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Sunday, April 19, 2015

Nutrition Lesson From ILRRPS

The nutrition lesson from the international long-range reconnaissance patrol school (ILRRPS) in southern Germany. 

In 1989, I attended the winter patrol course at the international long-range reconnaissance patrol school. 

This course taught LRRP patrolling operations in Alpine and winter, mountainous environments. 

The physical demands of operating in an Alpine mountain environment are very high. 

Nutrition and hydration are vital keys to success. 

In addition to our standard rations that we were issued, we were also given large quantities of German chocolate bars. 

Some were plain chocolate while others had chocolate and nuts. 

The fundamental nutrition lesson from the ILRRPS course was to eat a little, a lot. 

This concept of eating a little, a lot, is a fundamental concept used throughout many different styles of nutrition and fitness training as in bodybuilding and other body transformation programs. 

Using this concept provides your body with a steady stream of fuel so that your body does not become catabolic and start eating itself for nutrients. 

Preserving lean body mass during extended operations is critical for survival. 

This also provides for maintaining energy levels and prevents early fatigue.

Operating in mountain environments during the winter requires many calories and it makes every task very difficult. 

Without constant fueling, you'd become fatigued very quickly and the odds of you completing your mission would be degraded. 

It is an old concept in the nutrition and fitness worlds but it is one that is proven and has been a constant throughout the ages. You can't go wrong with it. 

So anytime you're outdoors, plan for constant nutrition by carrying items that are easily storable and that you can have readily available; such as trail mixes, beef jerky and food items of a similar nature.

Fuel the machine properly and it will perform at amazing levels for you. 

Remember the ILRRPS lesson- when in doubt, eat a little, a lot. 

Eric Dempsey
Master Sergeant,
U.S. Army Retired

Friday, April 17, 2015

Dad's War Stories: The can of fruit cocktail on Guadalcanal.

The can of fruit cocktail on Guadalcanal. 

One day, when I was a child, approximately 10 years old, I was helping my mother and father put groceries away. 

One of the bags of groceries that I was carrying had the bottom rip out and all of the canned foods crashed onto the floor. 

As I picked up the canned foods from the floor and put them on the shelf, I noticed that there was a can of fruit cocktail that had received a large dent in the bottom of the can. I asked my father if this would still be okay to eat. 

He said oh yes it should be fine as he had eaten from cans that were far worse off than this one. 

Then he told me the story about the can of fruit cocktail on Guadalcanal, during the war. 

During the time when my father was stationed on Guadalcanal, probably around 1942 to 43, there was a delay in the resupply operations due to the island hopping campaign that was ongoing in the Pacific theater.

What that meant for my father was that there was no ammunition, food, fuel or anything else that they needed to sustain operations on the island. Things got tough very quick.

After they ran out of food, they had to go into the jungle to find anything that was edible. 

They would hunt for animals, they would fish in the lagoons and in the ocean and they would pick vegetation, coconuts and any type of fruit that they could manage to find. 

This helped for awhile but with the large numbers of personnel that they had to feed, it became very difficult to sustain.

While the Japanese land forces had been defeated on the island, there was still the constant threat from air attack and they would receive nightly bombing raids from the Japanese Air Forces. 

During this period when there wasn't any resupply operations, there were numerous health risks involved in sustaining daily life. 

Extreme weight loss, malaria, dysentery, jungle rot, immersion foot, heat injuries and a number of other medical conditions plagued the troops. 

My father suffered from the extreme weight loss, malaria and dysentery. 

He often spoke of how extreme the conditions were and how tough it was to just make it through each day. 

One day, while they were standing on the beach after failing to catch some fish, they saw ships on the horizon and they thought the ships were coming to resupply them but the ships sailed on right past their island. 

After scouring the island for supplies one day, they came upon an old storage depot that was bombed by the Japanese and they found a bunch of destroyed food items. As they searched through the wreckage, they found a large can of fruit cocktail. 

