Thoughts on hospitals and funerals

My grandmother died last Monday. We laid her to rest on Thursday between her two children, one of which was my mother. But for the last month or two, I’ve been making repeated trips to Louisville and Salem to visit with her, prepare for the funeral, and ultimately handle her estate. Going through the process as an adult instead of an adolescent like I was with mom, I have a few thoughts.

First, stop treating old people like children. Nurses and doctors would come into my grandmother’s room and call her “Miss Wilma” and always with the same tone as a kindergarten teacher. You do not need to speak to the elderly as if they have a child’s brain. My grandmother remembered every second of everything that was happening to her. Her mind never dulled, she maintained the ability to make her own decisions, and she was never childish. She helped a country fight literal Nazis and you’re talking to her like you would your dog.

Hospitals have to stop pretending they can fix every problem. Of the half-dozen doctors parading in and out of her room for months, only one said what we all knew: her age was working against her, this would likely not end well. All the others were on some Grey’s Anatomy-induced medical mission to fix every problem.

We pay nearly no attention to diet or exercise in this country. Our medical facilities are equally inept. You can’t feed an 84-year-old woman liquid pudding for a month and stand around wondering why she’s losing weight. Likewise, you can’t tether someone to a bed and scratch your head in confusion why they’re not getting up to move around.

Funerals cost a suspiciously round amount of money. Things seem to jump in increments of $1,000 at every turn.

People who show up to funerals had better be dressed for it. I felt like Clint Eastwood in Gran Torino as random people paraded through my grandmother’s funeral wearing flip-flops, jeans, t-shirts, and hats. Even the preacher didn’t bother to put on a tie. Have some class — because my grandmother did despite having next to no money nearly all of her life.

Embalming is a weird thing. I don’t know why we do that. Equally odd to me is how we’ve become comfortable sticking people’s bodies into a box in the ground. It’s literally the most terrifying thing I can think of.

The State of the Justin

The President gave us the State of the Union Tuesday night. I figure it’s time for the annual State of the Justin.

New House

I’ve always been proud of the fact I was lucky and able to buy my first home when I was 20. My mortgage broker at the time joked I could buy a house before I could buy a beer. It turns out, I’ve still never purchased a beer.

On Tuesday we moved from our home on Adina Ct. to a much more historic home in Irvington on Spencer Ave.

I’ve always wanted to live in Irvington. Even when I bought the last house I wanted to live in Irvington but couldn’t afford to.

A nice young guy purchased the old house as his first home and I wish him well.

Jeremiah and I are looking forward to inviting folks over once we get all the boxes unpacked.

I’ve lost 32 pounds

InBody Scan ResultsI weighed myself this morning. The scale reported back at 149.9, which is 33 pounds less than I was in the fall.

Most people immediately query, “How’d you do that?” and “Did you even have that much weight to lose?”

Apparently, yes, I had that much to lose. It says something that 183-pound me was considered fine (albeit medically overweight by about 15 pounds). My body type is one that packs fat around organs as opposed to just on my frame. If anything, I was in more danger than the folks that carry it around their exterior.

Losing it was pretty simple: don’t eat like an idiot. I’m 30 years old, so I can’t just eat everything and the cardboard box it comes in anymore. I’m okay with that, but didn’t struggle like some people. I long eschewed sodas and fast food. But I ate a lot of bread, desserts were mandatory, and I consumed a lot of dairy in the form of cheese and creams.

Eliminating bread, getting used to fruit for dessert, and removing cheese did most of the work. I don’t miss the bread so much. I still desire a good chunk of cheesecake, but can resist. And leaving cheese off things really doesn’t impact the flavor of anything that much. Except pizza. I miss pizza. And chimichangas…

I recognize my superpower is the ability to miserably say “no” to things. It scares Jeremiah how easily I can flip to, “I just don’t do that anymore.” If that’s not your superpower, it’s going to be harder, but you can do it.

Workouts at Naptown Fitness have become routine. On Tuesday morning I had to close on two houses and move between them at 10 am. I woke up at 4 am and took the bus to the gym so I could get in a class.

Doing SWIFT (sort of a P90x/jump training/cardio hybrid) classes for 45 minutes at least 5-6 times a week is mandatory. I put it on my calendar and am incredibly defensive of that time. Meetings get placed around it, phone calls don’t interrupt it, and I’m better for it. Doing classes at 4 in the afternoon is one of the best parts of my day.

