Tuesday, January 1, 2013


It has been a while since I last wrote a post. In fact, my last post was about the provincial election in Quebec in September of 2012. That seems like a long time ago now. There has been a lot of changes in my life since the summer of 2012, I changed jobs, I stopped traveling to Mexico and China, I am now much more focused on my health and fitness than ever before.

My wife and I have been aware of good health and fitness for many years. We have been following a healthy diet (at least we thought we were) and we have been exercising on the average five to six days a week using a combination of aerobic and anaerobic exercise. In the summer of 2012 we became interested in yoga. It started when we visited our daughter and son-in-law in Alexandria, Virginia in the Spring of 2012. Our daughter convinced us to try out yoga with her instructor, Olivia. It was very invigorating. When we returned to Canada we looked into local yoga studios and decided that we would try De la Sol yoga in Hamilton. That was in July of 2012 and we are still going. Yoga adds another dimension to our fitness and well being that addresses our mental health as well as our physical health. Ultimately the two are intertwined and as we are beginning to understand, one influences the other.

It was through our yoga studio that we attended a seminar about dietary supplements. Initially, I was somewhat skeptical but I approached the concept with an open mind. When my wife and I attended the seminar we learned that the seminar was sponsored by Usana, a manufacturer of dietary supplements. We had never heard of Usana. Their product is expensive compared to the average dietary supplement offered by companies like Centrum. After doing some research on Usana and comparing their product to the average dietary supplement I realized that there was significant difference between the product that Usana offers and the run of the mill dietary supplement. For one thing, Usana's product is of higher quality than most dietary supplements. Also, the percentage of ingredients in each pill is of a higher percentage. Lastly, Usana offers a more comprehensive list of ingredients than most supplement providers. We decided to try the product. It was Friday evening when we first tried it. We took two of the pills after dinner and the first question that we asked one another was, "do you feel different? I don't feel anything yet.". All joking aside we did notice that we were still wide awake and full of energy at 11:30 PM. Something was definitely different! Bigger changes ensued. I have a much higher energy level than before I took supplements. One of the biggest changes for me was that I no longer suffer from S.A.D. (seasonally affected disorder). At this time of the year I would have gone through the worst period of S.A.D. This year, it did not bother me at all. This is amazing in itself.

Supplements are one thing but supplements are not the whole story to good health. In fact, I would say that taking supplements without changing any other part of your life is a mistake and possibly a dangerous thing to do. You cannot take supplements and then go out and eat an unhealthy diet and life a sedentary life and think that the supplements will make up for the rest of your short comings. It doesn't work like that. this brings me to that other changes that we made in our life, perhaps the biggest changes in our life.

When we attended the seminar at the yoga studio we also learned about a number of books and movies that we could watch about nutrition. We watched all of the movies and we are reading as many books as we have time to read about nutrition. We watched, "FOOD MATTERS, FAT, SICK AND NEARLY DEAD" and other movies of this sort. We also started reading books about nutrition. My wife bought a book called, "NEVER BE SICK AGAIN,"  by Raymond Francis. I am also reading, "THE CHINA STUDY", by T. Colin Campbell.

The result of watching, "FAT, SICK AND NEARLY DEAD"  is that we have started juicing. we drink juice every day and make a new batch every couple of days, Right now we are sticking with the three or four recipes that are used in the documentary but our oldest daughter who got us interested in juicing received a book of juicing recipes for Christmas that contains over 150 recipes.

The other books that we have been reading are leading us to transition towards a plant based diet. What does that mean? Without going  into a lot of detail because this post is always way longer than I had planned it to be, a plant based diet consists of eating vegetables, fruit and whole grains. Essentially, it is a vegan diet without some of the unhealthy things that vegans do eat. There is animal based food or a very low percentage of it, less than ten percent of your diet. There is no dairy and no eggs. Process foods are not good as well as things like cookies, cakes, etc.

The long and short of it is that we have decided that we would eat a vegan diet for the month of January 2013. In addition we would not eat any what based food and no alcohol.It seems like a strict diet but we have been trying it out during December 2012 and there are a lot of delicious foods that you eat that are plant based and there are a lot of things that can be made with quinoa flour, millet flour, buckwheat flour and spelt flour. We picked up a book from the library called, "LA TARTINE GOURMANDE", by Beatrice Peltre. Beatrice has the most delicious recipes and she does not use wheat flour in any of them.

It will be an interesting month but I firmly believe that the rewards will far outweigh any possible hardships or difficulties.