Vegetables for Breakfast?

This is the first part of a larger post I’ve been working on for ages and releasing sections at a time is a realistic way to get it out there. It’s inspired from my experiences trying to kick start projects independently with no cash or private health care.

How to make vegetables look creepy

If you are living in a city, low on cash and trying to keep your shit together here is a recommendation on keeping it together and not being taken out by illness, people or yourself.

Eat Vegetables for Breakfast

If you can change your diet one way, start eating vegetables for breakfast.

My preferred method is in the form of a green smoothie which was introduced to me by Peter Imai in January 2010. Since that date I’ve clocked up over 300+ vegetable smoothies and haven’t looked back.

After a smoothie I well…..feel good. I’m more hydrated, head feels clearer and best of all it reduces my craving for gluten based food (drags me down) around 11am.

A word on taste.
Nearly every day I hear someone say “I like the idea but the taste. yuk!”. As a society we have the habit of taking what something tastes like over how it makes us feel. Flavor over substance. Form over function. It’s like our senses are being indoctrinated into a materialistic existence. I’m not sure why people say it.
I do notice a correlation between the intensity of people’s yuk and the quality of their current diet. Crapper the diet. Bigger the Yuk! I think it has something to do with our orfactory memory being deceived\overriden by an onslaught of fat and refined carbohydrates so when veges come along it misinterprets how they taste and make us feel (mid term) because it’s comparing them to something short(term), intense, pleasurable and artificial (from an evolutionary standpoint).

A word on cost.
Vegetables are expensive. Correction. Food is expensive. The bigger the city, the higher the price and lower the quality.

The one exception to the adage “You get what you pay for” are green vegetables (if you aren’t dead set on one type of vegetable). If you will eat anything that is green there is cheap greenage everywhere! At your chain super markets, Asian grocery stores, local markets or even in your garden. My favorite gathering story was walking past a community garden in Melbourne or Oakland..not sure and hand picking spinach that was growing while across the road. Now that is cheap!

A word on productivity
I’d go as far to say “Green Smoothies” are the new Ramen Profitability food (food you eat when you have no money and are trying to make a company profitable). Look I love beans and am ok with rice but they both have there downsides. What downside is there to vegetables apart from being low caloric?

I’m not going into the benefits of vegetables it’s been done yo.

So what exactly is this green smoothie beast? Well the green part comes from dark green vegetables..duh. The smoothie part DOES NOT include milk, yogurt, ice cream or a ton of fruit (Oh but I love strawberries and yogurt you say). Forget it, what you’re actually making is a FAT ASS smoothie.

Looks its quite simple and easy to clean up because there are no sticky sugars involved.

The recipe is based on fundamentals passed on by Petey with my own personal flair added to create a fast easy clean kick ass green smoothie. Take:

One rack of ice
4-10 big handfuls of Kale or anything dark green
600ml Water
1 lime squeeze – add rind for kapow
4 table spoons of Chia Seed
Chunk of ginger (unpeeled)

Blend the crap out of it, place in a drink bottle if on the move, chug or suckle on it over the morning to truly take in all the flavour and goodness.

Green Smoothie on a Winter Morning


Peter and I both rate this chick who knows a thing or two about Green Smoothies

A Quick and Rough Spread of Phuket

Recently re-discovered this map I created for a friend planning to holiday in Phuket, Thailand.

All you need to know when the detail doesn't count.

Personal Preservation – Physical Health Advice for Disaster Relief Volunteers

Cut on piece of rebar that had been previously cut with a demo saw which makes it mad sharp. - HODR Volunteer


Recently, I shared advice with a friend on volunteering in Haiti especially at Hands On Disaster Relief an awesome, innovative, professional and experienced NGO.
We discussed topics like logistics, economics, mental health and physical well being the lata of which I have shared a few tips.

Malaria Prevention – I use a mosquito nets, DEET (small amounts) and clothing over anti-malaria pills like Doxycilin that increase sensitivity to light. Not advantageous in blistering sunshine. On top you have to down pills before arriving in the destination then take them every day with no guarantee of prevention. – My opinion: consult your doctor
Tip – At HODR bring a single 6 point mosquito net for maximum mosquito protection

Update – Elizabeth – HODR FACEBOOK PAGE
You really should take an anti-malarial, even if you do choose Doxycycline. I”ve taken it while on two different Haiti projects…it was fine. Everyone should be wearing super sunscreen anyway. Also, you should make sure all your innoculations are up to date: Tetanus definitely, and I’d also suggest HEP A, Hep B, and Typhoid as well. Rabies not so much. Also those electrolyte things that you can dump in your water bottle really do help.

