All posts by johndgrigsby

I want to share experiences and lessons I have learned through this blog. I have a diverse background as a husband, dad, Army sergeant, youth leader, Sunday School teacher and director. I have a zest for life, and hope to share just a bit with you.

Plant Based Diet – Anticlimactic Meeting

Well my doctors visit was nothing short of an anticlimactic meeting.

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I started this plant based diet for a few different reasons, and one of the main reasons was that I want to get off the blood pressure medicine that I currently take.

I know that I cannot just stop taking the blood pressure medicine, and I do agree that my doctor needs to help me decrease the dosage until I can stop taking it.  So I was hoping my diet change would help my blood pressure.

I have been actively measuring my blood pressure on a somewhat regular basis for about 3 months now.  With the help of fasting I have been able to release weight and lower my blood pressure.  I have also added different vitamins to help with my cardiovascular system.  (Dr Ohhira’s probiotics, RegActiv, Kyolic, and magnesium)

Armed with my documentation and new diet that is making changes with my body I was looking forward to seeing my doctor.  I was hoping that he would see my hard work in documentation and dietary changes and would rave at my efforts.  I was even hoping for a good conversation about what dietary disciplines would benefit by blood pressure and overall health.

The day of my appointment I was at the doctor’s office a bit early – I was anticipating this visit.  I came into his patient room and the nurse took my weight and blood pressure – both which had improved since the last visit!  So I just knew this was going to be a good meeting with my doctor.

Then he finally comes in and asks the normal questions.  I start to talk about my new diet habits and he continues on with checking BP and heartbeat.  I show him my documented weight and blood pressure chart and within 30 seconds he hands it back to me.  He says looking good – keep up the good work.  Reduce my blood pressure medicine by half and come back in six months.

Anticlimactic!  All that I hoped for in the visit was just a flash.  No substantial talk about diet over medicine.  No talk of diet at all.

To be honest, I didn’t really expect a lot from my doctor.  Today’s American doctor is trained to diagnose the symptoms and prescribe a medicine.  No direction for diet is addressed – that would be for a dietician – not a doctor.

Hippocrates said “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”  But Hippocrates is not a modern day American doctor.  I don’t fault my doctor, he is just working within the guidelines that he has as an American physician with our current healthcare system.

My takeaway is to invest my efforts in improving my own health.  No one cares anymore for my body than I do.  So, my search for knowledge and understanding of the human body continues!

 

 

Plant Based Diet – Intermittent Fasting

I need to come clean about something.  My success so far with the plant based diet has been augmented with intermittent fasting.

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So what is intermittent fasting?  Intermittent fasting is an eating style where you eat within a specific time period, and fast the rest of the time.  My intermittent fasting schedule is 16 hours of fasting and 8 hours of eating daily.  I am not able to do it every day, but I certainly have been trying to the past 2 weeks.

The first thing every morning I drink 16 ounces of water.  I will then take my vitamins and blood pressure pill, and a shot of a apple cider vinegar and juice mix.  I might take a cup of coffee next, or just off to work with water.

I will drink water and coffee right up to 10:30 or 11:00.  I will eat a snack at that time, and will continue to eat as I want or can until 6:30 or 7:00.

I am still learning about fasting.  I have discovered it hard to find good information on fasting, and I believe simply it is because it is difficult to make money from fasting.  People eat less – not more or even any specialization foods when you fast.  You just don’t eat.  There is no money in that you see.

I have found some good research and reporting from a Dr Fung.  He has several videos on YouTube.  One that I have learned from is here.  If you are even half way interested in what I am saying about fasting – then take some time to listen to him and keep learning from others.

I am also a fan of multi day fasting, but I will save that for a different post.  But just want to say that you have to learn to get past the pain of hunger at times knowing that you will not die or starve to death.  I now understand that hunger pains let me know that I am on the right track.  Feeling bloating from eating too much would be at the opposite end of the spectrum of sensation.

I will continue this regimen for at least two more weeks.

 

 

Plant Based Diet – Week 1

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One week down with my effort in a plant based diet!

