Friday, December 20, 2013

To Lose Weight

In my reading and research of the subject of losing weight I have come to understand that exercising alone is not going to help to lose weight quickly as you would like to. It will help in maintaining your weight and increasing your fitness levels in terms of your cardiovascular health but it will not get rid of the the weight you so much want to shed in the time frame you would like it to. Maybe it will over a long long period of time because exercise will help you to change your rate of food consumption and thereby create the calorie deficit that will lead to weight loss but not quickly for most of us.

What we need to do is look at our eating habits, mainly what we eat and how often, so that we can determine how to eat and what to eat so that we lose weight quicker. We should not be eating pop and chips but good whole foods i.e. vegetables and fruits with our meats that are the size of the palm of our hands. With our meals we should be drinking lots of water as well.

My general point in this post is to alert you to the importance of paying attention to nutrition as part of your health and fitness plans, especially if one of your goals is to lose weight in a period of 1 to 2 years.


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Jacinto Bonilla, a 73-Year-Old CrossFitter

Here is another inspiring story of determination…inspite of set backs this guy kept moving forward with his program of good health and fitness. You to can do this…just get up off your couch and make a difference in your own personal life and as a result, you will inspire and make a difference in someones life.

Before you become a superman/superwoman like Jacinto, get to know yourself like I said once before in one of my previous posts. Understand yourself, see yourself the way you are now TODAY!!! If you don’t do this you will jump off your couch and go lift a few pounds and give up after a few days. So take a brand new notebook, title it “Who Is Joe” or whatever your name is, and start journaling every day. Put down everything that you do, everything, if you watch tv for 2 hours put that down. Write down every piece of food that goes into your mouth. If something gives you joy a particular day whether it was seeing a grandchild put that down. Do this for 30 days.

After you have done this for 30 days, review your entries. The exercise will give you a good picture of who and where you are currently. From this realization, sit down and begin to make a few destinations where you want your life to be in 5 years or 10 years, whether its to be like Jocinto or just to lose 20 lbs or eat better or to run and play with your grand child but put something down as goal or destination you would like to work on. After you have put down some goals and destinations begin to construct a road map of how you should get there. For example you want to lose 20 lbs so you look at your 30 day journal and see what there is in it that may not be helping you to lose that much weight and then begin a program of eating the foods that will help you to lose the weight. Maybe you want to play with your children without getting winded so you begin to do a program of walking everyday for 30 minutes so you build up your vascular health to enable you to run with them.

Before implementing your road map, see you doctor and he or she will help you to make sure you are safe to begin the journey following your road map.

Once you begin to do this you will be pleasantly surprised at your powers of self-discipline that you have. These can take you to almost anywhere you desire to be, as long as you you are consistent you your continued mastery of these powers.

One of the by-products of consistent practice of self-discipline is life never gets you down for very long. You will get up and move on with your journey. Look at Jacinto, he got cancer but it did not keep him down for very long. I understood him when he talked about this in his video. I understood his emotions and feelings. When I was told I had diabetes, I felt sorry for myself and just wanted to sit there and let the disease go its course of destroying me as it had many of my friends. I did sit down and cry, I think more from mourning the loss of good health. But after a while I determined this was not going to destroy me, I would stand up to it and so I did. I stopped diabetes and and it is no longer evident in my life (see post “standing up to diabetes”). And you can do the same thing…just be consistent in your practise of discipline in your life.

One more thing, we may not reach the age of Jacinto, 73, or even older. Things do happen after all. The point is that you will get to enjoy each and every day as it arrives on your doorstep when you have determination and self-discipline as part of your life.


Monday, December 16, 2013

Lindy Barber | A Crossfit Story

This is such an amazing story of determination and effort to follow your passion…I just want to go out there and start lifting 200 lbs hahahaha…but that should be what life is all about, not giving up and living a mediocre life you are miserable in. Go and do what you need to do…NOW, get up off that couch...

4 on 1 with Dan Bailey

Im sure for many of you this would be no sweat at all…:-). Sorry for the bad music…would prefer Vivaldi or something like that.

CrossFit Full Body Workout

Here is another deep winter inside full body workout that will shape you up in no time.

CrossFit Tabata Workout: Squats and Push-Ups

If you really want to challenge your cardiovascular system try this. You will sweat and be in shape and fit in no time. Doing these sort of workouts in your home during the cold winter days will churn out those feel good chemicals in your body.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Total Body Workout

Here is a link to a video that shows the best total body exercise. You will huff and puff but after consistently doing it your cardiovascular health will be super.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Hot Yoga

Today I discovered hot yoga and Im liking it a lot, so much so that I will make it a regular part of my life. I came out of a one hour session feeling all pliable and flexible, not like the stiff board that I was when I went in. The lady who led us in that session was very good at what she does. As we did the various moves she also talked to us on breathing well and going within ourselves so that we could clear our minds of all unnecessary thoughts and images that had got stuck there over the day. The quiet soothing way she talked to us calmed my spirit to a steady hum it seemed. It was just great.

