Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Jason's Amazing Transformation!


Cure Diabetes, Weightloss, inspiration, fitness, juicing, diet, gym, fitocracy
 
FORWARD:  I recently asked my good friend Jason to share the story of his amazing transformation.  As I've said in previous posts, I don't believe that juicing is the only way to achieve your nutritional and fitness goals. It just happens to be the thing that worked for me.  For Jason it was a complete lifestyle change in diet, exercise, and mentality.  Jason's story goes to the core for the reason I started this blog.  Normal guys/gals who have decided to make a change who take charge of their life while navigating the maze of "healthformation overload."  Jason's ongoing journey and success is nothing short of inspirational. We both hope that his story will motivate other's to get moving in the right direction. You can learn more about Jason and his journey on his blog: 1RMiracle.blogspot.com  1 Day and a lifetime to go!
 
     Hi there.  My name is Jason.  I’m a little unsure how to begin writing this thing for Juice Avenger.  I guess my hesitation comes from the fact that I haven’t finished my “transformation” by any means.  In fact I tend to be relatively down on what I perceive as my lack of progress and backsliding in my quest to get fit.  However, it is clear that over the past decade I’ve made a lot of progress and changed my body pretty significantly, even if it doesn’t always feel that way. 

                I am currently 33 years old, 6’6”, and 287 pounds.  I was always big as a kid—I grew fast and was six feet tall when I started high school.  I was also always overweight.  I recall being pretty fat as a younger kid, but I know for sure that when I got to high school I became extremely overweight.  Even though I played sports, I was terribly unhealthy—not just overweight, but asthmatic and weak.  I used to have RIDICULOUS eating habits, like stopping at a fast food joint after school and eating a huge meal in between lunch and dinner, spending a week’s worth of school lunches on Pizza Day at school, eating boxes of Swiss Cake Rolls and drinking  Coke by the two-liter.  These habits pretty much continued in college, except I didn’t eat quite as much fast food because I spent that money on beer, vodka, cigarettes, and drugs instead.  I don’t recall even drinking a glass of water in college.  I met  Ray (the Juice Avenger) when we were working for the same pizza place while I was in college and after I graduated.  It was a great job for a fat guy because I got discount pizza, got to eat pizza at work, and got to take home screwed up orders on occasion to eat later.  So suffice it to say I was extremely unhealthy.

                Eventually I got a corporate job and moved away from my college town.  I was also fortunate enough to meet my wonderful wife and get married.  I stopped doing drugs and drinking so much.  As we started our more “adult” lives, we began to get concerned about our health and the future.  I think at this point I will answer the questions provided to me.

Where did you begin the journey (weight, fitness, etc)?
                When I began being concerned about my weight and health, I probably weighed close to 400 pounds.  I never weighed myself then but I’m sure I was north of 350.  I was also a smoker, a soda addict, and suffered from hypertension. 

What made you decide to change your lifestyle?
                In my job as a social worker I was exposed to a lot of consequences of long term bad decisions.  I saw people with diabetes, diabetic hypertension, heart disease, destroyed joints, etc.  I think that had a lot to do with it, along with just being tired of being tired, fat, and sick all the time.  When I was younger I didn’t realize it so much, but as I got older I realized I basically felt like crap all the time.

How did you change your lifestyle?
                In the beginning, my wife and I became vegetarians, which had a dramatic effect on our dietary choices.  We began to learn to like vegetables, and avoid fast food.   After I quit smoking (which was a struggle and I have had numerous slips over the years), we decided to work towards a goal of running a 5k.  So we started a program to get us up to running a 5k, which seemed like an impossible goal for me.  After all, I was the guy who couldn’t slowly run a mile in high school football; the guy who had to stop and use his asthma inhaler during sprints at the end of every practice.  But we stuck it out and gradually crept up from running a half mile to running 3 miles, and successfully ran in a 5k, which felt great.  It was probably the first time I had set a fitness goal and achieved it.  During this time I had also sort of casually tried to lift weights, but eventually I got more serious about it and began to devote some brain power to getting better at it and improving on that level.  

What dietary changes have you made?

                I have been a strict vegetarian, a low-carber, a slow-carber, and a lot of different dietary things over the years.  Full disclosure, I have never juiced (in either sense of the word).  But what works for me now is pretty simple.  I track calories and try to hit a protein goal.  I try to eat grass-fed beef and small amounts of locally-sourced meat rather than pounds of crappy feedlot meat.  My wife and I eat a lot of fresh vegetables, organic when possible, local when possible.  We eat mostly whole foods and avoid things that are heavily processed.  I do feel that limiting carbohydrates is important for weight loss, but I don’t go extremely low-carb or worry about “ketosis” or anything like that.  I avoid most sugar regardless of label (white, brown, raw, agave nectar, etc) and try to limit grains and flour.  That’s pretty much it.  For me, tracking really works because I still can’t trust my body’s signals about hunger, they’re pretty screwed up.  Especially with carbs and bread—I could eat an entire large pizza and be hungry an hour later!  So the tracker helps me get my brain involved rather than just my instincts.