Counter Swelling – Anti-histamines are not just for runny noses they will reduce swelling and itching from mosquito attacks.

Sleep – If you have the dollars pick up a blow up mattress over the yoga mat type.
Rest is the best way to stay on top of the days and if you are constantly moving to avoid pressure points the following day will be harder.

Recover Quickly – You won’t go hungry at HODR though protein at meal time is on the low side. So consider these power-ups.

  • Protein – If you want to get stronger and recover faster bring protein to subsidize your meals. Alternatively, lump down a hefty slab of peanut butter at breakfast time.
  • Vitamins – I am a fan of Vitamineral Green a product with enzymes and nutrients with instant effects.
    Alternatively, learn basic Creole and buy and prepare vegetables from the local market.
  • Chocolate – Dark chocolate – It will not melt and is a great pick me up after lunch.

Monitor Wounds – Cuts and blisters are inevitable and it is your responsibility to take care of them.

  • Blisters – To pop or not to pop? Who cares? They are going to pop anyway. Dry ‘em out every night with ethanol and apply liquid bandage (HODR First Aid) in the morning before going out. The quicker they heal the quicker you will develop callouses making you better with the sledge hammer
  • Infections – The tropics can quickly turn a small cut into a Golden Staph infection so clean your wounds once to twice daily

Counter Sweat, Grit and Shit

  • Its hot, real hot and humid. Grooming downstairs can mean the difference between box itch and none. Anti-perspiration in the same region is effective too. Enough said.
  • Cut nails - The crud you can accrue during the day is astronomical. Give bacteria no place to hide.
  • Cotton sucks – If you have the cash, wear quick dry, breathable materials and their easy to wash too.
  • Keep your mouth shut - sometimes shit will spray on you.

Annesee Rubble Crew - HODR - April 2010


Golden Rule – Stay Hydrated and Cover Up!
Don’t become a number – Nearly everyone will suffer from the side effects of dehydration. On any given day expect to drink between 8 to 12 Litres a day. Make sure you add electrolytes (salt + Sugar = Potassium + Glucose = Plenty of basic and better alternatives to Gatorade)
I did notice regular occurrences of heat stroke from exposure to the sun being put down to drinking too little water – YOU CAN BE TAKEN OUT BY HEAT STROKE EVEN WHEN HYDRATED.
Slip, slop and slap with a:

  • Full brim hat
  • neck scarf (I used a tea towel)
  • sun glasses (expect them to chip)
  • long sleeves
  • fill in the gaps with sunscreen.

Finally practice being ambidextrous in everything you do (especially sledge hammer) it will balance out the back muscles and reduce injury and pain.

So there you go. A few tips from me. Remember to make your own mind up and speak to a doctor when it comes to any medication.

Have you volunteered in a similar situation? What other advice do you have?

ALL THIS IS INCONSEQUENTIAL IF YOU DO DUMB THINGS LIKE BELOW!

9 months as a Digital Nomad – How I do it?

A few people have asked me how I traveled and survived for such a long time? I have left out my business and financial things because too often people use the excuse of “When I have enough money”. If you really want it, you will find a way.

  1. I make family and friends a priority
    I have an incredibly strong family and friend network with out them the world becomes shit loads more scary.
  2. I re-defined what “safe” means.
    The most dangerous thing you can do on any given day is get in your car. For me the safest place is flying by the seat of my pants. How do you define safe?
  3. I try not to judge people
    We are prejudice for a reason but try to question your assumptions\stereotypes
  4. I dropped the status envy
    Sovereignty is the new envy – and that person with the [super expensive asset] and the huge house. Well they’re probably not feeling that free.
  5. I take any job when cash is low
    I am a high tech guy but if my chips are down I will take jobs laboring, working in bars, stripping, whatever!
  6. I have a greater goal
    I am traveling to buy time, create luck, have fun and hopefully create something of value. If I don’t then I it was a hella fun journey trying.

9 Months as a Digital Nomad from Cameron McGrane on Vimeo.

A 10 minute video taking my favorite moments from 850 flip camera clips, shot over 9 months in Thailand, Cambodia, China, Taiwan, USA, Germany, Poland, UK and Japan.

Cambodian Kickboxing Roadtrip to Fight on National Television

Pradal Serey is the Cambodian national sport and a branch of kickboxing (like Muay Thai).

