Monday, October 23, 2017

How to Get Back On Keto In 5 Easy Steps

Got something this past week I haven't had much of lately...days off.  With days off and travel, it was easy to talk myself into a few "cheat meals".  You know the dialogue.

"I'm on vacation.  I deserve it.  Everyone else is eating and enjoying their food, why can't I?"

Look, I am all for enjoying my time when  I have a rare chance to kick back and relax, but often one bad meal, becomes two bad meals, then a cheat day, then a cheat week, and so on.  This one meal can easily become a slippery slope and next thing I know I look like the above picture with 10 more pounds added to the scale.

If you find that you have messed up on your keto diet (or messed up with anything for that matter), I hope these 5 steps will help you, as much as they help me, to get back on track.

#1 Kill Condemnation Immediately 

I am going to put this in order of most importance.  In fact, if you stop at number 1 you will be well are your way to success on getting back on track in regards to getting back on keto.  I cannot stress this enough: you must kill condemnation, because condemnation kills you!!

Guilt, shame, regret, and its cousin depression will quickly rob you of a life that is productive and successful.  I know this more than anyone, I have often been my worst enemy and become super down on myself.  Many people think that stress or fear is the reason they are not living a life of abundance.  However, when you peel back the root, the real underlying cause is condemnation.  I love this illustration from Pastor Joseph Prince.  It reminds us that the subtle issue condemnation is the real cause of our problems.

I won't go into all the details of this, but here is a great article that talks about the problems with condemnation.  But, what I want you take to away from this is that feeling bad and guilty never catapulted anyone into success and accomplishment.  Remember, there is no, no, no condemnation for those who are in Christ.  Move on and forgive yourself, because God has already forgot about it, so should we.  Today is a new day.

#2 Get Started Now (Don't Wait Until Monday)

One common theme I hear from Gary Vaynerchuck is that success prefers speed vs being right all the time.  No matter what you are waiting for: Monday, when the kids go back to school, after the vacation is over, whatever it is...stop.  Get started immediately and don't wait until things are perfect.

You can start at your next meal.

I believe one of the biggest sicknesses that face us is paralysis by analysis.  There is no perfect diet (although I believe keto is pretty close), no perfect workout, no perfect supplement, no perfect workout clothes or shoes (Chuck Taylors are good), etc.  I watched an Instagram video by Gary the other day and he stated,  "I just really think being right 7 out of 14 times is better than being right 2 out of 2 times."  

Take action, fast.

#3 Seek Out the Fat

I have been a paramedic for around 16 years now and one of my favorite skills to perform is to intubate a patient.  Those that may not be familiar, intubating is when you place a plastic tube inside a patient's trachea to ventilate for them.  It is one of the most challenging skills a paramedic can perform.

When I teach this skill to new medics,  I teach it much differently than how I was taught and how others do.  Many instructors teach students to put the blade into the mouth and to start identifying different parts of the anatomy.  For example, the blade goes in on the tongue, as the blade advances they need to look for the tonsils, there's the arytenoid cartilages, there's the vestibule, etc.  From my experience, this is just too much distraction.  

I teach them to find one thing, and one thing only.  Find the epiglottis.  I send them on a mission to find the patient's epiglottis and forget about everything else.  I have found that this simple trick gives them more success, because it simplifies the skill and gets them focused.

The same is true for your diet.

Don't focus on the foods you can't have.  I can't eat chips, I can't eat bread, etc.  Change your focus on seeking out the fat.  "Where can I get more fat?"  This simple change in focus is a trick I learned from the Keto King Jason Wittrock and I find that it works, big time.  It seems simple, but it is extremely effective.  Me on a mission to find that butter, coconut oil, or avocados.  Here is a great checklist to get you started.

#4 Get Keto On the Brain

Another way I find that helps me to get back into keto (or stay on it) is to fill my mind with great keto resources.  I say this with a word of caution though.  Sometimes, this can be good but too much can send us back into "paralysis by analysis" (see #2).  You can get to a point that people will say things that contradict each other and leaves you more confused than ever.  

However, in moderation, reading and listening to good resources can help you stay motivated and on track.  Here are some resources that I like:




#5 Reach Out to Your Buddy

I would in no way be where I am today without the help I received from others.  The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 4:9, "Two people are better off than one, they can help each other succeed. "  Get some help along the way by seeking out people that are like minded as you.  

Let me give you a secret how to do this in regards to diet.  If you can stick to keto for a while, you will begin to have results that people will get others asking, "How did you do that?"  After that, others will jump on and before you know it, you got a community of Keto Krazies.

Life will happen.  Just this morning, I was feeling excited about today and where things were going and one text attempted to get me off track and put me in a sour mood.  Just keep going and run the race God has for you.  

Relax for Success,


Monday, October 9, 2017

How to Completely Change The Holidays For Under $5

"I wish I could help out".  

The other day my wife overheard some ladies talking.  She was telling me how the 2 women were discussing how they were not sure how they were going to get through this Christmas, because both of their husbands were recently laid off.  

It broke my heart.

