My new life as a villain

“Water only makes me stronger!” – Salt Water Guy

“Hi ya!” – Recess Rebel

Author and friend Nick Shell (family friendly daddy blog) enlisted the help of Salt Water Guy and Recess Rebel to help defeat the mighty Jack-man. A task not taken lightly by either villain.

Recess Rebel
Recess Rebel
Salt Water Guy
Salt Water Guy

Check out the videos below to find out if my characters, along with Green Meanie and Playground Ninja are able to overtake the superhero.


Dairy Free Weekend, 6 Months Later

How many vegetarians does it take to screw in a light bulb?
I don’t know, but where do you get your protein!?

The biggest challenge was a week-long family reunion in Florida 3 months into my altered diet. Grilled fish. Coke floats. Pancakes. Pizza. Burgers. Food I would’ve indulged in had I not jumped in with both feet on a challenge from my arch nemesis Nick Shell late March 2014. But avoiding those meals wasn’t difficult at all. No, it was explaining why I felt the need to bring bags and a cooler full of my own food for the week. It wasn’t just about being competitive (Nick challenged me to a dairy-free weekend). It was about making a positive change in my diet. What I didn’t know at the time was that it’s also changing my life.

My dad’s dad had a heart attack in his 60s. My dad had a heart attack in his 50s. I suspect my brother and I will, too, at some point. I can’t believe I sat on that information for so long without thinking what I put in my body can, at the very least, maybe help me avoid the same fate. Thankfully, they both survived, but I don’t want to survive a heart attack. I want to avoid it at all costs. Did I think this way 7 months ago? Not so much. But 6 months ago the wheels started turning, thanks to that challenge from Nick I mentioned. Since I suffer from allergies, Nick proposed that eliminating dairy might reduce the symptoms of these attacks. I thought, “I’m on board with that!” My unofficial motto became, “I hate allergies more than I love ____.” Fill in the blank with cheese, milk, ice cream, whatever.

Long story short, I took it a step further by adopting a “vegan plus” diet for at least a month. It’s been that way for over 6 months now. The “plus” is because I eat honey, and I don’t think vegans smile upon that. Whatever. I like local Tennessee honey. For me, it’s not about saying I’m a vegan, it’s about having a healthy body. But the craziest thing happened… this diet didn’t just change my meals, it’s changing my life. I’m almost ashamed of what I used to eat. I even have recurring dreams where I eat a burger, or most recently, a Gigi’s cupcake. Even in the dreams, I feel remorseful after. Waking up is a feeling of relief! And that’s exactly what this has done for me. I had to wake up. Funny that it wasn’t my dad’s or granddad’s heart attack, but it was a friendly dairy challenge that woke me up. Whether you’re a vegan, vegetarian, just want to shed some weight, or you’re curious how food can affect your overall health, there’s basically an alternative for everything you currently enjoy. But you have to want it. You have to love your goal more than you love the food your giving up. I’m also beginning to see how what I eat relates to sleeping better, playing sports better, being stronger, being a better Christian, and with hope, avoiding any sort of heart failure later in life. Not to mention, I haven’t taken an allergy pill since day 1 of this challenge and only recently have dealt with sinusitis (which I believe is unrelated to allergies, although it has similar symptoms).

Half of this journey is about adding in healthy food, but the other half is about cutting out unhealthy food… things like boxed dinners, pop tarts, soda, frozen pizzas, high fructose corn syrup, any sort of dye, etc. I recently stumbled upon some information that I can’t not share. I’ve been editing a documentary about Autism produced by a friend of mine (click here for the trailer), and have been enlightened on the disorder in many areas. One of which is diet. It seems that food plays a major part on the behavior of kids and adults who have the diagnosis. And what’s even more startling, the very disorder itself might be caused by the diet of the parents before conception! There’s a lot of talk about dyes in food, artificial food coloring, heavy metals in food, sugar, gluten, casein, and more, that play a direct role in the behavior of people with autism. That stuff has got to affect the behavior of every person, don’t you think?

This all started with a dairy-free weekend challenge but it’s become so much more. Whether it’s learning about my own diet through an autism video, discovering that I don’t crave the food I once did, or loving God more through treating my own body well, 2014 is about getting roots. Digging into a healthier way of living that will change the rest of my life, and possibly generations to come. That’s enough motivation to keep on keepin’ on.

-Out of the Wilderness

A Fridge Full of Hipster Food

Thanks to a 48-hour challenge from my friend Nick Shell, I’ve got moldy cheese, expired eggs, a fridge full of hipster food… and I couldn’t be happier about it. If this were 2013 and you offered me almond milk I would’ve said, “Get outta my face!” But how quickly things can change (not “Get outta my face!” that won’t change, don’t you worry. It just won’t be about almond milk). I’m not a newly-minted hipster, either. The next time I visit family in Florida, I won’t bring kale or PBR or a fedora, but I will have a cooler full of spinach, rice, spaghetti, mixed nuts, carrots, hummus, and almond milk. Cutting out dairy altogether seems to have eliminated my allergy symptoms and a quick side note, Nick pointed out that humans are pretty much the only ones to drink milk from a different species. If that doesn’t gross you out, maybe this will.

Yowza. Kingpin was a good movie. The next time you drink milk from a cow, imagine it’s from a bull and POW! You’ll at least be a vegetarian. You’re witnessing the biggest shift in my life and I’m excited to continue the journey! Do you have any stories about your diet and changes you’ve been making? Any advice for a newby healthy eater? Share in the comments!

-Out of the Wilderness

The Man Behind ‘The Dadabase’

If you log onto the internet and search for things like Jewish actors, the height of famous people, pickles, or marijuana, you’re sure to come across a website of blogs called Scenic Route Snapshots.

With little to no knowledge of any specific subject, the author of this site writes and encourages people to click on his pages, all for his silly enjoyment. Quite frankly, it’s disturbing. Who knew that this youngster had such a bright and successful future ahead? Somewhere along the way, though, things took a turn for the worse. The first sign of a decline surfaced from this theft security camera in a mall store. Forever 21.  Some suspect his life began the downward spiral when he started dating his first girlfriend… … while others doubt that theory because he was often seen at bingo night with his brother. Do either of these guys look like criminals? No. Just brothers. Most likely, his dark side flourished when his parents grounded him for a full year after discovering he joined the dangerous underground bingo gang “F.S.B.” Alone in his room with no access to other “Fourth Street Bingers” gang members, he inked his first tattoo. There were many more tattoos to come, mostly of small reptiles and one of a dolphin on his lower back. He embraced the bad boy lifestyle for the next few years, then an opportunity to escape and rebuild a life of happiness came in the form of male modeling. His signature look “Magnum” was a huge hit, and even spawned a hit movie starring Ben Stiller. His popularity, however, dropped sharply when his obssession admiration of Scott Stapp, lead singer of Creed, came to light.  He was forced to move out of the United States. Facts of his life overseas are fuzzy here, but this picture lends to the theory that he was involved in some kind of fight club. Supporting that theory is the fact that he recently was allowed back in the country, but under a new alias… Richard Shell, P.I.M.P. (and Richard was not what people called him, if you know what I mean).

Then he moved to the outskirts of a large city, fell in love, got married, and here’s the video to prove it. It’s possible he’s experienced enough to give him some sort of niche in the online world of writing, but the fella’s in F.S.B. disagree. They think his writing is elementary, only slightly enlightening, and his use of interesting details is grossly overestimated. 

Congrats, Dick! You’ve overcome so many obstacles.