The 15 Best Things About Quarantine

Let’s face it. COVID-19 has sparked enough fear and negativity already. Why not look at the bright side of things? I recently posted the question on Facebook, “what has been your favorite part about quarantine so far?” and got some really good responses! Here’s the list:

1) No Car Traffic – This was one of the most popular replies. Not surprising! It’s so nice to go for a drive and not be stuck in a sea of twisted metal everywhere you go for a change. James commented that it’s nice “not having to drive rush hour 696 twice a day”. Jennifer added “I do not miss 2 hours of commuting back and forth each day!” Amen to that!

2) Every Night is Like Saturday Night – Many of us are laid off or unemployed. While that’s not the best situation to be in, it’s kinda fun! Every time we go outside, we find the rich smells of bonfires, grilling and other social distancing activity. With 26 million people filing unemployment currently, it seems like every night is a weekend night during this pandemic.

3) More Time with Family – I don’t know about anyone else, but my dogs are family, and having more time to spend at home with them and my wife has been amazing, and Facebook agrees. Kim commented, “more time cuddling with my puppy”, and Christine added “more naps with my dogs”.

Others are enjoying quality time with family members inside the home. Daniella commented “love having my big girls home more often”. Randell added, “being home with a beautiful wife isn’t too hard to do.”

Meet Walter and Cohen

4) Less Social Interaction – For many of us, COVID-19 was just the excuse we needed to finally get a break from those friends, family members, or co-workers we just can’t stand being around. Zach’s favorite part of quarantine is “free time, sleeping in, and lack of unwanted social interaction”. Mike D commented “not having to get close to strangers”. Adam added “the fact that I don’t have to deal with other people’s stupidity”. Well, there’s still plenty of stupid out there to go around, but I get your point!

Stupidity personified!

5) “Free” Government Money – Many people are actually making more on unemployment than they were at their normal job! Vince said the best part of quarantine is “the stimulus check that’s coming. We haven’t missed a beat at work so I’m building a new gaming computer”. I fear what the stimulus will do to the value of the dollar and our economy in the future, but for now, a little cold hard cash from Uncle Sam is nice!

6) Less Obligations – Millions are out of work and confined at home with way less responsibilities to deal with. Bob commented that during quarantine he’s “having time to handle more around the house”. Amanda says “not having to think about or worry about where we need to go or what we should be doing. It’s kind of freeing to just to be”.

7) Not Watching the Clock – Renee commented that she is enjoying “living the rhythm my body wants”. Jamie said she’s enjoying “not having to rush. Time is going by slowly”.

I don’t know about anyone else, but I haven’t set an alarm in over a month. Being able to live more in the moment is certainly one of my favorite aspects of quarantine.

8) Random Kindness – More people are smiling, waving, and being kind to one another. Loraine commented her favorite part of quarantine was “how people came together with love and support!”

9) More Time for Activities! – Lots of people are happy that they have more time to do things they’re excited about or have been putting off for a while. I have been selling stuff online like crazy, writing articles, and making videos for Wise-Eats.com. Jennifer mentioned her favorite part of quarantine is “having time to be creative and learn new things”. Lois said “being able to finish my to do projects!”

10) More Home-Cooked Meals – Ya’ll know I love this one! It’s time to get in the kitchen and make a wise decision! Erica commented “My husband making me breakfast and dinner while I work this bull**it midnight shift”. If you need some inspiration, head over to Wise-Eats.com/Recipes for some delicious, healthy, real food dishes.

11) Less Temptation for Drinking/Junk Food – Because restaurants and bars are closed, there is less temptation to eat junk food and drink alcohol, although I know many of us have still found a way! Some of us don’t mind the temptation, but for those of us trying to make wise choices, quarantine is the perfect excuse to stay away from the poisons of everyday life.

12) More Time to Exercise – The gyms are closed, which is a bummer, but most of us have plenty of time to get creative about our exercise routine. I’ve done a minimum 1-mile fasted walk just about every morning during quarantine. Thankfully, we also have a home gym, so I’ve been hitting the weights hard, but we can all be active regardless of our situation. Quarantine gives us plenty of time to YouTube some home workout routines and stay committed to our fitness.

The Wise Eats Home Gym. Quaint…but effective.

13) Wearing Sweat Pants Every Day – This one comes from Jerry. Can we get an amen on this one?! I’m gonna be honest. I’ve worn the same outfit at least 3 days in a row during lockdown, probably more. And I’m not mad about it. My wife does the laundry. She’s not mad either.

14) Getting Extra Sleep – Whitney says “getting like 10 hours of sleep each night is fantastic”. I couldn’t agree more! All of us could use some extra rest. It reduces stress, inflammation, and depression. It also stimulates memory, recovery, weight loss, and brain power (VeryWellHealth.com)!

15) Reading – During the quarantine, I’ve read 3 books and completed Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University. Reading is one of the best things you can do for yourself because it actually makes your brain stronger! Lots of people out there making brain gains during this quarantine, so keep it up!

The coronavirus pandemic has given us all plenty of extra stuff to be thankful for, so let’s focus on that for now, and this whole thing will blow over soon enough (for those of us who want it to). Thanks to everyone who contributed to this article. Stay safe and healthy!

