Fitness Trackers

I’m definitely having a love-hate relationship with my fitness tracker these days it’s the motiv ring. I hate having it on my finger and it doesn’t track anything if I put it on a chain around my neck.

I’ve always had a dislike for rings and watches. I’ve tried the Fitbit, hated it also. I know that I don’t need a fitness tracker to tell me whether or not I sat on the couch all day, but I like to have some sort of an idea of just how lazy I was.

Google does a fair job of tracking fitness, but my phone spends more time sitting on my desk or on a table then it does in my pocket. I don’t know why Google won’t let me get one of the chip implants. I talk about it enough that we know both Google and Amazon know I want one.

Before I bought my Motiv Ring they sent me a sizing kit. It included a dozen plastic rings so I could pick my size. I would have never thought I had big hands, but my size is a 12, and size 12 is also the largest size Motiv makes.

I had no problem wearing the plastic size 12 Motiv sizing ring for a week while I waited for the real thing. But after one day with the real thing my finger swelled up and for a bit I did not think I would be able to get it off.

I still have problems with it, and often have to take it off and put it in my pocket or change fingers or hands, but then there is a chance it will fall off and get lost.

I wanted the heart beat monitor, because I do a lot of yard work and kayaking and so for me, counting steps is not always a good way to track my activity.

I also do a lot of mixed activities, for example, I take my bicycle for a walk to both mix things up and allow me to ride home when I over do it and my bad leg / knee gives out.

My fitness trackers don’t seem to track mixed activities very well, and I don’t want to stop and start a new tracking activity every time I climb on and off my bike. So I have to live with inaccurate data in my fitness app.

The Junk Food and Fitness Game

I’m lucky in a way that I’m my worst enemy, though not always my worst critic. I do better, eating at home. Because the food choices that are in the house are the ones that I brought into it. So when there’s poor choices in the house it’s my fault and I try to make sure that the poor choices that I bring into the house are better than they could have been health-wise.

Sometimes it seems like everyday is a struggle, but realistically it’s not really it’s just the way my mind works or everybody’s mind works. We tend to not be satisfied with our own results while we will praise somebody else who realistically could have results that are not as good as our own.

Friends and family as well as strangers may discredit our challenges as trivial and make believe. I struggle with snacking it typically happens when I’ve missed meals, stressed or board. So I work hard to keep the snacks out of the house. In the past I thought the worst thing that I could do is eat was another banana. (Funny now with Carbs -vs- Fats, what’s worse a Banana or Bacon, I’m going to eat the banana, but just one) If chips are in the house, I can often ignore it for months but if I open the bag and eat one I will most often eat the whole bag within an hour or less. Luckily I understand this and normally don’t bring junk food in the house.

I’ve sent several emails to both Google, Fitbit and the makers of my current, Motiv fitness tracking ring, telling them that in fitness, (exercise, eating, weight loss) the week, month, and year does not start on a given day. It is the last 7 days including today, the last 30 days including today, the last 365 days including today. It is not Sunday – Saturday, not the 1st – 31st, not 2018 or 2019. That’s why more often than not your fitness tracker can be discouraging. It’s not giving you enough credit for today, not giving you enough credit for trying again. Not letting you feel like you can press reset and do better.

In my mind, if I want to be successful I need to be able to treat eating and exercise like a video game. I can’t erase my history of overeating, mistakes, and unwanted weight gains, but I also can’t let it discourage me or allow it make me give up. I can and must track and log all my meals, snacks and weight both good and bad. And even though my fitness app is not giving me credit for doing better this week, I can press reset after every poor choice by simply trying again.

In fitness and Life, I often feel like the rules keep changing. But its more often that we learned something new, reading something different, like this high-fat low-carb thing -vs- Balancing Carbs, Fats & Protein. So I always want to make sure that whatever I’m doing fitness wise, that it’s something I think I can do for the rest of my life. Because I’m going to make mistakes. I’m going to get discouraged. So I need to be able to want to try again.

Foods to Eat

You should base the majority of your meals around these foods:

Meat: Red meat, steak, ham, sausage, bacon, chicken and turkey.

Fatty fish: Such as salmon, trout, tuna and mackerel.

Eggs: Look for pastured or omega-3 whole eggs.

Butter and cream: Look for grass-fed when possible.

Unprocessed Cheese: cheddar, goat, cream, blue, mozzarella.

Nuts and seeds: Almonds, sunflower, walnuts, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, etc.

Healthy oils: Primarily extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil and avocado oil.

Avocados: Whole avocados or freshly made guacamole.

Low-carb veggies: Most green veggies, tomatoes, onions, peppers, etc.

Condiments: You can use salt, pepper and various healthy herbs and spices.

