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My Experience with Fasting and it’s Benefits: ProLon Fasting Mimicking Diet Review

Up until recently I never thought that fasting was a great idea.  I would never go a day without food.  I assumed that I would burn muscle and cause damage to my body.  It was my understanding that all I had to do was eat the right foods to make my body the best that it could be.   Food either works for your body or against your body.  It will help your body recover and grow stronger.   The wrong foods will create inflammation and oxidation.  I have been eating about once every 3 waking hours for the last 20 years.

Over the last year, I started to hear some good things about intermittent fasting and decided to give it a try.  I liked some of the results that I got from doing it.  Not too long ago I also found out about some of the benefits of fasting.  Which lead me to a particular type of fast that allows for a minimal amount of food throughout the day.

I am still learning about fasting, so I am far from an expert on it.  But I am starting to understand it. After hearing about these benefits, I decided to give it a try.

The fast that I just finished takes place over the course of 5 days.  On the first day you have 1000 calories and 750 for all of the other days.   It’s called the ProLon Mimicking Dietand it has been the subject of clinical testing at USC.  It is backed by 25 years of research.  It is beneficial in rejuvenation and regeneration. Their studies show that it will also protect you from muscle loss.  It puts your body into a survival of the fittest mode.  The weak are destroyed while the strong flourish and get stronger.  When there is little food available your body will do what it has to in order to survive.  Your body burns food for energy, but once that is no longer available it will burn fat or muscle (The ProLon fast protects muscle from being burned).  It also kills off aging and damaged cells, and activates stem cell renewal.   The weak cells won’t survive and your body will function better.  Not only that but you can also expect a decrease in blood glucose, cholesterol, triglycerides, blood pressure and inflammation.  And the fast will activate stem cells.

I started this fast on a Monday.  Actually, the last thing that I ate outside of the products Prolon provided was on Sunday night. I’ve been pretty excited about trying this out and seeing if I notice any major differences.  Going into this fast, I had been eating like crap for about two weeks.  Normally, I eat pretty clean with an occasional cheat.  I guess I fell into a binge mode and when I decided on doing the fast, I figured I would wreck my diet until I started.  I also skipped the gym for almost a week. This put me into a pretty bad funk.  I felt like crap and was getting depressed and gained a few pounds.  Eating this way for a two-week period definitely had an effect on me mentally and physically.  Now I am expecting this fast to make an even more dramatic impact.

On day 1 of my fast, I went to the gym on an empty stomach.  I ate my first meal with which was far from filling, although it was very tasty.   I am really not use to eating so little and I eat much smaller portions than I use to eat.  Dealing with such a small amount of food over the course of 5 days actually takes a lot of will power.  I have also had the will power to make transformations in the past and even compete in body building competitions.  This is a little bit different but it still takes the same mental approach as a transformation.  I’m hungry and I want to eat.  But I also want to make my body heal.  If this fasting thing truly works, than there is only one way to find out. If you want it bad enough than, you will deal with the hunger for just under a week.

For the most part on day 1 I felt pretty good.  I ended up going to bed around 9 pm, because I was getting tired.  I probably had the best sleep that I have had in over a month.  I woke up feeling refreshed, but hungry.  I made it into the gym and had a decent workout.  I felt good but didn’t have a whole lot of stamina or strength, so I changed up my workout up a little bit.

On Day 2, my food was cut down to 750 calories from 1000.  To tell you the truth there really wasn’t that much difference in the amount of food I ate.  I think it was about a crumb or two less.  I’m hungry and I’m drinking a lot of water, but I do feel good, although I have been a little agitated today.  My morning workout was pretty similar to the day before.  I felt good in the gym but was low in strength and stamina.

On Day 3, I had another great sleep.  Went to bed early again.  Woke up a couple of times during the night but fell back to sleep pretty quickly. Woke up feeling great.  I was pretty surprised, because I wasn’t very hungry.  My stomach was empty and I could eat, but just didn’t feel like I was starving.  I had a pretty good workout.  Once again my stamina and strength were down. After my workout I ate my first meal, which was around 250 calories.  500 left for the day.  I had gotten a little bit hungrier since I got back and had my first meal and continued to get hungrier throughout the day.  Unlike the day before, I wasn’t agitated.  Coming into this program made me think about basically starving myself for 5 days wouldn’t be easy.  On the other hand I have cut my food back quite a bit for some competitions, so I knew I could do it.  Going into the third day on Wednesday morning, I knew that I wouldn’t have a problem getting through Friday.  I was already considering when I would do a fast again.

