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 (http://www.thechinastudy.com/). His extensive research has led him and others like Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn of the Cleveland Clinic (http://www.heartattackproof.com/), 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 (http://thepaleodiet.com/), 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 . . .