What fitness routines have you added?

                I am a huge proponent of strength training.  I think there is a lot of resistance to heavy barbell training, but it has worked the best for me.  Right now I weight train 3-4 times a week with a program based around compound lifts like bench, squat, deadlift, and overhead press.  For those that are familiar, I do Jim Wendler’s 5/3/1 program.  I follow up the main lift with higher-volume accessory work.  I also do conditioning work with kettlebells and barbell complexes.  In warmer weather, my wife and I ride our bikes and walk our dogs; I also plan to start running again now that it has finally warmed up.  My main point here is that there is no conflict between training for strength and weight loss.  I think a lot of times people think of weight loss in terms of “burning calories” and think that strength training is irrelevant if you “just want to lose weight not get jacked.”  But getting strong, besides being tremendously rewarding itself, also can’t help but make positive changes to your body.  And really, none of us wants just a pure number on the scale—we want to look and feel good.  For me, strength training has made me feel better, improved how I look, improved how my joints work, and basically been the best thing I’ve done for myself in years. 

What gains/losses have you seen?

                Over the past 10 years, I’ve definitely gone down around 100 pounds.  This represents long periods of yo-yo dieting, figuring things out, getting frustrated, abandoning all diet and exercise, etc.  I feel like my real progress happened in the last 3-4 years as I began to lift more systematically and regularly, and moved out of the 300s (I hope permanently).  I have also gained tremendously in strength from where I started, to the point where I am beginning to think of myself as “strong.”  Numbers don’t really matter but I can bench 225, squat 225, and deadlift 385.  I can also make it through a 30-minute kettlebell circuit masterminded by the devil himself (Ron at the Lansing YMCA) and run 3 miles.  A big step for me was actually to be able to do pushups and dips, exercises I was never able to perform until I was in my 30s.  I also used to suffer from severe back pain, which is basically gone.  My asthma inhaler mostly sits in my pocket unused (except during high pollen count days).  I’m not a rampaging caffeine addict and have broken my addiction to diet sodas and energy drinks.  Overall, I feel GREAT even though I still have some weight to lose.

What are your goals?

                I’m having a bit of trouble settling on a goal weight.  Right now, my goal is to take about 30 more pounds off and reevaluate at that point.  I’m not quite sure where I’ll end up, but I’ve learned not to be so stressed out about it.  I am satisfied with continuing to lose weight while being healthy and getting good numbers on my blood work—cholesterol, blood sugar, testosterone, etc are all good as per my last checkup.  I also have some strength goals I’d like to accomplish, but they are secondary to my weight loss goal right now.  This year I’d like to achieve a chin-up (I’ve never done on) and deadlift 405.  Next year I’d like to participate in a powerlifting meet just for fun.  I’d also like to do a Warrior Dash, but I’m not sure if it will be this year or next year.

What advice do you have for someone sitting there thinking about making a change?

                Not to sound clichéd, but just do it.  I mean, you have to start at some point.  Analysis-paralysis can set in on these things, but you don’t have to start “perfectly” to make improvement in your life.  You will make mistakes in figuring out what works for you—don’t worry about it!  It’s pretty unlikely you will do permanent damage to yourself if you try a diet that doesn’t work for you or try an exercise program that doesn’t pan out for you.  You can start small, but I wouldn’t start too small.  Some people do better with a dramatic gesture, other people do better ramping up slowly.  Don’t beat yourself up for slipping, but don’t let yourself off TOO easy either.  I would recommend trying to use social support to make a change, whether that’s a site like Fitocracy.com to track your fitness progress, or one of the many food tracking sites with social aspects, or just telling your friends and family that you are making a change.  Any physical, mental, financial, etc limitation can be overcome—you don’t need to be able to complete P90X workouts to get in shape, you don’t need to be able to afford a gym or organic food, you don’t need a Fitbit or Nike+ or any gadgets at all in order to do it.   You just need some motivation and a willingness to apply your mental abilities to the task of improving your fitness. 
     Thanks very much to Juice Avenger for allowing me to ramble on about my story.  If you are interested in my journey, you can follow my own blog (which I am restarting thanks to this motivation) at 1RMiracle.blogspot.com, or follow me as jmiracle on Fitocracy.  Thanks for reading, and remember that some clichés are deeper than they appear—one day at a time, the only thing stopping you is you, etc, etc. 

Friday, April 26, 2013

Day 65! 1 DAY AND A LIFETIME TO GO!




It has been 65 days since I started the juice journey.  In short, it has not only changed my life but has also SAVED my life.  I am free of Diabetes medications, I continue to drop weight and I feel great.  The unexpected outcome is how I now view food, compared to how I viewed food prior to this grand experiment. 

In place of metformin and other medications I am managing Diabetes through diet and exercise. I must therefore consider the food that I take in as my medication. If I plan to maintain my health through diet and exercise there is little wiggle room.