Did something you’re enjoying about quarantine not make the list? Let me know at WiseEatsPodcast@Gmail.com or @WesWiseFitness on Instagram. Thanks for reading and make wise choices!

Did I Have COVID-19? You Be the Judge

Back in October 2019, I got really sick. I mean REALLY sick. It started a few hours before bed. My wife and I were relaxing and I just started feeling off. It came on pretty suddenly, but I didn’t think much of it. A few hours later, I woke up in a puddle of my own sweat and felt so freezing cold that it was near impossible to fall back asleep. I was up every hour on the hour with freezing cold sweats, severe nausea, and completely miserable.

I called into work that day for the first time in over six years. And then I was sick for the next 9 days.

Luckily, the symptoms got much better in days 2-9, but it was easily one of the worst illnesses I’ve ever been through in my life.

Fast forward to today, 6 months later. COVID-19 has exploded. People are sick, people are dying, and millions are out of work. It was deemed a pandemic on March 11, but rumors are flying that this virus was around long before officials would have us believe.

So, it makes me wonder, what exactly did I have back in October?

As much as I would love to know, I probably never will. But guess what? In March of this year, I got sick AGAIN.

Was it Coronavirus? I think it may have been, but can’t say for sure. So, why don’t you be the judge? Here is the breakdown of my symptoms:

Day 1 – Wednesday, March 18th: Woke up with an elevated pulse, nausea, fever of 101, cough, headache, and generally sore and achy everywhere. It got progressively worse throughout the day. By nighttime, I was fully drained and in pretty rough shape.

Day 2 – Thursday, March 19th: Symptoms were much better, but I still had a fever. At that point I called my doctor to be safe. He advised that they were not testing in mild cases (I’m 36 years old and healthy) and told me to stay on 14-day isolation. He said as long as my symptoms did not get worse, the virus would pass. He said to take Tylenol, if needed, and watch out for any increase in symptoms, including shortness of breath.

Day 3 – Friday, March 20th: Felt really good and no more fever. Stayed physically active with walking, foam rolling.

Day 4 – Saturday, March 21th: Still feeling good, about 85%.Felt so good, in fact, that I got back to weight lifting after taking a few days off. Big mistake.

Day 5 – Sunday, March 22nd: Still feeling good, but I could tell that my body was just off. I was feeling better but by no means 100%. Weight lifted again today too because I just couldn’t help myself.

Day 6 – Monday, March 23rd: Suffered a major regression. Back to being fully sick. Had fever chills but no fever, but had a brand-new symptom: no sense of smell or taste. And that lasted for about 4 days, which was a total bummer. Intense headache also.

Day 7 – Tuesday, March 24th: Feeling better but still headache, body aching, sense of smell/taste still gone.

Day 8 – Wednesday, March 25th: Symptoms at this point were very mild, but after a full week of being sick, I wasn’t taking any chances. Resting my body fully, not lifting weights, but staying active with walking, stretching, etc.

Day 9-12 – March 26th-29th: From Day 9 on, symptoms were extremely mild, aside from the lost sense of taste, which FINALLY came back on Day 11, March 28th. At that point, I ate pretty much EVERYTHING in the house (see my EPIC diet journal entry below).

Day 13 – Monday, March 30th: Finally feeling 100%! And been perfectly fine ever since.

Once I got my taste back, I ate like CRAZY! Sometimes, eating bad food is just good for the soul. But you better believe I got back to work the next day!

Overall, the sickness was pretty rough, but nothing worse than a bad cold or mild flu. I only had a fever for the first two days. I was never out of it to the point where I couldn’t live my normal life or work from home. The full body aching, headaches and lost sense of taste were the worst symptoms. If what I had was COVID-19, I can say anecdotally that it sucks, but it’s really nothing to worry about.

That said, my heart goes out to all of the people who are suffering more severely from this crisis. I hope that sharing my experience can in some way benefit anyone out there who is nervous that they may get sick or have some idea of what to expect if they do. Regardless if we are sick or not, we should ALL do our part to stop the spread of this virus and hopefully this will all be over very soon.

COVID-19 has affected us all – whether it’s our health, jobs, businesses, or personal relationships, but I know 100% that WE WILL GET THROUGH THIS. So, hang in there everybody, this storm will pass. HOPE can spread faster than FEAR as long as we all keep supporting one another. So, be good to yourself and be good to others. Thanks for reading and make wise choices!!

To listen to the podcast I recorded regarding this article, check out Wise-Eats.com/Episode21



Dolce Diet Certification Review

As discussed on Episode 16 of the Wise Eats Podcast:

Why is Dolce trying to dress like me?

Becoming a Dolce Diet Certified Coach

In October 2019, I drove 10.5 hours from my home in Mount Clemens, Michigan to Belmar, NJ, for the 3-day Dolce Diet Certification. The purpose of the trip was two-fold. First, to meet one of my long-time mentors, Mike Dolce. Second, to become a Dolce Diet Certified Coach.

The Location

This was my first time to the east coast and I loved the area! Belmar, NJ is a beautiful beach town and I couldn’t resist jumping in the ocean even though it was freezing! Bradley Beach has a vast boardwalk where you can sip coffee and go for a nice, long walk on the beach. I absolutely took advantage of this!

