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Scientists Officially Link Processed Foods To Autoimmune Disease…

I’ve never been someone who could write things down.  I’m sure I tried at least a handful of time to keep a diary as a youngster only to give up a few days into it.  Something about it always felt so constrictive.  If this is still so, then why am I writing a blog such as this?  Well, there are a few personal reasons a few of which I mention in the About This Journey... page.  However, the main reason I chose this medium called “blog” to share my journey is because of one woman who became a member of my club soon after I purchased it in 2011.  Her name is Michelle and she was able to join my health club because she won a one-year membership I had donated to the Novato Mother’s Club.

I found out that Michelle was keeping a blog titled, Diary of an Aspiring Loser.  Michelle started her blog years ago, and in her own words, “… I started this blog in February 2007 to journal my weight loss triumphs and challenges. I’ve learned a lot along the way and I’ve really enjoyed sharing my experiences while getting tips and support from others…”

Michelle - BEFORE

Michelle – BEFORE

I remember the day Michelle walked into the club.  From that first day I have witnessed her commitment to becoming healthy.  She created a plan and stuck to it.  It wasn’t always easy, but she was dedicated to a better life for herself.  What impressed me was how Michelle documented everything relating to her weight journey; what she did, what she ate, how she felt, what exercises she did, what worked and didn’t work.  She put it all out there.  And the result?  In about 16 months, Michelle was at her goal weight.

In January of this year I decided to promote our club by shooting professional photos of some of our members.  I was planning on having them printed as large banners and placed in our windows.  I asked Michelle if she would volunteer to be photographed.  She happily said yes.

In my first round of shooting, I photographed about 17 of our members.  As I was processing the digital film and reviewed the overall results, it was clear that I wanted…needed…Michelle to be our first “member in the window.”  I had the perfect tag line too.

About four weeks later I brought Michelle into my office to view her photo which was now a full-blown marketing ad for the club.  I sat her down and told her to take a deep breath, close her eyes and realize that what she was about to see what the result of all her hard work.  She opened her eyes, looked at her picture and read the caption, “We are in the business of creating cape free superheroes.” She was moved to tears.  She kept asking out loud, “Is this me?  Is this really me?!”  Read all about her experience becoming a cape free superhero on her blog.

Michelle really deserved that moment and I felt honored to have been a small part in creating that.  Too often we are become obsessed on the “becoming” of who we are and not what we have “become.”  It’s about being present and taking a good look at the work you have done today, acknowledging your efforts, and taking pride in the small accomplishments.  It took something for Michelle to lose her excess weight and get healthy.  It took something for her to get up everyday and choose to live life fully and dynamically.  As I said, she had her many challenges along the way, but she kept going…because that’s what the journey is all about.

Michelle -AFTER

Michelle -AFTER

You see living life to the fullest is not about jumping out of a plane or traveling to Africa to be on safari.  It’s understanding that everything you experience in life is life and you live life to the fullest by embracing everything brought to your table and accepting it with gratitude. You’re not living your life by asking, “why me?.”  A person who lives life to the fullest asks, “why not me?!” Or more specifically declares, “of course me!”

Am am inspired by Michelle’s journey and her willingness to share herself with the world.  So much so, I am following in her footsteps.  Here, on my blog, you will witness my journey, my ups and downs, my triumphs and tribulations.  And as Michelle mentions on her blog, I, too, hope that in sharing myself I inspire others to take action in their lives.

As I’m finishing this post I have a smile on my face…because I’m thinking about this time next year…maybe, just maybe there will be a new poster of Michelle hanging in the window…but she won’t be alone.

Lemons: Can be bad for the teeth, but very good for the body.

Lemons: Can be bad for the teeth, but very good for the body.

I loved to eat raw lemons ever since I was a kid…and ever since I was a kid, I was told that lemons will eat the enamel off your teeth.  This is true.  Lemons are very acidic and can cause erosion of tooth enamel if exposed to teeth for a long length of time.  Luckily my “lemon kicks” don’t last for very long and I know that I should always drink plenty of water after eating a lemon and use an enamel strengthening toothpaste…which I do.

In spite of the lemon and it’s private war against my smile, the lemon has many advantages to the body.  It can assist in weight loss, improve skin texture, cleanse the liver, and reduce anxiety. To understand more about it, read the article entitled 15 Hidden Health Secrets of Lemons.

