Change What You Eat, Get Healthy – Final

We will start off with foods you should be eating daily. Types of foods may vary by quality of what you can afford or what is available, but it is important to include as many of the high quality foods as possible.

High quality foods are powerhouse foods. They have the most benefit per ounce, benefits being nutrients your body needs, fiber, or healthy fats. Eating the correct type of fat is very important, but secondary to fat itself. You need about 30% fat by calories in your diet to be healthy. Fat also keeps you warm and feeling full.

When it comes to vegetables, color is most important. The more colors you can eat daily, the better you will feel. When the choices are available, eat orange, green and red vegetables. Here are some of the best examples:

Cooked vegetables: Yams, Spinach, Mustard Greens, Beets, Tomatoes, Greens, Carrots and Peas for example.

Raw vegetables: Tomatoes, Peas, Broccoli, Romaine Lettuce and general Greens for example.

In general vegetable are only limited by what you choose to eat. There are very few bad vegetables in general.

In the winter, you want to eat more root vegetables, and in the summer more above ground vegetables. Root vegetable examples are yams, carrots, potatoes. Any vegetable where the part we eat grows in the dirt underground.

In the summer, you want to eat more above ground vegetables. Above ground vegetable examples, are tomatoes, peas, green beans. Any vegetable where it is picked from a plant and not dug up,

Common nutrient poor foods: Iceberg Lettuce, Bread, Flour Tortillas, Most White Potatoes, Rice, Milk.

Shrimp and Lobster for some people raise Cholesterol, so do not eat them often.

Really Bad food choices: Butter (more than on bread, in oatmeal, or on vegetables), Candy bars, Soda of any type, Fruit Juice, Grapes, white potatoes. The reason these are bad, is they are all very low in nutrients (vitamins and minerals), and very high in starch and/or sugar.

Here is a short list of do’s and dont’s for eating:

1. Don’t only eat low or no fat foods

2. Eat real food, not processed foods

3. Don’t eat food you don’t like

4. Very little Grains, Potatoes, Sugars – Honey is sugar.

This may sound really confusing, but it will become easier as you get used to eating better. If you pay attention to how you feel, you will find you feel better and you won’t want to eat junk foods.

Think of a plate divided into four. You can label them 1, 2, 3, 4 and it doesn’t matter which one you call number one. When you start to cook, or put food on your plate, this is what you do:

1. This is the section for meat – beef, pork, chicken, fish, eggs. The piece of meat should be about the size of your palm. Some type of meat or eggs should be eaten with every meal.

2. & 3. This is the section for your vegetables. Any vegetables are good, cooked or raw. No potatoes here.

4. This is for your good carbs: Cooked Yams (mashed or cut into pieces), oatmeal (cooked or granola, Red or Yukon Gold potatoes – NOT Plain White potatoes like Idaho potatoes for example, Squash.

4. You can substitute fruit if you want in number four. Fresh fruit, no juice. Melon of any type that is non-gmo or organic, Strawberries, Blueberries, Kiwi, Bananas, Watermelon, Apples – Gala or Honey Crisp, Peaches, Fresh Cherries, Figs & Dates (a small amount), Raspberries, etc. Little or no citrus fruits as they are high in sugar and low in nutrients. Keep the peelings on if peelings are normally eaten.
Vegetables and Fruits – You can buy fruits in two ways: 1.) If you buy fruit that is peeled, like bananas, it doesn’t matter if they are non-gmo or organic. Pesticides sprayed on is thrown away with the peel. 2.) Apples, pears and such, because you should eat the peel, should be organic or washed in cool water and dish soap before eating if not organic.

Snacks – Whole nuts, Apples, Pears, occasional Banana and oranges, Mango, Plums, Cherries (limited), etc. Notice these are not sugary fruits like pineapple. Dark semi sweet Chocolate is an excellent choice, and recommended these days. No more than two ounces per day.

Healthy Food is usually more than food in a bag, paper wrap or a to go container

Now let’s discuss what else you need:

Oil – Olive, Avocado or Olive & Avocado mixed. Nut oils are healthy, but expensive and must be refrigerated. Corn oil is generally unhealthy

Morton iodized salt – Sea salt, I found out, lacks iodine which we all need. In the early 1900’s in the U.S, people died from lack of iodine in their diet.

Whole pepper and a pepper grinder. Some spice companies sell an all in one, this is what I use.

Garlic Powder – not garlic salt

Any other spices you like.