The heat in the room was very hot as we did the session, something like 35 celsius with lots of humidity. This is what probably made my stiff muscles to become soft and pliable. The backache I had just sort of disappeared. The experience of being in that very hot room doing those yoga moves reminded me so much of being in a sweat lodge. Both have a calming effect and loosens stiff muscles. But I still think being in a sweat lodge is so much hotter, at least from my experience (this is just being in a sweat lodge one time years ago with the late Josias Fiddler).

Anyway it was a super experience being in that hot yoga session this evening. You guys all have to try it out and confirm my positive experience. Email me at if you have had this experience before and what your thoughts are or if you actually go out after my report and try it out, tell us about your experience.

To good health and well-being, have a good day or evening whatever the case may be...cheers.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Flu Season

I guess that time of the year in the northern parts of North America the flu season has arrived. I have been very sick with one since Monday. Being house bound as a result of it has been sort of hard because I miss the exercising and walks that I usually take. Not good at all. Anyway, I think I will go out and start walking again tomorrow. I had hoped to enter in the Run for the Cure event that is to be held here in Thunder Bay but I guess I won't be there. Run for the Cure is an event sponsored by the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce here Canada. It basically is a fund raising effort targeted for cancer research, in particular breast cancer.

You all have a good day now...

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Darlene Blaney

I recently had the privilege of sitting through a workshop presented by the above noted lady. The information she presented was very interesting and confirmed some of the thoughts I had already had about nutrition being key to making a difference in the state of one's health and wellbeing. Most of what she is about and what she does can be found on her website at the following address:

Monday, September 30, 2013

Psalm 139:13, 14

"For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in the mothers womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvellous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well"

The above is the text of the Bible verses referenced in the title of this post, "for I am fearfully and wonderfully made". For me, this means that our bodies are incredible organisms that are capable of maintaining our state of health and well-being. Unfortunately, it can only do so much before it wears out with the continuous assault we subject it to on a continuous basis. We just sit around and do nothing when we should be doing physical activity as we were designed to do. We ingest refined food products which are very bad for our bodies. When our bodies become sick and start to fall apart we rush off to the hospital or doctor's office and they give is a "pill" that deals with the symptoms of what goes on in our bodies. That's all these highly trained and expensive health experts do, give us a pill to mask the symptoms, they do not get at the root cause of what is happening with us. Wouldn't it be refreshing if these resource people, in addition to giving us pills, told us that we are too fat and that we need to do something about our lack of exercise and bad eating habits. I think there would be a revolutionary adjustment of our national health statistics if this were to take place.

Just saying...

Friday, September 6, 2013

September 6, 2013 A Wonderful Day

Thank you God for your wonderful mercies which were new this morning as they are every morning.

The other day when I was exercising I pulled my hamstring on my left leg. That is a painful experience I tell you, needless to say I laid off doing anything for two days to rest and let my leg heal. Today I went back at it again and I seem to be ok now. Two more weeks and the half-marathon I will be walking will take place. I am sort of looking forward to the challenge.

The other thing I did today was visit a local pharmacy to do an A1C test. Thats the test that measures your blood sugar levels over a certain number of months. He happily said it was still at a good number 5.5 which is well below the normal of 6 to 7. He said that in adopting a new lifestyle of exercising and good nutrition I have basically reversed my diabetes. I am no longer diabetic. Which is what I had heard from my doctor a few months back but its good to know that I have maintained that good health status.

In the course of our discussion, the pharmacist asked if I was taking over the counter meds. One of the thinks I told I was taking was green coffee bean extract because the ads for it said it helped in managing blood sugar levels. He didn't dispute this but he said it may contribute to sleep difficulties and overly active need to urinate. I did tell him that I had noticed these happening to me so with that those will no longer be in my cocktail of supplements I take.

Anyway, you all have a wonderful day...or night which ever the case may be. Remember to set a determination to change your health status first by getting to know yourself and walking at least 20 minutes a day as a start.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Core and Leg Work

I have been working with Andre at Synergee Fitness to strengthen my legs for my half marathon walk which is slated for September 22, 2013 here in Thunder Bay. I apologize to Andre for naming him Jason in my earlier post. Anyway he put me through a brutal workout this morning. I was just sweating buckets as he had pulling a sled of weights back and forth. My legs are just tired now. I figure by the time I get to the walk it will be an easy thing to do, a lot easier than the workouts Andre is having me do anyway.

