Don’t Feed the Blogger

…Feed the Blog!

SEE is powered by an independent minded community and as an indie blog, Stretch Exercise Eat doesn’t rely on corporate advertising or sponsorship. Rather, a passion for personal growth and physical training fuels this project and helps readers create and realize improvements in their inner and outer selves.  As a cooperative venture to help grow this project, the links below are affiliated with SEE.  If you purchase a t-shirt, tool, or book from this list, you will be supporting the growth of SEE, as all proceeds will be recycled into creative improvements for the blog and for periodic giveaways within the SEE community.

T-SHIRTS: Wear the SEE Experience!

These t-shirts let you stretch, exercise, eat, rest, and grow in style.  They are 100% cotton American Apparel goodness, and available in cuts to suit men and women. They’re sweatshop free and extraordinarily soft. Wash them cold and hang them up to dry, it’ll keep them looking great, and is quite good for the environment too. Win win.  Click on Jonathan or Theo to order yours from our RedBubble shop.

Tools: You need a titanium spork!

Snow Peak Titanium SporkCamping Flatware)

There is no better eating utensil in the known universe.  Utensil of the Gods some say.  I value mine so highly, that I crafted a custom paracord lanyard for it.  This way, I can cinch the paracord loop around my wrist and the spork is safe and secure, even if I let go.  I’ll give you my spork, when you take it from my cold dead hand.

Victorinox 47520 Fibrox 8-Inch Chef’s Knife

I have been using this knife for over a year now.  It holds its edge and fits my hand well.  I like this knife well enough that I have given it as a gift to people that I know enjoy cooking.  They have reported that the knife holds up very well under daily use.  I agree, this knife is a workhorse.  Considering that a high-grade chef knife can cost between $100-$200, at +/- $30 this knife is a bargain.

Furi FUR626 Ozitech Diamond Fingers Pro Knife Sharpener

This is what I use to keep my knives sharp.  Sharpening a knife with a whetstone is a manly skill that I have not acquired.  Not for lack of trying, but after dulling up enough good knives, alternatives start to look appealing.  This is the best option that I have come across for quick and efficient sharpening of knives and scissors.  The set up is a little unusual, because the whole thing is designed to fold up and pack away for easy storage.  Take your time setting the sharpener up the first few times.  Once it’s set up, sharpening is easy, as you just draw the blade through the V formed by the fingers.  Not as fine as what my uncle gets with his whetstone, but easy enough to make sure that I’m keeping an edge on my blades.

Books: Get smart and share the love.

The Way of Aikido: Life Lessons from an American Sensei – by George Leonard

George Leonard’s Mastery is one of my favorite books. The Way of Aikido is an overview of Leonard’s introduction to his art, his work to master it, and what he learned along the way. We all encounter conflict. Maintaining focus, seeing things from different angles, and blending with an opponent let you see options, where others see none. Actively practice seeing your options and choosing from them.  As you improve, you will appear to be super-human…a master. This book will resonate with those that practice martial arts and those that don’t.


(1) Practice for the sheer beauty of it.

(2) When confronted by an attack or a problem (incoming energy) do not strike, push back, pull, or dodge.  Rather, enter and blend.  Move toward the incoming energy, then, at the last instant, slightly off the line of attack, turn so as to look from the attacker’s viewpoint.  From this position, many possibilities exist – including reconciliation.

(3) Our upbringing teaches us that if we don’t win (verbal encounters), we lose.  Losing threatens our ideas, our authority, our very being.  But, winning by humiliating, shaming, destroying is losing.

(4) The ultimate purpose of every responsible martial art is to reduce violence, to make fighting unnecessary.

(5) Explosions, chemical or human, produce nothing so much as a demand for bigger and more spectacular explosions; an escalation that eventually numbs the senses and leads to despair.  This is not a way to greater harmony.

(6) Body and mind reflect and influence each other.

(7) Without failure or even tragedy neither the art nor the world would be so rich, so poignant.

(8) A rite of passage is the chance to confront difficulties and dangers within an ordered setting.

(9) Take responsibility for the mat.  Own it.  It’s still everybody else’s mat too.  If you are big enough to own the mat as yours, you are big enough to let it be theirs too.

(10) Own your world – Take sincere and positive responsibility for your relationships, your financial situation, your health, and your spiritual life.

The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right – By Atul Gawande

This was the most important non-fiction book that I read in 2010.  Essential for all those managing complex problems (problems with variable factors that are different every time and for each client).  This book had a profound impact on my thinking about achieving performance improvements at work and in the gym.  After experiencing the effectiveness of the checklist approach, I wrote two essays: (1) Checklists: A Strategy for Managing the Complex Problem of Improving Physical Performance for Scott Bird’s Straight to the Bar web site and (2) Checklist Manifesto for Regulatory Issues: How to Manage Legal Complexity Effectively for Brent Pottenger’s Healthcare Epistemocrat blog. This book offers an inspiring and effective approach for achieving acceptable outcomes, when facing complex problems.