Gateway food

I’ve learned that besides making a decision about what I’ll eat or not, there is another way to help me avoid the garbage.

I avoid the gateway foods and gateway snacks. Everyone has different ones. For me, it would be almost any chocolate candy, those parmesan whisps, or anything chocolate peanut butter including shakes and smoothies. 

Once I eat one of these, I know I’ll begin to become addicted. I also know that they help me justify further snacking. I’ll say “well I already ate that so why not more later?”

If I stay away from the things I rarely can control, I avoid much trouble.

Size matters

Over time, the average portion size has been going up. What was considered a “large” soda, burger, etc is now probably medium or small.

Eventually we have become people who stuff our faces until we can barely move, much less bend over to tie our shoes! 

It takes at least 20 minutes for the brain to get a signal from our stomach that we are full. If we eat way too much first, not only are we left too full so that our stomach stretches, but we will feel like crap.

Are you the type that eats large meals and then doesn’t eat again for 6 hours? I used to be. That’s not healthy at all. The body will become overwhelmed and then after it gets what it needs, it stores the rest as fat.

What I do now is eat about half or two thirds as much to where within 2-3 hours I am hungry again. That means my metabolism is strong too. Then for a snack I have something not too fatty, full of carbs, or salty.  I eat snacks like bananas, apples, pears, oranges, eanuts, granola, fruit leather, or cashew clusters from Costco. 

I know I’m not perfect, but I’m learning. I hope this helps!

Changes on the horizon

A lot has been changing for me, mostly for the better. I’ll spare you boring details.

However, I’m changing my blog around to accommodate one aspect of these changes. “What do you mean?” Oh just wait and I’ll tell you! “You have a blog?” Yes I do but I rarely use it.

“What are you doing differently now?” I’m glad you asked! It’s about food habits. On my road to being healthier, I’m learning much about habits and myself.

So now, instead of this blog only being J.E.R.A.T. (Jayson’s expanded randomness and thoughts”, it is also “Jayson’s eating radically affects tomorrow”.

Now that you all know this, I’ll add one quick point.

You’re not defined by one big Thanksgiving meal or a few treats at Christmas. It isn’t about that bag of chocolate eggs you bought around Easter.

No, in fact your daily habits are what matter. When one candy bar becomes two and then a daily habit. Eating a double portion should not be normal. That “special occasion” that you splurge on gets redifined to fit anything you want as an excuse to indulge far beyond what you should.

Each day we make a choice. Our choices over a long period of time determine what happens.

I’ll post again soon and add something different that I’ve learned. Enjoy!

Top things I’ve learned about Photography

So I randomly decided to write this based on the combined knowledge of what I’ve learned about this subject. First of all, I’m not a professional, and am not even attempting to make a living at it even as a hobby. I’ve never received money or anything else in exchange for photography services, though I am not opposed to it. I do this as a hobby and have since about summer of 2002. I’ve owned many cameras, film and digital of various qualities and specifications. I am not qualified to teach this subject but I know more than some.

Here are a list of things I’ve read, learned first hand, been told, etc.

1. See that amazing picture on the front of the magazine cover, website, etc? It took hundreds of tries to get it right. Have you told yourself  “My pictures suck! I can’t get the perfect one I want!”? You’re in good company! We all do this. I know for me, I’m super picky and don’t usually take dozens to get one perfect one, but I don’t usually get it right the first time. Just keep trying.

2. Have you ever said something like “Why should I even try? I don’t have thousands of dollars to spend on professional gear, so I shouldn’t even try to get good results until I do.” Well if you tell yourself this, you have lost. You aren’t a loser if you pictures aren’t perfect or lack the right gear. You’re a loser when you give up. This is true in pretty much any area in life. I have been there too, and even when I only had a smart phone and old digital camera to use, I still did my best. I learned lots of things about photography this way. If you aren’t willing to use what you have before getting more, then you should find another hobby. Expensive gear + someone not ready for it = disaster. Substandard gear + hard work + good eye = good work. I recently got my first DSLR so I’m exploring some areas I haven’t been able to for years since my 35MM SLR stopped working.

3. More megapixels don’t guarantee better pictures. They do determine the size and the more pixels the larger the picture, and that helps when you print them. However, what matters more is quality of the sensor and the lens used.

