Category Archives: Uncategorized

Finally, Bacon for Your Purse


Why not? Honestly, why damned not?

In college we don’t always make smart choices.  A liquor luge here, a walk of shame there.  But this is bad.  If I’d have followed my instincts back then and bought a RonCo food dehydrator I’m certain I’d be a bacon jerky millionaire today.

Alas, 15 years later a company with the regrettable name Oh Boy! Oberto has stolen my grandchildren’s trust fund and brought the world bacon jerky.

Ladies, carry bacon in your purse.  Guys, stash a stick in your pocket in case your date opts for a slim clutch.  Show them chivalry isn’t dead.  Only my dreams.

Beware, eating bacon jerky may cause swollen ankles, skyrocketing blood pressure, and being chased by dingos.

More of the Same, Differently

IMG_2062Lesson #1 from early fatherhood:  I have less free time.  Based on intel gathered from those farther down the child rearing continuum, I can expect the trend to continue.

Lesson #2: I’d willingly trade free time for smiles and coos from my daughter.

That preference notwithstanding, a problem emerges as posting on this site takes place almost exclusively during, now dwindling, free time.  Yet, I still enjoy sending random thoughts and lessons into the great abyss of the World Wide Web.

To reconcile these competing realities I resolve to better manage my free time.  So, expect continued partially helpful and underwhelmingly entertaining posts coming through this site.  Just not as often as previous incarnations.

Essentials is back.  Woot-woots and high fives.

A Peanut for Married Adults

My Pistachio Stash

My Pistachio Stash

Back in college my roommates and I would regularly buy a bag of peanuts the size of a toddler.  We’d prop it up against the coffee table and get to cracking.  A small trash can was held between our feet, ostensibly to catch falling shells.

This set up wasn’t perfect.  Wayward shell remnants reached the floor with regularity.  Being college kids, we didn’t particularly care our living room floor developed the ambiance of country western bar.

Indeed, as our parents would ghastly attest to, peanut shells on the floor wasn’t cleanliness issue #1 at our higher education residence.  I believe they’d cite something about a “blackened bathtub”.

Now that I have a wife, the bathtub is regularly scrubbed and peanut shells crunching underfoot is frowned upon.  But I’ve found a great way to keep the cracking and snacking going from the comfort of my couch.  Enter the Pistachio.

Pistachio’s harder shell doesn’t crunch as easily as the peanut, making managing fragments much easier.  Plus a dropped shell won’t lose its integrity beneath my foot.

As a bonus, pistachios are healthier than peanuts.  They’re packed with Vitamins B1 & B6 and carry more heart healthy fats.  Like other nuts, they do pack a caloric punch.  On heaping handful carries about 230 calories.  But those fiber rich calories fill you up making pistachios a great snack.

There’s also something called the “Pistachio Principle”.  Apparently all that cracking makes us eat less.  It also applies to peanuts.  Weird, in college four guys would polish a large bag in no time.  Perhaps there were other factors at play.

The Bigger the Better?

big food

In light of the recent brouhaha over Subway’s missing inch, I began to think how we value food.  We know what makes a good deal for a toaster or a television, but defining what makes a smart purchase when we feed ourselves is more complex.

Obviously taste is a big component.  I’ll mindlessly plunk down the going rate for my favorites.  And if I happen across 25 cent wing night..

But there’s also considerations like convenience, hunger, restaurant ambiance, and social pressures.  And we’re required to weigh these considerations at least three times daily.  Whether we do so consciously or not.  That’s a lot more pressure than choosing a toaster.

These complexities in determining food value makes it easy to understand why we often default to the easiest variable for us to judge, volume per dollar.  Hence we now have $10 large pizzas, 1lb burritos, all you can eat buffets, and outrage over subway’s missing inch.

All this leaves out a key factor, nutrition.  Likely because nutrition is difficult to put a price on.  What is health worth?  It’d be easier if we could easily correlate our dietary choices to a future health expense.

If you knew an extra $1 for nutritious food today will prevent the need for a $30 monthly diabetes medicine, it’s money well spent.  But these types of comparisons are impossible without a time machine.  Even then, who’s going to the future to check on their health?  I’d go grab a sports almanac.

