Back To Skinny Taste


This image I use in some of my posts was from 2014 when I weighed approximately 180 lbs.  Since then I have yo-yoed between 185-193 and I can definitely feel the difference in my body.  So Evelina and I are back on using Skinny Taste recipes and healthier snacks.  The honest truth is I have been so lazy and have not exercised in over a year.  It’s actually a bit embarrassing to admit it out loud.

Last night Evelina made a bow tie pasta lasagna with ground chicken and it was delicious.  I’m excited about getting the weight off and getting stronger.  Eating better combined with the Insanity program will work wonders for me; it’s just hard!

At any rate, I highly recommend any of the Skinny Taste books and most of the recipes are easy to find online.  She has vegetarian, Vegan and meat-based options, all of which are delicious.


Healthy Living Update – October 2, 2017


Some of you may recall this segment from the early days of Dream Big.  Over the last 2 years I have focused on living a healthy life in spurts which has resulted in me gaining a few extra pounds.  As my body doesn’t respond well to carrying around the extra poundage, I have decided it is time to get things under control.

Last Monday I weighed myself and logged 188.4 pounds and today I weighed in at 186.6.  I will only be registering my weight once per week on Mondays.  I have set a goal of losing 1.5 pounds per week which should put me at or around 177 pounds by the time we go to Disney in November for Evelina’s birthday.

My doctor has informed me that my ideal weight should fall somewhere between 160-165 pounds so ultimately that will be my mission.  However, losing weight is secondary to simply eating and living a healthier lifestyle.  I use the weight as a barometer only.

We are also using a simple method to begin.  We will be eliminating all the junk from our regimen: soda (including diet), candy, sugar, processed foods, fast food and the like.  In their place we will be substituting foods we cook and prepare, along with fruit, nuts, veggies and some lean protein.  Eventually I see us eliminating eating anything with a face; a topic I’ll dive deeper into in a future post.

Until then if you would like to join me feel free to create your own post and then leave a link in the comments so others can follow along too.  Maybe we’ll all find some inspiration in each other!

You Would Think We Would All Take Much Better Care of Our Only “House”

Superfood-Plate2joshaxeIt’s incredible how bad most “food” is for you.  I’ve been reading labels the last couple days and have been reminded of this a lot.  I also find it interesting that 75% of Americans believe they eat healthy, yet obesity rates are at an all time high.  Why does this disconnect exist?  I guess it comes down to how people define healthy.  The nutritionist  might define healthy as eating 6 servings of veggies per day, no refined sugars, and drinking plenty of water.   Others might define healthy eating as only eating McDonald’s 3 times per week instead of 6 times.

I’m not exactly sure what eating healthy is, but I do know that an incredibly small percentage of people do it; present company included.  You would think we would all take much better care of our only “house”.

I Am Eliminating a Few Things From My Eating Regimen


Beginning today I am turning over a new leaf.  I am eliminating a few things from my eating regimen for the foreseeable future:

  • bread
  • candy
  • sodas
  • pastas
  • refined sugars
  • processed foods

Why?  Because these types of foods are killing me and keeping me from living to full-capacity.  It is time for a change.


Healthy Living Update – 11/12/16


For those who have followed me since the beginning you know that I once posted every week about my transition to a healthier lifestyle.  After a while I became bored with posting about health so I continued to live my lifestyle, but stopped posting.  Now I have been inspired to post each week about my progress as I aim to reach a new goal of 165 pounds.

Last week I weighed in at the doctor’s office at 185 pounds and set a goal for yesterday’s weigh-in at 183 lbs.  I am happy so say I recorded a weight of 181.6 lbs.  I did a good job of watching my calories, walking Bentley a couple of times at night and did not drink my calories.  Honestly I believe eliminating calorie drinks made a huge difference.  Needless to say I am thrilled!

So this week I am setting my goal at 180 lbs.  I understand that it is not the healthiest thing to lose a lot of weight each week so I will make sure I eat 2000 calories each day and drink plenty of water.  Plenty of calories will ensure my energy level stays high and remains consistent.

How is your healthy living going?  Nonexistent?  Remember you only have one body so try to take care of it!

My Healthy Living Update – 10/3/16

Have you ever had that moment when you realize you have been mentally lazy and in a split second resolve to make a change?


That happened to me yesterday while walking Bentley.  When I first started blogging I focused on several key elements of my life in which I made changes and redirected the course of my life: living debt-free, living a healthy lifestyle, being organized/goal oriented and being charitable with my time.  I call these my Pillars of Successful Living and they are the foundation on which I build my life.

