The Plant Life

So about 3 years ago, I decided to cut out red meat from my diet. It worked, until I had a hamburger for the first time in awhile, and it went downhill from that point. What can I say, but I love meat! I also tried to go vegan/vegetarian during that period as well, but just like most of you carnivores out there, I didn’t think the diet was for me. Things have changed.

For 4 years now I’ve struggled with high BP. It’s been moderately high, high, and off the charts. It has never been low enough to be considered good or normal. All this time I’ve refused to take meds because I’ve seen my BP go up and down from different diet and exercise tweaks. The tweaks weren’t enough. Two months ago, I got bitten by a dog which resulted in having to get shots and antibiotics. That day at the hospital my BP was so high, they would not let me leave without receiving a BP prescription. After a few days my BP lowered tremendously! After all this time I felt I should have gone on BP meds a long time ago. I was just anti-medication for no specific good reason. Then one week passed.

On that 7th day of the BP meds and antibiotics, I ate a banana at 5:30am and went to work out as usual. By 7am I started to get seriously dizzy. By 8am I couldn’t stand or walk because I was so off balance. I tried to eat, and vomited. Tried to drink water, and vomited. Nothing stayed down. The vomiting never stopped. I vomited from 8am to 4pm. The dizziness was so bad, not only could I not walk, I couldn’t open my eyes. So by 5pm I was back in the hospital. Saw the same doctors from the dog bite.

They said I was having a severe episode of vertigo, and was also severely dehydrated. This was all possibly brought on by an allergic reaction to the antibiotics or the BP meds. Funny thing is though, they didn’t know for sure. Really? You don’t know what’s wrong with me? Aren’t you guys doctors? They said I could stop taking the antibiotics but not the BP meds. They told me to wait until the vertigo went away to start the meds again. So I did. It took about 4 days for it to go away but when I started the meds again, the dizziness came back randomly. Not as severe, but it definitely didn’t allow me to function normally.

I will say that while I was on the BP meds, my numbers were the lowest I’ve ever seen them in 4 years. But with the obvious side effect of being randomly dizzy, it was difficult to function normally some days, let alone go to work. Since the doctor never told me what was causing the vertigo I spoke to several sources and found info about dizziness being a side effect for some people on BP meds. I’m not sure why the doctors didn’t mention that when they gave me the medicine in the first place.

Among the many people that I told about my latest struggle, I ran into one particular young lady to whom I related the story. She said, without hesitation, that I needed to stop eating red meat. She described all of the benefits and how incredible this diet was for not only her and her family, but some her friends and colleagues as well. She told me to watch a documentary called “What the Health”, and I did. This is where it gets interesting.

So I’m not going to get into the content of this documentary because like most similar documentaries, the substance is very controversial. I actually have reservations about some of the content, however I do agree with most of it. But if you’re curious to know why at age 46 I’ve decided to change to a plant based diet, just watch it and I’m sure you’ll understand.

I watched it almost 3 weeks ago on a Saturday, and that Sunday was when a started my plant based diet. I’m calling it my plant based diet because I’m not going to realistically be completely vegan or vegetarian the rest of my life. But eating a 90% plant based diet is definitely doable for the rest of my life I think. Also just so you all know, I researched several sources on plant based diets before I started. I just used the documentary as a catalyst.

So for the last 3 weeks on this plant based diet, I’ve basically had no meat besides salmon on 3 separate occasions, and no dairy other than 2 eggs. As I stated before, realistically, I will continue to eat fish and seafood on occasion. I’ve eaten a ton of greens, fruits, whole grains, lentils, nuts, rice, potatoes, beans, pasta and even tofu for the first time ever. There hasn’t been any need for concern about my calorie consumption at all. I’ve been eating something about every 2.5 hours or so, and let me assure you that I’ve been eating alot of food. Along with new foods, I’ve also tried new recipes and there hasn’t been anything that I’ve haven’t liked yet. Now let’s talk about what happened.