Results are pretty good to me:

  • released 5 pounds
  • blood pressure down 3 points
  • feeling lighter and healthy

I strayed from the diet only one time the first week.  I had a hamburger (no bun) on Saturday night.  It was from a local grower so I felt good about the beef, but it was not plant based of course.

So one variance in a week is a success in my book.  Especially for the first week.

The first part of the week I felt good most of the time, but found a need for something more in the afternoons.  I ate all I wanted, but my body was saying that I was missing something.  I believe it was sugar.   It is a weird feeling to describe – not so much a hunger pain which I am familiar with, but a feeling of there is something more my body says it is missing.  Gotta fight that sugar monster!

I ate all the fruit, nuts and veggies I wanted, but no starches.  I am going to adjust that this week by adding some starches to my diet – but no sugar.  I also may eat meat a couple of times because of the planned events this week.  We will see….

 

Plant Based Diet – Food Variety

Today is the 5th day of me on a plant based diet!

When I started I was thinking – how will I find enough to eat? Normally I do not eat a variety of vegetables or even fruits for that matter. So a diet that consists of only plants seemed a little difficult to me.  That was also some of the motivation behind this diet choice – to learn to like a greater variety of vegetables.

To start off – I eat a lot of nuts during the day (easy snack).  But I have also found some new vegetables to try and plenty of fruits to keep me full.  My wife says when I am hungry I get a little cranky, so I want to keep my mind in tune by eating well.  To make both of us happy!

Below are some pictures of some of the foods I have ate this past week.

I keep plenty of nuts on hand – almonds, pecans and walnuts
What great snack options I have been enjoying – apples, bananas and blueberries
I love a good cutie
I tried a new dish – butternut squash and artichokes.  I also baked some beets for supper.
The old standby of gapes as a snack

I bought most of my foods from our local grocery store, but also made a trip to Whole Foods to find some organic options.  I prefer the organic foods for several different reasons.  The next time I go I need to plan a little better with meals in mind instead of just the foods that I know I like to eat.

Now the weekend is coming.  How will I hold up?! ……………

 

Plant Based Diet

I watched a documentary over the weekend that really spoke to me about my eating habits.  I tend to think I eat good, but in reality I have let my eating habits slide since Thanksgiving and Christmas.

I watched a documentary called PlantPure Nation.  These next few posts from me are not to promote the movie, but tell what I learned from seeing the movie.  However; I would suggest you watch it for your own education because there is a lot to be learned here, but these posts are to reflect how the documentary has motivated me to action.

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The movie provides details on how control groups of people ate nothing but a plant-based diet for 10 days and how their health improved.  Some lost weight, some were able to get off medicines and it seemed all were motivated to change their eating habits.  The movie talked about people improving their blood pressure, sugar and how it can cure diseases.  Lowering my blood pressure and weight are my two main motivators.

That is the main thing I want to do with this information I have learned – improve my health.  I don’t pan to live the rest of my life eating nothing but plant based foods.  I am a BBQ guy – I have to eat meat!  And I love meat.  But for a season I am going to try to make all my meals consist of plant-based foods.

My wife and son think I am crazy.  She says I need protein.  He just thinks I need to eat like normal.  They are not on joining me yet, but will support me nonetheless.

My goal right now is to eat this plant-based diet for the month of March.  I actually started on February 25, 2019.  I already know there are upcoming events that will require I eat certain meats, and I am ok with that – I will make those exceptions.  But for the most part I will eat daily from a selection of food and drink that I can determine is derived only from plants.

Let the eating begin!!

 

 

Compost Bin

I just started a full size compost bin and am excited about what it will create in a few months.  I have had a small tumbler bin and one in a Tupperware tub, but never one of this size.

We are planting more fruits and berries this year and I am learning about organic growing, so having compost is of utmost importance.  Might as well make it myself!

Here are a few pictures from start to finish of my new compost bin.