If you’re an office worker, you might find that doing a workout is satisfying because you get clear goals and finish lines. White collar work is often void of that. I like this challenge precisely because it’s hard, but defined.

And in case you think that your trip to LA Fitness is fine: the benefits of a class are tenfold. It’s awfully hard to stop and rest when the guy next to you is plowing through his work. So much so I now seek to position myself next to men and women who are as good or better than me in a class.


I read or listened to 47 books in 2017. So far this year I’m about to wrap up my fourth.

My favorites include Grant by Ron Chernow (Trump’s presidency doesn’t mirror Andrew Jackson. It mirrors Andrew Johnson, which came after Lincoln. And Ulysses S. Grant may be one of our most underrated historical figures.). I also immensely enjoyed the trilogy that is Theodore Roosevelt by Edmund Morris.

Two books have actively changed the nature of my life and work. The Checklist Manifesto by Dr. Atul Gawande talks about the benefits of using checklists in everyday work. His thesis: there’s too much knowledge for any single human. So write down and double-check.

Deep Work by Cal Newport is equally impressive. I wrote about this over on the SuperPixel blog.

If you’re one of those people on the outside looking in at readers and wondering how they do it: the Indianapolis Public Library is wonderful. The online library delivers a good number of books to Kindles, too.  I certainly don’t buy all these books. But I do maintain an Audible subscription. Commuting on a bike or a bus is a great way to get in some extra reading time.

Slowly, then quickly at SuperPixel

SuperPixel continues to grow slowly and organically, but the work has rapidly increased lately. I still struggle with The E-Myth (short for Entrepreneur). The balance between having a scalable business that runs itself versus being a solo-preneur or nearly a solo-preneur is hard in my line of work. I recognized late last year there are almost no big, nationwide service provider businesses. There are no chain attorneys or franchise physicians. There are networks and small clusters trying, like in dentistry or in medical groups. Big corporations sell products and widgets. Or services that masquerade as products, like insurance. The only service businesses I can think of is True Green and Merry Maids. Both of which involve low-wage work.

We have reached a point where the work we have is enough. Now I want to make it really damn good. I’m more interested in solving thorny business problems for clients this year than I am in making a website or two.

Onward and upward

My goals for 2018 look something like this:

  1. Compete in a Spartan race
  2. Compete in a triathlon – Happening in July
  3. [Personal]
  4. 100 consecutive workouts
  5. Generate $10k from book sales
  6. $10k in savings
  7. Pay off debts
  8. Funnel $300/mo. to retirement – $50 short currently
  9. Launch an email series
  10. Interview a President
  11. Walk 500 dogs
  12. Share a house with great friends
  13. Travel more with Jeremiah. D.C., London – I really want to see Bond in Motion
  14. Run for office
  15. 30 days of Whole 30
  16. $200k in annual revenue for SuperPixel
  17. White Water Rafting
  18. Hang glide
  19. Jet Ski
  20. Snorkel off the Cape
  21. Ski

In July I’ll be racing in the TriIndy. I wrote a book last year that I’ve asked a few people to review. With exception of the mortgage, we’re in good shape to have most debts eliminated soon. Savings to retirement is likely to increase later this year.

Today marks the end of Whole 30. And many other things on this list are in progress or coming soon.

I’m also participating in this March’s Polar Plunge with Crystal. You can donate here. If we make the fundraising goal I’ll post the photos.

When it comes to abortion, look at the men

Indiana’s new abortion bill is on its way to Gov. Pence’s desk. The “fetal anomaly bill” makes it illegal for women to abort a pregnancy for reasons related to, among other possibilities, Down Syndrome. A similar bill was introduced in Ohio and passed in North Dakota a few years ago.

This is almost certainly red meat for the religious wing of Indiana. It’s a pretty lousy bill as bills go. Not unlike Indiana’s “no texting” law, no one ever said anything about “no tweeting”, so too no one says here a woman can’t just say, “I want an abortion for other reasons”. There’s no requirement for them to say precisely why. It does, however, tack on some additional requirements, like no group therapy sessions and declaring that birth happens the moment sperm fertilizes an egg.

So I was wondering earlier what Indiana’s abortion rate looks like. Finding impartial data is cumbersome, but the best I can find is actually the top Google result. However, it dates to 2011.

