Friday, October 9, 2015

I Think Therefore I Eat Unprocessed Foods

RenĂ© Descartes, known as the father of modern philosophy, came up with the quote, "I think; therefore I am."  He believed in clearing everything off the table and starting from scratch.  I feel a strong connection to him because that's exactly what I'm doing in a six-week food experiment where all foods are off the supper table with the exception of fruits, veggies and nuts.  Many think I'm nuts about what I'm doing but good ole RenĂ© would be right there with me urging me to uncover all the food mysteries causing our population to become so sick and so fat.

Everything is so upside down right now in my world and that's exactly how I like it.  My own doctor is against ordering a follow-up blood test so soon since my physical exam last month because my results came back "normal."  I asked the receptionist, "is it possible to get my cholesterol checked on my own if the doctor won't approve this test?"

"I don't think so," she answered, assuring me he would approve the test if I was willing to wait until December.  I decided to dig deeper and I found the perfect solution, a home test kit sold by Amazon for 39.95 with free shipping that includes a complete lipid panel LDL, HDL and Triglycerides.  A certified lab examines my blood and sends me the results within two weeks.  As long as I make sure to fast for twelve hours and follow the instructions properly, I should be able to get all the information I need without involving any red tape dealing with my insurance company.

The experiment ends on October 14.  What doesn't end is my desire to find answers about what was making my body sick and fat.  The one thing that may never be on my table again is processed foods.  Stay tuned for the rest of the story.  Have a great day.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Can You Defy the Laws of Aging?

Death is inevitable.  My question for the day is about life.  Is is possible to live longer and healthier?  Many studies are focused on the brain and the body and we're learning more and more about how we can possibly defy the laws of aging by making positive changes.  I'm really surprised by all I'm uncovering as a participant in a lab rat experiment designed to help me solve some problems with my blood pressure and cholesterol.  The results will be available on this blog when the final blood test is done next week.

I don't know how the scientists will answer the question but I do know the changes I've made to my food program are worth the effort and I feel better than ever.  I've lost 23.4 pounds since the end of August and my blood pressure readings are consistently in the 110/70 range – a major turn-around from stage II hypertension levels prior to the start of the food experiment.  My cholesterol numbers are so good that my doctor is hesitant to order another set of labs.  I told his assistant this morning how important it is for me to get the test now before I start re-introducing foods I may be allergic to.  The only way to know for sure is to monitor my blood.  My hope is that this food experiment may help others find way to live healthier and happier lives.  What are your thoughts about today's question?  What changes are you willing to make to improve your health?  I look forward to hearing from you.  Have a great day.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Self Discipline Comes from 100% Commitment

Your decision to go all in is what makes self discipline easy.  I knew when I committed to a life-changing six week experiment that involves radically changing the foods I eat, anything less than a 100% commitment would hurt my chances of a successful outcome.  I sensed I was allergic to something I was eating so I cut almost everything out and went with nuts, fruits and veggies.  As of today, I'm 23 pounds lighter than I was at the end of August and my blood pressure and cholesterol readings are back in the normal range after giving up my favorite foods and learning to eat properly.

One of the tricks I used to help me was a picture I painted inside my head about my favorite foods.  I pretended they were all tainted with some kind of poison ivy.  If you've ever stepped in poison ivy, you know what happens when you barely touch it.  Yep.  You get sick.  You must completely avoid it or end up in trouble.  The bottom line is I don't want to suffer from foods that make me sick.  I believe self discipline is easy when you're all in.  The hard part is when you only commit part of the way.  Your brain teases you with all sorts of temptations.  Why torture yourself?  Decide today you're going to face all your challenges with unstoppable will power.  Have a great day.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Digging Deeper Into Food Intolerances

At age 55, I feel like I'm late getting on the gluten-free train.  I should have bought a ticket to better health a long time ago but that's what happens when you're a food dummy.  For me, my food preparation has always been confined to the barbecue grill.  Looking back at my old life before signing up for a six week food experiment, I realize how my poor food choices were silently killing me.  Even though I haven't been officially diagnosed with a specific food allergy or intolerance, I now know something was very wrong and I can say without a doubt my high blood pressure and my high cholesterol readings are attributed to something I'm no longer eating.  I know I'm not alone in this; there are probably a few readers out there who can relate to my food journey.

