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Tale of the Tape · 24 August 2013

When all is said and done, people want to know the results of a year-long journey toward health. They want to know the tale of the tape even if it does not give the complete story. (I am happy to oblige even though I previously gave some of the numbers without the comparisons.)


The tape says that I have gone from a 34-inch waist to a 30- or 31-inch waist (depending on the pants manufacturer). The scale says I have gone from 168 pounds to 142 pounds. The timer says I have gone from a resting heart rate of 60 beats per minute to 48 beats per minute. The sphygmomanometer says my blood pressure has remained the same at about 128/72.


Even though I did not get any cholesterol readings at my physical last year, my results compared to two years ago still show significant changes. My HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol) is up from 32 to 49 mg/dl (from too low to normal). My LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) stayed in the normal range, but changed slightly from 82 to 88 mg/dl. And my triglycerides are down from 260 to 138 mg/dl (from too high to normal). Like I said before, this is the first time in many years that all my readings have been in the normal ranges.


Overall, the numbers say my health is better. And I feel good too. All from eating a plant-based, whole food diet and exercising a little bit a few days a week.


The tale of the tape does not tell the whole story, but it does give some concrete results of my year-long journey toward health.

© 2013 Michael T. Miyoshi

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Little Need for Snacks · 23 August 2013

The more I eat plant-based, whole foods, the less I feel the need to snack.


I thought the conventional wisdom that said having four or five small meals throughout the day was how things were meant to be. But when I eat little to no processed foods, I do not feel hungry between meals. At least once the toxins are purged or at least mostly gone from my system.


I suppose this no snacks needed phenomenon is more proof that there is such a thing as sugar addiction. When I eat the good whole foods, I am satisfied. I have no cravings. I do not get that empty feeling in my stomach a couple hours after eating that says I need to have a snack. But the more processed foods I have in my diet, the more I need to snack.


Since it is difficult to completely avoid processed foods in modern society, I wondered how much we can tolerate before we get the cravings. Before we need to snack. While I am sure it varies from person to person, I have found that a couple pieces of bread is about it for me. When I eat more than a sandwich and a few chips, I definitely want more. And more. And more. Or I will need a snack in a couple hours (or less).


Contrary to conventional wisdom, eating a lot is not necessarily bad. (When we eat nutritionally, we tend to get filled up without consuming tons of calories.) Even snacking is not necessarily bad. (Again, when we eat the right foods.) The thing is that when we eat those good plant-based, whole foods, we can eat lots of volume and get the added benefit of not needing to eat snacks all the time.

© 2013 Michael T. Miyoshi

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Dates and Raisins · 22 August 2013

Dates and raisins are the perfect foods for anybody with a sweet tooth.


Dates and raisins are chewy, sticky, sweet, and delicious treats. And they are healthy. After all, they are just dried fruit. They are just what the sweet tooth ordered.


As much as I like cookies and other sweet treats, I really need to stay away from them. Whether they are homemade or not, they are dangerous. At least for me. I find it difficult to eat less than a half dozen at a time. Each cookie leaves me wanting more.


I do not find myself overindulging when I eat raisins or dates. I might eat several handfuls of raisins, but they satisfy my craving for sweets instead of leaving me wanting more. The same is true with dates. Just a couple of those sticky sweet dates satisfy my desire for treats.


Unfortunately, there are still times when I still find myself being an irrational cookie monster wanting (and often eating) cookie after cookie. But I know I can satisfy my sweet tooth by reaching for those perfect treats. Dates and raisins.

© 2013 Michael T. Miyoshi

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