How two guys lost 150 lbs on an easy to follow vegan diet!


Its official- Dump Diet Soda and lose inches


I remember when we first moved from Los Angeles to Cleveland, hearing people refer to soda as “pop” thinking it was funny. I happen to love Coca Cola, but its got tons of sugar . But wait, what about diet soda, the perfect solution right?

Apparently drinking diet is about the last thing you want to do, unless you enjoy having lots of belly fat. In a recent study,at the University of Texas ,people that drank diet soda gained about three times as much belly fat as people that never drink diet soda. Even people that drink only on occasion gained  almost two inches on their waste over a period of years. People that drink diet every day? A whopping 3.6 inches bigger in the waist.

Nobody really understands why this happens, although some speculate that diet soda creates a disconnect between the brain and body. The body tastes sweetness, but receives no calories, and ends up craving even more calories. It would be this cycle that leads to a desire for sweets, and the daily diet drinker is caught in a vicious cycle. We get the picture.

The bottom line is there is has been lots of speculation about whether diet is good or bad, and I think that is settled now. Don’t drink diet soda- or pop… or whatever you call it.

So what should you drink? How about water? I like a handful of berries along with a glass of pellegrino….

Your tailor might thank you !


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Milk, maybe it doesn’t do a body good?

cows milk


Milk, most drink it, use it, believe in it. Recent research however shows that just like many foods we all believe in, the health benefits of drinking milk is quite probably a myth.

Cows milk has really become a staple in the western diet. You would be hard pressed to find a western refrigerator that does not at least pay homage to dairy products, especially milk. Many physicians even recommend that women who are susceptible to fractures, and children with growing bones drink a good amount of milk daily.

However a recent Swedish study seems to show exactly the opposite, at least for women consuming three glasses or more of milk daily. Turns out if you do so, you are doubling your chance of dying, especially from heart disease. Also, you are increasing, not decreasing, your chance for broken bones. I will leave the whys to the experts, but I suspect the heart disease is related to fat, which milk contains plenty of, and broken bones has to do with calcium absorption, which is more complicated than just drinking milk that contains calcium.

Here in America, we have milk and dairy products pretty much shoved down our throats from the time we are little children. A lot of that has to do with the dairy lobby, which strangely, is one of the more powerful groups that lobby our lawmakers.Those farmers also spend a lot on advertising which has everyone brainwashed over the great benefit of anything dairy.

So what can you use instead of cows milk.?  Try almond milk  soy milk and just about any other thing you can now try in the dairy section. You can even make your own almond milk and its super easy. As far as taste goes, yes, it will taste different at first, but after a day or two, you will not notice it at all.

As with anything, moderation is good. I have seen great benefit from totally eliminating dairy from my diet, and I attribute at least some of my weight loss success to abolishing cows milk from my frig. At the very least everyone should be aware that something we all thought was really healthy may not be, and proceed with caution and moderation.

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Questions in the land of Oz



Everyone loves Dr Oz. Or do they? Apparently not the US congress, where the former surgeon turned celebrity was lambasted for hocking diet remedies.

I have to admit that I have only seen Dr Oz for perhaps 10 minutes over the years that he has been around. What I saw seemed admirable. He was convincing some overweight folks to change what they were eating in a before and after type format. And it seemed to be working!

But let’s face facts. There is way more money to be made on diet remedies like green coffee extract which Oz touted as a way to lose weight fast. Only problem is that as a Physician  the good Doctor is supposed to be a “man of science” and there was almost nothing scientific backing up these remedies.

In meetings with members of congress Oz admitted that ” diet and exercise” is the best way to lose weight.  The thing is, there really isn’t any money in telling people something they already know.

Getting people to change their habits turns out to be so very difficult. It’s much easier to hope that there is something out there that’s a magic bullet which will do it for us.

Alas there isn’t. At least not yet. The only hope is to substitute the marginal foods we eat with more of the really healthy stuff, like more vegetables and less extract, green coffee or otherwise!

As for Oz, perhaps it’s time to ignore the man behind the curtain? Or maybe he should return his show to something that is boring but actually works for free. Diet and exercise.

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The protein controversy, enough is enough


The big question that folks always seem to get smug about is “how do you get enough protein?”

How do we indeed !

Surprisingly, there are a few ways for non meat eaters to approach the protein question.

a) don’t get enough protein, cause you don’t really need as much as you think

b) make sure that you get enough or close to enough in the foods that you do eat.

c) use protein supplements

In reality we have gone through different phases on this and have done all three individually over the past years. And I can say this, in terms of the way you feel , however you approach this it doesn’t really seem to make a difference.

Some weeks I have eaten as little as 20 or 30 grams a day of protein (the adult male recommended requirement is 80 grams per day) and others I have eaten way more. I feel exactly the same, and I think I pretty much look the same as well.

