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Revolution 2012: Going Green

Health-wise, since about 4 weeks ago, I was feeling really ill and not myself, that over several months time, got gradually worse, hence why I haven’t been posting much here for a while.

As it turns out after a visit to my doctor at the time, not surprisingly the underlying root of my ailments were due to being overweight. I mean EXTREMELY overweight in relation to my height. We’re talking here about adding me to America’s Obese statistics list, I kid you not. Ack!!!!

Obviously that’s not a good thing, causing dangerously high blood pressure, sore joints ‘n muscles, and an overall feeling of tiredness, amongst other symptoms that could potentially lead to more serious health problems if not addressed.

A lifestyle change – or what we’re calling here “Revolution 2012: Going Green” – is definitely in order, which for me means getting more sleep, cutting down on alcohol and most important of all, DIET and EXERCISE (in itself a green initiative); the latter of which I had been particularly negligent. I mean, zero-zip-nadda as far as getting any reasonable amount of cardio in my daily schedule.

Which is really unacceptable, as throughout my teens, twenties and early thirties I had been a total health and fitness fanatic, even coming in second place in a body building competition. Then, like many of us who become busy with work and/or domestic duties, I gradually led more and more of a sedentary lifestyle.

Now approaching my mid-40’s, this is a critical time to restore my metabolism and overall health to the best it can be, to which I’m VERY SERIOUS about taking this bull by its horn. I was reluctant to share this, but I think I need to in order to put the pressure on myself.

I’ve since went on a mostly vegetarian (green) diet, eliminating meat (land animals and poultry), although I still eat seafood (all types), dairy and eggs, but keep those last three protein-rich, albeit fattier items at the top of my food pyramid (least amount eaten). I loosely call this an “Ovo-Lacto-Fish-O-Vegetarian” diet. lol

A key factor in this very green “health improvement project” is the integration of Japanese Green Tea into my hydration regimen, drinking at minimum three 12 oz. cups per day. Green Tea is known for many health benefits, including for folks trying to control weight, as it contains an antioxidant polyphenol called epigallocatechin-3-gallate, or EGCG, which is said to “maximize thermogenic action to oxidize and burn fat and increase energy expenditure”. Seeing how a great majority of people in asian countries who drink green tea are in good shape (thanks to their diet as well), I’m a believer, so I’m giving green tea (ocha) a try. Read this article, it’s really interesting.

For exercise, I now go walking on my lunch break, as well as walking and jogging on the beach for about an hour-and-a-half after work. I’ve also got a set of 10 lb. dumbbells that I use in my living room to do cardio (high repetition) weight training with. Instead of sitting on my okole watching YouTube, I now weight train while watching YouTube. Woo-ha!

When I weighed in at the doctor’s office back on May 5th (5.05.12), I tipped the scale over at 207 lbs.. At my 5’9″ height, my BMI score (body mass index) was 30.6 which is considered obese. Damned it! That still upsets me, however I only have myself to blame.

Well, I’m happy to report that, after entirely overhauling my lifestyle for the sake of good health, I just weighed myself in today (5.27.12) and clocked in at 195.8 lbs.. YAY!  Now that’s MUCH better! That’s 11 lbs. in weight loss over a 4 week span, which is a healthy rate. You don’t want to lose too much too quickly or it could cause other problems (just like money lol). My BMI score is now 28.9, which is still considered overweight, yet out of the “big O” territory. At least I know what I’m doing is effective and I’m on the right track.

I found out my primary care physician (who I obviously don’t see as often as I should!) reads my blog, which when I told him I was the author of The Tasty Island, he was kinda’ shocked. Anyhow, Dr. Tt, if you read this post, you said you’d shake my hand if I came back to your office weighing just 1 pound lighter. Well, I think now with 11 gone, you owe me a hug! lol

I tell you, at “just” a mere 11 pounds lighter, I feel a MILLION times better now than I did only four weeks ago, thanks to more sleep, a totally overhauled diet, plenty of exercise, and lots ‘n lots of green tea.

I’m 1000% determined to reach my proper BMI score in weight, where at my ultimate 155 lbs. target, super-lean weight for my 5 ft. 9 inch height, I know I can do. At least near it. I’m gonna’ have to, now that I told everyone who reads this blog about it. The pressure is ON! Game on!

Have a great rest of your long Memorial Day weekend. :-)

37 thoughts on “Revolution 2012: Going Green

  • May 27, 2012 at 5:53 pm
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    Two things you might want to try:
    1. the “hackers diet”, and despite the name it’s not a joke. They guy looks at weight control like an engineer looks at any control problem.

    http://www.fourmilab.ch/hackdiet/

    2. A standing desk for your computer, or at least a swinging arm that lets you stand while typing for part of the day. If you do the google, you’ll find lots of examples.