Rattatan is a poor 29 year old Khmer fighter and started training at 26 to raise money and start his own barber shop.

As a natural athlete with cool demeanor and wins including knock outs he has been invited to fight on Cambodia’s national TV in Phnom Phen.

From my time training at Rattatan’s Pradal Serey stable (mud\dirt pit) in the town of Battambang. I was invited to escort Rattatan for the fight.

Little did I know, I would be in his ring corner, for his last fight and watch him leave for Siem Reap with his barbers chair to start a new life.

The story\footage highlights how a brutal sport like Pradal Serey can replace despair with hope.

The video has an intro and ending but it is kind of jittery with no road maps\story to what is happening. So if you are interested in Cambodia and would like to see a few knock outs, big knees and get up close with Cambodia’s fighting culture then it is may be worth the fifteen minutes. 12mins if you skip my hair cut….

Cambodian Kickboxing Roadtrip to Fight on National Television from Cameron McGrane on Vimeo.

Standing Out in a Saturated E-bay Market

Knowing your customer and creating a hard to reproduce competitive advantage is one way of standing out in any business. I applied these concepts to mobile phones, watch the video to see the results.

Wide Angle Hack for Flip Camera

WIDE ANGLE FLIP CAMERA

WIDE ANGLE FLIP CAMERA

One misty cold night in downtown San Francisco a punk ran off with my phone. I chased and cornered him on the other side of the terminal. The kid half my size refused to give it back and his two girlfriends were closing in. I had the option to use force and doing so would involve a nasty scrap requiring taking out him and inevitably his girlfriends and if you know downtown girls they are ferocious.

With in a split second, I chose a witches hat (safety cone) to up the ante and provide melee cover before I had to throw down. After he repeatably refused to return my phone, I ripped out a mighty warning swing only to spin myself around in a 360 ending on my back. The punk ran away but I got my phone back after using the system against him(another story).

What has the to do with the post? My flip camera was in my bag and the lens was cracked in the fall making it useless. Providing me an excuse to attach a wide angle lens to my flip.

To make it work I purchased a magnetic wide angle lens for $30. The magnetic part means you stick a metal o-ring on the outside of the lens so the magnetized lens can be attached\dettached. I wanted it permanent and used Gorilla Grip to make it so.

The result is more of what your eye can see in the picture which I don’t think you can beat when flipping it on. The downside is you do have the lens protruding making it less pocket friendly and robust (lens can come off if dropped).

A demo…..

Skateboarding in San Luis Obispo with Wide Angle Lens Flip from Cameron McGrane on Vimeo.

Ass Whipping Across America

Central America is delayed. Berlin is on. Flying out from NYC posed the challenge of getting there with in budget. A problem quickly resolved via another serendipitous moment. Today I leave on an an incredible roadtrip of mammoth proportions with Jim of Dub-Corp and the beautiful Meadow Devor.


The Debacle Explained from James Whitaker on Vimeo.

See updates on our state of mind as we ass whip 50 hours straight across the USA.

How to get into maximum mischief in Mexico and survive

Me and the Garica Garcia Brothers in Monterrey Mexico

Me and the Garica Garcia Brothers in Monterrey Mexico


In a couple of weeks, I am returning to Monterrey, Mexico where I lived for 2 months in 2007 and was adopted by a family of brothers called the Garcias from Garcia Garcia region of Nuevo Leon.

The experience left me truly humbled. I was treated like a brother and will never forget the generosity of the family and community.

In this post, I will explain lessons of how I met the Garicias on the street, gained acceptance and safety when alone.

The Street Meet
The premise, is you hang out in a place with community feel and near a university and wait for someone to take you home. It worked for me but it was pretty freaky and I cannot give tips without sounding like a douche. For the majority I recommend couch surfing not street meets.

Inter-cultural social networking

Now you have a place to stay some ideas for becoming a champion.

  • Learn the basic greetings
  • My Spanish sucked but I quickly learned the basic greetings.
    Knowing the greetings plus follow-ups in social situations (there will be many) puts others at ease and gives you more respect. Get up to speed before arriving my sitting a course or listening to the Michael Thomas Spanish course.

  • Become a parrot (non Speakers)
  • Even if it feels uncomfortable, repeat what your host\friends say even if you have no idea what it means. Show people that you are trying to learn they will like it.