Day 4, I had another great night of sleep.  I actually use a Whoop to monitor my recovery through HRV (Heart Rate Variable).  It tracks strain, sleep, and a number of other things.  Last night I hit REM and Deep Sleep longer than I have since I got a Whoop. Usually, I get less than 20 minutes of both combined.  Wednesday night I had over an hour of REM and 25 minutes of deep sleep. I did wake up several times, but I felt great when I woke up and actually was up before 6 am, which is not something that I typically do.   Some of the other things that I noticed on the Whoop were my resting heart rate, was 45, which is about 8 beats lower than my normal resting heart rate. My HRV was 57, which is close to the highest it’s ever been since I’ve been tracking it.  My recovery was 96%, which was almost 3 times higher than it was on Monday when I started.  Recovery obviously changes every day.  At this level my body is ready to take on a lot of strain. What all of this is telling me is that this fast is working.

When woke up, I wasn’t very hungry.  I got some light cardio done at the gym.  My energy and strength were lower than usually.  My head seemed a little out of it until after my cardio. For the rest of the day I felt great, but my hunger increased as the day went on.

Day 5 my sleep was pretty good but not as good as the other nights, while fasting.   My Rem and Deep Sleep were better than prior to the fast.   I continued to wake up earlier than usual.  I got into the gym early and had a pretty good workout.  I still lacked strength and stamina but it was the best workout of the week.  Kind of weird since I was on the last day of my fast.  Hunger is not that much of an issue today.  It came on kind of strong after my workout, but after I had my little bits of food it went away.  I have been drinking a ton of water, which is pretty normal for me. My resting heart rate continued to be close to 45 beats per minute.   Middle of the day my energy seemed to climb.  By the time I went to bed I still felt great.

Day 6 I woke up earlier than the previous and was a little tired, since I was up too late the night before.  I ended up going back to bed.  I had a better sleep than prior to the fast, however it wasn’t as good as the two previous nights.  I did have a decent amount of REM and Deep Sleep.  This was a transitional day.  A day that starts off with soups and juices.  Add in some pasta and a little bit of fish or meat later in the day.  You don’t want to take in too much animal protein.  My breakfast was bone broth with hemp seeds.  Later I had some almonds.  Lunch was black bean pasta.  And I went to a friend’s restaurant for some Pho (Vietnamese soup with meat and noodles).   My energy level started to climb as the day went on.

One of the other things that I started to notice on day 5 and through day 6 (transition day) was that my usual aches and pains weren’t bothering me.  I am interested in seeing how I feel in the gym on Monday morning.  I did have a good amount of inflammation in my body going into this fast and I do notice that there are points on my body that seem to have either lost or greatly reduced the amount of inflammation.  The fast does activate stem cells and regenerate cells and tissues and decreases inflammation, so I would think that this is what is helping me with my old aches and pains.

On Sunday, I woke up much earlier than I planned to wake up.  I was up late and ended up having less than 5 hours of sleep. I would have gone back to bed, but my energy and alertness was through the roof. I was thinking that I should have been tired.  The short amount of sleep that I had was amazing.  All throughout the day my energy level felt almost euphoric.  And I am not feeling any of my aches and pains at all.  Up until about 2 nights ago have a pretty decent amount of pain in my right knee when I am sleeping, because of a torn MCL.  It bothers me at certain points during the day, mostly based on position or movements and then at night while laying in bed (not typically the entire night. Usually, starting up in the middle of the night).  At least for now the pain is gone.  Obviously, some of these injuries are still there, but with reduced inflammation and stem cell activation the pain has subsided.  I am even tempted to try running on it (haven’t been able to run for close to 2 months).

Because this fast is supported by credible research I had some pretty solid expectations.  So far I have been blow away by the results. Later this week, I will be getting a blood test that I can compare to my results from about 2 months ago. Back then I did have high Cholesterol and high Triglycerides.

