No more red meat

I’m swearing the stuff off!

Not sure I’ve mentioned it but before I decided to get healthy I wasn’t healthy. DUH … why else would you decide to get healthy ..

I was overweight (289 was the last time I really looked before I made the decision. I might have been heavier), my blood pressure was up somewhat, my cholesterol was up and my triglyceride levels were sky high as well. I could hardly walk the dog around the block without getting winded. My clothes didn’t fit. I was in bad shape. Well not really .. round is a good shape. I’ve been told “the good thing about being so tall is you can “carry” more weight over the entire frame …” and that’s a crock. I saw picture of me before I started and I’m kind of shocked I looked that heavy.

I started eating better, I cut out fast foods altogether. Starting reading up on what a serving size is and was amazed that the 3 scoops of ice cream I put in my smaller bowl was really 3 servings!! I was shocked to find out that the “recommended” serving sizes were so much smaller than what I had been eating. So I started portion control and eating 4 “smaller” meals and having 2 snacks. Calorie limit was 2500. And that is more than enough. I started looking for foods that filled me up and stayed with me longer … and it was anything with fiber. Beans, lentils, whole grains …

Long long long story short is this. I modified my diet with foods I liked and were better nutritionally and stayed with me longer. I cut back on red meat and ate more chicken and fish. I rarely ever ate fish .. maybe once a month. I found that I could get the protein I needed for the running and weightlifting from various sources and did not really need red meats, but I still loved my steaks!

Until last month …

I did “The Master Cleanse”. A ten day “lemonade” fast. Nothing but this lemonade concoction for 10 days. It cleaned me out! I did really well with it. Wife said I was a bit cranky and I know exactly when that was … it was days two and three when I was coming off the caffeine. The cleanse did it’s job. I felt better. I gradually introduced foods and within a week a was eating normal. Last Sunday was my first experience with red meat since the cleanse. And to be honest .. it tasted dead. Everyone else was enjoying the burgers and chili and Mexican fiesta … I decided to try a burger. BIG mistake! HUGE mistake. The first bite or two I was shocked by how “bad” it tasted to me. Everyone else loved them. I thought I had a bad burger. I asked my wife if hers was good. She said it was great. I ask to try a bite. It tasted like mine. I ate about 1/2 of it and threw the rest away. I decided to try the Mexican Fiesta (chili, rice, crushed tortillas, lettuce, salsa, sour cream, tomatoes, guacamole and melted cheese all mixed together .. you build it) .. and again the chili tasted dead.

I ended up eating lots of the fruits and veggies. Loved them! Around 1am Monday I woke up feeling sick. Really sick. Monday evening I noticed that my feet were a bit swollen. By bed time they were hurting and in particular my big toes were red, very warm to the touch, swollen and very, very tender to the touch. Gout! I have had two other episodes of gout. They were before I started losing weight and eating better. I was horrified. This episode is about the worst (I think I thought that the last time). I have not had this since October of 2005. That’s when I was told how bad my “shape” was.

I attribute this episode to the red meats. They are one of the main causes of purines that cause uric acid levels to rise. That and coffee. And since the “cleanse” I have been back on coffee .. last week was a bad week for me food wise. I introduced several things back into my system. But the biggie was red meat.

I cut the coffee this week and have avoided all meats as well. But this flare-up is still going on. and I’m about tire of it. My feet are killing me from walking in a way that prevents my toes from hurting .. and that creeps up the legs and into the back. Today has been the best. I was actually able to walk around barefoot this morning. So maybe this flare-up is about to subside. And my lesson learned is .. no more red meats!!

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