4. It is difficult to get good pictures at night or in low light situations without a tripod. You should definitely go buy one. I’ve been using a $30 one from Target for 12 years and it does great. The darker it is, the more time you will need to get enough light to make the picture decent. It’s difficult to shoot handheld when you get much below even 1/15 of a second, but I’ve gone slower. Those amazing pictures of city lights, fireworks, etc that you see use a tripod and probably take much longer than that, probably up to several seconds or more. I don’t care what smart phone you have and how much they brag about the camera on it. When shooting at night, most of the pictures end up grainy, blurry, grey, and not very good. High quality night shots require at least a tripod and lots of patience.

5. Try things that are different. Experiment with ideas. Don’t get stuck with the typical overused techniques. If you’re taking pictures of a birthday party of a little kid, get down on their level. Standing up far above is usually not visually appealing. Also, try focusing on an object in the foreground and blurring the background. Then do the opposite, and make the background sharp.This is just one simple example.

6. Make sure you have a spare battery and a large memory card to hold more shots than you plan to take. Better to be over prepared than under prepared.

7. Have you said “But even with the equipment I have, I can’t match what I see other people do!” First of all, don’t compare yourself to other people. Do YOUR best. Learn, adapt, push your limits, take chances, work hard, be teachable, and you’ll get better. Keep in mind that the best pictures are done with $5000 cameras and $3000 lenses, and one more trick, editing. I don’t know much about photo editing. I’ve played with photoshop plenty, but don’t have any expertise to offer you. However, when you see a picture that just doesn’t look realistic, it’s probably done with editing. You can do nearly anything with editing. From making parts of a picture black and white, others color to putting your head on a celebrity’s body. You can make a sunset picture at the beach appear to be in space. You can make a person lose or gain weight, remove acne, change hair color, or anything else you can imagine. For this reason, you can’t believe every picture you see to be untouched and raw.

8. Ever been annoyed by “red eye”? Well here is a simple tip. I know some cameras, smart phones, and computer software programs will eliminate it or make it disappear. However, the best way is to avoid one or two of the ingredients that cause it. Red eye is caused by the light from a camera flash reflecting off someone’s eyes which are adapted for the dark and not light. For this reason, in bright conditions where someone’s eyes are adapted to brightness, it won’t happen. It also can’t happen without a flash. So the best way to avoid this is either to make sure the camera flash is far enough away from the lens. This way, the angle won’t be close enough so the light won’t reflect directly. To test this. stand in front of a mirror or glass door while holding a flashlight. Shine it at your face in the reflection. Ouch! You just got blinded! Now shine it at your neck or above you. Much better isn’t it? Same thing with a point and shoot camera or a smart phone. In most cases, the lens and flash are within an inch apart. If the light is so close to the lens, it will connect with your eyes at approximately the same angle, thus reflecting it back. On DSLR’s, the flash is further above the lens, and adding another flash helps even more. Or you can simply make sure there is more light. Turn on some lights, a lamp, overhead lighting, etc. Don’t expect the flash to illuminate the entire picture. This will avoid that problem.

This is not all there is to know, and I’m not trying to explain photography terms here either. These are simple things to keep in mind that will help you on your journey. I haven’t arrived by any means and I’m not an expert. Just keep trying and don’t give up and you will do fine.

Terrorism follows the morning after


This post may offend some of you, and I’m OK with that. I will not be silent about this subject. If you don’t like my opinion then that’s your right. This may hit a nerve or two.

I did put some thought into it. This picture is of something I had heard about but not seen until I randomly found it. It wasn’t purchased by me or anyone I know.

Why is it that in my home state of Oregon, a 15 year old girl can legally buy these without adult supervision? However, the law won’t permit her to vote, go tanning alone, buy cigarettes and alcohol, or even get a driver’s license? Our elected officials made this possible. Parents of teenagers, what do you think?

Also, when I say the word “Terrorism”, what comes to mind? Mass shootings? The Boston Marathon bombing? 9-11? The Holocaust?

First of all, like you, I hate terrorism and it angers me that people do such things, regardless of their reason. I won’t excuse such actions. However, let me explain how this all fits together. When abortion was legalized because of the Roe. Vs. Wade decision of 1973, the sanctity of life quickly began to erode from our society.

While that alone doesn’t cause crazy people to do evil things, it’s part of our culture and should be expected. When you say life means nothing before birth, it’s only a matter of time before that mentality spreads. Take the doctor who is accused of delivering babies then cutting their spinal cords to kill them, for example.

Kidnappings, rapes, murders, and eventually terrorism is all part of it. You can’t expect a society that tolerates the most common terrorism, abortion to actually value human life do you? I consider the 40+ million babies that have been killed before birth to be just as evil as any terrorism. It’s still genocide.

