Happy Day after Easter!  Back to Paleo eating for me.  I have just come off a “binge weekend” – 3 days of gluttony and excess with family and friends.  Back to healthy eating.  Its been several weeks now since I started following a new eating plan, based on the principles of Tim Ferris’s Slow Carb Diet.  I have eliminated almost sugars and starched, eating primarily Proteins (fish, chicken, beef, pork, eggs) and vegetables.

About a  month since my last post, I’m down about 10 lbs since I began with this new way of eating.  For a sugar addict f]like me, eating this way is easier said than done.  I have 6 days with fairly strict eating guidelines, then one “cheat” day.  The first couple of cheat days were total gluttony days, but after that I “cheated” in moderation.  I was finding that when I did eat the ‘forbidden foods’ on my cheat days, I just kinda felt like crap.  This past weekend however, with family  visiting and holidays and birthdays to celebrate, I had a cheat weekend instead, so today, I need to tighten the reins and bring my eating back in line.  I do like starting my day with a smoothie, and one of the this I use in my smoothie is Green Grass.  I used to put all kinds of spinach and kale in my smoothie, but this makes it easier, if I don’t have any on hand.  I just use it along with whatever I have… coconut or almond milk, carrots, bee pollen, flax seed, maybe some fruit (my exception to my slow carb dieting).   We invested in a Vitamix, but there are other great high powered blenders out there as well.  Our Vitamix chews through raw fruit and veggies easily, even when frozen.  It’s pretty awesome.

Something else I need to get back into is an exercise regimen.  When Ray’s work schedule changed, so did his exercise schedule.  Where we used to go together in the mornings, 3 to 4 days a week, he now goes 6 days a week, for about 2 hours in the afternoon.  Let me be brutally honest, I have absolutely no desire to spend 2 hours of my day, six days a week, exercising.  I have been seeing a lot about some sort of microburst training.  It seems to be short periods of high intensity training using limited equipment and I might look into this more and give it a try.  I’m also going to have to suck it up and get back into the gym for some strength training, even if it means going by myself, a few times a week.  I must say that working out with my husband was much easier when I had him for motivation.

I’ll keep you updated on my progress,  but my Vitamix is calling me, so I’m off to make myself a delicious smoothie.


Slow Carb Diet – My new plan

So the whole point of starting this blog was to share our story when it came to improving our health and fitness as we get older.  My husband and I want to live happier healthier lives, and really enjoy ourselves in the years to come.

In less than 2 months, I will be turning 52.  At about age 49, I started packing on extra pounds around my mid section.  This was particularly distressing to me in that I had never gained weight in this spot before.  In my life, It’s always been “all about the bass”.  I am usually pear shaped, and often I buy a size bigger for my bottom half than I do for my top.  So seeing the pounds inch up when I got on the scale, but still wearing the same size pants for my hips and thighs, I was getting desperate.

After my husband was able to start back in the gym after his cancer surgery, I eventually joined him 3 – 4 times a week, primarily doing weight lifting.  Lift as I did, I failed to see any decrease in the numbers on the scale.  I then began to look at “diets”.

Enter Tim Ferris and his 4 Hour Body.  I had read Tim’s book, The 4 Hour Workweek, a while ago and have followed his blog off and on since then, That is how I came across his Slow Carb Diet info.

Basically, for six days a week you may eat proteins like meats, eggs, fish, with beans, and vegetables.  No fruit, , no rice, pasta, potato, no sugar, no dairy.  Do I need to remind you that sugar is my crack?  That first week I would have killed for a McDonalds apple pie (or two).  Getting into the second and third week it got much better, but today, as we are a little snowbound, I still keep getting up to look at everything I can’t eat.  The bright side to this way of eating is that I get one cheat day a week to eat anything I want, woo hoo.  right now I’m just holding on til Monday, which will be my next cheat day, which coincidentally coincides with my next day off from work,

Four weeks into this I am down a little over 5 pounds, and I’ll continue to post with results as the weeks progress.  This is also without going to the gym or any exercise.  During week 2, I had to go work out of town for 8 days and lived out of a hotel.  It wasn’t ideal, but I made it work and stuck with it.

I also found a nice list found here of acceptable foods for the diet compiled by  Jason on his blog  I have it posted on refrigerator for easy access.

The ultimate goal that I have set for myself is 150 lbs, which is still high for my height at about 5’5″, but I have always carried a lot of my weight in my hips and thighs, so I feel this number is realistic.  I started at 208.4 lbs, and weighed in yesterday at 203.  My next step will be to add the gym back in and see if I can move this a little faster, as I strengthen my muscles.  Can’t wait to see what happens!

The Surgery Anniversary

The one year anniversary of Ray’s surgery is fast approaching. I think back to that time period, and what I was doing the most was poring over any internet article I could find on Prostate Cancer and what we could expect, from treatment options, possible effects the surgery might have, recovery time frames, nutrition to help him heal better etc.

There was a lot of information overload, and mostly, I felt helpless.  This thing had invaded our lives and I felt woefully inadequate in my ability to fight it.  The one thing that i was primarily responsible for in our relationship was food preparation, so that’s what I focused on.

There were a lot of websites on the subject so I began reading up on what foods to eat, and what foods to avoid.  Lets start with foods to avoid.  Sugar is a big no-no, and at the top of our list.  Refined sugars tend to spike insulin levels and feed the growth of cancer cells. High fructose corn syrup and artificial sweeteners are equally offensive.   I have tried to replace them with healthier alternatives such as organic stevia or honey, or if using sugar, using a less processed organic alternative to refined white sugar.

