Father’s Day Gift Ideas

10 days left until Father’s Day! Every year, I get asked for gift ideas. While I’m always happy with just a card, sometimes it’s fun to get that special person a thoughtful gift. Here’s a couple ideas.

What Dad wouldn’t love a personalized potato?  You can get them here: Personalized Potatoes.


But if this seems a bit too corny, here are a couple other gift recommendations for you:


Bob’s Red Mill Protein and Fiber

If dear old Dad is into healthy foods, get him one of Bob’s Red Mill’s new protein mixes. I’ve been adding a scoop of this one to my post-workout smoothies. The ingredient list is awesome:


If smoothie’s aren’t his thing, you can appeal to his sweet tooth with some Pure Alaskan Birch Syrup. This wonderful stuff is made not far from where I live. I even make my own birch syrup from the trees around my house. It takes 100-200 gallons of birch sap to make 1 gallon of syrup, it’s a very labor-intensive process.



Do people get shoes for Father’s Day?  Hmmm. Well, if the man in your life is a runner, I highly recommend these. Skechers Performance Men’s Go Run Vortex Running Shoe.  I run 2-3 miles a couple nights a week, the roads in my neighborhood are a mix of dirt, gravel, and asphalt. This is the first pair of running shoes I’ve used that do well on all of the surfaces. Plus, they are so comfortable I wear them all day at work where I often walk 5 miles or more around the hospital.  At $70, these are a very good value for good running shoes.



Here’s a cool gadget that any Dad would love. It’s a battery-powered power washer. Most power washers are big, bulky things that end up sitting in the garage because they are such a pain to drag out, but this one is small and works extremely well for smaller jobs like cleaning windows or cars.

WORX Cordless Hydroshot Portable Power Cleaner.



Yeah, well…the Potato Hack is my #1 recommendation, but I’m sure everyone’s Dad already has a copy, lol. So my #2 recommendation for the serious reader in your family has to be The Salt Fix: Why the Experts Got It All Wrong–and How Eating More Might Save Your Life. Written by a colleague of mine, Dr. James DiNicolantonio, a guy who has written hundreds of journal articles on various health issues. James went into a rabbit hole that turned out to be a salt mine, and ended up writing a whole book on the subject. Fascinating topic!  I’ll be writing a full review soon.


Need More Ideas?

Check out my Amazon store section for lots of cooking gadgets and supplements. But seriously, a card works just as well. And if you forget, a phone call or an invitation to dinner. Dad’s aren’t picky…trust me!


To all the Dad’s out there:  Happy Father’s Day!



36 Comments on “Father’s Day Gift Ideas”

  1. gabriella June 8, 2017 at 9:27 am #

    Since I was both the mother and the father, I want a cordless drill. I didn’t get one for mother’s day so maybe I’ll leave some hints. I already have a corded one. Just in case peeps think I have no tools. I need a cordless for garden construction projects.

    And I’m really looking forward to your review of James’ book. Being a pro-salt person and how there’s so many people out there who have gone full out no salt, I’m interested in what he has to say. (say? what he’s written…)


    • Tim Steele June 8, 2017 at 10:16 am #

      I love my cordless tools. I ended up with like 3 different brands, though, so now have 3 different battery types and chargers, grrrr. But, the batteries keep getting smaller and last longer, so I don’t get too worried about it.


      • gabriella June 15, 2017 at 6:24 am #

        Had to go to Home Desperate today because the tractor mowing city employee idiots at the allotments ran into my gate post and managed to turn it so the padlock etc. thing is off kilter. I managed to open the gate this morning but couldn’t lock it. Dewalt. Fancy shmancy things: one is the drill, the other is the driver. I’m going to have to go back out today to re-align the whatsits for the padlock. grrrrrr. I had to get a cordless anyway just was procrastinating. I have enough bits and bobs to build a house now.


  2. Robert June 8, 2017 at 9:34 am #

    Tim, what’s your take on a good post workout smoothie? And have you seen Karl Seddon’s concerns about protein shakes being bad for the gut? I just started Elixa, and found those concerns on their website. Apparently, drinking protein is not the natural way, and too much would make it to the large intestine, where proteins ​shouldn’t be.

    I really enjoyed my smoothies (source of protein was high protein skyr yoghurt, or milk curds), and I always had green bananas, flax seeds, sometimes oat brans etc.