You don't have to travel far to see that needs are all around.  People are hurting.  People are sad.  People are in need.  Not just financially...emotionally as well.

"But, what can I do?"   

"C.J., maybe you haven't seen my bank account lately.  It's not exactly filled to the brim".  I hear ya.  But maybe we can still help.

The Starfish
Have you heard the story of the starfish?  The Cliff Notes version is that an old man is walking on a beach with miles and miles of starfish that have washed ashore that are at risk of dying when the sun comes out.  The man is picking up one starfish at a time and throwing them back out to the water.  A young kid sees this and gives his input:

“But, old man, don’t you realize there are miles and miles of beach and starfish all along it! You can’t possibly save them all, you can’t even save one-tenth of them. In fact, even if you work all day, your efforts won’t make any difference at all.” 

Without missing a beat, the old man picked one up and said, "It made a difference to that one."

Here are 8 gifts that we can give for under $5 that can spread some Christmas cheer and maybe make a difference in someone's life.

Cost: Free

One of the greatest gifts we can give is the gift of a smile.  A simple curling of the mouth upwards can brighten the most bummed out of days.

This is a lesson we can learn from watching our kids.  They are aces at smiling and laughing.  My boys have cracked me up so many times, I can't even count.  They are masters at this one.

But, that's not the best part.  It also has major benefits for the person smiling as well (ahhh the gift that keeps on giving).

How would you like to have better relationships, improved health, longer life, make yourself more attractive, and have what Ron Gutman says can "generate the same level of brain stimulation as up to 2,000 bars of chocolate"?  Just smile...

Coffee for the Next Customer
Cost: $2.10

I have been successful with losing weight lately.  

My secret to losing weight is due to the keto diet.  One of my favorite things to do is have some butter coffee in the morning.  If you have grown accustom to drinking coffee too, chances are you have found yourself in the local coffee shop drive thru.  One of the best ways to spread some love this year is to pick up the tab of the car behind you.  

Trust me, they will not be expecting it and you will make their day.

Side Note:  I wrote a pretty cool report on tactics you can incorporate into your life that can increase gratitude, while enjoying a cup of Joe.  You can check it out here: Gratitude Report, love to hear what you think.

Undivided Attention
Cost: Free

"Dad.  Daaaaad.  Dad!!"  "What?!"

Busted.  You ever get called out by your kids because you are busy scrolling your phone while they are trying to talk to you?  No?  Just me?  Or have you been talking to your spouse on the phone, but you put the phone on speaker so you can check the latest social media feed?

The information age is here to stay and it's not going to slow down.  Content is coming so fast. From TV, to phones, to email, to social media it seems like something is always beeping at us to get the next "must have" new shiny object.

Another thing I learn from Greg at Kinobody, as well as my good friend Ron, is to always make every effort to be present.  Live in the moment.  Not the past.  Not the future.  The right now.  Maybe that is why they call it that...the "present".  Because it is one of the greatest gifts you can give to yourself and others.  

Bottle Water for Garbage Pickup Staff
Cost: $3.98 for 35 bottles 

We are so blessed to live in a country where people will come grab our trash right from our front yard.  Twice a week, a company or city service will come by and pick up our old food, junk, and nasty trash and dispose of it to...where?  We don't care as long as they pick it up.

Recently, my boys have gotten into the habit of bringing the guys some nice cold water (especially Daddy's Topo Chico).  The guys light up and are so kind to my kiddos.  Oh, and you know what else I notice?  Anytime I have some "questionable items" that maybe too big for regular pick up...the guys always take care of us.

 Coincidence?  You tell me.

Pay Strangers Parking Meter
Cost: $1 per hour

Here is a cool one.  Next time you go downtown or parking at local beach...sneak over and add some money to a strangers parking meter.  Leave a post-it note on the meter that says something like...just wishing you an awesome day.

Being a generous ninja is the way to be--go undetected.  The Bible has a good statement about this: 

"When you do something for someone else, don’t call attention to yourself.... When you help someone out, don’t think about how it looks. Just do it—quietly and unobtrusively. That is the way your God, who conceived you in love, working behind the scenes, helps you out." -James 1 (The Message)

Genuine Thank You to Service Staff
Cost: Free

As a paramedic for the past 15 years, I have brought my share of trauma patients into the hospital. If you have ever been inside a Level 1 Trauma center, the ER rooms can get quite messy...full of blood, vomit, urine etc.  

One thing that has always amazed me was how fast the custodial staff comes in and cleans up for the next patient.  They come in almost undetected, do an amazing job fixing up the room, then slip out the slide door before anyone knows what happen.

All around us, there are amazing people cleaning up our messes, taking care of not so fun jobs that we don't want to do.  I want to challenge all of us to look these people in the eye, shake their hand, and show genuine gratitude for the incredible work that they do.

Give Your Spouse a Foot Massage
Cost: Free    

Gary Smalley has an great book called, The Five Love Languages, that goes into uber detail about figuring out your spouse's love language and how important it is to "speak their language".  My wife's #1...Touch.  She feels the most love when she gets cuddle, hugs, and touch.