I maintain that juicing is not the only way to find freedom from chronic illness, it is just one way, one step, and one piece of the puzzle.  Luckily for me I found the documentary "Fat, Sick, and Nearly dead" by Joe Cross, and the Drew Canole, "Juicing Vegetables" Facebook page and decided to give it a try. It has worked miraculously for me. Regardless of the plan all that matters is taking a leap of faith, a first step. Choosing one of the many paths available in this world of "healthformation overload" is the only way you can expect to find success.

The secret to success is making a complete lifestyle change and changing your frame of mind.  First, I'd love to do away with the concept of DIETING as we define it today.  Our concept of dieting indicates that there is a finite number of days to a prescribed program, a beginning and an end.  We all know how these "fad diets" end.  Eating paleo, alkaline, vegetarian, vegan, Juicing, the 17 Day etc..  do little good if we return to our old ways after a brief 15, 17, 30, 60 day experiment.

We live in a commercial environment that provides cheap, easy, and fast food options.  Most of which are not healthy, or in many cases, not even in our food chain.  Until we remove these from our diet, from our available food chain there is no hope of sustainable transformation.

I had a reader, and new friend, Mr. Leo Morales Sr.  comment recently on an article that I wrote (Diabetes Meds Removed). I stated that I had enjoyed the juice fast, but that I would leave some wiggle room in the near future to have a cheeseburger when it was all over.  Mr. Morales responded:
"That's great to hear! But when you go back to refined flours, meat and sugary drinks as you say "leaving some wiggle room. Sure, I will have a burger at the end of my 60 day", you will have fallen back to exactly what got you there. There just isn't a way to leave any wiggle room when making such a change for health reasons. I suggest changing lifestyle completely to vegan and forsake all the normal American diet food."


I appreciated Mr. Morales' comment at the time for what it was.  His words sat heavily on my heart throughout the week however.  Would I continue to practice what I've been preaching after the juice fast?  Would I make the full lifestyle change?  Is there really wiggle room for a recovering diabetic? 

The answer came loud and clear while I lay awake last night thinking about the future of my transition.  No. There simply is no wiggle room when it comes to my health.  My friend was 100% correct.  Reform is reform. There is no place for nutritional backsliding, or even a temporary return to an old lifestyle.

This was not a diet this was a true transformation.  This was a wake up call and a lifestyle change combined.  Scientists state that the human body's cell structure transforms, on average, every 6 months.  I have spent two short months, transforming my body with impressive results. Why not continue to give my cells the proper nutrition they need to truly transform and completely heal.

Thank you to all of my friends and readers for the incredible outpouring of positive thoughts, energy, comments, and support over the last 2 months! I hope that you will all stay with me as I continue this fitness and nutrition journey.  I look forward to hearing and sharing your stories in hopes that we can all continue to learn from one another

Special thanks, again, to Mr. Leo Morales for having the courage and discernment to speak the words I needed to hear! Endless praise to Joe Cross, and the Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead Crew. Continued appreciation to Drew Canole and our friends at "Juicing Vegetables on Facebook for continuing to pay it forward!

1 DAY AND A LIFETIME TO GO!


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Plug Your Nose, And Heal Your Body! Healthful Benefits of Kimchi


Kimchi, Lower Blood Sugar, Lower Cholesterol
 

Calling All Kimchi eaters.  Have you ever been in that awkward situation where you are walking down the street, minding your own business, eating a bowl of Kimchi and people start giving you the "stink eye"?  Today we will provide you fuel to point the finger back at them and laugh because your blood sugar levels and cholesterol are dropping just for reading this article!

Much to the dismay of my wife and family I am a big fan of Kimchi. I love the strong aroma, spice, and crunch.  I also happen to love anything made from cabbage (except cabbage patch dolls... they just creep me out).

But I am learning that there are some great health benefits to consuming Kimchi and Sauerkraut . I come from Polish and German roots so my love affair with Sauerkraut is a given.  The benefits are too good to pass up!

Antioxidants:  The Journal of Bio science and Bioengineering conducted a study on the antioxidant levels of fermented Kimchi.  The study found that the higher the fermentation of Kimchi, the higher the antioxidants.  A study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food revealed that eating a healthy amount of kimchi daily lowered LDL "bad" cholesterol levels, and also significantly reduced fasting blood sugar levels. The key point (in my opinion) is that these levels were significantly lowered in just 7 days!
"100 volunteers were assigned to 2 dietary groups, low (15 g/day) and high (210 g/day) kimchi intake, and were housed together in a dormitory for 7 days. Identical meals except with different amount of kimchi were provided and subjects were instructed to maintain their normal physical activity. Concentrations of fasting blood glucose (FBG), total glucose, total cholesterol and low density lipoprotein (LDL)-C significantly decreased in both groups after 7 days of kimchi intake, but the effects were dose dependent. Lipid lowering effects of kimchi were more profound in the subjects with total cholesterol and LDL-C level over 190 and 130 mg/dL, respectively, in both groups. FBG was significantly decreased in the high kimchi intake as compared to the low intake group. In conclusion, greater consumption of kimchi improved FBG and serum total cholesterol in young healthy adults."
I have now both heard and read reports in multiple media venues that discuss the healthful benefits of fermented foods, like Kimchi and Sauerkraut.  If you love the taste, this is an easy experiment for you.  If you don't like the taste, it might be hard to swallow literally and figuratively.  If you are in a place where LDL, and FBS just don't seem to be responding, it certainly can't hurt to try this for one week.

