Which is better – Cardio or Weights?

Today I am moving into day #13 of the Whole 30 and I am really starting to feel good. The first week or so I noticed having a little bit of a headache but it has gone away about a day or two ago. Eating just three meals per day vs snacking in between has become a habit although I have found myself in the last two days snacking on dehydrated meats from the local meat market in the mid afternoon. This has to stop and I will try to increase my protein intake slightly at other meals.

One of the reason that I suspect my body is calling for more protein is that I have upped the morning workout routine with slightly heavier weights. In fact this is another pattern that I am seeing mixed results in. Although I don’t check my body weight and will leave that for the final day of the Whole 30, I do check my blood sugar each day. The good news is that I managed to get it down into close to normal range (100 mg/dl) on my 12th day. My current workout schedule consists of treadmill one day then the next. On the mornings after the treadmill exercise I notice that my blood sugar is just slightly higher than on my weight lifting days. I know that the treadmill is important for heart health but I sometimes wonder if the resistance exercises are more important for Type II Diabetes.

Maybe I should be concentrating on a weight lifting routine in the morning and save the treadmill for an after dinner walk each night. For now I will continue on my pattern of doing both cardio and resistance every other day until the end of this 30 period when I will analyze my results and maybe regroup my thoughts on making any changes.

I am continually reading article after article which confirms that strength training is superior to cardio when it comes to blood sugar management, yet there are those days where it just seems like I am fueled with extra energy after doing a cardio workout in the morning. It has to be the combination of both I know to find success, but only through experimentation can I discover and put into effect that right combination.

It will be through this combination of strength training and cardio that will help burn that excess body fat as I continue to eat low carb and allow by body to utilize this stored fat for fuel vs the converted sugar from carbs that I have used in the past. Although the exercise is important it is actually the diet that is key to fat burning and returning all biological body functions back to normal. Ah Yes, Homeostasis!

In the past I found great success with both cardio and weights but I never quite managed to get the diet completely under control. This year I am putting that final piece of the puzzle into the equation. This will be the year that I will finally be able to get the body fat composition into perspective and increase my body’s metabolic functions to make things a little closer to normal. Every day I will do all of things I need to do to be healthy and finally I will eat the right foods which are the key to the success I discover.

I will be relentless and unstoppable on my pursuit to become all I can be at 56 and create the right pattern that will keep me healthy well into my 90’s. A fit body and a sharp mind are no longer just for the young. It can be done and it will be done. There are trails out there that need to be hiked and mountains that need to be climbed.  I have seen my grandchildren born and I will see my great grandchildren born as well. Stand back, I am kicking ass and taking names.

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Feeling Alive this Sunday Morning

I am moving into Day #9 of the Whole 30 today and remain astonished at the results each day. I have followed through with the commitment to eat only healthy meats and vegetable and haven’t even thought about the processed crap I used to eat. My pants are going on a lot easier and my blood sugars still continue on a downward spiral. Any problems I used to suffer with IBS have disappeared, my skin is clearing up, my energy is at a high level, I am thinking better and my focus is clear.

I have discovered a renewed level of energy that has fueled my back to the world of exercise that I had left so many months ago. This to I have also committed to as I have returned to a routine of cardio and weight lifting. Although I am starting slow I am still making progress and know that before long I will find my way back to a comfortable routine. I am doing just 20 minutes per day on both the treadmill and the bowflex. What I decide to do with that 20 minutes as time progresses is up to me, but I know that I will never go back to an hour each day of over exercise.

As with the lifestyle I lead of simplicity I have found that the Whole 30 and my exercise routine follow the same pattern. Shopping and food preparation are simple because I am only eating meat, eggs and vegetables. With devices like a slow cooker there are days that seem a little too easy. And with the 20 minute workout each day my mornings still have enough time to do those other things I like to do in the morning before leaving for work.

