April 8, 2013

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What Is A Raw (Diet) Menu?

Eating out and eating healthy at the same time is a challenging proposition.

In fact, it’s proving damn near impossible for me to find a menu with healthy, raw choices on it.

Take Carrabbas, for instance.2013-03-23 09.28.37

We never ate there all that much, but when we did eat out, we  liked places like Roy’s and  Carrabba’s and Bonefish Grill.

Not so much anymore.

I can hear you now saying “Just get a salad, dude!” but it’s not that simple.

First of all – The portions are just fucking HUGE. And I have a big problem leaving my plate half full.

I was raised to “clean my plate” at every meal.  I hate wasting food!

Next – Everything is covered in way too much sauce or dressing.

And finally… Even if you get your sauces or dressings on the side…

There’s no guarantee the vegetables are organic or free from pesticides.

The last time we went to Carrabba’s, I skipped the bread. I ordered a salad and a Margarita pizza. I ate the salad (dressing on the side, and sprinkled on the salad in very small amounts) and one piece of the pizza… And still felt over-full

Frustrating.

I guess the best I can do is avoid the mountains of free bread… Avoid the pasta and cheese…

Stick with soup and salads, and maybe some grilled vegetables (NOT cooked in butter, please)…

And only eat a third of what I’m given. Or… Just eat at home!

April 4, 2013

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Healthy Natural Weight Loss Supplements

I get asked all the time to recommend healthy natural weight loss supplements.

But it’s not happening.

Why?

Well, the obvious reason is because I’m not a doctor, and I don’t want to get my ass sued off when someone takes my advice and doesn’t get the results they want.

But believe it or not, I have a second reason…

And it’s one you should listen to very carefully.

Here it is:

Everyone of us is DIFFERENT.

We all have different allergies, different metabolisms, different blood types and different physical makeups.

We all have deficiencies in different things and an over-abundance of others.

And so (of course!) we all respond to different things differently.

Take Cinnamon for example.

Allegedly, hypothetically… Cinnamon is supposed to help regulate blood sugar in diabetics.

And yet I’ve spoken with several diabetics who see no benefit in adding cinnamon to their diet.

Why? Because we’re all different!

The same goes for Acai, Chitosan, Wheu Protein, Ginger, Ginseng, or any other natural weight loss supplement you may have heard about.

They NEVER work for EVERYONE, despite claims to the contrary.

Think about it like this:

If you called a mechanic and they told you over the phone, without seeing your car…”Oh yeah, it’s your head gasket…”

Would you believe them?

Same with a doctor.  If a doctor tried to prescribe something over the phone, without seeing you…

Wouldn’t you find it odd?

Of course you would.

And you should be very, very careful of businesses or health experts that sell “one-size-fits-all” weight loss in a bottle solutions for the very same reason.

My advice: Find a healthy natural weight loss supplement. Do some research, and give it a try for a couple weeks.

See how you feel, and see if it helps you lose a couple pounds. Then try something else if you don’t get the results you’re after. Rinse, and repeat.

What’s worked for me is a daily “multi-vitamin” (I recommend “Vitamin Code Men” by Garden of Life) and also a daily dose of B Vitamins (I recommend Garden of Life’s “RAW B-Complex”) because I’m getting to be an old bastard.

I also take a natural Testosterone supplement, a handful of Omega 3 Fish Oil pills, and drink a big shot of Aloe juice everyday.

Occasionally I’ll take Ginseng, Magnesium, or Chromium supplements because I’ve been told they boost the body’s liver and kidney function, control blood sugar, and also insulin sensitivity.

This works for me because I’m a Diabetic…

But it may not work for you!

That’s why it’s so important to find out what specifically your body needs and stick with it.

March 8, 2013

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Vegetarian Party (Not As Lame As It Sounds)

Sorry I haven’t been around blogging much lately.

I ran out of gas. I had a flat tire… I didn’t have enough money for cab fare. My tux didn’t come back from the cleaners. An old friend came in from out of town. Someone stole my car.

There was an earthquake… A terrible flood. Locusts!

Everything’s better now though, so I thought I would check in with a quick update 🙂

So what’s new around here?

