Saturday, October 31, 2015
Dear Mr. Grinch,
I'm really not sure why you tried to steal Christmas. Maybe you had some bad childhood experiences during the Holidays. I heard you changed your ways and you're one of the good guys now. I was thinking that with your green complexion, maybe you could be a new mascot for Halloween. Why not steal all the candy and leave behind some green veggies for all the parents to pass out instead? I know you may end up with egg on your front door if you implement this idea, but you could play an important role as a new food advocate. And while you're stealing things, I have a couple of jobs you could take away from some people over at the USDA who are on the take. In fact, they've all been playing the ultimate trick on our children for decades with their false food charts and their fancy claims about what foods are healthy.
I realize the idea of stealing Halloween sounds crazy but I believe you may be the only person around who understands my sinister plot to take away candy from the babies. I'm just so sick and tired of watching all the parents stuffing our kids with twinkies, candy and cokes while not a soul tries to intervene. Mr. Grinch, I implore you to come out of retirement and please steal Halloween. You have my vote. Have a great day.
Friday, October 30, 2015
The best weapon for beating heart disease, stroke and cancer is in your mirror. You have the power within you to do what our broken health care system can't. You can beat disease before it starts or reverse it if it already invaded your body. Unfortunately, most of us waste this opportunity because we don't understand how to mobilize our defenses. I stumbled upon it by accident. In fact, I did most things wrong the first fifty-five years of my life. And this last year when I wrote my first novel, my long hours of inactivity while typing on my computer accelerated the problem of my health decline. My blood pressure reached stage II hypertension levels, my LDL cholesterol sky-rocketed and I tipped the scales at 185, a level considered obese for my small frame. I had three strikes against me. Everything changed when my cousin, a doctor who is studying why so many of us are getting sick, asked me to participate in a food experiment he put together. This experiment saved my life. All I needed to discover is what my body needs in order to fight disease.
Phase II of the experiment is going on right now. Friends and family are discovering what I learned in Phase I – Your body can win the war against all kinds of diseases if you treat it properly. The first food experiment started when our ancestors quit hunting and gathering. It was touted as an advancement when we were told we no longer needed to "waste" our time hunting for food. We became couch potatoes. We planted crops that were genetically modified to increase yields. We added pesticides to keep bugs away. We stripped away all the good nutrients in our foods. The experiment failed. 85% of Americans are no longer getting the nutrients they need to fight disease. Processed foods are killing us silently. It's time for a new experiment. Take a look in the mirror. There's your answer. All you have to do is say enough is enough. Put a sign on your refrigerator that says, "Salad is the main dish." Go back to fruits and veggies. Give up processed foods for 45 days and decide for yourself if your body is the best weapon against disease. Have a great day.
Thursday, October 29, 2015
I said something this morning my wife never thought she would ever hear me say, "I'm so glad we got more celery." I missed it so much in my morning smoothie yesterday that I made a special trip to the grocery store to replenish our supply. Our refrigerator looks more and more like the produce section of my favorite shopping establishment.
I posted a new sign on the outside of my refrigerator this morning to remind me to eat more greens – Salad is the main dish. And the best way to do that is to make irresistible salads with homemade dressing so good I won't want to eat anything else.
Phase II of the food experiment is underway and the feedback is mixed. Some are losing weight and others are suffering from withdrawals. I posted a YouTube video for their benefit on our group page this morning and decided to share it here on this blog for anyone interested in improving their health. Have a great day.
Wednesday, October 28, 2015
My modern day hunting and gathering experience started in my home a couple of months ago. I walked over to my refrigerator, gathered up all the processed foods, and purged them forever. Then I visited my favorite shopping establishment with a simple food list and hunted for anything without a label on the package. Here's what I learned:
- Eating like a caveman beats eating a western diet.
- Living without twenty-five pounds of excessive weight is life-changing.
- Modern day hunting and gathering sheds pounds in forty-five days or less.
Tuesday, October 27, 2015
One of the members of our phase II food experiment emailed me yesterday asking for a guide to post on her refrigerator. I sent her something from "Eat to Live," by Dr. Joel Furhman. Imagine you're looking at a pyramid. The base layer is made up of vegetables and represents the foundation of a healthy diet. You can eat an unlimited amount of half cooked, half raw veggies and not worry about weight gain. The same is true with the next layer up – fruits, beans and legumes. This layer has no limits or restrictions either. Whole grains, raw nuts and seeds make up the third layer and should be limited daily. The fourth layer, fish and fat free dairy, should only be eaten twice weekly or less. Poultry, eggs and oils are listed in the fifth layer and should only be eaten once weekly or less. The smallest layer of the food pyramid is at the top. This is your beets, sweets, cheese / milk, processed foods and hydrogenated oils.