Minimalism, or Simple Living as I call it when it comes to health doesn’t have to be complicated. The Whole 30 and a daily 20 minutes workout plan work seamlessly into this current lifestyle I lead. I work, I rest, I sleep well and continue to avoid all the noise and distractions that keep me from achieving those goals I have set out to conquer like paying off all debt. I spend time with family and friends and venture out into the natural world to discover all of the wonders it has to offer. The feelings of being sick, unhealthy or simply lacking the energy to achieve my goals simply does not sit well with the simple life.

Although I have tried so many other healthy ways of maintaining my own health it wasn’t until I read the book “It All Starts with Food” that I have truly understood exactly what I need to do on a daily basis to put all of this knowledge I have gained into a simple package that makes sense. I know that I am ranting here, but I don’t care. I am simply blown away so far and overwhelmed with excitement at the way I am feeling.

The one thing I have heard over and over again is that you cannot help anyone unless you first help yourself. If it is actually possible to cure most diseases simply by eating a certain way, why then is it not mainstream that we should all do it? I don’t know the answer to this but I do know that life can be pretty simple but as humans we continue to make it complicated.

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Eat Simple, Simply Eat

I am entering Day #5 of the 30 commitment I have made to the Whole 30 way of eating and I have to tell you that I am greatly impressed. In no way is this a hardship by any means. I am eating delicious foods each day, I never feel hungry and best of all my blood sugar has steadily been coming down. As far as my body weight is concerned I really don’t know as I will not weigh in for a few more weeks, but I can tell you that my pants are fitting more comfortably.

I actually wish I had more time each day to share all of the foods I have been eating, but with a busy schedule it just is not happening. As far as exercise is concerned I haven’t done much since Saturday when I started the plan. Sunday was finally a sunny day and I took advantage of it by spending 6 hours reconstructing my front garden. I haven’t worked that hard since last summer and my body has been feeling the aches and pains of waking up muscle groups that have laid dormant for so many months. I will be back on schedule this morning however with just 20 minutes on the treadmill and have decided to balance the workout out with light weights every other day.

With high glucose readings I started taking metformin again a few weeks ago but have already reduced the dose by half. Once I get back into normal range I will eliminate the meds altogether. It appears that everything I have read in “It Starts with Food” is true and the first key to good health really is the food that you put in your body.

Commitment, consistency and a positive attitude will get me through the next 25 days and maybe the rest of my life as every aspect of the results of living my life with vigor makes me feel alive. I sleep better, wake with more energy and have lost any feeling of grogginess I used to feel during my work day. Even my thinking patterns have improved and I don’t have those moments of forgetfulness I used to have.

Yes, those chains we create for ourselves can be broken and we can once again walk away from those patterns that keep us a slave to bad health. With all of the information we see or read each day about the things we should be doing to maintain good health we never take into account that the simple answer is just getting back to eating the foods that we are supposed to be eating that are and have always been provided from nature. Eat simple, simply eat.

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Starting on Day #1 Whole 30

It’s four o’clock in the morning and I am tending to a little bit of a hangover as I give thoughts to the day ahead of me. Although I have been eating pretty darn close to the Whole 30 way of eating for the last 8 days, today marks the first day that I shoot for perfection.

Grass Fed, hormone free, pasture raised, local, organic, cage free, no antibiotics, and grass finished are words that I will becoming very familiar with as I start to build my diet. Absolutely nothing processed, no alcohol of any type, no sugar and only carbs from vegetables is a part of my life for the next 30 days.

Just 8 days ago I weighed 196.4 pounds and this morning I am down to 189.4, so I have already seen benefits from some moderate changes I have made. That number 189.4 is important because it will represent the last weigh in before I start this program. The next time I am allowed to step on the scale will be May 1st which happens to be the last day of the Whole 30.

I am committing to getting on the treadmill each morning for just 20 minutes or around a mile of walking before work every day. There will be no weight lifting at all. The reasons for this are simple: Exercise the heart, increase oxygen levels and reduce inflammation.