It is best to base your diet mostly on single-ingredient whole foods.

Different Types of Ketogenic Diets

There are several versions of the ketogenic diet, including:

Standard ketogenic diet (SKD): This is a very low-carb, moderate-protein and high-fat diet. It typically contains 75% fat, 20% protein and only 5% carbs

Cyclical ketogenic diet (CKD): This diet involves periods of higher-carb refeeds, such as 5 ketogenic days followed by 2 high-carb days.

Targeted ketogenic diet (TKD): This diet allows you to add carbs around workouts.

High-protein ketogenic diet: This is similar to a standard ketogenic diet, but includes more protein. The ratio is often 60% fat, 35% protein and 5% carbs.

Foods to Avoid

Any food that is high in carbs should be limited.

Here is a list of foods that need to be reduced or eliminated on a ketogenic diet:

  • Sugary foods: Soda, fruit juice, smoothies, cake, ice cream, candy, etc.
  • Grains or starches: Wheat-based products, rice, pasta, cereal, etc.
  • Fruit: All fruit, except small portions of berries like strawberries.
  • Beans or legumes: Peas, kidney beans, lentils, chickpeas, etc.
  • Root vegetables and tubers: Potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips, etc.
  • Low-fat or diet products: These are highly processed and often high in carbs.
  • Some condiments or sauces: These often contain sugar and unhealthy fat.
  • Unhealthy fats: Limit your intake of processed vegetable oils, mayonnaise, etc.
  • Alcohol: Due to their carb content, many alcoholic beverages can throw you out of ketosis.
  • Sugar-free diet foods: These are often high in sugar alcohols, which can affect ketone levels in some cases. These foods also tend to be highly processed.

Skip the Gym do Yardwork

One of the easiest and most rewarding ways of breaking a sweat is to get outside and do some yardwork. It’s easier to break the sweat when it’s warm out verses in an air-conditioned building. And doing yard work is relaxing and rewarding because you’ve actually accomplish something.

Sweating it out. There’s about 500 milligrams of salt in a pound of sweat.

On average we consume over three times more salt than the daily recommended sodium levels of 2,300 milligrams maximum, and less than 1,500 milligrams for adults with high blood pressure.

I’ve been struggling with my weight since I turned roughly 30

I’ve recently figured out that my problem was, I didn’t understand the problem. I didn’t know how many calories I should be eating, I didn’t have a clue how many calories I actually was eating, and I didn’t know the science. I just kept trying different things for over 20 years.

I saw a lot of success and a lot of failure. I always thought my problem was not enough exercise and overeating. But it was actually more not eating enough and missing too many meals because I was busy working.

I’m now using an app called Fat Secret available on Android to help track my meals along with how many calories, carbohydrates, fats and proteins go into them.

You’ll see another post on this site on balancing carbs fats and protein that I found very helpful.

My goal now is to make sure that I eat 2000 calories a day. Using Fat Secret, I divide that into four parts, breakfast, lunch, supper and a snack each at roughly 500 calories each.

Other calorie counting apps that I’ve tried take things a step further and allow you to add back calories for the exercise that you’ve done. That’s great but in my mind counterproductive for somebody who’s trying to lose weight and exercise better.

The reason I feel it’s counterproductive is, you need to teach yourself and your body how to live on 2000 calories a day or whatever your particular goal is first.

Once you’ve done that you can figure out how your exercise routine fits in with your calories.

Once I felt like I had the basics of counting calories under control I started looking into eating better.

But the main thing is to make sure that your goals are realistic. Don’t take small setbacks too seriously. Remember, this is not a race. There is no inspection. From time to time you are going to eat something you knew you shouldn’t have eaten. Just get back to work and don’t quit.

This plan is working for me and now that I actually have a plan, all I have to do stay with it.

Your plan has to be realistic. It has to be a plan that you can see yourself doing for the rest of your life.

3 years ago I dropped over 50 lbs over a summer break. I went from over 200 down to 150. But I didn’t have a plan. I was just starving myself and running as much as I could. Once summer was over I started putting all that weight right back on. A year-and-a-half later I was right back to over 200.

Balancing Carbs, Protein, and Fat

Three nutrients — carbohydrate, protein, and fat — contain calories that your body uses for energy. Here’s how to balance these nutrients in a healthy diet.


Carbohydrate has 4 calories per gram. About 50 to 60 percent of your total daily calories should come from carbohydrate.

Carbohydrate contains the most glucose and gives the quickest form of energy. Your body changes 100 percent of carbohydrate into glucose.

Besides giving your body energy that it uses right away, your body can store carbohydrate in your liver. Your liver stores extra carbohydrate as glycogen and releases it later, when your body needs it. However, there’s a limit to the amount of glycogen your liver can store. Once your liver has reached that limit, your body turns the extra carbohydrate into fat.