Well, not much really. Weight-wise, I’ve been stuck at 275 for a couple weeks now. I’m not thrilled about it, but I’ve learned as I lose weight that my body needs time to adjust.

This isn’t an overnight journey.

So I’m just staying the course,  continuing to eat really clean, and work on the garden to help balance out all the time I spend sitting on my ass working on the laptop.

EDawg

My son Evan is turning 9 today, and we’re taking him out to dinner later.

He got to pick his favorite restaurant, which happens to be a great little Korean/Japanese restaurant here in SouthWest Florida.

In the past, I would throw down a bunch of  Sake, several Sapporos, and a pile of Bulgogi

Tonight, I’ll be having spicy vegetables (easy on the rice) with iced water on the side…

And believe it or not, but I’m looking forward to it!

Tomorrow, we’ve invited several of Evan’s friends (and our friends) over for a birthday party.

In the past, that would mean burgers and jerk pork and hotdogs and  a mountain of chips, chased with a couple Dr Peppers.

Tomorrow, we’re having fresh fruit salad and a couple whole wheat pasta salads, and throwing some Yves Good Dogs on the grill for the kids.

I might get crazy and have A BEER… And I’m looking forward to it!

Have a great weekend everyone 🙂

Erik

February 27, 2013

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Do It Yourself Organic Garden

I’ll admit, I was afraid of gardening…

Primarily because I had heard (or formed) the following preconceptions:

  1. I won’t know what to plant, or what time of year to plant it. My plants will die and I’ll feel stupid.
  2. It’s too hot in Florida. The sun will cook anything I try to grow. My plants will die and I’ll feel stupid.
  3. Bugs or mold will destroy everything. I’ll throw $500 bucks down the drain. My plants will die and I’ll feel stupid.
  4. A rattlesnake will bite my ass.

Turns out, I was wrong!

Florida has a natural, year-round grow season and everything I’ve planted so far is doing great! The soil is for shit down here (a mixture of sand, shells, and rocks) but our compost bin has helped us cycle nutrients into the organic soil we do buy…

Other than that, it’s been easy. With a little encouragement from my old friend Theo, my son and I just bought some seeds and soil… Filled up some pots, and dumped the seeds everywhere.

Then we watered them.

Those that grew, we re-potted in bigger pots.

Taking care of them has been a breeze as well. If they look wilted, they need sun or water. If they start to turn yellow, they’re getting too much sun.

Adjust accordingly.

Behold the power of our epic starter garden:

2013-02-27 10.34.58

Cucumbers. I think.

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Not sure what this little bastard is either… I think it’s a melon.

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Cabbage! Can’t wait for this guy to get the size of a Buick. Anyone know when I should pick it?
Should I pick the whole thing? Or just take leaves? Perhaps Uncle Google can help.

2013-02-27 10.36.00

Our Papaya Tree! I bought this for Wendy for Mother’s Day two years ago… Since then, it’s
doubled in size and now it’s throwing off huge, beautiful Papayas. I like juicing them.

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A small Papaya.

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Aloe starters, and some palm-tree looking thing I found in the back yard.

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Our Koi pond. Sounds all chill and relaxing and is the perfect backdrop
for screaming at my children.

February 26, 2013

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What it feels like to be fat and sick.

Sitting here on my porch with a hot tea this morning, staring at the full moon and reflecting. Reflecting on the fact that at one time, not all that long ago, I weighed 330 pounds.

What was it like?

Well…

I was tired all the time, for starters.

I couldn’t sleep more than 2-3 hours at a time. At night, I would toss and turn… And in the afternoon, I would take a nap. Almost everyday.

I was sick a lot too… I caught every cold that came down the pike. And also started having weird problems with things like rashes and shingles. I had to shop at specialized stores for size 44-46 pants.

That sucked…

But I got used to it.

I was overheated all the time and didn’t want to cuddle with my wife or kids.

My back and knees hurt all the time. I got migraines. And yet I continued to eat Chinese takeout and pizza and bacon sandwiches and chicken wings.

I’d just wash them down with a diet soda and the medication I had to take to keep me alive.

