Bonus Paleo Benefit: No Cavities!

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2015 on the left vs 2017 on the right.

For the first time in many, many years, my visit to the dentist wasn’t completely filled with sadness and despair. You see, this time, the dentist (a SUPER nice doctor at Gentle Dental Care in Spring, TX named Dr. Ali) had some great news for me: NO CAVITIES! My cleaning was also not nearly as bad as the last four or five I’ve endured in the past.

What’s different between this last visit and all the others before it? I no longer eat sugar. I have completely adopted the Paleo Diet, and I no longer eat foods with processed or added sugar or sweeteners. I also no longer eat grains, dairy, legumes, soy, or drink alcohol (except for social occasions, and even then, rarely). This diet has had many profound positive effects on my health, and this is one I didn’t expect.

She said my teeth were in good shape, and aside from some normal wear for a guy my age, nothing looked amiss. That made me super happy, and quite excited! Dental visits are something I’ve never been a fan of, but now, I don’t have to dread them anymore. If this last visit is any indication of what’s in store for me as someone on the Paleo Diet, then add easy dentist visits to the list of benefits!

Do you hate getting cavities? Hate bad news at dental visits? There’s a good chance that by adopting the Paleo Diet, you can help your teeth be healthier, too!

Just a reminder: I’m not sugarcoating anything here

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My “No BS” face.

When I started this blog over a year ago, I started with the intent of chronicling my journey in weight loss. That blossomed into fitness before I split the two into separate sites. Still, I continue to post here daily in my own voice, stating my experiences and opinions as I continue on this journey to good health. What I never said I would be, however, was tactful.

I broach some topics here that some shy away from. That’s because this is my blog, and this is the outlet for my experiences and opinions. I am honest, and I state what I think and believe. I don’t sugarcoat the advice, experiences, opinions, or information. I tell it like it is, and I lay it all out on Main Street for everyone to read. To do anything less is disingenuous and I just can’t do that.

I know I probably ruffle some feathers and I’m certain that some people come here, read a few entries, and leave without returning because they find me to be too blunt. If that’s the case, so be it; I’m not changing a thing. For those who gain knowledge, inspiration, motivation, or anything at all from what I write, I am grateful and honored. I aspire to be a positive force in the world, and even if it’s a silly little blog, I’m hoping to make a positive impact on this world we all share.

Paleo Shepherd’s Pie

This is a favorite of ours and is in heavy rotation in our pre-prepared meal plan. Sherry does an amazing job with it, and I highly recommend it.

Our Daily Bacon

My favorite recipe for Shepherd’s Pie on FunctionalFoodie.com appears to have gone all 404 on me.  So while I don’t have the original printed, I know it was based on Gordon Ramsay’s recipe, so I reimagined it.   Here’s what I recovered from memory that worked this past week:

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Being Obese Will Kill You.

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From obese to healthy. My family and friends helped me get there.
Last week, I lost a former classmate from high school. This isn’t the first classmate of mine to pass away too early in life, but something I’m noticing as people my age are passing away is that many of them (and of course, not all) are pretty heavy and dying of weight-related diseases or maladies. This is something that is doubly difficult: First, because they passed away at a young age, and second, because it is completely avoidable.

My doctors, my family, and my friends all warned me. They told me some unsettling and uncomfortable things because they cared. They had conversations you don’t want to have because they didn’t want me to die young. They broached the subject with as much tact as they could muster, but ultimately, are you ever ready to tell someone that the course their life is taking will lead them to an early grave?

When my cousin talked to me about it, she told me she didn’t want to see me die young. When my grandmother talked to me about it, she said she loved me and didn’t want to see me die before her. My friends talked to me and said they were worried I would miss out on our hi-jinks and hilarity by dying young. They got past their own fear of bringing up the subject and talked to me about it. I have to be honest: without their pushing, I might very well be dead today.

I propose we stop walking on eggshells around those of us we love and who are obese. They need our help, our support, and our love. My grandmother used to say, “I tell you not to hurt you, but because I love you, and as such, it is my duty.”

Duty.

If you are married to someone obese, it is your duty to help them. If your parents, siblings, or children are obese, it is your duty to help them. If a dear friend is obese, it is your duty as their friend to help them. Being obese is curable through diet*. Being obese is something that can be tackled and defeated. For some it’s more difficult than others, but ultimately, it’s something that, with help, support, and love, people can defeat.