I prefer to live at the base of the food pyramid and find my body responds well when I stay away from processed foods. For me, the top of the pyramid is my no fly zone.
I'm happy to report that one member of the group has already lost four pounds and we're only on day 3 of the experiment. I'm going to keep posting tips during the experiment to help the group and anyone observing who may wish to give this food program a try. Have a great day.
Monday, October 26, 2015
I'm a food dummy. Even though I lost a bunch of weight and I'm healthier than ever, I really don't know why my body responded so well when I entered a food experiment a couple of months ago. That's when the doctor who sponsored my food experiment suggested I read a couple of books to get smarter about food. "Eat to Live," by Dr. Joel Fuhrman, helps people like me understand in common sense terms why weight loss doesn't have to be rocket science. He came up with the nutrition equation which is H = N/C. H is for health, N is for nutrition and C is for Calories. When the N on your plate is large enough, meaning you're eating large quantities of highly nutritious foods, you lose weight and optimize your health. There's no starving or portion control. The C in the equation does need to be a small c, meaning less carbohydrates, fats and proteins. For me, the c meant cutting out all processed foods and this helped me immensely.
I believe part of my problem before entering the food experiment is that my nutrition equation was upside down. I consumed far too many processed foods and refrained from veggies, especially the green ones. I loaded up on spinach, celery, kale and broccoli in larger quantities and found my appetite decreased during my 45 days living as a lab rat. It's all about nutrient density.
I really don't need to know why I'm so much healthier today but there are a lot of so-called experts out there who want to challenge me with their theories about how to eat better and I want to prove that what happened to me was no accident. I'm sharing today's blog with the other lab rats who volunteered to be in phase II of the experiment. They're eager to improve their health and this story may inspire them to change their food habits. Have a great day.
Sunday, October 25, 2015
Friends and family of the caveman have agreed to participate in Phase II of the food experiment which begins today. The goal is to measure what happens when processed foods are eliminated. I was the lab rat for Phase I and I'm still in shock at the results.
If you would like to join the group or just want to follow the experiment, click here for the Facebook link to the group. Members will be posting their stories and sharing their results. I'm super excited to be a part of this. Special thanks to my cousin who came up with the idea to help me overcome blood pressure issues which are now fully resolved as a result of following his guidelines for 45 days. Have a great day.
Saturday, October 24, 2015
I discovered something really special in my quest to eat healthier – the lettuce wrap. It's my substitute for tortillas and hamburger buns. It works best in a double layer on top and bottom. The possibilities are endless. Try it. You'll love it.
The first time I tried it, I barbecued bison and added cut up tomatoes and avocado on top in place of ketchup and mustard. Bison is a lean meat that tastes like hamburger. I didn't miss the bun at all.
For burritos, it's important to heat up the insides first and then add the heated ingredients to a cold, crisp lettuce wrap. Lettuce tends to shrivel up and lose its sturdiness when heated so keep it out of the microwave and you will have a sturdy shell. Hold your wrap as shown in the photo above and fold it the long ways with your fingers to make the ultimate burrito.
I hope to see you tomorrow for Day 1 of Phase II in the caveman food experiment. The goal is to see if the favorable results from the first phase can be duplicated by cutting out processed foods and concentrating on fruits, veggies and nuts. I promised the group I would share some tips for healthy eating. It's a wrap for today. Have a great day.
Friday, October 23, 2015
There are two spaces open for interested volunteers for phase II of the Caveman Food Experiment. Click here for the Fb link to the public group and for more information. You can join or follow the progress. I'm happy to be a part of the experiment. Phase I was a game changer for me and I'm feeling better than ever. Now it's time to pay it forward and help others improve their health.
Please share this story with your friends and loved ones who may be struggling with food related health issues. Have a great day.