    • Tim Steele June 8, 2017 at 10:26 am #

      I think that added protein can be overdone, for sure. Especially the way bodybuilders do it, 60g of isolated protein in one drink is not good. I was reading about pea protein being better, more “available” than whey protein, so I started looking and found that Anthony’s sells a good pea protein (http://amzn.to/2rQPoXF) and then stumbled across the Bob’s Red Mill blend. It’s a bit pricey, but I think it has a good mix of value-added stuff (fiber and probiotics). Since I do smoothies pretty regular, I think it’s a good deal. I probably tend to eat less protein than I should. I usually get 50-75g/day from meat. An extra 10-15g from pea protein in a mix of fibers seems ideal. Guzzling isolated whey protein never made much sense to me.

      Things does bring up an interesting topic, though. I keep reading that athletes have different gut microbes than others (ie. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2095254616300163). Possibly it’s because they eat way more protein than most. And maybe their gut flora is not ideal. Being a hard core athlete is stressful, so I do not think it’s wise to emulate everything they do.


      • Robert June 9, 2017 at 1:49 am #

        Yes, the whey protein thing was always unnatural. But do you think too much whole food protein is also bad? I’m following Richard’s high protein experiment at FTA with great interest. All the science clearly shows the benefits in body re-composition. But I’m not willing to wreck the gut just to look a little better…

        Very interesting article you linked to. I’m not so sure the protein is to blame for the bad microbiome though, you might notice that those athletes consumed ungodly amounts of carbs as well, and low fat. My experience tells me those carbs were not whole foods, but rather huge amounts of gatorade, gel packs, pasta, white bread etc. If you need to eat huge amounts of kcal / carbs per day, it’s not easy to do it on a whole food diet, i.e. boiled potatoes, beans, steel cut oats.


        • Tim Steele June 9, 2017 at 7:55 am #

          From what I gather, most people need about 50-100g of protein per day. That’s usually where I fall eating normally. I lift weights a couple times a week and try to eat a bit more on those days. I have learned that the people who look like muscular gods do all sorts of unnatural things to look that way, and most have gut issues and health problems later in life. Huge muscles and very low body fat is not natural, even though we are led to believe that we should all try look that way. fbb


          • Robert June 9, 2017 at 10:41 am #

            Don’t we all wish our wives would look like that 😁

            It’s certainly an unnatural lifestyle, I often wondered if there are any studies on bodybuilders and longevity. And to be honest, no sane person thinks they look good.

            Brad Pitt in Fight Club though, that’s better looking, and probably attainable on 100 g of protein… Plus calorie restriction of course, and that’s supposedly great for longevity.


            • Robert June 10, 2017 at 1:35 am #

              Tim, what about this?

              Exercise and associated dietary extremes impact on gut microbial diversity

              “athletes had a higher diversity of gut micro-organisms, representing 22 distinct phyla, which in turn positively correlated with protein consumption and creatine kinase”


              • Tim Steele June 10, 2017 at 6:28 am #

                Ah, yes, I remember that paper. There is simply no way you can analyze gut microbes without also analyzing the diet and lifestyle of the test subject.

                If you fed an athlete and a sedentary person, height/weight/age matched, the exact same foods over a two week period, the outcomes would be vastly different. A sedentary person eating mounds of pasta and meat would most likely gain weight and have a much different gut flora than the athlete. Conversely, a highly active athlete who eats 2500 cal of McDonalds and junk food daily would suffer in performance and change his gut flora as well. Although, the athlete would probably do better than the sedentary person eating bad food.

                So, what we are saying. It’s not JUST the food, it’s also how you are using the food. Unneeded food (from overeating) enters the large intestine where it is fuel for all sorts of bacteria.

                Food quality aside, one needs to balance intake with activity and also eat fiber. Being sedentary and overeating low fiber food is probably the worst case scenario for health.


            • Tim Steele June 10, 2017 at 6:15 am #

              The media has definitely distorted our perception of how humans should look. Genetics plays the biggest role once one starts to eat right and exercise.
              OK, one for the ladies…


            • Wilbur June 11, 2017 at 11:23 am #

              Many years ago, I was deep into this scene. Genes are the biggest driver, according to my experience. Muscle shape, the ability to grow muscle, the ability to get low percent bodyfat, etc., are mostly genetic. Many of these guys (There were few women) were huge and cut no matter what they ate. I ate with them, so I know. It was common to do a really heavy set and then make a pizza run between sets. Others gained off-season weight, but dieted before contest. I trained with a guy 5’4″ who spent off-season at 245 lbs and competed at 198. At contest, he had 22-inch arms! At 5’4″.

