Plant-Strong: Year 1

Hard to believe it has been 1 year since I decided to change my diet and take control of my health. Today marks my first anniversary since giving up meat, dairy and oil and eating plant-strong. It has been an amazing start on the road to health and believe it of not it does seem to get easier. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would I could do this. Ask me a few years ago and I would say I could “never go vegan.” Not only have I done so, I have gone an extra step and I have been rewarded with excellent health based on my doctor’s opinion, more importantly based on the numbers.

I don’t focus on what I chose NOT to eat, rather all the choices I do get to eat. It wasn’t easy at times and I struggled, but I never strayed too far from what Dr. John McDougall teaches. I learned of him in the documentary, Forks Over Knives. I was also introduced to T. Colin Campbell and Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn. These three gentlemen are my found on which I have built a strong pillar of health. Without their research, studies and teaching I would continue to eat poorly and rely on big pharma and the medication establishment to care for me as I age.

Now at age 42 I am in the best shape of my life and it will only improve. While re-learning nutrition is continuing, it was interesting to see just how jaded the government and big business were in regards to our health. Special interests and profits are the main goals of industries like meat and dairy. They don’t care about YOUR health. They will feed you lies, as long you continue to buy and support their product. Many fallacies surrounding milk as well, does it really do a body good? Research it for yourself.

Now, 12 month later I don’t miss that slice of cheese or that steak on a special occasion. I have found a heart healthy way to enjoy food and thrive on a plant-based, whole foods diet. But I am not here to push this lifestyle on anyone. I would much rather push good nutrition so well intended individuals can make their own decisions. I like being in the 1%, the small minority that make up the group who base their diets around plants. I have gotten comfortable with people looking at me with a queer stare and saying, “You don’t eat meat? Or dairy? Or oil? But olive oil is healthy for you…”

You can read just how far I have come in my latest addition under McDougall titled, 1 Year Review. It provides a run down of the last 6 months and the steps I took to achieve goals I had set, including the last 10 pounds I wanted to shed, along with lowering my cholesterol under 150. I also layout some of my future goals to accomplish in the next year. That actually started today with a new weight lifting program called Stronglifts 5×5. More on that tomorrow.

2012 Watch List #7

2012 fantasy football watch listThe Watch List wasn’t published last week, as I was on a bye. I figured if they are good enough for NFL players, I too could slide one in there. It was another long week of of action, as we began on Thursday night. One thing we haven’t been short on this season…injuries. Key players this week Maurice Jones-Drew, Fred Davis, Shonn Greene, Ben Tate and Blaine Gabbert. To go along with the injuries, we did have a few surprise performances as well during week 7 that could have owners running to the wire.

We are now 7 weeks into the NFL and looking at the mid season point of the season. One thing I have noticed is talent starts to thin out the deeper we get into the season. During the draft, some owners (bench allowing) will draft depth in the form of sleepers. Even then some of those players could become possible drop candidates if early season injuries pop right.

With that said, here is the watch list as we go into week 8 of the NFL.

QUARTERBACK
John Skelton ARI 25-36-262-1-1
Skelton returns to the helm in Arizona, as Kolb exited stage left last week due to injury. This could be the opening Skelton needs to win the starting job for the rest of the season. Unfortunately he couldn’t put a ‘W’ on the board for the Cardinals, but was effective through the air. Arizona home to SF in week 8.

Other notables: None

RUNNING BACK (number in (#) represent targets)
LaRod Stephens-Howling ARI 20-104-1, (5)4-45
Speaking of being health, “Apostrophe” is one of the few RBs in Arizona that is healthy. Going into the game vs MIN, it was expected that Powell and Stephens-Howing would split carries, but that was not the case. The 104 yards was a career high and came against a good MIN defense. He might have won the starting job, but faces a tough task vs SF in week 7.

Rashad Jennings JAX 21-44-1, (9)7-58
Not an overly impressive game for Jennings coming in relief of MJD who left with a undetermined foot injury. He combined for 102 yards, but the 2.1 YPC isn’t good. Jennings will become the starter week 8 at Green Bay, he is a must add.
Other notables:

Jonathan Dwyer PIT 17-122
I’ve gone back and forth on Dwyer the past few weeks, but he is one of he healthy back in PIT right now. With Mendenhall and Redman still injured Dwyer finally exploded on Sunday for 122 yards (7.2 YPC)! Look for him to remain the starter in week 8 against WAS.

WIDE RECEIVER (number in (#) represent targets)
Santana Moss WAS (4)3-67-2
With the injury to Fred Davis, the wide receivers could end up playing a bigger role in the upcoming weeks. Still only 4 targets on the week, wasn’t the top targeted WR (Hankerson). Still if you are looking for a BYE week cover you might look at WAS match up and start Moss on a game by game basis. Week 8 has WAS in PIT.

Leonard Hankerson WAS (8)6-70
With Garcon still inactive, Hankerson and Moss end up being the starters for WAS. Hankerson was the top targeted WR on Sunday with 8 targets. Hankerson hasn’t been all too consistent, could be a flex option vs PIT in week 8.

Other notables: Chris Givens STL (5)3-73, Brandon Gibson STL (7)5-60, Cecil Shorts (10)4-79-1

TIGHT END
Martellus Bennett NYG (7)5-79
After a few down weeks, Bennett posted his best yardage of the year, 79 yards. Still one of the better options to own at the TE position, as he posted 70+ yards times this season along with 3 TDs. Bennett has a good match up against DAL, which he scored on back in week 1.

Other notables: Brandon Myers OAK (10)7-44, Dustin Keller (7)7-93-1