Product Review: Blue Apron Meal Delivery Service

Members of the Jerd-Herd should already know that I believe diet is 80% of the fitness battle.

Not only does eating a clean and healthy diet help keep the pounds off, it helps you feel great and gives you the energy you need to smash super-heroic workouts on a regular basis.

But sometimes finding the time to cook a good meal is hard!

Even when you know it is the “right” thing to do…

This is where meal planning and delivery services come in! I have already championed the eMeals planning service, which sends you weekly shopping lists and recipes based on your dietary requirements, but Blue Apron takes things a step farther!

So how does this service work? Glad you asked!

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The Jerd Library: 10 Books to Educate, Inspire and Entertain

Books to Educate Inspire and Entertain - The Jerd

I love to read.  

For as long as I can remember, I’ve devoured written words like they were the nectar of the Gods.

As a little Jerdling I always leaned much further toward arts and literature than math and science (a trend that has definitely continued on into adulthood). I still avoid math like the plague; but I read as much, and as often, as I can!

And while my bookshelves are all overflowing, believe it or no, I have found most of my reading occurs on an e-reader these days. At first I resisted, but the level of convenience having a huge library at your fingertips at all times just cannot be beat.

So thank you, Kindle!

I’m going to go out on a limb and make the assumption that many of you out there love reading as much as I do…

And since we spend so much time focused on the physical, I thought it would be nice to flip the Jerd coin and look at the other side for a bit.

So here are some fitness, business and motivational books that have had a huge impact on me!

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Product Review: Nike+ Sportwatch GPS

Nike Sportwatch Review 1

I’ve been running with the Nike+ SportWatch GPS for the past six months, using it regularly during my runs.

While this product review is about the Nike+ SportWatch, there are takeaways to be had for any Jerd reader interested in GPS-enabled running watches.

So What Is It?

The SportWatch is a GPS-enabled device that tracks your distance and speed as you run!

It collects, and stores data, about your workout that you can later upload to the Nike+ website, where you can see the route you ran on a map, your pace, as well as elevation and calories burned.

We all know how much we geeks love data!

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Product Review: Dipgrips (Do Dips at Home!)

Dipgrips Review - Do Dips at Home

Loyal members of the Jerd-Herd already know that I am a firm believer in the fact that you can accomplish super-heroic workouts in the comfort of your home, without having to spend a ton of cash.

And this product just cements that belief!

Dipgrips by Enigma Edge Designs

If you would have asked me last week what was the one exercise I wish I could do at home, but couldn’t, I would have said “dips” without a moments hesitation.

But no more!

Finally there is a simple, and space-conscious, solution that let’s me do my favorite upper body exercise in the privacy of my own home.

Yes, chair dips are always an option (in fact, they are a key exercise in the Nerd-Core Fitness 102 program) but they only target your tricep muscles.  Utilizing proper form and dip bars though, you can turn this into a compound exercise and target not only your arms (triceps brachii), but also your chest (pectoralis major & minor) and shoulders (anterior deltoids)!

I have always lamented the fact that in order to bang out a few sets of dips I would either need to go to the gym or purchase a bulky, and expensive, dip station. But now I can do dips at home whenever I want.

It’s only been a week, but I already can’t imagine my home workouts without my Dipgrips!

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International TableTop Day 2014

Internationa TableTop Day Logo

Another year, another International TableTop Day gone by.

And because it can’t all be fitness, I wanted to take today to put the “erd” back in the Jerd with a bit of a recap.

Saturday, April 5th marked the 2nd annual TableTop Day; to celebrate I took a road-trip up to Toronto, Canada to meet some Internet friends and play a bunch of games!

TableTop Day

Video games are awesome.

Anyone who tries to tell you differently should not be trusted (#JerdProTip)! But that doesn’t mean I don’t also have an immense love of rolling dice, slinging cards and crushing my enemies having fun with friends!

This Internet-based holiday was the perfect chance to step away from the keyboard and controllers and to remind myself of just that.

The brain child of Wil Wheaton and the fine folks over at Geek & Sundry, TableTop Day is a celebration for all the fans of tabletop gaming, young or old. In their own words it is “a single day where the whole world is brought together in a common purpose of spending time together and having fun.”

Last year there were over 3,100 official TableTop Day gaming events in 64 countries worldwide!

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Review: Of Dice and Men

…The Story of Dungeons & Dragons and the People Who Play It

Of Dice and MenAnd now for something completely different.

I started (and finished) David M. Ewalt’s “Of Dice and Men” last night not knowing exactly what I was going to be reading. Okay; I knew it was going to be related to Dungeons & Dragons (a game I played extensively as a child – see The Mighty Jerd 101) but other than that I was going in blind.

What I got was a charming tome that is equal parts self-discovery, examination of the sociology of gamer culture, explanation of the game itself, business study and nostalgia piece aimed at anyone who has ever cracked open a game made or been inspired by the works of Gary Gygax (he’s one of the founders of this revolutionary game #DnDprotip).

The book is not a definitive history of D&D sporting loads of “never before heard” insider information nor does it contain an in-depth examination of the game itself. It straddles the middle ground rather adeptly though, and provides anyone who has ever thought “What is Dungeons & Dragons?” or “Why is Dungeons & Dragons so popular?” a clear, positive and easy to follow picture of the game (and culture) so many people love so very much.

D&D means different things to different people: Some folks want action, others want drama.” – David Ewalt

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The Keys to Running: Running Accessories

“Where does he get those wonderful toys?”

Let’s face it… geeks like love toys! From gadgets to video games, when a geek immerses himself in a hobby it is usually accompanied by a plethora of cool and cutting edge accessories. So here are all the running accessories I use when running. It might seem like a lot for someone who advocates “just get out and run!!!” but the setup is trivial, and nothing here is intrusive or distracting from the joy of putting feet to pavement.

Toys for Tracking Workouts

Running Accessories - Nike+ SportbandNike+ Sportband – The Nike+ Sportband is a very functional, lightweight wristband/watch that communicates with the Nike+ sensor, and tracks distance, calories, and pace, and you can save that data to the Nike+ web site, which will track each and every workout. I love this thing because it has everything I need without getting in the way. It’s a nice first step into the world of running technology as its functions are simple, and starting and stopping are as easy as holding the button down!

The obvious omission from something like this is the lack of GPS functionality. As I have relatively few routes that I know well, the added benefits of GPS don’t help a whole lot for me. I generally don’t map my runs, and the few that I do have interest in I can create manually. It would be a great nice-to-have feature, but not something I need at the moment.

(Check them out here on

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Product Review: Pro-Grade Chin-up Bar by Beachbody

I was unsure if I wanted to endorse any products here at the Jerd at first; after thinking about it though, this entire endeavor is a response to questions I constantly get asked by people – “How do I lose weight?“, “What should I eat?“, “Why are you so awesome?” One of the other questions I get asked a lot is “What equipment should I buy?” so while this will be a rarity, I felt it was time to highlight one of my most used pieces of home fitness equipment.

eview - Grade Chin-up Bar by BeachbodyPro-Grade Chin-up Bar by Beachbody

This is a high quality pull-up/chin-up bar by the company that markets the P90x workout system. It provides multiple grip positions for varied workouts and fits easily in standard door frames (unlike many home chin-up bars, this does not require bolting anything into the frame itself. It locks into place in seconds… Score!)

While there are a lot of potential options for an in-home gym, I can’t imagine giving up my Pro-Grade Chin-Up Bar for another brand.

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