 As a reward for being an awesome readership I make you this promise: We will NEVER discuss the health benefits of Haggis!

1 DAY AND A LIFETIME TO GO!



Kimchi, Diabetes, Lower Blood Sugar, Lower Cholesterol

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Technology and Fitness: Good Apps for a Great Workout.

Mrs. Avenger and I have recently started using Smart phones.  It took us awhile, we know.  We found that life for others was much more convenient using these handy little devices.  We've grown to love our "phones." We can play words with friends, Angry Birds, and once in a while we can even figure out how to actually make a call, but only when all of our brain cells, timing, and coordination are engaged.

Immediately after plugging in the phones we set out to download APPS!!!!  Did you know there are apps for just about everything?  So much so, that when confronted with problems at home our little Avengers want to know if "there's an App for that?"  The little guys know how to use these much better than we do already.

One of the nicest features are all of the great Fitness Apps available.  You don't need to spend a fortune on a personal trainer when you have these handy little guys along with you! I will highlight our favorite Three (So far):


FITOCRACY: I'm new to this app but I am already addicted. It is a social networking site that incorporates gaming and fitness.  I have found the members to be extremely motivating, engaging, friendly, and non-judgemental. The facilitators have a great sense of humor, and provide lots of motivation along the way. The app is free, easy, and it helps you track your workouts, fitness goals, and provides the user with fitness challenges. They have a current challenge to users to exercise at least 15 minutes a day.  (We noted in an earlier post that exercising 15 to 30 minutes a day can change your physiology. That's all it takes).  What a way to get started!  You can keep your head buried in the smart phone, and get fit at the same time.  It's a Win Win situation! 


ZOMBIES RUN:  $3.99 is all it takes to download this gem. It's not much considering 4 bucks and you could be the hero that saves the world from the Zombie Apocalypse! In the Entertainment realm there are two things I LOVE!  1. The Avengers. 2.  Anything Zombie.  I can't help it, I'm a geek and I know it! Since there aren't any Avengers fitness apps that I am aware of, this is a great and fun way to get fit. There is an app to train you for a 5K, and there is one now (Zombies Run 2) that provides "motivation"  for interval and personal running training. (if you want to keep your brains, you will run!) 

There are 60 missions to choose from: "You are Runner. Hundreds of lives are counting on you. You've got to help your base rebuild from the ruins of civilization by collecting critical supplies while avoiding roving zombie hordes. Can you save them and learn the truth about the zombie apocalypse?  Even better, you can create your own custom play lists before you start running: the story unfolds in between your tracks through a series of dynamic radio messages and voice recordings."
 
This is just too much fun to pass on! 
 
 
 
ENDOMONDO:  I am preparing to join this community for my hiking and bicycling now that spring and Summer are quickly approaching.  "Endomondo.com is the place where you automatically track all your sports data and monitor your performance over time. At Endomondo.com you meet like-minded friends, get inspired by them, challenge them and follow their activities... live! So whether you are into just following your personal achievements or whether you wish to place yourself in a larger network of sports partners that challenge and support each other's efforts - Endomondo.com is your new world of endorphins." This app gets rave reviews, and it's free. This is a great opportunity to get in touch with nature....through technology!

These are our first top picks for fitness apps.  We are constantly on the lookout for new fitness and nutrition apps.  We will happily provide more product reviews in the near future, but we'd love to hear from you.  What are your favorites?

1 DAY AND A LIFETIME TO GO!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Spiced Spinach with Hippie Butter Hemp Seed! Recipe/Product Review



After sending out our collard greens recipe a few folks recommended trying it with Spinach. We tried it with a twist. I've been hearing about the benefits of Hemp Seed from our friends at Hippie Butter, and wanted to give it a try. We couldn't believe how much the Hemp seed improved the overall taste, and nutrition of our dish! If you are wondering about a good source of protein for your vegetarian/juice/Raw/Vegan lifestyle, wonder no more!   

I wasn't sure what to expect when trying these, some other seeds are bitter or lack taste.  I was happy to learn that there is a high amount of protein (10g) concentrated in just 3 tablespoons of Hemp Seed. The seeds taste GREAT they are wonderfully nutty, and have an overall pleasant aroma and taste They pushed our Spiced Spinach dish over the top! Hippie butter knows what they are doing!  All organic, hulled, and ready to jump in our bellies!

