The Minnesota Camping Experience

Camping in Minnesota can either be relaxing and quiet, or exciting, depending on what you are looking for. From the rushing rapids of the St. Croix State Park, to the beautiful Gooseberry Falls, and up to the Boundary Waters Canoe area. There is plenty to see and do, just grab your tent and a few supplies and a wonderful weekend is in the making, looking for agates, walleyes and beautiful birds, and perhaps some wild bear, timber wolves, coyotes, beaver, white tail deer. One campground known for its white tail deer population is Jay Cooke State Park. The deer find this rocky outcropping on the St. Louis River a good place to winter as do 45 other species of mammals.

Native Americans discovered that the St. Louis River could not be traveled by canoe so they blazed a 6.5 mile portage around it. Later the fur traders and voyageurs would use this same portage, and it, along with a few more portages became known as the Grand Portage. Once the train made its appearance it was quicker and safer using it and the portages became over grown and unused. In 1915 the Pennsylvania financier, Jay Cooke, who had developed the nearby St. Louis Power Company, and the Northern Pacific Railroad donated 2,350 acres of land to the state of Minnesota which turned it into a state park and as time went on the state added more acreage to the park until its present size of 8,818 acres.

Seismic activity is responsible for the steeply tilted slate, greywacke and exposed brownstone, making this a treasure trove of information for the geology students to study from the many universities in the state. The large dark rock formations jutting up from the ground give you a sense of the Rocky Mountains, which for those not living in a mountainous region conjures up great fun and adventure. With a little imagination you can be climbing up Mt. Everest with Sir Edmund Hillary.

In the 1930’s and 40’s two different CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps.) Camps were established on site and are responsible for building the inspiring swinging suspension bridge and other picnic facilities in the park, facings of these structures are made of the local basalt found here. The swinging bridge was partially destroyed in the flood of 2012, but has since been repaired and is back in service for those young at heart individuals being chased by Masai Warriors across a great gorge with only minutes from being overtaken. Of course, the warriors would cut the ropes supporting the bridge and it is only with the aid of Tarzan that you can make it across safely. Sheesh, that was close!

There are over 50 miles of hiking trails some tying into the Willard Munger State Trail again with some imagination you can be the fur trader Coureur des bois portaging through the rugged land with a 90 lb. pack of furs hanging from your portage strap on the newly renovated trails.

It was in the early 70’s that we as a family traveled to Jay Cooke for the weekend, of course Kobra, my dad’s Leader Dog, traveled with us and could usually be found tethered to the picnic table at the campsite. Also traveling with us was one of my mother’s coworkers, Florence. Florence was a big ol’ gal fond of the stylish muumuus of the day. She had neatly packed up her big old station wagon with all her camping gear and was leaning over the tailgate trying to unload. When suddenly Kobra’s ears perked up as he overheard a commotion at Florence’s car, he watched quietly as Florence swatted the air behind her telling Kobra to knock it off. What? He wasn’t doing anything, and he was quite a distance from her to boot. Again, Florence swatted the air and told Kobra to knock it off, a little more firmly this time. Kobra, shook his head, a little frustrated himself being blamed for something he had nothing to do with. The third time, Florence’s voice was becoming a tad shrill. As she turned she couldn’t help but notice that Kobra was across the campsite from her, so what had been bothering her? She looked down and let out a shriek, here scurrying across the road and down the ditch was the culprit, a handsome raccoon even more curious than Kobra.

Later that evening, at dusk, the campground was beginning to settle down, you could look across the clearing and see families roasting marshmallows, some quietly singing camp songs, some just visiting, it was a peaceful scene out of a Terry Redlin painting. Quietly behind us we heard a foot step and then a rumbling chuckle. We turned and much to our surprise the Ranger was right behind us. He said, “This is the time of night I love best, time for the fun to begin… watch.” Much to our amazement a family closest to the outer perimeter screamed and their entire group jumped on their picnic table, then the next family, then the next in a straight row across the campground west to east, one after another family was screaming and jumping on their picnic table. What was happening now? “That would be my Fred, he does stir up the campground a bit, don’t you think?” the Ranger quietly explained. But who was Fred? We watched in silence as the Ranger moseyed over to the furthest most camp to the east, then he squatted down and tapped the ground beside himself, out from under the furthest east picnic table waddled a beautiful black and white skunk. No wonder everyone was trying to get to high ground. The Park Ranger then introduced Fred to the campers and everyone had a good laugh. When the Ranger brought Fred over to meet us my dad was lucky enough to hold him, ever since then he wanted a skunk of his own, Mom did not agree.