But, even if your spouse's love language is not touch, I know very few people who wouldn't love a good old fashion foot massage.  Make it even better..grab them their favorite dessert and let them chow down while you do your thing.  

Practice Old Fashion Manners
Cost: Free

I miss my grandparents.

One of the skills my grandparents always taught me was the importance of respect and manners. Just yesterday, I got pretty mad at someone who was not very thankful to my son who was holding the door for them going into a business.

My wife reminded me that I need to just brush that off, but I really have a problem when I encounter very selfish behavior and just general rudeness.  (Of course, I am notorious for being rude many times as well...but let's not talk about that).

It seems rare these days, but I believe it is still so important to show respect, honor, and good manners.

In Closing

I know these were random and maybe different than the normal Christmas gifts. However, I believe there are opportunities all around us that take such little effort (and money), but can make a big IMPACT.

Let us echo the old man, "I made a difference in that one".

Enjoy the Sweet Life,


Sunday, October 8, 2017

Change Your Experiences With Others Instantly With This Little Secret

“Pull over!  Pull over!”  Sarah said as she opened the passenger door.  I remember it so well.

My wife was several weeks into her first pregnancy and the morning sickness hit her with a vengeance.  So I did what any great husband would do… I quickly pulled over to the side of the road and she jumped out of the truck.  My beautiful "mother to be" kneeled down and started to hurl.

“Ah…my poor new bride” I thought (Or did I?)

Tired of the Same Old Shoe?

Are you struggling with a certain relationship?

Can't stop fighting in your marriage?  Got beef with someone at the office?  Having trouble getting your kids to comply with what your asking?

What if I told you that I recently found a secret weapon that can almost instantaneously revolutionize your experience with others?

I know that is a bold promise in a world that is notorious for hype and BS.  

But I have found this to work so well, I just had to share it.  

What is this "secret" C.J.?  Is this really going to help me?

It will... I you will just give it a try and put into practice, I guarantee life will immediately get better.  I know, I know, that's a bold claim.

It is not anything new our parents didn't tell us back in the day.  However, it is so good and rich that it gives me that feeling you get when you find a $10 bill in your blue jean pockets you didn’t know you had.  Woohoo!!

I seriously believe this technique has the power to restore marriages, to raise better kids, and even save people from violence.  What is this secret weapon?


That's it.  This is my secret sauce to amazing encounters with others.  Whether you are trying to be the popular kid at school, land a new customer to increase sales, or want a rocking marriage...the answer is empathy.

Ok Siri, what is Empathy?

I started thinking very seriously about empathy after reading the book, Verbal Judo.  The author, an ex English Professor turn cop, made his living by going around and teaching people how to avoid confrontations and generate cooperation, not with violence or force, but by the power of empathy and words.  Dr. Thompson has passed away, but his legacy is alive and well.

Dr. Thompson predominately worked with police officers.  However, this skill he taught of empathy can is important to everyone.

We have all heard of empathy, but what is it exactly?  I like how they define it over at the Greater Good website:

"Emotion researchers generally define empathy as the ability to sense other people’s emotions, coupled with the ability to imagine what someone else might be thinking or feeling."

Essentially, it’s just trying to put our self in someone else's shoes and treating them how we would like to be treated.  Seems like I have heard this somewhere, "Do to others as you would like them to do to you”. -Luke 6:31

When we place ourselves in other people's shoes and take control of what Dr. Thompson called the most dangerous weapon we have, “the cocked tongue”, there can be a quick change in the atmosphere from a negative to a more positive outcome.

The Bible compares the tongue to a rudder of ship.  It speaks of it being a small muscle, but having the ability to alter the direction of the journey.  By empathizing with others, we think about how we would like to be treated.  We put ourselves in another's place and think about how we would like to be spoken to.

Back to Me and the Wifey

Let’s get back to my story.  We left off where I am sitting in the driver’s seat while my poor wife is throwing up on the concrete.

Well, it just so happened that during her puke fest, there was an interview with a guy that I found interesting on the radio.  The only problem was, my wife was making quite a bit of noise throwing up and I could not hear it the talk show very well.  

Therefore, I just turned up the radio so I could catch everything they were saying.  Yep, you heard that right...husband of the year award goes to... not me. 

Oh, man! If you could have seen my wife’s reaction when I turned up that volume.  With a twist of the radio knob, I quickly relayed to her that I was more concerned about that interview than her sickness.  Talk about a serious lack of empathy.

We laugh about that incident now whenever it gets brought up.  However, it really is a good reminder of how easy we can often lack empathy.  

Do you ever find yourself only caring about your own needs and desires?  I know I do.  However, when I really try and see things from other people's perspective and put myself in their shoes, my relationships improve dramatically.

Action Steps

Here is a challenge.  For the rest of the week, try and really focus on how others feel and try and place yourself in their shoes.  Everybody you encounter this week, whether a homeless person, a coworker, and especially our families, try and change shoes with them.  

Also, you can get a free ebook that will show you the steps I found to become more grateful, while sipping a cup of Joe.  It is found here: Gratitude Book.

Let me know how it goes.

Be ferocious in your gratitude,