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Monday, August 5, 2013

Why This Blog?

My husband Joe and I originally had a cooking and recipe share blog called " The Taste of our Lives". I stopped blogging about our decadent meals and French Laundry type experiences because we made some major changes in the way we were eating around that time. We will probably never stop going out for foodie heaven decadent dinners, but our new norm is a healthy relationship with food that we find satisfying on so many levels.
I actually decided to start this blog because of so many requests to share the ways we have both lost modest amounts of unhealthy fat ( you can say weight, but our goal is not to lose muscle, only unhealthy fat) and transformed our kitchen and lifestyle in pursuit of natural foods.
I guess I should start at the beginning.  Joe is a cardiac Electrophysiologist. What this means is that he works very long hours and gets very little exercise. In his world, there are lots of catered meals, dinners, meetings and quick food between his cases. I know this because I used to work there too. Although it's not in my personal description, I am an R.N.  I worked as a nurse for 12 years in all kinds of critical care and emergency fields. I specialized in both burns and electrophysiology.  Our combined medical backgrounds give us a really good idea of how nutrition is useful and important in the human body. We have an in depth understanding of  anatomy and physiology and how our diet plays a tremendous role in our health and longevity. Joe always says that his bread and butter is the smoking section of McDonalds, and although we's sadly true.
So being that we have some useful credentials, does that really give me the right to talk about diet and fitness and how to live a healthier life? I think it does. Not just because we have know the science, but because we live it and have experienced the improvements in our health, our moods, our loss of ailments.
I am not a fitness expert by any means. My journey with exercise and fitness started a long time ago in my 20's and then took a very large break. I used to enjoy fencing. When I decided that I was putting on a little too much pudge, I thought fencing would be a fun way to get a good workout since I really cannot commit to a gym for more than a few months. I joined a fencing academy in Willimantic, CT called "Sword In the Scroll" and it was just the thing I needed. I built muscle, burned fat and changed my diet in turn. I was down to 118 lbs and felt great. After my divorce 2 years later, I stopped. The stress of the divorce and the total cessation of activity led to an unhealthy weight gain. It was not just  a few pounds. I had for the first time in my life noticed cellulite, pasty looking skin, pimples, thinning hair, fatigue and the list goes on. My thyroid was normal, but something was clearly wrong. I didn't look like myself anymore. This happened very quickly and I remember trying to ride my bike up the road and could hardly make it to the corner. I was so out of shape. I was eating whatever catered lunch came into the lab at the hospital and then going out for work dinners and drinks in the evenings. The pounds kept coming.  Joe was doing the same thing. He was also post divorce and was eating the same junk I was eating. Together we were happy but fat. The rest of this blog will talk about the journey from that point and how we have come to where we are now.  It is about total lifestyle change from the way we shop, the way we cook, the way we think about food. It branches out farther to community and the way we support our towns, our farmers, our right to know what's in our food. This is not a blog about how to lose weight fast or how many reps to do of some exercise.  The intention is to discuss and suggest ways to bring healthy eating into our lives.  I will try to support my information with reputable references as much as possible and will share with you our recipes and how to integrate all levels of activity to support a natural state of good health. I will leave you with a few before and after pics since everyone loves those!

These were taken in Disney ( obviously) in October of 2011. Of course we were eating and drinking away at the EPCOT food festival. 

I will post about the transitions in detail later, but here we are on our honeymoon one year later
( below), Oct. 2012. The diet changes started in late May of 2012, mostly on my part with Joe eating whatever I cooked. In May of 2012, I started CrossFit and moved to a low carb diet. ( Photos show 5 months of weight lifting and Paleo style eating).

I stopped CrossFit after this point as I contracted Lyme disease during the honeymoon and waited out the fatigue. I picked up a couple of months later with spinning and general aerobic workouts at the gym ( Yuck) to get back to a baseline of aerobic fitness and realized I had none. So I started from scratch and in May of 2013 I decided to train for a sprint distance Triathlon. Our diets changed drastically also. We adopted a more balanced diet ( mostly plant based) of organic unprocessed food which is not genetically modified ( non-GMO).  Collectively we have lost about 80 lbs.  Joe has not been exercising regularly,  but continues to eat this way and keeps getting thinner. We are now beginning to train for a half marathon in Oct. of 2013. Joe will walk and I will run. What a difference 2 years can make, not just for us but for anyone.

The blog posts from now on will focus more on food, recipes, ideas, fitness and sustainable farming. Our weight loss is only the result of these changes.  The overall quality of our lives has improved and that is really what is important.


  1. Holy Moly, what a transition! You both look wonderful. You guys have the right idea and congrats, wow!

  2. Thanks!!! Lots of patience needed. Undoing poor health takes a lot longer than getting there. :-)