And the Beat Goes On

19 06 2012

26 weeks into my quest for better health through a mostly plant based diet and increased exercise. Acupuncture has remained helpful to me. I’ve lost 8 pounds in my first 8 days after beginning treatments. My cravings although lingering from time to time have greatly decreased. This still doesn’t stop me from doing occasional boneheaded things like eating way to much steak for Father’s Day. It’s weird actually, despite eating mostly plant based for over 6 months, I think my taste for a good steak will never completely diminish. This is a repeating pattern for me though, make some great gains towards my goal then gain some weight right back. I lack discipline. Some days are good and I am strong but then I fall apart. It’s frustrating but it is life.

The other great part about the acupuncture treatments is that my pain is really subsiding. Shoulder pain that I have dealt with on an increasing lever for about three months is now quickly fading away. If I wake up with it in the morning, it leaves quickly. Some mornings I have no pain at all. My ankle also feels a lot better. I tend to think I’ll have a long road to go to get it to where it needs to be but it is feeling better and I can’t argue so far with the results.

The needles in my ear to decrease the cravings, reduce stress and bump up metabolism are killing me this time around. With each session, the ears are switched. But this last round hurts so bad that massaging them is nearly impossible. I’m not sure how much of a benefit they are without the massage. The Chinese tea and herbs still taste like dirt and bark but I’m getting by with them.

I started out the day with yoga this morning and wrapped up the day with some exercise targeting specific muscle groups. I’m hoping that by my next acupuncture appointment on Friday, I will be able to say that the hard work has paid off and that I’ve lost more weight. Some of my eating this weekend has not helped me though. So now I have to play the catch up game. When I finally get the diet, exercise and treatment all going full bore, I’ll be dangerous.





Slowly Chipping Away at the Weight

22 05 2012

And so begins week 22 of my switch to a plant based diet and increased exercise regiment. This week I lost two additional pounds which brings me to 67 pounds lost so far.

Really, it should have been 4 pounds but I went majorly of course this weekend. I had beef (not the end of the world for me but a definite rarity nowadays), a lot of wonderful Italian bread and wheat pasta 3 days in a row. It left me definitely feeling less healthy and has served as a reminder that I really need to stay on course. So the rest of this week, I’ll be sticking closely to the plan – plantbased!

Made some delicious stuffed peppers tonight. I’ll be packing one or two for lunch tomorrow. I continue to suffer from a sore back which is making getting any exercise done rough right now. It’s been two weeks of on and off back pain that mysteriously travels around various parts of my upper back. I’m tired of it.

It’s been a very busy few days. It feels good to be back blogging again. Welcome to all of my new readers. There were nearly 400 of you yesterday. That’s pretty great for a Sunday and for a blog that isn’t even 6 months old yet.





Perseverance Pays Off

10 05 2012

Over two days of being a lot more disciplined and it is paying off. Three nights of no snacking and trying to get more rest has definitely been helping as well. Two nights ago I hit the weights pretty good and did some of DDP’s patented 10 second pushups (DDP YOGA). I’m finally seeing some weight loss again. After three weeks of gain a pound, lose a pound, no movement, I was starting to feel like I was alone in the wilderness. Now the scale is moving again. Yet, I know that the hardest days are still to come.

I’ve been working through dinnertime some days and that can be rough. The cravings will start and lets face it, there aren’t very many healthy options when you are in the car and need to keep on moving. Luckily yesterday, I had a bunch of cauliflower packed and that was helpful in holding me over until I got home (where I had a most amazing walnut /sweet potato mash – recipe coming tomorrow). When 5pm rolls around fast food begins looking good to me. Despite the fact that I know a burger from Burger King will make me feel like a sloth the second I’m done with it, it still calls my name. Despite knowing that McDonald’s chicken nuggets are made with anti-foaming agent and really don’t taste all that good, I still crave them. Though I haven’t eaten either in nearly 5 months and am able to rationally talk to myself about why they are bad for me, they somehow still have their hooks in me.

My biggest weapon during these cravings lately though has been some Buddhist philosophy. “This is just a thought”, is what I say to myself. “It will pass. Let it pass. This is only temporary”. I often think of how many times before this that I’ve had the seem exact craving. I think of how I have given into this craving in the past and where it has gotten me. The satisfaction of surrendering to a craving never lasts very long. It is quickly followed by shame, guilt and diminished feelings of self. I know I can never be my best if I reopen the door to that world and begin traveling down that path again. Better to make a high quality burger at home once in a very blue moon. Last night I opted for three vegan chik’n nuggets. They tasted better than anything McDonald’s can come up with anyway. It was surely healthier.

So the journey continues and perseverance is beginning to pay off.

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Wheatless + Meatless = Joyless

3 05 2012

I’m on day number 3 of going wheatless. Well almost. It turns out that I failed big time yesterday. I broke down and went to Taco Bell. This is my third time in nearly five months so I’m giving myself a pass. Plus my weight is down slightly today so that helps reduce the guilt factor. I continue to believe that occasionally the gut needs a good digestive workout. I went with the hard tacos because their shells are made of corn, right? Right, except Taco Bell’s beef is loaded with gluten as a filler. So yeah, FAIL! Their food is garbage but yet I continue to sporadically crave it. As with most fast food I eat, my body wants to just crash on a couch somewhere as soon as the meal is done. A good reminder to stay away.

