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Had a great paleo experience today. Outside of a local grocery store there was a girl and her mom with a little table set up. It had a sign that said "Help me with my science experiment". My 11 yr. old son was with me, and we went to see what it was about. On the table was a card with nutritional information, next to something covered with a dishtowel. The girl asked, "Would you eat something with this nutritional value?" It was no carb, high protein, no sugar, no salt, no added ingredients. My son said, "I would". She then uncovered a little cup full of dried Bamboo worms>>>>.......! My son took the cup and downed about 4 or 5, made a bit of a face and then turned to me and said "Your turn, Dad!" Hey, this is about as paleo as it gets, so I said Sure! They were actually pretty good, I thought. Nice and crunchy. Anyway, it was Paleo guy "Fish or cut bait" time! Interesting experience!
I had the good fortune to test the Ipari Hana, XeroShoes' venture in the casual shoe. I received my pair a few days ago, and wore them as much as possible. These are a great alternative to any other casual shoes that I have worn. They are "xero" drop, built on a Z-Trek sole, with a nice soft suede-like interior (micro fiber) and the extreme flexibility that you would expect in an offering by Xero Shoes.------------>>
I wore them with khakis on "casual day" at the office in which I work (my day job). It is a government building, and, unbeknownst to anybody else, I was barefoot all day long. I was basically barefoot inside of the Hana's. These are available in several colors, and are a great addition to anybody's collection of footwear. I did an actual video review of these, and it is available here:
You owe it to yourself to get a pair (or two) of these. The quality is excellent, they look great, and, most importantly, they feel terrific on your feet. The toe box is nice and wide, they snug up well on your feet, or will sit more loosely if you prefer that (I do). XeroShoes is also a good company to deal with. I've been dealing with them since at least early 2010, not too long after they were established. They are very customer service oriented, offer great products, and will help you out with issues regarding fit, adjustment, etc. They will be available in a few days, and in limited quantity, so if you want to get in on this, be ready to order. It looks like they will retail for $79.99, but less during the initial introductory period. I have reviewed lots of running sandals and some running shoes over the years, but this is my first casual shoe review. You need these!
Well, here we are again, right in the middle of pumpkin spice latte season! It's beginning to pop up everywhere. This is the season, from now until the beginning of the year when everyone seems to put common sense on hold in order to enjoy "the holidays". The office in which I work is suddenly FILLED with candy bars, hard candies, bon bons, candy, and more candy. Pure sugar, sitting everywhere. Pretty inviting. It is so easy to just grab a chocolate bar or piece of candy as you walk by. Co-workers walk in every morning with their trophy from you know which coffee shop. Not exactly coffee mind you, but a 500 calorie sugar and whipped cream fueled pancreas buster.
There are some secured hallways where I work that are open only to employees, and at least once or twice per week, someone is celebrating something with a table full of carbs. It is so prevalent that they have established a permanent table in the hallway, with a big "Happy Birthday" sign over the top, ready for the next upcoming celebration.
Can't imagine why we're getting fat. This isn't breakfast, or lunch, but a 10:00 am feeding frenzy of doughnuts, bagels, muffins and cupcakes. Oh, SOMETIMES, there is the obligatory "fruit plate", brought in by some well-meaning individual. It is always relegated to the back of the table, and usually left mostly undisturbed as twenty frantic sets of hands paw over the flour and sugar "treats".
I've ranted over this many times, but it seems to get worse and worse. We have more diabetes, high blood pressure, you name it. I will see the same people "walking" for a 1/2 hour during lunch. They go to the trouble of bringing sweats and "walking shoes". That, of course, is a little bit of a bright spot, but walking for 1/2 hour won't burn off your morning pumpkin spice latte, the cupcake and doughnut you had at 10:00, AND your breakfast.
Can't fix this on my own, of course. It will get worse during the next 2-1/2 months as the "holiday parties" start to roll up. Then everyone will make a New Year's Resolution that will last a couple of days and the cycle will start again. Only you can make this better. Chances are, if you are reading this, you are already way ahead of many of your peers, because you are at least interested in making it better.