Overall: This Dish is Strongly Anti-Inflammatory, high in protein, and is a low Glycemic food! ENJOY! Great After Work out meal.

Recipe: Spiced Spinach with Hippie Butter Hemp Seed:

3 cups of Spinach
3 Tablespoons Hippie Butter Hemp Seed

Hemp Seed Nutrition

1 cup chopped mushrooms
1 medium white onion
A LOT O' OLIVE OIL!
4-5 cloves of Garlic (thinly sliced) (9 grams of protein in 136 g of garlic) and off the charts for anti-inflammation! EAT AS MUCH AS YOU CAN! Plus you can keep away the cast of Twilight, and other Vampires!
About 1 tsp of ground cinnamon
about 1 tsp Tumeric (strong anti-inflammatory!)
about 1 tsp Paprika
about 1 tsp Ground Cardamom
Salt/Pepper to Taste

Toast the onion, garlic, Mushrooms, and spices in the olive oil over low to med heat.

Hemp Seed:  You can throw in your hemp seed here to add a nice toasted flavor. Don't heat over 365 degrees or you will lose some of the vital nutrients.  Or you can toss them in as a topper. I'd recommend trying it both ways. 

Once your house smells like heaven, and you find yourself thinking about licking the hot pan.... and mysteriously craving Doritos (just kidding)...Go ahead and toss in the Spinach.

Blend all ingredients, cover and simmer about 15 minutes. Occasionally check and stir up the pan (either to ensure you don't burn the dish, or just to get a blast of the smell! )

It's fast, it's tasty, and it's a great source of vitamins, nutrients, Omega 3, and Protein! Thanks for a great product Hippie Butter!

1 DAY AND A LIFETIME TO GO!!!!!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Optometrist Who Fixed My Pancreas



Abstract: An encounter with an Optometrist saved my life, limbs, and eyes.  Dr. Christina J. Dixon, in my opinion, has had the most profound medical influence over my life, bar none. She told it straight, she treated me like a person, and she cared about my health and well being above her own financial bottom line. I'm certain she's lost patients because of her approach. But, I'm also certain that they've walked away ashamed of themselves, angry with her, and ready to make a change like I did (click Make a change, to be serenaded by Michael Jackson for added inspiration while you read this!

Close Encounters:

Many of us are fed up with going to the Doctor's office. It usually starts with walking into the building. The Office staff is lethargic, unfriendly, unwelcoming, and not very pleased to see you.  Then you sit and wait in solitary confinement until the doctor finds time to swing by and find out why you are visiting them.

Usually, in my experience, the doctor comes in and stares at their computer (I'm almost certain they are playing a medical version of words with friends), the whole time you are in front of them, they cut you off mid-sentence, and really never seem to listen.  They ask you what is wrong, and appear uninterested in your responses.  Then they do it. They throw medications at you, whatever the flavor of the day is, welcome you to return to the front desk and make good on your co-pay, and kick you out the door.

I often leave the Dr's office feeling flustered, rushed and most of the time I realize that I'd actually forgotten to discuss the reason I went there in the first place. 

So, I expected the same the first time I visited Eagle Eye Vision Center of Stafford, Virginia.  I had that feeling approaching the building that I often get going to the doctor's office.  Anxiety. The staff was friendly, the building was comfortable, and I immediately felt at home, until I met her. dun dun DUN... Christina J. Dixon Optometrist!

She walked into the room, with a smile, and asked how I was doing.  Ahhh, things are going great! Friendly staff, and friendly/attentive Doctor.  I can breathe easy. Then she asked a simple, innocuous, question, "I see you are diabetic, how's that going?"

In my usual coy, I don't feel like talking about this, you are just going to use my Diabetes to get more money out of me way; I answered.  "Fine."

The Nice Doc Disappeared, and the Truth Hurt!  

Doc:  Oh. Fine?  What was your last Blood sugar? 

Me: Well, I'm not sure doc. I took it a few weeks ago, and it was just under 200.

Doc. So, your blood sugar is fine?  Are you sitting there and telling me your Diabetes is fine?  Do you know how many people sit in these chairs and tell me their blood sugar is fine?  Are you taking this seriously at all?  Do you realize that you can go blind, that you can have a stroke, heart conditions, do you realize what you are doing to yourself?

Doc: I've had patients come in here and act all coy, like they've got it all under control, until something goes wrong. I know you might not come back to see me, I've lost patients like you before. They didn't like the way I talked to them. You have to take this seriously, it's not a joke, it's not something to take lightly.  I've seen too many complications from Diabetes. It can be helped, you can do something about it.  Change your diet, exercise, lose some weight.  Whatever it takes.

It seemed like hours passed, I was being lectured, read the riot act, and told off.

I was awe struck.  Don't get me wrong, I was pissed.  Who is this Optometrist whom I've never met, to tel ME how to care for MY body?  She isn't a general practitioner, or an endocrinologist.  Who in the hell does she think she is?  I left the office not sure whether or not I would ever go back.