Cooking choices – A lot of people like to fry their vegetables because this is how Chinese food is cooked. Chinese Restaurants fry vegetables because it is the easiest, fastest, and fairly cheap. The best way to cook vegetables is steam or boil them. Vegetables are healthiest when they are cooked, but not soggy.

Meats are healthiest cooked the same way. Of course steamed meat is not very tasty. Simmering/boiling meat is healthiest, followed by baked, and fried is last. BBQ’ing meat is okay, but they have found that BBQ meat can cause cancer over time if the meat is burned or crunchy. This usually happens by trying to cook BBQ meats too fast.

General: You want to eat four cups vegetables every day to be healthiest. You also may get an upset stomach or diarrhea if you suddenly start eating four or more cups of vegetables right away. Here is a plan for this:

1.) Week one goal is one cup vegetables, one cup root vegetables, and one cup fruit each day.

2.) Week two goal is two cups vegetables, one cup root vegetables, and one cup fruit each day.

3.) Week three goal is three cups vegetables, one cup root vegetables, and one cup fruit each day.

4.) Week four and beyond goal is four cups vegetables, one cup root vegetables, and one cup fruit each day.
Eat more soup. Vegetable soup with beef or chicken is very filling, and quite healthy. Soup is a good way to use a lot of vegetables. If you want to make stew, use corn starch instead of flour to thicken it. Put about a tablespoon of corn starch in a shallow bowl. Add some cool water to make it runny. Stir it in when soup or stew is simmering. Keep stirring for about a minute. Repeat if needed, until you learn how much you need.

Eventually, you may get to the point where the idea of eating a certain vegetable makes you want to gag. This is normal, and a very good thing. It is your body telling you that at last, you have enough vitamins and minerals and do not need to eat a particular vegetable.

As you pay attention to your body and what it wants, you will know when you want to eat a particular vegetable again. Just don’t confuse, your body not wanting something with you not wanting to eat it. You must think of your body like a car. It needs good gas and quality oil. If you don’t put gas in your car, it stops running, if you stop adding oil, it breaks down.

Especially starting out, you may find you don’t want to eat certain foods. For example, you don’t want to eat more vegetables. This is normal too. Change is difficult. Stick with it. You are changing your eating habits, and it takes time. Usually around three weeks before it becomes the new normal.

You will notice after about a month, some foods lose their appeal. For example, you might really like Little Debbie snack cakes, and as time goes by they aren’t as good as they used to be. The reason for this is junk food companies are really sneaky.

A lot of junk food has vitamins and minerals in it that we all need! Because the average person’s diet is so poor, junk food replaces vegetables as the main source of vitamins and minerals. Our bodies are interesting. For example, if you do not eat enough salt, (about 1/2 teaspoon a day if not doing heavy labor), but you eat bacon that is cured with salt, your body will crave unhealthy amounts of bacon because salty bacon is your bodies only source of salt.

Be aware of any cravings you have now. If it is for a certain junk food(s) you find yourself eating daily, your body is lacking in nutrients that the junk food is supplying! You body will crave all kinds of fatty unhealthy foods if they contain something it needs to function.

Water is the best drink. Of course most people can not live on water alone for a drink. Green Tea, Black Tea Coffee are okay, with coffee falling in and out of the good for you drinks list. “Sobe” type drinks if low or no sugar are okay. Soda Pop and especially Diet Soda is horrible for you. Fruit drinks and juices are really flavored sugar water and should be avoided, unless they are melon juices. Diet soda is thought to destroy essential microbes in your intestines.

Speaking of Microbes and Biome. Microbes and Biome are what make your intestines work. We each have about three pounds of them and they number in the billions. You got your first Biomes from your Mom when you where born. As you change what and how you eat, your microbes and Biome will change slowly. It may seem like you have really sunny diarrhea, but Biome change out and flush is what is really going on. This may happen every couple of weeks, and is normal.

A month from now, you can check to see if you are eating correctly. Get the inner pot from a crock pot with a lid from Good Will. A normal size crock pot liner. You should fill this with vegetable scraps at least once per week, of you are eating really well. This is compost and you can start a compost pile with it, if you wish. If not a gardener will be happy to have your vegetable scraps.

Finally, we live in the real world. Some days, someone will serve you cake, a donut, cookies, etc. Unless you want to punish yourself, go ahead and eat it. Draw the line at Soda of any type. Pay attention to coffee. Black coffee tends to make people feel, ‘hungry’. Put a little cream in your coffee to cut the acid.