I noticed a lot is happening across this world. Especially more so in the middle east at the moment. There is talk of armed conflict in the scale of violence that we have never seen to date. Sometimes I wonder if what we hear constitutes the total sum of the story. It would be interesting to hear an analysis from a different perspective other than what ABC, CNN, or ABC News provides us on this side of the world. In any event I will pray for the safety of the nation of Israel for that is what my Bible tells me to do. I will also pray for the Arab nations that they may get justice for the unjust actions that may have been taken against them by the Western Nations, particularly by the big resource development corporations that come from the Western Nations. I pray that they will get this justice without any resort to violence.

Be as it may be, for the day, for the moment, there is no war yet. I will keep my mind calm and at peace in the midst of this turmoil, my health and well-being depends on me doing this.

Saturday, August 24, 2013


As you read these posts I would appreciate some of your thoughts that I may have influenced to come to the fore of your minds. If you have similar blogs or writings, maybe you can guest write on my blog. Im sure it would be appreciated. I know I would be glad to learn from you. Thank you.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Yesterday's Walk

Yesterday I walked 20.3 kms in 1 hour and 32 minutes. I hadn't planned on doing that, I was just going to put in 5 kms but I just kept on walking. I was enjoying being out on the bush road and seeing all that was there.

Anyway, it didn't hurt so much after, not like it did the first time I did that. My ankles had hurt so bad back then but the trainer told me that it was because I was walking with my feet pointing outward rather than point straight. By walking with my feet pointing outward I was putting a lot of stress on my ankles he said. The other thing he told me was that in order to walk the long distance my core and my back strength have to be good. So I have been working on those and lo and behold yesterday's walk proved out what he was saying. My back didn't bother me after the walk.

Jason, the trainer
 These are some of the pictures of the place I go to exercise at, Synergee Fitness

Monday, August 19, 2013

My Walking

I walk most days for 6 or 7 kms as part of my commitment to living a healthy lifestyle. At least once a week I go for 17 to 20 kms. I had some analyze the way I walked and they told me that I have to straighten out my feet as they were pointing outwards when I walked. He said that this is why my ankles hurt after awhile because a lot of my weight is being put on them. So thats what I started doing and lo and behold my feet don't get achy so much any more after my walks.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

The Ontario Expenditure on Health Care

It is said that for every dollar of the Ontario Government's budget 46 cents is made up of health care spending. That is a lot of money. Of this amount of expenditure 44% of it is on caring for the elderly who are sick and unhealthy, and it is known this population figure is increasing as each year passes. I guess this translates into a lot of acute care and long term care programming and related facilities. Can you imagine if public policy shifted and more expenditure was made in area of prevention and maintenance of individual healthy lifestyles. I bet there wouldn't be so much need for acute care hospital facilities and the percentage of unhealthy elderly people wouldn't be so high as it is now. I'm not sure what the public policy picture would look like to enable this but maybe private companies and public workplaces could be subsidized to provide education to their workers on healthy habits and nutrition, having exercise as part of the work day, maybe even having young people required to have military training for a period of time, but lots could be done to try radical public policy to encourage good health high up into the old ages.

This is just late night wonderings...

Wednesday, August 14, 2013


Remember that doctor from Younger Next Year, Henry S Lodge, one of the authors of book I have been talking about? Well he has a set of rules (maybe a prescription) that he sets out that will give you a long healthy life. Here is a picture of them.

Rules 2 and 3 is a breakdown of the six days of exercise mentioned in rule #1.

Start keeping these rules and you will start to be healthy and more positive with your relationships as a result.


Friday, August 9, 2013

Poor Personal Financial Management

What happens when you are not in control of your personal financial situation? Well, you can't sleep at night because you are worried where you are going to get the money to pay for bills that seem to increase in number as time moves along. It doesn't matter that you may be getting increases in your revenues through means such as raises or bonuses. You just seem to never catch up. Being in such a predicament is not conducive to good health never mind being fit. You are so stressed out because of worry and lack of sleep. Being healthy and fit requires you to be in control of such a situation.

If you remember in one of my earlier posts I had talked about losing weight and how you must get to know your eating habits to even begin to be on the road to losing one pound. We talked about the way to getting to know yourself in this respect is by keeping a daily journal of your eating habits. This journal had to record everything that went into your mouth everyday for about a month. To make this exercise reasonably effective you had to be disciplined and truthful to yourself. At the end of the month you were to review the journal and more often than not it shocked you into some sort of motivation to begin to do something about your weight and eating habits. The same thing can be done here with your your personal financial situation.

The journal of how you spend every cent everyday can bring to light very bad spending habits which are the cause of your financial difficulty and inability to get ahead. Essentially the picture presented is one of spending on wants rather than on just needs. The need to eat, you can buy groceries and cook at home rather than go out to a restaurant each time you feel hungry. How many pairs of shoes do you need? Certainly not 10 or 15 pairs. The journal and what it shows in terms of spending habits can become an effective tool to build a personal financial management process that will bring peace of mind  to you and everyone else around you.

