Son of Grok

My new toy

November 9th, 2010

I have had these Vibram 5 finger Trek Sports on back order from REI for almost 2 months and they finally came. I love my Treks already but I think these are my new favorite pair of Vibrams. The fabric is even supposedly made from one of my favorite primal foods… coconut.

Trek Sports

Trek Sports

Trek Sports 2

These shoes have sole.

It is amazing how far these shoes have come. Now that they are going mainstream the quality has gotten so good. I remember when I bought my Kangaroo leather treks that I was blown away at how much better they were than my first pair of KSOs from 2 years ago. The shoes don’t fall apart like they used to and these Trek soles are lasting me forever. Keep up the good work Vibram!

Interesting Turn of Events

November 3rd, 2010

I am sitting here in the airport and I see that I have an email from November 1st.

Apparently they decided to process an auto renewal 2.5 weeks in advance and I did not have a chance to cancel it. It is also apparently non refundable. The renewal was for 2 years too.

Anyways… I guess that is good new for those of you that wanted to see the sight stay up and bad news for my pocketbook but it is what it is. I don’t know if/when I will be able to add new content but I guess there is a possibility since 2 years is a long time and anything can happen.

Goodbye from the SoG

October 24th, 2010

It is time to finally say goodbye. Copy, print-out or rip off all your favorite recipes from the site. As of November 15th, www.sonofgrok.com will be no more.

Its come time for renewal and I simply can’t justify renewing the site any further. It is not that I don’t have any content. I have tons of content and recipes that I have been just iching to get up here. I have had offers from people to write guest posts and I was even provided with an excellent 33 page manifesto from someone on how going Primal changed their life. Unfortunately what I don’t have is time.

I am not like some in that this is my income and livelihood. In fact I work a very difficult and strenuous corporate job that most people in, you could probably expect to find overweight, unhealthy and unhappy. I am lucky enough that thanks to being primal… I just have the unhappy part of it. I work long hours and those hours are hard worked. I don’t mean in a way like building houses or laying brick all day (I could handle that). I mean in the way of stress and mental exhaustion. By the time I get home from work, I am lucky if I can even get motivated to exercise much less post.

Everyone tells me that I should use the website to make money. I was going to do that. I was working on some workout plans and some recipes books that I would put up on the site for free download and accept donations. Unfortunately putting together that kind of material at the quality that I would consider acceptable is more time consuming than I can spare and I am not wealthy enough to hire people to write all my content for me like some.

Hence the site is finally going down. It seems like it has already been dead for some time and I apologize for that.

I hope that it wont stay dead forever. Though I may complain about my job, it is a good job that most would kill for (though its not what I want to do) and it pays pretty well. I have been making plans and am starting to stockpile equipment. I am hoping that within the next year or two, I will have saved enough and have firm enough plans and support that I am hoping to open a gym here in Albuquerque. I use the word “gym” loosely. You won’t walk into my gym and see rows of machines with steroid freaks in muscle shirts working out for the row of people sweating it out on treadmills and elipticals. I won’t give out all my planned secrets but you can expect to walk in and find people bouldering and jumping on olympic trampolines. People hitting olympic weights and kettlebells. Punching bags, sandbags, ladders tires and obstacle courses. Oh yeah, and hopefully a lot of people getting healthy and having fun with actual smiles on their faces. I know that owning a gym… especially a local gym with such “different” methods and ideals is no road to riches but I am looking forward to the opportunity to work my ass of doing something I love if I can make it happen.

Anyway… given an excuse to, the site will hopefully be back. In the meantime I wish you all well!

Don’t forget, November 15th the site will be gone.

Signing off,
Erick
AKA The SOG

Build Your Own Gear

August 26th, 2010

This is a project that SoG and I worked on this past weekend. I didn’t want to put a pull up bar in my house, since frankly, I’m not ready for it yet.  I’m still a wuss and can’t really do them, so SoG came up with the idea to build this station where I can do some hanging rows to build up my strength to eventually get to where I can do some pull ups.

Normally work out gear is quite expensive, but this was something we were able to do in a short amount of time and very inexpensively. We went down to the Home Depot since I had a gift card with some credit on it and picked up all of our parts there. In the end this only ended up costing about $26 dollars to build. We bought three of the 10′ PVC pipes, 2″ in diameter, the connecting  joints, and a container of PVC Cement.  The smaller PVC may have given a more comfortable grip, but it would not have been sturdy to hold someone up while doing rows, so we went with the bigger 2″ which works fine.

