Successfully Completed the 30 days of The Whole 30

Here we are at the completion of the 30 days of living The Whole 30 lifestyle. One whole month of eating a low carb high nutrient diet and the results are amazing.

I dropped 15.8 lbs. overall and my morning glucose reading is at 88 mg/dl this morning.

My daily energy and level of mental concentration are in perfect balance and my overall thoughts are in harmony with the actions of each day. Yes, both mental clarity and feeling of physical well being are now a part of my daily life.

For a type II diabetic there is nothing worse than starting off your day knowing that your blood sugar is high. For me that early morning fasting blood test sets the tone for the day and if it is high all kinds of negative thoughts seem to come my way throughout the course of my day. I simply cannot allow this to happen as life itself is certainly a gift and each day that we are alive should be filled with joy and happiness.

So I have reached my goal and have to decide where do I go from here. Is there another level or bridge to cross or should I just be happy in this new land that I have discovered? I can move forward or just stay where I am at for a while. What I do know for sure is that I cannot move backwards to where I was before starting this program.

Progress seems to be the theme of all humans once we discover something that is in our best interests. We seem to want more and test how far we can take things. I too think this way and for now I believe that it is in my best interest to just get a good footing and hold fast for a little while.

Yes, for just the next 30 days I will hold fast and keep doing what I have been doing for the last 30 days. Who knows? I may end up burning a little more fat and even bring my blood sugar down a little bit more. I don’t know where it will take me, but what I do know that it can only bring more positive results. Who knows where I could possibly be a year from now if I simply stay the course? Hmmm

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Feeling Better

Being sick for the last three days wasn’t very fun but today I am feeling much better and am ready to get my body moving again. I have noticed that my morning glucose readings have been slowly creeping back up again although I am still under 100 mg/dl. But at any rate I don’t want to fall into the state of of potato.

I am lifting today but am also taking it easy to make sure I don’t create too much of a demand on my system where it may still be busy cleaning up the last of the problems with being sick. I suppose you could call it a balanced approach.

I have noticed that my body weight hasn’t changed much due to remaining committed to eating the whole 30 diet. I remember in the past when I got a cold typically I would put on a few pounds and the cold would keep me down for over a week. But here I am now just 4 days after the initial feelings of being sick and I am feeling strong and energetic. Could simply eating more healthy actually make such a difference? I suppose it could.

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Our Emergency Fund and Practical Decisions

Back in late 2013 I made the decision to purchase a reliable vehicle that would be strong enough to pull a travel trailer. After considering many options I decided that since my track record with Hyundai pretty much perfect I would stop at my local dealer to inquire. They had a 2009 Santa Fe on the lot which only had one previous owner and perfect service records. It did have 55,000 miles on it but according to many testimonies I learned that this vehicle was built for the long haul and could easily last up to 300,000 miles when properly maintained. More importantly it was a 6 cylinder model with a tow capacity of 2675 pounds which is perfect to pull a light travel trailer.

Fast forward almost 4 years I am still driving that Santa Fe and have had just one problem when the fuel pump gave out. It was a minimally expensive repair and I have had no other problems since. I just reached 85,000 miles and scheduled maintenance with Hyundai Service. Tires, brakes, belts, alignments and a few other system maintenance items brought me to the figure of $3000.00. The vehicle has been paid off for over a year now and I have been banking the monthly payment into an emergency fund. So now is the pay off time.

Years ago I would have panicked and quickly made all kind of bad decisions like trading it in and purchasing a new vehicle. As I have grown wiser I know that it doesn’t matter what vehicle I purchase, sooner or later it will always come back to the fact that vehicles need to be maintained and eventually we have to find a way to keep up with this maintenance. It truly is one of the costs of driving.

Although I am older and wiser there still is the little boy inside me who has been searching the internet checking out all the new trucks and options available. Yes, it is exciting thinking about driving a brand new truck with all of the bells and whistles, but would making such a purchase actually be practical. On average I discovered that such a purchase would set me back around $53,000.00 and years of car payments. Obviously this is unacceptable for someone who is in the last steps of this debt free plan that I have been working for almost 5 years now. I am within 16 months of paying off the mortgage and I have vowed to not let anything get in my way other than emergencies. I consider spending $3000.00 to maintain my Santa Fe an emergency and after considering my other option of getting further into debt by purchasing a new truck. I have discovered a new found gratitude in the vehicle I am currently driving.