In 2011, Indiana’s abortion rate mirrored the US average for the 10 years prior, and was about half the US rate. But even before all of the abortion restrictions passed in the last few years, almost no county in Indiana had an abortion provider. In 2011, 9,430 women obtained an abortion, or about 7.3 per 1,000 women of reproductive age. This doesn’t account for people traveling out of state, however. Which is likely possible in northwest and south central Indiana where women may travel to Chicago or Louisville.

The fetal anomaly bill isn’t likely to do much to prevent abortions. Most likely it’ll just spawn a bunch of lawsuits and money for lawyers who will no doubt successfully argue that the bill is poorly written, imposes undue burdens on women and providers, and doesn’t adequately outline the standard by which a pregnancy is likely to produce Down Syndrome or other anomalies.

I am the first to admit I am so out of touch with what would induce a woman to have an abortion. I get that there are many academic reasons why: cause of conception, familial burden, financial, etc. More specifically, I don’t get the emotional and mental work required in conception, pregnancy, and birth. No surprise why: I’m a man and I don’t have to ever put my mind in that place.

The Institute’s report does catch my attention in two other figures:

Moreover, a broad cross section of U.S. women have abortions. 58% of women having abortions are in their 20s; 61% have one or more children; 85% are unmarried; 69% are economically disadvantaged; and 73% report a religious affiliation. No racial or ethnic group makes up a majority: 36% of women obtaining abortions are white non-Hispanic, 30% are black non-Hispanic, 25% are Hispanic and 9% are of other racial backgrounds.

In other words, poor, young, white, women are making up the majority of abortions nationally. Whether this is because they have better access to abortions than minorities or some other reason is worth researching.

The very small group of American women who are at risk of experiencing an unintended pregnancy but are not using contraceptives account for more than half of all abortions. Many of these women did not think they would get pregnant or had concerns about contraceptive methods.

And in other words here, no access to a contraceptive is the cause of most abortions.

This is where my personal understanding starts to form and diverge. Presumably “easier access to contraceptives” really just means “the ability to take a contraceptive pill.” Because if it means condoms, I’m not sure how making those easier to obtain is even possible short of dropping them from airplanes. They sit in bowls in dorms. They cost a quarter or less. They’re literally hanging on the walls of gas stations and supermarkets and dollar stores and convenience stores and doctor’s offices.

The free market, the public sector, and our culture have all moved to a place to make that possible, much to everyone’s benefit. Access to the pill is no doubt more difficult than a condom because of higher costs, insurance policies or a lack thereof, and physician approval.

Which makes me think that half of all abortions aren’t caused by women, but by the men! Because I can totally understand why a woman wouldn’t have a box of condoms in the nightstand. And I can understand how in the heat of a sexual encounter, a man would just not stop or permit time for a woman to talk about a condom. To be clear, I’m not saying that’s a rape; but where both adults are consenting and the encounter just too sudden can easily result in saying “Forget about the condom”.

In my mind, for the majority of abortions that occur because the pregnancy is simply unwanted (so no rape, incest, health issue, emergency, etc.), this is a legitimate use to say there is personal responsibility to handle this. But it’s at least 50% the man’s responsibility, and one could argue it’s more. Men are the ones who have much more access to easy, cheap, contraception. And I’m aware condoms aren’t perfect, but they’re pretty darn close.

It’s offensive and rude to suggest women should just “keep an aspirin between their knees” or suggest they just shouldn’t ever have sex at all. Sex, like alcohol, is perfectly legal when used responsibly. Abortion is legal, but should be rare. And in lawmakers’ pursuit to effectively zero-out abortions in Indiana, perhaps we’re better off talking to and targeting men as much or more than we are women.

The Jawbone Up

Everyone’s reviewed the hell out of the Jawbone Up over the last couple of weeks, all in a wishy-washy maybe-sorta way. Nothing I read said “buy it” or “don’t buy it”. I’m saying: “buy it and hope for updates”.

I’ve been using the Jawbone Up for a little over a week now. The Up is a rubber band you wear around your wrist. It records your steps, eating habits and sleep patterns in conjunction with the iPhone-only App. It costs $99 and may be worth about $79 of it.

The Band

The band is made of rubber, has a removable cap for the headphone jack that you plug into your iPhone to sync data and is surprisingly comfortable. You’ll probably lose the cap if you’re a loser incapable of holding on to a small piece of plastic, but I’m not worried about that. Because I have the sense to sit down at a table when I’m working with small things.