The personal financial management process I speak of is a budget that plans how you will spend your money each month within the confines of the revenue that comes in. Writing down your spending plans is very effective at knowing how much is coming in and how much is going out. In this budget plan you will make a decision how much you will set aside for the bills that are stressing you out and causing you sleepless nights. Just knowing and picturing what is going on with with your finances will calm your mind and spirit down and as a result you will be able to sleep so much better. As time goes along the exercise of budgeting and managing the budget will become a way of life, your bills that were killing you will soon disappear. In fact, the discipline skills you acquire in this exercise will allow you to set aside funds for investing purposes eventually. You can actually become rich, or at least well off because you will have trained yourself to not be so materialistic but be able to fulfill your needs and have funds left over to invest.

To aid you in this matter there are a lot of writers and books out there that will help you as you move along on this subject. One of the books that assisted me in this journey was THE TOTAL MONEY MAKEOVER by Dave Ramsey. You can order the book from the following location if you wish It is well worth your while to get this book. You can also google the subject and you will get lots of information that will guide you to a more prosperous you.

As I wrote this post, I couldn't help but admit it was hard to do so. It is hard because no one likes to admit they have a problem. This is what I had at one time, a problem managing my finances. At the point of making some tough decisions regarding my situation I was $43,000.00 in debt on revolving credit i.e. mostly credit cards. I was making quite a bit of money at the time and I just couldn't understand how I could be in that situation. But what I learned in my recovery journey is that it doesn't matter how much one makes, if you don't know how to manage your money and your spending you are always going to be in trouble. In any event, I took complete control of my bank account and did what I was learning through the books and information from elsewhere and in 2 years I was debt free. So it is true you can do this and be more calm in your life. Look at your life and see if what I just talked about resonates with you and start doing what I did.


Monday, July 29, 2013

70% Chance of Living a Long Healthy Life

Its a very nice morning here in Thunder Bay, very warm and balmy. This was after 3 days of shockingly cold weather. We all thought someone had sinned and needed to be thrown into the Lake Superior to appease the Gods :-).  Seriously, we did think we were going to transition right into winter after a very short summer.

Continuing on with thoughts from the book, Younger Next Year, if you remember from the previous posts I'd said that the authors claimed that you could live a long and healthy life well into your 80's and maybe even your 90's if you followed what they were suggesting. Your rate of morbidity would not be long and drawn out. In essence, you would not be plagued with the many lifestyle diseases and illnesses that seem to abound today. They are saying that having this long and healthy life improves by 70% when you do what is laid out in the book. So don't believe that "this pill" or that "medical treatment" will be the magic that cures all your ills as you go into your 50's and 60's. Get up off your couch and start walking and doing activities that will give you this 70% chance at a good healthy life. Also go out and meet people, engage in activities that benefit others around you. The euphoric high you get from doing this will just make you want to stay on this earth and enjoy it a bit longer.

Having said all the above, there are things in the environment that would assault your body to bring on sickness and death i.e. pollution and etc. But if you keep your body in good physical shape and its immune system in good working order, it should be able to withstand these assaults and repel the free radicals that would harm you. So lace up your runners and go for a run. But be attentive and don't let the bus run over you. The 70% chance would not work in this case.

Have a happy day :-)

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Emotional and Spiritual fitness


As part of staying healthy one of the things one needs to do is be aware of their spiritual and emotional state. If this part of you is in some sort of a depressive state it will affect the whole you. You are not going to be motivated to do the physical exercises you need to do to maintain your physical well-being.

One of the things that I often do to make sure my emotional and spiritual state remains well is finding a place where there is a lot of green space and just sit and relax in the midst of it. In these spaces you can actually hear the silence, pretty soon you can hear the relaxing sounds of nature. These sounds, including the silence, have a way of quieting your spirit bringing a sense of peace to you. As you do this, you soon realize that you are not the centre of the universe but that there is something more powerful out there that is in control. Realizing this, gives you comfort and surprisingly, strength to get back up and re-enter your busy world to do what needs to be done to lend a hand to your fellow inhabitants with whom we share this space we call the world.

Right here in the middle of the city of Thunder Bay there are a number of these spaces one can go to and get these amazing experiences. I am sure throughout the world in most other cities, even in the most populated ones, there are such spaces to be found. The following are a couple pictures of places that I go to.


I encourage you to sit and relax in some similar space and rejuvenate your soul and spirit my friend.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013


As I said before, this book YOUNGER NEXT YEAR is a very interesting read. Most of us have bought into the belief that once one turns 60 they are on a slippery slope to the end but these guys are saying NOT. Through changing your lifestyle and exercising 6 days out of each week you can produce a life that has a gently tipped plateau of good health that lasts well into the eighties. This is in place of the slippery slope of bad health. You could even produce an upward slope of much improved health and fitness until when you reach your eighties. Yes it can happen, just a matter of getting up off your couch now and doing the exercising and engaging life as it is meant to be engaged.