All of the food that is provided for the diet matches the nutritional ingredients, which is supported by the 25 years of research.  As far as the food goes, they have these crackers and bars, which are really amazing.  The only thing that sucks is that when I ate them, I wanted more.  The bars blow away most of the other bars on the market when it comes to taste.  And I am not just saying this because I was really hungry when I was about to eat.  I don’t eat soup very often, but I do really like theirs and I looked forward to eating them.  They provide several different kinds of soup.

The biggest negative with the ProLon Fasting Mimicking Diet is that they provide you with several meals of olives.  I honestly, despise olives.  I could be eating a salad and if someone slipped some olives into, they ruined it for me.  Olives are definitely on my top 10 foods that I hate.  They might even be number one.  There has to be something that they could replace them with.  I found it kind of funny that they mention in a video something about “if you don’t like olives…”  They didn’t say that about anything else, so I guess I’m not the only one complaining about them. They are high in fat, which is something that you need while doing this kind of fast.  I ended up eating them, but I would throw them to the back of my throat, while trying to avoid my tongue.  Gag on them a little and then swallow them.  So if you like Olives than you will love the meals with them.

The other negative is their APP.  I haven’t been able to use it, because they have a high level of security on it.  I don’t really get what they are protecting. I signed up and it asks me to create a password.  As I am creating the password, it starts making suggestions. (Something that I have never seen to this extent.) “Add another word.” So I add another word.  “Add another word.”  What the hell, I already have 27 letters.  So I add another word.  Add a number.  Add a symbol.  Who the hell cares about my fasting diet enough to hack into this stupid app?  By the time I got done with my stupid password, I forgot what I wrote.  I do know that it was something like F@@@MUTHAF@@EATS@@@ .  So now that all of this is created I get an email to verify my account.   I figured the email would come right away.  WRONG.  It showed up the next day.   Well by now I have forgotten the password.  So I clicked the forgot password button.  Stupid email doesn’t show up until about 10 hours later.  I have sent in several requests.  I attempted to login again and it says. Account not verified. WTF.  I honestly think that they know people are starving on this fasting diet and they want to piss them off with some stupid app that probably doesn’t exist.  I think that there are benefits to being pissed off while starving.  It must accelerate the speed of the neurons firing in your brain.

The ProLon Fasting Mimicking Diet is backed up with a 25 of research at USC.  Their Phase 2 Clinical Trial proved that the Diet treats aging and reduces risk factors for multiple age related diseases.  Maintain healthy levels of Blood Glucose, Triglycerides, C-Reactive Protein, Stem Cells, IGF-1.  Decreases body fat percentage.  Mostly Visceral fat.  Protect Lean Body Mass.  Improve skin and energy levels.

To tell you the truth, I originally believed that you could go out on try to replicate this diet on your own.  But based on the years of research I don’t think it would be that simple.  It’s not just that they provide the convenience of providing you with everything that you need.  They have the research to back it all up.   I will personally stick with something that is proven with years of research.    I will definitely recommend it and I do plan on fasting again next month for 5 days and the following month for 5 days.  I am going in for blood tests next week so that I can see if there is a difference in any of my blood markers. .  I will also continue to bitch and moan about the Olives.  As for the App, I have actually contacted the company and they are planning on changing it and making it more user friendly.  That was pretty impressive that they responded on that so quickly.  I guess I can add, great customer service to my review.

If you are interested in trying out ProLon, it costs $249.  You get a discount when you buy more than one.   When I purchased it, I quickly realized that over the course of 5 days I would probably spend about $150 for food if I ate at home the entire time.  About $60 more if I went out to eat twice.  No matter what my health is more important than spending dollars on something that will keep me from spending money on drugs to control any of my biomarkers.  And you can’t put a price on feeling great.

My experience with fasting has been minimal, but because of the benefits, it has also been exceptional.  Which leads me to giving ProLon Fasting Mimicking Diet a review of a 5 Star rating.

Here is the link for more info on ProLon and to order: ProLon Fasting Mimicking Diet

 

If you decide that you would like to try the diet they do have a list of people that they say should not do it:

Who should NOT be on a Fasting Mimicking Diet?