If you “have” to eat pizza, tortillas, Mexican food, sweets, or other unhealthy foods, put them in a food schedule. Say Saturday is your day for Mexican food. Monday you eat some candy bar you really like. Thursday is pizza day. The only thing you want do when eating these foods, is eat them as early in the day as possible, and do not over eat. Food like these are treats and not everyday foods with the exception of Mexican food. Eat them at lunch time and limit the fat content in your dinner.

Mexican food can be made at home in a healthy way. Most of Mexico is proof of this. Use healthy low fat meat and very little cheese. Make re-fried beans just mashed beans with no oil. Limit beans and rice to less than 3/4 cup each. Use corn tortilla instead of flour tortilla.

Change What You Eat,…, Get Healthy Part 2

Here is a short list of great foods for you if you want to eat the healthiest foods. You will notice there is no corn, wheat, or rice. Grains aren’t all that great for people with slow thyroid, and many people general.

Preferred Vegetables (High in Fiber, you need lots of fiber). In general, the darker the color, the healthier over all.

Acorn Squash – I eat it in the winter with a little butter and Brown Sugar
Asparagus
Beans – Lentils, Pinto – limited amounts
Beet Greens – Pretty Good, I like them (boiled)
Beets – canned
Bell Peppers – Any color
Broccoli
Brussels Sprouts – Boiled or baked
Butternut Squash – Great with cinnamon
Cabbage – Boiled or steamed, or coleslaw
Carrots – Cooked to reduce sugar content
Cauliflower – Broccoli’s brother
Celery – Adds good flavor to soup/stews
Chili or other peppers
Collard Greens – I get them canned, they are usually better – Turkey flavor is good
Eggplant
Green (Snap) Beans
Green Peas
Kale – Smoothies or add to Salad
Lima Beans
Nuts and seeds – Sunflower, Pumpkin, Almonds if fresh. No more than an ounce a day
Okra – Not breaded and deep fried
Onions – green, white, yellow, or purple
Parsnips – Taste a little like radishes. I like them sliced and pan fried
Potatoes – Yukon Gold, red or purple only, leave skin on
Pumpkin – Canned or baked – Great with cinnamon
Rutabagas – I grew up on these, cut like potatoes, boil and mash or not
Snow Peas – A little expensive
Spaghetti Squash – bake and you have spaghetti noodles
Spinach – Cooked to get at vitamins and nutrients
Sweet Potatoes
Swiss Chard
Tomatoes
Turnips – I like these too, cut like potatoes, boil and mash or not
White Mushrooms – Probably all mushrooms
Yams – Boiled (Great with cinnamon) or fried
Yellow Beans
Zucchini

We may not need winding, but we need good food to run at our best

High Fiber Fruits

Apples – Gala or Honey Crisp
Bananas – Can constipate some people
Oranges – Navel with the biggest belly button you can find
Rasberries
Strawberries

Lean Beef Cuts

Extra Lean & Extra Expensive

• Bottom round roast and steak
• Brisket – Dry or Lean
• Chuck Tender Roast
• Eye of round roast and steak
• Flank Steak
• Ground Chuck – 80% lean or higher
• Grass Fed ground beef – Expensive
• Sirloin tip side steak
• Top round roast and steak
• Top sirloin steak
• Top Round

Chicken

Turkey – Ground turkey and Yam Hash – Yum!

Fish

Lean cuts of pork – center cut pork chops

Change What You Eat, Add a Few Minutes of Exercise, Get Healthy

I wrote this up for someone who wanted diet and exercise advice as they are feeling lost.

These next posts are a compilation of what I wrote and think I understand about eating and exercise. These posts were private correspondence with someone with a “Slow Thyroid”. I thought I would also share my thoughts with you. I’m not a doctor, or expert in this field. Nothing is original, and is only what I find works best for me, when nothing else has.

All rightly then! I think I have written down enough to get you going in the right direction. Besides doing some reading however, you will want to come to a few realizations, and you will want make some life style changes. Nothing really big, but very important.

First off, your weight. A sad but true fact about body fat, is the older you get, the harder it is to lose and keep weight off. If you think losing weight may be hard now, wait until you are fifty, it is almost impossible. Second, there is no magic pill or gym routine to make those pounds fall off. It can happen through a combination of eating correctly and getting some exercise. You will have to decide what you think about this part as you are in charge of you.

Next, because you have low thyroid action, your metabolism works slowly. I don’t know if your doctor explained anything other than a one minute explanation. I don’t really think it is slow thyroid, it’s just what it is called. When you think back through your Mom and Dad, their parents, and their parents, going back as far as you want, their life was way different than yours is in 2019.