Thursday, October 22, 2015
Lisa W, Lisa D, Yvonne D, Lynn M, Joni B, and Christine P are in. There's room for four more. Would you like to give the food experiment a try? All you need to do is stop eating processed foods for your choice of 7 days, 30 days or 45 days. I chose to go all in for 45 days when I committed to phase I of the food experiment. The purpose of the experiment is to determine if changes to diet can reduce the risk factors for heart disease, diabetes and other illnesses. The experiment is informal and the rules are simple – measure your weight daily and track all the foods you eat. The emphasis is on fruits, veggies and nuts. Anything with a food label on it is not allowed during the test period.
It is recommended that any participants taking prescription medicine visit their doctor and monitor changes in blood pressure which may change quickly once processed foods are eliminated. I checked my blood pressure twice a day and observed dramatic results quickly. My average blood pressure dropped from stage II hypertension levels to an average of 115/70 within days and I lost 26 pounds, 80% of it in body fat, during the experiment. Phase II is set up to see if the results can be duplicated. Thank you for agreeing to be a part of this test. If you know anyone who may be interested in being part of the food experiment, please share this story. The experiment begins on Sunday, October 25. Have a great day.
Wednesday, October 21, 2015
I had one of those George Bailey moments from It's a Wonderful Life a couple of months ago. The scene I was living inside my head made me feel uncomfortable. It was the moment I pictured what would happen to my loved ones if I suffered a stroke or heart attack due to my stage II hypertension. The mental picture grew even darker when I imagined myself confined to a wheelchair or in a coffin prematurely. Fortunately, an angel showed up with an idea that turned everything around. I accepted his request to try his food experiment for 45 days. All I can say is it really is a wonderful life. My health has been restored and now I'm ready to change the world. I do believe I can do this with your help. Here's the plan:
- I'm seeking 10 volunteers to help with phase II of the experiment. The idea is to duplicate what happened to me when I gave up processed foods and anything sold in stores with a label on it. I experienced rapid weight loss without even trying (26 pounds to date since the end of August) and unbelievable reductions in blood pressure from stage II hypertension to an average of 115/70. My cholesterol numbers are now in the normal range for the first time ever.
- I'm asking anyone who volunteers and experiences success to pay it forward by sharing with friends and family who are at risk due to poor food choices. By the way, I believe anyone in America or elsewhere who consumes processed foods is making poor food choices.
- When enough people become enlightened about how processed foods are killing us, we will become healthy again. Schools will end their practice of serving foods that make our children gain too much weight or put them at risk for future health problems.
Tuesday, October 20, 2015
Untreated hypertension increases the risk of heart disease and stroke. It's referred to as the silent killer because there are no noticeable signs of the problem. I entered a 45 day food experiment designed to help me lower my blood pressure naturally. My high numbers were due to "inflammation" which returned to normal once I changed my food program. I suspect there are others like me who are at risk for heart disease and stroke because of poor food choices.
I beat the silent killer by making lifestyle changes. I feel better than ever. That's why I'm seeking ten volunteers for the same food experiment I signed up for. The choices are seven days, thirty days or forty-five days. Participants agree to avoid processed foods for the specified time period. Fruits, veggies and nuts are on the table. Anything with a label is not on the food list. It's simple. It's life-changing. And I'll be here to help you beat the silent killer. Email me today to tell me you are in. The food experiment begins on Sunday, 10/25. Have a great day.
Monday, October 19, 2015
Phase II of the food experiment begins on Sunday, 10/25. I believe you should consider it if you've struggled to lose weight on your own or if you feel your past food choices are putting you at risk for a heart attack, stroke, diabetes or other diseases due to what you're feeding your body.
The original experiment was set up by my cousin, a doctor who created a food program which consisted of fruits, veggies and nuts. All processed foods were eliminated. The goal was to see if blood pressure could be lowered due to food choices. I experienced positive side effects including a twenty-five pound weight loss and improvements in my cholesterol. Bad cholesterol was reduced and good cholesterol nearly doubled.
This is your opportunity to try an experiment that may improve or save your life if you're in the high risk category like I was prior to entering the experiment. Give it a try. You have nothing to lose except maybe some pounds of fat. In fact, 80% of my weight loss was fat. Send me an email, firstname.lastname@example.org, if you would like to try the food experiment. You can pick 7 days, 30 days or 45 days. Please notify your doctor of your intentions prior to commencing the experiment if you are taking medications. Thank you for your interest. Please share this story with a friend.
Sunday, October 18, 2015
10 volunteers are needed for Phase II of the food experiment. I was the lab rat for Phase I and it yielded extraordinary results including a 25 pound weight loss, big drops in blood pressure from stage II hypertension to the normal range and significant reductions in bad cholesterol along with a doubling of good cholesterol.