The following is the link where you can purchase this book I am talking about:

Please be advised that if you do purchase the book using this link I will get a commission from amazon.

Cheers, be happy

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Aging and Decaying

The book I mentioned in the last post, YOUNGER NEXT YEAR, is indeed an interesting read. It tells me that aging is not what we say it is. The stuff that happens to generally a lot of us, diabetes, cancers, high blood pressure, strokes, osteoarthritis and etc., as we emerge into the 50’s and 60’s is as a result of decay of our bodies not aging. Aging is the graying of our hairs, the slowing down of our maximum heart rates, and the price cut of movie tickets, these we cannot do anything about. They will happen but the other stuff is as a result of decay of our bodies and we can absolutely do something about it.

What brings about decay of our bodies, according to these authors, is “our modern, sedentary lifestyle. Decay comes from turning on the t.v. when the sun is out. From cracking open that beer while you are watching the t.v., from every drive to a fast-food place to get a super-size order of fries and a soft drink full of sugar and caffeine…from sitting home alone. It comes from giving up on life and failing to engage.” (page 40) But as they say we can do something about it. “ The keys to to overriding decay are daily exercise, emotional commitment, reasonable nutrition and real engagement with living. But it starts with exercise”. (page 34)

So I ask you to get up and start walking, start eating right, meet people, find a cause you can be passionate about…quit decaying on your couch day after day. You were given reasons for living on this wonderful earth, find them and bless people with them.

Here are some exercises you can do in your home but be careful if you have not done exercises for a while. You might want to work with your doctor first to make sure nothing goes wrong. The exercises shown will certainly increase your heart rate and blood flow, it will make you feel good and make you sleep good tonite. The exercises are on youtube, to access just click on the link.


Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Younger Next Year and More Smoothies

It was 25 degrees celsius where I am at here in northern Ontario in Canada...I guess that's 77 f. Its beautiful up here. Maybe next time I will post some pictures of the area.

Anyway I started reading this book titled, Younger Next Year by Chris Crowley and Henry S. Lodge. It sounds interesting so far. It talks about how as when you are reaching your 50's and 60's you really don't have to just stand there and accept the veritable ravages of aging, that in fact you can do something about it so that you will stay healthy well into your 80's. To accomplish this Chris says on page 11, "All he wants you to do <Chris is referring to Henry> is change the way you live. Fundamentally and forever. Me, too." Ladies and gentlemen therein lies the magic of achieving good health and fitness levels, your ability to change the way you live. Fundamentally and forever. Just like what I have been saying in my previous posts. Now a medical doctor (Henry) confirms this. So I wish for you to get that spirit that will enable you to make the necessary changes to the way you are currently living your life. The giver of life, the Creator, does not want you to live your life in pain or in bad health. He wants you to enjoy the life He has given you on this earth.

I found some smoothies on the internet the other day that you may enjoy to help you in your determination to live a healthy life. They are nutritious.

The goal here is to create a smoothie packed with nutrients that is super filling, but low in calories, that you can have for breakfast or lunch. In other words, it’s not a snack (i.e. in addition to regular meals), but a meal replacement (instead of meals). To make a meal, a smoothie needs to include carbohydrates, protein and a little fat. Fat is important because helps you feel full, as does protein.

  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 scoop whey protein powder
  • ½ medium banana
  • 1 cup frozen mixed berries
  • ¾ cup milk (skim/ almond/ soy)
  • 3 to 5 ice cubes
Mixed berries (carbohydrates) provide energy and are packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and are a natural sweetener. Chia seeds are incredibly rich in omega-3 fatty acids (healthy fat), protein antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Chia seeds also contain super high levels of soluble and insoluble fiber, making them uncannily filling and a great addition to low-calorie smoothies.

Filling smoothie ingredients: chia seeds, ground psyllium husks, whey protein, low-fat Greek yogurt.

Smoothies are perfect for breakfast on the go. All the goodness of a healthy breakfast in one cup. Quick cook oats and nuts help to slow down the absorption of sugar from the fruit, keeping blood sugar levels steady, and giving you more energy for longer. Yogurt and milk are rich in protein, which makes this smoothie filling. The fruit are a source of vitamins and minerals, as well as fiber and carbohydrates, making the smoothie nutritious and energizing.

