What I Eat for Breakfast

Breakfast is pretty simple and packed full of energy, vitamins and minerals. I start with Bob’s Red Mill instant oatmeal. It comes in many varieties but I always choose the one with less sugar. I boil some water and pour it into a bowl with the instant oatmeal. I usually let it sit about two minutes to allow the water to absorb.

I then add about a quarter to half cut of Bob’s Red Mill Granola. Again, many varieties to satisfy your taste buds.

I cut up a whole banana and place the pieces over the top of the oatmeal follow by either strawberries, blueberries or blackberries. Sometimes I combine more than 1 berry.

With my spoon I like to break up the bananas into smaller pieces.

This is the breakfast I eat each morning at 6:00 AM. I find that I feel no hunger at all during the morning and by 12:00 PM I am ready for lunch.

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Never too Late to go Vegan

I have 4 weeks under my belt since I made the decision to adopt a Whole Food Plant Based way of eating and I have say that each day seems to get a little better. Initially I dropped a significant amount of weight (around 10 lbs.) but I have noticed that the process has slowed down. I am still dropping but only at the pace of around a pound or less a week.

I am at a strict 2 mile fast paced walk on the treadmill every other day and it is getting easier each time. I anticipate joining a local gym to start resistance exercises on the weekends. While walking certainly is a great fat burning exercise I have learned that the ultimate fat burner is lifting weights. As always I will start out slow with low weights and progressively move my way up to challenges my muscles with heavier weights. As Dr. Neal Bernard explains, we build up tiny little deposits of fat in each cell which black the receptors that allow glucose to enter the cell. In doing so the result is a higher level of sugar in the blood, thus Type II Diabetes. My ultimate goal is to remove as much of those fat deposits as possible through weight lifting.

I have made the decision that just because I am 57 years old, I don’t have to accept age as a factor in not attempting to become the healthiest I can be at my age. “We just have to accept that we are getting older”, “Sooner or later you will experience your first heart attack”, “Getting sick is just the way it is when we get older”, these and so many other statements I have heard but simply do not understand how anyone could accept them.. I can accept the “getting older” part of these statements, but I truly don’t believe that we are all doomed for a horrible medical condition because of it. No, there are actions we can take right now at any age to prevent most of these events.

In just four weeks I have noticed many changes in the way my body is working and I find it to be incredible. All I did was take certain foods out of my diet like meat, dairy, added oil and processed foods and add other foods. I am eating more carbs each day, a lot more, and the results have amazed me. My skin is clearing up, I am losing body weight, I have incredible energy all day long and feel no hunger between meals and problems I suffered before adapting to Plant Based have disappeared like irritable bowl syndrome. Actually my bathroom habits have become quite regular. I have also noticed that I am producing and releasing more saliva as I find myself swallowing more frequently during the day. This is a sign that my GI tract is working more efficiently.

Preparing my own foods has been a breeze. I created a few staples which I usually prepare on the weekends like baking a half dozen sweet potatoes, cooking a cup of rice to eat with black beans, preparing whole oatmeal and placing it in small containers for the week and of course putting together a large salad to pull from to enjoy a salad for lunch each day. I am purchasing a few handfuls of fruit each week to accompany my oatmeal in the morning and I always make sure I have fresh berries to put in my oatmeal. I may spend an hour doing all of this on a Sunday, sometimes a little longer, but the sacrifice I make in time preparing these foods on the weekend pay off during the week as I spend a fragment of time in cooking during the week.

One of the most frequent question I get from others is “where do you get your protein?”. There is protein in all produce, but I do try to eat a little more beans and use hummus as my new mayonnaise along with guacamole. To be honest with you I believe that I was eating too much protein as a meat and dairy consumer. I believe I was putting my internal parts into overdrive trying to process all of that excess protein. I have determined that based on my body weight and daily activities my body only needs around 70 grams of protein each day. With my current diet I am still getting more than 100 grams of protein per day.

The most recent book I have read is: Never too late to go Vegan by Carol J. Adams, Patty Breitman and Virginia Messina. Rather than describe the book I will share the description, but I have to say it did open my eyes to certain truths about being 50 years plus.

According to popular folklore, wisdom comes with age. What could be wiser than choosing compassion, vibrant health, and a vast, delicious cuisine to be the guiding principles in our life?

We wrote Never Too Late to Go Vegan to introduce you to a lifestyle that brings all of those things plus a new sense of purpose, and a new experience of power to affect change. That’s what it has done for us and for countless others who choose a vegan way of life.

Imagine if reaching retirement age was just as exciting as entering high school or getting accepted to college. Imagine that this milestone is, like those, an opportunity to widen our perspective on the world, encounter new, interesting people and ideas, develop new skills, and share what we learn to help others. Veganism offers all of this, and it is yours for the taking whether you are still working or long into retirement.

And in veganism, there is something that ties together many of the aspects of positive aging. If aging makes people feel they have less influence and power in the world, veganism offers a strong rebuttal to that feeling. We love the amazing health benefits that come with plant-based diets. We love that our choices do not hurt animals. We love that the food we eat reduces the methane production that is a major contributor to global climate change.

And we especially love that it’s easier than ever to eat this way. In our blog, we’ll be adding tips and ideas to supplement the material in our book, all aimed at guiding you through a range of choices from simple ideas for meals to more elaborate choices for those who enjoy cooking. We’ll be keeping you updated on the latest scientific findings that affect over-50 vegans, too. We’re eager to share with you all of the great news about being vegan after age fifty!

I just started reading “The Starch Solution” by Dr. John McDougall and will share my thoughts soon as I find it fascinating.

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Three weeks into the Whole Food Plant Based adventure

It’s been 3 weeks now since I started eating a Whole Food Plant Based diet, which is rapidly becoming a Whole Food Plant Based LIFESTYLE.

The first thing I noticed was an incredible increase in energy. I no longer felt any episodes of fatigue or feelings of taking a nap during the day. I started noticing immediately that I was no longer having hunger pangs between meals. A small bowl of oatmeal topped with a healthy bran cereal and berries at 6:00 AM carried me all the way to noon. I started eating a salad everyday at lunchtime and leftovers from the night before which usually utilized certain staple foods like sweet potatoes, rice and black beans, along with mixed cooked vegetables. Again after a lunch like this I had no desire to eat again until dinner which usually comes around 6:30 PM.

Within the first two weeks I dropped 10 lbs. but seem to have stopped losing weight. I will start losing again once I make a few adjustments to reducing the staple foods and increasing the raw and cooked vegetables.

Basically it comes down to a diet where their is no meat, no dairy, no processed foods, and no added oil. Difficult yes, impossible no.

My thinking process as I work through difficult problems at work has seemed to gotten better where I am no longer going through mental debate before finding a solution.

I am back on the exercise track as I started out slow but have quickly built up to walking two miles per day at a rapid pace on my treadmill each morning. While walking I have discovered a wealth of videos on youtube from doctors who are involved with changing their patients health status by utilizing a Whole Food Plant Based diet and also some pretty good documentaries on netflix and amazon prime.

One important note is that all symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome have completely disappeared along with any problems with constipation.

I just finished reading The Plant Based Solution by Dr. Joel Kahn and highly recommend it to anyone who has questions about their medical conditions being related to their current diet along with any questions about the facts which support this way of eating for health or even ethical reasons.

I am becoming vege-cated and quickly learning that many of the feelings that I had about the aging process are quickly changing where I haven’t felt healthier in quite some time. I will continue to learn more cooking techniques as I am slowly purchasing items like spices to add to my collection and anticipate creating some pretty spectacular dishes as I am learning and collecting new recipes.

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

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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!

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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.

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