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Wolf Moon Waxing

stephen_locke_407Monument Rocks, Kansas. The Wolf Moon is full on January 15th. (this print may be purchased click here)

Two years ago I filmed the Wolf Moon for a time-lapse movie. The soundtrack is Zen Master Seung Sahn performing the Evening Bell Chant. The evocative Evening Bell is heard in Zen monasteries throughout the world and marks the beginning of evening practice. I hope you enjoy my time lapse movie and be sure to get out and see the January Wolf Moon for yourself!

As always, please leave comments below!

Joan Locke - January 15, 2014 - 3:10 am

I washed my car in the light of……………it………..

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Minus Nine and the Hoar Frost Bloom

When I learned the temperature in Kansas City was going to plunge well below zero I couldn’t wait to get out early in the morning to sample -9F! Naturally, I felt obliged to document the experience using my ever present iPhone camera. A small lake near home would likely present photo opportunities, so leaning into a brutal north wind, I hiked my way up there.  My iPhone goes to sleep in subzero weather so it was necessary to protect it in a warm spot on my person, pulling it out ever so briefly to quickly compose an image.

This was the highlight of my arctic trek. Hoar frost! Hoar is unusual in Kansas City, requiring special conditions to take form. It fancies a perfect combination of air circulation, temperature and water vapor. In this case it was site specific, occurring only on new black lake ice near open water.

Abstract snow drifts are an endless source of fascination.

Geese accumulate on an ever diminishing spot of open water. As the patch becomes constricted they surely must be evaluating a flight further south! Meanwhile, they harbor in an ephemeral field of blooming hoar frost.

Fern like structures… so delicate.

I’m hoping for more arctic weather and perhaps another chance to work with hoar frost! Did you experience the cold?

As always, please leave comments below!

john serpa - January 9, 2014 - 12:01 am

This was the most intriguing polar express jaunt I’ve seen 🙂 I enjoy the things you capture, things often missed. Well done!

Jill Green - January 9, 2014 - 12:23 am

Such beauty in sub zero temps….thank you for bravely sharing!!

Beth Ann Daye - January 9, 2014 - 1:16 am

Stephen! These photos are awesome!! You have so many talents. thank you for sharing them with us.

Joan Locke - January 15, 2014 - 3:13 am

The – cold- Few are open to it’s delights

Linda Wineteer Eckhardt - January 31, 2014 - 6:38 am

I love your work. I too, take pictures of the sun, rises, and sets. Land scapes, winter, moon, and even the stars. I fun with my star photos and the moon. I love this snow flake, may I ask what type of camera do you shoot with? I have not been real successful capturing a snowflake such as this one, but have tried. For some reason I can’t seem to zoom in that close to capture the beauty that I see, in these. The same as with water droplets. Thank you for sharing, again, you have some really nice photos.

Beth Mcclain - February 2, 2014 - 3:06 am

Love the pics and love the cold weather!

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New Year’s Revolution

The Food Revolution is here! The time has come to let go of deep seated nutrition beliefs such as those above. Big changes are coming in 2014. It’s not just me, its happening world-wide! Like all worthy revolutions it begins at ground level and works it’s way up. A quiet LCHF (low carb high fat) revolution is taking place. Government is slow to evolve but Sweden is leading the way by becoming the first Western nation to develop national dietary guidelines that reject the popular low-fat diet dogma in favor of low-carb high-fat nutrition advice.

Meanwhile in the United States we still have this (left), the USDA food pyramid based on starch and grain. Even my local health food store (right) promotes the idea that health starts with bread (and eggs are bad). Rebel that I am, I now subscribe to the LCHF Pyramid (center) that is based on protein, low starch vegetables and healthy fat.

You may know I briefly broke from my paleo regimen to play in the kitchen making home made bread, pasta, French toast and pizza. It is important to understand that the aforementioned foods are starch which is just glucose (sugar) molecules linked together. Ergo, bread is sugar. Pasta is sugar. Pizza is sugar. The United States government told us to eat this stuff- How long before they change? Hard to say. They’ve got a lot invested in those industries via agricultural subsidies…. Anyway, my bottom-line and waistline hit 215 lbs in November so I quit cooking that way!

On December 1st of this year I began eating properly again and committed to losing 15 lbs by New Year’s Day.