I got used to all of it…

But I HATED it.

I hated myself and didn’t know how to change.

Things are different now 🙂

I’m roughly 60 pounds lighter…

And I feel so much better its shocking.

I’m sleeping through the night and waking up feeling rested.

The rashes and shingles and migraines have been gone for months.

I rarely nap in the afternoon anymore. If I do, I wake up feeling rested.

My good friend Mike Kemski said to me a couple weeks back, “It’s the hardest thing you’ll ever do… But it’s also really simple.”

He’s right.

One day, I just started making healthier decisions. Started reading labels and eating less meat. I ate less. Stopped eating when I was bored.

So simple… Yet so incredibly hard.

I’ve got 50 more pounds to go.

I’ll get there.

If you want to feel better, lose weight, and have more energy…

Sign up for The Get Healthy Summit.

It’s totally free:
http://www.gethealthysummit.com/

My friend Theo Baskind and I are interviewing 25 amazing raw food, natural health, and mindset experts…

Including Kerry Tepedino, Drew Canole, Angela Stokes, Julie Wilson, Liz DiAlto, Sherry Strong, and Caleb and Sheleana from Young And Raw.

Mike Kemski will talk about mindset.

The awesome guys from Back to the Roots will share their sustainability projects with us.

I’m really excited about it and I hope you’ll join me on this journey.

Erik

February 21, 2013

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Daily calorie deficit – The real secret to weight loss

So I’ve been shedding pounds pretty regularly, and believe it or not, but its been pretty simple.

Over the past two years or so, I had dropped from 325 to 315 through aggressive bicycling…

And from 315 down to 290 through eating healthier and sticking to the bike…

But for a good 6 months, I’d been stuck in the 285-295 range.

I just couldn’t get past that hump for the life of me.

It was really frustrating…

I was getting more exercise and eating better than I ever had, and the weight just wouldn’t drop.

The big revelation came when I realized that even though I was eating really healthy, I was still eating way too much!

Organic vegetable tacos on wheat shells with fresh avocado is great…

But if I eat four of them, I’m just not going to lose weight.

I needed to take in less calories then I burn, and you probably do too.

And since my metabolism was fucked (and still kinda is) that means eating much less.

This was a huge breakthrough for me.

As soon as I began making a determined effort to eat less, the pounds started disappearing again.

I quickly went down to 280, then 275…

And my next goal is 270.

February 8, 2013

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Chemicals in food (There is evil shit in what we eat)

As I’m learning more about what I shove into my mouth it’s becoming clear that there is some really evil shit “hidden” in the foods we eat.

Here’s five horrible chemicals you’re probably eating in your everyday diet right now:

  1. Coloring Agents (blue #1, blue #2, yellow #5, yellow #6)
    You can find this shit in cake, candy, sport drinks, sodas, cheese, and boxed macaroni and cheese.Why? Because as Americans, eat with our eyes… And studies have shown that when food manufacturers try to sell foods in their natural (sometimes muted-color) state, individuals reported that the food tasted bland… Even in studies where the recipes weren’t altered!Back in the day, food coloring came from natural sources like turmeric.Today though, manufacturers use coloring agents, most of which are made from coal tar. Coal Tar is used to seal-coat driveways… and also to kill lice and other small bugs.
  2. Arsenic.
    Chances are, there’s a little bit of arsenic in every bite of chicken you eat. Believe it or not, but the FDA actually ALLOWS companies to put arsenic in chicken feed, to promote growth, improve feeding efficiency, and boost pigmentation. The arsenic affects the blood vessels in chickens and turkeys, causing them to appear pinker and healthier.If that doesn’t make you sick thinking about it, then nothing will.The European Union  outlawed the use of arsenic in 1999 and the EPA classifies it as a carcinogen. Unless you’re ONLY eating organic chickens and turkeys, you’re probably eating poison that causes cancer.
  3. Brominated Vegetable Oil. This nasty little mixture is found in sports drinks. BVO’s main ingredient (Bromine) is a poisonous chemical that is considered corrosive and toxic. It’s been linked to major organ damage, birth defects, growth problems, and schizophreniaand has been BANNED in more than 100 countries.Not America, though!Elevated levels of this shit can cause hypothyroidism, autoimmune disease, and cancer.
  4. Azodicarbonamide
.
    You may not be able to say it or spell it, but you’re probably eating it. This shit is all up in your breads, frozen dinners, and boxed pastas. While most countries wait a week for flour to naturally whiten, American food processors use this chemical to bleach the flour quicker., so they can sell it quicker, and make more money.Azodicarbonamide
 has been linked to asthma and is used in sneaker soles.
  5. Synthetic hormones (rBGH and rBST)