One thing I’ve noticed about going wheatless, I’m more hungry. And lately I’m craving meat. I’m not sure if this is my body calling for it or if this is a correlation between the lack of wheat (fillers) taking up space in my stomach and just wanting to fill that space.

Lately it seems like there are more things that I can’t eat than I actually can eat. In a big way though, it seems more natural to eat a plant based diet and forgo the wheat. Being that wheat is so overly processed, I really should have cut it out (or at least seriously reduced it) a long time ago. Instead I have been living off of near daily wraps for lunch and an occasional big crusty bread grilled veggie sandwich or (an even more occasional) tuna sub. I also had to cut out soy after developing an allergic reaction on both hands and arms. I really enjoyed my daily bag of dry roasted edamame but it was obviously too much of a good thing. There is a lot of conflicting information about the health benefits of soy, especially for men, so it was probably wise to cut way back on it.

Wheatless and meatless… for a guy that used to live to eat, this is still a rough adjustment. I’m trying to keep in mind that for me, the reality of “living to eat” meant “eating to die”. Back to the veggies. See you tomorrow.





Olfactory Blues

26 02 2012

This may sound crazy. I’ve always had an amazing sense of smell. But my sniffer is definitely changing lately. After two months on a plant based diet, I feel a bit sad to report that beef no longer smells like it used to. I want it to because I love beef, but it doesn’t anymore. The smell of hamburgers being cooked makes me want to be sick. I mean really sick! Like I need to get out of the room before I hurl sick! And the burgers end up looking wonderful and delicious but the smell is becoming an impossible hill to climb. And tonight the smell of fish sticks, a food that I have always loved, smelled more like rotting garbage than fish. I literally had to stick my head in the garbage can to make sure the smell wasn’t coming from there. It probably sounds horrible and overly dramatic but it really is the truth. To my fellow meat eaters, I’m sure I’m really starting to sound like one of those “nutty plant eaters”, but yeah, the longer I do this, the less meat appeals to me. It’s getting to be that I can’t really get past the smell, even if I wanted to eat meat. I really am becoming one of those “nutty plant eaters’ and its one of the best things that has ever happened to me.

I am happy to report that freshly made donuts continue to smell wonderful….not that I’ve had one.





And the Train Kept Rolling….

20 02 2012

And so begins week 9 of my switch to a plant based diet.  I lost a pound this past week.   That brings the total to over 46 pounds lost through diet, exercise and sickness.

I wasn’t thrilled with the weight loss this week.  I pushed myself to try to lose 5 pounds so that I could hit an even 50 pounds within 8 weeks and I ended up falling short.  I gave it a good effort but it just didn’t happen.  Maybe this is my ego needing big round numbers.  I should be content with just continuing to lose the weight.  In my mind I think it makes a good story to lose 50 pounds so quick. But the real story is this – losing weight is hard and its really  #$&*!@ frustrating at times.  You think you’ve found your personal formula for success and then weight loss slows down dramatically or stops all together.  I didn’t even want to write this blog today because I was so aggravated.

I knew that five pounds in a week was not going to be easy but I felt that with some discipline it could be done.  I came up with what I thought was a good game plan.  I tried to switch the week up by cutting back the amount of plant based fats I was taking in but honestly it just left me hungry.  I increased my fiber and protein intake but still hungry…  Miserably hungry for the last four days and the scale barely moved when all was said and done.    So I need to work harder, especially physically, if I’m going to be able to sustain the kind of weight loss that I’ve been seeing up until this point.  I really hope my dumbbells I ordered get here soon as I’m eager to throw them around and  I’m starting to hate the treadmill with a passion.  It really is becoming “the dreadmill”.  At least nice weather temps are around the corner which hopefully means a few days walking around the park which will be a pleasant change of scenery.

So after days of feeling overly hungry,  tonight I did  something counterintuitive.  I went to the local buffet.  It’s been two months since I was there and I definitely can’t put it away like I used to nor did I even want to try.  I did enjoy a nice vegetable stirfry and some sushi.  I also had some shrimp.  I feel like my body has been craving meat so I allowed myself a little bit of seafood.  There is definitely some sort of meal with beef in my future.  I thought about tying it a 50 pound weight loss as a reward.  But that sort of thinking got me into this predicament.  Food shouldn’t be a reward, at least not for me, not now.

So yeah, dreaming of beef, even if it is just a piece or two.  For now, I’m just going to increase the B12.  What I did find interesting is that things I would normally get there, like coconut chicken, just weren’t appealing to me in the least.  And if I’m going to eat beef, it’s going to be some place good and not at a buffet.

I’ve got the broccoli rabe soup in the slow cooker.  It’s been going all day and it smells sooooo good.  Pics tomorrow.

Thanks for reading!








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