Swallows To Capistrano



It is spring and summer will be here soon. Everyone is preordained to go outside for recreation. By some genetic vestige of the pre-urbanite, like swallows returning to Capistrano, we head for our favorite outdoor activity. The air breathes differently. The sun feels warmer but not burning hot. Our body energy patterns seem all tuned up. The truth may hurt. Our bodies might not be ready for Spring. Recreational Fitness: activities where the primary purpose of the activity is participation, with the related goals of improved physical fitness, fun and social involvement ( Biking, running, walking, swimming, all types of water sports, climbing, horseback riding, and park lawn relaxing all fit the definition and all have their hazards.

Summer bodies are made in the winter

The fitness industry says, “Summer bodies are made in the Spring”. They are trying to capitalize on our natural drive for spring activity and sell us something. Logically, we know it takes more than 2 or 3 months to get a “summer body”, but let’s keep the dream alive. We can start the activities, but let’s do it right.

Every activity needs a warm up. Do some basic stretches. Start slow and work your way up to the more strenuous conditions.

bike parts

In the 1970s and 1980s, I was a High School Physical Education teacher. Student classes in P.E. were changing from being mandatory to being an elective. Physical Education teachers were looking for ways to keep students active, enrolled, and interested. I started a bicycling class. It was well attended and fairly popular. The class began by getting to know your bike. Students learned the names of the parts and how they worked. They learned some basic maintenance. The boys and girls learned how to fix a flat tire. Next, I went over what safety gear to have and how to stretch before a ride. All this was done before students could ride their own bike in the class. It was the preparation for a successful recreational activity. We started riding with short trips around the campus. The purpose was to practice gear changes and braking before we headed out. The workout excursions were on the nearby concrete and asphalt riverbed and there we all got our fitness workout safely.


The concepts and the rituals apply for any spring activity. You should get to know your gear (including your body), learn some basic maintenance, have the safety gear, stretch to warm up, start slow and short to make sure everything works, and you know how to work everything.

Your spring activities could be gardening or a long jungle river rafting excursion, let’s come out of it whole, perfect, and complete.

Grocery Store Gardening

Summer bodies are not built in the spring, summer bodies are built in the shopping cart. Eat right all year.

Be well,


Next Blog: How the Sweet Potato rescued me, really.

The Top Mindfulness Books

My blog post from April 16th was designed to encourage people to look at meditation or mindfulness to relieve stress. The purpose of the exercise is to promote healthy living. Here are some resources to get you into meditation shape.

Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life
 click it to get it

I’m reading this 1994 published book now. I believe it can change lives.

Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life
 click it to get it

This is the master, you can not go wrong with any of this man’s books. This one is on Bill Gates reading list.

Meditation for Beginners
 click it to get it

This is a guide from a man who knows how to teach to process.

Once you go looking for the “right” book, you only need to start to succeed.

Be healthy,



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“ THEY” Don’t Use The Word Because It’s Not P.C.

A recent NCIS episode had the main character trying to find a murderer (that’s the plotline every week). The suspect was hiding in a PTSD group that was practicing meditation as part of their therapy. The Commanding Officer corrected the main character for his use of the term meditation. The Commander said,” This is the Navy, we use the term Mindfulness”. This is now the mainstream term. Congressmen are writing books about Mindfulness like it’s new. It, of course, is not.


At the start of this school year, I team-taught as a substitute in a large High School, where the teacher had a unit and lesson on the practice of Mindfulness. The school district had just had training for this excellent quality teacher on how to teach mindfulness to her students. One of the purposes was to help prevent teen suicide. The lesson seemed well received.

The mindfulness term seems to be a P.C. attempt to avoid any religious or spiritual overlap from meditations’ origin. I am not a fan of P.C. terms, but PTSD de-stressing and preventing teen suicide are admirable goals. The goals allow me to accept another P.C. term into my vocabulary.


Every healthy aging program includes a statement about reducing stress. That sounds right, but personally, I run to the extremes. I have caustic days. I must get relief and fast on those days. Here are my quick tips and practices for immediate stress relief.

  1. H.A.L.T.- hungry, angry, lonely, tired. I check in with me to see if I am any or some of these things. I try to fix that first.
  2. BREATH- often the most important things in life are the simplest. What is more basic and more important than breathing?  I follow my breath for a while.
  3. PRAY and MEDITATE- a daily practice so that my connection and skills are always available.
  4. BE GRATEFUL- practice gratitude to remove stress by naming 5 things you are grateful for in 30 seconds.

The whole process can clean me up and turn me around in minutes. The Higher Power has created people in his image. You and I have the power to transcend any situation.

If you are new to this and need a starting point, check out a podcast at

Be Healthy,


Next Time: Recreational fitness

2019 Best Diets, The Suckers List


What is a Diet?

A diet is the kind of food that a creature habitually eats.


We have a cockatiel at our home. I can go to the pet store and find a bag of “Cockatiel Food”, feed him and he is happy and presumably healthy. It is his diet. People are omnivores. Classic omnivores have a diet that consists of edibles from plant and animal origin.

  lion meat


Go ahead and search the internet for the list of the 10 best diets. Since the list has little to do with what you are supposed to eat but rather what someone is selling for you to eat, it will be a suckers list. In your search, you will need to know what you want your diet to do. Do you want to lose weight, gain weight, muscle up, energy up, mode up, libido up, flatten the belly, or lower your Blood pressure and A1C? The list can go ad infinitum. It’s a sucker list.


I recently looked into Michael Greger’s diet information. He is a Vegan and has a book “How to not die”. He writes about how to diet to fight certain diseases that kill us. I also looked into Dr. Steven Gundry, a former cardiologist who is also a “plant-based diet” advocate and author.

cherry picking

"Colorful Candy, Isolated on white"
“Colorful Candy, Isolated on white”

There are a lot of MD’s who have become an entrepreneur in the business of selling various diet plans and supplements to the unhealthy American consumer. The problem with is that the advocacy of each one is based on “cherry-picked” facts to prove a predetermined outcome. Bad science. These bright minds pick proof that supports what they want to sell and then ignore the balance of information from various studies. It seems almost all “diets” work for someone. They help carry a specific goal, but none can work for everyone. There is too much variety in the species for there to be a universal plan. Your plan must be customized for you.


I am repeating some basic information for a healthy diet.

  • Eat fruit and vegetables with everything.
  • Avoid Bio-engineered food, no GMO veggies.
  • Limit over packaged food products.
  • Limit fast food
  • Avoid over-consumption by monitoring caloric input.

THE 2019 Winner for Best Diet       

Source: Jan. 21,2019

The Mediterranean Diet

The Mediterranean Diet is eating that emphasizes and encourages meals to be made at home, made of fresh and whole-food ingredients. The ingredients include vegetables, legumes, fruits, grain, lean protein, nuts, wine, cheese, oil, and herbs and spices. This diet likes social eating and smaller portion sizes than most Americans eat regularly. If you want a recognized plan, there are tons of recipes and resources available for this one. In order to keep it from being another “sucker” plan, add and subtract from it based on your personal needs and goals. It is a great starting point.

Next time: Quick Mindful Meditation to relieve stress.

Be Healthy,






It is of little importance how fast I am moving, but it does matter which way I am pointing. I have taken 2 months off from blogging. There seemed to be a need for fresh air into my perspective, I am ready again. There will be some changes and additions this year to the blog to try to share more information and to try to pay for some upgrades in the site.

Two years ago I weighed in at the cardiologist at 251 pounds, The doctor said don’t come back here at that weight again. One year ago, this month, my weight was around 240 pounds, My work schedule had sent me off to Honolulu, Hawaii. I had the simple realization while there that I don’t have to live the life of a fat guy. This came to me through a high school buddy who lives in Honolulu. Keith was recovering from a minor surgery so he was off his regular workout routine. He is an age group, world-class jungle/off-road runner. We talked about aging, eating habits,  workouts, and old friends. He took his time each afternoon and evening to walk me through his city. He drove me to his workout sites and we walked some more. Oh, did I mention we ran track together in High School? I believe Keith is the same body weight as he was in high school or maybe a little less. My post-high school athletic career had me working to gain weight for football and I just kept going and gaining long after I’d stopped competing. I am grateful this old friend showed me the path to fitness. I am now at 218 pounds and pointed in the right direction.


5 Reasons Walking is Underrated

Source from

There are a lot of workouts that have a barrier to entry. Take spinning for instance. To do it safely, a new rider needs help setting up the bike. Boxing requires extra gear, like gloves and hand wraps. The list goes on and on.

Walking often gets flack for not being “good enough”. Here are five reasons why that’s a myth:


In today’s “sitting is the new smoking” society, any movement is better than none. British researchers found sitting or simply standing for more than 30 minutes at a clip can negatively impact your health. The CDC recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate-level exercise each week. You can divide it to fit your life, but get moving.


A study surveying more than 50,000 walkers in the United Kingdom found regular walking at an average, brisk or fast pace was associated with a 20% reduction in all-cause mortality. They also found a 24% reduction in the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease.


Compared to running, walking has a much lower injury rate. A systematic review showed a one-year injury rate of 27% in novice runners, 32% in long-distance runners and 52% in marathon runners.


 Moderate-intensity walking shows a similarly visible reduction in risk of heart disease,   high cholesterol, diabetes, and high blood pressure, when compared to vigorous-   intensity running, according to research from “Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and   Vascular Biology”.


Whether you’re a fan of the treadmill or prefer to stroll outdoors, walking can help you come up with your next big idea. Stanford researchers found creative thinking improves while a person is walking as well as shortly thereafter.

Next post: Which diet is ranked best for 2019


Be healthy,