Yesterday I was walking Bentley and realized that if I started making better food choices that I could get to my ideal weight.  Now, I am not heavy by any means weighing 180 lbs at the present moment.  The problem for me is that my body feels better at 170 lbs.  My MS symptoms tend to be less dramatic and my legs feel much lighter.  Plus I tend to not experience as much fatigue.

So yesterday I resolved that I will reach my goal of 170 lbs. by December 31st and I will do this by making common sense food choices AND adding 15 minutes of exercise each day.  I have been allowing my MS to influence my decisions about exercise, but NO LONGER!   I don’t mind making mistakes, but I cannot tolerate making excuses and I have been an excuse making machine.

The way I figure I can lose 3-4 pounds per month in a healthy manner which will put me under my goal by the end of December.  Slow and steady wins the race.

Anyone want to join me over the next few months??  If so, leave me a comment and I’ll make a list of those interested and link your health journey posts to these Healthy Updates!

Is Your Body Your Temple: 14 Key Points I Implemented to Change My Lifestyle

As many of you know I have committed to demonstrating my “map” (reference my A Simple 6-Step Plan to Help You Reach All Your Goals post) to success by losing weight.  Obviously it is important to eat the right types of fuel, but it is not always easy to make the right food choices.  Successful people are careful to watch what they eat and take time each day to exercise because they understand that they must take care of their body. The stress that can come along with living on this rock can be purged by exercise.  Plus, exercise and eating properly provides valuable energy needed throughout a very busy and productive day.   With that said, is your health important to you?


Eating healthy is very hard in the beginning and takes a lot of preparation and effort.  There are no fad “diets” or “plans” that will ever outperform a lifestyle change of eating healthy.  Notice I said LIFESTYLE change.  To succeed you must have desire and then change your habits, your mind, your thinking and your routines!    I believe most people wish to be in good physical shape and I would say most people wish to lose weight.  Those that change their lifestyle succeed and those that don’t, don’t.  The thing that I wonder sometimes is if we know that eating the wrong types of food and consuming too many calories will cause our bodies to store fat, and being overweight increases your chances of heart attack, heart disease, sugar diabetes and premature death, then why don’t people practice better food habits?

The question is not whether people want to lose weight, rather, what is required for a lifestyle change??  I will use my current food lifestyle changes as an example, after all, you are not trying to reinvent the wheel, just follow what others have done before you. My wife and I decided in November that I needed to slim down.  We had friends using a good cookbook and website for low-fat, healthy, tasty cooking so we decided we would do the same (I will pass along the website if you email me).  Relying on a healthy cookbook served multiple purposes: first, it ensured we were eating healthy food, second, it controlled what we were buying at the store and third, it provided us with great tasting food.  I went online and found a free calorie log app to make sure that I was eating fewer calories than my target.   And on the last day of November we went through our pantry and refrigerator and threw away everything that did not conform to our new lifestyle.

YES I SAID THREW IT ALL IN THE TRASH!   EMPTY, VOID, CLEAR, EVACUATED, BARREN!  I stopped referring to my new eating regimen as a diet and replaced it with the word “lifestyle.”  You see eating properly is a lifestyle not a fad or a quick fix!  It is difficult.  It is hard.  It takes time.  It tests your will power.  But my desire to see lower numbers on the scale  surpasses my desire to stuff a donut in my mouth.  If you don’t have a true desire to eat healthy in order to be healthy, then you will fail.

I am going to give you 14 key points that I implemented to change my lifestyle:

1.  You must be resolute in your decision to change your lifestyle; to start making better food choices.  The definition of resolute is to be admirably purposeful, determined and unwavering.

2.  You must drop junk food calories from your daily habits.  Don’t assume you know what junk food is!  Hamburger Helper and frozen dinners are junk food just like Doritos!  Educate yourself on how to eat.

3.  You need to learn to shop on the exterior part of the grocery store; buying fruits, vegetables, and natural foods. You must stop consuming processed foods.  Easy rule: only buy food items that contain one ingredient!  A frozen bag of green beans should have “green beans” listed as the only ingredient.

4.  You must decide the number of calories that you need to consume each day and develop the habit of logging your caloric intake.  There are many calculators online that will help you decide how many calories you must stay under to stabilize your weight.