Before the 1900’s, people didn’t always have access to a lot of food. They didn’t go to the fridge and get something to snack on, or open a cupboard door and pull out some chips to go with a bottle of beer. There wasn’t that much food around. When there was food, due to harvest time, slaughtering a barnyard animal, or hunting, there was no refrigerator to keep it in. Put simply, food was scarce.

All through the last thousand years, your ancestor’s (and mine) body’s learned to be more efficient with food. Their bodies with each hungry generation, learned how to get more energy with less food. Think of their bodies as car engines. The cars that guzzled gas and got ten miles to the gallon didn’t last. They were phased out because there wasn’t enough gas (food) for them to be successful.

Those cars that could get thirty or more miles to the gallon, well they had enough gas (food) to survive and thrive. When you came along, your body was so finely tuned, if you were a car you would be getting forty miles to the gallon! But you didn’t know that until the doctor told you, and your eating habits were already in place. Eating as a car getting twenty-five miles to the gallon instead of the forty miles per gallon is hurting you. Kind of like putting high octane gas in a subcompact. The subcompact doesn’t gain weight, but the extra money spent on gas is wasted. Because you are human, you put on weight eating extra food.

The good news is you don’t need to eat less or go hungry. You just need to modify how you eat and how much. All you need is cheap gas (lower calorie food). And one more little tweak… For the next six months or so, you want to walk at least twenty minutes after every meal. It’s not that hard. Lucky for you, most people with weight problems, do not have a clue how to eat right. You will after your done reading.

So feed your body lighter food, and your body will thank you for it, and it will lose weight. It wants to get back to a normal weight, as I’m sure you have noticed by how you feel, compared to how you remember feeling. Eat like you are a lightweight sports car, and not a semi-truck. Both you and your body will be happier!

Eating and exercise is always a hot topic.

So, besides walking at least twenty minutes after each meal, there are some simple and quick exercises that you can do to both help get you fit again, and improve how you feel throughout the day. They take about seven minutes a day, when you reach the correct amount of exercise.

1. Squats ~ Goal for one minute, plan on ten seconds starting out.

2. Mountain Climber (partial Burpee movement, no pushup) ~ Goal for one minute, less than thirty seconds starting out.

3. Jumping Jacks – Goal for one minute, thirty seconds or less starting out.

4. Palm down Plank ~ Goal for thirty seconds, plan on about ten seconds starting out.

5. Clenched Hands Plank ~ Goal for thirty seconds, plan on about ten seconds starting out.

6. Left and Right Side Planks ~ Goal for thirty plus seconds each, plan on about ten seconds or less for each side starting out.

7. Lunges ~ Goal for one minute, less than thirty seconds starting out.

I find simply standing with my arms at my sides for a few minutes after I am done with these exercises feels really good. I think it lets the muscles relax and form into the shape they should be in rather than the lazy way I have stretched and contorted them into with my bad habits.  Let me know how this works for you.

It doesn’t hurt at all to do some walking. You should aim for about fifteen miles a week. You might even do HIT Walking. HIT Walking means you walk for say two hundred yards, and then run as fast as you can for up to thirty seconds – no more. Then you go back to walking until you get your breath back, then sprint for thirty seconds. Repeat the run and walk with no more than three to four flat out runs. This is one of those things where doing more doesn’t help, and may hurt. Finish with walking the rest of your walk.

Next post will be a quick list. Eat all the vegetables you want, and don’t be scared of the fruits on the list.

The third post will be a more in depth explanation of what and how to eat, and why. You can be successful with this, feel better and eat as much as you want, just differently. It’s all up to you from here on. If you want to feel better, lose weight and look better, give this a month. Everyone can do something for thirty days can’t they?

You can do it!

Whole30 and Paleo Eating Update, Several Months Later

I have a few things going against me when it comes to dieting. First off, I grew up in Minnesota. This is/was(?) the land of meat roasts, mashed potatoes, gravy and bread. Milk (usually whole) was common with meals. Vegetables were an afterthought – open a can of something, boil it for ten minutes, cool and serve. Then like half the population now days near my age, I have my assorted health problems.

Most food is anything but healthy and wise for most people planning to diet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In short, I had a lot overcome. I thought I ate healthy meals and a few snacks. Bad habits, bad habits, and bad habits were a major part of my eating well. Learning that my eating in particular and foods I ate in general, made a poor foundation for eating well.

It is hard to know you are not eating healthy when everyone you know eats like you, or eats worse than you. Then there are the articles and news sources scaring you over one food after another. I think these are the number one problem for people trying to lose weight. We know what should be healthy, but we do not understand how to do it.