If you would like to be a part of the experiment, you can email me or post a comment below. You can remain anonymous or post your results publicly. I chose to post publicly because my main focus is helping others to improve the quality of their lives.
Phase II begins next Sunday, 10/25. You will have a choice to participate for 7 days, 30 days or 45 days. There are no fees, however, I'm asking volunteers to at least check in with your doctor first if you have any health concerns that need addressing. It's highly likely your blood pressure will drop considerably and your physician will need to be in the loop if you're taking prescription medicine.
Bookmark this blog and come back for more details about Phase II. Thank you for sharing this with your friends who may be interested in participating. Have a great day.
Saturday, October 17, 2015
I'm super pleased with all the support I received during my 45 day food experiment. Now that I'm out of the danger zone with my health, I would like to invite interested participants into the challenge. This is my way of paying it forward for the doctor who saved my life.
If you're interested, come back tomorrow for more details. I will share how easy it is to do this. Your body will thank you and the results will be shocking. Have a great day. I'll see you tomorrow. Please share this with anyone you know who may be looking for some ideas to improve their health.
Friday, October 16, 2015
There are some circumstances beyond my control that need attention and I'm deferring my next book until they are thoroughly addressed. Please pardon my delays. It's important I take a step back from my writing projects for a while longer. Those of you who have been following my food experiment know part of the story. There are more issues that I prefer to keep private for now.
Have a great day. I look forward to sharing another book with you sometime in 2016. These daily blog stories will continue and I believe they are an important tool for staying connected to you. Have a great day.
Thursday, October 15, 2015
These days it seems most people have an excuse for everything wrong in their lives. There's only one way to quit – decide today to bury your excuses forever. This requires a change in your own attitude. You have the power to be your own worst enemy or your own best friend. It's a choice.
Our country is very sick today. I'm talking about the millions of people who are dealing with all sorts of health issues, many caused by poor food choices and bad habits. I'm standing up. My plan is to share my own life experiences with others so their excuses will want to run and hide. This is the land of opportunity. Let's seize the day. Are you with me? Have a great day.
Wednesday, October 14, 2015
The lab rat is free. The cage door has been removed and I'm ready to go out into the world and share the good news from my final lab results. I'm cured. No more high blood pressure. No more high cholesterol and no more excess body fat. The problems were solved during my 45 day food experiment. Here's my story:
I didn't know how sick I was until I went on a family vacation at the end of August. The first stop on the 4,100 mile road trip was a visit with my sister in Arizona. She survived two weeks in intensive care battling a bacteria that invaded her lung nearly killing her. The odds of survival were in the 5% range. She was home recovering when I visited. My brother, who was by her side night and day during her illness, offered to take my blood pressure. He was using a home blood pressure monitor to keep track of my sister's vitals. That's when I discovered my blood pressure was out of control. My head was spinning. I always attributed my high readings during doctor visits to "white coat syndrome." There weren't any white coats around. I was sick and didn't even know it.
The next morning my mother invited me to go to church with her. Today is the first time I'm revealing my private prayer to Jesus on that morning in Northern Arizona. I prayed Jesus would heal my blood pressure without the need for medicine. I was very specific. At the time it seemed like an impossible request – blood pressure readings of 120/80. Was this request realistic? Was it impossible my sister beat all the odds and is on her way to a 100% recovery after coming within hours of death? No. Jesus has shown me over and over throughout my life he is a miracle worker.
The blood pressure readings continued to spiral in the wrong direction. The look in my wife's eyes was enough to convince me I needed to visit urgent care and get immediate help. My mother called my cousin, the doctor in the family, and told him about my situation. Meanwhile, we were looking for the keys to our rental car so we could seek medical intervention. The keys were nowhere to be found. We assumed they were locked in the trunk and called AAA. No keys in the trunk. By the time we found the keys, my cousin called back and talked me out of going to urgent care. Instead, he offered an alternative he would discuss with me when I returned home. His only request was that I buy my own blood pressure monitor and keep him advised about the numbers.