    Good luck, from a guy who is still bouncing along at BMI 29

    Reply
    • May 27, 2012 at 6:06 pm
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      Mahalo for the suggestions. I actually stand and type at my workstation all the time! But that obviously wasn’t enough. Still gotta’ break a sweat with them cardios.

      I think what I’m doing is working, so I’ll stick with my own custom-tailored weight-loss program. 185 at the end of June is my goal.

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  • May 27, 2012 at 7:05 pm
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    Running a junk/fast food review blog hasn’t been good for my health. When I started 8 years ago, I weighed 160 lbs, but last year, I got up to 190, which isn’t good for my 5’7″ frame. Right now I’m about 175, but hope to get down to under 160. I’ve been eating less carbs and eating more beans and vegetables and I think that’s helping. Oh, I’ve also been trying to go out for a walk every day.

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    • May 27, 2012 at 8:59 pm
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      I think I’m in the same boat you’re on. lol

      Reply
  • May 27, 2012 at 7:08 pm
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    Hello Pomai,

    I love your website and the recipes you have. Thank you for what you do. Your reviews are great and helpful. I was in your position a couple of years ago. In fact a worse position. I weighed 225 and was 5′ 8″ and on statin medication at 36 years old. I made it a point to go down to 165 lbs. This took over 5 months to do. I changed my diet and my lifestyle. I am back up to between 170-175 lbs but nowhere to what I used to be.

    A couple things is that I try to work out every day and at least five days a week. Another thing is that I have embraced vegetarian and vegan restaurants and dishes. If you ever want to discuss Peace Cafe, Loving Hut and others we sure can. I have found out that some foods can’t be totally forsaken like oxtail soup and macroons. But I minimize my intake of those foods.

    Thank you for what you do and I welcome any discussions you may want to have about healthier restaurant choices.

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    • May 27, 2012 at 9:04 pm
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      225 lbs. to now 170-175 is FANTASTIC! Congratulations!

      Sometimes I don’t trust my scale, but the “man in the mirror” is all I need to know if I’m making progress.

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  • May 27, 2012 at 9:28 pm
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    Pomai welcome to the club!! I’ve been there and got the same scolding from my primary care physician. However at my retired age and being out on the leeward side I had to figure out how I was going to add more exercise to my daily routine as I did not want to pay going to a gym for exercise programs plus I’m a widower just starting over again. My godchild who lives in Reno, NV inadvertently fixed that problem for me. When I would visit she would challenge me to sports games on her Nintendo Wii which was a real workout! I purchased a Wii for myself and added the Wii Fit balance board which included yoga and gym like exercises along with sports games that required you perform the same moves as if you were really playing the sport. I added communications so my godchild and I could go head to head real-time and talk to each other as we were playing HI to NV! I changed my eating habits (a little) and in one year I lost 35 pounds thanks to the Nintendo Wii and its exercise programs. My doctor is amazed at my progress. My nurse teaches yoga and indicates it is harder on the Wii because you must hold the position stable to keep the Wii in a target zone where in real like you never see a visual target zone. Thanks to the Nintendo Wii and Wii Fit I can exercise and play sports when I want anytime of the day or with my godchild living in NV, lost weight, lowered my blood pressure, feeling a lot better plus improved my body balance, reaction times and mental state. Most of all, my doctor and head nurse are very happy with what I am doing and my progress (another 30 lbs. and I’m golden at my optimum BMI weight!). Nintendo Wii Fit is endorsed by the American Heart Association.

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    • May 27, 2012 at 9:48 pm
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      35 pounds in weight loss thanks to video games = WIN!!!!

      Reply
  • May 28, 2012 at 2:09 am
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    Pomai, I still head to fast food places but order healthy items from menu. Salad and hamburger which I eat only the patty. Mom got ill a few years ago and is now on dialysis. Patients is sad they can’t eat so many wonderful food like before. I am researcher and found many products for patients to enjoyed again like rice cheese that look and taste like real cheese in many flavors. Rice yogurts rice milk and ice creams,rice chips.

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    • May 28, 2012 at 2:59 am
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      If left unchecked and not controlled to normal levels, high blood pressure can lead to kidney damage and/or failure.

      Hopefully if/when I achieve my weight-loss goals, I can get off the hypertension meds that’s been prescribed to me.

