Oh Sweet Temptation! Day Five of My Juicing Adventure

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Yes, that’s chicken wing dip! Oh the humanity!

Day five of my juicing adventure has been status quo for the most part. But now I’m at a trivia night fundraiser and there is so much food! This will almost certainly be my toughest test so far. Will I stay faithful? Check back in to find out!

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Why god!?

Use a Bag. Day Four of My Juicing Adventure

Use a Bag

Use a produce bag in your pulp basket for easy cleanup!

As far as my juice fast goes, today was about as uneventful as it gets. I was busy enough to not be thinking about food most of the day and I wasn’t really hungry or craving much at all. At this point, I must believe my body has gotten used to its new diet. One thing I thought that I would be craving a lot more is alcohol. But so far I haven’t really missed it. Although today I did crave a margarita after work.

I’d thought I’d share a good juicing tip. I had read earlier this week that using a plastic bag in the pulp basket would help with cleanup. I told my wife about it but we kept forgetting to try it. However, today she decided to use a plastic produce bag from the grocery store. Genius! If you’re juicing, you’re certain to have a bunch of these otherwise useless bags from all the produce you’re buying. So might as well use them to catch the pulp so you don’t need to clean the pulp basket. Like I said previously, I would certainly be having a much harder time without my wife’s help!

Tomorrow starts the weekend, so let’s see how I hold up!

So THAT’S What Hungry Feels Like! Day Three of My Juicing Adventure

Today I woke up hungry hungry!

Today I woke up hungry hungry!

Thinking back to day two of my ten-day juice fast, I realized I only had 4 juices instead of five. So it made some sense that I was a little hungry when I went to bed last night. But wow, when I woke up, I felt hunger like I don’t remember feeling in a long time! I had to go to an early morning meeting, so I took a shower, got ready, and grabbed a juice I had made the day before to take along with me. Oddly, while I was driving, I realized that my hunger had subsided quite a bit. What is it with me and not being hungry in the morning?

That being said, the rest of the day was fairly non-eventful. I wasn’t really craving much at all, until dinner time. Darn my sense of smell! But I’m still here, juice-faithful for day three. I’ve learned a few things that I’d like to share.

I’m recognizing the difference between real hunger and cravings. Like I mentioned above, real hunger is something I don’t remember feeling in a long time. What I’ve thought of as hunger I think have simply been strong cravings. Cravings can come on by seeing food, smelling food, or even just thinking about food. The worst is thinking about food. So far I simply need to keep myself busy and I can keep my mind off food.

I juiced some ginger tonight. If you’ve never done that before, be prepared to get a strong whiff of ginger! I probably put a little too much ginger in tonight’s juice, but now I’m excited to try making my own ginger ale!

Why Am I Not Hungry? Day Two of My Juicing Adventure

This is about to become my dinner!

This is about to become my Day Two dinner!

Before I get started, I just want to give a big thank you to my wife, Danelle. Without her juicing expertise and support for my endeavor, I certainly would be having a much harder time simply staying organized around making my juices!

I woke up today (day 2 of my 10-day juice fast) and my wife suggested I try an all-fruit juice. Normally, the juices we have made in the past have been predominantly vegetable-based. It is suggested that juicers keep an 80/20 ratio of vegetable to fruits so as to not intake too much sugar and also to take advantage of the higher nutrient content in the vegetables. But if you are going to go fruit-heavy, then do it in the morning so you have all day to work off the sugar. I made a juice of mostly pineapple with some orange and mango thrown in. It was very tasty. But as I often am in the morning, I simply wasn’t hungry. This is why I often don’t eat breakfast. I’m simply not hungry so I don’t think about it. As tasty as the juice was, I almost had to force myself to drink it.

Later on, I expected that I would be hungry around mid-morning as I usually am if I eat breakfast. But today I wasn’t hungry, even at 11:00 AM. I finally drank my mid-morning juice around 11:30 AM. I still wasn’t hungry and I really had to make myself drink the juice. I’m wondering if the high sugar content of my morning juice kept my hunger away.

This is weird. I expected that I would be hungry more often. To be honest, I really only feel hunger pangs when I see or smell food. My family had tacos tonight and they sure smelled good. But for now I have the willpower to simply look away or make myself busy with something to forget about food.