5.  You must assume that you do not know how to cook healthy, and find a cookbook through research that will help you learn to cook healthy meals.  The best thing I did was to reach out to friends and find a healthy cookbook.  It provided very different and tasty recipes that were also low-fat and had caloric info with serving size.  …..Insert sarcasm…I discovered that fried chicken is not very healthy!

6.  You need to get out of the habit of consuming fast food products.  Do I really need to elaborate?

7.  Do not focus on weight loss as your primary motivator. Focus on developing the habit of eating healthy foods and let weight loss be a secondary result. From the beginning change your language and use the phrase “lifestyle change!”  Eating healthy, properly portioned foods is diet in its truest sense, but “diet” has been so overused and associated with fads that the word must be eliminated from your vocabulary.  I focus on eating healthy, properly portioned meals each day and only weigh once per week. Eventually I will not weigh at all.

8.  You must cut all carbonated beverages from your life!  When I was in the golf business we used Diet Coke to clean copper golf clubs and to apply to oil covered engines to clean them. If it can clean oil off of a tractor engine, it does not make sense to put that in your body!  Drink tons of water!

9.  You must begin some type of physical exercise.  I can only walk about .10 of a mile, but I make myself do it a couple of times per day.  DO SOMETHING, ANYTHING.

10.  You must get in the habit of prepping your meals for the week.  Eating better foods and eating healthy takes preparation so you need to make a plan to cook your food.

11.  You must buy a small food scale and weigh your food.  You will be surprised at how small a proper portion really is!  We over-eat at nearly every meal, so don’t trust yourself and measure twice eat once!

12.  Make sure you develop a plan for healthy, low-calorie snacks!!!!  Snacking is a necessity, but grabbing a bag of chips is not!  It will be critical to buy the right types of snacks like: fruits, almonds, rice cakes with natural peanut butter, low-fat cottage cheese, etc.  Take time to research snacks you will enjoy.  Gummie fruit snacks are not fruit and do not count!

13.  The day before your new lifestyle begins you must go through your cupboards and throw out all junk and unhealthy food.  Then fill your cupboards with all the foods necessary to prepare 2-3 recipes from your cookbook.  At this point you should have educated yourself so you understand what foods you need for your new lifestyle and what foods have to go.  I recommend making large batches of 3 recipes and rotating leftovers throughout the week.

14.  Determine in your mind that this way of eating is forever!!  Your lifestyle change must be in your mind at all times, forever and ever and ever!

These 14 points are how I have experienced developing a healthy eating lifestyle.  Some are probably thinking that this is a lot to do…YOUR DARN RIGHT IT IS.  It’s a pain in the butt a lot of the time.  It requires lots of planning.  It takes a tremendous effort.  And sometimes eating right gets on my nerves!!!!  But I keep doing it because I have desire to live a healthy lifestyle!  And I promise after a period of time it will become second nature. I have a friend, Ryan McElhinny, that owns Maximum Fitness Systems.  He promotes the idea of fitness success through “lifestyle modification. ” I asked him if he had to choose working out for the rest of his life, but eating unhealthy food or eating healthy food with no exercise, which would he chose?   “Rule #1, you cannot out exercise a bad diet,” he answered.  Meaning you choose eating right every time!


My opinion is that most fail in any attempt because they lack desire and plan poorly; and wishing is not desire!  Desire is the power in you that will see you through all the pain, all the cravings, all the difficulties through to goal attainment.  You have to want it so bad that you are willing to sacrifice anything to get it.  You must develop that burning desire!

Napoleon Hill said it best, “The starting point of all achievement is desire. Keep this constantly in mind. Weak desires bring weak results, just as a small amount of fire makes a small amount of heat.”


My Healthy Living Update – 5/31/16

Sometimes getting your mind in line with what your heart desires takes time and multiple attempts resulting in failure.  But the key is to continue trying.

One thing I struggle with is sugar in the form of candy.  Lots of people struggle with sugar in various forms with the most common sugar intake form being soda.  So I found this interesting infographic which displays the amount of sugar found in soda.  I hope you enjoy it and maybe rethink drinking these sugary drinks.


credit: Alliance for a Healthier Vermont

Don’t forget to take a few moments and visit my Partners’ pages located in the sidebar and connect with me on Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr!

Have a healthy Tuesday and a prosperous and joy-filled week!  Oh, and drink more water!

My Healthy Living Update – 5/24/16

All things are relative to all people.  What is healthy for one is unhealthy for another. I am sure there are “health nuts” out in the blogosphere that view my common sense approach as an excuse to live a mediocre life.

