Category Archives: Eating Healthy

Book Review: It Starts With Food by Dallas Hartwig and Melissa Hartwig

Last spring my blood pressure was going up, I was 85 pounds overweight and I felt miserable. I decided I needed to do something drastic, but within parameters. I have tried a hundred other diet plans over the years only to end up frustrated and back where I started. I don’t like logging every bit of food I eat. I don’t like weighing everything. And I needed a plan with no wiggle room.

If you have fought with weight loss, you know what I mean. “Cool, I get 27 points a day…I will eat as many sweets as I can fit into that and then I will fill up with no points veggies.” This does not make for a healthy eating lifestyle! I had a friend who was following the Paleo lifestyle (please – not one caveman joke…I get enough of those from my husband). She had lost a lot of weight and had posted on Facebook about all of the energy she had and how good she felt. I reached out to her and asked for a book recommendation of where to start for recipes. She told me it is really pretty easy – no dairy, legumes, grains, sugar and eat the highest quality meats, veggies, and fruits that you can. Hey, a point in it’s favor – No wiggle room! She recommended a couple of great cookbooks like Well Fed and Well Fed 2. I also picked up Paleo for Beginners, Against the all Grain, and Everyday Paleo Family Cookbook (links below). And I found the Paleo Grubs website.

I got busy reading – it is truly a simple diet. There is no measuring, no counting, no logging and no wiggle room. I have lost 27 pounds since April and that is even though I have traveled quite a bit this summer and haven’t always been able to strictly follow the plan (couldn’t turn down Aunt Brenda’s cake or Cold Stone Creamery on my birthday now could I?) Anyway, I digress. My reading led me to It Starts with Food and in a way I wish I had started here.

In this book, I found out how different foods I eat affect my body and my body chemistry. Dallas and Melissa do a great job of breaking it down very simply so even a non-scientific minded person can understand and clearly see how our food choices affect us. And they reminded me that my food choices are my choices – no one is holding a gun to my head to make a certain choice. My choices can lead to a cascade of malfunctions that then encourage me to go on making poor choices – driven by out of balance body chemistry I make more wrong choices and the cycle continues.

Melissa and Dallas are all about giving you the information and then you doing the work – but the work is easy! They provide meal ideas and they have a website that you can go to for ongoing support. The Whole30 plan is kind of a detox plan and it may end up stretching to a Whole 45 or Whole 60 plan in individual cases. Once your body chemistry is under control – then you can reintroduce some things and determine what has a bad effect on you and what does not. This helps you to make future good choices – knowledge is power!

I highly recommend this book and the cookbooks below if you want to change your life for the better and get off of the yo-yo wagon! I plan to do the Whole30 plan beginning August 31st after my dad’s 70th birthday. In the meantime I will stick to the Paleo lifestyle as closely as possible but for the Whole30, it requires 30 days of no exceptions and I can’t say no to my family’s cooking!

Good luck and let me know how it goes for you!

Reversing Heart Disease by Julian Whitaker, M.D.

I have rediscovered my love of reading. When I was growing up, I always had a book with me. I read as I brushed my teeth, dried my hair, ate my breakfast, walked to the bus stop, on the way to school and whenever I had a break during the day. My senior year of highschool, I read over 100 books. My favorites at the time were gothic romance, Stephen King, Dean Koontz and John Saul. My 12th grade English teacher, Mrs. Boswell, told me it was fine to read the fun stuff, but to be sure to spend time in the classics as well. I took her advice to heart and developed a love for Hardy, Steinbeck, Dickens and Vonnegut (to name a few). Well, now my challenge to myself is to read nonfiction books as well as fiction.
You can check on my Shelfari account in the sidebar of my blog to see what all I have been reading this year. I read from my Kindle while I exercise and then from the stack of books that I have collected over the last 10 years, but hadn’t gotten around to reading. The book I finished today was Reversing Heart Disease. It is a book that my hubby bought a few years ago, but then never read. When my dear friend, Carole, called me to tell me her hubby had had a heart attack, Daniel remembered the book and told her about it. I thought to myself…this is a book I should read, so onto my shelf it went. And I got a copy of Reversing Diabetes by Dr. Whitaker to read on my Kindle. I have a history of Diabetes in my family. I am overweight, sedentary and love to eat sweets. Last August, after my yearly physical, my doctor sent me my blood test results and a prescription for a cholesterol medication.

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Price Comparisons- often helpful, but be careful

There are a lot of products on the market today that are designed to help us lose weight. Everything from diet pills to exercise equipment to special foods and drinks. And sometimes all of that gets to be a bit overwhelming. Which product after all is the best? Which one is going to work? I believe a lot of them work, but they don’t work for everyone. And then there are the prices…how do you find the best prices for the best diet pills? There are sites that can help you sort through the mess, but check them out carefully because some of them have an agenda. If you research, they might be promoting ‘their pill’ as the best.

Sugar Slip, Piano Kitty, Found Treasures

Okay after four and 2/3 day of no refined sugar, I ate a piece of fudge this evening. And the stupid thing is I didn’t even really want it. It was there. I got it out to throw it away and I just couldn’t do it. I have a strong don’t waste food problem. But tomorrow it is back to no sugar and I am going to throw the rest of the fudge away. I have to. I have resisted cakes, brownies, Golden Corral buffet, and my normal grocery shopping day treat. But I was overcome by peanut butter fudge…so out it must go. However, going almost five days with no refined sugar is good and I have met my goal of exercising five days this week and I have been drinking tons of water.
Jack and Katrina are supposed to practice piano 6 days a week. Somedays it is hard to fit in the practice with everything else that goes on. One of the things that intrigues us regarding practice is that Mika, our gray cat, really is intrigued by the piano as you can see below. Sometimes, she sits on the bench next to Jack or Katrina and merely listens attentively, somtimes she tries to play along.

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