We are losing too many people to weight-related issues. This is beyond sad and ridiculous. We live in a world of plenty and comfort. Eating ourselves to death is not living the American Dream or exercising any rights or liberty. It is something to be attacked and defeated. Stop remaining silent. Use some tact and talk about it.


*Some people have medical conditions that need to be addressed to lose weight. Get them to a doctor.

Happy Easter!

Our Easter was delicious and Sherry outdid herself with some new recipes!

Our Daily Bacon

This past Sunday we entertained once again for the big Easter meal, and there was plenty of Paleo goodness to go around.  While the kitchen effort was doubled when combined with the week’s lunch & dinner meals, the result was a highly satisfying meal and a lot of great food to look forward to throughout the week.

Here are some of the highlights:

  • “Best of all worlds” Paleo Lasagna – Last week I made a double-recipe of the Bolognese sauce and had quite a bit leftover.  My options were to either freeze it and have it available for future weekends when I don’t have cook time, or use it in something else. I chose Option B and combined that sauce with the Grain Free tortilla recipe from Against All Grain as a noodle replacement, and the cashew cheese from my bookmarked Paleo Lasagna recipe on Paleo Newbie.    The reviews…

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Why are you mad at me for succeeding in losing weight?

This has been another strange interaction. I was talking with a gentleman who had lost about 70 lbs, and I congratulated him on it. His weight loss journey was fraught with difficulty and struggle because his diet wasn’t conducive to losing weight. He asked me how much weight I’d lost, and I told him I’m at over 140 lbs lost. He asked me in what amount of time, and I told him 18 months. He asked me how many hours a day I had to exercise for that, and I told him none. I told him that since weight loss is a function of diet, I just made sure I ate well. He showed me his lunch: sandwich on whole wheat, an energy bar (with grains) and a fruit cup. He asked if I wanted any of the energy bars he had, and I told him that I would pass, he became upset. “I get it; you don’t eat grains. You could just say ‘No thanks.'” Umm, that’s exactly what I did.

What’s weird is that I never accused him of doing anything wrong nor did I say he needed to change anything. I only told him what I did, what worked for me, and I said, “No, thanks” to the energy bar. Perhaps that’s crossing a line for him, but I honestly don’t know of any nicer way to have handled it. Accepting it would have been disingenuous and wasteful.

I get it. People turn their internal disappointments and anger outward and flail out at those around them who have success in areas they themselves have failed in. It’s easier to point fingers outward than it is at one’s self. Our own disappointments are more difficult to face. But until people can face themselves and truly commit to making the permanent changes necessary to bring about the change they are looking for, they will continue to be unhappy and disappointed.

While people are generally nicer to me as a thin person, people who are struggling with weight tend to fall into three camps: those who don’t care either way about their health or mine (most everyone), those who are genuinely seeking knowledge to get healthier (and are pretty nice), and those who want to tear down anyone who has been successful where they have failed (and are generally passive-aggressive to outright hostile). I don’t judge anyone by their weight or size, but I do feel sorry for people who are overweight because our culture, our society, and our education system has failed them. I don’t believe in the government limiting our access to food and drinks a la NYC and their large soft drink container ban, but I do think the government’s standards and education are severely lacking and bordering on harmful. It takes a lot of work to learn about nutrition and diet and it takes a lot of discipline to stick with a good diet in today’s society of pizzas, hamburgers, and super-size meals.

Progress Restarted

My weight loss has been plateaued for quite a while now, and after increasing my portion sizes didn’t yield as much progress as I’d hoped for, I posted here some things I felt needed to be changed to restart my weight loss. Well, after just three days, I’ve dropped 4 lbs. I’ve been getting more sleep, I’ve cut out the sweet potatoes and almond butter, and I’ve been eating proper portion sizes.

The biggest challenge so far has been the almond butter. That little sweet after dinner became a little too comfortable and common, and for the past two days, I’ve missed it. I know that I will miss it less and less as time goes by, and that’s how I get through the cravings for it after dinner. It’s insidious how sugar can creep back in and get its claws back into you. Even if it’s a “Good” sugar, it’s still sugar.

The same can be said for sweet potatoes. I love them, and they are on both Whole30 and Paleo’s good lists, but for me, it’s a food that I have a hard time controlling myself with. If there is a whole sweet potato on my plate, I will eat the whole thing. Regardless of how big it is, or how hungry I am; it will all disappear into my stomach. For that reason, I’m keeping it off my plate for now.