I like the Keep Calm message on these mugs. By eating a low carb diet the sugar cycle is broken and cravings subside. The metabolism burns fat instead of sugar and cruises smoothly like a ship on calm water.

 

 

 

This scale progression illustrates my weight reduction during the month of December.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Success! On December 31st I achieved my goal of 199. By and large I lost this weight without exercise. While exercise is important to overall health it is not necessary for weight loss. The adage is true, “Abs are created in the kitchen”. A low carb high fat (LCHF) diet stops blood sugar spiking and allows hormone levels to stabilize. Hunger and cravings subside. When I eat I do so by consuming nutrient dense food. I eat less often while getting all the nutrition I need. I do not count calories.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My before and after comparison photos! All kidding aside, I’m at 199 lbs. now on my way down to 180. Perhaps then I will ever so slightly resemble the guy on the right. Follow this blog as I post more about my progress in 2014. I will also be posting tutorial videos about Paleo and Ketogenic cooking. Stay tuned and happy 2014!

 

Comments? Please reply below!!!

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Sugar: The Bitter Truth

This image of a cookie, cake and candy platter in my gym reminds me of the way sugar has become ubiquitous in American life. Like a trojan horse it can even sneak into the gym! We regard sugar as harmless and feed it to ourselves, kids and babies. If I sometimes sound somewhat militant regarding sugar it’s because of sugar’s insidious presence throughout the Modern American Diet including baby formula!

I captured the above product information directly from the Abbott Laboratories website, makers of Similac infant baby formula. The first ingredient in Similac is corn syrup which is sugar. The second ingredient is sugar which is sugar. Thus, sugar followed by more sugar! Ingredient #2 is common table sugar which is 1/2  fructose. Fructose is a dose dependent toxin that becomes injurious after chronic exposure. Fructose also equals fat because it cannot be metabolized by any organ of the body or burned as energy.  Thus, 100% of fructose is converted into fat by the liver! The body can do nothing else with it. The metabolism of fructose in the liver results in the production of triglycerides, a type of fat that can contribute to heart disease; uric acid, which is involved in gout; and free radicals, which promote age-related chronic diseases. Fructose promotes downstream disease. Industry is feeding sugar including fructose to modern Americans right out of the womb! Chronic sugar consumption leads to Leptin Resistance which is the holy grail of addiction discoveries. Leptin Resistance drives chronic sugar consumption and plays an integral role in Metabolic Syndrome.

Leptin Resistant Mouse

The pediatric endocrinologist Robert H. Lustig, M.D likens fructose to alcohol. He says chronic exposure to fructose is identical to chronic alcohol consumption. Children drinking coke may as well be drinking beer with regard to long term health.

There are 4 videos below, 2 long and 2 short. I’m giving you a lot of information. We cannot rely on government or industry to keep us informed. We must educate ourselves. In my case, I need to see the science to make good decisions.  Watch all or one of them depending on your appetite for knowledge. See if they don’t change your appetite for sugar!

1.5 hours

 1.5 hours (fast forward to the 5 minute mark; skip the introductions)

 9 minutes

 7 minutes

My 2014 nutrition philosophy reduces or eliminates sugar, starch and carbohydrates from the diet. My waistline is reducing as well!

Reply below and let me know if this information resonates with you.

 

Kenny Meadows - December 29, 2013 - 6:15 am

You’re dead on Stephen. I cut sugar out of my eating patterns about two years ago and lost 30 pounds without much exercise. It is really sad how sugar is hidden in almost everything though you really do need to watch what you eat.

Barbara Maat - December 29, 2013 - 3:02 pm

stephen, bravo to you. inform inform inform. the underlying truths are of such great consequence. and thanks so very much.

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Saturated Fat and Cholesterol; Innocent Bystanders…

Many of you know I’m an advocate the Paleo Diet. The Paleo Diet favors nutrient dense meat and vegetables and abstains from wheat, grain, sugar and most vegetable oils. Skeptical by nature, I’m critical of everything I read. Evidence is mounting that we’ve been subjected to some bad science and nutrition myths. Science must always rethink itself and make corrections based on new evidence. This documentary takes a critical view of advice that’s been handed down by industry and government. “We’ve become so paranoid about cholesterol we’ve forgotten it is essential for life.” Watch the movie below.

Does this film resonate with you? Leave comments below!

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