 

I started with a little space next to our dog lot.  It is a space not being used in the yard.  I also had my grey tub of compost that I started ready to add to the new pile.IMG_0003

Dad helped me secure two pallets that he had laying around at their place, and Austin gave me the other.IMG_0004

I secured them together with four hinges.  I thought this would make it easy to maneuver if needed, and give some good stability.IMG_0005

I bought some 1″ chicken wire at the coop to keep the compost material mostly within the bin, and the holes will allow for airflow through the pile.IMG_0007

I used my staple gun to secure the wire to the pallets.IMG_0012

Once the bin was together I laid down cardboard to keep out weeds in the bin and around the pallets where they sit on the ground.IMG_0015

Now I was ready for some material!  The leaves have just started to fall so I have plenty of brown material.  In my grey tub I had way too much green material and not enough brown, so combining them now should get things started on a good note.IMG_0017IMG_0018

Layers of green and brown material now make up the compost bin.  I am ready to add more.  In the spring I will add a second bin so I can keep one going at all times.IMG_0022

 

Thinking of LOVE

LOVE – it has been the topic of many songs, books, poetry, plays and movies.  We all talk about it, but do we really understand what is love?

I love my wife.  I love my mom.  I love blackberries.  I love my guys in our Bible study group.  I love to sleep in on Saturday mornings.

Tina Turner sang about love….

What’s love got to do, got to do with it
What’s love but a second hand emotion

-Tina Turner

Can all of these be using the word love in the same context with the same meaning?  I don’t think so.  I understand love to be more than just an emotion it is an action we do for someone.

We show our love by actions – not by words.

According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary love has the following definitions:

  1. strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties
  2. attraction based on sexual desire : affection and tenderness felt by lovers
    After all these years, they are still very much in love.
  3. affection based on admiration, benevolence, or common interests
    love for his old schoolmates
  4. warm attachment, enthusiasm, or devotion  ::love of the sea
    the object of attachment, devotion, or admiration :: baseball was his first love
  5. a beloved person : DARLING —often used as a term of endearment
  6. unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another: such as
    1. the fatherly concern of God for humankind
    2. brotherly concern for others
  7. a person’s adoration of God
  8. a god (such as Cupid or Eros) or personification of love
  9. an amorous episode : LOVE AFFAIR
  10. the sexual embrace : COPULATION
  11. a score of zero (as in tennis)

These definitions do describe how we understand love in modern day America.

However, in studying my Bible I read in the New Testament that there are several Greek definitions of the word love which give the word a deeper personal attachment.

Eros – represents the idea of sexual passion and desire.  It was not always used in a positive way either.  Eros had the idea of a dangerous and irrational form of love that could take hold and possess you.

Phila – was considered a friendship that developed between brothers in arms who had fought side by side on the battlefield. It was about showing loyalty to your friends, sacrificing for them, as well as sharing your emotions with them.

Storge – is the love and affection that is naturally shared between parents and children, and to other siblings.  It is a family love.

Ludas – is a playful love.  This can be seen in childlike love or the early stages of a relationship.

Pragma – is a longstanding love.  A love that is considered in making compromises over a long period of time for the good of the relationship.

Philautia – is self love – what we would consider on one hand a narcissist, but on the other hand a satisfaction of loving who you are and where you are.

Agape – is the most radical of love in that is unconditional.  God has an unconditional love for humans.  We can’t earn it and we can get away from it.  He loves us no matter what we do!

From what I read and understand about love I like to think of love as an action – something you do for somebody.  Yes I know that I still love blackberries, but I have no other way of saying that.  Other than I really like the taste of blackberries.  Correct it is, but not as short of a way to say it.

I found this quote somewhere and I use it often.  Love always does what is best for others.

Think about that.  When you say you love someone, do you do something for them that is best for them – sometimes over even your own comfort or desires?  To me that is love.

In John 15:13 Jesus said “No one has greater love than this: to lay down his life for his friends.”  Then He went on to demonstrate that love toward us – He set the perfect example of love.  In our world today, to me the ultimate display  is to give the very core of who you are right now – your life – for someone else.  That is the ultimate high bar setting that we can only look to achieve.

So when you think of love, I hope you think that there has been a high bar set and that love is more than an emotion it is an action word.

Go love!