Hike: Northern Region of McDowell Sonoran Preserve

Corral Trail: This is so green only because of the recent rain

Corral Trail: This is so green only because of the recent rain

This was another training hike in preparation for Troop 131’s 20-mile hike in March. Over the course of four hours and 10 miles yesterday, we covered much of the McDowell Sonoran Preserve’s northern region.



We started at the tail end of 24 hours of drizzling rain and the sky was still overcast. There were very few others on the trails. Our course was fairly flat. All the trails are very well marked and are mostly gravel. Take a map or you’ll get lost.


They call this “Balanced Rock”



I carried a 10-lb dumbbell in my pack to enhance my workout.

Steve Parker, M.D.

Details: We started at Brown’s Ranch Trailhead, taking the Upper Ranch Trail to Corral Trail, then Dry Gulch Trail, a detour up to Cathedral Rock, then
Cholla Mountain Loop Trail to Balanced Rock Trail to Powerline Road #2. Then 118th Street Trail to Latigo Trail back to the Brown’s Ranch Trailhead.

Update Feb. 3, 2013:

The day after this hike, I was mildly sore in my hips, thighs, and legs. I like that because it’s proof I stressed my body, which is a necessary for improved fitness. Also, I’m impressed by how sore my feet were during the last three miles of hiking. I hope I can toughen them up. The 20-mile walk is starting to look intimidating!

This bedrock metate was used by Indians (aka Native Americans) for grinding maize, acorns, and other foods

This bedrock metate was used by Indians (aka Native Americans) for grinding maize, acorns, and other foods. Rainwater fills this 4-inch deep rounded depression in granite.

The Amphitheater (all natural)

The Amphitheater (all natural)

Recipe: Apple, Pecan, Blueberry Lunch Bowl

paleobetic diet, diabetic diet, low-carb diet

So simple even a redneck can make it (I is a redneck)

Since I provide you with nutritional analysis below, you can easily work this meal into the Advanced Mediterranean DietLow-Carb Mediterranean Diet, or KMD: Ketogenic Mediterranean Diet.


2.5 oz (70 g) apple, diced (“red delicious” variety works well) (this is half a medium-sized apple)

2.5 oz (70 g) pecans, crumbled into small pieces

2.5 oz (70 g) raw blueberries


Mix all together in a bowl, then enjoy. I know a lotta you bros will just eat all the components individually—but try the mix once for new flavors.

Servings: 1

Advanced Mediterranean Diet boxes: 1.5 fruit, 2 fat

Nutritional Analysis:

76% fat

20% carb

4% protein

570 calories

30 g carbohydrate

10 g fiber

20 g digestible carb

1.4 mg sodium

421 mg potassium

Prominent features: Quick and easy. Rich in copper, manganese, and thiamine. Inadequate protein to get you through the day, but you’ll make up for it at breakfast or dinner.

Who Should a Christian Marry?

I’m parking these NYCPastor links here for future reference. They discuss fundamentalist/evangelical Christian ideas that many other Christians would disagree with. Their is much invaluable wisdom in the links nevertheless.

F’rinstance…NYCPastor thinks I’ll not get to heaven if I die today because he says I’m an unrepentant adulterer. Let’s define adultery as sex with someone other than your spouse. My first wife divorced me. I had not committed adultery (adultery being one of the few—the only?—legitimate reasons for Christian divorce). Neither of us were Christians at the time. Despite the divorce, NYCPastor says that in God’s eyes, that first wife is my wife for all time unless she committed adultery and I divorced her for it. “What God has joined together, let not man separate.” I returned to Christianity and married my current wife a few years later. We have two children. This second marriage is not legitimate or recognized by God since I’m still “married” to my first and only wife.

What should I do about my current marriage? NYCPastor says, “Repent and leave it. Cling to Christ.”

The Methodist preacher who married us didn’t bring any of this up at the time.

4 Purposes of Marriage

10 Women Christian Men Should Not Marry

10 Men Christian Women Should Not Marry

Divorce & Remarriage

 Updated January 26, 2015

Hike: Pinnacle Peak Park, Scottsdale, AZ


Half-way up to the highest point

This was just a one-hour training hike covering 2.5 miles and 523 feet of vertical elevation. I started at the west end, walked to the highest point of the trail, then turned around and came back. I carried a 10-lb dumbbell in my knapsack to make the hike tougher.


Typical trail appearance: mostly gravel

Mostly locals use this urban trail. You’ll see lots of 20–40-year-olds jogging it.


The west trailhead elevation is 2366 ft above sea level

The weather was sunny, 76° F. I thank God for another day in paradise.

Steve Parker, M.D.

PS: I start my mileage at the closest road near the west trailhead; it’s about a quarter mile to the formal trailhead marker.

Update Jan. 26, 2015:

I hiked the entire out-and-back trail today, starting from my front door. Carried a 15-lb dumbbell in my pack. Took about two hours. Probably five miles total.