  • Children under the age of 18, or people who are elderly and frail
  • Women who are pregnant or nursing
  • Individuals who are allergic to nuts or soy
  • Individuals with a Body Mass Index (BMI) <18 or >40
  • Individuals diagnosed with serious medical condition or disease, unless approved in writing by a physician appropriately trained to treat that condition
  • Individuals who have been severely weakened by a disease or medical procedure
  • Individuals who are taking medications which may not be safely consumed with a calorie restricted diet
  • Individuals with Diabetes (type 1 and type 2), cardiovascular disease and cancer, unless approved in writing by a licensed physician. ProLon should never be combined with glucose lowering drugs, such as metformin or insulin
  • Fasting is prohibited for individuals with certain metabolic disorders including those affecting gluconeogenesis (in vivo glucose synthesis)
  • Individuals with a history of significant cardiac disease, particularly uncompensated congestive heart failure NYHA grade 2 or more or LVEF <40% on any prior assessment
  • Individuals with a history of syncope (fainting) with calorie restriction or other medical co-morbidities
  • Individuals with special dietary needs that are incompatible with the ProLon meal plan
  • Individuals with liver or kidney disorders that may be affected by the very low glucose and protein content of the diet

 

Click here to order: ProLon Fasting Mimicking Diet

 

 

 

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What’s Your Trigger? No More Excuses. Get After Your Goals.

Image-1.jpgWhat’s your trigger? What has to happen for you to make a change for the better?  For me it was a picture. I actually just found the picture again.  I had assumed that it had been lost and figured that I would never see it again.

It was January of 1998 and I was getting ready to head to San Diego for the Super Bowl.  I went to the doctor for a physical and she told me, “You’re about to pop.”  I asked, “What do you mean?”  She said, “You’re going to have a heart attack.”  I’m thinking, I’m 31 and I can’t believe I might not make it to 32.  When she made the statement, she seemed pretty confident.  The more I think about it now, I might have made it to 32 but there is no way I would have been around until 35.  I still had not made any decision to do anything about my life.  I actually don’t remember her making any suggestions, just giving me a warning.

While in San Diego, I went to Rosarito, Mexico with some friends and we rode horse on the beach. This is where the picture was taken. It was about 2 weeks later that I received an envelope from a friend with two pictures.  I still don’t know where the other one is, but I think that one made me feel like I was bigger than the horse.  I felt bad about making the horse carry my fat ass.

EAS was being promoted all over the city of San Diego and by the Broncos players.  I ended up speaking with someone from EAS and got some product and a Muscle Media Magazine.  The magazine had a promotion for Body for Life, which was the first actually transformation challenge.  They were promoting their second year.  I read about the contest that same day that I saw the picture.   The next day was my first day back in the gym.  7 months later, I had accomplished what I set out to do.  20 years later I am still doing it.  Only now I have more knowledge and a better understanding of what it takes for me to achieve my goals and live a healthy lifestyle.

It’s funny, because I remember how I felt when I saw that picture.  Part of me thinks, “Why would I want that reminder? It made me feel horrible.  I couldn’t believe I was that fat.”   It is also a reminder of what I have accomplished. This picture represents a time in my life that I made my greatest change ever.  The combination of the 3 things that happened around the same time were the wakeup call that I needed in order to change my life.  You don’t always see yourself, the way you actually look.  I always recommend that people take before and after pics.  As someone starts making changes during your transformation they would probably be the last person to notice their changes visually.  We see ourselves in the mirror just about every day and are use, to what we see.  In some cases, we lie about what we see.  I know, I did. I lied to myself about a lot of things.

That trigger isn’t just about recognizing the problem, it’s about setting your goals, taking the steps to accomplish them and pursuing them, until you have accomplished those goals.

Advice Isn’t Always Appreciated

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When I’m working out I usually am so focused on my workout that I don’t really pay much attention to whats going on around me.  But it’s really not hard seeing someone who either has no idea what they are doing or just has bad form.  If you are just going through the motions or not using good form while training, don’t expect to make any gains.  And there is a good chance that you are going to hurt yourself.

I do have people come up to me and ask me for advice, which I’m happy to give them.  In all honestly, I much rather do it when I’m done with my workout, but I have no problem taking the time to help someone out in the gym.  On the other hand, advice isn’t always appreciated, when you are just handing it out to someone.  I remember about 15 years ago I was training at a local YMCA in Maryland.  There was a women who was working out.  She was wearing hiking boots with cut off jeans and a plaid button up shirt.  Since I am not a fashion consultant, I didn’t comment on what she was wearing.  If the clothes weren’t a dead give away that she had never been in a gym, the way she was lifting was a give away.  I figured that I would be a nice guy and I said something along the lines of, “You should control the weight and slow it down.”  She didn’t even look at me.  She just started slamming the weights.  I guess I motivated her to lift hard.  Or that was her way of saying “Go F… Yourself”.

