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….

Walnut -Sweet Potato Mash!

11 05 2012

This was the best meal of the past week right here. Not sure if it’s my sweet tooth or what but I love sweet potatoes now! Before making the switch to plant based, I was never really a fan. For those who consume dairy, regular butter and milk can be substituted). This was so good I had to pass it on:

4 lbs sweet potatoes (yams)
1/2 cup coconut milk
6 tbsps vegan butter
1 1/2 tsps ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground allspice
3/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 cup toasted walnuts (chopped)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Roast potatoes on rimmed baking sheet until tender, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Cool slightly. Scoop flesh into large bowl; discard skins. Mash hot potatoes until coarse puree forms.

Heat milk and butter in heavy small saucepan over low heat until butter melts, stirring occasionally. Gradually stir hot milk/butter mixture into hot potatoes. Gradually stir in spices. Season with salt and pepper.Sprinkle nuts over and serve.

If you want to liven it up, you could add a splash of bourbon and a drizzle of pure maple syrup. I had it without and it was fantastic!

DO AHEAD: Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and chill. Rewarm in microwave.

Best Sources of Plant Based Protein

31 03 2012

A handy, dandy chart for when people ask you questions…because if you are eating this way, they will!

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.

A Strange World

24 01 2012

It’s a strange world when the Center for Disease Control authors a study that recommends mothers to consider delaying the breast feeding of their children during times of immunizations as a way to increase their potency. It’s a strange world when we are bombarded with commercials and advertisements of people who are so tired that they need a shot of “five hour energy” or any number of different energy drinks to make it through the day, yet when the sun sets they then need Lunesta to get some rest. It’s a strange world when the diabetes drug you take to control your glucose levels ends up making you vomit, causes internal bleeding and/or causes cancer. For all of humankind’s technological advances, are we really any better off when it comes to our health?

I think the power of the body to heal itself is vastly over looked. Our body is the most complex machine on Earth. We see with it. We hear with it. We use it to get from place to place. We make endless numbers of calculations with it every day. And it does all of this solely on food, water, oxygen and rest. But with the body you only get out of it, what you put into it.

For a long time, I abused my body. I made poor eating choices and paid for them instantly. How do you feel after eating a double quarter pounder with cheese and bacon? I would feel like wanting to go to sleep. My energy level would drop so incredibly fast. I’d often resort to having an energy drink but would rarely feel the bump from it. For a long time, I didn’t allow myself to get enough sleep. And still today this is something that I struggle with. I led a mostly sedentary lifestyle, sitting at a desk or driving in a car for most of the work week. I hated to have to walk anywhere. And honestly, lugging around a massive 400+ pound frame is no easy task. It’s completely exhausting. At night I’d want to just come home and crumple onto the floor. It was difficult to even play with my kids, which makes me feel ashamed. People at work would get the best parts of me and by the time I got home I was just a shell of a person.

In just four weeks of switching to a plant based diet a lot of these things have already begun changing. I’m eating a whole lot better. I haven’t had candy, soda or fast food in a long time. A lot of these things I started phasing out as my sickness progressed. I have replaced them with veggies, fruits, nuts, seeds and beans. I do eat prepackaged vegan meals as well but I try to limit them and eat as close to the source as I can. As I have stated before the difference in my energy is amazing. I haven’t had to lay on the floor one night since changing my diet. No mid-day crashes, no stops at WAWA for an energy drink. Sure there are times when I get tired but I’m never exhausted like I used to be. I try to be active more during the day now. In the last two days, I’ve walked 4.5 miles. For me, that is amazing. I’m a guy that hates to walk to the mailbox. But as I lose weight and gain energy, I’m realizing that it is actually nice to walk. It feels freeing. For a long time, I’ve been a slave to my bad habits. I think of what a complete fool I have been to my body. In many ways I’m thankful for the wake up call. By the second or third week of February, I’ll be completely off antibiotics. I’m worried that the staph infection will come back. I think I see signs of it coming back every once in awhile. Perhaps I’m paranoid. Only time will tell. I know that one of the ways to fight it off is to get healthy. And I can not get healthy soon enough.

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