      Reply
  • May 28, 2012 at 7:33 am
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    Pomai, thanks for sharing your health concerns with us. I think most of us in our 40’s need the same wake up call you had. Please share with us some of your diet friendly recipes! Blogging about food in Hawaii in a leaner way would be awesome too! Congrats on the weight loss and keep up the good work!

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    • May 28, 2012 at 8:22 am
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      You’re welcome. I will indeed do that, sir. In fact my grand plan for this blog from here on is to convert it to “Healthy Eating in Hawaii”.

      My next blog post will reveal my entire new overhauled “Lacto-Ovo-Fish-O-Vegetarian” diet, including the foods I now eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as snacks. The previous post on “Po Po’s Tofu Watercress Salad” was a precursor to that.

      I’m even considering changing my rating system icon to an Ume Musubi. While I have total respect for SPAM Musubi for what it represents, the sound of “5 SPAM Musubi” to describe a healthy dish just doesn’t fly. lol An Ume Musubi is admittedly more Japanese than it is “local”, however so is my new diet. Unless anyone has any other suggestions? Perhaps “5 Bowls of Poi”? Don’t change it?

      Reply
  • May 28, 2012 at 8:22 am
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    You’re welcome. I will indeed do that, sir. In fact my grand plan for this blog from here on is to convert it to “Healthy Eating in Hawaii”.

    My next blog post will reveal my entire new overhauled “Lacto-Ovo-Fish-O-Vegetarian” diet, including the foods I now eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as snacks.

    I’m even considering changing my rating system icon to an Ume Musubi. While I have total respect for SPAM Musubi for it represents, the sound of “5 SPAM Musubi” to describe a healthy dish just doesn’t fly. lol An Ume Musubi is admittedly more Japanese than it is “local”, however so is my new diet. Unless anyone has any other suggestions? Perhaps “5 Bowls of Poi”? Don’t change it?

    Reply
  • May 28, 2012 at 10:39 am
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    You have been taking a lot of gastronomical bullets for us with these wonderful reviews. If it is time to change gears, then it is so. I look forward to the new LOFOV (Lacto-Ovo-Fish-O-Vegetarian) format.

    I say keep the Spam for those ‘special’ meals but maybe introduce a new rating system icon for the new reviews. How about fish. Poke bowl???

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    • May 28, 2012 at 6:49 pm
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      Excellent suggestion. I’ll retain the SPAM Musubi rating for the classic posts, and use my new “Furikake Musubi” rating system for posts I consider “green”. Gotta’ keep the “Musubi” in the name of the rating system!

      Reply
  • May 28, 2012 at 12:33 pm
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    I did the Shintani diet with sashimi/poki combined with getting back in the 6 man canoe. I year later, BMI of 24 and much muscle that scales the BMI up at that level. Now can maintain with regular diet.

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    • May 28, 2012 at 6:51 pm
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      Once I attain my proper BMI, I may consider at least some meat, so as not to be “deprived”, although I really don’t miss it to tell you the truth. I’ve done the same diet I’m doing now back in my early 20’s for about 6 months, and I swear, at the time, you couldn’t pinch barely any skin on my body more than a 1/4″. I was totally RIPPED.

      Reply
    • May 28, 2012 at 6:54 pm
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      I believe my mom had a copy of the Shintani Diet book, which I’m certainly open to incorporating into my new regimen. Gotta’ go search for it.

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  • May 28, 2012 at 3:32 pm
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    I love my garlic chicken and rib eyes too much to do a drastic change like you, but I gotta get a move on as I head forward in my 50s. Just saw Dr. Oz’s episode today where he recommends 3 cups of black tea. I wonder if it makes a difference? Good luck to you and I hope when I make it to the 808 in the fall, it will be a lighter me. I can’t keep using the 24 year old baby weight excuse any longer.

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    • May 28, 2012 at 6:53 pm
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      Once I attain my proper BMI, I may consider at least some meat, so as not to be “deprived”, although I really don’t miss it to tell you the truth. I’ve done the same diet I’m doing now back in my early 20’s for about 6 months, and I swear, at the time, you couldn’t pinch barely any skin on any part of my body more than a 1/4″. I was totally RIPPED.

      Reply
  • May 28, 2012 at 4:43 pm
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    Pomai high blood pressure and hypertension meds can be controlled by simple change of diet. If you look at the fast food or chain restaurants and processed packaged foods in grocery stores nutritional information charts they highlight Calories, Total Fat Grams (G), Trans Fat, Carbohydrates (G) and Protein (G) in most all of their nutritional labels or listings but the most significant health hazard to everyone which has a daily cumulative effect on the body leading to high blood pressure, hypertension, hardening and clogging of the arteries leading to heart disease and stroke is high amounts of sodium (salt) in the food which should be no greater than no more than 2,300 mg of sodium per day for your 3 meals and snacks. Red Lobster Restaurant holds the title of the saltiest meal in the industry and America with the Admiral’s Feast clocking in at 7,106 mg of sodium, 3 teaspoons of salt or more than 3 days’ worth of salt in one meal.

