dead lifts

Dead lifts. The dreaded D’s.
I don’t know why but I felt compelled to post an article on dead lifts today.
You know I’m not really sure why they are called dead lifts. I think the title might be derived from the word dead weight.
Nevertheless,don’t be intimidated by their title. If you don’t like “dead lifts” you can call them “the king of exercise.”
One reason I like them so much is because they strengthen the lower back which helps with all standing exercises.
Proper technique is important with dead lifts otherwise you can put out the body part which you are trying to work rather than strengthen it. The goal is to strengthen the back not to injure it.
It’s a good idea to do some good stretching before you attempt this.
1) Stand in front of a barbell with your feet shoulder width apart and squat down till your hands can grasp the bar.
2) Lift using the lower back, hamstrings, and quads to propel you’re body to the vertical position. Keep your back straight throughout the exercise.
3) Lower the bar to the starting position using the same motion in reverse.
4) Do three sets of 8-10 reps and stretch your back between sets.
Have fun doing dead lifts.


Norwegian Cakes and Cookies by Sverre Saetre

Welcome back, Foodie enthusiasts to the 2014 Foodie Challenge. My name is Travis and I’m competing for my first ever Pastry Chef ranking.
Just a little background…
Back in the dark ages (college days) there were a couple of guys on the rowing team named Hans and Kameel. Brothers from Norway they kept strange hours, coming and going as they pleased. In the wee hours before sunlight they would come barging into the dorm and eat everything in sight.
It was impossible to keep up with them for they struck at such odd hours. Many a person on that hall woke up to an empty refrigerator. Some folks even resorted to a type of rudimentary religion. By leaving out plates of cookies and milk they hoped it would appease the pagan gods.
However the norse gods were notoriously fickle and ruled over us with an iron fist. I didn’t realize how bad it was until one Christmas eve I was hiding rice a roni under the mattress.
And so….
Having prior exposure to the culture of Norway made reading Norwegian Cakes and Cookies by Sverre Saetre much more personal.
What makes the book so authentic is that the author himself is from Norway. He is pastry shop owner and has been doing it his whole life. His credentials are impressive – winner of the 2008 Culinary Olympics and member of the Norwegian National Culinary Team. His life revolves around making pastries.
So one of the aspects of the book that may seem a little bit intimidating is the use of raw products form Norway. This is very evident in the fruit and berry sections with exotic fruits like cloudberries and lingonberies, as well as the from the cow section which features dairy products from Norway.
I think the writer likes to make the book a little bit intimidating. That’s why he includes references to exotic fruits and exotic recipes. To see who is really paying attention. The really good ideas are in there you just have to dive in to get them out. Kind of like cloudberries. An exotic fruit native to Norway known for it’s incredible flavor. It only grows in lowlands, marshes and swamps and it takes real skill and hardwork to pick them.
The wisest man whoever lived, King Solomon, said, “Eat honey for it is good, and the drippings of the honeycomb are sweet to your taste.” Everybody knows where honey comes from. Bees. And what do bees like to do? Sting. So the honey is worth it, if you can put up with the buzzing and the stings that come.
I so enjoyed reading this book and sharing about it. God bless you on the mysterious journey to finding the comfort in food.

small talk

“Do you think we might get some weather today?” I asked.
“I’d say there’s a hundred percent probability,” said Brooke.
“You know you’d make a great meteorologist,” I said.
“Thank you,” she replied.
“Do you remember that time we got stranded in the desert?” I asked.
“The heat was like an inferno,” she recalled. “I thought we’d burn up.”
“What about the time we got caught in the tropical storm?” I said.
“The wind was unbearable,” she replied. “It’s a miracle we survived!”
“How about the time we got snowed in during the blizzard?” I asked.
“I’m surprised we didn’t get buried under an avalanche!” she exclaimed.
“How did we stand it?” I asked. “Do you suppose we were just lucky?”
“That question could raise a lot of argument. Let’s not go there,” she replied.

whipped into shape

“Hey Art you look a little winded,” I said. “I thought this was your favorite music.”
I caught the briefest of smiles as Art listened for a moment. “Bourbon Street Parade. I do like Wynton Marsalis but it’s not working.”
“Catch your breath man,” I said to him. “You look as if you’ve been running on a treadmill Art. Why are you so downcast if you don’t mind my asking?” I asked.
“Work has been pretty slow,” replied the discourage artist.
“I may have painted my last cucumber for awhile,” I responded.
“Empathy Doug?” he asked. “What has come over you?”
“I’ve been seeing a great physical therapist,” I fired back.
“It’s about time,” he added.
“Maybe the waitress will come back with a couple of lemon and lime spritzers,” I said.
“What happened to raspberry?” he asked.
“Getting tired of the same ole, same ole,” I guess.
“That must be some physical therapist,” said Art.


One of my favorite all time exercises in terms of effectiveness but not necessarily easy to perform are a movement affectionately called nosebreakers.
Nosebreakers are a great exercise for strengthening the triceps. You don’t need any fancy equipment just a curl bar and a flat bench.
1) lie down in an inverted horizontal position on the bench with your head as close to the end as possible. by inverted I mean rotate so that your legs are where your head would normally be if you were doing bench presses.
2) grasp the curl bar from the middle with your palms facing downward and extend it straight up in front of you. the closer your hands are together the more it isolates the muscle.
3) bring the curl bar down over your head by bending the elbows. be careful you don’t bring it down onto your face. hence the name nosebreakers.
4) extend the bar back to vertical keeping the upper arms in the locked position.
5) do 3 sets of 8-10 reps at least every 2-3 days and you will see your triceps start to get thicker and more defined.

Artistic License by Julie. A Hyzy

Artistic License goes down like a hand dipped homemade chocolate milkshake, barely surpassing my all time favorite – a coconut surprise smoothie. Drink this one through a straw but be careful you don’t get a brain freeze.
Speaking of surprises this book is like a rare piece of artwork that one finds rummaging at an attic sale. Connosieur of comfort mysteries that I am not, I wasn’t expecting a ride on the literary wild side but a car chase shootout at the end made a believer out of me.
I like the way she uses really rough and slimy characters to advance the story. What good can possibly come out of a vibrating chair. You’ll have to read it to find out.
Some novels I’ve read it feels like you’re hacking your way through a rainforest. This felt more like a tumble down a smooth slippery water slide to me into a big wet swimming pool. Julie A. Hyzy is one very blessed writer!