Making Progress

Saturday, January 19, 2013
8:30 am

Yes, I am making progress. I have now lost 6 pounds since December 28, 2012 when I started blogging again, and more importantly, when I started making a conscious effort to change the way I eat and live. This means that I am now down 15 pounds from my top weight ever. My all time high weight was achieved sometime in the past year, so I believe my progress is significant, and I am pleased.

I am on a quest to determine the best way to proceed with regard to healthy eating. Eldest daughter (Michelle) has been a vegetarian-then-vegan-then-back-to-vegetarian for years, and believes passionately in this type of lifestyle as the healthiest for humans. Our son-in-law and almost-7-year-old-grandson enjoy the creative ways Michelle prepares their meals, and she's always trying new recipes. 

Their change was a result of Michelle reading The China Study by T. Colin Campbell ( His extensive research has led him and others like Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn of the Cleveland Clinic (, to wholeheartedly endorse, and literally devote their lives and careers to promoting a plant based lifestyle, devoid of animal protein (e.g meat, fish, milk, eggs, etc.). Their research demonstrates an undeniable link between the consumption of animal protein and cancer growth and heart disease. In fact, in the documentary Forks Over Knives, Esselstyn claims that heart disease need not exist. That it is a "toothless paper tiger." He has treated the sickest of the sick, who have suffered multiple heart attacks and been given up as hopeless by their previous doctors. All of them have been restored to vigorous health after embracing a plant based lifestyle/diet. The evidence is overwhelming.

On the flip side, many, including my dear friends Anne and Kate, have discovered the Paleo Diet (, and have had great success with improved health and significant weight loss. The Paleo Diet website has a FAQ page where searchers may find a wealth of information. They can explain better what this lifestyle includes:

With readily available modern foods, the Paleo Diet mimics the types of foods every single person on the planet ate prior to the Agricultural Revolution (a mere 333 generations ago). These foods (fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, and seafood) are high in the beneficial nutrients (soluble fiber, antioxidant vitamins, phytochemicals, omega-3 and monounsaturated fats, and low-glycemic carbohydrates) that promote good health and are low in the foods and nutrients (refined sugars and grains, trans fats, salt, high-glycemic carbohydrates, and processed foods) that frequently may cause weight gain, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and numerous other health problems. The Paleo Diet encourages dieters to replace dairy and grain products with fresh fruits and vegetables – foods that are more nutritious than whole grains or dairy products.

In answer to the question, "How Is the Paleo Diet Different?" the website offers the following answer: The Paleo Diet is the unique diet to which our species is genetically adapted. This program of eating was not designed by diet doctors, faddists, or nutritionists, but rather by Mother Nature’s wisdom acting through evolution and natural selection. The Paleo Diet is based upon extensive scientific research examining the types and quantities of foods our hunter-gatherer ancestors ate. The foundation of the Paleo Diet is meat, seafood, and unlimited consumption of fresh fruits and veggies. Of course there is much more to the Paleo Diet, including scientific findings indicating improved health and weight loss. In fact, Anne and Kate have, themselves, experienced both. Anne has mentioned to me more than once that their change of lifestyle has eliminated her brain fog (my word choice); she is able to concentrate and focus better, and her thinking is sharp and clear. This way of eating has also eliminated cravings for before beloved foods like bread and sweets.

My current quandary: These camps of thought are diametrically opposed. How can both be right? As far as I'm concerned, this is a big deal, and an important dilemma to figure out. As I continue to read and learn about the various theories of attaining and maintaining health, I am also seeking the wisdom of God. My dear scientist friends might remind me that I have a brain that allows me to consider the options and choose the best, and they are correct. But I also have faith in a Creator who actually KNOWS the right answer(s), and since I absolutely believe He made me, I also believe He knows what is the best way for me to live and nourish my body. So my quest will mix science and understanding with faith, and I have no doubt I will know which path is the right one for me to take. Meantime, I will do what I know to do. I am decreasing my portion sizes, eating fewer sweets, and consuming more fruits and vegetables. I haven't been spot on 100% of the time, but I'm doing better than I was. I feel lighter. My energy is increasing. And the numbers on the scale are going down. All in all, I'm off to a good start.

Until next time . . .


  1. I'm so glad you put this out there! As I've spent the last five months trying to learn more and eat cleaner, it's all very confusing. Eat dairy. Don't eat dairy. Eat grass-fed beef. Don't eat beef at all. Eat whole grains, you need the fiber. Don't eat whole grains, they are GMO. And let's not even talk about the price of eating well. Aak! And I just get so tired of people who claim to be Christ followers condemning or looking down on those who don't eat organic or use essential oils. Thanks for affirming my belief and how I'm trying to live-we must each seek God about what our bodies need and how to eat - He knows best.

