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.





Don’t Give Up!

16 05 2012

This one is for the people who are struggling with their weight. For the people who feel broken. For those that have given up. For those that feel they are too far gone now to make a change.

Don’t give up!

I know where you are at. I was over 400 pounds at one point not so long ago. I thought it was too late for me. My friends and family had spoken with me about their concerns regarding my weight. I would “yes” them and then go binge for days. Their criticisms seemed to validate the feelings I already had about myself – that I was not good enough. That there was something wrong with me. I stopped going to most family gatherings. I further isolated myself. My shame grew exponentially.

I had tried to lose weight in the past and always failed. I always gained it all back plus some. I felt hopeless and sometimes worthless. My future looked so bleak to me.

I got to the point where my thought process was that I would die this way. It would be easier to just eat myself to death rather than lose this weight. Until I got very sick and dying became a real possibility. It’s funny how something like that will change a person. It was a blessing that came disguised as a trauma. (Doesn’t this happen frequently in life?).

Getting sick was the best thing that could have happened to me. It forced me to see what others had been trying to say to me. Of course I had known I was in very poor health but it was in getting sick that it really crystalized for me. I knew that I needed to make a change.

There is nothing special about me. My willpower is less than most people you know. I’ve failed constantly in the past. The only difference this time is that I’m willing to continue on for the long haul – one small step at a time. If it takes me 2 years or 5 to lose 200+ pounds, I’m going to do it.

I’m not telling you that you aren’t already perfect because you are. Zen Buddhist master, Thich Nhat Hanh said, “The wave does not need to die to become the water”. We are already what we seek to become. It is already inside us, we just need to find it, tap into it and bring it out.

Before losing 65 pounds, I was unable to wear a seatbelt in some cars, I could not sit in a booth when dining out, plastic lawn furniture was my nemesis, amusement park rides were often not possible, flying required seatbelt extenders.  Even just finding the energy to play with my kids or take a walk with them was so difficult.  Life was harder and I was missing out on some of the best parts of it.

So I’m not telling you there is anything wrong with you. I’m just trying to appeal to your desire to live the life you were born to live. The life you envisioned when you were younger. The life that your weight might currently prevent you from living. Inherit the life you were born to live!

How to start? Each race won starts with a single step. So take your first step now. I started by cutting out sugar. I failed initially. Even once in a blue moon I still fail but starting is the important part. Starting and picking yourself up when you fall are the most important things. As you have successes, cut out other unhealthy things while increasing exercise.

Don’t give up!

Aim for a pound. Just one pound. Show your body and your mind that you can do it. When you reach a pound go for 2,  then 5, then 10.   Mini goals are very important.  Sometime the only way a mountain can be climbed is to climb it one step at a time.

Don’t wait for your situation to become increasingly dire like I did. If you aren’t happy, make a small change today.  Begin to come up with a plan.

I’m an email or a message away if I can help in any way. If you need to talk and are willing to put forth some effort, I’m willing to spend the time.  I know you can do this, because I am doing it too.  Millions of us are.  Come join us.  Reclaim your life.

I wish you luck. But with some determination you won’t really need it. Don’t give up!

All the best,
Johnny
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!





How to do a 21 Day Plant-Based Kick Start!

6 04 2012

Are you ready to take back your life? Are you ready to find the energy that you’ve so desperately been missing? Are you ready to fight and possibly even reverse heart disease, high blood pressure, type II diabetes? do you want to stave off Alzheimer’s? Are you trying to lose weight?

People often ask how to get started with a plant based diet. I posted a section of this in the past, but here is the entire show. Dr. Barnard is a wealth of information. If you have the time and the true desire to make a change, this man can show you the simplest way to do it. What are you waiting for for??? It’s only three weeks, give it a try. you have nothing to lose!








From Fear of Dying to Joy of Living!

28 03 2012

Bill Clinton is probably one of the best known vegans on the planet right now. He is actually reversing his heart disease with a plant based diet. This is a CNN video interview with him and a separate interview with his doctors:

A little more about a 21 day immersion plan to switch to a plant based diet:





Raw Foods are the Cure

23 03 2012

Every month at work, our insurance provider sends out a health and wellness bulletin to be posted in the office.  Sometimes it talks about exercise or vitamins or the importance of getting regular check ups.  This month though it was about type II diabetes. 26 million people in the United Stated are type II diabetic with an additional 60 -80 million who are pre-diabetic. The numbers are growing by leaps and bounds every year.   So I read with great interest the posted bulletin which basically said that if you have type II diabetes you are essentially shit out of luck.  Get on meds and spend a lifetime managing it that way.  “There is no cure”.








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