I will also be committed to taking vitamins each day to assist in the rebuilding of an optimum blood panel that will feed the mitochondria in each cell of my body to rebuild the immune system. One of the vitamins I have shown to be very low was vitamin D due to the long grey winter which I have endured for many months now. The weather is starting to change and I will finally be able to bring in vitamin D in it’s purest form – Sunshine.

I believe that I should benefit the most from simply removing beer from my diet. I do love to have a finely crafted IPA or two after work each day, but not for another 30 days will I even think about it.

It was just a few weeks ago when I realized blood sugar numbers, which I take each morning were teetering around 200. This of course is totally unacceptable and with some work I have been able to bring that number down to around 126 which is what I tested at this morning. I want to return to my norm of between 80-100 and highly suspect that I will be able to reach this single goal by the end of just 30 days of doing all of the right things.

Food planning is pretty darn simple as I will concentrate on just one meal per day. I will prepare dinner each night based on the rules associated with the Whole 30 and maybe even use some recipes right out the Whole 30 cookbook. This meal will be prepared in a size that should provide enough for 4 meals which means that my wife and I will eat half for dinner and the other half for lunch the next day. That’s two meals out of the way leaving only breakfast. For me breakfast is pretty simple. Two eggs cooked in ghee and two slices of bacon. I have found that this low carb breakfast carries enough punch to last all the way to lunchtime. I may prepare a frittata on the weekends when I have more time in the mornings. I already drink my coffee black and have discovered that I only need a cup or two in the morning so I have stopped bringing coffee to work with me, so this is not much of a challenge at all compared with someone who is still using cream and sugar.

The no dairy rule is also an easy one for me to master as I have taken dairy out of my diet many years ago. The only thing that I will miss is cheese as I do still use it on occasions especially in cooking.

I will try to post each day about the foods I am eating and maybe a picture or two but with limited time in the morning I can’t promise anything. But I will try.

Posted in adventures, body building, diabesity, diet, family, fitness, food, health, intermittent fasting, life, marriage, mindfulness, minimalist, Oregon, paleo, primal, simple living, the whole 30, type II diabetes, walking, work | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Preparing for the challenge of The Whole 30

I have drastically changed the types of food I am eating each day more towards a ketogenic type of eating. It has been around 6 days now and I am seeing things change pretty rapidly. April 1st is that day that I actually start my 30 days with the “The Whole 30” so I have been slowly prepping for the month.

For right now I am learning several things that may be vital for my success next month. The one thing is that lifting heavy weights brings about inflammation in my body and causes my weight to go up. This doesn’t mean that I am not going to lift weights, but it does mean that I will tone down the amount of weight I am throwing up. I have to start lifting for body movement verses muscle growth. As a type II diabetic I have also noticed that after a day of heavy lifting my blood sugar also rises slightly the next morning.

Another thing is that while I am quietly making progress on nutrition and allowing my body to utilize body fat for fuel, I am killing it with a few beers after work. The Whole 30 calls for the complete restriction of any alcohol so beer will come off the table.

I certainly plan to keep exercising during the whole 30 day period but I will even keep the treadmill at a comfortable minimum. If after the completion of the whole 30 program I see the results that I am looking for I may decide to increase the exercise just slightly.

At 56 years old I have learned throughout the years that nature moves at it’s own pace and we humans are certainly a part of the natural world. Any efforts to try to move things any quicker brings about problems. I am developing a plan for life and staying in balance with nature will result in positive changes. It’s so easy to get excited and push a little harder when we see positive results. Sometimes the ego likes to take over and visualize faster progress than time allows.

One of the things that I have starting is going back to taking certain vitamins each day. Although I have never been a strong believer of taking supplements as our food sources should be enough to fuel our bodies I have realized that after a long winter of eating the wrong foods I have to supply my body with the nutrition it has been lacking. This may change after adjusting my diet to whole foods, but for now I want to make sure they are in my body.

