Without realizing it, I had fallen into the trap that many Americans do – eating crap.
I had always been too busy, or too lazy, to eat nutritious foods. Sure, I hear in the media about the importance of diet, but to me it often meant mixing in a salad once a week. I certainly wasn’t intentional about my food intake, taking a lot of pleasure in the convenience and taste of fast food. In a normal week, I was eating a lot of pizza, sandwiches and starches, washing it down with beer and bourbon.
My clothes weren’t fitting right, and I was gaining weight. I didn’t feel all that great.
Then I had my visit with Peggy Heuser of Heuser Health. First, I learned that I had diabetes, an alarm signal that was not surprising given my family history. As part of my health optimization plan, I sat down with Peggy to learn some facts about nutrition and the importance of eating fruits and vegetables, and eliminating all that crap from my diet. My girlfriend Paula went with me, and fortunately she’s bought in, and has this week prepared some wonderful meals packed with tasty vegetables.
Using illustrations and science, Peggy showed me how the food I eat affects everything. I won’t go into the science here, because some of it went over my head, but it was a tremendously educational class. And Paula paid close attention, and is putting that knowledge to good use in the kitchen.
My personal diet habits changed March 9. Here’s what I’ve been eating – fish, chicken, eggs, vegetables, yogurt, berries and natural peanut butter. It hasn’t been that hard, thanks in part to Paula’s cooking. But I still go out — I had this terrific fish at Havana Rumba, enjoyed a bowl of beans, brown rice, chicken and veggies at Qdoba, and even watched basketball on Saturday, ordered a nutritious salad at The Manhattan Project. I’ve traded Old Fashioneds for Vodka Tonics.
Diet isn’t the only change. Peggy prescribed Vitamin D and Fish Oil. I’m taking some hormone drugs, and using a Testosterone cream daily. And last week I attended three exercise classes at Heuser Health.
I’m told not to get too optimistic about early success. This is a lifestyle change, not a fad diet. But it’s working. Though I somehow weighed in at 229 during my exam at Heuser, my home scale showed 221 on March 9. Today it says 216. I don’t think it’s my imagination that I have more energy, and I think it’s getting easier to button my pants.
Sure, I’m tempted to order pizza. In the mornings, I miss that sausage biscuit from McDonald’s. Oh, French fries. But I’m not going through any drive-thru’s any time soon. I’ll stick to clementines and berries. I drive past the lines at the fast-food joints in this town and I understand why people eat the way they do. It’s easier and tastier. But it’s not better.
If you’re interested in learning ways to optimize your health, talk to my friends at Heuser Health in the Mellwood Arts Center.