It’s waterproof, which means you can shower with it…and count your steps? I never wear mine in the shower. That just seems silly. And they recommend you not swim with it. So, feel free to walk out in the rain and use the band to cover your head.

It is comfy, though. I don’t notice it when I’m typing or sleeping. It’s easy to put into sleep, workout or default mode by hitting the little silver button on the other end of the band. And, the package allows you to get the right fit — small, medium or large. I’m a medium but I thought I’d be small. Small would be for kids, I think.

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The App

You use the app to take a photo of your meal. Two hours later, it’ll send a Push Notification reminding you that you ate two hours ago. It’ll ask you to give you feedback about how you feel: energized, normal, tired, hungry, etc. After a while, you’re supposed to use that to help you figure out how you’ll feel next time you eat a similar meal. Of course, if you don’t already know that eating a bowl of ravioli is going to make you feel tired, there’s little this App’s going to do for you. This portion is lame and I never remember to take a picture of my food. I usually end up taking a picture of an empty plate or bowl instead. And you can’t really use it for snacks. If you eat a banana, how are you supposed to feel two hours later? “Freaking phenomenal” isn’t likely.

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The app also shows you graphs and charts about your activity and sleep patterns. More on that in a bit.

Lastly, the app is also how you enroll in challenges. Challenges are Up’s way of being “social”. Since there’s like, ten people using challenges, I’m number one in all the challenges I’ve enrolled in.

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The Reason I Bought It

Up tracks your sleep habits and vibrates on your wrist to wake you up in the morning. It also vibrates during the day to remind you to get up for a break on an interval you set (mine’s 90 minutes). But the sleep tracking is interesting and works pretty well. I have mine set to wake me at 8, which is really “wake me between 7:30 and 8 a.m.”. As I roll around in bed, it knows based on my unconscious movement whether I’m awake (orange bars), in light sleep (light blue bars) or deep sleep (dark blue bars).

I can’t profess to it’s complete accuracy, but in the mornings it wakes me by 8 a.m. when I’m in light sleep and it’s a much more pleasant way of waking up. For that, it was worth buying (although, I think $99 is a bit much at this point). Later, you can see a graph of your sleep, which is kinda neat. In this case, it knew I got up around 4:30 a.m. to get a glass of water:

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It’s only woken me up in deep sleep once, and that was because I had been in deep sleep for the entire half hour before, so it defaulted to just being an alarm. One morning it wakes me at 7:40, another 7:50. If you’re such a baby that you think you must get every last second of sleep the world somehow owes you and the idea of waking up 15 minutes before you “have to” offends your weak little self, I guess you’re not going to get much use out of it.

You wouldn’t think a little vibration on your wrist would work, but it’s a very intense vibration. When it vibrates, you feel it, but it’s not loud or violent like a cell phone’s vibration.


The app is very 1.0. The band only tracks steps, so if you do a lot of cycling or other arm-stationary exercise, it’s not going to be very accurate. At least with me, when I cycle, I take my iPhone in one of my panniers and the App can use the iPhone’s GPS to track my movement. The band, however, still clocks some “steps” as I hit bumps in the road, but it’s horribly inaccurate on that since I’m not really walking. It’d be worthless on a treadmill or stationary bike.

The app needs calorie counting in an easy way to be really great. If I take a picture of a slice of pizza, I’d like to see it say, “That looks like pizza. The average slice of non-meat pizza is XX calories.” Then I could get a clearer picture of my diet and intake.

The band is comfy, has 10 hour battery life (and I believe that) and is stylish enough not to look dorky.

Overall, it’s better than nothing when it comes to metrics. The sleep cycle monitor is worth it, in my book. This would be perfect if you’re modestly fitness-inclined. I think I’m too far above that to be really impressed by it, but for $99, buy it, enjoy what does work and look forward to the free app updates in the future.

I know what killed my mother

Just a quick disclaimer: this is probably going to end up rather lengthy and deeply personal. I’m writing this for myself, for anyone who suffers from depression, anxiety, cancer, disease or any other illness.


This is a bittersweet time of the year for me. In November, when most people celebrate Thanksgiving, I do not. No one in my family really does anymore since my mom died. November is also the month I put in my resignation to quit my job at the State. December 1 marks the two year mark for me running my own business.

