I have found my way back to a “Healthy Lifestyle”

It was a little more than 12 years ago, and I still remember it clearly. During an annual physical with my physician it was noted that my cholesterol was peaking towards 200. My doctor wrote a prescription for me for Lipitor. I asked him what was the source for my cholesterol becoming so high? He told me it doesn’t matter, just take this pill everyday for the rest of my life. My answer? NO. I told him I would not take the medication until I did my own research into “high Cholesterol”. We the Doc kind of flipped out on me and we sort of got into a shouting match, but I did not take the meds.

I went home that day with a lot of curiosity and a mission to find out why my body was building up cholesterol in my blood stream. After searching the web I found the website: Vegsource.com and started reading and watching videos. I was so excited about this discovery that I ended up spending upwards of $10,000.00 on education material. I stopped all meat and dairy intake and started hitting the gym. I shedded close to 30 pounds in body weight and felt healthier than I did even when I was in my 20’s. After six month I went back to see my doctor to follow up on previous appointment. My cholesterol had dropped down to 104 and my good and bad cholesterol had fallen back into healthy ranges. My doctor told me that he was pleased that the lipitor hand helped. I told him that I never took the meds and managed to make those changes through a healthy lifestyle. The Doc flipped out on me again and told me that what I am doing is not sustainable and I must start taking the medication.

That was the last time I had a visit with this doctor and a few months later discovered through one of his employees that he was receiving international trips all paid by the pharmaceutical company each time he managed to prescribe 20 prescriptions of lipitor.

Flash forward 12 years… Here I sit once again scratching my head about some of the same medical conditions I faced back then, plus Type II Diabetes. Last week I was sick with pneumonia and stayed home from work to rest. During that week I looked over the results of a blood test I had done with my Primary Care Physician the week before. I started my research all over again but the answer came from a movie I watched on Netflix called “Forks over Knives”. I revisited my old friend Vegesource.com on the computer and was once again quickly hooked.

It’s been just nine days since I started the whole food plant based diet and I am proud to say that I have already shedded 8 lbs of body fat. All my problems with irritable bowl syndrome have vanished. I eat just 3 times a day and do not feel hungry in between meals. I have this same incredible energy that I felt the last time I adopted this lifestyle. It is absolutely amazing! I am watching my blood sugar come down a little each day and know that I am once again on my way to becoming the healthiest I can.

As far as exercise is concerned, although it took a while, I have learned that a little is a lot. I spend just 30 minutes per day on the treadmill, just 3 times per week. Eventually I will through in a few other body baring exercises, but this time without using weights. Overdoing it leads to inflammation which in turn leads to problems.

Preparing meals and eating is pretty much easy. Breakfast is granola with blueberries with almond or coconut milk. Lunch can be a healthy salad, rice and beans, baked sweet potato, assorted grilled vegetables, a vegeburger on a whole wheat sandwich thin, and I usually throw in a piece of fruit. Dinner is pretty much the same as lunch. I know that I will slowly expand as I try new recipes, but for now I am actually quite pleased with my choices. Whole grain breads and nuts are also things I will add to a meal. There are so many choices of healthy foods that come in so many happy colors that my plate never looks boring.

You probably are asking the same question that I am asking myself… Why did you ever change your diet years ago after discovering what was called back then a “Vegan” diet? Well truth be told I fell in love with the person who is my beautiful wife today. She loved to cook and I loved her. I seem to be what people refer to as a “people pleaser”. Nothing brings more joy to my heart than seeing others happy. As I slowly starting eating meat again I started loving the flavors. Before I knew it I was grilling ribs and chicken wings in the backyard. She is having a hard time coming to terms with my change as she is a genuine “Foodie” and proud of it. She can plan meals for the whole week without blinking an eye.

As for me, I am returning to this lifestyle because I am madly in love with my wife. I had this horrible thought of her sitting next to me in the hospital as I experienced my first heart attack and was preparing for open heart surgery. Right now I have the option of doing whatever I need to do to make sure this episode never happens. Of course there are never any guarantee’s but if it is possible to increase my chances of preventing my early demise why wouldn’t I do that? It is certainly better to have a “Vegan” husband rather than a dead husband.

But this is not the only reason I am adopting a “Whole Food Plant Based” lifestyle. I have grandchildren who I adore spending time with. Pop Pop needs to be healthy. Life seems to be what we make of it and I always manage to find joy in each day of my life. I certainly don’t need some stupid disease standing in my way.

