Born and raised in Sioux Falls, SD. "I'm a bit of an anomaly in the heartland given my viewpoints on diet. Everybody is meat'n'taters in South Dakota," claims Paul.
What does Paul attribute his blog being listed as #4 in the top health blogs category? "Hard work and honesty. I spend hours every day working on Healthy Reader. Some posts can take several hours to research and write. I try to put my own experiences into each post." Paul replied.
What sparked Paul's interest in the health field? "I have always known that I have a unique outlook on diet and nutrition. My friends and co-workers enjoy ribbing me because I drink soy milk, or I take a fish oil supplement every day, or that I put flax seed on my cereal," says Paul.
"I'm not really sure what the catalyst was that started my interest in health. Occurrences of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer seem to be unusually high in my family. When I was 18 and starting in college I lost an uncle who had diabetes to a stroke and I think that made me wake up and take notice. I appreciate my health and never take it for granted, explained Paul.
What differentiates Paul's blog from all the other health-related ones? Paul states, "I would like to think it is a unique perspective on life and not just health. It is a view into how I lead my life - quirky as it may be. I have positioned my blog in the health and fitness domain but I like to think of it more as a lifestyle guide."
What has been your experience in the blogworld? Do you have any stories about how your blog has affected your readers?
Paul answers with, "I am relatively new to the blogworld. I am a pretty introverted person and blogging isn't exactly a natural thing for me. When I first started doing this I was worried that people would think my posts aren't interesting or that I am stupid. I would be obsessive about reading and rereading my posts before publishing them. I was also worried that I would offend someone with something I said."
"I have found that as I continue to do this I am more comfortable speaking my mind and I even enjoy being snarky on some posts. You can't make everyone happy and you probably shouldn't even bother trying."
"The interest in Healthy Reader has increased tremendously in the last month. I just added a "Contact" page so that people can get in touch with me."
What is your background? I know you are quoted as saying you became interested in good health due to be surrounded by cancer and heart conditions. Was this at a young age? Did you begin experimenting with foods? With alternative remedies?
"Undergraduate in Accounting, M.S. in Information Systems. I have been a software engineer for the last ten years. I am a web developer in my day-to-day job so the technical side of blogging is easy for me."
"I started watching my diet back in college. Contrary to the norm, I actually lost weight during my freshman year of college. I just got into the habit of eating a low-fat diet and it stuck with me. I have learned so much since then and I understand that low-fat isn't necessarily the optimum diet plan. In college I also got into the habit of exercising. I'm not exactly a gym rat but I do exercise on a regular basis. I feel guilty if I miss a workout."
"It is only in recent years that I started to look into supplements and alternative remedies. I want to make sure I haven't left anything unchecked."
"I like to read and I normally read non-fiction. Some of the books that influenced me are: The Zone Diet by Barry Sears, Can we live 120 years by Mikhail Tombak, and The Millionaire Next Door."
7) I notice your blog states you give sound financial advice. Such as?
"I look at my focus on fitness as an investment and hopefully it will pay dividends later in my life, but I think health and wellness involves much more than just diet and exercise. It is just as important to have a "healthy" financial portfolio. It is so simple really, spend less than you make, pay off your debt, and save the rest. My parents were a big influence on my financial discipline. It all boils down to discipline. You need discipline to control your diet, to exercise on a regular basis, and to control your money." said Paul.
8) What is a 'lifehack'? It's mentioned in your blog.
"I am always looking for ways to simplify my life and a lifehack is just that: a product, service, or a productivity tip that helps you simplify and organize your life. I didn't coin that phrase but I like the sound of it," replied Paul.
9) Do you develop the recipes on your site? (They look scrumptious!)
Paul replied: "Yes I do. I love to cook. I do all the cooking and the grocery shopping in my house. My favorite time of day is the hour or so I spend cooking dinner. I find it very relaxing and invigorating."
"I received most of my influence and training from a few cooking magazines I subscribe to and by watching the Food Network religiously. I find that now I don't really need to have recipes planned out for the week nor do I need to write down an extensive grocery list when I go to the store. I just go to the store and buy whatever is in season and looks fresh and I am able to cook a meal from scratch without a detailed step-by-step recipe."
10) What do you foresee for your blog?
Paul answered: "If there is interest perhaps I would write a book. I think I could do a book about discipline and how it relates to wellness. My goal is to do this full time. I have a few other projects I am working on in addition to Healthy Reader."
"I love writing for Healthy Reader and I will continue with Healthy Reader as long as I have the passion. I keep broadening my categories and I haven't run out of ideas or topics yet. I have over 50 drafts started. As soon as it feels like a job I'm done."
"I have thought about starting another blog that relates to my interests in outdoor activities. I am an avid bicycle rider and I like to bike tour. I also enjoy kayaking, hiking, etc. I have been doing these things for about as long as my health-related activities. The problem is time."
Keep up the good work, Paul! Visit Paul's popular blog at http://www.healthyreader.com.