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Sunday, December 30, 2018

Hygge- Why You Need it on PJSC podcast

First, I’d better tell you what hygge (pronounced hue-guh) means: it is a Danish word to describe a special moment or feeling.  There is no English equivalent word, but several put together can approximate this concept- cosiness, charm, happiness, ‘contentness’, security, familiarity, comfort, reassurance, kinship, and simpleness.

And so, the conscious creation of a special moment in a certain time and place that such a wonderful feeling of intimacy and friendliness- that is hygge!  To me, it is a type of motionless, indoor forest walking; consciously becoming one with your simple environment and your companions in a moment of shared contentedness.  I like the concept of ‘cozy’ most of all- as in Dicken’s A Christmas Carol, when Scrooge is shown by the ghost of Christmas Present the little kitchen of Bob Cratchett, in which sits his entire family including Tiny Tim.  The kitchen is humble, and the family is poor, but they are all happy together, celebrating their thrifty Christmas dinner.  Scrooge is touched, he doesn’t know it, but he is witnessing Hygge, Victorian English style!

It is thought that the long, sunless winters in Denmark gave birth to this concept of the preciousness of hygge.  Small, delightful moments in one’s life can illuminate both the mind and spirit in the midst of even an otherwise gloomy existence!  Sprinkle enough bright moments throughout your day, and then each and every day can be a delight, filled with times to cherish.

My Christmas was absolutely wonderful this year, filled with a snowy landscape, candles in all the windows, and my family, both grandchildren included, playing with their presents about the tree.  I grilled a ham, slathered in orange marmalade, (I know, not too paleo, but it was Christmas!), and we had mashed sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, and we’re all so full that no one wanted dessert- although we were able to eat some chocolates from the Sweet Shop in La Crosse’s north side, which were amazing.  They make their own candies with equipment that must have come from Dicken’s London, with real ingredients, from scratch!

Needless to say, that is a day of endless Hygge!  It is so much, that it wears you out, and you are happy to fall into bed.  But now, two days later: a day long rain has come, and the temps are in the 40’s- unheard of at this time in Wisconsin!  The snow has been washed away, but I have achieved hygge several times already today, even though it is still raining, and dark now, at 4:30 PM.  The electric candles in all the windows, and the lit Christmas tree helps, as did my book reading in my favorite easy chair, feet up and a cup of green tea by my side.  My wife sleeping on the couch, with two sleeping felines, one on the couch back, the other on her leg, and a small space heater blowing gently onto us both.  And I had just before gone down to the cellar, doing pushups on my gymnastic rings, and flies, and rows, then a series of isometric presses on the power rack- and so now, I was deliciously exhausted and content- hygge!

And so, you see you can achieve this state of hygge almost anywhere, if you set your mind to it.  It takes no money, very little time, and does wonders for your mood and state of mind- it’s rather like a form of meditation or prayer.  An attitude of gratefulness permeates you’re entire being.

I remember years ago, when I was a mailman.  It was a rainy, cold winter day, much like today, and I was soaked through.  I had heated up my lunch using the microwave at the old folk’s home on my route, and had parked along the shoreline of Lake Onalaska on a dead end road.  The dark waves tossed before me, and I cranked the heater in that mail truck onto high.  I unpacked my lunch of a small steak and veggies, mixed into white rice, and lit a small candle that I kept in my truck.  

That did it!  As the steam rose from the drying raincoat I had taken off and that was hanging beside me, I tasted the wonderful food, as the candle flame shed a golden glow across the drab interior of that ancient truck.  I didn’t see an eagle that day as I ate (I often did), but still, although I didn’t know the word to describe my feeling at that time, I do now-  HYGGE.

Friday, December 14, 2018

How to Exercise for a Lifetime podcast on PaleoJay's Smoothie Cafe


You need to exercise.  This much is obvious, although many of us hate to do so, seeing it as somehow a waste of time, when we are all so busy.  I mean, you need to do this thing for work, and you have to shovel your walk, and mow, and help your kids with homework, and volunteer at church and school and help your neighbors-

Welcome to modern life!  Now, faced with such a situation, most of us, unfortunately, decide to…

Not Exercise!  

Despite the legions of benefits exercise provides, approaching and sometimes even surpassing those benefits of diet and lifestyle- we balk.  We try for awhile, we do this and then stop, we join a gym or classes and then- stop.  Finally, many (most) go back to the old ‘well, if I just lead an active lifestyle, and take a walk on a regular basis, I’ll be fine!’  