I went home, and thought about it.  I told my wife. You won't believe what the Optometrist said to me! Of course, my wife sided with the Doctor.  Now what.  I can't go home, and I can't find respite at the Optometrist's office? Then it hit me.  She was right, I needed to do something about this curable and reversible chronic disease. The power WAS in my hands.

A few days later the truth struck me in the head like a brick made out of Dr. Dixon's attitude.  She was NOT a general practitioner, she was NOT an endocrinologist.  Why had none of my doctors ever talked to me like this, told me what I needed to hear instead of what I wanted to hear. Why did they just shut me up with meds and kick my fat butt out of the building in time for me to stop at Burger King before heading to CVS to get my Diabetes meds?

In an upcoming article I will discuss the Dr. who diagnosed me with a sinus infection, instead of Diabetes, nearly 2 years before my official diagnosis. 

Dr. Dixon, in my opinion, has had the most profound medical influence over my life, bar none.  She told it straight, she treated me like a person, she actually cared about my health and well being above her own financial bottom line. 

It still took some time for me to get my act together.  But I've had Dr. Dixon's voice in my head, driving me to, in the Words of the late/Great Michael Jackson, Make that Change (Oh yeah, I posted the link to the song again. Go ahead, listen. You know you can't resist!)

In the days, and months since this appointment, I've taken my health into my own hands, I've stopped relying on excuses, medications, and laziness.  As a result I've been removed from my Type II Diabetes Medications, and my blood sugars have remained in the normal, Non-Diabetic Range.

Thank you to Dr. Christina J. Dixon, Eagle Eye Vision Center of Stafford for having the courage to tell this patient what he NEEDED to hear, instead of what he WANTED to hear.  I wish there were more medical professionals like you, and I hope that patients will grow thick enough skin to accept what they need to hear.

I hope, if you are reading this, and you are a medical professional that you will take this to heart.  Many of your patients want you to get us on the right track. It might be an ugly conversation, and uncomfortable for both of us.  But come on Docs... You stick your fingers in dark and dirty places on a daily basis.... what can be more uncomfortable than that?

Please stop treating symptoms with medication, and return to personal and personalized health CARE!  Learn from Dr. Christina J. Dixon.

1 DAY AND A LIFETIME TO GO!




Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Juice Avenger Recipe of the Week: Thor's Hammer


 

Admittedly we are not big fans of beet juice. I'd say we have a love hate relationship with them... we love to hate them. Don't get me wrong, I like the canned sweet ones, but fresh beets are very earthy and have a strong unpleasant smoky smell and flavor.  That said, the health benefits are good enough to make it worth at least attempting to choke them down albeit while holding your nose and drinking as fast as humanely possible.  Fellow beet haters, there's hope for us yet.  You will find your strength in Thor's Hammer:

Recipe: Remember, you can click on each ingredient for nutritional information.

1 Beet, thoroughly peeled and washed.  If there are beet leaves throw them in too (hint.. they taste better than the beets).
2 Apples
1 Mango
2 cups of broccoli
4 Carrots (peeled)
2 cups Kale (4g of protein!), or Spinach

Juice, mix, and serve over ice (if you so desire).

The juice will be the color of Thor's cape (In the Avengers), and the smell of beet will be as strong as the Hulk. But will taste as sweet as a kiss from the Black Widow.

Enjoy!

P.S.  You'll know you've done it right if it takes a Roman God to lift the glass for you!  

Warning:  This is a high sugar, and somewhat inflammatory recipe. If you are Diabetic or watching your inflammation use caution! 








Monday, April 15, 2013

Boston

In lieu of a post today. All thoughts prayers and energy to those victimized in Boston...

Friday, April 12, 2013

Juicing Is So Simple, A Three Year Old Can Do It!

 
 
We have many folks ask us how difficult it is to juice. Well, we have proof that it's so easy a 3 Year Old Can do it! Hulk Smash himself has taken to Washing the vegetables;
 
 
 
video
 
 


Peeling the veggies:

 
And Even Dropping them in the juicer: Disclaimer:  Very cautiously, and with Daddy Avenger's constant guidance!!
 
 

Just a quick note to let you know it isn't that difficult, Even little Hulk Smash enjoys it, AND, it takes some of the work off of our hands to put the little monkeys to work!

1 DAY AND A LIFETIME TO GO!!!!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Type II Diabetics. Just When You Think You've Got It Bad....Along Comes THIS GUY!


When I was diagnosed with Type II Diabetes, I was devastated.  I felt like a failure, thought that my life would change in too many ways. I feared that I would die before I saw my children raised.  I even feared I'd never be able to go into a hot tub again... you've all seen those warnings...what gives?