              I do not mean to say that they do not work hard. They do. But it pays off more than it does for the rest of us. One guy in particular (shredded year round at 235) worked his spotters so hard that we’d all hide when he came in. Spotting was harder than our regular workouts.

              I remember (but do not recall the rules) that carbs were managed for two reasons: water retention and muscle fullness. Water retention blurs shreddedness, and full muscles look bigger.

              I myself got to about 245 lbs with a 36-inch waist. I used to eat 10,000 calories per day. Some days I’d drink a whole gallon of milk.

              I recently Googled the guys I trained with. The 5’4″ guy is alive and still competing. All of the others are dead. No causes of death listed. Oh, I think I’m still alive too. But I dropped out after about 4 years. Not healthy.


              • gabriella June 12, 2017 at 3:19 am #

                Why do it in the first place? Auto-eroticism? Homo-eroticism? All that looking in the mirror is kind of sick. And it’s mostly men looking at the other men. Albeit there is a very small minority of women doing this as well, but mostly it’s men.

                This is as bad as anorexia nervosa with women. Seems both types die early.

                I can’t speak for other females, but I find these bodybuilder bodies to be beyond repulsive. I prefer men who are relatively lean with muscles from doing physical work.

                Summer’s here and I was having a laugh yesterday wondering what a Victorian who would be transported via a Time machine would make of the way all too many people dress while out on the street. This includes women and men. There are so many men with gigantic guts hanging out. And the women? Mostly naked with huge flabby butts and thighs. It’s so bad. Once you see you can’t unsee.


                • Wilbur June 12, 2017 at 4:03 am #

                  For me, it was neither motivation. I don’t think it was either for others either. For me, it was part physical insecurity. I was picked on as a kid and had no way to fight back. The old Charles Atlas sand kicking ads portray me.

                  It was also part personal accomplishment. I could compete with myself and others.

                  The mirror was just a tool.

                  We all have our things. Some males like to obsess over vintage cars. I don’t understand that at all. But I’d never attribute some sexual angle to it. Same with bodybuilding. The ones I met were regular guys with regular jobs and regular families.


                • Jo tB June 14, 2017 at 3:14 am #

                  Gabrielle, I agree with you. I find both female and male bodybuilders (photos) disgusting. Who in their right mind can find them beautiful? They won’t live long I’m sure. Even Arnold Schwarzenegger didn’t look that gross. I watched his most recent film Aftermath. He defeinitely is starting to fall apart body wise. He doesn’t look good.


                  • Wilbur June 14, 2017 at 10:55 am #

                    There are lots of women like you and Gabriella. Many of them would mutter “disgusting.” I’m sure worse for the women bodybuilders. It’s been a long time, but my recollection is that none of us cared.

                    But trust me, there are plenty who do. And plenty of guys who worry that their girlfriends do.

                    Bodybuilding is not about health. Arnold smokes a lot of cigars and has had heart issues. He’s also 70.


                    • gabriella June 14, 2017 at 4:33 pm #

                      Soccer players generally have good bodies plus physical endurance. They have the muscles they need. Sometimes a bit more.

                      I’d love to see one of those puffed up body builders try to play a 90 minute soccer game! LOL! They’d all be dropping dead before the halfway mark. A bunch of hulks toddling about.

                      Tennis players also have nice bodies.

                      Next up is long distance swimmers.

                      Then there’s guys like Usain Bolt. sigh


                    • Wilbur June 14, 2017 at 5:12 pm #

                      You’re speaking from belief, not evidence or experience. Some (not all) bodybuilders are good athletes. Dancers, even. Runners. Bicyclists. They might not be pros, but it’s probably because they train non-optimally for a secondary hobby.

                      You must not watch “The World’s Strongest Man” show on ESPN. I don’t blame you; they’re kinda boring. But guys running with refrigerators on their backs or pulling trains is serious cardio work. Your average soccer player would be pinned with a refrigerator on his back. Before you get all high and mighty about soccer versus refrigerator running, realize they are equal in social importance.

