Simple Rules for Eating Healthy in 2012

It’s a new year, and for many of you, you’re try­ing for the umpteenth time to exer­cise and eat healthy. I’m one of those peo­ple, and this year I’m com­mit­ting to a non-​​traditional diet that has very sim­ple rules. In my expe­ri­ence, you can loose weight and nour­ish your body with­out hav­ing to count calo­ries, fat, carbs, etc. I’ve already lost 10lb this year.

In my new healthy eat­ing lifestyle, it’s not so much a num­bers game as it objec­tive based eat­ing. Read on and see what I mean.


  1. Drink 2 liters of water a day (3 liters in hot­ter weather). This helps with the diges­tion process so food doesn’t sit and accu­mu­late. It also flushes out tox­ins and is good for your heart and vas­cu­lar system.
  2. Eat more greens. The more raw the bet­ter. If you want an easy way to get your veg­gies, you can either drink a cup of Green Machine a day or look into Juice Pluse.
  3. Eat slower. Eat­ing fast has proven to cause weight gain and it’s harder on your diges­tive sys­tem when you don’t allow the enzymes in your saliva to do their part in digest­ing the food. Try chew­ing your food until it’s a pulp. Eat­ing slower also will help you eat less. Your brain doesn’t rec­og­nize how full your stom­ach is until about 20min after you start eat­ing. Try tak­ing a smaller por­tion than nor­mal, eat­ing slower, and you may find that smaller por­tion quite satisfying.
  4. Sup­ple­ment with vit­a­mins. The 3 big ones are fish oil, multi-​​vitamin, and B vitamins.


  1. Stop drink­ing soda (pop, coke, what­ever you call it). When I stopped drink­ing car­bon­ated drink years ago, it was amaz­ing how the dif­fer­ence one choice like that made.
  2. Cut out red meat. Not say­ing you can’t have it occa­sion­ally, but if you’re really ana­lyt­i­cal and need me to break it down for you, I’d say only allow one serv­ing of red meat a week. Alter­na­tively you should be eat­ing white meats like chicken, turkey, and fish.
  3. Don’t bring junk food into your home. It should be an auto­matic given that when you do your gro­cery shop­ping, ice cream, chips, and candy (or any other food in those aisles) don’t go in your shop­ping cart (the excep­tion would be for a party or holidays).
  4. Stop eat­ing fast food! There’s noth­ing more to be said about that.
  5. Watch out for cheese. If it’s an option to put on your sandwich…opt out. If there’s a meal with sub­stan­tial amounts of cheese in it, def­i­nitely stay away. There’s a lot of fat in that stuff.

The last rule is that if you’re going to choose to eat healthy, you need to choose to live healthy all around. The real­ity is, eat­ing is only part of it. You need to com­mit to mak­ing healthy choices through­out the day. Cut down on tv watching, exercise daily, have hob­bies, get out and socialize.

Don’t fol­low this list to loose weight, do it to pre­vent or help your already exist­ing high blood pres­sure, dia­betes, con­ges­tive heart fail­ure, etc.

5 reasons why commitment and responsibility trump the independent life

Most young peo­ple (and even older adults) run from things that might tie them down. A full time job, buy­ing a house, mar­riage, etc. They want to live a life that’s free. A life where if their desires change, there’s noth­ing hold­ing them back from fol­low­ing through on them. At a quick glance, peo­ple might say that inde­pen­dence is the sim­pler life. There’s less respon­si­bil­ity and there­fore more joy (after all, that’s what this blog is about, get­ting the most out of life through simplicity).

How­ever, I’m going to argue against that premise and lay out 5 rea­sons why hav­ing com­mit­ment and respon­si­bil­ity are more free­ing and enjoyable.

1. In order to build a life of sub­stance, there needs to be a solid foun­da­tion. You can’t build a sky­scraper on sand, nei­ther can you move up in life if you never set­tle down and take on respon­si­bil­ity. I’m not speak­ing of only mov­ing up finan­cially. In all areas of life, there’s room to grow, and growth requires a firm foun­da­tion (phys­i­cally and emotionally).