  •  ¼ cup quick cook oats (not instant)
  • ¼ cup nuts (walnuts, almonds, or pecans)
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 cup frozen fruit (mango, blackcurrants, or strawberries)
  • 2 ½ tbsp low-fat yogurt
  • 1 cup of milk (skim/ soy/ almond)

Is there anything worse than laying in bed trying to sleep, concentrating on trying to sleep, and thus not getting to sleep at all? You can’t mentally force yourself to sleep (a self-defeating effort); but you can physiologically. To that end, this smoothie is made up of foods (banana, peanut butter, milk) that contain tryptophan, a sleep-promoting substance, which is converted to serotonin or melatonin. This smoothie is also rich in carbs and calcium, which intensify the effect of tryptophan. Cherries contain melatonin and bananas are a great source of potassium and magnesium, which are natural muscle relaxants.

  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
  • ¼ cup pitted cherries
  • ½ banana
  • 1 cup milk (skim/ almond/ soy)
  • Ice cubes

 Enjoy :-)

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Resolving To Change

I wrote earlier of how it is essential to look at eating differently and exercising as changing yourself. Saying so and doing it are two different things because it can be very difficult to do it...changing yourself I mean. After living a certain way (lifestyle) for many years you will find that it is really hard to make the necessary changes that will bring good health and fitness to your life. You know in your mind that the foods you are eating are making a contribution to your health issues and not exercising is what will bring about lifestyle illnesses like diabetes, cancer, high blood pressure, etc. You cant escape nodding to this as there are many public messages that say this but we continue to do what we do. We convince ourselves it can't happen to us, maybe to others but not us. But some point in time these things are going to come knocking on your door. If at that time you feel you really have to do something about the state of your health and fitness then there are many people out there that will help you on this journey.

The hardest part is accepting the situation and saying to yourself that you are sick because of the lifestyle choices you have made. So on any any journey you have to know where you are right now and start to build a road map to where you want to be. In other words you have to begin to know yourself. So from this context, you should get a notebook and chronicle your days for 2 weeks at the very least. It would be better to do this over a month. In this chronicle, you write down every thing that goes into your mouth during this time period, and I mean everything. You also write how you spend each hour of your day, especially when you are at home after your work day. Then you review it, preferably with someone that you know is actively taking care of their health. You will be shocked at what you are eating and how much time you waste just doing nothing. From this point, if you are true to yourself, the shock you experience will provide you with motivation to begin to do something to change yourself.

Anyway that is the beginning from which you will take your first step on your journey to good health and healing yourself from your illnesses.


Monday, June 24, 2013

Standing Up To Diabetes

My A1C Blood Test
The picture on the left depicts my blood tests measuring my glucose levels since last August. During my recent visit to the doctor he informed me that I do not have diabetes from all indications of the measurement given by the test.

One point in time the doctor said that I had diabetes and put me on medicines, 2 medformin at one time, to lower my blood glucose levels which had gone up to 22 at one point. I went into some sort of funk after that and sort of accepted that I had diabetes since my mom had and various other members of my family. Generally most First Nations people are susceptible to diabetes 2 and this sort of made it easy for me to give up and accept the condition. I guess also I was undergoing some sort of grieving process because I had just lost something and that was my good health. After awhile though I came out of my funk and started researching this diabetes and read lots about it. In the course of doing that I came upon cases where people have stopped the progression of the disease and in fact, in some cases, reversed the disease. It made me remember my mother and how she was able to live with and manage her diabetes until well into her 70's. She remained relatively healthy by eating well and exercising, she walked and ran for an hour each and every day. She used to tell us to do the same thing but of course, in the busyness of life, you have a tendency not to take good advice.

Anyway I was told I had diabetes and it shook me up as I said. But through reading and research the thought formed in my head that I could do something about this disease and I think have. As the numbers indicate on my blood test I do not have diabetes. How have I been able to arrive at this state? A lot of hard work and determination to change the way I thought about my eating and my life style was involved.

When I was young and in high school I was very active and played a lot of sports. As a result I was physically fit. However as I entered my twenties I did not do those things that made me a fit person, I got busy with working and with my family like everyone of you that may be reading this. I had no time to be physically active as I once had been. I was just to tired at the end of the day to even go for a walk. By the time I was in my forties I was quite a bit overweight. My highest weight was 235 lbs.

Anyway back to being told I had diabetes and after the funk, I determined to do something about it as those persons who had overcome this disease. As a beginning I started to walk and just cut in half how much I was eating. Amazingly I lost weight, got down to 220 lbs. in very short order. Through just walking 20 minutes to 30 minutes everyday and weight lifting I maintained this weight for the longest time and actually became physically fit, at least I could walk without huffing and puffing. Anyway after a time I began to think I could lose more weight than I had thus far. It occurred to me that it might have to do with the way I was eating. So back to reading and researching and found that I have to change what was on my plate each day. Through this process I have lost more weight and am now down to 188 lbs.

Today I eat a lot of fruit and vegetables, lean meats like chicken and fish most of the time. Below is a picture of my favourite breakfast smoothie which I make myself most days.

