Always Forward, Rarely Straight

25 09 2012

So I was living the dream, 70 pounds down, plant based diet, feeling healthier and full if energy – then vacation time came. After making the proclamation here that I would not allow vacation to derail me as it has done to so many others – it did. Day one of vacation started with pancakes, bacon and sausage and I never looked back. And a week spiraled into two months of eating a lot more of what I hadn’t been. The last time I looked at a scale I had gained back 12 pounds.

How does it happen? How do human beings that are so focused on a goal slip up like that and completely fall apart? For me, I was frustrated. I was tired of feeling like I was depriving myself and barely seeing the needle on the scale move. It was frustrating to go to my acupuncture appointments and pay hundreds of dollars and see that I lost .4 pounds that week when I knew how hard I was working to lose more. Some weeks, I was even slightly up. So despite the tremendous physical benefits I was feeling from acupuncture, I stopped going all together.

And same was the fate of this blog…checking in weekly to give the weight loss report – I’m just not wired that way. The self imposed “foot on the neck” approach does not yield lasting results for me. I need to have a more gentler setup.

In the past several weeks, I’ve felt a whole lot less full of vigor. I started to feel like how I felt a year ago right before I got sick. I’ve recently been eating an 80% raw diet of uncooked fruits,veggies and nuts in an effort to get back on track. I’ll be frank, I have no idea of what the future game plan is here. I’m just trying to figure out what works for me. Mostly plant based / mostly raw feels good but I’m just not sure if I have the strength or will to limit all food intake to that – at least for the moment.

I’m thankful to the many people who wrote me to see if all was okay or to ask what happened to the blog. It would have been interesting to blog during this two months “in the wilderness” but I just didn’t have it in me. I needed to hit the reset button and clear my mind. I feel like I’m in a better space now.

So for those still checking in, thanks so much. Here we go again…always forward, rarely straight….





The Day I’ve Waited All Year For

23 05 2012

I have looked forward to this day for nearly a year now. One of the happiest days of the year – free Slurpee day! One glorious day a year 7-Eleven gives back to their customers by offering a free 7.11oz Slurpee. The size is surely measly but for those of us who plan it out properly, there is a wondrous fruity bounty to collect.

And so it was with great joy that I began preparing for this day 10 months ago. I would hit every 7-11 in a nearly 75 mile range, consuming liters of the sugary goodness for FREE!!

Except I won’t be. At roughly 20 grams of sugar per small serving, it’s free sugar diabetes with a straw. Getting really sick back in September fully opened my eyes to to how unwise it is to go on these sugar consuming excursions. As it turns out staph infection loves sugar. It practically breeds in the stuff. So it was goodby to sugar and other artificial sweeteners. I’ll stick with foods naturally containing sugar and forgo the rest.

Instead of having my free Slurpees,I started my day with freshly made pineapple, apple, banana, kiwi, blueberry, kale juice. Not as easy as grabbing a Slurpee from the local “Sev” but super energizing and very tasty. Long after the sugar crash from a Slurpee would have taken it’s toll, I’m still plugging away.

It’s a new world and frankly, I don’t miss the old one.





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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From Pro Wrestling Icon to Fitness Guru – Diamond Dallas Page Reveals How Yoga Can Change Your Life

1 05 2012

When I decided to write this blog over four months ago, it was solely a way to stay focused on my goal of losing 200 pounds while reversing some serious health issues through a dietary lifestyle change and increased exercise. If it helped to motivate someone else than that was an added plus. I never expected to promote anybody’s product. That being said, if I find something that works for me, I am going to tell you about it. DDP Yoga has been that something. I’ve only done it for about a month now but it has helped me to lose some weight, gain noticeable strength, become much more flexible as well as significantly reduce a nagging shoulder pain issue that I’ve had. I know that the results I am seeing with this program so far are only the tip of the iceberg but in only four weeks, the results are impressive enough that I can’t help but espouse the many benefits to anyone who will listen to me.

I want to make it clear that I’m not a paid affiliate. I bought the program just like everybody else has. I have no stake in this other than to pay forward the kindness of others who have helped me along the way. It’s all about learning and information sharing.

One of the great things about blogging and the internet in general is that people you would not normally have the opportunity to communicate with, become much more accessible. I recently had the good fortune and the great honor to speak at length with the creator of DDP Yoga; a pro wrestling legend turned fitness guru – Diamond Dallas Page. He continues to help me tweak my lifestyle change so that I get the most out of it. I hope that the extensive information contained in this interview will benefit my readers and will help you determine if this program could benefit you (and believe me – it can and will) as it continues to do for me and the many others who are using it.