We have substituted canned foods with fresh as much as possible.  That in and of itself has been a process for me.  Preparing with as many fresh products and seasoning from scratch has been a challenge.  Honestly, Americans are all about their convenience, and I am included in that group.  Chili used to be a can of chili beans, two cans of tomatoes with green chilis, and ground turkey. and sauteed peppers and onions.  Now it consists of as much organic as possible, ground white meat turkey 95% lean or better, diced fresh tomatoes, onions, peppers, beans (and the whole soaking process that goes with them), chili powder, ground cumin, fresh ground pepper, and ground sea salt.  It’s still experimental, trying to get the seasoning just right.

Ray’s new diet consists of as many fresh, organic products as possible, and I gotta say that Pinterest has been a lifesaver.  I have found many of the recipes in our new dietary lifestyle while scrolling through Pinterest.  You can check out some of the things I’ve pinned to my Eating Well Board here.

As we decide which of our recipes will be our favorite, I’ll add them to the recipes section here on the blog.  Until the next time…

Live well!

Let’s ride

For those that read my post, Baby I Know, and my wife’s post, My Confession, I want to talk about our ride towards a happier, healthier lifestyle.  As you know, my wife talked about her struggle with sugar and how we looked at our eating after I was diagnosed with prostate cancer.

Its been 11 months since my prostatectomy, and my 9 month checkup shows no traces of cancer.  In this blog, we will share our experiences with diet, nutrition and exercise,  Neither of us is a licensed nutritionist, these are simply our experiences in changing the way we eat, prepare our food, exercise, and the way we live in general.

You can have a nice home, great job, new car etc. but without your health, its hard to enjoy life. Our goal is to live more simply, and strive towards better health and fitness, so we can enjoy the day to day experiences more fully and spend quality time with the ones we love.

After looking at different exercise programs and eating regimens, we are tweeking the things that seem to work best for us.  My diet is now approximately 70% plant based, and I spend about 45 minutes to an hour, 4 – 5 days a week, in the gym.

With plant based eating, its more than just salads.  With the shift to more plant based meals, we are preparing most dishes from scratch using fresh ingredients, and trying to avoid ready made, processed, chemical and preservative laden foods.

On the fitness side, working two jobs, I don’t have the time to spend exercising like a madman.  I spend about 45 minutes per gym visit, alternating cardio and strength training.

As i have previously stated, this is not about losing weight, it is about staying fit both physically and mentally.  I’d like to thank my wife for going to the gym with me.  I know some days it’s harder than others for her to find the motivation, but that’s what we are here for, to motivate each other, and hopefully our readers as well.

So get in, and let’s ride!



Baby, I know…

My name is Ray, and yes, I know my wife is cheating on me.  I caught her, red-handed, on a Facebook post… about Gummi Lifesavers.

First off, let me fill you in.  I am 51, and I am a prostate cancer survivor.  After being diagnosed with prostate cancer, it made me think… about the people I love, my life, my health, and I wanted to be able to spend more time with the people I love.

The first thing I did was to look at the way I had been eating.  After looking at all the different eating and exercise plans, I had to decide on one that fit what I wanted to achieve in order to spend time with my family and friends and the woman I love.

So it wasn’t about weight loss, or diet.  I wanted to focus on an overall healthier lifestyle.  And, yes, I have gone from 238 lbs to 215 lbs in 4 and a half months, but I also feel better both mentally and physically.

My wife and I go to the gym 4 to 5 days a week, for about 45 minutes each visit.  I don’t force my wife to go with me, this has to be her choice.  The struggle of going to the gym and eating healthier is real.  We all face it, and even fall off the wagon from time to time, but it has to be a conscious decision that we make to reach our goals.  We need people around us to encourage us to continue forward.

One person I should give a shout out to, besides my family, is my good friend, Joe BigDawg Daniels.  When I was down, his encouraging words kept me moving.

That’s the reason for this blog, to provide encouragement to others when they need a little help to keep going forward.  So get on this ride with us…  bring your addictions, your struggles.  My wife and I will give you our input, recipes, what does and doesn’t work for us, and most of all, that encouragement to travel forward.

My confession…

I confess, I’m cheating on my husband… with sugar.  Well, honestly, not just sugar, but food in general.

Let me go back.  My husband is recovering from prostate cancer surgery, and over the past few months, he has decided that “we” need to plan on living another fifty years, and in order to do that “we” need to start eating healthier and exercising.

Does anyone else have a love/hate relationship with a spouse who is more dedicated than you?  I certainly didn’t have warm, fuzzy feelings this morning when he was dragging my butt to the gym, when I would much rather have been still snuggled up in bed on this chilly morning.  I must admit that I did hit the happy button on the way out of the gym, but getting there to begin with… let’s just say there was a little grumbling under my breath.

Now, as far as food goes, he has totally embraced the eating healthy lifestyle.  I, on the other hand, must make a confession.  My name is Joann, and I am an addict.  Sugar is my crack.  Any form… candy, cookies, ice cream, McDonald Apple Pies… I don’t discriminate.  I love all sweets equally!

So there you have it.  This blog will be snapshots of our journey to a happier, healthier life, sometimes raw, and uncut… like when I’m ‘hangry’.  We will explore nutrition, exercise, recipes, and other bits about travel or fun activities.  Not sure where we’ll end up, the journey should be quite and adventure