Speaking of December, when most people celebrate Christmas, I do not. The last memory I have of Christmas was in 2000, when I was 14, with my mom sitting on the floor of our living room, her shaved and scarred head wrapped in a thick layer of gauze. She had had her second brain surgery to remove a brain tumor just a month earlier. Like always, she made sure there were presents under the tree for me and my grandmother and my dad. And like always, she made sure to have each of them neatly wrapped and labeled. Except this year, as she sat on the floor, she wasn’t able to write so well anymore. Her spelling was off, her once pretty handwriting had been reduced to scribbles. She didn’t have enough labels, so she was forced to scribble over misspellings. The wrapping paper wasn’t as neatly folded as it once was because her vision was starting to fail in one eye. My memory from that year is of me sitting on the couch, looking down at her, as she squinted at the labels on the presents and refused our help to sort them. It wasn’t long after that that she became completely immobile, blind, deaf, incapable of coherent speech, constipated and in pain. She lived most of 2001 that way and then she died in January 2002, just two years and two days after she was diagnosed.

And in January, this January 18, 2012 at 11:14 a.m., I will travel to a small cemetery outside of Pekin, Indiana, in rural Washington County where mom and her grandparents and her little brother (who died two days after birth), are buried. I will place a wreath of red roses (her favorite) on her grave and mark the 10 year anniversary of her death. She was born on August 26, 1961. She was 41 years old.

Now, a decade later, I’m 24 years old. I know and have experienced a few more things now than I had then. Then, and up until somewhat very recently, I suffered from chronic depression. Taking care of my dying mother, living for two years knowing that she could die at literally any second, coming to terms with my sexuality, puberty and enduring the American Hell that is high school drained me. In recent memory, working at a depressing and draining job, struggling with dating and breakups, close friends that seemingly moved away in a constant stream, balancing finances and avoiding the debt for school, my dad’s near constant four-year unemployment and other things left my physically and emotionally void.

For a while it was incredibly difficult for me on a variety of levels for a variety of things, things that I’d rather not bore you with or rehash at this moment, but know that I’m speaking about things that most people don’t suffer with or endure much (or ever) in their lifetime. I’ve never told anyone personally about the things that happened to me during a period of time in my life between about 2008-2010.

And for a while in 2010 I tried medications to help with the stress and depression. I was diagnosed with kidney stones that year, too, and racked up medical bills that, thankfully, I’ve managed to pay off with the “help” of the insurance company (the same one that later revoked my coverage for ulcers and urinary tract problems). For a while, I tried modifying my diet to reduce some things, but it proved difficult because of my relationship at the time. It was the same ol’ problems, around and around.

And now, in 2011, I feel like I have the knowledge, the experience, the solution and the living proof to my problems of ulcers, depression, kidney stones, headaches, lethargy and weight gain: my diet.

I’ve long sworn-off fast food. I haven’t touched a fast food burger in about 7 years now, since 2005. But it wasn’t until 2010 I got a little more serious, by removing sodas and other sugary and carbonated beverages from my diet. I did it because my research lead me to believe that most kidney stones and urinary tract problems were caused by sodas. I also started filtering my water religiously to remove as much as I can from the city water. In addition, some stones are caused by calcium bond formations in the kidneys, calcium that’s usually delivered in large quantities by red meat.

So, I tried reducing the amount of meat I ate. And I started to feel pretty good.

And now, for the last month or so, I’ve taken my diet to a new level: I eat only whole foods and whole grains, based entirely on plants. I exercise more now than I ever have in my life by cycling, which I found that I love. For it, I feel better now that I have my entire life.

Some say that my diet is too extreme, too hard to live by and too restricting. To that I say: “Name me various kinds of red meat.” To which you will reply “Beef, pork, chicken.” You could go on to say venison, sheep, buffalo, etc., but really, people eat three main animals: cows, pigs and chicken because that’s what’s lining the shelves at the store. And then I will say, “Name me various kinds of edible plants.” To which you will reply, “Grapes, strawberries, cashews, peanuts, lettuce, wheat, corn, green beans, peas, carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, potatoes, bok choy, celery, oranges, apples…” and on and on. I imagine the combinations of vegetarian dishes works out to many thousands. I do not think three meats can do that. Maybe if you’re generous and pretend that different cuts of meat are in fact different “things”. But in my book, chicken tenders, chicken breast and chicken nuggets are all the same.