Click here for the:
Johnnysized.com audio interview with DDP

If you’ve listened to the interview and feel inspired to use DDP Yoga to help you become your best self, you can save 10% on the program or on anything in the DDP Yoga store for the next 24 hours by putting in the promo code: JGEE

www.ddpyoga.com

If you do get the program, drop me a line and let me know how it’s going. You can post public comments here or drop me a private one at johnnysized@gmail.com

Arthur’s story – a DDP yoga testimonial





Plant Based Foods That Build Muscle

15 04 2012

People are always asking me “now that you’ve gone plant based, where do you get your protein from?”. It is a cultural misnomer that protein can only be obtained from animal sources. This is a belief propagated in the beginning of the last century and sadly many people have not come to find out about the many other healthier and more nutritious sources of plant based protein. Yes you can eat plant based foods and develop muscle. Yesterday a friend sent me an online slideshow of the best plant based sources of protein. It’s definitely worth re-posting:

http://www.livestrong.com/slideshow/556369-the-21-best-muscle-building-foods-for-vegetarians/#slide-1

***If you have something you think would benefit my readers (and me) please post a comment here or send me an email at johnnysized@gmail.com





The Amazing Benefits of Eating Your Sweet ‘Taters!

11 04 2012

One of the neat things about eating plant based is that your tastes really do change after awhile. As a kid, I despised sweet potatoes but after eliminating all sugars from my diet, I’ve gone back to try them and found them to be nature’s candy. They are delicious and one of the most nutrient packed vegetable that you can eat. Sweet Potatoes are loaded with vitamin A. An average sized sweet potato packs more than the daily recommended allowance of vitamin A. This is especially beneficial for smokers who often end up having a vitamin A deficiency which over time can lead to emphysema. They are also a great food for asthma sufferers and are low on the glycemic index for those with diabetes.

An average sized sweet potato can give you nearly a third of your daily vitamin C allowance while providing you with 15% of your recommended daily fiber intake. They are also loaded with antioxidants. You won’t find more betacarotene anywhere so sweet potatoes are perfect for good heart, eye and skin health. They are also full of anti-inflammatory properties and are excellent for people suffering from arthritis.

Because sweet potatoes are often chemically treated during and after the growing season, it is best to remove the skin prior to eating. As always, buying organic is going to be your best bet. It’s worth the extra money not to eat the poison.

Sweet potatoes are so nutrient rich that they can potentially cause harm if you eat them too often while having kidney or gallbladder issues. They contain small amounts of oxalates which when taken large doses can be problematic. Healthy digestive tracks will be more able to properly digest sweet potatoes. But like all things, eat them in moderation. Definitely don’t pass them up thpogh because they are amazingly beneficial and delicious.

Here is a great looking recipe that I cannot wait to try. It’s from Engine2 Diet:

RIP’S SWEET POTATO LASAGNA
1 onion, chopped
1 small head of garlic, all cloves chopped or pressed
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
1 head broccoli, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 red bell peppers, seeded and chopped
1 can corn, rinsed and drained
1 package Silken Lite tofu
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon rosemary
2 jars pasta sauce cashews
tomato
2 boxes whole grain lasagna noodles
16 ounces frozen spinach, thawed and drained
2 sweet potatoes, cooked and mashed
6 roma tomatoes, sliced thin
1 cup raw cashews, ground

Preheat oven to 400º. Sauté the onion and garlic on high heat for 3 minutes in a wok or nonstick
pan. Add the mushrooms and cook until the onions are limp and the mushrooms give up their liq-
uid. Remove them to a large bowl with a slotted spoon. Reserve the mushroom liquid in the pan.
Sauté the broccoli and carrots for 5 minutes and add to the mushroom bowl. Sauté the peppers and
corn until just beginning to soften. Add them to the vegetable bowl. Drain the tofu by wrapping in
paper towels. Break it up directly in the towel and mix into the vegetable bowl. Add spices to the
vegetable bowl and combine.

To Assemble:
Cover the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch casserole with a layer of sauce. Add a layer of noodles. Cover
the noodles with sauce. This way the noodles cook in the oven, saving time and energy. Spread
the vegetable mixture over the sauced noodles. Cover with a layer of noodles and another dress-
ing of sauce. Add the spinach to the second layer of sauced noodles. Cover the spinach with the
mashed sweet potatoes. Add another layer of sauce, the final layer of noodles, and a last topping
of sauce. Cover the lasagna with thinly sliced roma tomatoes.
Cover with foil and bake in the oven for 45 minutes. Remove the foil, sprinkle with the cashews,
and return to the oven for 15 minutes. Let sit for 15 minutes before serving.

Enjoy!








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