One of the things that I have learned (not just related to working out) is that even if you are an expert on something, people don’t like to be told that they are doing something wrong.  Not everyone appreciates unsolicited advice.  If you decide that you are going to give someone unsolicited advice, approach them in a way where they don’t feel like you are telling them that they are doing it wrong.  No matter what, the lady in the hiking boots would have reacted the same way.  If I decide to make a suggestion to someone, I will usually say one of a few things.  “Excuse me do you mind if I give you some tips, which will help you focus more on your rear delt?”  or “Excuse me, you might want to try that a different way to help increase your bench.”  Now they don’t hear you are saying, “Hey man, your form sucks.”  In some cases they aren’t doing anything wrong but they could improve their gains with different exercises or exercises done a different way.

Yesterday, I was at the gym and there were two kids who were about 15.  They were doing some seated lateral raises and their form could use some help.  I decided to offer it.  It made a big difference right away with their lift and when they got it down, they asked me if I could make some suggestions about how to work their rear delts.  If I didn’t say anything, there is a good chance that they would have trouble reaching their gym goals for a long time.  I’m not saying I fixed their entire training program, but I hope it made a difference for them.

When you reach your goals, it’s always nice to help others reach theirs.

What’s it take to reach your Goals? Do you have what it takes to make a successful transformation?

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It’s all too common to hear people who are frustrated with their inability to successfully reach their goals.  When it comes to a transformation that means: They aren’t losing the fat.  They aren’t gaining the muscle.  Or they aren’t getting any stronger.  I’ve been asked many times, “What’s it take to reach your goals”.  My answer usually starts with, “the right mindset”.  “You have to be able to take control of your own mind”.

Obviously, most people know that it comes down to proper nutrition and a consistent exercise program.  But where most people fail is not being able to follow through with one or both of these.  People will lie to themselves to make themselves feel better.  I’ve done it myself.  I’ve told myself that I was going to stick with a strict diet, which I did.  Or at least claimed I did.  I would just ignore the box of cookies that I stuffed in my face on a Saturday afternoon.  There isn’t really a problem if there is a cheat meal once a week or whatever.  The problem comes in when there are cheats that you are not self reporting.

There is also a difference in putting together what might be more of maintenance than anything.  Someone is setting high goals, but when they get to the gym they go through the motions.  If I’m not killing it in the gym, then I am not making the gains that I expect to make.  The way I see it, is that if I get through a workout and don’t feel muscle exhaustion and don’t feel like I just got my ass kicked, than I didn’t put the work in during my workout.

In my workout today we did a couple of circuits.  Each circuit had  5 rounds of 8 to 15 reps with 3 exercises.  We do increase the number of exercises based on workout.  Our rest period was 1 minute in between rounds.  The weights weren’t real heavy but our legs were on fire by the time we were done.  We finished up with HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) on a rowing machine.  We went hard for 15 seconds with 10 seconds of rest and repeated it over and over and over again.

If you aren’t stressing your body than your body isn’t going to change.  If you are just going through the motions don’t expect your muscles to be getting what they need in order to grow.  If you were to go hard for 3 weeks, your body will change in order to accommodate the workouts that you are putting it through.  At that point what was hard 3 weeks ago isn’t so hard anymore.  If someone is lifting for strength, it’s going to be a different workout with heavy weight.  However, they still have to stress their body, so that it reacts and they make their gains.

Stay after it.

 

 

You Don’t have to Sacrifice Taste when Eating Healthy. Healthy Chicken Finger Recipe

You Don’t have to Sacrifice Taste when Eating Healthy.  Healthy Chicken Finger Recipe

Just because it’s healthy doesn’t mean that it doesn’t taste good.  In fact there are a lot of things that I use to like that just doesn’t taste good to me anymore.  Obviously this isn’t always the case.  There are actually a lot of things that can be made in a different way.   And I’m not the type of person who is going to sacrifice taste.  For example I spent $20 on a couple of loaves of a Paleo bread, because I cut bread out of my diet.  After the third bite of the Paleo bread, I realized that I wasn’t going to eat something that tasted like crap because I liked what I was replacing.  I tossed both loaves out and learned a lesson.
The other night I decided to make chicken fingers.  This time I really liked the taste.