Tomorrow should be interesting. I wonder if my body will start having more hunger for solid food after two days or if it will start becoming accustomed to my new diet. I also will go to my weekly BNI meeting where I usually treat myself to a “naughty” breakfast of scrambled eggs, bacon, potatoes, and an occasional French toast. I will miss that, but I will bring my juice along and I should be fine. Check in tomorrow to find out how I’m doing!

April Juice Day! Day One of My Juicing Adventure

This represents what I will be eating ... er, drinking for 10 days. Actually, everything shown in this picture will only last a few days!

This represents what I will be eating … er, drinking for 10 days. Actually, everything shown in this picture will only last a few days!

Today was my first day on a 10-day juice fast. No, this is not an April Fool’s joke. I am actually “eating” nothing but juice made from fresh vegetables and fruits for 10 days. For those who know me, this is fairly surprising. I am a healthy person, very rarely sick. Sure I could lose a little around the midsection, but I am not overweight. So why am I undertaking such a “drastic” endeavor? And why am I blogging about it?

My wife and I are very much into living a healthy lifestyle. We have done a lot of research over the years, but we’re always discovering more. Plus my sister is a strict vegan and she shares with us a lot of information as well. We were browsing Netflix last weekend and decided to watch the movie “Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead“. It is the documentary of a man who decides to do a 60-day juice fast in order to lose weight and cure his illness. Along the way he helps others as well. It is an inspiring movie and while we were already very familiar with the benefits of juicing, and have been juicing fairly regularly for about a year, we still learned a few new things.

One of the recommendations made in the movie is that we should maintain our bodies in a similar way that we maintain our cars. It was suggested that we should occasionally  “reboot” our bodies by doing a juice fast and that healthy individuals should have no problem doing a 10-day juice fast. Being a technology professional, maybe it was simply the fact that the movie used the term “reboot” to drive the point home! But seriously, I think it was just the fact that I’ve been reflecting recently about where I am in my life and realized there are some things I need to put into order. Nothing big. Again, it’s not like I’m sick or overweight or experiencing any crisis. Something just clicked. If for no other reason, I simply want to test myself. Do I have enough self-discipline to control and defeat the urges of eating solid food? How far can I push the limits of my mental fortitude? If I can accomplish this, it will have been a nice exercise in self-control. Plus, I should be super-healthy after 10 days!

As with any exercise like this, it helps to be held accountable. What better way to be held accountable than to blog about it to the world? So for the next 10 days I will be keeping all of you informed of my progress and state-of-being. Without further ado, here is my report for day 1.

Leading up to the start of my fast, I really thought that I would not have too much of a problem with this. I’m not much of a sweets eater. I don’t snack on chips and such very often. While this isn’t exactly a good habit, I generally don’t eat breakfast very often. And if I do eat breakfast, it has been increasingly comprised of fresh juice that my wife has made. And all too often, because I am often so busy out servicing clients, I don’t eat lunch either. So for better or worse, I am fairly used to not eating most of the day. I can handle this, right?

So I start off the day around 8 AM with a glass of juice and pack some in a cooler because I have client appointments for the rest of the morning and early afternoon. About 10:30 AM my stomach is growling. I had forgotten one thing. When I do eat breakfast, I end up hungrier the rest of the day! Great. The good news is that by 11:00 AM I drank my mid-morning juice and felt a lot better. I actually wasn’t hungry by 1:00 PM when I drank my lunch juice. I had planned to drink a mid-afternoon juice, but I simply forgot! So I was pretty hungry around 5 PM for my dinner juice. Since I skipped a juice, I went ahead and made myself a post-dinner juice, which I am drinking now as I write.

I am surprised at how my mind wanders to craving food when I see it. I won’t say it was tough on day one to not eat food with my family at dinner time, but my mind was definitely craving it. So far I am able to keep myself satisfied by drinking juice so no big deal quite yet. We’ll see how day two goes.

The Legacy of Steve Jobs, One Year Later

On this, the one year anniversary of Steve Jobs’ passing, I wanted to repost the article I wrote last year after his passing. Please also make sure you read my follow-up article about the further legacy of Steve Jobs.

Steve Jobs“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic” – Arthur C. Clark

“I want to put a ding in the universe.” – Steve Jobs

Having the reputation of the area’s longtime Apple expert, it was not surprising that I received so many questions what I thought about Steve Jobs and what it meant now that he has passed on. I put off writing this article because I wanted enough time to contemplate – but also because I was honestly not prepared to let go.