Stay Gold Cafe

I packed a weekend’s worth of food to have on the trip so I didn’t eat out at all, but Dolce did treat the entire class to a lunch at the Stay Gold Café, which had amazing coffee and delicious, healthy food options. Shout out to Stay Gold!

How I Found Mike Dolce

I originally lost 90lbs back in 2009 and didn’t even know who Dolce was at that point. I simply found a fitness website, got off the junk food, started exercising, and calorie restricted myself down to 180lbs from 270. Long story short, I got super sick after that from eating junk food and yo-yo dieting. Eventually, I had to turn to real, natural foods to heal my body, finally start feeling good, and eventually start building muscle. Losing weight had mistakenly been my focus for too long. Now, it was time to start getting strong, healthy, and building a physique that I desired, and Mike Dolce was a huge part of that process.

I found the Dolce Diet years after my initial weight loss and it was a game changer. His philosophies are simple but spot on: Eat real food based on activity levels, get plenty of exercise, stop poisoning yourself, stay hydrated, etc. It’s all just simple stuff that you’re not gonna see sitting on a store shelf or advertised on TV. It’s the basic fundamentals that we should all be doing, and it’s the things that I try to preach with Wise Eats.

Dolce is the real deal. I believe in his philosophies wholeheartedly because they 100% worked for me and they will work for you too. He’s been an inspiration for me to start Wise Eats and try to help others, as well.

Meeting the Man

It was a thrill to meet Mike Dolce and taking his certification course. His mentorship has been very influential in my own health journey. Not only did his principles influence my diet habits, but he also created the workout program that got me to finally fall in love with exercise many years ago: UFC Fit.

Dolce’s philosophy is based on principles to increase longevity and prevent disease, and hisresults speak for themselves. He’s one of the most successful fitness coaches in the world. He knows his stuff and I have a tremendous amount of respect for him. He’s also a super nice guy, energetic, knowledgeable, and eager to help. Nothing but good things to say about Dolce. He’s the man!

Check out Mike Dolce’s YouTube channel here.

The Dolce Diet Certification

The class itself was run similar to a college-level nutrition course and Q&A with Dolce. Tons of amazing information. It covered nutrition, principles, business, branding, monetization, and more. Plenty of open and honest communication. He encouraged everyone to ask anything and everything.

As far my classmates, it was a very diverse group of about 14 individuals: gym owners, fighters, a podcast host, a lawyer, physical therapist, veterans, coffee barista, and even a pest control technician. All highly motivated and successful in their own respects.

The Dolce Diet Principles

Before I get to my biggest takeaways from the experience, I’ll just share with everyone, for those who don’t know, exactly what the Dolce Diet principles are. I’ve been following these myself as closely as possible for many years.

  1. Eat real foods in wide varieties from fresh and natural sources
  2. Eat every 2-4 hours based upon activity
  3. Eat until satisfied, not until full
  4. Drink mostly water, fresh brewed tea, and black coffee
  5. Exercise 30-60 minutes, 3-5 days per week doing something you enjoy
  6. Sleep 7.5-9 hours per night
  7. Minimize stress by simplifying your life and relations
  8. Laugh often with friends and family
  9. Love deeply and unconditionally
  10. Mind your neighbor’s space and help those in need

Biggest Takeaways

  1. Goal Setting

Dolce calls goal setting “the end to which all efforts are focused”. Time to eliminate distractions and put all effort into this one thing!

Mike Dolce’s “5Fs”: Fitness, Family, Finance, Future, For Me

Set goals in each of these categories every day and physically write them down.

I’ve kept a journal for the last 10 years, but about 6 months ago started a journal that is specifically geared toward goal setting.

My wife and I are now meeting each week to go over our 5F’s, compare, support one another, create joint goals, and get better together. This has already been a huge game changer in our relationship!

2. Networking

  • I made some terrific connections with people I hope to stay in contact with for a long time. I relish the opportunity to do more of this in the future. You’re the average of the people you surround yourself with!
  • Being surrounded by a group of like minded people was highly motivating and forced me to step my game up, think critically, and reflect on my own performance.

3. Integrity

  • Dolce preached that integrity is crucial to your success. Deliver results on time every single time. Over deliver whenever possible. And basically don’t be a scumbag, which I think I have nailed down already, I hope.
Mike declined a shirtless pose off, but I don’t blame him. Wouldn’t want to make him look bad on his home turf 🙂

Final Thoughts

  • I came away from the certification highly motivated and energized.
  • Day 1 was intense for me. Feeling lots of adrenaline. Meeting Dolce in his own gym, getting a feel for the course, meeting classmates.
  • Day 2 was absorbing information, Q&A, networking.
  • Day 3 was exam day, self-reflection, pictures, Q&A.
  • Attending this event developed a whole new sense of accountability within myself to get moving on my passions. I love to read books, listen to podcasts, write, create videos/articles, but I got something from this that you can’t get from doing any of that stuff. A truly unique event.
  • For anyone considering taking the course, I highly recommend it! It can help you further your business, but best of all, it will be an experience you’ll never forget!

Now, I’m a Dolce Diet Coach!