We have no idea what healthy eating is. We put diets into a category of something we do to lose weight. We rarely relate “diet” with correct eating, or at least closer to eating healthier. Whew, I’m through with this diet, I lost xx pounds and I’m done with it. Maybe a doughnut, or a little ice cream to celebrate….

“I know I can’t eat like I used to but at least I can a few of the things I really have been missing.” Well, I have been off my diet for a few weeks now and I have only gained x (hopefully not xx) pounds. I guess weight loss is normal? Everyone say’s it is. It’s been three months now, and I gained even more weight. I don’t understand! I am not eating like I used to…

Oh no, it’s my fourth month, and I have gained back all the wight I had lost except two or three pounds. If the above paragraphs sound familiar it is because they are all too common for too many people. Until this year, I would count myself as one of the people thinking these things.

This year, knowing I have a gluten allergy, I spotted the Whole30 plan in the book store. After seeing it around on and off, and browsing through it on and off, I bought the book, read it, and started following the Whole30 plan. You can read about it here:

Feeling Better, Eating Differently

Or, if you prefer, you can read all my dieting endeavors by doing a search on my blog for the word, “diet”. I have tried many diets and exercise programs with mixed results, until now.

It has been around six months now since I started the Whole30 eating plan, and around seven months since I changed to the Paleo Diet which you can read about here:

Dieting Decoded, The Simplest, Easiest, Ultimate Healthy Diet

I think this post is the post is where I fully realized the concept of eating correctly. There is no magic cure, no magic pill. I won’t bore you with the plethora of diet fallacies out there, I will provide one short example. The Acai Berry, was once the magic bullet of weight loss. The Acai Berry and a cheap magnesium pill do and are essentially the same thing. Acai Berries are natural magnesium supplements. Before you leave this post, remember, there is no diet shortcut, no magic pill or exercise. Common sense and the correct way of eating are the only way to successfully change your dieting life.

Diet education, and diet incorporation is the answer. The Whole30 and Paleo Diet make correct, healthy eating obvious, if you can not understand what they are doing for you, and why they work, you may need to see a counselor, because the problem is not in your diet. No offense meant, but that is the way it is.

Many people try to diet and sabotage themselves, as I did for years, once they leave or fall off the diet they were on. A healthy diet, is learning how to eat for the rest of your life, not a few weeks or months. A healthy diet is not setting a goal of losing some number of pounds and then eating as you did before your weight loss.

The key to healthy eating and weight loss is as simple as I write about in the diet posts above. The greatest gift I received from Whole30 and Paleo is this: If you are unable to identify the ingredients in the food you are about to eat, you shouldn’t be eating it. Simple is healthy, when it comes to food.

Possible Link Between Cold Sores and Alzheimer’s Disease

There is a possible link between Cold Sores and Alzheimer’s Disease. From what I read, the Herpes virus that causes cold sores which goes dormant appears to eventually move into the brain, and create what we know as Alzheimer’s Disease.

We all have a blood-brain barrier that stops almost all virus’ from entering the brain itself, but as we know, there are some brain issues that show some virus’ are able to make it through the brain-blood barrier and cause brain infections.

Here is a link from the most comprehensive article I stumbled across. There was another article commenting on this study, but I could not retrieve the link.

Possible Link Between Cold Sores and Alzheimer’s Disease

Personally, I hope this link proves to be false….

Dieting Decoded, The Simplest, Easiest, Ultimate Healthy Diet

The diet light bulb came on last evening, or put another way, I experienced a diet epiphany! This refreshing thought came about while trying to explain what the Whole30 and Paleo diet are in there essence. I do not assume to speak for either of these diets, but rather provide a simple explanation of what their long term goal is.

This is the last diet advice you will ever need. You can stop searching the Internet for the latest and greatest diet advice. You may give away your diet books as you won’t need them any more. You can say goodby to your frustrations from trying to diet, and enjoy all the positives a better way of eating provide.

If you are not familiar with a better way to eat, here is my explanation, which is not formal, nor accepted as a proper explanation. I am sure many diet authorities would be willing to say I am wrong, so be it. First, as you know I recently completed the Whole30 program. Whole30 eating program removes all foods known to cause problems when eaten. Food allergies, intolerance, or simple indigestion followed by constipation and/or diarrhea are taken out of the 30 day diet.