The can of fruit cocktail was deformed and charred by fire and they contemplated whether or not they should even try to open it. They thought that surely it must be bad after sitting there for so long. 

They didn't find any other salvageable food so they had no choice but to open the can of fruit cocktail and see if it was even edible. 

Surprisingly, after they opened the can of fruit cocktail, it appeared to be okay, so they gathered their platoon together. 

The fruit cocktail was then distributed around as equally as it could be. 

Everyone in the platoon received approximately one canteen cup full of fruit cocktail. 

My father thought it was the best tasting food that he ever had at that point. 

Shortly after enjoying the fruit cocktail, the resupply ships finally arrived and supplies were offloaded to the troops.

Life got a little better, but things were still hard, as they still suffered from the numerous medical conditions. 

My father always taught me to be thankful for any food that we had and that one can never be too picky because sometimes that could be all that there was. 

Many years later in the southern desert of Iraq, I would recall my father's story about the fruit cocktail, when we were not resupplied for several days and suffered similar hardships. 

Take home point: Remember that things can always be worse. Be thankful for everything that you have, every single day.

Image credits:

Eric Dempsey
Master Sergeant, 
U.S. Army Retired

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Dad's War Stories: The Crazed Water Buffalo

Introduction: My dad was in the Army and he served during World War II in the Pacific theater. 

While growing up in Massachusetts, he used to tell me stories about his time in the Army and combat operations during the war. 

He served in Guadalcanal, the Solomon Islands, New Hebrides, the Philippines, and the occupation of Japan. 

My dad died in 2006, so I won't be able to have him edit this for accuracy, obviously. 

I will do my best to retell the stories as close as I can remember to the way he told me. 

My attempt to retell the stories will be in a short story format from throughout his time in the Pacific theater. 

Story 1: the crazed water buffalo. 

While at a garrison in the Philippines, outside of Luzon, one day there was a water buffalo that became enraged and went on a stampede through the nearby village. 

The water buffalo trampled several people and quickly, the nearby soldiers jumped into action to try to save the villagers. 

The water buffalo was completely out of control and was running wildly, destroying the thatch huts of the village. 

The soldiers engaged the water buffalo with small arms fire but it was largely ineffective due to the fear of hitting innocent bystanders. 

The crazed water buffalo took numerous hits from 30-06 rounds and 30 caliber rounds from M1 garands and carbines, but the animal just got angrier and kept destroying the village. 

There were civilian casualties littered around the village in the wake of crazed water buffalo. 

Something had to be done to stop the carnage as the sporadic fire from the riflemen was ineffective. 

One soldier had a great idea and decided to jump on a horse that was nearby. The man on the horse charged towards the water buffalo and as soon as the water buffalo saw the horse coming at him, he took off in a dead sprint heading out of the village. 

The soldier on horseback chased the water buffalo and came up alongside it, firing his .45 caliber 1911 pistol at the animal's head until was it was empty.

The soldier on horseback continued to chase the water buffalo away from the village. 

The animal finally succumbed to blood loss two hundred meters later and collapsed, dead. 

The water buffalo had taken seven .45 caliber rounds to the head and neck area in addition to numerous rifle round hits all over its body. 

Without a clear shot, the animal's horns and thick hide made it a very tough target to kill. 

The soldier on horseback was immediately named the buffalo killer and the villagers were very happy that he had saved them. 

To show their appreciation for saving them from the crazed water buffalo, the villagers prepared a huge feast for the soldiers and served up the buffalo carcass as the main dish. 

Later, the buffalo killer soldier received a commendation award, for his heroic actions while saving the village from the crazed water buffalo.

My father was too far away from the water buffalo to get off any shots but he witnessed the entire event. 

His main take-home point from this incident was that if you see a water buffalo, keep your distance. And don't get all friendly with one. 

Before this incident my father had seen children playing and hanging on the water buffalo and it seemed like a very gentle creature. 

No one ever found out what caused the water buffalo to go crazy. 

Ever since that incident, my father was always extra cautious when he saw any water buffalo nearby. 