Assembly was easy, we basically just measured the pieces to the dimensions we thought would work best and then cut them with a saw. We cemented the bottom parts and then I took the rest home and finished the assembly and cementing there so it could all fit in my vehicle.

This thing is holding up nicely, is very sturdy, and is overall working out very well! Adding this exercise to my normal workout routine has been brutal, I’ve been doing it for almost a week and am definitely feeling it!

This is proof that you can build some gear pretty inexpensively and get in shape without having to pay a whole lot for equipment, especially if  incorporated mostly with body weight exercises. I’ve been getting in better and better shape and I have not stepped into a gym a single time. 

-Roger De Rok

Ready to Rock... And get in shape

Ready to Rock... And get in shape

Everyone knows about the Wii with its “Fit”, “Sports” and “Resort” games. Xbox and Playstation are each coming out with their own versions of body mechanics controllers and games as well. Its obvious that this is a definite trend in the video gaming world and it is here to stay.

The question is… “Is there really any validity to exercising with a TV and a video game console or is it all just a joke?”. “Does fitness gaming have any true business claiming itself in the fitness world?”.

My answer may surprise you…

YES

I say “Yes” these games and this movement absolutely have a PLACE in fitness and staying healthy. Anyone that goes out and buys a Wii Fit and expects to instantly lose 200 pounds is an absolute idiot but that does not mean that it is not exercise and that it isn’t good for you at all. I used to scoff at these type of video games and laugh them off as a complete joke. As I am getting older though and care less about my dignity and image I am much more open to trying new things even if they may make me look like an idiot. I have actually tried most of these new body movement and fitness related video games and straight up… they are not only exceptionally fun but you can work up a mean sweat in the process!

I don’t think that a fitness program can or should be based on any of these activities but they make a great supplement to or part of any healthy lifestyle or fitness routine.

One of the most important aspects of these types games is that they are fun. I am a firm believer that getting your exercise through fun activities kicks the crap out of planned, scheduled, repetitive workouts anytime.

I recently picked up a couple of Dance Dance Revolution games and pads for my xbox and am absolutely hooked. I used to make fun of the kids that played DDR but it is SO much fun now that I gave it a fair shot. I play this game until I am pouring sweat, exhausted and about to collapse. My main regret is that I can’t play it more often because it IS truly hard and it IS truly a work out so I actually need recovery time between marathon sessions!

I haven’t stopped working out because I am getting exercise by playing this game but it has offered me unbelievable fitnes related benefits. I can tell you that because of these DDR sessions, my stamina is on a level I have not experienced in an extremely long time.

So my advice is to embrace these new activities and this movement and to enjoy it and reap the benefits and the entertainment. Just don’t expect a miracle as you shouldn’t with anything these days. If you have scoffed these types of activities I challenge you to at least give them a try.. you may find them more challenging, and heck more fun than you ever expected. When you are ready to challenge the SoG in a DDR dance off… you let me know!

- The SoG

Not so bizarre foods

June 19th, 2010

Cable television channels have several shows where celebrity hosts travel the globe in an effort to educate the viewers on the culture and lifestyles of people who live in other countries (it’s obvious this is targeted for American viewers).  I think one thing that makes these shows so appealing is the “weird” and “gross out” factor some of the foods of other cultures can have on the average viewer. However, we must think a little more open minded and realize that what may be “bizarre foods” to us, may be part of an ordinary and common menu to another group of people.  Whenever I watch these shows I actually end up having the desire to travel and try new foods that I have never been exposed to.

So why is it that we are so nervous when it comes to trying new things? Most of us have no problem frequently eating conventional meats such as beef, pork, chicken, and fish. Most of us do it without hesitation or thought about what it is and where it came from. So what is the difference between eating the meat from a cow and the meat from a bovine and the meat of an amphibian? Not much. Even when it comes to some of the more common unconventional meats (rabbit, ostrich, bison), I am surprised at how many people have never tried them. I challenge everyone to try something new and let others know what your reaction is to it and encourage them to do the same if your experience was good. 

The picture at the top of this post was taken several months ago from when I tried frog legs for the first time. I simply seasoned them and pan fried them in olive oil and garlic.  They actually sat in my freezer for a couple months before I was brave enough to try them one night, so I’m guilty of the nervousness to try new things as well. My point? I should’ve had nothing to be afraid of, they were delicious! Try something new and be brave about it because you never know, you may discover a new favorite food.

My father recently gave me some escargot that I am eager to try, so that is next on my list. Other animals on my “primal BBQ wish list” are  kangaroo, alligator, rattlesnake, cuy, mealworms and other various insects.