This granite hill is similar to the geology of the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge near Lawton, Oklahoma, over a thousand miles away

This granite hill is similar to the geology of the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge near Lawton, Oklahoma, over a thousand miles away

East Trailhead, where most people start their hike

East Trailhead, where most people start their hike

Recipe: Natchez Eggs


This particular batch contained Bacon Bits

Natchez Eggs is an old family recipe.  It’s sort of an egg casserole, good for breakfast.  We tend to dust off this recipe when we have house guests—it feeds many people at once, quickly and easily.

It’s not in The Advanced Mediterranean Diet (2nd Edition) or KMD: Ketogenic Mediterranean Diet, although it’s compatible with both of those.

Note my use of both U.S. customary and metric measurements, which I also use in the books. I have no idea how much it costs to ship a book from the U.S. to New Zealand, but the e-book versions (AMD or KMD) have no shipping charges.

The low carbohydrate content of this dish is a bonus if you have diabetes, prediabetes, or metabolic syndrome.


Note the light brown crust which tells you it’s probably finished cooking


Cheese, shredded (four-cheese mexican blend), 8 0z (224 g)
Sour cream, 16 oz (448 g)
Green chiles, diced, canned, 8 oz net weight (224g)
Eggs, large, 10 (50 g each)


Pre-heat oven to 350°F (175°C).  Mix eggs thoroughly in a blender for 3–4 minutes on medium speed, then pour into bowl.  Coat a baking dish (9 x13 inches, or 22 x 34 cm) with butter, vegetable oil, PAM or no-stick baking spray.  Whisk eggs and sour cream together in bowl.  Drain excess water from the chile cans, then spread chiles evenly on the bottom of a dish, then layer the cheese evenly on top.  Next, ladle or pour the eggs/sour cream on top.  Bake for about 30 minutes, until the eggs are firm, not runny, and you see patches of thin light brown crust.

Number of Servings

12 servings of 4 oz or 110 g each.  Leftovers hold up well in refrigerator for eating over the next few days.

Nutrient Analysis

A serving has 3 grams of digestible carbohydrate, 200 calories, 140 calories from fat, 8 grams of saturated fat, 10 grams of protein, 210 mg cholesterol, 4 grams of carboydrate, 1 gram of fiber (so only 3 grams of digestible carb).

Advanced Mediterranean Diet boxes: 1 fat and 1/2 protein


After you add the cheese layer, sprinkle layer of  Hormel Real Crumbled Bacon (4 oz or 112 g) before finishing up with the  egg mixture.  This adds 33 calories and zero carbs per serving.  Or just serve with bacon on the side (my preference).  An alternative to the Hormel product is to cook and crumble your own bacon (12 oz or 340 g uncooked weight).  Using too much bacon will overwhelm the other flavors.  Experiment with different cheeses.

You can also tweak it if you wish with additional ingredients such as diced bell peppers or chopped green onions (chives). I wouldn’t add more than one ingredient per batch. I wonder if small chunks of broccoli would work.

Steve Parker, M.D.

Hike: Marcus Landslide Trail at McDowell Sonoran Preserve


Yesterday I started my training in preparation to tackle Arizona’ Mount Humphries in June. I and about 20 people from my son’s Boy Scout troop hiked the Marcus Landslide Trail. Near the end of that trail we created a loop by hitting the Boulder Trail, Pemberton Trail, and Rock Knob Trail. Total hike was 5.8 miles in 60-68° F weather.

It’s a mostly flat course and an easy walk. It was no physical strain at all at the time. But I had some muscle cramps in bed last night and some soreness around my hips and thighs today. The soreness is a good sign. I’m embarrassed I’m not in better shape.

The scouts are doing a 20-mile hike in March for the Hiking merit badge. I’ll be right there with them, Lord willing.

Steve Parker, M.D.

Cholla cactus

Cholla cactus

That vertical rock formation in the center is called a mushroom

That vertical rock formation in the center is called a mushroom

Support This Blog Or I’ll Kill It!

You need a break. Enjoy.

I pay $3-12 to license many of the photos and diagrams here. I won’t steal someone else’s intellectual property.

Have you noticed how some blogs just fizzle out? No new posts for a year, then they’re gone?

One reason is that it costs money to maintain them. For instance, I pay WordPress $30/year to keep them from posting advertisements that would interfere with your reading pleasure. I also turn down many offers from advertisers who will pay me for access to my audience.

The biggest “cost” of the blog is my time that it takes to write posts.

I hope you find my writing worthwhile and interesting. You’ll find information here, at no cost, that should improve your health and longevity. What’s that worth?

If you’d like to support the blog, the best way is to buy one of my books, or recommend one to your friends or relatives. The second best way is to post a review of the book at Amazon.com. Even a brief one.

I’d be grateful for your support. Your continued readership is also encouraging to me.

Steve Parker, M.D.