There still may come a day when purchasing a new truck is practical but it certainly is not today. And I still have dreams of purchasing a travel trailer that will give us opportunities to visit different off the beaten path places to discover the wonders of nature. I still picture pulling an R-Pod down the road and the vehicle I am driving is more than strong enough for the task.

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It’s still Raining and I have a Cold

While I am making great progress and have been sticking to the principles of eating The Whole 30 diet and practicing a daily exercise regimen I find myself suffering from a cold. Today will mark day number three where I am not working out to allow my body to clear up whatever foreign invader that is trying to reproduce in my body.

It is typical that when I get sick I see an increase in my glucose readings in the morning and although it has gone up slightly I have managed to maintain numbers under 100 mg/dl.

It certainly doesn’t help that we are still experiencing winter like temperatures here in the Pacific Northwest while the rain continues to fall without any relief in site. It has been this way since October and most folks, along with myself are getting tired of it.

I want to take care of my gardens and prepare them for planting season and check out my local farmers market for those specialized heirloom vegetable starters to get into the ground. Well, no of that is happening yet and I pray for the rain to end. According to news sources this is the worst winter ever here and we broke records for 5 months in a row for the amount of rainfall.

I am hoping to see the weather patterns change soon and when they do I intend on getting out to mountains to hike and witness the incredible power of all of this moisture in the form of rapid, rushing waterfalls. There is a unique beauty when water is rushing through our mountains as it flows down into the rivers. These visions of the glory of nature are those things that keep me mindful of the prize that waits while paying the price of suffering the rainy season.

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The Art of Building Muscle and Recovery

So yesterday was shoulder day and I decided that it was high time I brought my workout routine up to the next level. I increased the weight on all circuits and brought each set to the maximum I could do. It felt great and although I knew that I would suffer for it the next day I just didn’t care. I wanted to feel the adrenaline running through my veins as I pushed that last rep to it’s very limits. It was a great workout.

As predicted here I am now the next morning after the workout feeling not only the aches and pains associated with the workout but also that feeling of being sick. My body is in super repair mode as my immune system is aggressively working to repair all of the damaged muscle tissue. Of course this is simply the art of building muscle but the body recognizes these worked muscles as injuries and is treating those area’s of my body where I have ripped and torn muscle tissue as an injury.

So, this morning as much as I want to push forward into my scheduled chest routine and give it all I can, I know deep inside that I must allow my immune system uninterrupted time to heal those muscles. Going through another intense routine could be a setup for disaster and we simply cannot have that. No, it would be smart to just elect to take the day off from weight lifting and re-assess tomorrow morning.

So for today I will go to work and stay active but will be mindful that my body is in healing mode and I will allow it the time needed for this process.

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Winter kicked my Ass

Day #23 Whole 30

Blood Sugar has gone down once again to 80 mg/dl and body weight is down to 182.4 lbs. I am starting to lift heavy weights once again and I believe it is making a significant difference in where my blood sugars are. Where I am burning energy to lift these heavy weights it is causing my body to demand more from my blood thus reducing the amount of sugar in my blood stream. It is this along with walking 2 1/2 miles every other day and of course reducing my carbohydrate intake that is leading to such rapid success.

The tough question is can I keep this up the rest of my life? I was in a good position last year when the weather was nice, but it seemed too easy to get into a rut as the weather turned colder. I know that we as humans naturally slow down during the winter months but for someone with Type II Diabetes slowing down too much might not seem like an option.

As we all know our bodies go through changes in the winter. We want to pack on extra fat to help us get through the tough winter and our ambitions to stay active seem to diminish as the winter progresses. As we age it gets harder and harder to avoid adding too much weight on our frames and giving way to reduced activity leads to too much time on the couch. So how do we battle this problem.

I have come up with several solutions and although it is only April I am starting to plan ahead for October.

It seems that as the seasons change so too is access to natural sunlight. It is for this reason that I am researching sunlamps that give off uv rays that are similar to natural sunlight. I plan on mounting several of these lights in my gym (aka garage). If I can spend just an hour each morning near these lights I may be able to trick my body into thinking that I have moved to a warmer region.

 

 

Along with sunlight temperature makes a huge difference in how our bodies know that the seasons are changing. Working out in a cold gym in the morning certainly doesn’t send the right signals that our bodies are comfortable. Being cold actually triggers those desires to eat things that we shouldn’t eat to pack on the extra pounds. I am looking to solve this problem with an electric garage heater with a wall mounted thermostat. Getting that gym nice and toasty in the morning should help to fight this battle. With this I believe that it is more important to dress warmly during the day, especially while working outdoors.