Camping is a good family bonding experience, or a time to relax and enjoy nature and reconnect with your spouse or significant other. When I was particularly drained after a long hectic week I packed up my 4 man tent some goodies, grabbed my fishing rod and spent the weekend at the park all by myself. When I went home that Sunday I felt refreshed and renewed, and good about what I had done and was able to face Monday with a smile. There is something invigorating about the great outdoors which just is not found behind a TV screen or computer monitor. Remember when mom used to shoo us outside? My mom always said “… to blow the stink off.” Well when we came back in the house for supper we did feel better, finished our chores real quick like, and then headed back out again until bedtime. We slept better and school was not such a downer, it was fun. Get out in the great outdoors and become invigorated. Next time I think I’ll share some of Yellowstone with you

Lose the Belly Fat With A Self Hypnosis Easy Weight Loss CD!

Weight loss is simple really, just consume fewer calories than your body actual needs and you will lose weight. However, many weight loss experts agree that safe weight loss is 90% mental and only 10% physical, which may explain why some people trying to stick to diets or exercise regimes for any reasonable length of time find it just too hard to do. If this is the case for you, just what can you do about it?

Well, in today’s modern world you needn’t struggle alone. There are several options that you can take up such as join a slimming club, go to the gym, get yourself a personal fitness trainer, purchase pills and potions designed to melt the fat away whilst your food travels through the digestive system or you could try self hypnosis. Self hypnosis I hear you say?

Yes, scientific research constantly shows that self hypnosis is a very powerful tool that once applied can be literally life changing for a large percentage of the population. Self hypnosis can boost motivation and will power, improve performance levels and speed up healing and recovery rates. No wonder athletes, trainers and sports teams use self hypnosis, visualisation or imagery (a mental rehearsal that the athlete performs of a desired outcome to an event), all the time to boost up performance levels.

No surprise then, that this very same technique can be applied to people wishing to achieve successful weight loss. But can it really work?

Well, let’s take my ‘better half’ Raymond as a good candidate to experiment with. Brought up by parents who could still remember food rationing during and after World War Two, as a child he was told to eat everything on his plate. If he did not achieve this he was made to feel guilty, if he did, he was rewarded with second helpings. A subsequent career in the armed services, where three ‘square’ meals a day is the norm, educated and reinforced the idea to both his body and mind that it expected to be fed on a regular basis. However, it was big life changes such as giving up smoking and working rotating shifts in later employment, which piled on the pounds, as they encouraged comfort or substitute eating, as well as eating at odd hours of the day.

Despite trying various strategies over the years to try to lose the belly fat, such as increasing and varying his exercise routine to include power walking, swimming and cycling; trying numerous fad diets that we have come across in newspapers or on the internet, Raymond has never permanently lost the weight he gained over the years. Results were always patchy or short term and inevitably he would always revert back to his old ways such as wanting bigger food portions, choosing fatty, unhealthy foodstuffs; gulping down his food too quickly, and never, ever leaving a single item on his plate after a meal.

But then he tried, six months ago, Randy Charach’s self hypnosis CD as a last resort and the pounds, 41lbs to be exact, have been literally dropping off him ever since. What’s made the change? Well, this totally natural, easy weight loss CD has definitely given Raymond the will power and determination to lose the extra weight, but not by dieting or exercising, taking pills or potions, but by eating more healthily and sensibly. By that I mean changing his overall attitude towards food.

The very first change I noticed in his behaviour, since listening to the easy weight loss CD was eating a lot slower at the dinner table, taking the time to chew his food and enjoy and appreciate the flavours and textures of the food on his plate. Once his eating slowed down, he then started to leave food on the plate if he felt full…..this was a big, big issue for Raymond because of his family background, but a hurdle worth pointing out.

Sounds daft I know, but by practicing these simple ‘dieting’ techniques which most people already know about, but find hard to implement, has meant that he is now satisfied with smaller food portions. Smaller food portions = less calories and the weight then started to fall off immediately and ‘naturally’. He then noticed that it became easier to say no to sweets and treats offered by work colleagues, because quote ‘he does not want these things anymore’, so because he was more satisfied with his meals, his food cravings decreased into the bargain. I noticed that he started ‘to want’ and choose more healthy food options such as fruit to finish off with after a meal, instead of stodgy puddings and put more vegetables onto his plate instead of meat, fatty chips or roast potatoes. He also drinks a lot more water than he has ever done before in his entire life and even though it is winter time with over two foot of snow outside the window, as I write this article, he still prefers to drink water than sugar laden hot teas or coffees.

I have described in some detail the ‘pros’ of self hypnosis weight loss with a CD, but are there any downsides or ‘cons’ to using it? Well, yes there are some. In order to ‘take in’ the auto suggestions made on the recording you have to commit yourself to 30 consecutive days of listening sessions, which is quite a long time without a break. Also the majority of your listening sessions have to be made at night time, which reduces the opportunity for any kind of ‘spontaneity’ at that particular time of day, if you get my drift. The only way round this is to pay for individually tailored self hypnosis sessions with a professional, but this can be prohibitive cost wise, with the average price of a hypnosis session costing around £100 a time.