So, at the end of it all, I am officially a Dolce Diet certified coach! Does that mean that overnight I have become an expert in fitness and nutrition? No, it doesn’t. What it does mean, however, is that I now have the backing of a globally recognized, world class health and fitness brand and have put myself in a better position to help other people, which is exactly what my goal is.

If I can help someone change one thing about their life that improves their situation going forward, that’s amazing because their life will forever be transformed. Just like I was 90 pounds overweight and got my health in order and completely changed my life, maybe one little thing that someone sees or hears on this podcast could be the catalyst that gets them to make a positive change in their own life and that’s exactly why I’m doing it.

So, I’m here to help. If you’re interested in getting healthy and improving your physique, definitely send me your info and I’d be happy to share some tips and advice based on my personal experience. But if you’re really ready to make a serious commitment and have the backing of the world-class Dolce Diet team and me as your coach, we can look at putting you into the 8-week personalized diet program. If that’s something you’re interested in, hit me up at wiseeatspodcast@gmail.com and we’ll discuss further.

Here is one of my favorite quotes from the course:

“When diet is wrong, medicine is of no use; when diet is correct, medicine is of no need.” – Ayurvedic Medicine

Thanks for reading this article. If you have any questions or comments, please contact me below. Be good to yourself, be good to others, and make wise choices!

Halloween Fun Facts, Highest Ranked Candy & Costumes

As discussed in Episode 15 of the Wise Eats Podcast:

Halloween Fun Facts

Well, hello there, Wise Guys & Ghouls, and welcome to a special Halloween edition of Wise Eats! Halloween has always been one of my very favorite times of year, so we’re going to celebrate in style in today’s article. Let’s get the party started with some fun facts and history about Halloween. This info comes courtesy of Good Housekeeping and FactRetriever.com:

  • Halloween, also known as All Hallows’ Eve or Witches Night, goes back more than 2,000 years. It started as a pre-Christian Celtic festival called Samhain (which means “summer’s end”). It celebrated the final day of the harvest and the crossing of spirits over into the other world. People in Ireland, the United Kingdom, and Northern France would ward off ghosts by lighting sacrificial bonfires and wearing costumes, according to History.com.
  • Halloween is the second highest grossing commercial holiday after Christmas. Consumers spent about $9 billion on Halloween in 2018. The average American spends about $86.79 on Halloween every year, including decorations, costumes, candy, and cards.
  • New York City throws the biggest Halloween parade in the U.S.
  • The largest pumpkin ever measured was grown by Norm Craven, who broke the world record in 1993 with an 836 lb. pumpkin.
  • Speaking of pumpkins, they’re actually classified as a fruit, not as a vegetable. In 2006, New Hampshire actually declared that its state fruit is the pumpkin.
  • Illinois produces up to 5 times more pumpkins than any other state.
  • The record for the most lit pumpkins on display belongs to Keene, New Hampshire with 30,581.
  • The fastest pumpkin carving record belongs to Stephen Clarke, who did it in 16.47 seconds. The pumpkin was required to have a complete face, including eyes, nose, mouth, and ears.
  • The most popular costumes among children are superheroes and princesses., The most popular costume for a dog in 2018 was a pumpkin, and he most popular adult costume is a witch.
  • The word “witch” comes from the Old English wicce, meaning “wise woman.”

My History with Halloween

As a kid, Halloween was one of my favorite holidays. Each year, I made it a goal to stock up on as much candy as I possibly could and then hoard all of it before any of my brothers could steal it. I couldn’t wait to dress up as my favorite scary movie character and go trick-or-treating so I could get my pillowcase full of candy. Haunted houses, scary movies, you name it, if it was scary, I was all about it. These days, I don’t get to celebrate like I used to, but it’s still one of my favorites. I still love all the decorations, atmosphere, and the spirit of the holiday.

Colman St in Clinton Township, MI

Why Do We Love Scary Stuff So Much?

One of my favorite aspects of Halloween is watching scary movies. I grew up adoring horror movies and it was by far my favorite genre. I literally rented every single scary movie my local video store carried. I even started a “40-year old virgin”-style horror figure collection that I still have today.

I’m not as much of a movie buff these days, but still love the horror genre, which is funny because my wife is the total opposite. She does not like horror movies and doesn’t watch them, and can’t understand why anyone would want to put such scary or evil things in their eyes. I’ve tried to explain it to her, but it’s difficult to put into words, which got me thinking, why do we love horror movies so much? It’s a great question, so I did some searching and found this answer in an article from ScienceNordic.com:

“When we watch a horror film, we respond to the dangerous and horrifying situations that are being depicted. We identify with the fictional characters who confront terrifying threats. We feel revulsion and terror. We go through a range of emotions as we’re watching, and through that experience we learn something about our own responses. Horror provides us with insights into ourselves and into the dark corners of the world, and it lets us develop and refine coping skills that may be critical later in life.”

I think that does a good job of describing it. In a way, horror is almost a survival mechanism. By paying close attention to tragedy, we help maximize our own chance for survival. It’s the same reason we can’t help but stare when we see a car wreck on the side of the road. We’re nosy and want to know what happened. We sympathize with the victims but at the same time feel thankful we’re not in their place. But the difference with horror movies is, no one actually has to get hurt.