My father told me the story after he had taken me to a zoo and we actually came across a water buffalo in a fenced in field. 

I would later remember my father's water buffalo story when I had similar encounters with German cows during the late '80s.

More stories to follow. Stay tuned!

Eric Dempsey
Master Sergeant, U.S. Army Retired

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Organic Belgium Chocolate Protein Bars 50% Off Sale Ends Tonight!

Hey everyone, this is the 
last day of the 50% off sale on the organic Belgium chocolate chip protein bars. 

These things are great and you can't beat that price. 

Pass it along to anyone interested.


Inspiration: listen to the birds!

This morning I realized what motivates me. - the birds!

When I go outside for my daily SLLS halt (stop, look, listen, smell), drinking my coffee, standing in the sun, hearing the cheerful songs of the birds, it is a therapeutic and motivational experience. 

It is more powerful and valuable than any drug or treatment. 

It's nature, it's free and it is the gift we were given by God. 

The birds sing such uplifting and motivational songs that you can't help but to feel energized and ready to take on the day. 

It may sound silly. The old crackhead is out there huggin trees. Not so!

Try it sometime. Take your coffee or favorite beverage and go sit in a scenic and serene spot. 

Let the sun shine on your face and just listen for awhile. Allow yourself to hear the song. 

Be inspired, empowered, motivated and energized. 

Then go crush your day in beast mode!

Eric Dempsey
Master Sergeant, U.S. Army Retired

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Sherlottee joins the Womens Deadlift and Bench Press Clubs!

Sherlottee hit an easy rep of 135lbs on the bench which qualified her for the bench press club. 

Then she hit 225lbs on the barbell deadlift qualifying her for that club as well. Great job! 

Keep watching as Sherlottee is expected to accomplish some amazing things in the near future. 

Eric Dempsey
Master Sergeant, U.S. Army Retired

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Does Eating Fruit Make You Fat?

One of the current popular topics of debate is about fruit and its effects on body composition. While numerous studies have shown that fruit does not have any negative impact on body composition and is undoubtedly healthy and good for you, I offer a word of caution. 

Fruit is full of fructose which is a natural sugar. There is a difference between processed fructose like high fructose corn syrup and natural fructose found in fruit.

But regardless of its type, it is still a sugar and needs to be addressed as such. That means if you eat fruit in your meal plan (which you should), it needs to be accounted for in your carb category.

As long as it is part of your planned intake and your total carb/sugar intake is within the right amounts based upon your goals and requirements, you shouldn't ever have any problems from eating fruit and in fact it will be beneficial.

Like anything else, if you eat too much fruit along with other carbs and sugar, it may push your carb levels too high and have an adverse effect on fat loss.

Many people say that they have never seen someone get fat eating fruit. - I agree. I also say that I've never seen an overweight person get lean by eating a lot of fruit.

Also, people react to fruit differently and each fruit has different glycemic levels and amounts of fructose.

Bottom line is that fruit is super healthy and needs to be in your meal plan. Use it as your sweets during a body composition program. If you are trying to get lean, keep your carbs to vegetables and some fruit. Fruits are great as pre/post workout carbs.

Use fruit wisely and you won't have any problems.

Fruit is super healthy for you. It needs to be in your meal plan in the appropriate amounts.

This video shows studies that resulted in the findings that fruit did not cause any negative effects even in large amounts. That doesn't mean that you would have the same results.

My experience with many clients tells a more cautious tale.

Everyone reacts differently to different foods.

Too much sugar and carbs from any source will make you fat. There is no way around that fact.

On a body composition program, the majority of your carbs should come from vegetables and the remainder from fruit.

Primarily use fruit and starchy veggies pre and post workout and you should be fine.

Eric Dempsey
Master Sergeant, U.S. Army Retired
Ranger qualified, Infantry
Afghanistan and Iraq veteran with the 101st Airborne Division
NASM Certified Personal Trainer and Weight Loss Specialist
Masters Degree in Exercise Science
Dempseys Resolution Fitness