1.5 lb Chicken breast
3 Eggs
3/4 cup almond meal
3/4 cup coconut flour (if you don’t like coconut use more almond meal
1 Tbsp paprika
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp coconut oil (or olive oil)

Preheat Oven 375
Cut up chicken breasts into thin strips
Blend eggs in bowl
Coat pan with oil
Mix almond meal, coconut flour, paprika, cayenne pepper, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder sea salt, black pepper
Dip chicken in eggs
Next cover chicken dipped in egg with mixture
Place chicken in pan
Cook chicken 20 to 25 minutes until golden

I used raw honey mixed with spicy mustard as a dip.  But I also ate them without any dip

Healthy Benefits:
Chicken
High in Protein (Builds and repairs Muscle)
Fights Alzheimer’s
Fights Cancer

Almond Meal
Almonds
Good for brain development (great for kids)
Helps in preventing colon cancer by moving food through the colon
Helps reduce the cause of plaque buildup in the arteries of the heart
Regulates Blood Pressure
Regulates Cholesterol
Helps fight diabetes.  Keeps Blood sugar down
Rich in fiber
Boosts Energy
(Drink a lot of water with almonds)

Coconut Flour
High in Fiber
Increases Metabolism
Good for Digestion

Garlic Powder
Contains Antioxidants
Attacks free radicals
Fights Colds and Flu
Lowers Cholesterol
Acts as a natural antibiotic (bacteria doesn’t grow resistant to it)

Onion Powder
Good for the liver
When mixed with protein they
Lowers Cholesterol
Thins blood, reduces risk of blood clots
Fights Asthma
Fights Bronchitis
Fights Hay Fever
Fights Diabetes
Reduces risk of stomach cancer
Detoxify the body of heavy metals

Paprika
Contains Antioxidants.
Anti-Inflammatory.
Helps with blood circulation and regulates blood pressure.

Cayenne Pepper
Anti-Fungal, Anti-Bacterial and Anti-Inflammatory.
Fights Cancer (prostate, lungs and pancreas).
Great for the cardiovascular system.
Reduces Cholesterol and triglycerides.
Increases metabolism.
Good for intestinal health.
Including healing stomach and intestinal ulcers.
Aids in digestion.

Cumin
Helps with Digestion
Helps stimulate and relax and helps with Insomnia
Helps with Respiratory Problems
Antiviral (fights colds)
Good for lactating mothers
Detoxify the body
Fights Cancer
Black Pepper
Contains Antioxidants
Anti-Inflammatory and Antibacterial.
Great for the digestive Tract.
Reduces Gas in the intestines.
Speeds up metabolism.
Supports weight loss.
Fights fat by breaking down the fat cells.
Relief from respiratory problems

Sea Salt
Alkalizes the Body
Contains Minerals
Good for the Cardiovascular System
Good for the Brain
Good for the Skin
Important for Hydration
Boosts Immune System
Helps maintain Sugar Levels (good for Diabetes)
Prevents Osteoporosis
Prevents Muscle Cramps and Spasms
Reduces Cholesterol
Reduces Inflammation in respiratory system (Good for Asthma)

Olive Oil
Contains Antioxidants
Contains probiotics
Improves Blood Vessel Function
Boosts the immune system
Fights Cancer
Fights Heart Disease
Regulates Blood Pressure
Fights Diabetes
May help fight Obesity
Fights Arthritis
Fights
osteoporosis
Helps increase testosterone

Coconut Oil
New research claiming that it has been helping Alzheimer’s patients improve and even reverse effects.
Positive results for people affected with Type 1 and 2 diabetes.
Increases thyroid health by raising body temperature.
It increases metabolism (increases body temp)
Increases energy
Coconut oil on the body can promote healthy skin and hair.
Increases testosterone

Fish Tacos

 

20151205_181553.jpgI’ve been eating a lot of fish this week. Tonight was Fish Tacos
1 lb Sea Bass (or whatever you decide to use)
1/4 cut extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tsp Chili Powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp ground pepper
1 1/2 jalapeno
1/4 cup cilantro
1 red onion
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 avocado
1/2 tomato
1 Lime
Tortillas made with sprouted wheat

Mix Olive Oil, chili powder, paprika, oregano, cumin, 1/4 tsp sea salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, 1 jalapeno, cilantro

Cut up fish and put in a container. Cover with mixture. Let it sit for at least an hour.