I changed to the Paleo diet, which attempts to go back to the way our ancestors ate before the rise of farming and ranching. Both ways of eating are very similar from my understanding, though Whole30 is more restrictive. Either one is a great choice, but they do not easily get down to the essence of making food choices simpler. In both eating styles, there are a lot of vegetables, with some type of protein. Though knowing this does not make for a simple explanation to family and friends.

My light bulb moment was the relationship not only between these two eating styles, but comparing them to a general diet as an understandable spoken explanation of, “What I can eat”, which is the topic of much conversation these days. Now, that I made the leap to a simple explanation everyone can understand, I simply say, “I eat what you and I were fed as a baby”. Obvious and transparent with no ambiguity.

When feeding an infant starting on solid food, vegetables generally comprise the whole meal. Typically, a jar of green beans is a complete meal for an infant. Or when a little older, perhaps two vegetables, or a vegetable and fruit. Further along the infant diet, meat is added.

Stop Diet Hopping!

The last words you will ever need to read about Dieting!

There are no sweet fruit juices, candies, cakes or cookies given to a baby. At least not more than a taste. We want our babies to be healthy, wealthy, and wise, not chubby and sickly. We know how to feed an infant. My comparison to an infant’s diet struck me as a perfect explanation for an answer to, “What do I eat”? “I eat what we both ate as babies.” How succinct.

Suddenly, as if coming out a fog, friends and family understand I am not on some exotic, secret diet plan with exotic foods. They remember what they have fed to their children as infants, or have seen the foods other parents feed their infants. “What can I eat”, is clarified and taken out of the category of mystery and placed in the, well, that is obvious now category.

I no longer have to go through any long drawn out explanation, of what foods I wish to eat, and what foods I no longer eat. I simply say, I eat those types of foods we ate as infants, the same foods you were fed and fed your children as infants.

I am not sure where we transgressed from being fed wholesome healthy food to living on fast food, soda, and sweets. We did this very bad food substitution, and convinced ourselves we are eating healthy. Surprise, we’re eating like everyone else is, not eating healthy. Eating as healthy as our friends who take an average of five pills a day to offset their serious medical conditions. High blood pressure, High Cholesterol, Diabetes, Arthritis, and a host of other common diet related medical conditions which were practically unheard of a few hundred years ago.

Now don’t go out an buy baby food, the cost is too high, and the taste too bland. Instead buy the same foods you find in the infant section of the baby food aisle. In ending, you no longer need a diet plan, all you need is apply the common sense your Mother had when she fed you for your first year of life.

Feeling Better, Eating Differently

This is an edited copy of an email to a family member. I thought you may wish to read it too. I removed the eating plan name and the places I ate at, as my experience may or may not be the result of eating there. Fwiw, everything I have written is true for now. If anything changes, I will update this post.

You may like reading my thoughts about a eating plan? I have passed the thirty-first day on the xxxxxxxx eating plan. I can call it quits if I wish. Thing is, I’m sticking with this because I feel so much better.

I have found I may have a few more food issues than I thought. I find I can not eat orange beef and brown rice at xxxxxxx. I never thought it was possible, but I felt like I had three different headaches going at one time, starting about an hour after I ate! Lasted until I fell asleep for the night. I wasn’t a happy camper as I have eaten the same dish at the same place many times.

Even a few more foods are strongly suspect. Tacos are suspect, maybe the corn? Then there is this almond butter bar that is supposed to be healthy. Guess what? Eating one bar raised my blood pressure 20 plus points, and it stayed up for several hours! One little (claimed to be healthy) almond butter bar did this to me. I know it is the bar, because I ate one bar every other day over six days, with the same results. Before this eating plan, I thought all these foods were okay for me. And there are probably more foods I will find out I do not want to eat. I haven’t ventured too far from the eating plan, so I don’t know yet. I feel so good now.  I don’t want to ruin it.

On the bright side. Eating as much as I want to, I have lost almost 14 pounds without feeling (need to eat) hungry! My blood pressure dropped 20 points and is now in the young person normal range. My sugar level is as low as its ever been. I do not feel like I’m going to fall over from trying to keep it in a low range.

Best Health question I ever read!

And I owe it all to changing what I eat! My muscles and joints no longer get stiff for no obvious reason. My stiff neck, which I have had for over two decades, gone! My knees, sometimes aching at night, gone. I thought these were a part of getting older. Finding out that was wrong think.

All this has led to thinking more about food. Do I want to be as healthy as possible, or do I want to take and have my sugar and blood pressure keep going higher, and my muscles and joints hurting, because food makes me sick? When I started this way of eating, I thought, okay, food is now going to be a maintenance function. That said, most of the xxxxxxx plan meals, once I have added chili too, are pretty tasty. Living in New Mexico I guess. Some meals taste awesome, and some need help.