Strawberry/Banana/Peanut Butter Smoothie
The ingredients for this are as follows:

  • 6 to 8 strawberries
  • 1 banana
  • 2 tablespoons of natural peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 1 teaspoon each of pure vanilla extract and ground cinnimon
  • 2 tablespoons of flaxseed meal
  • 1 tablespoon of maca powder
  • 1 tablespoon of ground almond nuts (optional)

Put all these in a blender (this is what you have to invest in, some of these blenders can be pricey but I'm sure when it comes to restoring your good health this won't stand in your way. Buy Kitchenaid brand it is the best) and blend away. Drink it in the morning as your breakfast and you wont feel hunger until well into the afternoon. In the meantime until your next meal, have fruit and veggies as your snacks.

Eating like this will take some time to accomplish. Our systems are so used to sugar processed foods, greasy foods and etc. Taking yourself away from these type of foods will shock your system, at least for the first 2 weeks anyway. But persist and you will come out at the end with more energy and feeling of well-being that you have not experienced for a long time. In fact if you try to eat these foods, greasy and processed foods, after being on this new way of eating for a while you will get sick and be barfing in short order. There are a lot of resources that you can look up that will help you to produce a well thought plan with respect your new way of eating that is easily available these days.

Another thing I do is take supplements to aid in my new way of eating and staying healthy. Some stuff I take are as follows:

  • 1000 IU of vitamin D3
  • 1000 mg of vitamin C
  • Green Coffee Bean Extract 800 mg (2x400mg pills each morning)

Advertisements for the coffee bean extract say that it helps with lowering blood sugar levels. Im not sure if there have been clinical trials to prove this out but what the heck I say to myself. I know in and of itself it may not have made the total difference in my new diabetes outlook. What changed it is my way of thinking and doing things for my health and lifestyle.

There is more to how I have changed my thinking and the process of it that I have not laid out here but I will get to that in later posts. For now I hope that I have encouraged you to change your lifestyle to combat the inevitable illnesses that come at you when you don't take care of yourself.



Saturday, April 27, 2013

Daniel's Diet Challenge and Its Social Impact

In the first chapter of the Book of Daniel in the Bible there is an interesting account of how 4 young men vowed to stay true to healthy living and how this commitment affected a powerful kingdom of their day.

King Nebuchadnezzer of Babylon decided he wanted to implement an equal opportunity program for a minority group within his Kingdom. This he did with the Israelites. He picked the 4 young boys noted above, Daniel,Meshach, Shadrach, and Abednego to be in the program. As part of his program the king ordered that they be fed well with royal rations of food and wine. There must be an account somewhere of what this food was made up of but for sure it was probably a lot of meat and potatoes covered in spice and grease. The young boys decided this would not be good for them so they asked their direct boss to let them eat what they were used to eating. But the direct boss hesitated because he was afraid the King would put him to death if the boys were not up to par physically as the rest of the young people groomed to be part of operation of the Kings palace. Daniel convinced him put him and the 3 others to a ten day test of eating nothing but vegetables and water. The "boss" reluctantly agreed. Well after the 10 day test " was observed that they appeared better and fatter than all the young men who had been eating the royal rations." (Daniel 1:15). Verse 17 continues to say that God gave these young men knowledge and skill in every aspect of literature and wisdom: Daniel himself was especially gifted in understanding visions and dreams. The king was so impressed with these young men that he had them stationed in his court. They were 10 times better than "all the magicians and enchanters in his whole Kingdon".

This story shows that when one is disciplined in looking after themselves in all aspects of their person, intellect, spiritual, and physically your influence to those around you can be profound in a very positive way. When you have a healthy body you will have a clear mind to think about things and have the ability to figure out ways to improve things. As a result, you will be more cognizant of the fact that there is much more than what the physical world shows.

Your influence may not encompass kings and queens but there are people who look to you for things, these could be your family, your kids and grand kids. You want to be be able to be around to see them grow into adulthood and you want to be able to pass on to them wisdom that will keep their worldly loads light. Most of all you want to be able to pass on to them knowledge of a greater power that holds all things together and one that can be trusted through all things. To help them in this, you need to keep yourself fit physically and to keep yourself healthy. To keep healthy you need to eat right. The knowledge to do all this is so profoundly easily available today. You can get this education just by turning on your computer and looking up the required information about good eating. I know that in the remote north or any other remote place for that matter this can be a challenge but nothing is impossible where there is a will. My late mother survived diabetes until she was in her mid-70's and she lived in a challenging environment where proper nutritious food was not so easily available.

So think about it. There are people around you who are counting on you give them that sense that everything will be alright, they will follow your example to attain that sense of security for themselves.


Sunday, March 31, 2013

Losing Weight

Hi, how wonderful that it is you have made it into the year 2013. A new year usually signifies a new resolve to do things differently with your life. One of these "things" almost always is to lose weight and achieve some higher level of fitness than where you currently are. This is a good goal to have. The benefits of achieving it are many e.g., longer life, good quality of life into the golden years, enjoyment of seeing grandchildren reaching adulthood, etc. But what often happens is that many of us fail to hold to this resolve beyond 2 or 3 weeks into January. Why does this happen to us? Why can't we maintain the strength of our resolve beyond this time frame?

I've come to the conclusion that the answer has a lot to do with how we integrate the notion of good health and fitness into a framework where all this becomes a habit. So with that in mind we should not approach our goal of losing weight and increasing our fitness singularly but to develop habits that promote this. How do we do this?

First of all if we analyse our past experiences with this resolve, we always jump into it with tremendous gusto and energy. We get on the treadmill, exercise bike, or whatever form of exercise you go into and go for half an hour, maybe even more; we pump up 50 lbs or 100lbs. Then we get tired out or we hurt ourselves, after this we begin to talk to ourselves that maybe this isn’t for us or we tell ourselves that we don’t have time for this. Pretty soon our resolve gets justified somewhere back into the recesses of our minds until it disappears all together. This is very sad.

So to have a measure of success, take it slow. You wracked up the weight over many years you are not going to take them off in two weeks. Be prepared to devote 5 years or more to reach a good weight and level of fitness that will take you well into your 70’s and 80’s in good condition.

So to start, every morning without fail get on an exercise bike or some form of exercise, maybe running in place at a brisk pace but not so much it kills you in 1 minute, and do this for 5 minutes for one week every day. At the end of the day take a brisk walk for 5 minutes for one week. Doing this won’t tire you out so much but you have to do it every day without fail. Also it feels easy to do; you won’t think that it is an inconvenience to do. Then the following week you add 2 minutes to the 5 minutes of the past weeks exercises for a total of 7 minutes. The next week you add 2 minutes for a total of 9 minutes and so on until you reach 30 minutes for each activity; that is 30 minutes for the mornings exercise whether that’s biking or running in place and 30 minutes of walking. It will take you a total of 14 weeks to get to 30 minutes. By this time you will have trained your mind that this is a way of life and that it is a good way of life. If you miss a day you will feel terrible because it has become ingrained in your mind that you just have to do the exercising. As time moves on and you maintain the new habit the exercising becomes effortless. Your focus on weight loss becomes sort of secondary to the need to have that good feeling that comes from a post workout session. 

Exercising is only a part of developing good habits that will actually see you shed weight. The way you eat will have a lot to do with actually losing more weight than you would if you were to just exercise alone. There is so much material in bookstores about good nutrition and so forth, which will help you in developing a plan for good eating for weight loss. The first step in this matter is to know you eat too much and that you eat all the wrong things. Believe you me this is a very hard thing to do. Nobody likes to be told they are doing things wrong. But it is the way to make real changes in one’s life; in fact it is the only way I think. How do we get started in doing this? Get a notebook and title it however you want, maybe, “How I eat, What I eat, and When”. For everything that goes into your mouth you enter it into your journal. Don’t try reviewing it, just enter it and be truthful about it always. At the end of 2 weeks or even 4 weeks review your journal. You will be shocked at what you have put into yourself in that time period. What will even be more shocking is the realization that you have been doing this for years and years. When you get over the shock you will no longer be able to deny that you may be over eating and eating all kinds of wrong stuff. It is at this time you will be so open to trying to find out what it is you need to do to change things. Again you have to be aware that you can’t change things overnight. Embarking on a self-abusing diet of some sort will not do it. You have to think that it will take some time to lose the weight just like the realization that you had in getting into exercising will take some time to show results. In any event I would suggest you read lots and educate yourself on good nutrition. There is so much material out there to help you. What I would strongly suggest though is to go and see a dietitian or nutritionist. They will help you in your planning how to eat well as well as be a source of accountability in your efforts to develop good habits for good eating.

I am hoping that I was of some help in your resolution towards good health for you and your family in this post-holiday season. It took me a while to figure this out myself. Intellectually, just like you, I’d always known exercising and good eating were the answer to good health but putting into practise was always something that eluded me. Over the last five years I have been able to lose a total of 50 lbs and have maintained a level of fitness that seems to have worked for me. It’s just a matter of forming good habits and thinking that makes the difference, and also finding good role models that encourage you in this endeavor. Mine was my mom who passed away a little over a year ago. She battled diabetes for over 35 years with exercise and good eating. An awesome mom I had.

May all that is good be yours in this New Year of 2013


Douglas Semple

Saturday, March 23, 2013


I'm starting this blog mainly to keep track of my thoughts and personal musings about keeping fit as I move on in my years. I hope I learn new things and hopefully you learn things about the importance of keeping yourself healthy and fit from my random thoughts. Cheers.