2. Per­ma­nence allows for you to invest. Whether it’s invest­ing in rela­tion­ships, the com­mu­nity, your church, etc. Not that you can’t make a dif­fer­ence in a person’s life in a short time period, but some of the most reward­ing moments in life are see­ing your hard work and invest­ments grow and mature over time.

3. Rou­tine takes away the stress of the unknown. Some could argue that hav­ing bills, a fam­ily, and a full time job can be stress­ful. On the other hand, it can be just as stress­ful when you’re always won­der­ing if you’ll get enough hours this week or if the you’ll have enough free­lance projects, your retire­ment, when that spe­cial some­one is going to come into your life, and liv­ing pay check to pay check can be rough when your car unex­pect­edly dies.

4. Sta­bil­ity and reg­u­lar­ity build cred­i­bil­ity. As you invest in those rela­tion­ships, your net­work grows, and assum­ing you’re a per­son of char­ac­ter, so does your rep­u­ta­tion. This is another aspect of mov­ing up (from point 1). A good name is to be more desired than pre­cious met­als (that’s what the Bible says). And as a Chris­t­ian, a good name is what you want because it implies an abil­ity to more effec­tively min­is­ter to other peo­ple and have influ­ence in their lives.

5. Per­ma­nence in the begin­ning allows for more inde­pen­dence in the long run. As you work that full time job, as you put in the years in one place, and as you build your sav­ings account, the oppor­tu­ni­ties abound. Per­haps you can’t take week­end road trips all the time in the begin­ning, and maybe you can’t spend the sum­mer back­pack­ing through Europe, but a well planned and invested life will give you more oppor­tu­ni­ties in the long run to do just as many, if not more, amaz­ing things that your friends did in the first few years of their young adult­hood. Because when you reach your 30s and you find your­self well estab­lished, your friends who didn’t want to set­tle will find them­selves fac­ing a harsh real­ity that they’re 10yr behind the eight ball hav­ing to start a career, and their days of inde­pen­dence will for the most part have ended, while yours are just beginning.


*Side note: If God’s called you to live a life as a missionary, evangelist, or mil­i­tary per­son­nel, that’s a dif­fer­ent story. I’m talk­ing about the peo­ple who aren’t nec­es­sar­ily look­ing to God’s leading.

2011 — Recap of My Life

This past year will def­i­nitely go down in the record books as a crazy roller coaster! It all started with a carry over from 2010. I was wrestling with a lot of things spir­i­tu­ally that were induced by my trip to Kenya in Novem­ber 2010. Dur­ing that time of search­ing and con­fu­sion, I got involved in my first dat­ing rela­tion­ship. God taught me a lot through that. It didn’t work out for the obvi­ous rea­son that we were in 2 dif­fer­ent worlds spir­i­tu­ally. In the end (June), God used that rela­tion­ship to reaf­firm my spir­i­tual con­vic­tions and set me on a path that pur­sued Christ more pas­sion­ately than I ever had in my entire time as a Chris­t­ian. More on that later…

Along with a rela­tion­ship, 2011 started a 12-​​month pro­gram in Para­medic school. This proved to be the great­est chal­lenge I’d ever encoun­tered in my life. Over the course of the year, I encoun­tered doc­tors, nurses, and mil­i­tary spe­cial forces who had at one point been through Para­medic school. They all agreed that it was the hard­est thing they’d ever done as well. Because of jug­gling work, school, and clin­i­cals, I lived out of my car a week at a time. Sleep was min­i­mal and so was my social life. Unfor­tu­nately, there’s not a whole lot of sto­ries to tell about my life in 2011 other than the count­less emer­gency scenes I went on at work and clinicals.

Come the Fall, my school load had slightly light­ened (that or I was use to the abuse by then), and I decided to go through fire­fighter school on top of Para­medic school which I regret­ted every minute of; but I made it through and have that under my belt. God was also teach­ing me lessons about what it means to live sold out for him. I’ve always had the men­tal­ity that my respon­si­bil­ity is no dif­fer­ent than that of a pastor’s, but I reached a point of enlight­en­ment in the Fall that I am a grown man and I can no longer fear con­fronting those older than me and chal­leng­ing oth­ers to pur­sue Christ more.