One interesting observation about overweight people eating deserts and other unhealthy foods. This is something I read about why you won’t overeat on a Paleo diet: “An overweight person has no trouble eating a quart of ice cream after a heavy dinner, but they would not wish to eat a quart of Broccoli instead.” The truth in this thought really hit home.

No more cravings! For the last half of the first week, through the second week, I occasionally had cravings for something sweet. Then they went away completely. I just ate more food! In fact, some days when I wake up, I delay eating because I do not feel hungry. On other days though, I am famished. Same goes with lunch and dinner.

It is amazing! Just like when I quit eating wheat, how much better I feel, though it took a few weeks longer! How different I eat now, and it feels normal. Sometimes meals are a little strange, like sweet potatoes with eggs for breakfast. This has since changed to meat or eggs with leftover vegetables or an apple or two. Also I find I am perfectly happy drinking water. For some unknown reason, water now tastes really good.

I am going to transition to a Paleo diet. I enjoy the way the xxxxxx has made me feel, and I don’t miss guessing whether some processed food has gluten in it or not. With xxxxxxx and eventually Paleo diet, Gluten is not a concern as grains are not on the menu to start with. This is another one of those, “I wish I would have tried this years ago!”. I am eating and feeling so much better!

Ending on a funny note. I find some of the recipes call for half of some vegetable or other, usually bell pepper. The other half used to go into the refrigerator only to be thrown out when I found it on a back shelf some time later. I no longer have that problem. Now when I am prepping to start dinner, I now just eat the other half of the bell pepper. No more food waste.

Simple, Fast, Anywhere, Whole Body Exercise

Walking is not enough. Walking and jogging or running are great for our cardiovascular system. Walking, jogging or running does not quite do it for Total Body Health. Total Body Health is being able to do what you want to need to do without fear of injury or pain the next day.

Exercise that uses as many of the muscles as possible leads to better overall health and fitness. If you are older like me, total body health makes the difference between getting through each day and looking forward to doing something that needs to be done each day. Tasks that used to be painful, become simple. Waking up sore because you pulled a few weeds yesterday ceases to becomes a painful reminder.

Only thing is, I, like many people do not like to exercise. Exercise is boring, and in itself brings no satisfaction. I want to get my exercise over quickly and get the most benefit in the least amount of time. I think most people prefer less time spent exercising and more time doing what they want to do.

Same as my previous post about my experience with High Intensity Interval Training, there are ways to exercise that maximize gain with minimal time spent doing them. And you do not need a gym. I again researched the internet and books to find what exercises are most common for giving the most return for the least amount of time.

I listed these out and picked out a few that were the most common and proven to be the most effective exercises to use as many muscles as possible while doing each exercise. I think these few exercises do just that. Of course they can be broken down into two or more individual exercises but this would take more time. These exercises take less than five minutes, and if you are just starting out, I suggest you spend less than two minutes on all of them to find out what your muscles think of them.

Exercise is like cooking, you can always add more. One main reason people stop exercising is because it becomes painful. You should think past this and realize it was not painful to get to the point where exercise is painful, so you should start out slow and increase your exercise time as your body is ready for it. There is no need to be sore and have your muscles hurt. We are all looking for a level of fitness, not joining an elite fighting organization.

I found this Ab Wheel in the pic in a thrift store for a few dollars. It is like new condition. When I bought it, I thought how hard can it be? I saw the infomercials, and it looked easy enough. One movement to the right, one to the center and one stretch to the left. I went through the movements when I brought home for about two minutes. The Ab Wheel afterward didn’t feel like I had done anything. The next day when I went to do a plank, I felt every strained and pained muscle in my abdomen tell me what I did yesterday. Starting slow is starting smarter.

Two minutes using this tells you your core fitness level

Here are the exercises I condensed down that most of the material I read agrees are the best whole body movements. You can look on web if you are not familiar with them as they are explained much better than I would explain them

1. Jumping Jacks – regular and side to side ~ Goal for one minute, thirty seconds or less starting out.

2. Squats ~ Goal for one minute, plan on ten seconds starting out.

3. Plank with palms down ~ Goal for thirty seconds, plan on about ten seconds starting out.

4. Plank with hands clenched ~ Goal for thirty seconds, plan on about ten seconds starting out.

5. Left and Right Side Planks ~ Goal for thirty plus seconds each, plan on about ten seconds or less for each side starting out.