Probably The Most Motivational Video You’ll See This Week…

I just learned that a peanut is not a nut but rather a legume.  Go figure?  I also learned that legumes and nuts are not really all that they are cracked up to be (pun intended).  From the website,, I offer the following information on nuts and legumes:

Grains and legumes are king when it comes to antinutrients, lectins, enzymes inhibitors and toxic proteins, but some nuts and seeds use similar defense mechanisms. Of course, unlike some very nasty plaint proteins (e.g. gluten), longterm damage and autoimmunity is unlikely to happen from eating nuts and seeds.

Lectins in some nuts and seeds can irritate the gut lining and create inflammation and enzyme inhibitors can prevent the full digestion of the proteins in them.

Phytic acid is a strategy employed to prevent the nut or seed from sprouting before the ideal conditions are present. Phytic acid on our digestive system has the property of binding to minerals like calcium, iron and magnesium and preventing them from being absorbed. This also means that you won’t necessarily get high amounts of a mineral even if you eat a nut high in that mineral.

Here is a direct link to the complete article: Are Nuts And Seeds Healthy?

I'm down 10! Fitbit rocks!It was nice waking up this morning and jumping on the scale and seeing that I was down 10 pounds.  What’s even better is how my Fitbit scale sent me an email congratulating me about my accomplishment.  Who said technology is cold-hearted?

So it’s the beginning of the second week of my nutritional cleanse and I continue to feel better each day.  I continue to sleep well and my skin feels much more supple and soft.  Is it all the additional water?  Is it the clean eating?  Is it the absence of toxins in processed foods?  I would have to say all of the above.  Someone at the club today said they could see that I lost weight in my core area (i.e., stomach).  I don’t necessarily see the difference yet, but I can definitely feel it.  I feel less bloated and I feel thinner if that makes any sense.

I haven’t had any caffeine in over a week and I don’t seem to miss it.  Oh, don’t get me wrong, I would love a nice Starbucks venti quad-shot soy latte at 140 degrees…Ah, I can smell it now…alas, it a whole bunch of calories and chemicals that my body does not want or need.  I found this article on the net which discusses the pros and cons of coffee intake in terms of living a paleo lifestyle.  Here’s what it had to say:

Pros of coffee consumption

  • To many people, coffee is absolutely delicious and a great way to stay on tract with a paleo diet without indulging in other unhealthy choices.
  • It improves cognitive performance, reaction time and short-term recall.
  • Coffee stimulates peristalsis and can help those who suffer from constipation.
  • According to the latest studies on the subject, moderate coffee consumption seems to be protective against cardiovascular disease.
  • Coffee contains beneficial antioxidants, methylpyridinium being the most well-known one.
  • Coffee seems to offer protection to the liver and has been found to reduce the incidence of liver cancer.

Cons of coffee consumption

  • Caffeine can trigger the release of unhealthy levels of cortisol in some people. Chronically elevated cortisol levels is bad news for a multitude of reasons. Think weight-gain, disturbed sleep patterns, depressed immune system…
  • Coffee hinders iron absorption because of its tannin content. It can therefore further exacerbate iron deficiency.
  • Regular coffee consumption seems to decrease insulin sensitivity, which can translate to weight gain and increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Studies have mixed results about the insulin desensitizing effects of coffee, but the most coherent ones make it clear that the effect is negative.
  • Many people believe that coffee is a diuretic, which means that it makes you lose free water and can therefore lead to dehydration and electrolyte imbalances. Studies have shown though that, in the long-term, coffee doesn’t have a diuretic effect after you’ve become used to it. Drinking coffee only very sporadically could  still bring about the diuretic effects since the body would lose its habituation to the effect.
  • Coffee irritates the tissues of the gastrointestinal tract and can exacerbate those with ulcers, IBS, gastritis or other such gastrointestinal disorders.

Soooooooo, even though I would love the taste of coffee, I think I might be giving it up for good.  I said, I think I might.  I’m giving it up for at least 30 days.  Well, now it’s actually 22…

What is the Paleo Diet? It’s the world’s healthiest diet!

So I’m starting a blog.  Just add my name to the bazillion other people who do this.  Why am I doing it?  Hmmmmm?  I’m not completely sure, but I know I want to share my story and my journey.  More about that tomorrow.  Today I’m trying to get everything set up and learn how to use a WordPress blog.  Lord help me…Seriously.