Paleo works for me. I'm a pragmatist, though. Eating paleo is a lifestyle choice, not a religion. Will I ever have a piece of pizza at one of my kids' events/parties? Sure. The problem is not the occasional break over to avoid being a social outcast in front of your kids. The problem is deciding HOW you want to fuel your body. Food is just that. Fuel, and building materials that your body needs in order to function and to repair itself. If you constantly load up with crap, that is what your body will use. If you try to build a house with broken pallets that you find behind your local home improvement store, you will end up with a crappy house. If you put cheap, watered-down fuel in your car, it will run poorly, if at all. Just try to minimize the crap intake, and at least MOSTLY fuel and replenish your body with nourishing food and clean water. It will function better............
But...............are you workin' the hive in your Z-Trails bad?
Ok, just for the record, I'm pretty sure that this use isn't suggested or sanctioned by Xeroshoes. My point is that these are the most versatile footwear that I've had. I wear them for just about everything, from running (on any surface), to working in our organic fruit orchard, feeding the chickens, and working around the bee hive. We ventured into some fairly wild areas of a friends place today, too! We were up and down slopes, rocks, leaf litter, etc. Great traction on all surfaces and just the right protection for my feet on the rocky areas....Get yourself a pair!
I recently had the opportunity to do an advance test/trial of the newest offering from XEROSHOES, the Z-TRAIL sandal. (See complete review below). They are currently on sale, as part of their roll-out. Check out my complete review, then take a look at these. The link is to the right->
First off, let me admit that I'm mostly a "between the toes" kind of guy. That's how I started in minimalist footwear, and I still have (and love) 3 pair of original Xeros (Two from back when they were still imprinted with "Invisible Shoes". A few months before discovering Xeros, I had bought a pair of sandals (a brand which shall go unnamed here), and they had the "across the toe" strap", as well. I ran 1/2 mile and had three blisters. Took them off and never wore them again.
Steven Sashen has a new offering, the Umara Z-Trail, utilizing an "across the toes" strap, and I have had the great fortune to test them. You can find them through the link to the right of this post. These are very similar in looks to the previously released Z-Treks (I'll be posting a review on them later), but with a beefier sole that is up to pretty much anything that most of us can throw at them. Since receiving these, I have run in them, done a bit of hiking, worn them to the store, out to dinner, working all day in our fruit orchard, in effect, pretty much lived in them. (At my wife's urging, I did clean them up a bit before wearing them out to dinner.) They have taken me on trail terrain, to be sure, including what mud I could find now that our California El Nino seems to have fizzled, but are equally good on asphalt, concrete, in any urban environment as well. We have a mountain camp-out coming up and the Z-Trails are definitely coming along. They roll up so they take up very little room, a men's size 9 is 5.4 oz, and even my size 12s have a weight that is negligible.
I have worn a lot of different "running sandals", and these certainly fill that bill, but they are oh, so much more. The lacing system on the Z-Trails is so versatile that I think you'd have to try very hard to have them not hug your foot. With the way these are set up, you can make macro or micro adjustments to the strap across the toes, the strap securing the ankle, the heel strap (I love Velcro), any which way you need. My feet are not always the easiest to fit, but the templates provided on Xeroshoes.com gave me the tools and instruction that I needed to get a perfectly fitting pair. When you get them on and adjusted, your feet settle into them and you pretty much forget that you have them on.
The sole, at 10mm is the thickest Xeroshoes has offered. I had been hoping for this for a while, as sometimes it's nice to have that little bit of extra protection when traversing rough terrain. They have hit the sweet spot with these, and there is still ground feel, even with the extra protection. The beefing up of the wear points on the sole should make them last for a long time, and the tread gives these sandals great traction, even on gravelly hills. The barefoam foot bed is extremely comfortable, and, maybe it's just my perspective, but I think I can see it having molded a bit to my foot. The fit is extremely comfortable and any adjustments are quick and effortless. The Xeroshoes design gurus have outdone themselves this time, and the price is great, too at only $79.99.
I will continue to wear these, and I'm determined to test Steven's 5k mile warranty with them. I highly recommend these to anyone who is looking for a great minimalist sandal with some extra protection for the foot sole, at a great price. Xeroshoes is a trustworthy company, as well, in my opinion. I have dealt with them a number of times over the years and have never been disappointed. It's clear that Steven wants everyone who puts on his shoes to be satisfied, and he seems to go to great lengths to make that happen.
500 or 1000 or 10000 years ago, a man, not much different from me, stood on the hill that rises behind my house, as I did tonight. He felt the earth cool beneath his bare feet. He saw the same honey colored half moon rise slowly from behind the same ridge line. He looked up at the constellation that we now call Orion, as it made it's way slowly westward in the black sky.
He heard a distant coyote, an owl screech, and felt the slight February breeze that stirred the scrub oak leaves, as did I.
I looked out over the valley tonight, and realized that, as I stood there, the only thing that has REALLY changed in this vista are the man-generated lights and the structures. This place was much the same 100000 years ago, and will be the same in another 100000 years. We come, and we go. That distant mesa on the horizon will remain. The wispy cirrus clouds will still float by. Cities and forests rise and fall, and, eventually the Earth reclaims.
It is so easy to get caught up in our daily trivia, which, although important to us as we lead our lives, is incredibly insignificant in the scheme of things. Nature endures. That moon keeps cycling through its phases, Orion continues his march across the sky, and the pointer stars of Ursa Major continue to circle Polaris, eon after eon. We need to maintain perspective on our place, and give this Earth the respect that it deserves. We are but temporary visitors here.
Kids learn by example, perhaps more than anything. Unfortunately, in today's tech society, there are many life skills that children used to learn by watching, that are no longer done, for the most part.
There are certain basic life preserving skills that, we all hope, our children will never need. Those are the skills that are most important to teach. To survive, a human needs (in addition to oxygen), water, food, clothing, shelter, and a source of heat. Kids (boys AND girls) need to learn, early on in their lives, how to create or obtain those things. God forbid that our children ever are caught in a situation where they MUST have those to survive. But........you never know. Earthquakes, fires, natural and man-made disasters can put you into that situation in an instant. If you have DONE YOUR JOB and taught, (or had someone else teach) your child those basic skills, their chance of surviving goes up dramatically. They need to know how to make a fire without matches, lighters, etc. They need to know how to get water. How to get food. How to find and identify things that are edible. How to catch a fish, a rabbit, etc. How to find or create a shelter. How to find their way to safety. How to hide. When to run. When to hide. When to fight, and how. How to swim. How to get warm. How to stay cool. How to take care of injuries and/or illness. Basic first aid. How to sharpen a knife.
This is disturbing stuff, isn't it? Our job, as parents, though, is to continue our species, if you get to the basics. Teaching your kids essential survival skills gives them a better chance. Figure it out. Teach them if you are capable. Get someone to teach them if you aren't. Do it TODAY. You don't know what they may face tomorrow.......
Ok, we had Halloween behind us, and all the candy was gone, but then here came Thanksgiving! You just CAN'T turn down a giant meal, followed by a week of leftovers.
Once that was in the can (literally), we had Christmas staring us in the face. Cookies in every workplace, office parties, extra meals and parties with family and friends. (Cookies for Santa, of course). Whew! then....
Hey, it was NEW YEARS! More parties, food, drink, food, food, food...
Today, there were Superbowl Parties!!! Nachos, beer, soft drinks, chips, you name it.
Get the picture? That's October, November, December, January and February. At some point, you gotta get a handle on the caloric intake. Our traditions are killing us. Almost everyone gains weight "over the holidays". Hey, that ain't "the holidays". That's five months of binging. You can't undo that in a couple of weeks of being sensible. If we are to get a hold of our burgeoning girths, you can only do it..............TODAY. Tomorrow is another today in the wings. You can't undo last week or last month. You can start...............now.