Posted in aging, america, body building, diabesity, diet, family, fitness, food, frugal, health, life, marriage, mindfulness, minimalist, nature, simple living, type II diabetes, vegan, vegetarian, walking | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Back on the Treadmill

Just 3 days per week, 30 minutes per day. That’s it. I get myself up in the morning and think about nothing but knocking out those 30 minutes on those workout days. It’s mind over matter.

Have been eating a whole food plant based diet for 9 days now. I feel great. I have so much more energy.

Changing the diet alone only works with the moderate dish of exercise. I am on my way to better health.

Posted in aging, diabesity, diet, fitness, food, frugal, health, life, mindfulness, minimalist, simple living, vegan, vegetarian, walking | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Sometimes we get sick as an Early Wake Sign

I’ve been down and out for over a week with pneumonia. This is the first time I experienced the pain and suffering of this strange bacteria infection. Anyway, I am doing OK and getting back on my feet.

The really strange thing is that during the time I was down I seemed to have lost the taste for certain foods, particularly meat, dairy, coffee and beer. For some reason every time I taste any of these I feel like gagging. On the other hand healthy foods like vegetables, fruits, rice and beans were rock stars for my taste buds.

Now, I have always been one to believe that by simply listening to your body it is possible to learn a great deal about its particular needs. Is it possible that a whole foods plant based diet is what I need at this time in my life? I have been carrying some excess fat on my body for almost a year and now I see myself losing 8 lbs in just over a week with no exercise.

The truth is that there was a time in my life, just a little over 10 years ago where I experimented with this type of eating for almost two whole years. As I remember it may have been the healthiest time in my life.

I will see my primary care physician this week as a follow up to the pneumonia and discuss the option of changing my diet to a whole foods plant based diet.

Posted in aging, diet, fitness, health, life, minimalist, simple living, vegan, vegetarian | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Time in the Garden

This gallery contains 14 photos.

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A little too busy to write as I grow older

I suppose that it has been at least 6 months since I’ve written anything. Somehow I have managed to make my world a very busy one as I have been trying to balance both work life with personal life. It seems that I have lost touch with both my exercise program and healthy lifestyle. I find myself searching for different ways of being healthy as my age is introducing certain aches, pains and ailments that are difficult to understand.

I have been taking to reading to try to understand this transition that it appears that I am going through. Hitting the treadmill and lifting weights no longer works for me and I am looking at things like Tai Chi and Yoga as a new period of my life begins. Today I have decided to set out to do just a little hiking to spend some much needed time in nature. It will be a time to reconnect to the universe and allow my mind to expand these thoughts I hold inside.

Change is inevitable I know and I seem to have become a master at accepting and thriving from change, but when change effects my own personal beliefs of just who I am it becomes a little more difficult to deal with. Still the truth is that I am slowly becoming a senior citizen though I feel I am yet years away from what I consider a senior citizen.

I know that deep in my heart I already know the key to crossing over this thin line in which I walk. I have always known the answer. Keep walking, stay close to nature in both body and soul. Find joy in everything you do and love the small things in life.

 

Posted in adventures, aging, blogging, family, fitness, food, growing up, health, hiking, life, mindfulness, minimalist, simple living, walking | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

Everything, Always in the Natural Balance of Nature!

As winter is coming closer to the end of it’s cycle so too is my pattern of winter slumber. I am starting to feel those pangs deep inside me that desire to exercise once again. My body weight has hit a critical mass and my bones are stiff.

This year I have treated myself to a new treadmill as the one I had, although has outlived itself at 22 years of age, has been beat up to the point of no return. After much careful consideration I ended up choosing the NordicTrack T 6.5 s Treadmill. Purchase price was $599.00 which included free shipping from Amazon. It was delivered to my door by a delivery service on Saturday morning. Although I could have chose to have it assembled for around $100.00 I wanted to put it together myself, which ended up taking around 3 hours total.

Now my new friend proudly sits in my garage and awaits my arrival each morning to assist me in getting that blood flowing once again and building my heart. As always the process will start out slowly as I will walk no more than 10 minutes this morning. Each day will will add just a little more effort on my part until I am once again back in full swing with a 10 minute warmup and 30 minutes of sweat.

With the routine in exercise so too will my winter food routine slowly change to more healthier choices in food and fasting. The normal period of time for my body to adjust is usually between 4-6 weeks and it is this time that is critical to remain on a slow pattern of progression. Too many times in the past have I rushed to reach a level I left behind at the end of Autumn the year prior only to discover pain, discomfort and even injury.

Everything, Always in the Natural Balance of Nature!

Posted in aging, body building, diabesity, diet, fitness, food, frugal, health, intermittent fasting, life, minimalist, paleo, simple living, the whole 30, type II diabetes, walking | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

America and Drug Addiction

Their rarely comes a day in my life where I don’t encounter a fellow human being who deals with major problems caused by drug addiction. Sometimes it’s during my work day and at other times it’s just stopping at a supermarket during my off work hours, but it seems that no matter where I go or what I do I see it right out in the open. I honestly believe that we as a nation have reached a critical mass when it comes to the problem of drug addiction.

The changes that occur to the brain due to the use of these highly addictive drugs have brought about chaos to our society as a whole. The newest trend seems to be the home security system as many are installing them at their front doors. Desperate addicts think little of any consequences they may have to endure if they are caught robbing and stealing from the vast majority of our precious neighborhoods and as we have pretty much run out of prison and jail space many counties are making the decisions to treat such crimes as misdemeanors and States promoting early release.

What do we do?

First we have to reduce the amount of these illegal drugs from entering into our country and treat dealers as the criminals that they are. We must close our southern border. Yea, but that won’t totally stop drugs from coming into our country… Maybe not, it is a start.

We have to change our view of the addicted from being a victim of society to being a victim of the fact that they just made some pretty bad decisions. True recovery encompasses the complete removal of the subject from their current environment while aggressively addressing the issues that caused the reason for addiction in the first place. We have to set the stage for opportunity upon the release of any program we introduce. Most life decisions are based upon the two thoughts of pain and pleasure.

Our public needs to be re-educated about the facts around addiction itself and all of the pain associated with it not only to the individual but also their family and citizenship. I know that this has been performed many times before throughout our history and no matter how we address it there will always be people of all walks of life getting involved with the escape that the drugs seem to provide, but by not addressing it at all certainly increases the numbers. Eg: Current America.

When we live in a society where many are afraid to go to a public park, a day out shopping or even leaving their homes there stands the need for change. Law and Order go hand in hand and without one you cannot have the other.

We need to heal as a country and allow the same God who inspired the brilliance of the doctrines of our forefathers to create this incredible experiment of freedom to exist to enter the hearts of us all. Yes Virginia, there is a God despite what we have all been taught in school since prayer was removed. And yes, it is OK to say the Pledge of Allegiance to this Great Nation’s Flag each morning. We must return to a Nation that focuses it’s attention on God and not on ourselves. There are lot’s of good and great people around the world all sharing different belief’s and faiths that are different then ours. But the truth is that our country is truly built around the teachings of the Holy Bible and that is the one factor that have provided us all with the opportunity and blessings that have contributed to making the United States the greatest country in history.

Lately it seams that our great Country is going in a different direction. There will always be challenges as there are never any guarantee’s that living a free life is easy. But it certainly is worth it.

Today we need to get down on our knee’s and pray for this United States of America and start supporting those elected officials who share our same views. It is time to make a stand for we have been silent for too long now. The problem with drug addiction reaching such a critical mass is directly the result of our silence. Of course we have so many other problems too to address, but I believe that once we can reduce the amount of people falling into the grasp of addiction many of those other problems that exist will fall by the way side.

It is time to wake up out of our slumber and once again roar like the lion. I have purchased a new Holy Bible and am re-starting the habit of daily devotional by reading a passage each morning and spending quiet time in prayer before I start each day. It is time to start living a life filled with Gods love rather than the hate I feel each day towards the directions I see society going.

Posted in aging, america, Christian Perspective, christianity, family, God, life, marriage, meditation, mindfulness, minimalist, prepared, simple living, united states, US Constitution | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Without God The United States of America will crumble

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Preserving the Past while Decluttering

As my pursuit of the “Simple Life” continues I keep finding more and more opportunities to reduce the amount of “Stuff” which has accumulated throughout the years. This winter I have dedicated my time to scanning and saving all of my wife’s photographs. As we both divorced years ago there are plenty of photographs saved from those previous lives we both have lived before we met. As I have already minimized my photo collection, Sharon too has made the decision to empty boxes of pictures from her past. She is finding great joy now in viewing those photos online.