We live in a society where you can’t spank your kid, beat your dog, shoot a protected bird, or even cut down your own tree in some cases without breaking the law. Our western world is filled with violence from every possible source, yet we are killing our babies and protecting everything else.

The point is this. We live in a society that uses the media and pop culture to normalize, excuse, and glorify things. Things like drugs, partying, alcoholism, hooking up, having sex without commitment , and having an abortion if you feel like a baby is inconvenient. We allow teenage girls to take care of their “mistake” from the night before. All of this requires us to accept a continual erosion of the sanctity of life that leads to mass murder and terrorism.


This is about having to reprogram myself, and change the way I think, my opinions, assumptions, and presuppositions. So, while having a conversation with a friend, I kept finding myself saying things like “I hope I’m not bothering you”, even though they didn’t give me any indication that I was being annoying. I realized that I ask people that a lot, and I ask way more in my mind. I was wondering “Why do I do that?”

I finally understood something. I guess I already knew it, but I finally put it together in a coherent thought.


I’m sure this is SO shocking, but I’ve been told “shut up” , “be quiet”, “don’t talk so much”, “you’re too random”, etc for a long as I can remember. Please try to shut your mouth after you recover from the shock….


After all these  years, I guess I’ve picked up the idea that being loud and random is one of the worst qualities a person could have, it’s not socially acceptable, nor is it something people like.


This hasn’t ever worked, in fact except for short periods of time in special circumstances, I am rarely quiet.


In the last few years, I’ve come to realize something quite profound. While there are times it’s important not to talk, and to stay on topic, what I’ve learned isn’t true at all. See, I’ve come to know lots of different people over the years. Some have had a great life with few problems, and seem to have it together. Most are average, and a bunch more have had some very traumatic things happen to them. They have dealt with controlling people, abusive people, liars, jerks, and just downright mean and unpleasant people. They see people who refuse to do what they say they will do. They see people who are so ruthless and manipulative, that they will do or say anything to get you to do things for them, and eventually get their way, leaving you with as little to show for it as possible. Any of this sound familiar?


Well, it’s just those type of people who seem to be come my way. I’m not saying that’s the only type of people I like or who like me. I’m just saying that, because of my personality, I seem to find quite a few people who would really love to take back several weeks, months, or years of their lives, had they not become stronger because of what they’ve been through.

In reality, (not to toot my own horn or brag), but I’ve been told more times than I can count how people appreciate what I do for them, and even just like me being positive and upbeat. Now, I have bad days. I have days that I don’t want to go anywhere, do anything, and I am not happy with life. We all have that. However, that all goes to the back burner, when there is a need to meet.

I’ve had jerk moments. I’ve been plenty selfish and greedy. Ask my parents, I’m probably not a “model kid”, to show off. However, most of the list of negative qualities is something that’s just not me. I’m not built that way. Whether it’s God’s saving grace that keeps me from it, my own choices, environment in which I was raised, or just my wiring, I just can’t imagine doing most of that. I wouldn’t even do that to people I like (or love), or even people I don’t like.

Most of you reading this probably know me well, and so this is all common knowledge. Still, I’ve realized that people appreciate honest, friendly people who want to help them, and just care about them without expecting anything back, or any favors for themselves. They don’t care if I’m loud as long as I give them space when they ask.

In summary, being loud and random is a good thing, as long as it’s controlled, and social etiquette and tact is used. I was quite different as a kid, and ran around rampant and probably deserved the punishment I got for it at the time. However, now is a different story. 

I’ve been learning to UNlearn much of what I thought was true. I’ve realized, while some people just don’t get along with other people, no matter what, that being a bright spot in someone’s life, caring when most don’t, and not being phased by negativity that comes your way never goes out of style.


Who is the “least of these” in your life? Who can you show love to by actions or words that needs it? Who can you encourage that is beaten down? Who is being placed in your path just at the right time? Are you being positive and upbeat, so that people who are down can’t help but be lifted up just enough to get them by the day or week?


Think about it.

Quick thought

For those who share my “Biblical” or “Christian” worldview, this should interest you. And the rest of you, it should prove informative and entertaining because it’s my shortest blog entry to date!

I thought of this and had to write it down before I went to sleep so I wouldn’t forget!

Something is out of whack here.

Why is it today that one of the first images that comes to mind when mentioning “Christians” are things we are against;  issues, politicians, lifestyles,  and a bunch of restrictive rules to follow?

If I remember right,  the most critical and harsh statements that Jesus himself ever uttered were actually against the most devout religious people,  as opposed to the most sinful outcasts….

Makes me wonder what He would say today about the modern day church! 

Food for thought!