Colman St in Clinton Township, MI

At the end of the day, humans are curious, nosy, and we want to be entertained. We want to feel something, an emotion, whether it’s happiness, fear, or sympathy, because it energizes us. We laugh at inappropriate jokes, we cheer for our hero, and we demand justice for the villain. We find pleasure in experiencing a variety of emotions in a safe atmosphere. In that aspect, horror is just another way to experience a thrill and have a good time, but it can also train us handle negative emotions more effectively. Horror movies challenge our psychology, question our own behaviors, and allow us to feel fear and pain without actually being threatened.

The moral of the story is, scary movies just make us better people. If you want to know some of my all-time favorites, check out my Top 25 horror movies list.

Top Ranked Halloween Candies

As much as I love Halloween, one thing I can guarantee you that I will NOT be eating this Halloween is any candy. Those days are long behind me. I don’t even see that stuff as food anymore. When I want to treat myself, I stick to real food. If I want something chocolatey, I’ll turn to a Fully Charged Chocolate Smoothie. If I’m craving something sweet, I’ll have some Greek Yogurt Madness or some frozen fruit. As much as I used to love candy, today it’s not even an option in my mind. There’s so many other alternatives that are delicious AND healthy.

Now, that doesn’t mean that I’m a total snob. I still appreciate great candy, I just don’t eat it. And just for fun, here are America’s Top 10 Halloween Candies according to CandyStore.com:

  1. Skittles
  2. Reese’s Cups
  3. M&M’s
  4. Snickers
  5. Starburst
  6. Candy Corn
  7. Hot Tamales
  8. Tootsie Pops
  9. Sour Patch Kids
  10. Hershey’s

I think Twix and Kit Kat are obvious snubs from this list, but maybe they’re considered more of a cookie than a Halloween candy? I don’t know, but those were my favorites. And here’s a bonus fun fact: The average bag of candy that one child will collect on Halloween contains about 11,000 calories.

For more Halloween fun, check out Episode 15 of the Wise Eats podcast, where there’s plenty more thrills and CHILLS to feast your eyes on. Thanks for reading, FRIENDS AND FIENDS, and until next time, MAKE TERRIFYING CHOICES, MWAAAHAHAHAHA.

My Top 25 Scary/Horror Movies

Episode 15 of the Wise Eats Podcast was a Halloween Spooktacular! Check out the full episode at Wise-Eats.com/Episode15.

My History with Halloween

As a kid, Halloween was easily my second favorite holiday next to Christmas. Each year, I made it a goal to stock up on as much candy as I possibly could and then hoard all of it before any of my brothers could steal it. I couldn’t wait to dress up as my favorite scary movie character and go trick-or-treating so I could get my pillowcase full of candy. Haunted houses, scary movies, you name it, if it was scary, I was all about it. These days, I don’t get to celebrate like I used to, but it’s still one of my favorites. I still love all the decorations, atmosphere, and the spirit of the holiday.

Why Do We Love Scary Stuff So Much?

One of my favorite aspects of Halloween is watching scary movies. I grew up adoring horror movies and it was by far my favorite genre. I literally rented every single scary movie my local video store carried. I even started a “40-year old virgin”-style horror figure collection that I still have today.

I’m not as much of a movie buff these days, but still love the horror genre, which is funny because my wife is the total opposite. She does not like horror movies and doesn’t watch them, and can’t understand why anyone would want to put such scary or evil things in their eyes. I’ve tried to explain it to her, but it’s difficult to put into words, which got me thinking, why do we love horror movies so much? It’s a great question, so I did some searching and found this answer in an article from ScienceNordic.com:

“When we watch a horror film, we respond to the dangerous and horrifying situations that are being depicted. We identify with the fictional characters who confront terrifying threats. We feel revulsion and terror. We go through a range of emotions as we’re watching, and through that experience we learn something about our own responses. Horror provides us with insights into ourselves and into the dark corners of the world, and it lets us develop and refine coping skills that may be critical later in life.”

I think that does a good job of describing it. In a way, horror is almost a survival mechanism. By paying close attention to tragedy, we help maximize our own chance for survival. It’s the same reason we can’t help but stare when we see a car wreck on the side of the road. We’re nosy and want to know what happened. We sympathize with the victims but at the same time feel thankful we’re not in their place. But the difference with horror movies is, no one actually has to get hurt.

At the end of the day, humans are curious, nosy, and we want to be entertained. We want to feel something, an emotion, whether it’s happiness, fear, or sympathy, because it energizes us. We laugh at inappropriate jokes, we cheer for our hero, and we demand justice for the villain. We find pleasure in experiencing a variety of emotions in a safe atmosphere. In that aspect, horror is just another way to experience a thrill and have a good time, but it can also train us handle negative emotions more effectively.Horror movies challenge our psychology, question our own behaviors, and allow us to feel fear and pain without actually being threatened.