No single man has had the impact on the technology world that Steve Jobs has had, at least since the introduction of the personal computer. Nearly every technology that you and I use today – from the mouse, to the PC, to the way we listen to music today, even the phones we use – has the mark of Steve Jobs. No, he didn’t invent most of the technologies that we use. But he either brought them to market first, or figured out how “the rest of us” could best make use of those technologies. Did you know the world wide web was invented on a computer that a Steve Jobs company designed? Without Steve Jobs, even the Internet as we know it today may not exist. Given how ingrained technology is in our world, it is easy to say that no single man has had the impact on our very lives that Steve Jobs has had.

As for myself, my introduction to computers was on an Apple IIe. Apple was widely used in education during the 80’s, and I learned on Apple computers for much of my early life. Since then, my life and career has somehow been intertwined and influenced by Apple and other technology creations by Steve Jobs (NeXT, Pixar). The more I learned and experienced all sorts of different technologies, the more I realized that Apple products were different and special. Apple products have always been known for their ease of use and the fact that they make technology accessible to everyday people. Making technology easier to use and accessible to my clients became the mission of my technology business. It is no stretch to say that Steve Jobs has been the biggest influence in my career.

It can be said that we lost Steve Jobs too soon. But I think that one of the reasons Steve Jobs had such success resurrecting Apple was because he knew that his time in this world was short. Knowing that he only had limited time to perfect and implement his vision of technology in our world, he became super-focused on making this happen. Perhaps we wouldn’t have the Apple products that were introduced in the last 5 or so years without this intense focus. Steve Jobs didn’t waver from his mission and he has now shown much of the world how technology should be – not the tangled mess most of us were familiar with in the 90’s and early 2000’s.

It is incredible what an outpouring of grief and gratitude the world showed when Steve Jobs died. It is clear that he did impact the world in a way that even I didn’t fully grasp. But now that he’s gone, it is up to rest of us to continue his mission. We must continue to push for the best technology possible. We can not allow technology companies to settle for mediocracy. We must continue to make the investment in ourselves to seek out the technology that best fits our lives. We can not allow ourselves to simply accept the technology that so-called experts say is the best for us. Above all, we must understand that technology is much too important to take for granted. If we all commit to take the reins that Steve Jobs has left behind, nothing will be impossible.

Hell Hath No Fury …

Xena is AngryOne of the biggest stories of the year has been the Komen Foundation/Planned Parenthood uproar that I wrote about earlier. This situation was closely followed by the Obamacare/Catholics/Contraception commotion, which I also wrote about. It is this second circumstance that spun off a third controversy, namely the ruckus created when Rush Limbaugh called a woman attending college a slut.

While I could care very little about the Rush Limbaugh situation, I comment on it because it continues what seems to be a recurring theme on my still-young blog: Don’t piss off women.

It doesn’t seem to matter what your political persuasion is, or even if your organization stands for women. If you do anything that seems to infringe on the rights, or even besmirch the honor of women in general, you better be ready for a fight. Perhaps I’m just noticing it more lately, but while various women’s groups have always existed, it just seems that “female power” has been ramped up to a furious level lately. Which is one reason why I wrote the article about Dr. Pepper 10 and the power of women in this New World of Technology.

What do you think? Are women uniting more now than ever in history? Could it have something to do with the power of social media?

It’s Women Stupid, Part 2

Dr Pepper 10 Men AdI wrote an article recently about Dr. Pepper 10 committing brand suicide by advertising they are not for women. I received a good response from someone I know that works in the ad industry who argued that the Dr. Pepper commercial was in fact brilliant. I thought I’d take the time to respond to the points made.

The first point was that Dr. Pepper 10 ad could attract men to buy it because the message was calling for men to man-up. I can see this idea. Perhaps some men will buy into that. But since we’re talking about diet soda, if this was the message intended, then I think it is a fairly desperate reach. Diet soda is just not very manly. But at least Dr. Pepper is trying. However, I still think that most soda is purchased for consumption in the home and that is where it will hurt Dr. Pepper if women aren’t buying it.

The second point is that Dr. Pepper is using reverse psychology. They’re betting that women will want to buy it because they are being told they can’t have it. Again, this could turn out to be true. But if this is Dr. Pepper’s strategy, it has just as much a chance of backfiring as it does working. My gut tells me that most women just don’t fall for this type of advertising. Telling someone they can’t have something I think is much more likely to work on kids and men. Side note – what does that say about us men?!