But, pictures like the one above, and countless stories from friends and family around the world have convinced me of something:

 I was let off easy! I was given a warning that my way of life was killing me, and not so softly!  Oh, I felt sorry for myself, woe is me, I can't eat ice cream every night while watching the biggest loser any more!  WHAT?  No more late night soft pretzel/nacho triple cheese combinations?  Oh, come on GOD! What gives! WHY ME! Now I will just have to eat sugar free chocolate for the rest of my life... actually... that is a fate WORSE than type II Diabetes... can I get an Amen?

Most of us don't have cancer, AIDS, HIV, Alzheimer's, or flesh eating disease, Type I Diabetes etc. Most of us CAN overcome this, and it isn't nearly as hard as we think.  It took me 30 days to (as my mother says) Get my head on straight, pull it out from...under my torso... and come off meds.  To manage my diabetes with diet and exercise.  I will never fully convince myself that I am "rid" of diabetes, it will always be looking over my shoulder like a zombie looking for brains on capitol hill...clamoring for just one Brain...just One!

I will keep images like the one above in mind when I start whining that I can't eat the entire contents of my kid's Easter basket, or a whole box of Godiva chocolates.  When I have to check my blood sugar a few times a day, just to be sure I haven't over done it, and then have to find a way to spend my surplus of carbs.

I will remember this when I am at the gym and want. SO BADLY to give up. Know this Type II.  I won't give up, I won't stop, I won't back down... and when you DO knock me down I'm not going without a fight. For many of us (NOT ALL) Chronic illness is a choice.  It wasn't our choice to have it, but we have the power to limit the toll they take on us!

I dedicate this to  the young man above, and to so many who have suffered with greater sickness than I have ever known. My Aunt Sue who died from Breast Cancer, To my friend Matthew when we were 6 who died of cancer, To our cousin Jackie battling cancer, to my Grandmother who died from Renal Cancer, my uncles who have suffered strokes and heart attacks, and many other family and friends who would shoot me if I mentioned them. My inconvenience is nothing compared to your struggles. And I will no longer dishonor you by allowing a chronic illness to destroy my body.

1 Day and a Lifetime to Go!

Zombie Hunter's Tea: Good For surviving the Zombie Apocalypse!!!!!

ZOMBIE, zombie apocalypse, diabetes, health, homebrewed tea

Aside from Avenging Diabetes we pride ourselves on trying to save the world from Zombies! 

Zombie hunters have relied on this tea for thousands of years. What the general public is not aware of is just how many full out zombie apocalypse' have been thwarted simply because of this Juice Avenger original tea (passed down from our great, great, great... many times begotten grandfather Juicy Jr.)  We promise!

There are several things you will need for this tea:

1. Zombie repelling Helmet, that protects all access to your brain.
2. Zombie Tea maker:  One Vessel: Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse glass tumbler.
   I love this thing! 

The real ingredients:

1 knuckle of fresh ginger
1 bunch (about 10-15 leaves) of fresh mint
1 tsp (or to taste) fresh ground cinnamon
Mix all of the above ingredients in your maker
Add in Hot water, and steep for at least 10 minutes.
(the longer it steeps, the better chance of warding off the zombies).

ADD INS:

Fresh Lemon to taste
(Your sweetener, honey, or one of the hundreds of controversial sweeteners on the market)... OR!!!

  Juice an apple, and use a little apple juice as a natural sweetener.  Up to you friends!

We hope you will try this, and join us on our journey to defeat Diabetic Zombies everywhere

Thanks for reading! 

1 DAY AND A LIFETIME TO..... ZOMBIE!!!!!



Monday, April 8, 2013

Collard Greens like You Can't Imagine!

cure diabetes, Health, weight loss, how to lose weight, Vegetarian dishes, indian dishes


I've never been a fan of Collard Greens. I've always found them to be too mushy. We had some cooked in Indian spices recently and I've been craving them ever since.  If you like flavor you will love our take on Collard Greens!

I've attached a picture of the Collards I am eating while I write this.  It is an unattractive picture, and might resemble something the Hulk might hack up after a long night of Smashing things... but I felt the need to share this one with you, and get it into writing before I forget!

I am by no means an Alton Brown, I love the guy, but I'm just too math challenged to worry about measuring spices and how certain foods relate to Quantum physics...and what not. I flavor to taste, and sometimes to distaste, but here is tonight's concoction. I hope you enjoy it.

This Dish is Strongly Anti-Inflammatory, high in protein, and a low Glycemic food!  ENJOY!

Spiced Collard Greens:

3 cups of Collard Greens
1 cup chopped mushrooms
1 medium white onion
A LOT O' OLIVE OIL!
4-5 cloves of Garlic (thinly sliced)  (9 grams of protein in 136 g of garlic) and off the charts for anti-inflammation!  EAT AS MUCH AS YOU CAN!   Plus you can keep away the cast of Twilight, and other Vampires!
About 1 tsp of ground cinnamon
about 1 tsp Tumeric (strong anti-inflammatory!)
about 1 tsp Paprika
about 1 tsp
about 1 tsp Ground Cardamom
Salt/Pepper to Taste

Toast the onion, garlic, Mushrooms, and spices in the olive oil over low to med heat.
Once your house smells like heaven, and you find yourself thinking about licking the hot pan..
Go ahead and toss in the Collards.