Going to a whole foods diet sucks for the first couple of weeks. I lived my entire life around concocting meals by asking, “What meat do I want?” And then throwing “something else” around it. Now that I’ve gotten my bearings around this new style of cooking, the food’s actually just as easy and tasty to prepare as any meat dish ever could be. I don’t miss it.

In the last month I’ve lost about 10 pounds. This morning I weighed in at 158.5 pounds. I’ve been losing about a half pound every two or three days and I still eat about as much as I used to in volume. Heck, I’ve got two dozen oatmeal raisin cookies sitting on the counter right now.

My mood is extremely better, my body is clearly (and trust me on this one) pushing out a bunch of crap. Literally. I didn’t know a person could have so many bowel movements in a day. The high amount of fiber I’m taking in is working.

But enough on that matter; the point is this: I feel and am a whole lot better than I was just a month ago. I’m leaner, happier, more focused and more energetic. I rarely feel “stuffed” anymore, to the point of sickness, but instead I feel “completely full”. You know, like how you feel when you eat at a buffet right before you cram in “just one more plate”. And it doesn’t break the bank, I spend just as much on groceries as I did when I bought a lot of meat. I just spend it on different things now.

I’m able to cycle 20-30 miles in a weekend, plus another 30-50 miles throughout the week. This week I’ve not started my car once; I’m not even sure it will start at this point. Who knows; and I don’t even really care.

I’ve done some research, only after I’ve started eating whole foods, and it backs up what I’m experiencing. I’ve read books from the library, including “Diet for a Small Planet“, which is probably the most all-encompassing that I’ve read. I could go into the science behind it, but I won’t. However, I will say that it seems very clear to me that the science is there and repressed a great deal by concerned interests, particularly in the government. I mean, just this week Congress voted to make pizza a vegetable because it contains 2 tablespoons of tomato paste for sauce. Why? Because the frozen pizza companies, yes, those Titans of Industry, didn’t like the idea of not selling all that gray, frozen pizza to school cafeterias.

The gist of the science is this: plenty of things give you protein, not just meat (ever eat a peanut? Those fuckers are great, aren’t they?). In fact, your body can only absorb so much protein, which isn’t much. The rest is wasted, which means most of that protein in your steak just gets wasted or stored as fat.

Why am I so adamant about this now? Why do I see fit to tell everyone I can about this? Because in addition to knowing and experiencing this now at the age of 24, I also know that the shitty diet you have of sodas, fast food, processed frozen crap like frozen pizzas and fries and macaroni and cheese in a box plus the money-driven drugs for your depression, anxiety, pain, jitters and emotions is killing you.

It killed my mother, that’s for damn sure.

We lived in the wide open countryside of Washington County. We didn’t have pollution problems. We had water from a natural well under our front yard. Mom was a homemaker, so she didn’t have stresses of a job. Dad made good money at his factory job at the time (it’s since gone), so we didn’t have terrible financial troubles. I went to a good school and got good grades, I was not causing her any stress.

Her diet, however, consisted of sodas. In the 14 years I knew my mother, I never once saw her drink a glass of water. It was always sodas or heavily-sweetened tea (I still drink plenty of sweet tea, but only with two tablespoons of natural sugar per 8 cups of water). Mom drank so much Big Red soda her tongue was often just as red. We ate a lot of fried foods, particularly sodium-heavy ready-made things like Hamburger Helper meals, things that came frozen like frozen pizzas and fries, plenty of red meat like pot roasts and pork chops and steaks. In the summer we’d eat a lot of fresh tomatoes from the garden, because that’s what my dad would always grow. We’d slather them on white bread (which is completely void of anything nutritious, at all), Miracle Whip and bacon, hold the lettuce. It was a BLT minus the L (the healthiest thing).

Then, after mom was diagnosed, that’s what we kept eating and drinking. Mom went in for three surgeries, endured intense amounts of radiation — even going as far as implanting radiation and chemotherapy wafers directly into her brain — and was on medications galore. She took a pill for something every hour of the day around the clock, including numerous “experimental pills” that the doctors at University of Louisville and Norton Healthcare claimed did “very, very well in the clinical trials” at reducing the sizes of tumors.

Well, you know what, of course they did well in the clinical trials. Has anyone ever heard of a drug that didn’t do well in a clinical trial? Of course you haven’t because they always “do well” at something.