The moral of the story is, scary movies just make us better people, and with that said, I’m gonna run down my Top 10 all-time horror movies:

Wise Eats Top 10 Favorite Horror Movies

These are sort of in order, but not really, I actually love them all:

  1. Halloween 4 (1988) – Any Halloween movie could be my #1 on this list, but Halloween 4 is my overall favorite in the franchise.
    1. By the way, fun fact…it took just 21 days to film the original Halloween movie.
    1. Also, the original Michael Myers mask was selected from a Hollywood Blvd magic shop.
    1. Production designers were deciding between a clown mask and William Shatner Captain Kirk mask, and obviously ended up choosing the Shatner mask.
    1. They spray painted it white, cut the eye holes bigger, and the rest is history.
  2. Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) – Movie literally terrified me as a child and was the subject of many nightmares in my life.
  3. Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987) – Love this whole series but this particular film had the biggest impact on me.
  4. Return of the Living Dead (1985) – Must’ve watched this 100 times with my cousins…BRAINS
  5. Evil Dead (2013) – Saw this one in the theaters and man was it disturbing! Loved it.
  6. Friday the 13th VI: Jason Lives (1986) – Can’t have a Top 10 horror without Jason Voorhees. This has always been my favorite in the series.
  7. Lost Boys (1987) – Never really scared me much, just a super cool vampire movie with an amazing soundtrack.
  8. Creepshow 2 (1987) – I’m a sucker for short, scary stories. The Creepshows were always a favorite.
  9. Bodybags (1993) – Another short story horror film from master of horror John Carpenter
  10. Scream (1996) – Brought the horror genre back to life in 1996.
  11. Demons (1985) – Not sure if it holds up today but it scared the crap out of me when I was a kid
  12. Dead Alive (1992) – Cheesy/gory underrated zombie-type horror movie.
  13. Drag Me to Hell (2009) – Another over-the-top, wild, gory, scarefest that I just loved.
  14. Silver Bullet (1985) – Favorite werewolf movie from childhood
  15. Cabin in the Woods (2011) – Thought this one was really original and just a really fun time!
  16. Christine (1983) – Amazing book and movie from mastermind Stephen King
  17. The Conjuring (2013) – Just when you thought you’d seen enough exorcism-type movies, they come along with this little gem
  18. High Tension (2003) – Oddly reminiscent of one of my favorite Dean Koontz books. Very intense!
  19. Jeepers Creepers (2001) – One of the more innovative slasher icons of the 2000’s!
  20. Tales from the Darkside: The Movie (1990) – Another short story horror film that I adored growing up
  21. The Ring (2002) – One of the more genuinely terrifying films of the 21st century!
  22. Army of Darkness (1992) – One of the more iconic horror movies of all time!
  23. Witchboard (1986) – Never looked at Ouija boards the same after this!
  24. Poltergeist (1982) – Super creepy ghost/haunted house movie.
  25. Jaws : The Revenge (1987) – Probably doesn’t belong on any horror list but I loved this one growing up also.

Are there any obvious snubs? I think a couple might be the Dawn of the Dead and Night of the Living Dead remakes, but I haven’t seen those enough to rank them on the list. Maybe next Halloween! But let me know your thoughts! wiseeatspodcast@gmail.com

My Injured Squirrel Story

As discussed in Episode 14 of the Wise Eats Podcast:

My Squirrel Story: Finding an Injured Squirrel in My Back Yard

Who says Wise Eats has to be about health and fitness all the time??

The night of recording Episode 14 I ran into a crazy situation that I decided to talk about on the show. I discovered an injured squirrel in my backyard. It appeared to have been hurt from falling out of a tree or something. Initially, he appeared to be seriously hurt and very scared. I waited for quite a while to see if he would move, but he didn’t, and when I walked up on him I noticed that he was frantically trying to drag himself across the grass with one arm. It looked to me like maybe one of his limbs was broken.

Instantly, my heart sank because I’m an unconditional animal lover and now had to deal with an injured squirrel in my backyard! I also had added pressure because his buddies and family were clearly concerned/observing the situation. By the way, we live in the metro Detroit area so this is a small yard right in the heart of downtown Mount Clemens, a suburb of Detroit.

After calling my Boston Terrier and Golden Retriever away from the scene, I asked my neighbor, who is fond of squirrels and feeds them often, if she had any advice. Her solution was to call the police. I called the police who informed me that they didn’t do house calls for wildlife and that I basically had 3 options:

  1. Put the squirrel out of its misery
  2. Find a shelter to take it to
  3. Let nature “run its course”

After several calls, I located a shelter about 30 minutess from my house that would accept the squirrel for free, which was a relief. After some serious contemplation, I decided to leave the squirrel alone for a short time while I visited my Dad and explained the situation to him. With a heavy heart, I returned home, prepared to take the squirrel into the shelter. Oddly enough, when I got to my backyard, the squirrel was gone.

At the end of the day, nature had taken its course, one way or the other. While I was relieved that I wouldn’t have to deal with the situation any further, I wondered what actually happened to the squirrel. Was he just stunned and finally came to his senses? Did he muster the strength to power his way out of the yard despite his injury? Was he scared to move and waited until after I had left? Did his family and friends come and help him get out of there? Or did some other animal (stray cat, bird) get a nice dinner that night? I’m going to live with the idea that the squirrel lived happily ever after and that he’s out there making wise choices right now!