Maybe you do pay attention to nutrition.  The growing organic movement is evidence you’re not alone.  Still, I’m willing to bet cost per volume, even of healthy food, is likely your driving food budget force.

We gotta eat.  We gotta feed our families.  And we have little defense against the desire to acquire more for less.  Even for free range chicken.



Guest Post: 6 Natural Metabolism Boosters

An Essentials fan is taking over today.  I’ll be back with you tomorrow.  It’s all yours, Rose!

In today’s world many of us are looking for ways to look better and feel healthier. To that end new trends are always appearing. Remember the grapefruit diet? Or the cabbage soup diet? How abou the lemon, maple syrup and cayenne pepper cleanse?

While some people may find they lose weight very quickly with these kinds of diets, they also find they gain it back even faster. That’s because these fad diets achieve only superficial results. If you really want to get into better shape, you need to make real lifestyle changes.

These changes don’t have to be huge.  In fact, you can make small adjustments that cumulatively have big impacts.  One of those small changes can be finding natural, and easy, ways to boost your metabolism. Below I’ve listed several metabolism boosters.  Try one, or try them all!  If you stick with them I’m betting you’ll see a positive change in your health.


Most people know that they need more exercise, but still find it difficult to implement.  They’ll buy sneakers and never take them out of the box. Or pay for gym memberships they don’t use. Make an investment in your health and get exercising.  Start small by taking walks around the block. If you have a gym membership, use it.  Ask a trainer to help get ypu started.  Regular exercise will naturally boost your metabolism, so get those sneakers out!


Building up more muscle is the best way to get your metabolism to go faster. Instead of just doing cardio exercises, work some weight lifting into your routine. Even simple pushups will help build muscle.  And muscle will burn calories even when you’re not exercising.  The more muscle on your frame, the more calories you burn.


To boost your metabolism, you don’t necessarily need to cut your calories. You can simply replace some of the foods you eat with foods that help your body burn more energy. Eat fresh fruit for breakfast and snack on lean proteins like nuts. Spicy foods also provide a bit of a jump to your metabolic rate.


Drinking water is healthy for a lot of reasons. It’s good for your skin, your digestive system, and your overall health. It also helps keep your metabolic rate up, so be sure to drink at least eight glasses of water a day. Your urine should be clear and not yellow. (Though you may want to stop drinking water after 8p.m. so you don’t have to get up at night to go to the bathroom.)


Green tea is a great natural metabolism booster and has enough caffeine to maybe replace coffee for that energy lift. In addition to helping you burn more calories, it also may help fight diseases like heart disease and cancer.  Start your day off right with some green tea tomorrow.


Energy and body work, including qigong, tai chi, yoga, and Reiki, can all help your body achieve better balance and energy. It involves using your body’s gentle movements to move energy through your body in a healthy way. Many claim it also boosts metabolism.


About the Author: Rose Marie Baker is a nutritionist who believe is a healthier lifestyle through more responsible eating. When she’s not in the kitchen, you can find Rose reviewing herbs and spices online. Check out the Spice House for some of her recommendations.

Less Than a Footlong


When does a foot equal eleven inches? Apparently when you’re a footlong sub from Subway.  As you would expect, a suit has been filed against subway for false advertising. It seems some folks can’t live without the extra inch.

Is this suit frivolous and dumb? You betcha.  But I wonder what exactly does it say about our feelings toward food in this country?

Does it say we’re savvy consumers who demand to get what we’re paying for?  Or is it an indication we will not tolerate our food servings being even mildly unhuge?

Perhaps it’s speaks to how much useless time some of us have on our hands.  Or what kinds of silly things we think are important.  White people problems indeed.

In a 1993 episode of the Simpsons, Homer sued the Frying Dutchman buffet when he was booted before he had “all he could eat”.  It was funny 20 years ago.  Now it seems Homer was prophetic.

What do you think?  Silly lawsuit or is Subway shortchanging our footlong?

Regular Posting Returning Emminently

Later this week I shall return to semi-regular, twice weekly posting.

Jump for joy!  Unless, you’re currently receiving Medicare benefits.  At your advanced age jumping would likely be dangerous.  If not physically impossible.