Then, after mom would have surgery or visit the hospital, they’d feed her Jello and white bread (toast); she’d have a Pepsi to drink. Really? Seriously? Did no one think it prudent to maybe give her carrots or tomato juice? Mom loved tomato juice — it was the only thing she’d drink when she was pregnant with me because she said it was the only thing she could keep down. That and 7 Up, because again, she never drank water.

If I could go back in time, I honestly believe that if mom started a whole foods diet in the mid 90’s or even the late 90’s, she’d still be alive today.

You’re saying to yourself right now, “Well, Justin, we’ve all gotta go sometime! And if we do, I want to enjoy my cheeseburgers.”

To that, I say, “You’re flat wrong.” If you think it’s normal for human beings to sit around like sloths because you’re “always tired”, or for people to die before they’re 40 for something that wasn’t a surreal accident or that it’s normal for people to be grotesquely fat or for you to have random aches and pains in your 20s or 30s, then fine, go ahead. If you think it’s normal to take a pill because you’re always “angry” or “upset” or that it’s normal to give kids pills to make them calm down or that it’s normal for elementary school kids to have diabetes or be so fat they have to use special reinforced chairs, I hope that cheeseburger is freaking delicious. Add a few more and you’ll be dead, or, at best, living on a diet rich in expensive drugs designed to treat symptoms just so you can function.

As proof, one only need to visit Japan. Ever see a fat guy in Japan? No you have not. Ever hear of a cancer epidemic in Japan? No you have not, because they have one of the lowest rates in the world for overall cancers. Rates of some cancers, like breast cancers, barely infects half a percent of their population. This is, of course, changing now that the Japanese are leaving their diets high in fish and vegetables for…”the traditional western diet.” KFC and McDonalds are growing fast there. In addition to the Japanese, this is why I don’t worry about the Chinese, because our diet will kill off their people with hardly anyone paying attention as to why.

Hippocrates believed that the body had an “innate ability to heal itself”. He believed that it was up to the doctor to help springboard the recovery of their patient by just giving them the right vitamins and minerals. The human body would take care of the rest. You have to agree that as our diets have gotten worse, the amount of deaths by cancer keep growing, even after the outlays in spending to research cancer treatments grows and grows each year. I don’t think that’s just a coincidence. And when’s the last time you felt like your government was really doing anything useful for you anyway?

Our medical system is so expensive because we have the worst diet of anyone in the world. All that crap people eat is killing our hearts and brains and keeps us inventing other things that don’t naturally exist to help the problems that also shouldn’t naturally exist! Granted, our system is great at trauma — if you get hit in the head or get stabbed with a rod in a car accident, our system does wonders. But disease? It’s pathetic.

I’m convinced eating crap turns you into crap. I’m convinced that the drugs people take for a medley of issues are completely made-up and designed to “temporarily cure” the symptoms, but never the problem. What use is it for people to take Prozac once if they can’t ever take it again? Keep taking it and paying for it and hey, everything’s “better”. Your Big Macs make you sad and depressed, not your life. If you have to take pills just to “function”, why does that seem normal to you? Do you think people in the colonial era had problems with ADHD and stress and depression? Certainly not at the rates we see today.

You can take expensive pills, or just eat foods rich in Niacin (Vitamin B3; like mushrooms, peas and beans), which has been proven to lift a person’s mood. At a fraction of the cost, that’s for sure. Bill Wilson, the co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous suggested that his patients take Niacin to help their recovery based on his own experience and research of dozens of patients. But, by the time he suggested it, other medical groups had already inserted their influence and decided against that. They favored new drugs on the market instead. Somehow, in our society, a multivitamin can be dangerous in large doses, but Ambien is just fine (another pill, of which, I took for a while because of sleeping problems caused by two years of waking up at odd hours of the night to be with mom).

At the very least, stop eating white bread (look for “whole grain”, not just “whole wheat” — by USDA standards, a bread can be considered “whole wheat” just by sprinkling the wheat grains on the top of the bread after it’s been processed out, which makes it completely nutritionally defunct, like sprinkling boiled and rotten apple slices on top of a doughnut.). And stop eating fast food — tacos aren’t supposed to cost 69 cents and come in boxes labeled as “MEAT PRODUCT”. Food isn’t supposed to be manufactured, period.

Why isn’t everyone shaking their heads and wondering what’s gone wrong? How are people not questioning things they put into them more?

I know I’m right about this. I just wish I knew it in 1999.