What unconventional meats do you like or dislike? What would you like to try, and what have you tried?

-Roger De Rok

Volcano in the distance

Volcano in the distance

I live on the edge of town in a High Desert Plateau. It is about 6,500 feet above sea level and there is not a tree in sight. It is a barren windy, sandy plain and it is where Roger De Rok and I like to hike, explore and do arroyo sprints. It is pretty brutal… rarely is there a cloud in the sky, as mentioned earlier there are NO trees and literally NO shade. There is typically a stead state wind of 25-30 miles per hour with gusts usually of around 45. Temperatures average anywhere from 90 to 110 and the dryness and the altitude just add to the brutality. I would equate each mile you travel out here to about 3 miles anywhere else as far as how taxing it is on your body.

Anyways, about 6 miles from my house across these high desert plains and mesas are a series of old volcanoes. I have always wanted to go out and climb around on them but just never got around to doing it. For the last year or so Roger and I have talked about bushwhacking out there and we finally decided to do it yesterday. Fortunately the temperature was only about 90 degrees but the sun was unrelenting and the wind was punishing.

I was prepared with my vibrams, light clothing, a light long sleeve shirt (Believe it or not cooler in these conditions), a boony cap and a pack full of water and lunch food:

Me

Me

Roger on the other hand does not own a single piece of clothing that is not black! (even his vibrams are black lol).

Roger De Rok

Roger De Rok

Ultimately when we got out to the base of the first volcano, we ran into a vicious barbed wire fence that ran as far as the eye can see which is why I say that the government won in the end. Still we had a good adventure, good exercise and we never would have known if we hadn’t done it.

So Close

So Close

Along the way we did find this little basalt pit that was pretty neat. Walking on these rocks in vibrams though was killer on the feet!

Basalt Pit

Basalt Pit

In a world where hardly an inch is left unexplored, most people don’t even think about unleashing their inner explorer. As man, we have this inherent desire to see and conquer new places that is a very basic primal urge. I urge and challenge everyone to get out there and explore something new to you know. It doesn’t matter if you live in the middle of a big city or out in the middle of nowhere. Pick something that you have been wanting to explore for a long time but haven’t done it yet (It could even be a museum). If possible make the journey on foot and get some good exercise along the way!

Do you have place that  you have been wanting to “explore” or an adventure that you have yet to embark on?

-The SoG

Thai Coconut Curry

June 10th, 2010

Before I begin, I want to give credit to a few other blog posts out there. I had never made this, or anything like it before, but when it came up in a discussion I had with a co-worker, I knew I had to make curry. I asked around online if anyone could point me in the direction of a good Primal recipe for coconut curry and 3 people shared links with me of their own recipies. All 3 of these looked awesome and I used them as a template and took ideas from each one. Here they are:

Girl Gone Primal’s Creamy Coconut Beef Curry

Yummy Gatherer’s Thai Coconut Curry

Annika’s Coconut Curry 

Here is the list of ingredients I used. Of course I encourage you to mix, match, and use your choice of meat and vegetables. As Girl Gone Primal told me, it’s hard to make anything NOT taste good in here.

1 Can of Coconut Milk

Curry Paste – I used green

Meat – I used beef stew meat

Vegetables – I used celery, broccoli, green peppers, thai chilies, mushrooms, onions, couple cloves of garlic & fresh basil.

1 lime.

Cauliflower – I used about half a head.

I started by seasoning the beef. I seasoned it with curry powder, cumin, paprika, garlic salt, thyme, sea salt, & pepper. I cut the lime into quarters and squeezed the juice out of one of the pieces on the meat and put it to the side. I chopped up all the vegetables and mixed them together in a bowl and squeezed the juice out of another piece of lime over them. I let everything sit for a while as I put my daughter to bed for the night.

When I came back I opened the can of coconut milk and combined it with a teaspoon of the green curry paste and heated it up in a wok, mixing it together really well. It got a little frothy, then I added the raw, seasoned meat and cooked for a few minutes until the meat started to brown. Then I added all of the raw vegetables and squeezed the rest of the lime juice into everything and left it to simmer for a while, stirring every few minutes. I didn’t keep track of time, but you can keep an eye on it and remove the heat when all of your meat and vegetables are cooked to the way you like them. While cooking, I grated the cauliflower to turn it into “rice.” When the curry was done, I served it on the bed of cauliflower rice.

I was very happy with the way this turned out. It was exactly what I had been craving and it hit the spot. There are a few things I would do differently next time. I could’ve gone a little heavier on the spices, and since I like things very spicy, I could’ve added a couple more Thai chilies than I used. Maybe use a little more of the curry paste too. Of course those are things you’d want to adjust based on your personal preference as well.