The 45 day lab rat experiment began on September 2. The rules were so simple that even a food dummy like me could follow it with very little effort: Don't buy any food with a label on it, no animal food, no dairy, no grains and no alcohol except wine (two glass maximum per day for guys and one glass per day for ladies). On September 7, Five days into the experiment, my blood pressure dropped to 120/80! I visited my new primary care physician on September 16 and ordered a complete lipid panel test and comprehensive metabolic panel. Everything was in the normal range for the first time in my life. A second cholesterol test at the end of the experiment confirmed the numbers were holding steady. Bad cholesterol is down about 50% from two years ago, good cholesterol doubled since the last screening eight months ago, overall cholesterol dropped 90 points from a high of 230 in June, 2013 and blood pressure is averaging 115/70 consistently without any medicine.
The primary goal of the experiment was to lower blood pressure without medicine. Perhaps more shocking than the blood pressure drop which happened almost overnight, is my twenty-five pound weight loss since returning home from vacation. I weighed in at an all-time high of 185 on August 30. My weight today at the end of the experiment is 159.4. Even more impressive is the body fat loss which dropped from 30% according to my bmi scale to 22.4% today, meaning I lost enough body fat to fill two sacks of potatoes weighing 10 pounds each. 80% of my 25 pound weight loss is body fat, formerly centered around my belly.
I'm going to leave the reason for these results to the experts to explain why all of this happened in such a short period of time. By the way, I did not make any major changes to my exercise routine which has been little to none during my book writing journey. I believe all my hours of writing with little or no outside activity contributed to my problem with my health and I'm making the appropriate adjustments to avoid this problem ever again. My wife decided to give my new food program a try when she saw how fast I was losing weight. She's also experiencing positive results.
I would like to thank my cousin for taking the time to put this experiment together. He saved my life. I had three strikes against me going into the experiment and now I'm safe at home. I would also like to thank my new primary care physician for listening to me about the experiment and for ordering the extra tests to confirm what I'm feeling on the outside. Special thanks goes out to the lab technicians who handed me the lab results within thirty minutes yesterday so I could publish the final report today at the conclusion of the experiment. I've never felt better. Please share this story with your loved ones, especially those who may be dealing with high blood pressure, high cholesterol or excess body fat. One caveat to those on prescription medicine – please consult your physician before making radical changes to your diet. Your body will respond almost immediately when you cut off processed foods and your medicine needs may change. You have my permission to share this story. Have a great day. May you live long and prosper.
Tuesday, October 13, 2015
Would you like to know a little secret about how you can look and feel years younger in 45 days or less? Here's a hint: it's not in the kool aid or any other liquids loaded with sugar. All you have to do is tiptoe past all the foods in the grocery store with labels on them. Keep walking until you reach the produce section and then load your cart with fruits and veggies. Make a pit stop at the nuts section on your way out and grab some almonds, walnuts and pecans. It's okay to pick up a bottle of wine before you leave. It's the only liquid you need besides water. 45 days from today your friends will ask you if you found the fountain of youth.
My 45 day food experiment ends tomorrow. It's been more fun than an adventure to Disneyland. The biggest lesson I learned is that processed foods contribute to premature aging and increase health risks. I'm no longer dealing with blood pressure, cholesterol or fat issues. It may not be the fountain of youth but I do believe eating the right foods and avoiding the wrong foods will help you look and feel years younger. Give it a try. Have a great day.
Monday, October 12, 2015
Something had to change. The choice was medicine for my high blood pressure or try an experiment for 45 days. I decided to become a lab rat. The instructions were simple – forego all processed foods and eat like a caveman. The irony in all this is I studied a fictional caveman character for years in preparation for my first novel and I never once considered what he ate. It turns out following our ancestors ways is really good for my fifty-five year old body. The experiment ends in three days. Here's what happened so far:
- My blood pressure dropped from stage II hypertension levels to the normal range. Today's reading was 105/69.
- I lost 25 pounds as of today.
- 70% of the weight loss is body fat.
- My good cholesterol nearly doubled in two weeks.
- My total cholesterol dropped 40 points in two weeks.
- I lost 2-and-a-half inches around my waist in six weeks.
- I stopped snoring.
- I can breathe through my nose without sniffling.
- Friends and family who are trying the experiment are experiencing positive results.
- My feet no longer ache at the end of the day.
