Most significant, I found that eating better is not a hippie/Spartan/tasteless endeavor. Substituting light red wine vinegar for Italian dressing is no sacrifice. Having a few more all vegetable meals a week vs. meat oriented meals can taste great with no sense of deprivation, while indeed making the meat meals more ‘special’. And the bonus is feeling better than I can recall in a very long time: moving more easily with less weight and less joint inflammation (I kicked a 6 Advil a day habit on this trip). In general, feeling less ‘controlled’ by my impulses and desires for food and beverages is very balancing and encouraging. Cholesterol at my last physical before the Ranch was just under 200, and I left with it at 140 and a 30% higher HDL (good) count. Losing 10 lbs. on top of the 5 I lost in the two weeks of prep was a lovely bonus, an achievement desired for at least 10 years, but not accomplished until The Ranch.
From this experience, I hope to learn to live in my very wonderful life with more balance and good stewardship of the body I have been given. To accomplish this, I have set several goals:
- To use caffeine moderately (1 cup coffee w my morning quiet time ritual)
- To consume alcohol only on weekends and special events, limiting to 1-2 drinks
- To work in yoga to my weekly workout routine
- To meet with a sports massage/chiropractor 2x a month to address typical chronic joint and muscle issues of a 56 year old trying to stay healthy.
The Ranch was a great way to step back, to reset on the chronic habits that take me away from being at my best, and to be deeply thankful for the gifts in my life. And that is a wonderful gift for which I am very thankful.