I purchased a good photo scanner and started scanning pictures which she has determined to be worth scanning. The photos are being saved in multiple locations along with Google Photos. With Google Photos she can create albums to share with other family members.

Ultimately those memories are not only being preserved for generations to come but also being removed from a cluttered closet. Sharon literally has thousands of photo’s and many have been taken with the old style 35 mm camera and the quality no be so good. With todays technology I am finding it increasingly easy to make some pretty good improvements on those old photos. Of course there is certainly no way I could go through each photo and perform the photoshop magic to them. A task like that would take years to perform. So I decided that once all the photos are scanned and saved I will copy them to multiple photo cards to pass on to each family member as they can pick and choose those photos that mean the most to them and work their own magic on each one.

I love contemplating the thought of my family many generations before me having the same technology to preserve their past. But knowing that this wasn’t possible I also love contemplating the thoughts of my children’s children and far beyond viewing all the photos that I am now scanning.

Who knows? Some day I may be able to turn this whole process into a small business in retirement as I see Sharon and myself traveling the country in a motorhome.

Posted in adventures, aging, art, family, frugal, growing up, life, marriage, minimalist, photography, simple living | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Winter Body Fat

After Christmas and approaching New Year’s us humans are feeling the pressures of the few pounds we put on over the last month or so. The additional weight we added to our bodies are in the form of fat and it certainly feels a bit uncomfortable as our clothing is fitting much tighter than it did just a short time ago.

Unfortunately, this uncomfortable feeling we have is simply a natural phenomenon and has been this way throughout our history. As we enter the colder months of the year our appetites increase, we eat more and start saving body fat to get us through the winter months. It really is all a matter of survival. I don’t believe that there has been a winter in my own history where I haven’t gained 10+ pounds. Our bodies metabolism slows down and we want to sleep more than usual. I believe this whole phenomena is driven by the need to stay warm and also in the decrease of natural sunlight we experience during the winter months.

Our industries too are no strangers to the fact that we may be feeling a bit uncomfortable with the added weight we have put on. It seems like from Christmas day all the way into the month of March we see an increase in commercials all geared around exercise and weight loss products from gym memberships to exercise equipment to diet programs and more. This certainly does not help in taking away from the stress we feel and they know that many will give in to purchasing those items that we believe will help us lose that added weight simply out of the feeling of guilt and inadequacy.

My personal belief is that losing the additional weight at this time of year can be harmful to our health. There is certainly nothing wrong with getting a little daily exercise each day and I do encourage it, but by doing it to an extent to where we start burning that stored fat is not in balance with our natural winter cycle. What we find is that as we do start losing weight our hunger increases as our body pushes to return to that level of stored fat that it needs to manage our survival during the winter. I know that we no longer live in a world where there is not an abundance of food and although we believe that we no longer need to store fat over the winter to survive, our bodies simply do not understand that. By fighting this natural cycle we also put ourselves at risk of illness as we become more susceptible to losing the ability to fight off certain viruses because of the weakening of the immune system.

The key to getting through the winter months really has less to do with the additional weight we have put on and more to do with the emotions we experience and beliefs that we have associated around gaining weight. It is only through excepting the fact that we are naturally storing fat and it is OK. We want to stay the course of eating as healthy as possible and getting the minimum exercise we need to get through our winter days. As humans there are foods we naturally desire at this time of year due to our natural eating patterns throughout history. We hunted and continue to hunt in the winter and meat has become somewhat of a staple for most of us during this time of year. Meat also gives way to soups and stews which provided nutrition for many generations before these modern times we live in. We have the desire to eat more fat and that too is OK. I am certainly no expert in nutrition, but if someone hasn’t created a cookbook for human foods and the winter months it may be a good idea for someone to do so.

My advise to anyone who is stressing out about their body weight at this time of year can be summed up with the word RELAX. Enjoy the winter for what it is. A time to gather with friends and family, snuggle up with a good book and simply go with the flow of nature. Come spring you will notice more energy, less of an appetite and the process of slowly shedding those winter pounds will begin.

Posted in aging, diet, family, fitness, food, frugal, health, life, meditation, mindfulness, minimalist, nature, Oregon, prepared, simple living, stress | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments