3/25/16 – 22 veterans commit suicide EVERY DAY in this country. There is currently a 22 push up challenge going around facebook to raise awareness towards this epidemic. Alan Thrall upped the ante on his own challenge on the third anniversary of his separation date from the Marine Corps. His 22 Squats for 22 Troops challenge is done with your bodyweight on the barbell for 22 reps. My friend and training partner Daniel Logan Pearson, a disabled veteran from the U.S. Army recovering from elbow surgery, partnered up to get this done in our own way. He performed his 22 squats with 65lbs (100lbs under his bodyweight) while I added his 100lbs to my bar to bring my squats to 325lbs (100lbs over my bodyweight). I also felt it appropriate to edit in two of my favorite speeches to honor our servicemen and women. Thank you Alan Thrall. Semper Fi.

3/23/16 – Of course there’s a new blog post for my new Granddaughter!

VALOR AND GRACE – My daughter the Shield Maiden

3/21/16 – Hmmm, let’s see, where have I been the last two days?  Shame on me again for letting the daily entries goal slide, but this time I have a good reason:discharged!

3/20/16 – Happy Sunday! Today’s random insertion of awesomeness and edutainment is back to the foody arena. This time though, we’re talking coffee. NBulletproof-Coffee-1024x768ot just any coffee though, this is the most delicious, satisfying and energizing cup of java goodness you will ever have. I’m not only going to teach you the best way to prepare your regular old Joe, but the proper way to kick it up and transmute it into the holy elixir that is known as Bulletproof Coffee. To set the record straight right off the bat, as far as I am aware, this stuff is not impervious to small arms fire, nor will it turn you into a walking armored car. The Bulletproof label refers to the addition of two ingredients that you may, at first think, “No way!”. I assure you, it is not only delicious, but it is an excellent way to start the day calorically with the addition of medium-chain triglycerides (very healthy fats) in the form of coconut oil and high quality grass-fed butter. That last bit is extremely important! If you skimp out on the butter and just try to use any old mass-produced butter, you will be disappointed…I’ve tried them all.

All you need to get started is some good, strong whole coffee beans, water of course, 1-2 Tbsp of grass-fed butter and coconut oil per 80z. of prepared coffee. I personally go with 1 Tbsp coconut oil and 2 Tbsp of Kerrygold Unsalted Irish Butter. These four simple ingredients will give you a rich, creamy cup of java that will keep you energized and satisfied well into your day. (The fats provide a much longer-lived energy source for the body and are also far more satisfying, potentially keeping you away from the cheat snacks for a bit longer). For the hardware, you will need a French Press, a coffee grinder and a blender. A conical burr style grinder will give a much better extraction than the bladed ones on the end cap at Wal-Mart. Warning!!! Once you get used to the difference in flavor from simply kerrygoldbrewing coffee that is freshly ground, you will not be able to return to the stale, canned coffee that most people choke down without a frown and a grumble. My preferred option for emulsifying the mixture is a stainless steel milkshake cup and a handheld stick blender. Technically, you could save the mess of the blender and just stir the oil and butter in, but it will just separate back out. This Sunday project is about taking the time to treat yourself to the best. Like many of us, you might find that you actually enjoy the process.

Speaking of the process! Here we go: 1. Get your water boiling and while waiting, grind up some beans. The ratio is a matter of taste but 2Tbsp of beans to 6oz water is a good starting point. You also want to make sure that your grinder is set for a course grind in order to not clog the french press’ screen but to get the proper extraction of dark caffeine magic. 2. Let the boiling water cool for a minute or three to come down to the ideal temperature for brewing (around 205 deg. but who’s counting?). Put the fresh grounds directly into the french press and take your time pouring the hot water over them. This slow pour, working your way around and through all of the coffee as the carafe fills will not only relax you but will give you a lot more flavor and caffeine mileage. The resulting “bloom” will look something like this:

coffee bloom

3. Patience! Stir with a wooden spoon very gently, then let it steep for 4 to 4½ minutes. 4. Place the butter and coconut oil in the blender or shake cup, pour the coffee in and blend until the oil is emulsified into the Joe.

As I said above, this will give you a delicious creamy flavor that I encourage everyone to try before adding sweeteners. The butter especially cuts the harsher flavor of black coffee that some of us live for, but if you must sweeten it, it’s still technically bulletproof. Optional add-ins that I have tried successfully are half and half, cinnamon, cocoa, and peanut butter…yes, you heard me. Peanut butter. It was a bit rich, but amazing.

Remember, life is meant to be enjoyed so whenever you can, take the time to treat yourself to the best. It’s always worth a little extra effort. My apologies if I’ve made your paper filtered drip machine obsolete, but you will thank me for it. Cheers!