THE GOOD: In just under 3 weeks, my BP is down significantly, not down to normal, but down without meds. I dropped 11 pounds with no increased activity, particularly noticeable from my waist. I’ve had no inflammation or pain since the day I started. My summer allergies are nonexistent, and I work outside about 5 days a week, not including playtime with the kids. My strength training workouts seem easier to get through. My headaches were easily twice a week before, I’ve had 1 in 3 weeks. Overall I simply just feel better. I also noticed that you save money on groceries when you don’t buy any meat or dairy. Try it if you don’t believe me.

THE BAD: The only thing, and I repeat, the only thing seemingly bad about this diet is the fatigue. I’ve found myself just randomly tired in between meals. This is scientifically due to the lack of B12 and iron that you normally would get from meat. Plant based diets seem to give you instant energy, unlike the reserve energy you get from meats. I think also it was more that my body had to get used to the huge transition. I learned to eat more frequently and have some caffeine some days to combat that. Now it’s fine.

This may all sound like a lot. But it really isn’t. This is simply about quality life and longevity. I personally have chosen this to battle my high BP, which we all know as the silent killer. High BP is a major contributor to heart disease which is still the number one cause of death world wide. So there you have it.

I will continue on my plant based journey and post more in the months to come. If you’re struggling with high BP, your weight, diabetes, joint pain, high cholesterol, or any other unhealthy factor, I strongly encourage you to try the plant based diet for at least 30 days. If you see any changes, I urge you to stick with it. If your body changes in 30 days, just imagine what the rest of your life could be like.

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New found love!

Ok so most of you that know me, read that I became a pescatarian/vegan on July 1, 2016. So I’m still on it, slipped up here and there, but maintaining my 10lbs weight loss since then. I’ll talk more about that August 1st when it will be the 60 day mark. 

What I’d like to talk about is biking. On June 29th, my girlfriend Maggie challenged me to ride because she’s a biker, racer, century rider, you name it. I hadn’t been on a bike literally in almost 30 years. She has 4 bikes (like I said she’s a biker) so she let me ride hers that day as we rode together. 15 miles later I was hooked! Although the bike was way too small for me. Lol Everything on me hurt the next day but I got back on that bike and rode to the bike shop where they confirmed the bike was too small. So what did Maggie do? She bought me my first adult bike. “Happy early 45th birthday Bruce” she said.  She’s a rider and wanted so very much for me to experience the joy in what she’s been doing for years. 

The main reason I’m writing this is because of all the overwhelmingly senseless negativity that’s happening in our world, especially this year, right now. I wanted to share something that was just the opposite, as my quick transformation to becoming a biker, has been overwhelmingly positive to me. 

Last night was my first nite ride of a quick 10 miles. That was an incredible experience! Today I rode the longest and farthest of all, 34 miles. In total, it’s been 203. Remember for all you longtime riders,  I just started this journey on June 29th, not even 30 days ago. I rode for 4 hours today all before 12pm. I’ve never done any amount of cardio for 4 hours. And trust me for you non believers, it is cardio. 

The best part of this journey is the fact that my girlfriend Maggie introduced this lifestyle to me, while otherwise, I’d NEVER would have discovered it on my own. It’s so intriguing how your significant other’s personality can ingulp you without warning. All for love and positivity. I love Maggie even more for introducing this life altering lifestyle that’s obviously very conducive to my already active fitness lifestyle. At 45 years of age, I believe this was the one missing piece to my exercise regiment. So thank you Maggie!!! 🙂

I could go on and on about my experience thus far but I’ll end it with this: This is what we do in relationships, we share, support, comfort and ultimately love unconditionally. There’s a enormous biking community that I’ve been introduced to, all from the result of being in a truly loving relationship. In just under a month, I’ve managed to see all people riding of all shape, sizes, and colors. They’re all just riders who are one when on the road.They ALL acknowledge and respect each other while on the road as though they all left from the same house. Maybe everyone should become bikers…

I love you Maggie! 🙂

Let’s go for a ride…

B

#firsttimebiker #fitxtra #dcbiking #dclifestyle #whattheworldneedsnow #noworries #nostress

No More Meat!