I ran two days ago and will be running again later this afternoon. I typically weigh myself after my runs, so I am looking forward to seeing what my weight is then. I’m hoping for a new low this week and perhaps hitting my final goal within the month. If I can get there, then I’ll be happy and able to resume a little more flexibility in my diet. Until then, I’ll continue to be very strict. The progress is worth it.

Blog to Watch: My Pants Are Too Tight

It feels great when people tell me they have changed their eating habits because of my example, but every now and then, you come across something like this that really means a lot. When I started my blog, THIS is what I hoped for. THIS is what I wanted to accomplish.

Check out this blog if you’re interested in Whole30 and want to read about a day-to-day experience with adopting this diet. His journey is similar to mine in many ways. Visit it now; you’ll be glad you did. Whole30 Day 9 – Inspiration

Losing That Stubborn Last 10 lbs

I pre-wrote this post a week and a half ago. Since writing this, I’ve lost 6 lbs and I’m within 4 lbs of my final goal.


It’s killing me. That last 10 lbs is sticking solidly to me like a leech. I have been taking a long, hard look at my diet to find out where the extra calories may be coming from, and I think I may have isolated a few problem areas that I will begin working on this week.

Sweet potatoes. Yes, in Paleo and even in Whole30, these are allowed. However, they are still pretty high in carbs for their weight, and I do love them. I have been eating them quite a bit, and I am pretty sure I always eat too much of them. So, starting today, I’m laying off the sweet potatoes. For now.

Almond butter. So, you’re not supposed to eat desserts on Whole30 at all. Paleo allows it, but it’s supposed to be a treat. Well, I’ve kind of messed up here as I finish every meal with a small almond butter and chocolate square. I’m pretty certain that not only is this harming my weight loss, it’s a bad habit to be in. Also starting today, no more desserts.

Not enough carbs before exercise. This one seems counter-intuitive to me, but the truth is that our bodies use carbs during exercise, and depriving myself of carbs before a run actually does more harm to weight loss than help. Before my last run, I ate three pieces of dried apricot and I was amazed at how much better I felt and how much my performance increased.

Sleep. I need more of it. They say 8-10 hours a night is the best for weight loss, and when I was losing 10+ lbs per month, I was very careful to get at least 8 hours of sleep a night. I’ve allowed that to get down to 7 hours a night, and I’m certain that it’s affected my ability to lose weight. Tonight, I will go to bed at 9 pm and get the most sleep I can.

Not enough food. I come back to this one a lot because it’s my biggest sin regarding weight loss. Conventional wisdom is CICO: Calories In vs Calories Out. Well, this is true, but the deficit cannot be too big or the body goes into conservation mode. I think I keep kicking into conservation mode since my meals have tended to be rather small. That’s something I’ve begun changing in the past two weeks, but without the aforementioned four items, it hasn’t been enough.

Portion size. I’m not a real big offender in this area, but I’ve not been very consistent in keeping portion sizes appropriate. Whether I eat too much or too little, I need to settle on a better size and stick to it.

It’s not that my final goal is unrealistic. Heck, according to BMI, I’m still overweight. According to the military height and weight standards, I’m hovering at the maximum allowable weight. The only measures I’m in the good range in are body fat percentage and clothing sizes. Getting down to 165 lbs is a much healthier weight for me and will allow me a little more wiggle room than I have now.


So, it seems that this plan worked. I’m now within 4 lbs of my final goal, and I’m not struggling, suffering, or being otherwise in any discomfort. The food I’m eating is the same as I’ve been eating for the past 18 months with the exception of the sweet potato and the chocolate/almond butter desserts. 

Monday Weigh-Ins are Always Tough

IMG_5744(1)Every weekend, without fail, I gain about 2 lbs. Most of it is water weight, and some is honest weight. Honest weight is that weight that I put on from either eating more than I should have, or food with higher sugar or carb content than I normally do (which also adds to the water weight through water retention).

It’s always the same, and it’s always aggravating, yet it’s also comforting to know that by doing the right things again, I will be back to Friday’s weight by Wednesday morning, and typically a new low on Friday. I’m really hoping for this trend this week as I go into my first APFT and official Army Weigh In this coming Saturday. I’m already well below my max weight for my height, but I am going for a 10 lbs buffer. I’m almost there. It’s so close. Two steps forward, one step back.