Enjoy!

-Roger De Rok

Chard

June 2nd, 2010

Chard has come up recently among people I follow on Twitter and last week I decided it was time to try it since people seem to like it quite a bit. It was one of those things I’ve always seen in the grocery store but had never actually seen people buy it and had never even heard people talk about eating it until just recently.  Surprisingly,  it’s become one of my favorite vegetables, almost to the point of an addiction.

Right now some of you are reading and thinking “What the heck is chard?” It’s a leafy green that looks like it could be the illegitimate child of kale and celery. I’ve seen it in red, rainbow, and green varieties. My favorite so far has been the green as I’ve tried those three within the last week. It has somewhat of a bitter taste, similar to that of spinach, and what I understand, you can cook it in all the same ways spinach is cooked.

Here’s the way I like to cook it, it’s very simple and takes no time at all. I know most of you paleo and primal people have cooked bacon today, so odds are you’ve got bacon grease still sitting in the pan or maybe stored in the fridge. Bacon makes everything better right? Chop up the chard into smaller chunks. I heat up the bacon grease in a pan, then add the entire bunch of chard with a couple of chopped up cloves of garlic. Only takes maybe 5-10 minutes for it to wilt and fully cook. When it’s done I put it in a bowl and add some butter, sea salt, & pepper.  Easy enough, right?

Do you like chard? How do you like to cook it? What is your favorite kind of chard?

-Roger De Rok

Manit loved the Monks and the Temple

Manit loved the Monks and the Temple

Who is Manit you may ask?

Manit is my brother in law (pictured above). Manit was an amazing person. He at a very young age (about 13) became addicted to crack cocaine and ran away to become a male prostitute. In his adult years, he overcame all this adversity. He managed to kick the drugs and became a contributing member of society. He worked as hard as I have ever seen anyone work. He became a cook and worked tirelessly to feed our soldiers at both the VA and the air force mess hall for years and years. He bought a house and worked hard to pay for it. He was never late on a mortgage and worked hard at loving his family. During his harder years, he had contracted HIV but he did not let this get in his way. He worked hard and had a life, a car, got himself new teeth (He had lost his due to his early crack addiction) and got himself citizenship. Citizenship was something that the rest of the family had but he had to work hard on his own to get. I had a lot of respect for Manit and I loved him dearly. Manit would always call us almost daily just to talk and check in on us and was always the first person to support everyone during family struggles and hard times.

Manit was found yesterday at his house by my father in law. He was sitting on his couch staring at the TV, only Manits soul was no longer with him. For the last 2 weeks, Manit had been experiencing extreme back pain and my mother in law finally convinced him to go to the emergency room were a doctor quickly wrote him a prescription and sent him home with minimal investigation. It was this prescription that Manit overdosed on and left this world before his time.

Prescriptions, particularly pain killers are up tremendously over the past 20 years. Home deaths related to prescription drugs are up around 3,000% since 1983. “Medicine” by definition is supposed to help people and so not enough people stop to look at it and deem weather they really need it and that includes doctors. I am not going to sit here and say that no medicine helps anyone and that no medicine has ever helped anyone but we live in a pill culture. We have the Pharmaceutical drug lobby and we have doctors getting kickback from prescribing certain drugs. We live in a culture giving Lipitor to 16 year old for crying out loud.

The mixed medicine message even applies to over the counter drugs. Several months ago I was stricken with a nasty nasty cold. I actually needed medicine but in order to get the medicine, I had to take it with corn syrup. Medicine is flavored to make it easier to take down. Good luck finding over the counter medicine with without corn syrup or flavoring in it these days. In the 40′s and 50′s medicine was viewed as gross and you would only take it if you really needed it but nowadays the stuff actually tastes good! What kind of message is that sending to our kids.

I would go on but I don’t think I can right now and hopefully you get my message. Medicine is a double edged sword. It can harm as easily as it helps and this sword needs to be responsibly wielded by people, parent and doctors everywhere. Think of doctors and drug makers as knights in the fight against disease and ailment. These knights need to fight with honor that can be too easily corrupted.

Manit, you loved everyone and we loved you back. This love will live on in our hearts.

Manit will be cremated and placed with the Monks and the temple that he loved so dearly. He loved Madonna and I ask that if you hear a Madonna song you dedicate it in Manit’s memory. Manit, you were like a little prayer…
You must be my Lucky Star
‘Cause you shine on me wherever you are
I just think of you and I start to glow

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