Submit questions, comments, feedback to WiseEatsPodcast@gmail.com. Thanks for watching, listening, reviewing, liking, subscribing, and sharing. Be good to yourself, be good to others, and make wise choices!

How Backyard Wrestling Inspired the Creation of Wise Eats

As discussed in Episode 1 of the Wise Eats Podcast

Throughout high school and into my mid-twenties, I didn’t play sports. The most athletic thing I did was compete in a backyard wrestling organization known as the Back Yard Brawl. I know, it sounds crazy, but I grew up a huge pro wrestling fan. As a kid, I was a Hulkamaniac through and through. I wanted to train, say my prayers, take my vitamins, and have 24-inch pythons just like my hero. I would imitate my favorite superstars constantly and have fantasy wrestling matches with my brothers, my friends, even by myself. At one point, I published my own wrestling newsletter with over 6,000 subscribers, which is pretty impressive for a 13-year old I think. So, when a good friend of mine, Jose Rodriguez, started the Back Yard Brawl in 1999, of course, I was hooked immediately. And for a bunch of high schoolers, it was actually a pretty legitimate organization. This was not the janky backyard bbq wrestling you may have been exposed to in the past. Jose built a homemade wrestling ring in his parents’ backyard, recruited talent, choreographed matches, and promoted events. He would put on live wrestling shows equipped with DJ’s, live music, foamy keg beer, pyro, and entrances. At first, I was just a fan, then a referee, and in 2006, made my debut as a wrestler. I never truly thought I would ever be a pro wrestler, but the idea of performing in front of a live crowd was a huge boyhood dream, and an opportunity I couldn’t pass up. From 2006-2016, I wrestled in six of these annual events under the name “Wes Daddy”. I can’t say I love that nickname, but it evolved naturally from my friends and over the years I got stuck with it. So, in some of my YouTube videos, you’ll hear me refer to myself as Wes Daddy. It’s just my backyard wrestling persona. I don’t actually think I’m anyone’s daddy. Maybe one day when I actually have kids, but for now, Daddy’s just a nickname.

Backyard wrestling was super fun and a major adrenaline rush. Aside from one freak accident resulting in a broken leg, no one was ever seriously injured. The parties were always a blast, and the Back Yard Brawl became infamous in Mount Clemens, MI. Wrestling in front of a crowd also inspired me to get in better shape. I remember looking back at the video from my debut in 2006 and hating the way my body looked. This motivated me to lose weight for the 2007 show and shape up even more for future shows. You can see my physical transformation through wrestling along with a complete archive of BYB matches, highlights, and videos over at Wise-Eats.com/BYB. In August 2016, BYB put on its final show, where I wrestled my last match. And where BYB ended is where Wise Eats begins.

At the end of the last BYB event, two of the wrestlers, Lord Deezus and Justin Charge, launched a YouTube show called The Following Announcement. It’s the story of a bunch of retired backyard wrestlers who are now trying to make it in the real world. If I had to compare it to something from TV, I’d call it pro wrestling mixed with a live-action Beavis and Butthead cartoon. I admit the show is not for everyone. It’s controversial and may be inappropriate for some viewers. Even I watch sometimes and think to myself man these guys need to Wise Up! But, other times it’s also very clever, funny, well-produced, and entertaining. One day, we’ll take a deeper dive into the show and get some behind the scenes info. What’s important now is the producer of the show, Lord Deezus, wanted me to have a segment on his show. We decided to do a healthy cooking show called Wise Eats since fitness and healthy eating were already a major part of my life. Through the Following Announcement show, we created comedic, wrestling-inspired cooking segments and skits featuring some of my favorite healthy recipes. This provided me with an outlet to share my passion for food, fitness, and desire to help others. All of the Wise Eats videos are available at Wise-Eats.com/Recipes. There you can also find links to the Following Announcement show and its complete episode guide. If you enjoy watching, please don’t forget to click thumbs up on the videos and subscribe.

My cooking segment on The Following Announcement is a fun piece of entertainment that we do for the show, but the recipes are real, the philosophy is real, the results are real. I’m sharing real recipes, viewpoints, and techniques that I use every single day to stay in excellent physical and mental shape. After two seasons of filming Wise Eats for TFA, I decided it was time to take the show to the next level. I realized this wasn’t just a spin-off cooking show, that it could be its own brand. I knew I had a real story to tell, and Wise Eats was how I was going to do it. That’s when I decided to start up a website, YouTube channel, and podcast.

Wise Eats is more than food; it’s food for thought. It’s a mindset: It’s about making healthy choices, developing positive habits, living an optimized lifestyle, and setting an example for your peers. It’s a mentality. It’s about strengthening your body and mind. It’s about eating smart but also making Wise choices in all aspects of life.

Why I Started Wise Eats and What the Podcast is All About

As discussed in Episode 1 of the Wise Eats Podcast:

I must give a disclaimer.

