Sharing the enjoyment of eating good food is the purpose of Whole Life Eating. Good food is tasty AND healthy and eating it should be a pleasure. I can’t share a meal with you here, but I can share my recipes for preparing real, healthy foods that taste good and are good for you.

I learned about the importance of eating good food from Dallas and Melissa Hartwig. My experience with their Whole30 program inspired me to start cooking again after years of eating out. Dallas and Melissa have become friends and I serve as a Whole9 Envoy Extraordinaire, kind of a nutrition goodwill ambassador for their work, spreading the Good Food Word.

The Whole30 approach is to eat real food – meat, fish, eggs, vegetables, fruit, and fats from healthy sources like coconut, olives, nuts, seeds,  and avocado – but no processed foods, no dairy, no grains, no beans, no white potatoes, no sugar, and no alcohol. The idea of the approach is to choose nutrient dense foods with lots of naturally occurring vitamins and minerals over foods that have more calories but less nutrition. And to avoid foods that spike insulin levels, provoke inflammation, and do other bad things to your body.

The Whole30 demands strict compliance for 30 days, no half measures, no cheating. I started in May 2010. I felt achy and had an upset stomach over the first two weeks. Then I started to feel good, real good. I began to sleep though the night like I had not in years. My performance in the gym increased sharply. I began to set new Personal Records lifting weights.

I eat more now than ever before, but dropped from weighing 213 pounds in May 2010 to 183 pounds in August 2011, an average of two pounds per month. I finally stopped losing weight, but have continued to become stronger and more physically fit. I don’t exercise much more than I did before, but my results are significantly better.

My old diet was not a bad one. I frequently ordered vegetable plates in restaurants and rarely ate at McDonalds. I ate a lot of Healthy Choice soups, oatmeal, and Fiber One cereal with soy milk. I got most of my vegetables from the frozen food section of the grocery store and ate a lot of frozen salmon too.

I exercised vigorously for years. I completed a Marathon race (26.2 miles) every month starting in November 1993 and continuing through December 1994. I lifted weights with a personal trainer for several years. I began working out three times per week in a CrossFit gym in 2008. Nonetheless, I was a bit chubby until I changed my eating habits.

I was on cholesterol management drugs for more than 10 years. The doctor called the results of my annual blood work in 2010 “fantastic.” Only one thing had changed in my life – five months of eating the Whole30 way. Here are the results of my blood work in April 2009 (before Whole30) and in October 2010 (during Whole30):

Blood Work April 2009 October 2010 Healthy
Total 157 177 Less than 200
HDL (Good) 49 61 More than 60
Triglycerides 94 66 Less than 150
LDL (Bad) 89 103 Less than 100

My HDL went up 12 points and my Triglycerides went down 28 points and that is good. My total cholesterol went up 20 points and my LDL went up 14 points and that is bad. I don’t know why some of my numbers moved in the wrong direction, but my doctor was enthusiastic about the results, so I am not worrying.

I liked the results of living on the Whole30 diet so much that I have adopted it as a lifestyle. I eat off-plan foods every once in a while – ice cream, cheese, chocolate – but not very often. I like the way I feel nowadays and don’t want to give it up.

I published my first recipe in elementary school when my class created a cook book. My contribution was Beef Stroganoff. I had never eaten Beef Stroganoff, but thought it sounded cool and so copied the recipe from my mother’s cook book. Fast forward 40 years. The Whole9 published my Pork and Vegetable Stir-Fry recipe in July 2010 and my Stewed Tilapia recipe in September 2010. Next the publisher of my local newspaper asked me to submit three recipes to be published as a special feature. And then my wife, after 15 years of marriage, started calling on her way home from work to ask if I had cooked yet and if she could eat with me. I began to think my approach to cooking and eating was worth sharing. So here we are now, with more than 300 Good Food recipes to choose from.

Please use the comment section of the website to share your thoughts or questions with me, or send me an email through the Contact page. And bon appétit.

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