5. Mountain Climber (partial Burpee movement) ~ Goal for one minute, less than thirty seconds starting out.

6. Lunge ~ Goal for one minute, less than thirty seconds starting out.

If you do these in succession, not only do they go fast, but you will be breathing harder than when when you started. If it is two hard, relax for a bit between exercises until you get used to them. You will be waking up any number of weak dormant muscles, so start slowly. I think doing these exercises every other or every third day is a good starting point. They only take a few minutes, but work a lot of muscles.

Of course check with your doctor to ensure these are exercises you can do. If you have not exercised in a while, perform these exercises ten seconds each. You will wake the next day and your body will let you know you did something different the day before. A little sore isn’t bad, really sore makes you want to not do it again.

I find simply standing with my arms at my sides for a few minutes after I am done with these exercises feels really good. I think it lets the muscles relax and form into the shape they should be in rather than the lazy way I have stretched and contorted them with my bad habits. Let me know how this works for you.

High Intensity Interval Training, My One Month Observations

I have been reading a lot about exercise lately. I joined a gym, and had an hour with an instructor. The hour turned out to be more of a sales pitch than anything else, but there may be a few seeds of knowledge in what I heard. The instructor holds a Masters Degree in Human Physiology, so I believe most of what he said. He lost me at the $400.00 per month trainer cost to get me looking like an American Ninja competitor in six months. I thought six months was too quick, maybe if he said seven months I would have signed up….

Between, the instructor, books and the web, I have learned exercise has changed a lot over the years. Smarter exercise is better exercise. Longer exercise times are not always smarter or better. Science seems to show almost everyone can get themselves in reasonable physical condition in as little as thirty minutes a week, as quickly as a few months.

The idea of High Intensity Interval Training is simple, once it is understood. It seems our bodies may not made for trotting all day alongside a herd of Antelope waiting for our chance to strike. The newer exercise science seems to declare we are made for reasonable movement mixed with all out spurts of action or movement mixed in.

Translated into something I understand, all out spurts of action means as little as one minute of cycling, running, swimming, cross country skiing, or performing any total body activity at the fastest possible speed. This all out action is repeated three times after warmup, with intervals of slower or recovery movement in between the all out portions.

Here is my plan using the ideas from High Intensity Interval Training:

1. Warm up. Perhaps a minute of jumping jacks followed by two minutes of walking, or simply walking about three minutes at a moderate pace.

2. Run as fast as I am able, with a goal of running all out for a full minute.

3. Slow to a walk for two to three minutes of recovery (catching my breath).

4. Run as fast as I am able, with a goal of running for a full minute.

5. Slow to a walk for two to three minutes of recovery (catching my breath).

6. Run as fast as I am able, with a goal of running for a full minute.

7. Slow to a walk for final recovery.

Exercise and feel younger, Exercise and feel better

I started using this High Intensity Interval Training exercise idea about a month ago, I could only run my fastest for about ten seconds. Muscles in my hips and upper thigh complained loudly and painfully. I thought at first I would not be able to do this as the pain was so quick and pronounced.

The pain remained for some days. The exercise reward seemed non-existent. I went through my cycles with a goal of this exercise plan every other day, or three times a week.

It is now a month or so later, and I am up to all out running all out for about thirty to forty seconds. No pain. My Recovery Walk lasts two to four minutes instead of ten or twelve. High Intensity Interval Training has a lot going for it after all. I confess I am a converted skeptic about High Intensity Interval Training.

As a baseline, I want to mention, I walk a lot. When the weather and other things cooperate, I walk somewhere around 15 miles or more a week. Running however is a whole different animal.

I do not remember having as much as jogged in the last twenty years. After 40, running was thought to cause joint problems. Initially running was where my major pain came from. I discovered I had several smaller unused or little used muscles around my lower hips and  hip joint.

Which brings me to something the instructor salesman told me which may or may not be true. As we sail past about fifty years of age, we become much more efficient at the things we do. If we are going to get up, we do two or more things because we are up.

Our body also starts to quit using non essential muscles, and even some muscles that are useful, but not mandatory in our lifestyle. Muscles start to deteriorate because we do not use them.

Setting my skepticism aside, I am sold on High Intensity Interval Training as the most productive use of limited exercise time. If you are like me and have not moved faster than a fast walk for some years, you may want to buy a bottle of your preferred pain reliever first.

Of course always check with your doctor, and read what you can find about High Intensity Interval Training to determine if this is the right exercise for you. I find I enjoy High Intensity Interval Training and the gains are fast – once the pain goes away.