of cancer
  3. Reduces risk for heart diseases
  4. Helps fight Alzheimer’s
  5. Helps fight osteoporosis
  6. Helps to relax blood vessels
  7. Reduces cholesterol levels
  8. Inhibits formation of blood clots
  9. Speeds up metabolism


  1. Can cause kidney stones when taken in excess
  2. Tea leaves contain fluoride

When comparing the pros and cons of the two, Tea is obviously the healthier choice.  Coffee provides it’s fair share of benefits but is best taken in moderation.  Too much and you risk multiple health issues.  Tea, on the other hand, provides more benefits and has fewer health risks than coffee.  So the next time in the coffee shop, when the option arises, opt for the Tea!

5 simple ways to boost your metabolism

4 09 2010

Our metabolic rate determines how quickly our body breaks down nutrients from the foods we eat.  Keeping a constant metabolic rate is vital to losing weight and developing healthy eating habits.  Letting our metabolism slow down will cause our bodies to enter a starvation mode and store fat for fuel, resulting in weight gain and various other health issues.  With a healthy metabolic rate we burn calories all throughout the day, even when we are not doing anything.  Even when we are sleeping!  So how can we boost our metabolism to burn more calories? Here are some very simple suggestions that anyone can find time for:

  1. Eat throughout the day. Think of a campfire. The longer you wait before adding wood to the fire, the smaller the flame gets.  Our metabolism works in the same way.  Eat about 5-6 meals a day, spaced out by about 2-3 hours.  This will keep your body constantly digesting food, and your metabolism constantly working.
  2. Incorporate lean protein into every meal. Our bodies have to work harder to burn protein than it does to burn fat or carbs, so eating protein rich meals results in more calories burned.  It is important that the protein is lean, though!  Some examples of lean protein are chicken breast, turkey breast, lean red meat, nonfat yogurt, nonfat cottage cheese, and egg whites.  Protein supplements, such as whey protein powder, is a quick and easy way of adding more protein to an everyday diet.
  3. Drink more water. Drinking six to eight 8oz glasses of water a day will keep our metabolism at a healthy rate.  Over 70% of our body functions take place in water, and not intaking enough water can cause a slow down of all of our body’s systems, including our metabolism.
  4. Exercise daily. When we exercise for at least 30 minutes a day, our metabolic rate is increased for the following 24 hours.  On top of this, adding resistance training two to three days a week will build muscle and burn more fat.  Start taking the stairs instead of the elevator.  Take the dog for a walk (this will also result in a better behaved pet!).  Throw the football with the kids or a buddy.  Every little bit helps.  Make it fun!
  5. Add some spice.  Capsaicin, the active component in chili peppers, can boost your metabolism, enhance the feeling of fullness, and fight hunger as well. Some studies have shown that one spoon full of chopped red/green chili pepper (or 30mg of Capsaicin) can temporarily spike your metabolism as much as 23%!  Buy a shaker of red pepper flakes and sprinkle away!

Now go forth and increase thy metabolic rate!


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