One of the tasks I will be taking on is food shopping. I will have to purchase those foods which are on the list of approved food sources and try to find both local and natural processes for both meats and vegetables. Nothing processed, nothing that has been factory farmed and nothing microwaved. I have to bring these foods into my home and start developing a way to make sure they are always available even while working and traveling 11 hours each day. I haven’t completed any of these tasks yet but Saturday I will eat bacon and eggs for breakfast then go out with a shopping list that will yield enough produce for the week. I will have do this each Saturday morning and as time goes by I believe that my creativity along with the Whole 30 cookbooks will inspire me to try different things.

I never like to look too far ahead, but I am scheduled for another blood test in June and it would be fantastic if I could keep the new eating lifestyle up until that time so I can see the actual results of what is going on inside my body.

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Healthy Changes

A little healthy meat or fish plus vegetables and fruit plus just 20 minutes of exercise in the morning equals SUCCESS!

I started changing things up just a little around 7 days ago and already I have lost 5 lbs and my blood sugar has gone down to 114 from 193.

It is the success that gets me up in the morning and pushes me to exercise. I can’t tell you how excited I am. Type II Diabetes can be controlled and even reversed simply by eating the right things. And the best thing is that I am not hungry. I eat a lot. But I am eating the right things. Thanks Whole 30.


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Screwing up Dinner

After getting a haircut in the morning I swung by my local grocery store and picked up a beautiful roast which my wife had made plans for in advance to make a lovely pot roast. I got the local carrots and potatoes to go along with it and it looked as if we were going to have an incredible dinner. We had a nice side dish of red cabbage in the pantry and my mouth was already watering just thinking about dinner.

Everything was going smooth until my wife asked me if we were going to try out the coconut flour instead of the wheat flour. Yes, I purchased coconut flour with the intentions of finding a way to thicken the gravy without the glucose spikes I get with regular bleached wheat flour. As she placed one and half table spoons of the flour into the shake bottle along with the juices from the pot roast and shook it up and placed it in the saucepan I could already picture the smooth, tasty gravy of my cuts of that roast. The problem came when she noticed that the gravy wasn’t thickening up enough and wondered if there was a difference in the ratio of gravy to flour when using coconut flour. Mr. brainiac over here decided to take over the task and dumped (who nows how much) more coconut flour into the saucepan and whisk it. The results were instant coconut and beef pudding. It was horrible and destroyed the flavor of everything we put it on.

Lessons to be learned today: Stay out of the wife’s kitchen and Research the differences between things when making changes.

As an update I have still been eating low carb, my body weight has gone down another pound, I started taking 5000 IU of Vitamin D3 daily, I have moved up to 15 minutes on the treadmill each morning, and best of all – My blood sugar continues to go down.

Posted in adventures, diabesity, diet, family, food, health, life, marriage, minimalist, nature, Oregon, paleo, primal, simple living, the whole 30, type II diabetes, walking | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

Low on D

As I wrote in my last post I am reading “It Starts with Food” the primer to the “Whole 30 eating plan”. I am slowly adjusting my diet to move away from crappy processed foods to a more natural way to eat. I am reducing carbs and increasing protein and high nutrient foods like vegetables. Even with these slight changes I am noticing an increase of energy loss of weight and lower blood sugars.

I have been doing pretty good as yesterday I had a few eggs for breakfast, a few little tangerines and for lunch a can of sardines and a mango kale salad. Dinner threw me off with fish sticks, mac and cheese and mixed vegetables. I found myself seeking and eating a large handful of potato chips. So all week long my blood sugar has been coming down but this morning it went up. It is too easy to fall back into the trap of eating garbage and I will be working over the next several weeks to change these habits.

Once I actually start the Whole 30 I will have no choice but to eat the right things for 30 days and actually look forward to the discipline.

I received an update on my last blood panel from my primary outlining a vitamin D level of just 13 mg/ml. The optimum level should be 30-100 mg/ml and I have been advised to start taking 5000 IU of vitamin D3. This shouldn’t have surprised me as I know that living in this sunshine deficient part of the globe can cause this reaction. These low numbers in levels of Vitamin D are most likely directly related to my feelings of depression and low ambition to exercise or even write.