                      And I’d love to see almost anybody train as hard as my friend who worked his spotters harder than they worked themselves. Soccer player or not, scaled to size they could not keep up. Spotting him was pure endurance. He died at 38. But he was wide as a truck, ripped year-round, and big as shit. Bodybuilding is not about health.


                    • Tim Steele June 14, 2017 at 5:51 pm #



                    • gabriella June 15, 2017 at 6:30 am #

                      ‘Before you get all high and mighty about soccer versus refrigerator running, realize they are equal in social importance.’


                      Your buddy died at age 38. Healthy lifestyle or what? Good thing you decided to go another route. But even here, with all that megafibre in the diet, it’s just another expression of same. You certainly don’t do things by half, do you?

                      None of you cared? It’s the same as women with anorexia nervosa: totally self centred starving themselves into oblivion. Just another extreme obsessional lifestyle. I’d say ‘neurosis’ except recently I heard that ‘neurosis’ is no longer an acceptable term.


                    • Wilbur June 15, 2017 at 5:40 pm #

                      “t another expression of same. You certainly don’t do things by half, do you?”

                      Sadly, you have me there. I do things to the fullest extent. Not that it’s right, just the way I do it.


      • Robert June 14, 2017 at 9:43 pm #

        I’ve been thinking about this protein thing a couple of days. Then I found this on MDA

        Minimal dose of milk protein concentrate to enhance the anabolic signalling response to a single bout of resistance exercise

        9 grams of milk protein is enough to start anabolic signalling in middle aged men. My conclusion: there is no need to overdo it with protein, an extra 10-15 g might certainly be enough. I would sometimes add 40-60 g to my smoothie. It felt “unnatural” and that concerned me, but I still thought it was the way to go. It’s strange, but it always comes back to doing the “natural” thing.

        Also, I find it interesting Tim’s thoughts on overeating, then it would flood the gut and make it down to be fermented. This is what most bodybuilders do, they eat lots of proteins and 5000-10000 kcal. No wonder it wrecks their guts.

        But Richard’s experiment over at FTA is not like that, sure he eats like 200 g of protein a day, but always significant caloric deficit.


      • Robert June 14, 2017 at 9:54 pm #

        And regarding good looks: I recently listened to a fitness coach giving advice. His main advice was: get lean. Get down to a low fat %, and most guys if they work out a bit, will find that they don’t need to “build” muscles, they look really good anyway.

        Rumor has it Brad Pitt was down to 6 % body fat in Fight Club. I wonder what is healthy regarding fat %? Is it healthy to go so low? Watching pictures of Hadza men, I’d say they aren’t far from that.


  3. thehomeschoolingdoctor June 8, 2017 at 12:09 pm #

    Birch syrup! I might just order my dad that! He makes maple syrup and loves to tell me about birch syrup (the man loves to talk), even though he has never tried it! I’m clicking to Amazon now! Thanks!—–Terri


    • Tim Steele June 8, 2017 at 7:05 pm #

      Make sure you get a taste, too! It’s really fascinating syrup. Very high in nutrients and minerals with a caramel flavor. Here’s a video made by the people who make birch syrup here in AK: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dWaSLeLpDyo


      • thehomeschoolingdoctor June 9, 2017 at 1:50 am #

        I will taste my dad’s Father’s Day gift!

        That was a very good video. My dad’s maple syrup process is obviously very similar. Now, where they use buckets, he uses tubing which runs like a web through the woods. The tubes eventually drain to more accessible, centrally located horse tanks. He drives to the more centrally located horse tanks all over the woods with a tractor to collect the sap back to the camp. Then, fascinatingly, dad’s camp uses all gravity to drain into the evaporator. The sugar shack is at the bottom of a steep, small hill.

        I’ll have to ask him about the reverse osmosis machine they used in the video. Dad mentioned something that could speed up his process. I wonder if it was this. Really, dad has no machines other than the tractors and four wheelers. It is probably just the way my great-grandfather taught my dad to make syrup with just a bigger evaporator. Hand-fired. Wood all split by hand. That my family makes maple syrup is a very special thing to me. It’s something my sisters and I all cherish.

        Can’t wait to taste the birch syrup and see what that’s like.

        Thanks, Tim!


  4. Noora June 8, 2017 at 9:15 pm #

    Have tried zero heel shoes for running like Vivobafefoots or Merrell Vapors? These are highly recommended likes biomechanist Katy Bowman and PhyT Kelly Starrett to prevent connective tissue and other gait problems.


    • Tim Steele June 9, 2017 at 7:45 am #

      I’ve tried many different types over the years. The shoes with very flat soles are nice when running on a track, but terrible where there are rocks. I have not tried the “5 finger” shoes yet, I can’t imagine they’d be comfortable.


      • Barney June 9, 2017 at 12:04 pm #

        Try the “5 finger” socks first.


  5. Robert June 10, 2017 at 1:26 am #

    Perhaps someone smart could help me interpret this study? I found it through Tim’s article on athletes

    Stool consistency is strongly associated with gut microbiota richness and composition, enterotypes and bacterial growth rates

    Did I understand it correctly, that stool consistency will influence the result of gut testing? If so, that’s another thing showing those tests are extremely unreliable.


    • Tim Steele June 10, 2017 at 6:38 am #

      I don’t think they are showing that stool consistency influences bacterial diversity, but the other way around. People with the ideal stool consistency (BSS 3/4) most likely have a better gut flora than those with chronic diarrhea or constipation. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bristol_stool_scale

      But, it could also be the other way around, too. If you were to gather a stool sample from an otherwise healthy person who has recently experienced diarrhea from, say, bad food, or, constipation from dehydration, their bacterial composition would be markedly different from what it would be otherwise.

      Yes, lots of challenges for the researchers!


      • Robert June 10, 2017 at 9:04 am #

        Wow, thanks a lot, that is very useful actually. Bristol scale can be of help to evaluate what you are doing in terms of gut health then. I’m on day 3 on Elixa, and this morning I scored a four… Felt good, it shows Elixa does something good.

        I’m in the process of watching Karl Seddon’s videos. They are very good, and especially one point is of interest to me. It seems his view is that FODMAPs can feed both good and bad gut bugs depending on what unique flora you start out with. I personally was more 5-6 on the Bristol scale when on RPS, or even on semi-green bananas. And in general I’ve seen signs of inflammation. I also felt poorly on the potato hack, I did lose weight, but it was not nice.

        Recently I’ve been eating beans, one serving a day. This has taken me to a 4 on the BSS (last week junk food when visiting family, but back to 4 now on Elixa). Possibly a sign, that my gut is doing better on beans than potatoes?

        Is this theory feasible, I mean is there any difference between resistant starch in beans and in RPS or green bananas? IE, is it possible RPS would be feeding something “bad” and beans something “good”?

        I find some advice that we should just be getting more fermentable fibers in general, no matter what kind. But Karl’s view seems to be different, that we should find what fibers do us personally good, and which ones, if any, that might cause trouble.

        What say you on the matter?


        • Tim Steele June 10, 2017 at 10:00 am #

          Personally, I think BSS 4/5 is better than 3/4. When you eat lots of fiber, you’ll tend to have fuller, looser stools.

          Yeah, sure…keep experimenting with the foods. It really depends on the communities of gut bacteria you harbor which foods you’ll respond to better. I think it’s important to get some high fiber staples in your diet and keep eating them nearly every day. I know it’s not always practical which is why I am also a fan of supplements like Gut Garden or just using potato starch, green bananas, etc. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in the past couple years it’s that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to good health.


          • Robert June 11, 2017 at 9:01 pm #

            Maybe you are right about 4/5 being better, or just a natural consequence of high fiber intake. Eating a serving of beans per day is nice, but of course it adds up to significantly less fiber than supplementing with a couple of TBS RPS.

            It would be interesting to hear Wilbur’s take on the Bristol scale, no one eats more fiber than you Wilbur…


            • Wilbur June 12, 2017 at 2:44 am #

              99.9% of the time I’m a 4 according to a chart I looked at. I don’t recall being a 3, but I can’t rule it out. When I do not properly chew some vegetables (kale, dandelion greens, and mushrooms are typical) I’ll be both 4 and 5. It might be something more than unchewed food because I feel extra urgency and gas too. But if I pay attention and chew thoroughly I’m a 4. I haven’t had anything else for a very long time.


              • Robert June 14, 2017 at 9:31 pm #

                Thanks Wilbur,

                I just finished 6 days of Elixa. And things have definitely “hardened up”. I see it as a sign it’s desirable, something to aim for.

                I liked being on probiotics, and now I’m thinking of trying something else with more “exotic” strains, for example Prescript Assist. Has anyone tried such probiotics and what were the results?


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