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Almost 3 years ago, I decided to cut out red meat from my diet. It was hard at first because I ate it practically everyday. Now it’s gone from my diet and I don’t miss it.
After much research and consideration, today is the last day I will consume meat or dairy. Of the many routes to becoming a vegetarian or vegan that I could take, I’m choosing the pescatarian route with little to no dairy, first. And we’ll see where it goes from there.  Proper protein intake for my active fitness lifestyle, will be challenging, so I’ve heard. I’m all ears to support and suggestions.
Like all the other challenges in my adult life, this one began with someone telling me “you can’t do it Bruce.” Mostly I’m doing this however for health and longevity benefits. So here it goes…

2016…

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Working in the fitness industry during this time of the year is often frustrating for us as fitness pros. The routine is sadly the same for all of you new years resolutioners. We see you for about 2 months at the beginning of each year, you put a dent in your fitness goals,  then we don’t see you again until this time the next year.
If you’re gonna make a fitness resolution again this year, I challenge you to not only achieve and stick with your goals this time, but make it so that you never have to worry about making a new years fitness resolution ever again. So ready, set, get fit for life! #happynewyear #fitxtra #nomoreresolutions #gohardorgohome #http://fitxtra.trainerize.com

Message From an Expert

I’m pretty fed up with the way some people just throw around the fact that they are “experts.” What makes a person an expert? Is it the education or years of experience in a given field? Or perhaps is it the conceit of an individual that thinks they’re an expert, because they aren’t open or receptive to any other philosophy other than their own?
A true expert is passionate first and for most about their field. That passion is fueled by a never-ending urge to aquire new and fresh knowledge to help further define their individual expertise. You ARE NOT an EXPERT if you feel that there’s nothing else for you to learn. Knowledge never ceases. One attribute that almost every expert has in common is that they apply their expertise to their lifestyle. They “walk the walk, and talk the talk.” But do they? How do we know for sure?
We can’t. It’s that simple. Pick any topic and 50 people will say one thing and 50 of them will say another. We ALL must become are own EXPERTS within our own lifestyles. Knowledge is ALL around us, instantaneous, and often free of charge. SELF education and SELFmotivation is what I believe to be keys to expertise, and ultimately, success.
If your mind can be changed or influenced by another proclaimed expert, what does that say about you, THE EXPERT?

Training for the OCB Frederick Fitness Classic!

As some of you may know by now, I’m currently on week 2 of training for competing in my first Body Building show this June!

I’ve trained numerous clients for shows but never thought I’d do one myself. One of my best clients enlisted my help for her to compete in her first ever Figure Show, so I decided what better way to motivate her than to do it with her! Now of course we’ll be in different categories, but the training and prep is the same, give or take a few numbers! Lol.

As some of you also may know, 20 years ago, I was barely 100lbs. I’m 43 now and weight about 205lbs, mostly muscle of course. Stage competition requires a very low body fat percentage in order to have the winning look. So having said that, I do have small percentage to lose.

Along with this new adventure I’m diving into, I’m also taking natural supplements for the first time ever! The weight/muscle I’ve managed to put on has purely come from eating food. In addition to my love for food, I will be taking creatine for my energy, amino acids during my workouts, and whey protein isolate for my overall 255g of daily protein intake. Whew!

I’m really excited so far because this is only week 2 and I’ve already noticed a difference in weight, body fat, and strength. I’m journaling and blogging everything for all to see, but the most interesting data will be my weight to body fat ratio. My weight will possibly go up or stay the same while my body fat lowers. This kids is hard to accomplish, and that’s why I’m the Fitness Professional!

The funny thing about stage competitions, is that you do about 4 months of work and prep, to have a certain look for just ONE DAY! So those of you that are interested in my journey, stay tuned because there’s more to come.
My client and I are shooting for the OCB Frederick Fitness Classic, June 21st.

Wish us luck!!!

Bruce (and Susie)