Sunday, November 2, 2014

Make Your Own PVC Pipe Train Whistle

Today's post is has nothing to do with nutrition or exercise.  I am the Wolf Den Leader in our Cub Scout pack.  This week we will be earning the Music Belt Loop and Pin.  For Pin requirement #1,  I will be having our den make their own train whistles.

Here are the materials you will need:

3 lengths of 1/2" pvc pipe (12.2 cm, 15.3 cm, 17.2 cm)
3 end caps
3 sections of 5/8" dowel, cut to 1 1/2"
2  90° elbows
2 small pieces of pvc pipe, just over 1" long
1 T connector

Total cost:  approximately $3/whistle


Here are the pieces, laid out before assembly.

After cutting the lengths of pvc pipe, make a notch at the top.  I connected the elbow to the pipe, then drew a line below the edge of the elbow for the top of the notch.  I cut these with a hacksaw, but my awesome Superman used the chopsaw to speed up the process, since I had to make twelve of these.


After making the notch, you will need to cut down one side of each of the dowel pieces.  I used a utility knife.  If I'd had a way to plane down one side of the dowel before cutting it, that would have saved time.  This was absolutely the most time consuming part of the project.




Each T connector needs a hole in the center.  This is where you blow into it.  After drilling the hole, I slightly carved down the edges, but it turns out that extra step isn't necessary.



 To connect the T to the elbow pieces, insert the small sections of pvc pipe into each side of the T.  The rest of the assembly is very easy.  Just put every together as pictured above.  Blow into the hole and enjoy your train whistle!





A very satisfying project!  I think the cub scouts will be excited!

video

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Uova in Purgatorio (Eggs in Purgatory)

Thanks to Michelle Tam (Nom Nom Paleo), I've discovered the goodness that is Eggs in Purgatory.  She graciously shares her recipe here:

Uova in Purgatorio


How did I not know about these before?  I substituted ground beef plus my seasonings for homemade sausage for the Italian pork sausage.  Also, since I was testing it out just for myself, I made the whole thing except for the egg, then ladled some of the meat sauce into a microwave safe mug.  I cracked an egg into that, covered it with a microwave-safe plate, then zapped it for 2 minutes on 50% power (cook until the egg is done to your preference).

The test was successful.  I am now motivated to buy ramekins.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

7,3, ADHD and Therapy

The only way to do great work is to love what you do. –Steve Jobs
Family of seven, Three full time jobs… well, one full time job, full time school and nearly a full time schedule at a Therapy Clinic, an ADHD mind and a midlife career change to Marriage & Family Therapy.  Wow you might be thinking, “a therapist with ADHD”, yah, never a dull moment in therapy. I love what I do, love my family. My life if full of adventure, twist and turns and I am honored to take this journey with my best friend and partner, my wife. 

Over a year ago I posted “Fitting in Again: A guest post”. With the idea I would track and post my path back to a healthy, fit life amid a crazy and demanding schedule. Shortly after that post on November 11, 2012 I got a promotion at work. The promotion was a great opportunity but unknowingly my life was about to become unbelievably more difficult. It wasn’t unusual for me to work 70 hour weeks and get home at 3am. This was in addition to my school schedule. It was taking a toll on me physically and mentally. It had to stop. I need to take back control of my life again. 

I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions. –Stephen Covey

Honestly, there were times I felt like it didn’t matter anymore. I wanted to accept the idea that being healthy and fit isn’t possible while being a responsible parent, employee and student. It’s either or, right? I was close to giving in multiple times. Ahh… I would argue with myself,  I’ll just wait till I am out of school, in my new career, when the kids are older, when I am retired! Seriously! These thoughts went through my head. But I have a feeling I am not alone, many of you know what it’s like to do everything right with little or NO results and often even experiencing negative results. It’s madding, I get it, I understand. But I know it’s possible and had to dive deep to find that motivation, drive and know how.
Recently I have been following a new favorite fitness guru online, Kristy Jo Hunt of Body Buddies. There is a lot of fitness fluff, fickle, fiasco and foolishness out there but she is fantastic, fun, fascinating and fit! I am not one for daily positive affirmations but her genuineness, sincerity and knowledge make her daily comments more than quotes of the day, but powerful reminders of your individual power and worth. So go check her stuff out but don’t forget to come back too. Her posts were an additional reminder that it is possible to be healthy and fit even in a busy life. I also believe that the OTHER equally important things in life don’t have to be sacrificed to accomplish a healthy, fit life style.

Hopefully, my experiences as a husband, father, student, crossfitter, psychotherapist dealing with everyday challenges helps motivate and provide solutions to your obstacles to finding a healthier, happier and fit life. What are the most difficult challenges you face in obtaining your goals? 

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Freezer Crockpot Meals

Life is crazy.  I don't know anyone who can say, "you know, my life is nice and slow -- I wish I had more recipes that took a good long time to prepare."

Since I know you all have crazy lives as well, I would like to share my latest solution:  Freezer Crockpot Meals.

1. Buy up a bunch of meat on sale.
2. Spend a couple hours assembling ingredients into gallon freezer bags.
3. Pull a meal out of the freezer the night before and thaw in the fridge.
4. Empty the bag into the crockpot the next morning and switch it on low.

Dinner is ready when you get home!

Crockpot Hawaiian Pizza
Costco carries a clean spaghetti sauce!  I used half a jar of that, and added plenty of oregano, instead of the crushed tomatoes.  I ate it out of a bowl, like a soup, but I also served french bread and cheese for the non-paleo eaters at our house.  It was a big hit with everyone!

Herb & Mustard Slow Cooked Pork Roast
I didn't have a pork roast, so I made this with a package of boneless pork chops.  The image at the top of the recipe includes a delicious-looking broccoli dish.  To duplicate it, I stir-fried broccoli with chopped bacon and cashews.  Yum.

Crockpot Green Chile Pork Stew
Skip browning the pork.  Just toss the ingredients (without the olive oil and flour) in the freezer bag.  I also chose to leave out the jalapenos.

Honey Balsamic Pork Chops
So simple!  Use a second crockpot to cook up a butternut squash.  Just throw the whole thing in on low, then skin and seed it once it's cooked.  Mash with some coconut oil and salt (and a little maple flavoring, if you like).  If there are leftovers of squash, use it in Butternut Squash Pancakes.

Painfully Easy Crock Pot Hawaiian Chicken
There are several crockpot recipes here.  This is the one I chose to do.

Crockpot Applesauce BBQ Chicken
I found a clean BBQ sauce at Sprouts Market, and substituted honey for the brown sugar.

Crock Pot Orange Chicken
I left out the soy sauce and peanuts, and only used a tiny bit of sriracha.  Before serving the chicken, I shredded it with two forks in the crockpot.  For a side dish, I pulsed the following in a food processor, wrapped it in a large foil packet, and placed it on top of the chicken right there in the crockpot:

head of cauliflower (including the leaves)
carrots
onion
celery
leftover ham

The boys ate the "ham fried rice" with a bit of soy sauce.  After gobbling three heaping servings, my 13-year-old was slightly offended to learn that he'd been tricked into eating cauliflower -- and liking it.

Crock Pot Cilantro Lime Chicken
This has been a big hit.  Leave out the corn and substitute 1 c. chicken broth for the salsa.  Serve on top of spaghetti squash (which can either cook in another crockpot, or pretty quickly in the microwave).