There are two types of carbohydrate: healthy and not-so-healthy.

Healthy carbs: Also called complex or slower-acting carbs. Includes multigrain bread, brown rice, lentils, and beans. This type of carbohydrate raises blood sugar slowly and lasts longer. This helps keep you from feeling hungry for a longer time and helps to keep blood sugar levels closer to normal.

Not-so-healthy carbs: Also known as simple or fast-acting carbs. Includes candy, cookies, cake, soda, juice, and sweetened beverages. This type of carbohydrate raises blood sugar levels very quickly, but doesn’t last very long. That’s why these carbs work well to correct low-blood sugar but don’t satisfy hunger as well as healthy carbs.


Protein also has 4 calories per gram. In a healthy diet, about 12 to 20 percent of your total daily calories should come from protein.

Your body needs protein for growth, maintenance, and energy. Protein can also be stored and is used mostly by your muscles. Your body changes about 60 percent of protein into glucose.

Protein takes 3 to 4 hours to affect blood sugar levels. When it does have an effect, foods that are mostly protein won’t cause much of a rise in blood sugar.


Fat has the most calories of all the nutrients: 9 calories per gram. In a healthy diet, about 30 percent of total daily calories should come from fat. This means eating about 50 to 80 grams of fat each day. Fat gives the body energy, too, but the body changes only about 10 percent of fat into glucose.

There are various types of fat, and some types are better for you than others. Choose mono-unsaturated or poly-unsaturated fat. These fats are liquid at room temperature. Mono-unsaturated fats are especially healthy because they lower the bad cholesterol (LDL) in your blood. These fats include olive, canola, avocado, and nut oils.

By itself, fat doesn’t have much impact on blood sugar. But when you eat fat along with a carbohydrate, it can slow the rise in blood sugar. Since fat also slows down digestion, once your blood sugar does rise, it can keep your blood sugar levels higher for a longer period of time.

Limit saturated and trans-fats. Saturated fats are found in foods that come from animals, such as meat and dairy products. These kinds of fats are solid at room temperature. Hardened fats, such as coconut or palm kernel oils as well as oils that have been hydrogenated, also contain saturated fat. These can damage your heart and arteries.

Trans-fats are found in most processed foods and many fried fast foods, such as French fries. They help food stay fresher longer, but they’re just as bad for you as saturated fat.

Clinical review by Mary Hanson, registered dietitian
Kaiser Permanente
Reviewed 03/01/2014

I really like the way this article explain the whole balancing of carbs fats and protein.

Florida Winters

I’m a firm believer that if you’re going to live in Florida, you embrace the Summer Heat and bitch about the cold Winters.

If you’re going to bitch about it being hot and dress like you’re on summer vacation in the winter you need to move.

I understand there’s some very nice property in Wisconsin. My daughter actually lives there.

The only way you’re ever going to be able to enjoy the Florida Summers, is to dress and act like it’s winter when it’s winter.

I don’t care if it’s 70 whatever put on some sweatpants and shut up.

If you are thinking about moving to Florida, the winter is the best time to arrive if you are not yet ready for the heat. Just remember in the summer 110 is normal so dress for winter so you can start getting used to the heat.

Same thing if your planning a summer visit to Florida, a few months before you get here start dressing for winter so that when you get to Florida you can hopefully be comfortable.

Theme parks and beaches are no fun when your not comfortable, and too many cold drinks and ice cream can ruin a vacation quicker than bad weather.

How to Build a Better Picnic Table

Whether you’re new to woodworking or building picnic tables to sell, this step by step booklet will show you how to build a better picnic table. Over 200 picnic tables are built using this design every year and I truly believe this is a better picnic table. When I put this booklet together, I felt it was important to keep it simple, yet written with enough step-by-step detail that a reader with no woodworking experience can really build this table.

This table is Handicap Accessible
because you can sit at the ends of the benches without having to lift your legs over the bench, and there is plenty of legroom to position a wheelchair or an extra bench on both ends.

The unique design of this picnic table makes the table easy to move about the yard making it increasingly popular with Homeowners, Schools, Colleges & Restaurants, and the booklet includes instructions on how to build my popular single bench Event Table as well.

I truly believe you can build this table, and that you will have fun doing it.

If you would like a copy it’s $12 with Free Shipping
You supply all Hardware & Lumber.

The Picnic Table Plans include easy to follow step by step instructions. A full materials list, and helpful tips, photos, diagrams and more to help you build your table quickly.

No fancy tools are required. US Postal Service First Class Mail ®
(Free Shipping within United States & Canada Only)

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