Sunday, October 11, 2015
Hello, it's Michael the lab rat reporting about my food experiment which comes to a conclusion on October 14. I'm 24 pounds lighter than I was when I returned from my family vacation at the end of August. I discovered my blood pressure was in the danger zone and was on my way to urgent care when a trusted member of my extended family persuaded me to try a different approach. He asked me to buy a blood pressure monitor and try a food experiment for 45 days. I set up an appointment with my primary care physician and told him about the experiment. All processed foods were off the table. So were animals and dairy. I've been eating nuts, fruits and veggies and drinking water. I'm allowed up to two glasses of wine. Grains are forbidden. I can't tell you why my blood pressure dropped from stage II hypertension levels to an average of 115/70 almost overnight or why my good cholesterol nearly doubled. I can't tell you why I lost 24 pounds since the end of August. All I know is this lab rat is holding the key to modern food mysteries. I'll let the experts sort through all my notes I've been keeping since day one, including a complete record of everything I'm eating.
The real mystery is in what I'm no longer eating. Ever since man intervened and began processing our food, our health declined. I'm eating the way nature intended and I'm a new person today. It fits into a song I was listening to on the radio by Matthew West this morning while penning this story, entitled "Hello my name is." Click here to listen to it. The song summarizes who this lab rat is. I'm thankful for the key I have and I'm using it to open up the cage door and come outside. Pardon me for shouting from the roof top but I'm compelled to share my story with anyone who will listen. I hope you come back on October 14 for the rest of the story. Have a great day.
Saturday, October 10, 2015
Last night was my second adventure eating at a restaurant while participating in a six week food experiment. I studied the online menu in advance with my wife the night before to see if any of my new best friends were on the menu. There were only two items on the safe list – basil tomato soup and salad. "Hold the croutons and no dressing, please," I told my waitress.
"Do you want me to hold the almonds, too?" she asked.
"I love almonds," I told her, feeling good I could stay on my food program until the journey ends on October 14. I'm finding it's almost impossible to eat outside the home when your food choices are limited to unprocessed foods, fruits, veggies and nuts. For those willing to go the distance, the challenges are worth it, especially if you may have food intolerances. I was completely ignorant of my own food allergies until I started the experiment.
There's a reason why unprocessed foods are my new best friends. When I restrict my diet to these foods and stay away from foods with a label I feel better, I have no inflammation which causes my blood pressure to soar, my good cholesterol increases while bad cholesterol decreases and my body fat decreases without any effort. Challenge yourself to make unprocessed foods your new best friends and try avoiding processed foods for thirty days. I have a feeling you will like your new buddies and will want to hang out with them more often. Have a great day.
Friday, October 9, 2015
René 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 René 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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
Friday, October 2, 2015
Hello. My name is Michael and I'm a lab rat for a 45 day experiment focused on reducing blood pressure. I officially entered the experiment thirty days ago on September 2. I lost 21 pounds, 68% of it in body fat, and lowered my pressure from stage II hypertension levels to an average of 115/70 in just thirty days without medicine. This lab rat has never felt better. It turns out the food pyramid I was following all my life was killing me slowly and silently. I promise to never be silent again about living healthy.
The biggest lesson I learned has to do with processed foods. The best word I know to describe these foods is "peligroso." Doctor Smith from Lost in Space would say, "Danger, Danger, Will Robinson." Processed foods are no longer welcome in my home. Neither are any foods wrapped up with a label on the outside. I'm concentrating on fruits, veggies and nuts during the experiment and will share lab results from my doctor at the conclusion in the middle of this month. It's time to bust up that food pyramid chart and make serious adjustments. I'm starting with the man in the mirror. Anyone care to join me? Have a great day.
Thursday, October 1, 2015
Maybe you're asking, "what changed?" I could give you all kinds of subjective answers which may not mean much in the scientific community or I could simply share a little bit about the hard facts. The numbers are shocking. I lost 21.2 pounds in one month. 68.6% of the loss is body fat. That's enough body fat to nearly fill a 15 pound sack of potatoes. Even more significant is the steady blood pressure readings coming in at 115/70 without any medication. Prior to the experiment my readings put me in the stage II hypertension range. I'll be sharing an update on my new cholesterol numbers at the conclusion of my experiment in the middle of this month when I return to my doctor for a new blood test. The good cholesterol nearly doubled in the first two weeks of the experiment.
If you're interested in knowing more about the details of my test, please go back and read my blog stories from last month. All I ask is that if you decide to make new food choices and they help you get healthy, please pay it forward and share your success with your loved ones. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to share my thoughts with you today. Have a great day. And if you believe one person can change the world, please pass this story along. It's the best way I can thank that one person who changed my world in just 30 days. May his experiment be the catalyst for the change this world desperately needs.