Exercise maintenance is essential during the winter months and by not doing any exercise at all it becomes to easy to not do other things like eating healthy. I must continue my workout routine in the winter even if it means reducing the weight that I am lifting or reducing my treadmill time down.

The last thing I need to do is learn to balance my diet where I am allowing a few extra carbs to enter my body while keeping up with those things specific to the Whole 30 way of eating. It is natural to put on an extra 10 pounds during the winter, but an extra 30 lbs is just not acceptable and soon gives way to health problems.

Another thing that I am working on is making my gym more attractive and welcoming. It has to be a room that I feel comfortable walking into each morning and actually look forward to. I will be slowly working on small projects during the summer and fall to create this atmosphere by putting down a floor rather than the cold hard cement. I will mount a large mirror that will allow me gaze at my body to remind me that a healthy body looks like a healthy body. I am sure I will come up with a few more things as I start this project but ultimately I want to be completely ready to take on next winter.

This winter was a total disaster and I am going to do everything I can possibly do to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

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Diet and Exercise

At 21 days into Whole 30 plus exercise and my blood sugar is back into normal human range. This mornings glucose readings showed that I am now at 83 mg/dl and my body weight has dropped down to 183.8.

This nothing short of amazing.

Real Food and Hard work seems to be the key to leading a healthy life. There are so many commercials we see on TV today selling this drug or that drug for hundreds of different medical conditions and mostly all we here the phrase, “When diet and exercise aren’t enough”. But what if diet and exercise are enough and what exactly does diet and exercise mean?

I have asked several doctors this same question and the answer is pretty much always the same. People really don’t want to change what they eat and rarely find the ambition to exercise. So the only other answer is through medications. But what if whole food dietitians and physical trainer were incorporated into the medical model and people actually were placed into a situation where they could actually start to feel the results after several weeks of just making a few minor changes in their lifestyles? Could you imagine the cost savings on healthcare? Of course no one could actually be forced into doing something they really don’t want to do, but even a small percentage would create positive results that would lead to peaking the interest of more people.

You would see commercials on TV for gyms, exercise equipment and local ranchers and farmers promoting products to fix medical issues rather than drug companies. I don’t think we will see this in our lifetimes because of the old money trail, but we may see the beginning stages. The medical industrial complex bases it’s success on sick people and when people aren’t sick there is simply no money to be made. It would be the same for the automobile industry if a vehicle was built to last 25 years. There would be fewer car sales and mechanics would be looking for a new career.

Like us, no vehicle lasts forever but by maintaining and caring for our automobiles we can see a greater life expectancy than if we fed it bad gas and never changed the oil. So too should we working on constant maintenance of our physical bodies and minds.

The bottom line is that the right combination of simply diet and exercise can make us both healthy and happy!

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Being human is being human

Whole 30 Day #19 and my blood sugar has balanced out at and average of 89 mg/dl for the last three days. Yes folks, I have once again cured type II diabetes through diet and exercise. Well not really cured, but have discovered a way to keep it completely in check.

Maybe, just maybe it is not T2B at all. It could be that I simply have an intolerance for foods that humans were never meant to eat. I know that for me I have discovered that eating from nature has brought about significant changes to not just my blood sugar but also many other area’s of my life. It wasn’t long ago that I would eat a ton of food only to realize that a few hours later I am starving and would start searching for food again. Now I can eat a small breakfast of just a couple of eggs with a few slices of bacon in the early morning and not feel those hunger pangs again until mid-day at lunch time.

What if it is as simple as eating the way many cultures have eaten through the centuries before us with a simple pot of meat and vegetables on the burner and freshly picked fruits which are in season locally? What if we had to walk for miles each day to hunt and gather the foods we need to survive?

The truth is that we live in a modern world where those things have given way to driving to the supermarket and popping something into the microwave. No we are not hunting and gathering or working the fields each day to earn our bounty of food to survive. Today we drive to the office, sit down all day and go home to relax.

As our belly’s grow over are belts we have forgotten those long historical lists of physical activities that no only brought us food but also kept our bodies in good shape and physically fit. Rarely do we actually sit down and eat the foods of are labor with an intense appreciation of just what it took to put that food on our plates. We have lost the ability to taste our food and rarely pay attention to the difference between what is fresh and what is processed.

We so these same things day after day and year after year and one day are surprised when our doctor lets us know just how unhealthy we actually are. The blood test does not lie.

