Health, Weight and Random Food Thoughts

As we near the end of the Lenten season, I was reminded of the first thing I ever deprived myself of for this Holy period; it was sugar in my coffee.  In 2008, in an attempt to find something relatively meaningful to me, yet not TOO difficult, I decided I would try to forego the 2ish teaspoons of sugar in my morning ritual.  Frankly, I wavered on how long that endeavor would last for a week to 10 days, but rather quickly I truly did not miss it.  Eight years later, I still haven’t had another grain of sugar in my coffee and can’t even fathom it!

By my calculations, if you assume one teaspoon of sugar equals 16 calories and 3,400 calories equals 1 pound, over the past 8 years I have “prevented” the addition of 41.22 pounds to my body weight; this calculation is based on consuming 1.5 cups of coffee per day, perhaps a conservative estimate.  Some scoff at these types of exercises and admittedly, sometimes when we give something up, we compensate (or overcompensate) in other ways, but this is one in which I am rather confident.  I certainly do not add more sugar to other things to make up for this “loss.”  Moreover, this move may have saved me even more;  recent articles at and seem to indicate the “calories to weight” ratio is more likely 2,800 to 1, in which case I have saved myself over 50 pounds over the last eight years!

The above is but one example of little things we can all do to improve our health and fitness without taking Draconian measures.  I fully recognize that one person’s “little thing” is another’s “big deal”, but think about it…even if I had simply cut back to one teaspoon of sugar rather than eliminating it, I would have eliminated 20 to 25 pounds.  Our society is all about gratification these days, and instant gratification at that, but think about how gratifying it is to find one relatively minor thing you can do to enhance and/or prolong this precious gift of life.  I literally feel as good and have as much or more energy today than I did when I was 18, and I think I can attribute at least some of this blessing to relatively small choices I have made over time.

In the coming days, we will talk about lots of steps one can take to get fit, trim down, feel better and the like, but for now here are a few things that have helped me considerably over the years:

  • a spoon or two a day of natural peanut butter (no sugar or salt added)
  • green tea, with a little local honey
  • plenty of water with a little lemon or lime
  • consider a personal fitness device (FitBit, Jawbone Up, Apple Watch, Vivofit)
  • take the stairs
  • park at the far end of the parking lot
  • start “small” with cardio programs, whether it is running, walking or biking and gradually increase your regimen
  • decrease your daily caloric intake by 100 calories and burn an extra 100 calories per day; by the conservative calculation above, you’ll lose 20+ lbs. in one year!
  • actually THINK about every bite you put into your body
  • grill rather than fry
  • limit salt (and watch for “hidden” salt)
  • get rid of “junk” in your refrigerator and pantry
  • buy raw nuts and dry roast them yourself (with little or no salt)


My Apple iPhone currently contains 37 “Notes”, ranging from grocery lists, to gift ideas for Kimmer, to places we want to eat/drink on our next visit to LA, New Orleans, NYC, etc., to cryptic reminders of credit card numbers and security codes. If you read yesterday’s column, you won’t be surprised to know that 11 of the Notes deal with FOOD; however, the one Note I visit on a consistent 10 to 15 day basis is entitled, Countdowns; this page is littered with various digits that signify the number of days until a particular event will occur.  Currently, my countdown titles include “3.15.16”, “Braves’ Opening Day” and “CFB ’16”.

I have no idea why I care any more about my once beloved Atlanta Braves…I can no longer watch them on TBS like I once did with somewhat disturbing frequency and frankly, they are TERRIBLE!!!  Apparently, they, too, have a Countdown to again becoming a contender, but I’m confident they don’t want any of us to see what that number is; my guess is that it is far larger than any number on my Countdowns and is exceeded only by the ownership group’s bottom line projections.

As for the other two Countdowns I mentioned, March 15 is the day I choose each year in October or November to shoot for as the date on which Durango can at least see that light at the end of the tunnel after another cold, snowy Winter.  Sure, we will get plenty more snow, sleet and freezing rain after March 15, sometimes all the way up to Memorial Day weekend, but in between, there will be plenty of warm, sunny days to enjoy.  Now that we spend considerable time in the Winter in the warm climes of Scottsdale, my longing for this day is slightly diminished, but we still look forward to being able to get in the yard and plant our annuals for the glorious Colorado summers.

The other date, abbreviated as it may be, is probably recognizable to many of you; it is the date on which our beloved college football season kicks off, typically the Thursday before Labor Day!  That tortuous period between the final collegiate game and the kickoff of the new season (this year, September 1), seems to get longer and longer for me with each passing year.  This is odd for a Crimson Tide fan such as myself because said period has actually been shorter five of the past seven seasons for us than it has been for others, what with the advent of the BCS and now the College Football Playoffs.  Nonetheless, this dormant period drags by for me, perhaps largely due to my aforementioned anemic Braves!

Despite all the Countdowns, my admitted fascination with numbers and my fulfillment as I watch the numbers dwindle two or three times each month, with each edit comes that compartmentalized thought in the back of my mind that my deductions also indicate a reduction in the number of days I have left to live…a sobering thought, but probably an important one.

As many of you know, we lost Daddy when he was only 48, on March 15, 1983.  By my count, Daddy had 17,635 days on this Earth, about 15% of which included cancer in his body.  I am sure he and so many like him would urge me to slow down and temper my giddiness about striking another set of days off my Countdowns.  As silly or minor as it might seem, the realization of what my Countdown edits actually signify has really begun to impact me, not in a negative way, but in a motivating one.  When I stop to think about each passing day and the fact that it’s truly a gift from God, I tend to be more likely to go ahead and run that extra mile, smile that extra smile, take that extra step as I do my work and or prepare a meal.

So, as we all naturally look forward to upcoming events or getting certain periods in our lives “over with”, let’s not forget the precious nature of each passing day and the gifts God has given us.  And by the way, college football season kicks off in 176 days!

This Is Hard

Soon after I completed my first post yesterday, I began to ponder the possibilities for today’s topic.  Sure, I first focused on encouraging (okay…PESTERING) family and friends to read my blog, and then doggedly tried to figure out why WordPress would not allow comments to my blog.  But, after solving that urgent issue and watching as a few kind souls provided gratifying feedback to a needy, fledgling writer, my thoughts quickly turned to “what will I write tomorrow?”

Frankly, more than a dozen topics danced around the penumbra of my brain, but nothing really stuck, so I decided…stick to your core…FOOD!  Over the coming months, you can count on reading a great deal on football, movies and food (I have another as yet dormant website called, so stay tuned) and I promise to explain the rather confusing title to my blog, but food will likely be my “go to” topic.

I’m curious if it’s my family background, where I grew up, or simply my unique culinary cravings that cause me to think about food almost every minute of every day.  As a child, I would sit around the dinner table with my family (dinner being our midday meal, the evening meal being supper) and in between bites of the current meal, we would discuss what our next meal would be.  Fast forward 40 or so years and I do exactly the same thing to Kim!  Folks in Alabama, and specifically Eufaula, love their fried food, and I am no exception.  However, as time marches on, and our disdain for cleaning up greasy messes grows, fried foods fade toward the occasional treat realm, while grilled seafoods and the like come to the fore.

Hence, for whatever reason you will see a great deal of information here about my favorite recipes, favorite restaurants, favorite beverages, favorite food cities, etc.  Hopefully, I will receive feedback and ideas from y’all in this regard and we can all work together toward delectable and sometimes healthy food choices.  In the meantime, WHAT’S FOR LUNCH?!?!?!

It’s MyMy Day!!!

Well, it’s only fitting that I launch this journey into the blogosphere on MyMy Day, the day that marks the 109th anniversary of the birth of Analise Irene Kendrick, nee Henry, nee Buchanan, nee Jimmerson.  You see, MyMy was my grandmother with whom we lived until I was 13 1/2 years of age; my family moved to our own home the day my boyhood hero, Hank Aaron, broke Babe Ruth’s unattainable home run record.  MyMy told me almost daily that I could accomplish anything in the world I put my mind to and I believed her; heck look what another Alabama boy accomplished that April day in 1974!

I have no idea where this blog will take me, but I find it also fitting that I commence the journey on the day that Peyton Manning will presumably announce his retirement from professional football.  MyMy also used to tell me that my high forehead was a sign of intelligence, and if Peyton’s illustrious career showed us anything, it is that cognitive ability can at times trump physical prowess.  By all appearances, Peyton has me beat on the forehead front, and I suspect I’ll never win any Blogging World Championships, but stick with me and let’s see if we can’t at least make it into the Blogging Playoffs!