  • Get drunk
  • Get drunk even more. This assists in being a parrot and builds trust with your fellow Amigos

  • Deal with the unknown
  • Plans will be made on your behalf. You will be going somewhere in a speeding car wearing no seat belt. Embrace the fear, accept death and choose to die in an alternative way. Or prey to Jesus Christ that it won’t be your last ride.

  • Do it for the kids
  • When you come across children (and you will being in Latin America). Teach them a game. Speak English, their parents will think you are great despite being a gringo. Guide them through 1 to 10 even better teach them how to head butt.

  • Be clear about why you are there
  • Internet marketer, digital consultant or just hanging out doesn’t mean shit to the mothers of the community. They will want to know exactly why you are in their community. Be clear about your plan and how long you will be around. It will make for better Kalma and more opportunities.

    Supertip: You will be asked whether you are Christian. There is only one right answer.

  • Join a team
  • Jump at the opportunity to play a sport\game you excel. Nothing bridges cultural differences like friendly competition. But don’t lose and don’t suck especially if it is football. Luckily, my hosts were softball mad and a game I played for 20 years.

  • Speak up if you feel uncomfortable
  • If you genuinely don’t want to do it then say “NO”. Use your body language. Make every thing about you represent “NO”. Walk away. Remember NO means NO unless you are asked by the BOSS MAN of the family.

  • Don’t sleep with their woman
  • Ok, you are hitting home runs, keeping the BBQs colorful, matching them in the drink offs, gaining celebrity status in the community. Don’t ruin it and sleep with any of their woman. Sisters, daughters and maids included.

    And remember DO NOT sleep with anyone’s wife otherwise you are fucking dead.

Safety

    An analogy of safety in Latin America is the same as lambs in a pack. Lambs should stay with the pack. If you have to stray, don’t go where the wolves prowl, do act like Dad and his other ram buddies are just over the next hill.

  • Be physically strong
  • Be as fit and strong as you can. (Self Explanatory)

  • Use the Traffic Light System
  • I have been practicing this system for years after reading the “Art of Fighting without Fighting”. Basically, you internalize green, yellow and red to reflect the risk of the outside world and respond accordingly. If you practice it enough it becomes a sub-conscious thing. We have it naturally but can be nulled out after years of living with in safe zero threat environments.

  • Walk like you know where you’re going
  • The perception that you know your surroundings even when you don’t is a powerful deterrent against bad guys. Walk strong. This does not mean walk like big daddy or a body builder. Just walk with confidence and awareness.

  • Look like a local
  • Don’t wear bling, dress as the locals do, the more you blend in the more you represent a local interest and the less someone will fuck with you.

  • If you are a woman then carry
  • Most of these tips don’t apply to woman. Woman should walk with company in unfamiliar places.
    If you must go alone I recommend a Tazer and don’t be afraid to use it.

And there you go. Monterrey is coming up and I am looking forward to playing nine innings practicing my new found Spanish and not getting in TOO much trouble.

What can you do when having fun? Tim Ferris’s blogging tips from Word Camp San Francisco

Another place to write

Image courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/floridamemory/3328074451/

Ok. I have to make this blog entry fun because it is one of the writing tips that Tim Ferris kicked out at Word Camp San Francisco that I believe in.
How am I going to keep it fun? Well this time… and yes you can mix it up…. I am going to keep it “fun” by using my own “voice”. And keeping it quick because I am hungry and my back is hurting.

Ideas Tim offered on not hating on blogging:

  • When you are blocked write what you are angry about
  • Having not tried this in the blogging foray this has been quite effective exercise dealing with ex-girlfriends

  • Anchor the topic
  • I think what Tim ment by this is keep to the point of what the title states. Own what you are proposing. A Dissertation as such.

  • Don’t chase the news
  • Re-posting major events will only make you feel ugly

  • Re-post under %10
  • From what I re-call. This means posting about others posts. Leave it to a 1 in 10 ration. It is akin to chasing the news.

  • Keep a long form and short form blog\log
  • This is structure to stop you from doing your head.

    Short form = short, simple and without much substance
    An example would be Tim’s Blog or this blog

    Long Form = substantive and rich in information
    An example would be Tim’s website .

  • Identify your bio-rhythms by measuring outputs
  • This is nerdy physical attuned words for work out when you write best.
    Ask the question “When do I write best?”. If you don’t know you may to go all metric and start recording when you do. Not my style but Ferris does it.

    and my tip after completing this entry.

  • Set a time limit and go for it. This took me under 10 minutes.

Did I mention make sure it is fun? Make it fun. ok?