There is some evidence that people are fine with lower levels of protein munching, and that we are all being brainwashed about eating “enough” protein. The beef council perhaps?


pit also doesn’t seem to relate to weight loss in any way.

I am a 52 year old man with six children and a grandson, nobody is really looking. He is young and single, so it still matters! I suppose.

If you do end up using a supplement, you can choose between a few different options. We have ended up settling on rice protein, which I stir into my cereal in the morning a few days a week for a protein boost.  There is also whey and pea to choose from as well. The whey is obviously a dairy product.

It pays to really shop around. Online stores such as Amazon are often about half the price or have larger containers, and not to mention,a much better selection!

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It ain’t over… Till it’s over


It ain’t over till it’s over. Food season that is. Meaning this. A week in New York with weddings  birthday celebrations, food. Than Purim here in  Cleveland, a wonderful little holiday full of fun, getting tipsy, and one of my all time favorites,  hammantaschen, as seen above. Along with more food.

Haman was the bad guy in the Purim story, and I can never figure out why my most favorite thing to eat on Purim resembles his hat. Shouldn’t we be commemorating Mordechai who was the good guy with a scrumptious bakery item as well? It seems wrong somehow.

Last year we even attempted to make “healthier” hammantaschen. The results were … Let’s just say….less than ideal.

But here is what I have discovered. If I eat really healthy 95 percent of the time Birthdays and Purim really don’t matter, or at least not as much as you might think they do.

What does matter is how fast you get back on the horse after you fall off. Get back on fast and minimal to no damage done. If it becomes an every three or four day habit, recipe for disaster.

The one thing that did surprise me was what a difficult time I had at the gym upon my return. Not that I go every day, but after just one week off, wow was I sore.

Anyhow, the point is that to achieve some kind of balance in life, sometimes we all need to do things off our own plan, otherwise family and friends will say “you are no fun!” In the end, we are all part of a community of  people. And sometimes being a part of the crowd can be important. So get out, deviate from your plan, and then get right back to it.


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It was the best of Times!



Last week my family traveled to the New York area for a wedding, and we ended up spending the weekend with my daughter in Teaneck NJ. It was also my birthday. Who cares right?  I was never a big birthday celebrant.

Yes I splurged

Yes I broke my diet

Yes I gained weight.


The thing is, that when you are eating healthy and exercising, and than you break it, you really feel the effects. When we finally arrived home I felt like a slug. Slowly, oh so slowly, as the week wore on I got my act together. No more birthday cake, no more New Jersey bakeries where they bake everyday, not every week! 

So how to handle life on the road? Sometimes you don’t have a choice but to eat what everyone else is eating. The point is that every trip has a beginning and an end. When it’s over, go home, and get back on that diet and exercise schedule that makes it so much easier to go on the road in the first place!

Happy belated birthday to me!

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Popcorn, Is it healthy?

skinny pop


Losing weight and keeping it off is rare enough that  you can actually become a celebrity. About every five minutes when out in public people will either ask what we eat or even better do we eat anything at all. My wife hates it.  The other thing that always comes up is :  Is “such and such food product healthy?” And perhaps no food product is questioned more than popcorn.

So I starting observing.People’s shopping carts that is. And one of the things that I noticed is that some of the very biggest people were the ones  purchasing bags of popcorn. And not just bags, but cases. This of course left me scratching my head. If popcorn really is the healthy alternative snack, why are its biggest fans so big? One of my  old favorites even implies health, with the label “skinny pop”  Its quite tasty actually, but what about the skinny part?

Here is what I think is going on, please be the judge. First, a big bag of popcorn is broken up into serving sizes. On skinny pop, a serving is one cup. But don’t forget, a cup of popcorn is not a cup of flour. Its fluffy stuff, so I have to assume a cup is probably a handful So, when is the last time anyone ate just one handful of popcorn?  For me, I cannot think back that far!

Lets assume you eat four handfuls, a fair amount, but not unusual. After all the bag has convinced you its “skinny” right?  Are you full?. Speaking for myself, I could easily eat four or even five handfuls, go to a wedding and eat a four course dinner with no problem..  But I have just eaten about 200 calories and 10 grams of fat, and I am not even partly full from my snack. Now we are starting to get the picture. And understand the problem as well. What happens when you do that every day, like my large supermarket friends?

Therefore, I humbly submit the idea that popcorn is what I like to call a stumbler. Its not fake healthy, because its not unhealthy, but people just eat it to their hearts content not even realizing that they are ingesting lots of calories and not getting full at all. Therefore my suggestion is to leave popcorn where it belongs, at the movie theater. Avoiding every day consumption will help you to stay skinny for real, not just on a label!