What isn’t relative is the fact that you can change your life IF you want to change.  If you don’t realize your health is important or don’t care, then keep on keeping on.  I personally believe that healthy living is the key to most success in life.  I am not saying that you cannot be successful and be unhealthy, but I am saying you will have a much greater chance of achieving success when you live a healthy lifestyle.

There is something that happens chemically when you are healthy.  There is something that happens to your psyche when you exercise.  There is something that happens to your confidence when you continue to execute your exercise routine when your body says it wants to stop.  There is something awesome that occurs to your self-esteem when you look in the mirror and see someone you like.  You are simply a happier person when you are healthy; these things are indisputable.

image credit:

I guess it all comes down to what you set as priorities in your life.  I hate to see parents dying young from heart disease, but it is going to happen.  I wish I could implant the desire to live healthier in every person on the planet.  I’m not talking about becoming a full-fledged exercise fanatic, but someone that turns down a cheeseburger and substitutes some veggies.

I read an interesting article on Discovery this past week which stated 9 of 10 people polled believe they eat healthy.  9 OUT OF 10 PEOPLE BELIEVE THEY EAT HEALTHY!!  WOW.   It is apparent that 7 of these 9 are not being honest with themselves.  Remember my posts about how dangerous perception can be?  This is one of those times.  Two-thirds of the population are considered to be overweight and one-third are considered obese, yet 9 out of 10 people perceive reality to be that they eat healthy.  This is the perfect example of disconnect.  And this disconnect is why people are not living at a healthy weight.

Don’t forget to take a few moments and visit my Partners’ pages located in the sidebar and connect with me on Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr!

I asked someone once about their lifestyle and they responded with “everyone’s gotta die from something, right?”  These are the words of a fool and he died shortly after that.  But guess what, he didn’t buy his own words because he admitted on his death bed that he wished with his whole heart that he had taken better care of himself and that he did not want to die.

What is your current situation?  Do you live an unhealthy, neglectful lifestyle?  Have you daydreamed of changing?  What is keeping you from putting action behind your daydream?  If you are on the fence and my words have any influence, I encourage you to begin educating yourself on all types of food.  Read about the negative effects of junk food on the body.  Read about the depression associated with being unhealthy.  Read about the positives of eating more vegetables, fruits and lean proteins.

The truth is simple: you can be your own worst enemy or you can be your own best friend. The choice is up to you.

Have a healthy Tuesday and a prosperous and joy-filled week!

My Healthy Living Update – 5/17/16

It is estimated that 1/3 of the population in America is obese and 2/3 are considered overweight; that number sends my brain into a spasm.

When I first started focusing part of my blog of health I was angry at these numbers. Being someone that suffers from MS I find myself upset with people that have their health, yet abuse their healthy bodies with junk food to the point that they become obese.  But as time has passed and I have matured as a blogger these things no longer bother me.  I honestly don’t have the time nor the energy to invest in people that don’t care about themselves, so I move on past it.

I have learned there is need for support for a lot of people that struggle with their weight. I did not understand back then that there are a lot of people who struggle with emotional issues that contribute to their obesity.  I see a time in the future when I will be working as a therapist to help these people; and help I will.  Perspective is a powerful and dangerous thing.  Without proper perspective we see the world through a paper towel tube.  Add an uninformed opinion to that type of perspective and you have the perfect place setting for ignorance and discrimination.


There are people who are comfortable with themselves as a bigger person and this is perfectly fine; it is their life to live.  Then there are people who want to lose the weight, but don’t possess the tools to break the hold that eating has on their life.  These are the people I want to help.  For these individuals, eating becomes their vice in the same manner that gambling, smoking, cocaine or alcohol are the vices of addicts.  Imagine having an addiction that is killing you and having no one who cared enough to help you.

Don’t always assume you have the world figured out and be slow to judge because you don’t know what others are going through unless you have walked in their shoes.  Obesity is a dangerous health condition and there are people who need help and I intend to help those who decide they want it.

Don’t forget to take a few moments and visit my Partners’ pages located in the sidebar and connect with me on Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr!

For those who are comfortable with themselves at a heavier weight, I wish you the best in life.  To those who struggle with their weight and think their might be psychological or emotional issues contributing to the problem, I encourage you to reach out to a professional who can assist you in working through your issues.

Have a healthy Tuesday and a prosperous and joy-filled week!