The good news is that it doesn’t take long to begin the reversing process and allow our bodies and minds to become healthy once again. With just a change in attitude, a little exercise and eating the right foods it isn’t long before that light comes on as we realize that we are starting to feel better. Our energy levels are coming back to where they should have always been. We are human and we are eating human food and allowing our bodies to do human work. We go to bed at the end of the day and sleep all night in a deep relaxation that we know we have earned and deserve. We find a way to breakout of the darkness and start planning days out in the wonders of nature and allow the sun to shine upon our face.

All of the physical ailments we once have start vanishing one by one. My back isn’t sore anymore, I no longer have those issues with my belly, all of those blotches I had on my skin are slowly disappearing. I feel alive and wake up with vigor and am ready to take on anything that life throws at me today. Yes, I am a human and I will do all of those things which make me human because it is those things make me feel truly alive.

It doesn’t take much to start making these adjustments. Those foods that make us thrive are readily available to to us. All we have to do is purchase, cook and eat them. We don’t have to join a gym at first. All we have to do is get out there and start walking a few times each day. With the assistance of modern day machines like the treadmill and a bowflex machine I have been able to find a way to exercise each day in this rainy part of the world. There is no longer any excuse for humans to be any less than human.

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The Right things to eat at Easter Dinner

The table was spread with food as our family sat down to share an incredible dinner which my wife prepared for Easter Dinner and I feasted and filled my belly with these delicious treats. Yes, I went overboard and ate until I was fast the point of being full. All I kept thinking was that I was going to pay for this in the morning when I took my glucose reading. But much to my surprise my reading this morning was the lowest it had been for some time. How was this possible?

It turns out that all of the food I ate was Whole 30 approved. Yea, all of the foods I love to eat I ate and it was OK. Sharon made a standing rib roast in which I certainly indulged and although everyone else ate a baked potato I found that a sweet potato for me was perfect. Of course it’s hard to have prime rib without being complimented with red cabbage and horse radish so I made sure my plate was full of both. A side dish of carrots, onions and apple’s worked well with my appetite and the Kale salad was just the right combination of raw vegetables to increase the fiber input. We put out chips and salsa, guacamole and hummus before dinner but I found that by cutting up some carrots and celery I could enjoy all three dips without messing up the diet.

I ate and ate and ate again. After dinner I felt full but not the typical type of full you normally have after a large holiday dinner. No, I was full but not wanting to crash on the couch after dinner. It was perfect and with my blood sugar down to 90 mg/dl this morning I am quickly learning that by simply eating the right foods holiday dinners can be enjoyable.

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Three Whole Years – Smoke Free – Happy Easter

It is Easter Sunday, the day us Christians celebrate the resurrection of our savior Jesus Christ, but today is also a very personal celebration day for me as well.

It was just three years ago that I made the decision to quit smoking. I hung the last empty cigarette pack on the wall in my gym on Easter morning in 2014 to remind me each day that I am a non smoker. So today I can scream out to the world “I have been smoke free for 3 whole years”.

When I look back on those smoking years it amazes me that I allowed this addiction to go on for so long. Although I am now in a very healthy pattern with life I still pray each day that the damage I caused all of those years don’t come back to haunt me in the form of some medical problem.

Although throughout those years I tried so many different types of solutions to my nicotine addiction, which all failed terribly, I found that by replacing the nicotine with a healthier form was the answer. For some reason I just couldn’t cold turkey and when I tried my mind would fight me so hard that it made life unbearable. I turned to vaping and although I know that even this form of nicotine addiction is not healthy, it still was an answer that I was looking forward to.

Some people have the ability to go cold turkey and other’s don’t. I even know people who smoke just one cigarette a day after dinner and are OK with that. But for me one cigarette lead to another and that’s what my life became.

Even after three years I still have this monkey on my back and still calm my nerves with nicotine in the form of vaping, but today my lungs are clear, I don’t cough when I get up and I rarely get out of breath. Besides health one of the other benefits I have enjoyed was using the same money that I spent on cigarettes to pay off debt. Today the only debt I have left is my mortgage and I continue to use that smoking money to continue to pay that down too.

People occasionally like to lecture me on the dangers of vaping, but that’s OK. I understand myself and how my mind and body operate,  and know that eventually I will give it up as well. But for today I simply celebrate the fact that I could find a way to give up smoking cigarettes. And that’s all I’ve got to say about that.

Posted in diabesity, diet, finances, fitness, food, health, life, meditation, mindfulness, minimalist, primal, quit smoking, simple living, stress, type II diabetes, vaping | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments