Friday Faves, Issue #36

This week’s list, this week’s inspiration for wanderings, figuratively and literally. ENJOY.

Destination of the Week:  The main city in a little country with a LOT of oil money. It’s a city, with a country name:  Kuwait City

Quote of the Week: “Don’t find fault, find a remedy.” ~ Henry Ford

Band of the Week:  Some call him “Satch” ~

Meal of the Week: This version inspired by the Hunger Games, try the slow-cooker version, on Low for six (6) hours. Beef and Plum Stew ~

Website of the Week: A website tailor-made for people who like to get after it in a GOOD way. Support jockopodcast.com AND get cool stuff via Onnit. HERE.

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REMINDER:   Your comments are always welcome.  Love to hear what you have to say, GOOD or otherwise.  If you fancy twitter, you can follow more of the muse there. My handle is @jhludlum ~

Enjoy the weekend!

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Friday Faves, Issue #35

Rainy spring day here in San Jose…perfect time to gather up this week’s list. ENJOY.

Destination of the Week:  A city of relative calm and prosperity in a dynamic region of the world, Amman Jordan was founded 9,000 years ago.  So it’s got some history, to say the least.

Quote of the Week: “…if I could, you know I would…let it go.” That song’s so good, here’s another version, from a few years earlier.

Band of the Week:  Given the quote, no surprise…it’s U2.  You too probably have at least heard of them.

Meal of the Week: That old Irish standby, Corn Beef and Cabbage. This recipe guides you start to finish.

Website of the Week:  Yet another great resource for parents, for families…for GOOD. Right here.

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REMINDER:   Your comments are always welcome.  Love to hear what you have to say, GOOD or otherwise.  If you fancy twitter, you can follow more of the muse there. My handle is @jhludlum ~

Enjoy the weekend!

Friday Faves, Issue #32

Happy World Sleep Day! Hopefully these tidbits won’t put you to sleep, but will give you sweet dreams when you do fall into slumber, maybe a little earlier tonight.

Destination of the Week: Chelmsford. Where, you ask?  Essex, of course.  Not enough?  Never is.  Here.

Quote of the Week: “Better pass boldly into that other world, in the full glory of some passion, than fade and wither dismally with age.” -James Joyce

Band of the Week:  Great example of 80’s rock n’ roll…lots of leather, big, stringy hair, and thick guitar licks.  Dokken. Here’s one of their hits.

Meal of the Week:  Steak!  The “perfect supplement”, according to Jocko Willink. Half in jest, but clear on motivation.  Don’t hate red meat. All things in moderation probably applies here. Grass-fed. A piece about a big as the palm of your hand. GOOD.

Website of the Week:  Want to open your mind? Open your body to GOOD mobility, #worthit

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REMINDER:   Your comments are always welcome.  Love to hear what you have to say, GOOD or otherwise.  If you fancy twitter, you can follow more of the muse there. My handle is @jhludlum ~

Enjoy the weekend!

Off Your Butt. UP. Go!

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In May I’ll hit the one-year mark since I started tracking my sleep and day-time movement/activity in a formal manner.  How?  I’ll tell you.

Don’t remember how I found Jawbone UP, but one of their devices (the UP Move) is the one I have.  I bought one last spring, and have been tracking myself since then.  In keeping with the project, I’ve thought increasingly about how to integrate being “active” into my every day.

At it’s most basic level, it’s clear to me that if I’m going to be as healthy as I can be, I’ve got to remember the fundamental importance of MOVEMENT — in increasing amounts, and frequently. Not just daily but many times EACH day.  It’s about getting UP, staying active throughout the day.

Part of the motivation was from my not being very active since my wife and I started having kids five years back.  We had run a handful of half-marathons, my running had progressed nicely, and then BOOM:  kid #1 arrived.  A MASSIVE blessing for sure (as is #2 and #3 we added over the next three years).  But my running all but stopped.  I got hurt. Then it stopped completely.

So MOVEMENT.  MOTION.  MOBILITY.  For me, it’s about feeling better physically.  And mentally.  About the body.  How it feels, how it works for you.  One of the keys?  No surprise really:  Work to get to and stay around your ideal body weight.  Make your body (and mind) stronger.  Two main factors are at play here:  Good Diet, and Good Activity Level. Regularly.  Every day.

What does that effect?  For one thing, “metabolism”. Your own.  Revving it up. Get it going.  Using the energy you’re consuming.  Get the body doing more of what is suppose to be doing.  Performing well, propelling you forward. Want a little science?  Here.

What else?  Being active gets the blood flowing, gets that heart rate up a bit. Get’s the body warm, and loose, and operating more efficiently and effectly.  A bi-product? You burn more calories.  What’s the result?   At least for me (but I think research backs this up), I feel more ENERGIZED.  And my body physically feels better.  My joints, my back, my whole physical self feels healthier.

There are a few catchy phrases that come to mind to spur motivation.

Here’s one:  “Motion is Lotion.”  I heard a therapist say that once.  Love it.  So true.

Here’s another:  “Move It or Lose It.” Lose your mobility, lose your skill, lose your independence, lose your…mind.  After all, we’re built for MOVEMENT.

USE your body as it was intended. Reference back to our evolutionary ancestors.  200,000 years of motion, activity, chasing, finding our food.  We’ve come a long way since then.  And NOT to our advantage.  Want the Cliff Notes?  Here.

All this is even more important as we get older.  We’ve got to keep trying, keep after it, keep being open to new stuff to stay active as long as possible.