I visited my physician last month and asked for a blood test.  Next month I'm ordering a follow-up blood test to compare the numbers.  My own daily blood pressure readings already confirm something good is happening inside my body.  Meanwhile, I'm reading as much as I can about the subject of food intolerances.  If you are suffering, please stay tuned.  I'm happy to share what I'm learning.  Have a great day.

Monday, October 5, 2015

9 Days to Go in the Lab Rat Experiment

The rat lives.  His blood pressure is 108/67 today and his body fat has dropped 16.5 pounds in the last four weeks, an amazing 75% of the total weight reduction of 22 pounds.  The cholesterol updates will be posted after the six week follow-up blood test.  For those new to the experiment, what's happening is I'm participating in a lab experiment especially designed for dummies like me who don't know how to eat properly.  I tossed out all preconceived ideas about nutrition and started from scratch on September 2.  The rules were simple – no processed foods, no animals, no dairy,  and no beer or other alcohol with the exception of up to two glasses of wine per day.  I went all in and checked in with my doctor for a physical near the beginning of the experiment.  The main purpose of the experiment was to see if my blood pressure could be lowered by following a strict food program of nuts, fruits and veggies.  It looks like the rat is going to be around for much longer now that all critical numbers are in the safe zone.

The experiment ends in nine days.  It's not the end.  I call it the beginning of a new life.  Stay tuned for more updates.  By the way, before the test started, this rat had blood pressure readings in the stage II hypertension zone.  Life is good for the rat.  He still doesn't know why all these changes are happening.  All I can say is I think the one who designed the experiment is on to something big.  The rat is grateful.  Have a great day.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Seize the Moment

No matter where you live, there's always an opportunity to seize the moment.  I had one of those experiences yesterday at my day job.  Our local college football team was playing an away game in a neighboring state and we noticed a dramatic slowdown during the game.  We had too many workers and not enough people to serve so I put my hand up and volunteered to leave early.  The rest of my family was celebrating Octoberfest nearby in the downtown area and the weather couldn't have been better.  I deliberately parked my car about a mile away so I could savor the fall colors while I strolled through the streets.

"We're sorry, the lady at the gate told me.  We sold out all of our tickets.  You're welcome to come in but you can't sample the beer."  The gatekeeper had no idea all I wanted to do was join my family and sip on my bottled water.  Beer is not part of my food experiment.  An officer on foot patrol was intrigued I wasn't drinking alcohol and asked me if there was a problem.  I shared my food experiment with him and told him why beer was off limits.  "No more beer belly," I said, slapping my flat stomach.  "That's 22 pounds in one month," I explained.  He nodded in approval and walked away.  My adult children smiled when I told them, "oh, I love teachable moments."

Seize the moment.  Take advantage of every opportunity to enjoy the blessings in front of you.  Have a great day.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

A Word of Caution if You're Considering Changing Your Food Program

This message is for anyone on prescription medicines for high blood pressure and/or high cholesterol who may be thinking about making changes to their food programs based on my lab rat experiment.  Be careful.  Consult your physician first.  Any changes you make, while they will result in positive results, may need monitoring by your physician.

Remember, I'm only a lab rat and I know nothing about how the body works.  It's complicated.  What I do know is when we put foods in our body that are man-made or processed contrary to nature's design, bad things happen, like obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

Many of my loved ones are concerned about the radical changes I'm making in my food program.  I refuse to call it a diet because it's not a diet – it's a lifestyle change designed to restore vitality.  I no longer have to worry about the silent killer who was humming a few bars before her center stage performance sometime in the third or fourth quarter of my life.  I've banished the fat lady from my home and I'm pursuing her like an Olympic sprinter who won't stop running until I've chased her out of our country.  There is no need for my loved ones to worry about my protein levels.  I'm making sure my doctor is monitoring my lipid panels and doing follow-up testing to document the results from my lab experiment.  The best way I can repay the one who started all this is to refuse to be silent about the health crisis in our country.  I urge anyone on prescription medicine to consult their physician before making changes.  Have a great day.