You won’t be.  You need regular, intense exercise, on a regular basis, or you will decay, mentally and especially physically.  It’s not even open for debate: you will.  You’ll be alright for awhile, but you will decline, unawares, until sarcopenia reaches the point where you have almost no muscle tissue left.  That’s where we start looking at assisted living, and nursing home arrangements.  Diabetes is on the horizon, and also dementia if you ignore your paleo diet, along with early death and limb amputation, among other complications. 

 If you don’t exercise, you can be looking at such things in your early 60’s…

Here is how to exercise, and never stop- ever.  
Exercise at home! 

Even Arnold, the ultimate gym rat, doesn’t exercise nearly enough now.  He eats pastries a lot, and travels too much to get to the gym- also, his joints and back are worn out from the heavy weights.  In my opinion, he blew it.  Exercise at home- then it is built into your life!

Exercise every day- at the same time!

If you do something at the same time, roughly, every day- why then it is built into your routine.  You will do it, you don’t even think about it or question it.  For me, I do it first thing, every morning.  It’s just what I do, just as I brush my teeth before bed.  It’s what I do!

Exercise in front of the TV!  

I don’t know what it is, but Puritanical types think this is not good.  By restricting my TV time largely to exercise time, I am not wasting time in any way shape or form!  In fact, I don’t allow myself to watch ‘entertainment’ types of shows (Netflix, or movies in any way) if I am not exercising.  You would be astounded at how this makes you want to exercise!!  Oh- it’s morning- now I can go downstairs and watch that wonderful show again!!’

Exercise using DVR’s (which is Dynamic Virtual Resistance), Isometrics, and Calisthenics!  

That really is all you need.  Aside from stretching, that should be built into your morning routine as well.  DVR’s are the least known, yet the most beneficial of all, since by flexing your muscles throughout their full range of motion you are simultaneously strengthening and enhancing every muscle group in your body.  You can see them demonstrated at, or in my ebook Perfectly Paleo Exercise.  Even if you do nothing else, these exercises will revitalize your body from head to toe.


Using a heavy duty nylon strap, you can do squats, deadlifts, presses and curls for your whole body!  Hold the strap beneath your feet, and press, curl, and deadlift at multiple holding places in each movement.  For instance: in the curl, stop at the bottom of the arc, and push your maximum, holding for about 6 seconds.  Pause, and repeat.  Then, move up to half-way up the arc of motion, and repeat 2 or three times.  Then, all the way near the top of the curl.  Repeat.

To do this same routine upon your whole body, from presses, to curls, to squats, to deadlifts, to lateral raises to upright rows, and then bent rows- why it only takes about 10 minutes, tops.  And it will increase your strength more than anything else you could do, including hours in the gym lifting weights.  Really!  And you can do it all in front of the TV in your living room.


‘Drop and give me 20!’  What a turn-off to exercise such an admonition is.  No, I just want you to do as many pushups as you can.  And the best way to do so, safely and effectively?  Negatives.

Hold yourself in the pushup position, and slowly lower yourself to the floor.  Get up again, using your legs, and again lower yourself, as slowly as you can, incrementally to the floor.  Repeat until you are exhausted, or your start dropping too fast to resist much.  This should only take about one minute or less- negative pushups are quickly exhausting, and there is no danger of injury. (unlike the awful bench press).  

ALL of the benefits, with none of the downside!  

The other thing I’d like you to do, after this is the straight-legged situp.   Don’t bend your knees, don’t anchor your feet- just do the situps with straight legs, and go down as low as you can with your forehead towards your knees.  Go for reps, and know you are benefiting your spine along with your abs.

Finish up with some easy floor stretches.  I always have a yoga mat that I exercise on, to spare the carpet and cushion my old bones.  Improvise, stretching your back from side to side, crossing your bent kneed leg across yourself to left and then right as you lay on your back.  Stretch our as far as you can lying prone, first left arm and right leg, and then vice versa.  If you can manage a ‘back bend’, where you lift yourself onto the crown of your head from a back lying position, and then holding it- 

Why then, not only have you mastered the finish of the usual PaleoJay workout, but you will have totally manipulated your spine in such a way that is superior to that which you would receive in a chiropractor’s office.  Congratulations!

OK, that is your daily workout!  It really won’t take much time at all, (30 minutes or less) and if you are like me you will find ways to make it longer.  For not only does it feel really good, but you want to watch your show on TV for just a little bit more.  You will learn to associate the good physical feeling of exertion with the satisfaction of really good entertainment.

Next time, I will tell you some ways to extend your exercise habit, in ways that are not only painless, but wonderful in their own way.  

For now- just exercise every day, at the same time!  It’s easy, habit forming, and will literally save you.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Sometimes, just BE! pqtd podcast

Now, I’m not trying purposely to be vague here.  Actually, this is a quite specific recommendation- often, we need to be reminded that we do not need to be struggling wildly, spinning our wheels attempting to make the greatest gains, the best accomplishments of our lives, because; well- time is all we’ve got!

Last week I was reminded of this, as I got quite sick, and stayed that way for a solid week!  

Now, this is a rarity for me.  Probably for your too, if you make your health a real priority in your life, trying to always get at least 8 hours of sleep, eat a paleo diet, and exercise intensely, yet briefly, on a regular basis.  I fact, right now I can’t recall the last time I got sick!  It really is usually less than one time per year, and then only for a day or two…

Except this time.  I know what it stemmed from, as I was forced to be outside in freezing rain and cold for hours, at night (I rarely stay up late at night), and was coupled with extreme exertion!  I remember thinking ‘If I am exposed right now to something bad (I was in a large crowd as well), I know I am driving those toxins right deep into my body.’   

And that is exactly what happened!  I got so ill that all I could do was lay in my chair, covered with a sleeping bag and with an electric heater aimed at my prone form, as I just lay there- day after day.  I tried to sleep in my bed, but aside wanting to spare exposing my wife to my toxic self- there was to be no sleep for me!  I coughed and sneezed too much, and constantly needed to be blowing my nose, over and over…  

What a nightmare.  

And you know what?  As I lay there, did I think about all the things I wanted and needed to do, the workouts I was missing, the podcasts, the music and book writing I wasn’t doing, and all the thousand and one things we all do that make a tapestry of our lives?  

No.  I lay there, struggling for breath and the recovery of my usual extreme wellness, yet thinking in the back of my mind that maybe- just maybe- my life was actually usually too busy.  Even though everything I do is pretty much what I want and love to do- at the end of the day, what really, really counts in making us what we are, our true selves?  

It’s not just our accomplishments, although those are important.  But what is far more important are all the times that you are just there- in the moment- experiencing your life, and the lives of your tribe all about you, and savoring and appreciating that, in and of itself!

Not the accolades you do or might receive, not the money you may make because of your hard work; I mean, all of that is nice, and even necessary in some ways- but at last, who really cares?  If you are ‘running and striving’ so hard in your life that you hardly notice what day it is, or where you are and what you are experiencing- you are missing out on your own life.

I won’t say I am glad I got sick, far from it.  But, as I sat there in that chair, I realized what it was to live in the moment.  Entirely, and painful as it was- I was right there.  There was no way to escape it.

And that’s when I realized that if only I could live the wonderful, vibrant, full-of-joyous sensations moments of my life, as I walk through the forest with my ski poles in the snow, or hit a perfect harmony with my singing partner, or when I’ve grilled a perfect steak- why, then I would be truly BEING, living in the NOW, and in a wonderful time that would in some way live inside me then forever!

That is the me that I want, living forever!

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Place, Tribe, and Being Pathologically Altruistic on PaleoJay's Smoothie Cafe podcast

We sacrificed quite a bit when we moved from being paleolithic hunter gatherers.  We tend to focus primarily on what we gave up health-wise, since by starting to replace good wild game meats and gathered vegetables and fruits with low nutrient foods like grains and other such foodstuffs we not only became smaller and weaker, we became subject to many diseases.  

It has been a long time coming, and so slowly that we think it natural, but as most of us now know- by reintroducing ourselves to a diet more in keeping with that of our paleo ancestors, we can largely restore our health!  Most of you know the drill by now: wild caught seafood, grass fed meats, pastured butter, cheese, cream and eggs, vegetables and some fruits.  Exercise briefly and intensely as did our ancestors, and forge deep ties with our ‘tribe’; meaning family, friends, church members, and with your neighbors.  Spend time daily outdoors in nature, walking and communing with the natural world.

But I believe one thing is very overlooked in the modern paleo movement: 

The Importance of PLACE!

Of all things in the ancient past, the primacy of place- of your homeland- runs paramount to pretty much all else.  Our ancestral tribes, and I mean all ancestral tribes, lived amongst others very like them genetically.  Attackers were the other, and by evolution we were chosen to distrust those others- those with other languages, customs, gods, and religions.  Even those tribes that did not think as we did- either because they had chosen vastly different paths and worldviews- or because their intellects, chosen for by their own environments, were much weaker and less capable.  

Some environments did not put much value in developing intelligence, and in fact those peoples developed more physical abilities that would help them in the hunt with low technology.  Things like running faster, jumping higher, throwing farther; along with breeding in much greater numbers, since most offspring in those societies died off young from malnutrition and disease.  

I recently heard of a theory that makes quite a bit of sense to me:  those people who lived in the north, during the great ice age, only were able to survive by cooperating.  This would have been the ancient Europeans and certain Asian groups.  Their surviving members would have been selected for by their willingness and able ness to work together, and to sacrifice for one another in the tribe.  

Those races and groups from warmer, softer climes would have gone on warring endlessly, as they had always done- that was their evolutionary selection pressure, not working together and getting along as a large group.  And that worked fine for them- as long as they stayed in their own, ancestral lands!

Enter the modern world, with endless inferior foodstuffs, big crowded cities, and above all- world wide transportation, able to move people from various continents into our own northern latitudes in a matter of hours!  Along with this, imagine our own, European people; folk who evolved to have altruism in a high degree.  A strong urge not only of compassion for others, but an almost pathological altruism that compels some of us to sacrifice our own welfare and actual long-term existence to groups of ‘others’.  

When I say pathological altruism, I am referring especially to our huge, European white countries massive welfare states.  A system set up to help our own tribe’s most helpless people, where we care for our own.  When we are misguided enough to import massive amounts of the other tribes from around the globe, and then to support them by taxing and taking from our own tribesmen and women- why, this is pathological altruism!  And the least thoughtful among us fall for their ancient urge, which in the modern setting has become self-suicide.  

It is our task to bequeath our ancestral European homelands to our children, and to their offspring forever.  We built our many nations ourselves, during the long years of Western Civilization, that long climb upwards into what is undeniably the greatest accomplishments of the world.  It is not even our right to throw that away- to give our tribal homelands to our enemies, and to the least able people in the world instead of our own descendants.  Only pathological altruism can incline us in that direction, and if we use our reasoning skills that we developed also during the harsh years of the ice age, we can see that clearly.

And so, besides caring for our own tribe, we also need to protect our territory at all costs.  I hope you have chosen a good place to live, with people like yourself surrounding you.  Diversity is not our strength, and it is definitely NOT PALEO living!  Live amongst your own kind.

Many years ago, I chose to live in a place with a homogenous population of folks very much like me- same heritage, same values.  Teutonic and Alpine- German and Norwegian.  It has always been the best decision of my life.  And I would encourage you to make a similar decision- live amongst people like yourself.  Don’t be uncivil to other races and tribes, but also do not be a victim.  Let them provide for themselves and theirs, and you for you and yours.  If they are not as capable as you are, well just remember- it is not your fault.  Charities are there for a good reason, and that is what you should donate to of your own free will- charity.  

The government is not a charity- it is coercion, it is a king, and emperor that takes and gives to who he desires.  This is tyranny, and was very far from our ancestral, European paleolithic ideals.  This is what we strive to be free of, and we have been for a long time- let’s not slip backwards into oblivion.

So, choose a good, rural place.  There are many, and cities are like Rome- the opposite of Paleo, and the height of decadence.  Just look at any of our major cities, really look.  Crime is rampant, quality of life is abysmal, the schools are awful (just try to find a student who is even literate in any major US city), and the air, water, and food are toxic, overall.

Look around- do the locals look like you, talk like you, think like you?  If so, that might be your place!  And, if you are black or Asian or Middle Eastern- do the exact same thing.  You will only be happy, fulfilled, and your true, paleolithic tribal self it your are: living amongst your own tribe!  Otherwise, you will always be blaming those others for anything that happens to you.  

Take charge of your own destiny!  “Up you mighty race, accomplish what you will!”  This quote by black leader Marcus Garvey can apply to any race.  Build your own Wakanda, black people!  There is lots of undeveloped and underdeveloped land in the US, particularly in the south east. 

 And, if any group does not want to live in tribal communities with others of their own, God bless them as well.  They can live with acquiescing people of other races; not with others forced to integrate through section 8 HUD governmental housing.  It is beneath any race to live as governmental beggars, living off of the dole of pathological altruists like packs of dogs hanging around a primeval tribe.  Independence is key for self respect, and for the very self-actualization of a people.

And if this is not an option, if you can’t provide or won’t provide for you and yours, then it is up to us, your pathologically altruistic hosts- to insist that you return to your ancestral homelands where you evolved to fit in.