Category Archives: Wisdom

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….

 

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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!

 

Completely Obedient

This past week we had our men’s Bible study from Genesis 22.  I wanted to share with you the lesson that I learned from this passage.

This is the story of Abraham being asked to sacrifice Isaac by God.  Abraham finally got the son he had asked for.  Abraham was 100 years old, and his wife Sarah was 90!  Talk about waiting till the last minute for a great gift!

So the most precious gift that God could give Abraham was in the form of this son Isaac.  Not cattle, not land, not money or fame – no the most precious gift was a son.

So one day God asks Abraham to sacrifice this precious non-renewable gift in his son.  I have one son in Austin, and I tell you – I would struggle greatly if I was asked to sacrifice my precious gift.  I can only imagine the thoughts that went through Abraham’s mind.

But Abraham was obedient, and got up early the next morning and let out with the sacrifice – his son.  They made their way to the place where God led them to and built an altar.  In obedience Abraham laid Isaac on the altar and was about to kill him when God intervened and provided a ram for an acceptable sacrifice.  Abraham did not stop in obedience – God stopped him after his obedience.

The lessons I learned this week from this passage are these:

  1. More important than the sacrifice God just wants me.  I have things to sacrifice and give to God (money and talents), but the real deal is those things are already His.  I am His also, but that is what He really wants (time).  Just like how I want my son spending time with me – that is what my Heavenly Father wants from me.  Spend time with Him.             I have been listening to a song that really brings this into focus.  Listen to CT and Becky Townsend sing “When I Lay My Isaac Down”.
  2. I got to thinking about what obstacles are keeping me from spending time with Him daily?  Work, wife, family, TV, yard work, selfish desires and social media.  All of these can be good things in my life, but they also play a hand in keeping me from giving Jesus the #1 slot in my life.  I have to focus on Jesus 1st thing in the morning, and the last thing at night.
  3. What is it that God really wants from me?  I believe He wants me to simply…
    • Read my Bible daily asking what Jesus wants to say to me
    • Pray asking what Jesus wants me to do today
    • Go out in my day and be obedient to what He has told me
    • Sleep – repeat the next day

When you read Genesis 22 – what does God say to you?

 

Look Again to Understand Better

Sometimes in life we may look at something and might not understand it’s importance or value.  Sometimes we need to look at that thing again to better understand.

Take my old hat.  (no don’t really)  But you probably wouldn’t want it anyway.  Just at first glance at my hat you would see that it is just a worn out old hat that doesn’t have much value.  And you would be right, but let me help you look at it so to better understand why it means so much to me.

You see this old hat was given to me at a trade show.  A freebie!  Probably had to listen to a sales pitch at the time, but for the most part it was free.  I brought it home and would mow with it occasionally.  Then I took a mission trip to Guatemala and decided to hand sew the John 3:16 tab over the original logo.  So as to “look” like a Christian.  That’s what we do on our first mission trips – at least I did.  So the hat made three trips to Guatemala and one trip to Montana.  It has been on several hikes and been my shield on during many blackberry picking adventures!  And yes still tries to keep the red neck out of me when mowing (but that is a whole nother story).

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So you may not appreciate my hat any better, but by looking at it differently you see that it means a lot to me.

We all have items, keepsakes, family and friends that mean a lot to us, but even they can surprise us sometimes when we look at them differently.

This brings me to my daughter Danielle.  When Cindy and I married in 1996 Danielle was 5 years old.  Her birth father was never really part of her life after that, so I got to do all the good things with her growing up

I participated in the PTA in elementary school.  I was a youth leader of her youth group at church.  And I just generally watched her grow into a fine young woman.  I consider her my girl – and I just know her.  I thought….

After her senior year in college she went with me on a business trip to Maine.  When I wasn’t working we spent a great week looking for great places to eat lobster and drink coffee.  We went exploring for water falls and perfect ocean views.  We even rode bikes on the beach (for just a short time – but ask her to tell you that story).fullsizeoutput_7d

What I found out about Danielle on that trip was about her big girl decision making.  I found out what really makes her tick by letting her make some of the decisions on what we would do every day.  I was able to look at her in a different way to better understand her that week.

Then she came home with “the” man.  Well she actually picked a good one I have to say (hope he doesn’t read this and get the big head).  Tommy and Danielle were married in June and were good for each other.  They compliment each other, and strive toward the same goals.  Then around Thanksgiving they shared that they were expecting a baby!

So I thought I knew Danielle and I am learning Tommy, but during the delivery of our little grand baby I saw something in both of them that helped me understand them better as a couple and parents.IMG_0028

In Danielle through the labor pains I saw two characteristics that made me proud: Toughness and Determination.  Danielle went through a lot of pain during the process.  She took it so well.  I was surprised and comforted to see how tough she was.  I also saw that she was so determined to not take any medication to help with the labor – she wanted it all natural.  She had already made that decision, and she was sticking with it!

In Tommy I saw a couple positive characteristics after his nervousness wore off: Encouragement and Coaching.  He was consoling during the early parts of labor.  Always telling Danielle what a good job she was doing, keeping her calm and was attentive to her needs.  Then when the pushing got tough he turned on his inner coach!  He remembered what they had learned in preparation and knew what he need to do to get her through the last stages.

Then on 7:38pm on that July day Adelyn Grace was born into this world!  I think she was the prettiest baby I have seen since Austin came into the world!

She is a good baby.  She eats good, sleeps good and man can she poop good!  Cindy and I are both looking forward to seeing her grow and become all that God has designed her to be!

And I just know that one of these days she is going to look up at me with those beautiful eyes and say “Granddad, why do you wear that old worn out hat?”

And I’ll say, “let me help you look at it so you can understand it better”.

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