The final point is that the commercial is designed to get us talking about the product. Obviously, I must agree! If anything, this ad campaign has stirred up quite a bit of controversy among women and much has been written about it. I just wonder once the buzz dies down if the product be able to stand on its own. Or if my assertion that Dr. Pepper is shooting themselves in the foot will hold up. I guess we’ll all see!

It’s Women, Stupid!

Dr. Pepper 10

Hi! I just killed any chance this product had! Catchphrase!

Over the last couple of months, I’ve seen an ad on TV for Dr. Pepper 10, where they literally come out and say that their drink is not for women. “You can keep the romantic comedies and lady drinks. We’re good.” Assuming they continue with this marketing campaign for the life of the product, who wants to start taking bets how soon this soda gets pulled from the shelves or rebranded?

With the exception of some obvious examples that are truly only for men, you take your product’s life into your own hands when you attempt to market it as “not for women”. It’s no secret that women make the majority of buying decisions in this country, especially when it comes to food. Hey Dr. Pepper! Who do you think is bringing the soda home that men drink? Epic fail in 3 … 2 … 1…

But I could really give a flying flip about soda. You might as well be mainlining sugar or drinking anti-freeze, but I digress. So let’s bring this topic around to something that I do care about.

A lot of tech pundits still to this day are dumbfounded as to how Apple’s products such as the iPhone, iPad, and Mac have come to dominate the tech industry. To me, it’s fairly obvious. Most so-called “experts” still live in the “Old World of Technology”, where tech specs such as processor speed, screen size, quantity and variety of ports, support of every possible bleeding edge platform or protocol, and any number of other fairly trivial “features” are what define good technology. They have failed to grasp that the rest of the world has embraced the “New World of Technology” which is defined by products and services that are not only powerful, but also easy-to-use, reliable (wow is reliability important), and above all are empowering to the end-user. Yet interwoven into the rise of the New World of Technology (and it’s not just Apple) is an oh-so-subtle, yet completely game-changing phenomenon. One that is actually so obvious once it is noticed, I’m truly surprised more hasn’t been written about it. The world of technology has changed forever for one simple reason – It’s Women, Stupid!

Yes, I hate to break it to you guards of the Old World of Technology (i.e. men that have been into or working with technology for the last 30 or more years), but women have crashed our party and there’s no going back. Fittingly, it is women that have opened the proverbial Pandora’s box. And I’m not talking about the Pandora Radio service and app – although that is ironically one example of a New World technology that women are gravitating to – but I digress once again. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist (or should I say a computer engineer) to see that where most women didn’t carry smartphones, they do now. Where women didn’t spend a lot of time on computers, they ignited and now power the spread of social media. Where women didn’t buy a lot of software, they now are pouring money into apps. The world has changed, gentlemen, but instead of fighting it, I say embrace it. In this case, Pandora’s box didn’t contain the evils of the world, but rather the future of technology. And seriously, what party couldn’t use more women?

To the women of the world, on behalf of the entire technology industry, I say welcome! But first let me apologize for shutting you out for so long. I know it’s cliche, but it wasn’t you, it was us. We simply didn’t make products and services that appealed to women – to most of the world, actually. That was our fault. But we’ve entered the New World of Technology and we’re glad you’re not only along for the ride, but helping us drive forward. Please, pay no attention to the Dr. Peppers of the world, wherever they may appear. They’ll figure it out, eventually.

Welcome to Life, Liberty, and Technology!

Hello. My name is Marcel Brown. Welcome to my new blog!

On this blog I will share with the world the multitude of thoughts and ideas that regularly bounce around my head. “Life” is a big topic and I will write about a number of seemingly random topics that interest me. That being said, two of the topics most important to me are liberty (or freedom) and technology. So besides the random topics that come to mind, a great deal of what I write will revolve around the concepts of liberty and technology – and the ever increasing intersection between the two.

I’m sure many people will consider some of my writing controversial – in fact I guarantee it! That’s just fine with me. Too often we hold back our opinions due to fear of what other people will think. So if you aren’t open-minded, this may not be the blog for you. But if you like to exercise your mind by reading opinions that are perhaps a bit out of the box, welcome! We may not always agree but at least it won’t be boring!