I’m not a licensed personal trainer or nutritionist, yet. I’m a normal guy who lost 90lbs, got in great shape, and learned a ton along the way. Every day, I’m educating myself with some sort of fitness related material, whether it’s reading, a podcast, watching videos, coaching others, or experimenting on my own body. I’m extremely passionate about the role that health and fitness play in achieving success, and want to provide inspiration for you to develop a similar attitude. The primary goal of Wise Eats is to help people improve their well-being so they can pursue their ultimate mission in life. I want to motivate you to ask yourself, “Is This a Wise Choice?” Is this choice going to make me better? Is what I’m doing going to help my body, my mind, my family, my passion? Is it going to elevate and bring me toward something greater or is it going to drag me down? Whether it’s diet, exercise, performing on the job, hanging with family, pursuing a passion project, or whatever else, I want you to be at your best. That’s what this show is all about.

I want you to live the life you were meant to live by empowering you to improve your performance, well-being, and fitness. Your health is your greatest asset, and without it, you are nothing. I used to be 90lbs overweight, eating the worst foods imaginable on a daily basis, abusing alcohol, smoking cigarettes, and being content with a shortened lifespan. I used to actually tell people I didn’t plan to live past 40 with all the lifestyle-related choices I was making, and it was a reality I was entirely content with at the time. I was lazy, sick, unproductive, unmotivated, and not pursuing any passions in my life. But, I turned it all around by deciding to focus on my health. I wouldn’t be the man I am today if I hadn’t realized I was on a one-way path to nowhere, gotten serious about my health, and decided to make a change before it was too late. Don’t wait until it’s too late to get serious about your lifestyle habits. Don’t wait until you’re fighting sickness, relying on medication, battling a disease, or laid up in a hospital bed before you decide to make a change to better your health. Make a commitment to improve your lifestyle habits, and don’t let anyone or anything stand in your way, because no one else can do it for you. It’s entirely up to you. Hopefully, Wise Eats can help you along the way.

After every episode, I want you to come away with something useful to maximize your potential. My promise is to deliver quality information that is authentic, entertaining, and positive. You’ll never hear me talk about something on the show that I’m not implementing in my own life. Just good tips you can apply to your own life immediately.

Now, for some details on the structure of the show. In the beginning, I’ll be sharing my personal journey of fat loss and physical fitness. Each episode will have a specific message on something that made a major change in my life that I believe can impact your life, as well. Once I’ve delivered the most relevant aspects of my journey, I will turn the focus of the show onto others who can share inspiring stories of success and failure in the areas of health, fitness, and personal growth.

In addition to motivating you, I see this as a journey of development for myself. Of course, I want to help you, but at the same time want to become wiser, more experienced, more of an example for my peers, and more able to help others. I will interview experts on the podcast to share their journeys and tips for making Wise choices. We will examine things that make them successful both in and out of the gym, their personal habits, favorite recipes, workout regimens, and much more!

One unique segment I will also include on the show is a moment I like to call “This day in diet history.” As you’ll learn in episode two, I’m a big fan of journaling and have been doing so since my fitness journey began in 2009. I have recorded every meal, every day, for the last 9 years. During this segment, I will share my diet for that particular day a decade ago and compare with today’s regimen. This will give a glimpse into my personal life, illuminate the transformation I’ve undergone, and offer some nutrition tips in the process. I hope this peek into my history will give a humbling glimpse of my former self as well as inspiration for you to start positive habits in your own life.

My initial plan is to release 2-3 episodes per month, but the goal is quality over quantity. Every solo episode will be thoughtfully prepared to provide the listener or viewer with as much value as possible. A YouTube video will be released with each episode that allows you to see me recording the show in person and providing a little entertainment in the process. The newsletter, Wise Choice Nation, provides further details, additional content, Q&A, and more. Wise-Eats.com will be the home base for everything.

So, that’s what Wise Eats is all about, and what you can expect from the show going forward. I want you to take control of your health, because once you have control of that, you control every aspect of your life. When you give your body and mind the raw materials it needs to perform at its best, you are capable of accomplishing anything. No matter what your goal is, Wise Eats will be providing useful tips that can advance you to the next phase of your journey. If weight loss is your goal and you’re not sure where to start, I encourage you to learn from my fat loss experience in episode 2, or by going to Wise-Eats.com/MyStory. If you’re already a fitness fanatic, we’ll be dishing out plenty of articles, recipes, tips, and interviews to help take your game to the next level.

This is a fitness and nutrition show, but it doesn’t end there. It’s a show about success, business, love, achieving goals, finding your passion, realizing your potential, and improving your life! My physical transformation provided me with the willpower, energy, and focus to improve every aspect of my life. I became way more productive, finally graduated college, got married, and found a job that I loved, all while getting into the best shape I’d ever been in. Getting fit improved my way of thinking, sparked my creativity, and allowed me to undergo a complete mental transformation, as well. I was able to overcome addiction, anxiety, and depression through healthy lifestyle.

I spent the first 26 years of my life burying myself in a deep hole with alcohol and junk food, but have finally escaped that pit of despair, and am ready to inspire the world with Wise Eats. Back in the day, I would’ve been too lazy to even listen to a podcast, let alone produce one. Now, I truly believe I’m on a journey towards helping others Wise Up like I did, and if this show helps you improve your life even 1% then it will be well worth the effort.

Questions? E-Mail WiseEatsPodcast@Gmail.com. Also, be sure to join our free mailing list. I look forward to hearing from you. Thanks for reading and, until next time, make Wise choices!