Here’s one more phrase, maybe not so catchy, but direct and to the point:

“Off Your Butt.” GO.  Being more active will result in more happiness.  That’s the best reason to get UP and move. NOW.  You’ll be glad you did.

Friday Faves, Issue #26

Lots packed into today, so let’s get after it.  Enjoy this edition of the Friday Faves, Issue #26, to lifT you UP.

If you enjoy it, please share with your peeps to further the GOOD.

Destination of the Week:  Mt. Sterling, Kentucky.  Amazing what you find when you look around.

Quote of the Week: “…top coat, top hat…I don’t wear it ’cause my wallet’s fat…”

Band of the Week: The “Little Old Band From Texas”  ZZ TOP…still killing it after all these years.

Meal of the Week:  My kids love these…and quite frankly, so do I!  String Cheese = yummy little protein snack. And a whole lot more.

Website of the Week:  Eat better, get healthy, feel GREAT.  HERE.

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REMINDER:   Your comments are always welcome. I’d LOVE to hear what you have to say, GOOD or otherwise.  If you fancy twitter, you can follow more of the muse there. My handle is @jhludlum ~

Enjoy the weekend!

Making the Most of Time

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Last spring I figured I needed a fresh motivator to get more active in my day to day.  My previous running routines have long gone by the way-side. The demands of life with three little kids and nagging injuries have been the main factors in this regard.

I needed a boost.

So I got my hands on a new gadget: a Jawbone UP Move, the entry level unit for devices that track steps, sleep, specific, timed activities, etc.   It’s the baseline example of wearable technology that’s hit the market now with the goal of making our lives more active, and giving us access to the data to motivate.

The UP device is pretty cool.

But it is the device’s clock got me thinking.  Part of why I chose the UP Move actually was because of the clock.  If I don’t have a watch on and am not around a clock otherwise, I like being able to check the time where-ever and whenever I need to. I’ve got the UP Move with me all the time, so it works well.

But if you’re a stickler, the built-in clock isn’t all that great.  You can’t count the seconds, or even the minutes, really. That had me thinking. “Shift from counting every minute to making every minute count.”

Here’s the paradigm:  Life = Responsibilities = Time

Time until work.

Time at work.

Time until I’m off work.

Time until that deadline.

Time for lunch.

Time until the next meeting.

Time to go home.

Time left in the game.

Time until the kids go to bed.

Time to mow the lawn or do the laundry.

Activity trackers are cool stuff to help us to be more active.

Yves Behar & Jony Ive have very successful visions of incorporating cool technology products with the aim of making our lives better.  Behar is the design guy behind the UP products from Jawbone.  Ive is the Chief Designer at Apple.

The more people (consumers) buy in and see results from using devices from Apple and Jawbone (among others), the more successful these guys are and the more successful their companies are.

But it’s the RESULTS that matter. Getting the most out of every minute.  Even if you get nothing tangible from it.

“Time is the most precious commodity we have.  I’m spending a lot of time doing this [whatever ‘this’ is]. That’s serious. But I don’t take myself too seriously.”  That’s healthy. That’s GOOD.  What’s better?  Making the most of our TIME.

JOOK!

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Also called congee in many places, it’s a dish made in several Asian countries, including China, Burma, Vietnam, Japan, Tibet, Thailand, etc.

I came across this particular recipe for Turkey Jook several years back in the San Francisco Chronicle.  The article, and the dish itself, changed my life in several ways, even made me a better guy.

Wait, what?!   “Changed my life…?!”

Seriously?  YES, and not just seriously, but also collectively:  the idea, the recipe, and even the philosophy I later linked to it.  But come on, “It made you a better person??!”  Yep.  Here’s how.

First, the idea.  I love the concept of using leftovers to make a meal. This dish is spot-on with my favorite approach of making the most of what you have in the fridge and in the pantry.

With this particular concoction, you’re actually using a turkey carcass to make your dish, which is why it goes so well right after Thanksgiving (in the U.S., which the bird is front and center on most family menus). How good is that from a minimalist, use-everything-you-got mentality?  Often times the carcass gets discarded after the Thanksgiving meal; this recipe gives you the perfect chance to use every last morsel and bit of turkey flavor goodness. And besides, you’ll get like 8 to 10 servings from one batch. Even better!

Second, the recipe. This one is super simple. So simple is it that it becomes a confidence builder for those folks aspiring to be more active in the kitchen.  Even if you’re a cooking veteran, this recipe is for you.  It’s  super delicious once the dish is complete, and it’s also versatile.  A pot of jook allows far a wide variety of garnishes to be used to enhance the flavor.

Third, it added to a blossoming philosophy I’ve mixed into my belief system.  Huh?  A rice porridge is somehow linked to a philosophy?

Yes yes, and that’s maybe the most fundamental way it’s made my life better.  So what’s the linkage between food and philosophy (for me anyway)?

The basic way of thinking is called “minimalism”, and the idea is a simple one.   Rid our lives of things that create clutter, live more simply, make the most of the things you have, foods you buy, etc.   It’s a concept I’ve tried to live by more as I’ve gotten older, and certainly since I became a parent.  I’m striving to teach my kids a simple, grateful, satisfying way to  live. Want to learn more about this philosophy?  Here’s a good place to start.

So that’s my trifecta of culinary inspiration.  All from the humble bird that goes gobble gobble, and a newspaper article in the Food Section nearly a decade ago.  So, are you ready to try?  If that turkey carcass didn’t get throw out over the weekend, have a go at Turkey Jook ~ you’ll be glad you did!