An image came to mind that encour­aged me. It’s that of a 16yr-​​old boy who fal­si­fied his age and now is on a shut­tle boat about to land at Nor­mandy on D-​​day. As the door drops, bul­lets are whizzing by, and friends are drop­ping dead all around him. He now real­izes that he’s no longer a boy, but a man, and though there’s an over­whelm­ing sense of fear in his inner­most being, it’s time for him to man up and charge for­ward onto the beach. I feel that rep­re­sents so well the feel­ings and think­ing process that I went through this past year.

Since then, I’ve spent a great major­ity of my time dur­ing the week at a local cof­fee shop down­town called Rem­edy. Over time I’ve come to know all the work­ers and most of the cus­tomers. It’s proven to be a fan­tas­tic loca­tion for min­istry. Mul­ti­ple times a week I have oppor­tu­ni­ties for dis­ci­ple­ship. Part of man­ning up is just cut­ting to the chase with peo­ple and ask­ing them where they’re at spir­i­tu­ally. The con­ver­sa­tions that have ensued have been incred­i­ble! On a num­ber of occa­sions I’ll have other peo­ple who are lis­ten­ing jump into the con­ver­sa­tion and in no time there’s an impromptu Bible study of 4–6 people.

Another bless­ing that Rem­edy has brought are the num­ber of close rela­tion­ships I’ve built with solid believ­ers who are actively serv­ing in their churches through­out Knoxville. Speak­ing of serv­ing, I was con­victed about the lack of ser­vice I had in my church. I felt that despite my insane sched­ule, there was no excuse or exemp­tion for peo­ple not to serve in some way. So, I talked to my wor­ship leader who’d been want­ing me to play bass gui­tar and he lent me his to learn and start play­ing in wor­ship. From there, I’ve now taken it upon myself to serve the church by encour­ag­ing other mem­bers to find areas to serve in by ana­lyz­ing their gifts and if need be, cre­at­ing min­istry oppor­tu­ni­ties if some­thing doesn’t exist already.

One other thing that God has chal­lenged me to do this year is find some­one that I can reg­u­larly dis­ci­ple. It didn’t take long for me to find that per­son. I’ve been meet­ing with him weekly and doing an overview of the Bible as well as teach­ing sys­tem­atic the­ol­ogy. I also work with him rela­tion­ally by hang­ing out for recre­ational pur­poses at var­i­ous times dur­ing the week.

The last thing that I can say is that in Octo­ber I lost my job, and was with­out work for 2 weeks. God was good and pro­vided me a posi­tion with the largest ambu­lance ser­vice in the world, but they were just start­ing up an oper­a­tion in Knoxville. I was 1 of 8 peo­ple that was hired to be on the ground floor of this oper­a­tion. It’s been the best job in EMS I’ve ever had or seen. My work part­ner has proved to be a very good friend that has gone out­side of work and great men­tor as I enter into the role as a Paramedic.

And that’s it in a nut shell. Now I’m a Para­medic. I’m very excited about the prospects for this com­ing year. I have a list of New Year Res­o­lu­tions you can check out. Also, there’s some pic­tures of events from this past year.

God bless!


prac­tic­ing on a dummy


my para­medic class


get­ting ready to do a clin­i­cal in surgery



after a day of fire school


UT foot­ball game


one of my many crazy scenes


play­ing pool with friends


first con­cert — Lady Antebellum




church lead­er­ship team play­ing ball before church


impromptu Bible study



2012 New Year Resolutions

I’m espe­cially excited about what 2012 holds for my life. It begins a new phase with the end of school and the start of a career, and I feel it’s going to be a year that defines what a sub­stan­tial part of my life will be like. That being said, here’s some res­o­lu­tions that I hope will become part of that defin­ing process.

  • Take 2 mis­sion trips
  • Lead a small group
  • Dis­ci­ple 2 guys
  • Make a weekly habit of rock climbing
  • Eat bet­ter and exer­cise regularly
  • Start nurs­ing school
  • Write 1 song per month
  • Take time to reflect each day (going for a walk, before bed, etc)
  • Spend 1hr in prayer and read­ing the Word each morning
  • Read the Bible chrono­log­i­cally in 1 year