Cut up 1/2 onion, but in a small bowl and cover with vinegar. Let sit for at least an hour

(guacamole) Blend avocado with tomato, 1/4 sea salt, 1/4 pepper and some lime juice

Heat frying pan on medium flame. Cook fish for about 5 minutes and flip over for about 3 more minutes

Warm tortillas for a couple minutes

Add fish to tortilla, add guacamole and onions and squirt some lime juice on it.

Live Life To The Fullest

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If you truly want to live then you have to make time for the things that you enjoy and the people that you love and care about.  My parents sold there house last year and moved into a retirement community.  It was because my father has dementia and is also undergoing dialysis 3 times a week.  At 84 my mom is in great shape and continues to swim.  She even competed in the Senior Olympics 2 years ago.  No matter what kind of shape she is in and how strong she is mentally and physically there is a lot that she has to deal with while taking care of my dad.  The move provides her with more support if needed and less to deal with relating to taking care of an entire house.  She often tells me that she is fortunate because there are a lot of people who deal with much more being a caregiver then she has to deal with but I can see how things are much more difficult for the caregiver then the person that they are caring for.  Honestly, my dad really couldn’t remember if he had a good day or a bad day.  My mom has to watch someone that she loves and has spent most of her life with deteriorate.  I can’t even image what she deals with on a daily basis because I have never had to take care of him even for a day.  Up until a couple years ago they were both very active and traveled quite a bit.  I remember growing up that the two of them traveled all over the world for my dads work and vacations.  As a family we (my parents and my two brothers) had trips every year up until I was about 14.  We would go skiing, camping and to a cabin in Vermont.  We actually took one last trip as a family when I graduated college, when we went skiing in Austria.  Because of my dads situation they had to stop traveling.  I know that my mom missed our annual trips to Vermont which they started back up around 15 years ago.  I joined them on about half of the Vermont trips.  I realized that one of the biggest things that my mom really missed was traveling.  Several months ago, I was talking about a cabin that I rented in the woods in Tennessee and my mom told me that she really missed going to Vermont.  At that point I realized what I would give her for her birthday.  A trip somewhere.  So on her birthday this last August, I told her that her present was a trip with me.

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I decided on Puerto Rico for several reasons.  1 – She is still very active and a big outdoors person and she loves nature.  Puerto Rico has several national parks including an amazing rainforest and a bioluminescent bay (she had been to PR but never to the rainforest or bay) 2 – It wasn’t too far away  3 – It wasn’t too expensive.

I looked at the trip several different ways.  If you don’t take or create the opportunity you may lose it.  I had never taken my mother on a trip before and now that I live 12 hours away from her, I really don’t get to spend very much time with her.  This would be a great opportunity to spend some quality time with her.  The other thing was that the amount of stress that she must deal with while caring for my father is really unimaginable.  When you spend all of your time taking care of someone else, it is difficult to spend time on yourself.  The stress can take a toll on you.  This trip would give her a nice break from it and give her a chance to relax and cut down on her stress.  I’m very grateful that one of my brothers was willing to stay with my dad while my mom was with me.  My other brother filled in for him for a day.  I couldn’t have taken her on this trip without their help.  My Aunt (her sister) also joined us on the trip.

I did this trip for her benefit, but I got a lot out of it as well.  The time we spent together has provided me with memories that I will never forget.  And at the age of 84 (her sister is 86), both of them were able to keep up.  We didn’t just go and sit on the beach.  We went kayaking in the bay and in the ocean on a rough day.  We hiked in the rainforest which had some pretty steep trails.  And we also sat on the beach.  But both her and her sister swam in the ocean quite a bit.

Live life to it’s fullest.  Whether you are 20 or 84.  Don’t take your parents for granted and appreciate everything that they have done for you.  Let them know you love them and show them that you appreciate them with a memorable experience.

Love you Mom.

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