I have been happy just going along with going to work each day but not to much more. If I decide to stay in the Pacific Northwest I will have to remember to take Vitamin D supplementation for the full 8 months of rainy season and maybe even seek out a way of obtaining artificial sunlight.


Posted in diabesity, diet, fitness, food, health, minimalist, Oregon, paleo, primal, simple living, stress, type II diabetes | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Finding my way back once again

Today is the fourth morning I have pushed myself out into the garage and gotten on the treadmill. While I am just doing 10 minute walks I have to say that I can already feel the difference. I will slowly move up to 12 minutes, then 15 minutes and so on until I reach my happy place at a 30 minute fast paced walk with 5 minutes of a slowdown period.

Upon returning from work yesterday I found the three books I ordered from Amazon waiting for me. “It Starts with Food” by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig, plus “The Whole 30 – The 30 day guide to total health and food freedom” and “The Whole 30 Cookbook”.

I have already changed my diet a bit and have already notice my blood sugar coming down each day. I really look forward to finishing the first book and getting started with the program.

Posted in body building, diabesity, diet, family, fitness, food, fun, health, life, mindfulness, minimalist, paleo, primal, simple living, stress, type II diabetes, vegan, vegetarian, walking, work | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Rain, Rain and more Rain

It started raining here in Northern Oregon back in October of 2016 and hasn’t stopped yet. It has been cold and wet and after 6 months of dealing with this crap I have learned exactly what can happen without sunshine, exercise or proper diet. Winter is pretty tough anywhere but in most area’s of the country there are breaks in the weather where I little bit of sunshine is present for awhile. It’s wonderful having the convenience of a personal gym right out in the garage, but if it’s too damn cold to workout then what is the sense of owning it.

I just received the results of the blood test that was performed during my annual physical and it makes me sick. And if I don’t do something about it it could literally make me sick.

These are the bad markers:

Glucose – 173.0H
Triglycerides – 317H
Cholesterol – 298H
A1C – 8.3

On top of all of that my body weight has gone up to 196 freaking pounds.

The bad thing is that we still have another 2 months of rain heading our way. Yes, it’s time to start making some major life decisions. Late Spring will arrive here and give it’s way into Summer. I will spend a lot of time in the great outdoors and will forget all about 8 months of a rainy season that past before me. But the question is can I actually survive another one?

It is just the process of the lack of sunshine that takes away my ambitions of staying healthy. Although rain has it’s place in the world it seems daunting to actually realize that it just doesn’t stop in this part of the globe. Between dark and grey I find myself clinging to comfort foods and alcohol just trying to find some simple comfort that will ease my constant blues.

A new found career here holds me nestled in days of working outside and coming home cold and wet each day while the job itself excites me and gives me hope that I am on the right path. Many people who are native to the area simply understand that when it rains, you get wet. If you don’t go out in the rain you will never go out. I don’t know if I can adapt to those notions and while many say they love living here I do question why. Even the native Indians who lived in this region migrated each year as it approached rainy season.

The cities here are well equipped with all of the amenities for the handicapped and now I understand why. I don’t believe I have seen so many people starting in their 50’s in wheelchairs or the assistance of walkers in any other place in the country the way I see it here. Is it the lack of sunshine that brittles the bones? I don’t know, but what I do know is that I can longer stay on the same path and must find a way to find my way back to good health.

I forced myself out into the garage this morning dress warmly and walked just a half of a mile. It’s not much, but it is a start. I have to dig my way out of this dark place and start making the workout “Mandatory” each day no matter what. I must turn away from the carbohydrates and sugars which are poisoning my body each day and once again turn to the healthy meats and vegetables which sustain both my body and my mind. I will make those changes and take all of the baby steps once again to regain what is rightfully mine. My Health.

Posted in body building, diabesity, diet, fitness, food, health, life, minimalist, nature, Oregon, simple living, type II diabetes, work | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments