Rock Boat XIV


I could go on a very long dialogue about all my amazing experiences with the best friends in the world, post pictures out the wazoo, talk about the new bands I discovered, recount my smiles, high fives, hugs, kisses, and every “wow” moment I had – but I can sum all of that up in one simple thought. It’s about the people, especially the ones who you just exchange a simple “hello” with and move on. The thing is, that “hello” lasts a lot longer than it seems.

A passing “hello” and a smile goes a lot further than one would first think. I saw familiar faces everywhere – we may not be the closest friends in the world, we may not even talk more than a simple “good to see you” each year.. but the impact is so much more than that. After 11 years, I see so many familiar faces at every corner of the ship – every one of you are important to me – you are part of the magic that is the Rock Boat. Just seeing you across the crowd, I feel like I know you whether we speak or not.

So to my closest friends in the world – my Indy crew – we are a good 15 or 20 strong now – I love you all. To my Chicago friends, I embrace you all as a 2nd family. To all of the veterans around the country – the ones I’ve become friends with over the years – I love you all! To the new people I’ve met in the past year or two – welcome to my world, you’re a big part of it!  To the people who are there every year who I just exchange casual hellos and smiles with – you’re just as important in the grand scheme that is the Rock Boat – See you all next year :)

The Best Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies Ever | Oatmeal with a Fork

The Best Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies Ever | Oatmeal with a Fork.

I’m making these cookies right now – and I have to say – they are freaking amazing!!! I could have sat and eaten the entire bowl of dough. but alas – I am letting them cook.  The almond meal/vanilla/honey/cinnamon mixture makes them taste sort of like oatmeal – so damn good!

Blackened Chicken Breast



ok so here is a delicious Paleo chicken recipe I whipped up for lunch today!


  • 2 skin-on, bone-in chicken breasts
  • 1/4 c melted coconut oil
  • dry rub Cajun seasoning of your choice

Make sure chicken is thoroughly thawed. Coat skin side of chicken breasts with coconut oil. Apply very generous amount of Cajun seasoning to chicken breasts. Throw a bunch on there – to where it looks like it may be way too much.

Bake at 375 degrees, uncovered, for 50 mins. Serve piping hot – enjoy this delicious juicy chicken breast with crunchy Cajun skin!!

So it’s 2014…

Here we are, year 2014. It’s kind of mind boggling, isn’t it? I remember when I was a kid, the year 1988 seemed SO.. FAR.. AWAY. The year I graduate high school, the year I can do anything I want and start molding my life. It’s amazing how time flies, right? The 80′s came and went, I finished college in the mid 90′s and started my career. The first decade of the new century came and went, along with it my 30′s. Here I sit in year 2014, I’ll be 44 years old later this year. Who’d have thunk it?

So with the new year comes new goals for me. It’s well documented that I’m already on a great transformation path (the whole reason for this blog, actually). I’ve totally changed my diet and exercise lifestyle, and have seen unthinkable awesome results. But I know I can’t just stop there and be happy with that – because I know for a fact that as soon as I do, December 2014 might as well be August 2013 – the day I realized I was at the lowest of all low points in my life, health & fitness wise.

Here are some major goals for me in 2014:

  • sell my house (thank GOD). I was a victim of the housing crisis, my home lost a TON of value, but thankfully has rebounded. I can finally sell this Spring! My renter is moving out April 1, and it’s being listed for sale shortly thereafter.
  • Run the Mini Marathon. Indianapolis has the largest half marathon in the world, it’s at the beginning of May. That gives me 4 months to train for that kind of distance. (I can currently knock out 3-5 mile runs, so I just have to up that a little each week… baby steps).
  • Get back into weight training. I’ve lost ALL of this weight with zero weight training. However I know that weight training is an excellent way of reshaping your body (burning fat/gaining muscle) – so at this point I’m going to introduce a weight training program into my arsenal for year 2014.
  • I’m going to relax the “Paleo” moniker a little bit this year. I’ve done EXTREMELY well losing weight on the Paleo diet. However I’m finding that the main reason for this is the avoidance of processed foods, and by eating mostly real, whole foods from quality sources. I’ll probably have a little more bread/cheese/pasta once in awhile without guilt tripping myself over it, but I will absolutely stick to mostly whole/real foods as my primary source of nutrition. I figure I’m at a point now where I can slow down the “weight loss” rate and not be so strict on myself – but I won’t lose sight on the main goal of maintaining my healthy mind and body – by eating whole/real foods most of the time.
  • To not drink any soft drink/soda of any kind in 2014. I personally haven’t had any since August 2013 and I don’t miss it at all, so this should be an attainable goal.
  • play more golf. It’s so easy for me to go 2 or 3 months without playing – I’m going to make a goal to play at least once or twice per month once Spring rolls around.
  • Learn to play my guitar. I’ve had this electric guitar for about 10 years. I’ve tried to learn to play it many times, and always get frustrated and quit. I vow to pick up my guitar and learn how to play it this year. I will set up a personal schedule, block out the time, and stick to it a night or two each week when I’m at home doing nothing else but watch TV. Don’t worry, I have zero aspirations to be able to play in a band or even an amateur open mic night – I just want to say that I’ve learned an artsy skill, something I’ve never done before.

These are the things on my mind today – I’m sure others will pop up as the year goes on, but this is a good start.

Happy 2014 everyone, make it your best year yet!


Stuffed Bell Peppers


Ok so I bought this amazing book called Practical Paleo, written by an amazing nutritionist named Diane Sanfilippo. She is a very successful author, wellness blogger, and dietitian. Check out her website, , it’s a goldmine of healthy information. I haven’t read her book yet, but the first several chapters of the book are about how different kinds of food affect your body, and stressing the importance of eating real whole foods. She also has a “21 Day Sugar Detox” book, which is a 3 week program to eliminate sugar from your diet.

Anyway I just love the “Practical Paleo” book, it has gorgeous pictures accompanying the 100+ Paleo recipes in it. I got the idea for tonight’s dinner from this book. I didn’t use Diane’s specific recipe, I kind of went on my own, but I got the general idea from this book. I highly recommend picking this book up on Amazon (or Costco or any book store) if you are interested in learning more about the Paleo lifestyle – it’s considered the “bible” in Paleo circles, it’s a NY Times best seller.

- 1 large bell pepper (red, green, or yellow – your choice)
- 6oz ground meat of your choice (I used a combo of ground pork and ground chicken)
- several fresh spinach leaves
- 1 can organic no-salt-added diced tomatoes
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 1/2c chopped onion
- 1 chopped jalapeno pepper
- sliced almonds
- sunflower seeds
- pepper
- italian seasoning
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- feta cheese crumbles (optional – not Paleo)

Start by preheating oven to 350. Slice your pepper in half (long-ways), cut off the stem and gut the insides, wash away the seeds. Put both halves on a baking sheet in oven for about 10 mins (while you are preparing your meat).

I used whole pork and chicken and ground them with a food processor – however you can just buy pre-ground meat if you wish. If you have a food processor, throw the following ingredients in processor (meat, spinach, garlic, onion, pepper, jalapeno, italian seasoning). Pulse it up until it’s all mixed together.

Preheat a frying pan with some coconut oil. Dump in your meat mixture and cook thoroughly, stirring occasionally. Once it’s fully cooked, pull bell peppers out of oven. Put a few tablespoons of diced tomato in each half. Next, pack the pepper with the meat mixture. Next, add more tomato on the top. (save a little tomato for later). Put this back in oven for about 15 minutes.

Heat up your remaining sauce in microwave or on stove. Pull peppers from oven, and top peppers with more of your sauce. If you’re feeling rebellious (this isn’t Paleo but I occasionally will eat a little good cheese), top each half with a little feta cheese. Sprinkle some sunflower seeds on top of everything for a little added texture.

Grab a steak knife and fork, and EAT my friend!

Pocket full of change….

So I was getting ready for work this morning, and noticed my “change jar” I keep on my dresser. I saw that it’s been collecting dust – it then occurred to me that I haven’t put any change (like none at all) into the “change jar” in several months. This seemed kind of odd to me as in my former life, part of my every day routine was to “empty my change” out of my pockets each night. I ALWAYS had change in my pocket from the day, pretty much every day. I’d always even dig into the change jar each morning to make sure I “had change on me” for the day.

Now back then it wasn’t a big deal, you buy things here and there, you accumulate change, you throw it in the jar at the end of the day and you don’t even think about it. This morning I was thinking about my lack of “pocket full of change” in recent months. It then occurred to me there’s a reason I don’t have a “pocket full of change” at the end of each day anymore – it’s because I don’t buy crap food and snacks anymore! Thinking back now, I’m like “where did I always get change from?” – well, it was always fast food joints, convenience stores, bagel shops, or any other place I’d pick up random crap meals/snacks on the go.

So that is an interesting byproduct of living healthy – I no longer have a “pocket full of change”.


Ps…. Oh, and since we’re on the subject – here’s an outstanding video of Will Hoge on last year’s Rock Boat, of course singing his awesome song “Pocket Full of Change” :)

What was I thinking…??

So I just got back from a late lunch. I forgot to bring lunch today, plus it’s Friday, so I figured I’d go out and grab something fast. Normally I can go out for lunch and stick to what I call “Poor Man’s Paleo” (i.e. not 100% but a valiant attempt) – be it a salad bar or bunless sandwich at a decent restaurant.

I’d never even attempted Taco Bell (nothing good comes out of Taco Bell, by the way). Today I was thinking “damn, I haven’t had Taco Bell in over 3 months – I can have 1 cheat meal today”… So I ordered 3 Dorito Tacos (not supreme – just regular). I figure it’s shit ingredients but it shouldn’t hurt me for 1 meal out of a hundred.

Well I ate 3 tacos – and for the first time in over 3 months, I have the “heavy heartbeat” after eating a meal. I can just feel that crap resonating through my body. This is how I used to feel most days back then – it’s hard to describe. I guess until you “clean” your system for a long period of time, you don’t realize how much better you feel without that stuff in your body.

Well, this little affair was an eye opener. Why was I blinded by her devilish grin? Taco Bell, you backstabbing wench, we’re done.

Rebranding, of sorts –

Hello everyone, I wanted to drop a line or two to talk about a few changes I’ve decided on.  For the past 3 months I’ve been very successful at this way of eating that people are calling “Paleo”.  In order to keep my attention and motivation to it, I decided to create a blog and write about it.  This has turned into a pretty cool way of sharing my experiences and a few recipes here and there, as well as keeping my daily focus on this lifestyle.

3 months ago I bought a domain name ( – kind of a play on Queen’s old hit “Radio Ga Ga” because it sort of rhymes ) … anyway, that served it’s purpose for me, it got me into the lifestyle that I’m very happy and comfortable with now, and kept me consistent with it.

Moving forward, I’ve decided to move all of this stuff to my own domain that I already owned (  I’m still going to keep writing about my health improvements / eating lifestyle from time to time, but I’m also going to expand on other subjects I’m interested in.  Be it work, friends, music, exercise, any other facet of life I’m into at the moment. With this new branding, my website/blog isn’t pigeonholed into one topic, I’m free to expand into whatever I want to talk about.    I’m going to be changing the site menu structure up a bit too, probably this weekend sometime.

I’ve also deleted the Paleo Facebook page I created – it was kind of a pain to update all these places (2 Facebook pages, Instagram, blog, etc).  From here on out I’m just going to post to my blog site (, which in turn will auto-post to my normal Facebook page. So if you were a “fan” of that Paleo page, thank you so much for following – but that page won’t be updated anymore. Just keep me as a normal Facebook friend and you’ll still get the updates.

I’ll also still snap Instagram shots here and there (which also gets pushed to Facebook automatically) – so this makes my life much easier.   If I snap an instagram shot of something for a quick “hey look at this!”, don’t be surprised that if I REALLY like it, you’ll see a blog post about it to at some point. (but I definitely won’t blog about every photo you see on Instagram) – however if you do have any questions about anything, please ask!

Anyway, the old URL still works ( – however from here on out all new links I post will be posted to

Thanks for reading, and hopefully my exploits aren’t tooooo boring. If so, there’s always the “hide” button ;) But why the heck would you do a silly thing like THAT?


ps – if you were already a “user” of my blog, you may have to re-join. I had to create an entirely new WordPress site with the new domain. I was able to import all my old content, however I think I lost all previous site stats, users, etc… bummer. If you never were a “user”, no big deal – you don’t need to be, as you’ll see updates on Facebook anyway.