    This shit is most likely in all the cheese you eat and all the milk you drink.
 Dairy farmers inject cows with genetically-engineered cow growth hormones to boost milk production by about 10 percent…Which would be great, except for the fact that it causes cows to become lame and infertile, and also cause them to produce milk that is stuffed with IGF-1 (insulin growth factor -1), which has been linked to breast cancer, colon cancer, and prostate cancer.

Damn, right?!?

I haven’t even gotten into artificial sweeteners or high-fructose corn syrup!

For now though, I think I’ll go eat more Kale chips.

January 28, 2013

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The Fat Man’s Guide To Getting Healthy

In 2010 I was diagnosed as a diabetic.

It was inevitable: I had eaten like an idiot for over 20 years, and all I did was work on the computer.

Still, while not surprising, it was a heavy blow.

I have two little kids, and I want to be around to watch them grow!

So I started making some changes, and I’m happy to report that I’ve lost over 40 pounds!

Anyways, if you’re interested catching some funny stories (and seeing how I did it) click here:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00AYWX6YQ

I’ve just published my first book to Amazon.

The book is called “A Fat Man’s Guide To Getting Healthy” and writing it was a labor of love. I’m so excited about the changes I’m making in my own life that I felt compelled to share them with others and help them do the same.

If you’re interested, please check it out and let me know what you think 🙂

January 22, 2013

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Mental Health Day

I never use an alarm clock because I don’t need one. I’m one of those blessed (or annoying) people who just wake up early, no matter what.

I’ve been that way for years.

Come 5:30am, and no matter how late I was up the night before…

BAM! I’m awake.

So this morning, even though I worked late last night with the candles and the jazz going…

I was up early to have a cup of coffee and see Wendy off to work.

But I didn’t want to be.

I was tired.

So I drank my coffee, and made my juice, and walked into the kids bedrooms to wake them up for school…

And they looked so happy, and so comfortable and sleep… all wrapped up with their cats and blankets…

That I just couldn’t wake them up.

I decided right then and there that today would be a mental health day.

So I closed their bedroom doors, and went out on the patio and answered some emails.

Evan woke up at around 9:30. He stumbled out of his bedroom with his hair sticking out in every direction, and said “Is it the weekend still?”

Nope.

Mental Health Day bro.

Rowan got up about an hour later, and I packed a picnic and we headed to the beach. As I write this, I’m laying under a palm tree, with sand between my toes…

And the kids are splashing away in the water just in front of me.

It’s a Monday today. The new quarter just started for the kids at school. They have homework and I have deadlines.

But you know what?

Sometimes you just need a mental health day 🙂

January 17, 2013

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Unhealthy Vegetarians (The Fake-Itarian)

We’ve been eating vegetarian (for the most part) for about 8 weeks now, and I’ve discovered one thing:

It’s easy to be a vegetarian that eats like SHIT.

Doritos, for example, are vegetarian.

So are Boca burgers, on big awesome sandwich rolls with cheese and catsup and a side of chips.

And a soda.

Cheese pizza is vegetarian.

See what I’m saying?

I’m quickly learning that being a vegetarian is much different than eating healthy for your body.

Eating healthy for my body means lots of greens. It means vegetables.

No, not vegetable Tempura, which is deliciously deep-fried…

But raw vegetables, or grilled vegetables.

It means no soda and no chips and measured amounts of fake meats like soy and tempeh.

For me, it needs to mean avoiding chips and breads and all the other sugar-rich foods that got me here in the first place!

Curious to hear your thoughts.