Blend all ingredients, cover and simmer about 15 minutes. Occasionally check and stir up the pan (either to ensure you don't burn the dish, or just to get a blast of the smell! )


It's fast, it's tasty, and I want to eat another bowl!

 1 DAY AND A LIFETIME TO GO!!!!!




http://www.101healthyrecipes.com/blog/2010/08/what-is-garam-masala/

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Recipes and ideas for Getting Our Rugrats to EAT MORE VEGGIES!!!!


As a father of 2 boys I haven't exactly set a good example for nutrition.  The juice fast has been a good opportunity to teach nutrition to all of us in the Juice Avenger abode.  We've found some good recipes, and ideas that have been slowly successful in bringing our picky little avengers into the fold.

Manipulation/Trickiness/Tactics  for dragging those picky little processed food junkies into accepting the smallest bit of juice and/or veggies: Some of the ideas we had to bring the kids in were a little out there.  Maybe we would sneak some carrot juice into their bowl of sugar flakes?  Replace their chocolate milk with beet juice?  If none of that worked we even considered juice-boarding. but we all know that never works!

Let them Drink Juice! To avoid prison and the award for worst father of the year I decided to take the kinder/gentler approach.  I let them help out.  Our littlest Avenger (AKA The Hulk....cause he likes to SMASH) likes to stand on his "helper stool" and drop the fruits and veggies into the juicer for us.  Often he's been excited to taste the juice that he helped to make, other times he's just happy that he got to SMASH something. Our 8 year old (Iron Man...because it's impossible to get him to try anything the first time) likes to create his own juices.  I had to be cautious that the first juice he helped with was not one that made US want to run screaming let alone the kids. But I find that letting them be creative gets them excited about what mom and dad are doing.  

As a result of letting them help we've found which juices they will accept.  Usually fruit juices.  This morning WE made, Grape, Apple, and Strawberry juice (recipe below).  I was pleasantly surprised that tiny Hulk asked for seconds.  As we've found a foundation for yummy kid juices it's time to start experimenting with additional veggies to add in to some juices.  Carrots and cucumbers are likely the easiest to begin with.

Not Just Juice:  We see no need to put our children on a juice fast.  It’s just a simple, fun, and tasty way to add in valuable nutrients.  But we didn’t lose sight of the goal; to add more fruits and vegetables to their diet, to give them the strong nutritional foundation that they need to avoid complications in the future.  My kids do enjoy some vegetables(mostly the starchy vegetables, like corn and potatos). One way we’ve found that they enjoy some of the better vegetables (brussel sprouts, broccoli, Asparagus, Cauliflower) is Roasted.  This leads to one of our favorite Recipes (not our original…just our favorite) Good luck!  We would love to hear what works for you!  1 DAY AND A LIFETIME TO GO!!!!
 
Cauliflower Popcorn!!!!!




Cauliflower Popcorn (link to other recipes):   It’s really just roasted cauliflower, but so cute, and so tasty!
1 head of Cauliflower (nutritional information) (did you know there are orange, and purple cauliflowers too?)
Cut or pull apart so that there are medium sized flowerets.  Not too small, but not too big (this is your preference. Try multiple sizes the first time, and see what works for you.

Mix: Place the cauliflower in a mixing bowl and pour in some generous olive oil. Don’t be stingy with the olive oil Avengers!  That stuff is so good for you, and a great anti-inflammatory!
Spices:  There are hundreds of different options here:  Just like with popcorn.  Here are some that we like. All should be flavored to your taste. We'd love to hear variations!

Salt and Pepper: 
Cinnamon, Tumeric, Salt, Pepper
Parmeasean Cheese, Salt, and Pepper.
Set the oven between 450 and 475
Cook 20 minutes, or until they are browning and crisp.

 
 

Hulk Smash Grape Avenger Juice:
20-30 Grapes -(Don't be fancy: whatever kind you have)
Juice, serve over ice

 

Pear and Fennel Juice

Juicing, Cure Diabetes, Cure, Pear Juice
 

Pear and Fennel Juice is one of our favorites.  It's light, refreshing, inexpensive, easy to make, and oh so tasty!  We've provided nutritional information for each ingredient, just click on the ingredient.

2 Pears
2 medium sized fennel bulbs

wash the pears and Fennel
Juice
serve cold

Nutritional Information: 
Pears:  If you are concerned about inflammation note that Pears are considered mildly inflammatory. This food is very low in Saturated Fat, Cholesterol and Sodium. It is also a good source of Vitamin C and Vitamin K, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber. Pears ARE higher in sugars.
Fennel:   This food is very low in Cholesterol. It is also a good source of Niacin, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus and Copper, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin C, Folate, Potassium and Manganese.