  2. Yes He does. And He'll show us!

  3. The China study has been widely debunked. Since it is a way of eating and not a diet you will come off of, you have to find what works for your body. I was always hungry, and low-carb is the only thing that calms that down, some people experience addictive responses to certain foods, like sugar and wheat, so they need to avoid those. If you are diabetic, then sugar is your enemy. It makes sense to me to eat foods that man hasn't messed with. Wheat is a prime example. I recommend the documentary "fathead." wheat belly by Dr. William Davis, and Why WeGet Fat by Gary Taubes. Ultimately, you have to do what works for you.

  4. First congratulations on your ongoing success. There is a lot to digest (couldn't resist) in the information wars on our plates. For me I look at things which I know make sense 1- biologically, 2- for my own life
    My friend Marilu Henner has written many books (I think she's up to 11) about health/wellness and nutrition. She makes some common sense observations that have helped me and millions of others. I don't follow all she says because some parts simply don't work for my life/lifestyle. I'll cover what I do (in my own words) - and what helped me to a weight loss in excess of 160lbs. I will preface all of this with - I'm not a doctor (I've never even played one on TV). The essence for me eventually became - moderation. But until that point...


    1- cut out processed food - it's easier than you think.
    if food has ingredients that make it last longer than fresh cut flowers in a vase of water IT IS FILLED WITH CRAP. CRAP is supposed to come out of us NOT go into us.

    2- -- ZERO processed sugar. ZERO processed wheat (no bread/baked goods - nothing, zero, zip, nada) THE EXCEPTION would be rare (once monthly or less) baked item you bake yourself with organic whole grain, but still NO SUGAR - SUGAR IS POISON. Sugar cane, maybe a little but that's IT.

    3 - NO BEVERAGES OTHER THAN WATER- to start. (I have a mild obsession with coffee - but after 3 days of blinding headaches from withdrawal I no longer needed it.) AND THINK ABOUT IT -- if you go through WITHDRAWAL from something... HOW COULD IT HAVE BEEN HEALTHY FOR YOU IN THE FIRST PLACE?????? DUH

    4 - NO ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS PERIOD. They cause the same insulin reactions in your body as sugar and NO MATTER WHAT THEY TELL YOU they are ALL chemicals or chemically treated.

    5 - Marilu says no dairy. I stray a little with cheese from time to time. HER LOGIC 1- we are the only mammals that drink milk after we're weened. It's not meant to be. 2-the milk and dairy we drink is SO LOADED with hormones and drugs given to the cows and goats it comes from IT IS NOW PROCESSED POISON/ INFECTED COW PUSS. I supposed Almond Milk or SOY MILK is okay in small amounts - but I defy you to show me where and almonds teats are and demonstrate your milking techniques.

    6 - as for the Meat/Vegan/Vegi thing... do what's right for YOU. Wild caught Salmon is good - farmed is posisoned. Even organic Beef has it's issues. EVERYTHING in moderation.

    EXERCISE IS A MAJOR PIECE OF THIS. To battle the bulge you must fight inertia. And a little resistance training will go a VERY long way.

    I may write my own book one day - YOU INSPIRE ME.

  5. Greta...thank you and I will check out the resources you mentioned.

    And, "Anonymous" I know who you are and I'm thrilled you posted a comment. I've said it before, but I'll say it again (and again), I am awed and amazed at what you have been able to do. Truly. And no one has the ability to turn a phrase like you. ;) And I'm humbled to think I in any way inspire you or others. Thanks for that. Regardless what path we choose to travel with regard to our eating, sadly the food of today is most certainly NOT the food of our grandparents or even our parents' eras. As to the artificial sweeteners, I'm thankful I've never liked the taste, or rather the after taste of them. So avoiding them is not an issue. I will ask though, do you ever use raw honey or pure maple syrup for a sweetener? Or do you not use sweeteners of any kind?

    I just LOVE finding comments here. Keep 'em coming people!

  6. First, thank you for bringing your blog to my attention. I will be a frequent visitor.
    I am a moderation person. I know when I eat too much and not active enough. Thankfully, I am married to a man who loves to grill, so we eat grilled items most nights of the week. We are omnivores. I know how I am, I can't cut out items like sugar or breads or whatever or I'd become miserable and angry. So I limit them and enjoy them in moderation. This is when I am on the journey in full force.
    I also increase my activity. I know that this is key.
    It's important to know one's self. If you know you need to and can cut out all sugar and all processed food and all bread and it's not because it's for dietary allergies and not be angry at the world....then go for it.
    Know myself and that helps.
    Yes, I meander.....

  7. There's peace in living in moderation. It's when we get out of balance in any area of life, that our peace can flee! Thanks!