However, for those who have reached the end of their tether, self hypnosis can be a ‘miracle cure’. For it now seems obvious to me that people who wish to lose weight safely and permanently, need to make basic life style changes not just try out the latest faddy diet or take up the latest exercise craze. This is a change that we are all capable of doing, it’s just that you have to dig deep to make the commitment to achieve it. When put into perspective, 30 days doesn’t seem such a long time when you realise that the benefits of your hypnosis treatment can last for weeks, months or even years. So, why not give it a try? You’ve nothing to lose, except the belly fat!

The Power of Capsulized Foods

For most people, the concept of capsulized food(TM) usually conjures up images of space travelers ingesting meals condensed into a compact pill. However, in modern-day reality, things are quite different. Capsulized foods are one of the most innovative nutritional advancements in recent memory, and will soon become a significant – and highly valued – concept within the healthy eating community.

To understand what capsulized foods are and how they are positively changing the way the world eats, it is helpful to see the problem that capsulized foods are designed to solve. In a word, that problem is: lack.

Despite the growing awareness of eating healthy, most attempts to provide people with healthy meal and nutritional products suffer from some kind of ‘lack’.

There is a lack of convenience. Many foods are not packaged for convenience. Those that are convenient are oftentimes heavily processed and filled with artificial ingredients. And, preparing meals often requires a luxury of time many consumers do not have.

There is a lack of portability. This is a direct extension of convenience. Though a full-course meal may provide the right amount of low glycemic carbohydrates, unsaturated fats, and complete proteins, it is often tethered to the kitchen table.

There is a lack of sources. Our world is abundant with natural and processed foods. Yet, finding the right combination of those foods to meet our dietary needs is challenging for many. The array of choices adds to the confusion, and sometimes the food selections we want are not available to us. Whether one is on a low carbohydrate, low fat, or isometric diet, finding the right foods and incorporating them into our daily lifestyle requires effort.

There is a lack of nutrient-density. This refers to the amount of nutrition within a given food. For example, a soft pretzel weighing 60 grams has a low density of nutrition, whereas an egg also weighing 60 grams has a high density of nutrition. Ounce for ounce, many processed foods possess less nutritional value (or, density) than whole foods such as fruits and vegetables. However, many processed foods have great merit since they do provide dense nutrition in a small amount of food. The challenge is in identifying the foods that are rich in nutrients versus the foods that are not.

It is within this situation of lack that capsulized foods provide real eating solutions. Sometimes called “compact liquid foods”, capsulized foods are extremely portable, require no preparation time at all, and travel easily due to their small, durable, and lightweight containers. At the same time, capsulized foods are liquefied, which allows them to be quickly consumed. This is of primary importance to eaters who simply do not have time to prepare and then sit through a traditional meal. Capsulized foods are also extremely rich in nutrients, and in fact provide the highest nutritional value per fluid ounce of any food product on the market. As such, capsulized foods effectively solve the lack of convenience, portability, and nutrition-density in a single, cost-effective eating solution.

Yet there is another key aspect of capsulized foods that must be present; in fact, it is arguably the most important aspect of all: taste[i].

Research has proven that nutritional supplements of any kind will simply not have a lasting impact if taste is not a primary design consideration. True, while people are willing to tolerate foul-tasting cough medicine, they only do so because the frequency is a few times per year. Eating, however, is an activity – and for many, an enjoyable activity – that people engage in on a daily basis; several times a day, in fact. Asking people to tolerate unpalatable nutritional foods is simply not a reasonable expectation, and for years, any attempt to create capsulized food has been unable to overcome this hurdle. That is, until very recently. Manufacturers today understand that in order to develop a capsulized food – a food that can become a staple in consumer diets — taste is paramount.

Capsulized foods often provide a complete macronutrient- and micronutrient-enriched meal in a only a few liquid ounces. This allows consumers to go from hungry to satiated, and from undernourished to nourished in less than five seconds. And at around 100 to 200 calories, capsulized foods are suitable for those on calorie-reduced diets, or those who simply want to maintain their weight.

The defining target market for nutritional supplements is no longer elite athletes, but the millions of everyday people who have been exposed, some since birth, to sugary cereals, fast foods, potato chips, candy bars, and caffeinated soft drinks[ii]. This broad group of consumers is interested in healthy choices, but has proven its absolute power in punishing products that fail to reach the lofty bar set by taste buds. They also demand convenience, and capsulized foods deliver.

Eaters can now, through capsulized foods, enjoy the convenience, portability, nutritional-density, and taste that they have demanded for decades. This bodes well for not only the current generation, but future generations as well, who will have access to capsulized foods as viable and intelligent eating options.


Founded in 2001, Protica, Inc. is a nutritional research firm with offices in Lafayette Hill and Conshohocken, Pennsylvania. Protica manufactures capsulized foods, including Profect, a compact, hypoallergenic, ready-to-drink protein beverage containing zero carbohydrates and zero fat. Information on Protica is available at

You can also learn about Profect at


[i] Source: “Taste Matters”. AFIC.

[ii] Source: “Sports Drinks and Energy Bars: Fuelling the Couch Potato”. Kalorama Information.