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    • May 28, 2012 at 6:57 pm
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      In an online article I was reading (I forget which one), that particular fitness trainer’s suggestion was “If it’s in a package, don’t eat it”, referring to all the high sodium and chemical preservatives “convenience food” JUNK that litters our stores grocery stores. He went on to say, “If it’s colorful, eat it”, referring of course to fruits and vegetables.

      My biggest challenge is monitoring sodium intake, particularly when using oyster sauce, shoyu and miso in my dishes. I also NEED at least a little salt when making dishes using EVOO, especially pastas. I’ll rely on the sodium in cheese for that.

      Reply
  • May 28, 2012 at 8:14 pm
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    Pomai, yes indeed. In Shintani, no processed or white foods. However that produced less of a challenge than one might think. Yellow foods are ok. As I love the Hawaiian sweet potato (so much better than the Okinawan), and bananas this did not prove an issue. A bit of low salt shoyu and mustard was ok. Taro, steamed, dried fish, opihi, all kind pokes. It all sort of worked. No rice though. That was pau. For six months. Shintani likes cold tofu. Me not so much. But I was back to a healthy home made pork tofu in six months. it works. Keep portions small. And remember…if it is white, it is likely processed.

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  • May 29, 2012 at 9:34 am
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    Pomai – You are so lucky to live in Hawaii. Take advantage of all the sports you can do year-round (unlike us on the mainland who get only about 6 months of swimsuit weather). If you feel like getting a “treat” pay for it in advance,i.e. 5-7 miles of flat water SUP equals at least one or two malasadas.

    Reply
  • May 29, 2012 at 2:31 pm
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    Good for you admitting that you needed to change your lifestyle! When I moved back from California in August of 2009, I weighed about 180-185 with a height of 5’7″ and 33 years old. In December of 2009, I started having chest pains but luckily it was just reflux (GERD) and not something worse. But that experience led me to get a complete physical, something I hadn’t done in many years. My cholesterol was around 220 and other tests not so great as well. One way of getting rid of reflux was to lose weight so I set out to change my lifestyle as well. I started walking and/or riding a stationary bike at least 45-60 minutes a day, five times a week. I started taking only one serving at meal time and cut out fast food as well as soda and canned juice. The first twenty pounds came off in a couple of months, and after that a bit slower but in six months, I was down to 140 pounds and my cholesterol down to 170. Once I achieved that weight, I cut back a bit on the exercise (35 minutes a day) and started eating a little more, as I didn’t want to lose too much weight! Now, a little more than two years later, I’ve been able to maintain my weight (actually down to about 130 now). It’s all about consistency. I snack here and there but I don’t go overboard. Good luck on your weight loss and getting healthier!

    Reply
  • May 29, 2012 at 6:04 pm
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    Hi,
    I’m so glad I found your blog and have been reading it regularly for the last year. I have been trying to lose weight and have high blood pressure so after reading this article it is a wake up call for me to take it seriously.
    I have been going to the gym and walking in the last month. But honestly I have to work on my diet so hopefully I can get some ideas on what to eat. I have done the “almost vegetarian” lifestyle in my 20’s when I used to live on the mainland but when I came back home I couldn’t help but enjoy all the local food. So I am planning to alter my lifestyle and eating habits the way I used to do. I’m in my mid 40’s so I realize I need to take extra care in my health.
    I wish you luck and I hope to get some ideas from your blog..that watercress salad looks healthy and delicious by the way….

    Reply
  • May 30, 2012 at 11:38 am
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    Pomai, I’m glad to hear your efforts at losing some weight and getting healthier paid off – good for you! I’m also glad to see you’re “back on the horse” and posting again. While I’m not a frequent commenter, I log onto your site regularly and always enjoy your stuff – keep up the great work!

    Reply
    • May 31, 2012 at 5:20 am
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      Mahalo Brian. Still a long road ahead, but I’m thinking positive.

      Reply
  • May 31, 2012 at 3:25 am
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    Pomai

    Yes, I was wondering about your health when you weren’t posting as much. You heard about “Hwn Pake in Okinawa”? He hadn’t posted in months and then on another food blogm “mmm-yso”, Kirk mentioned about his sudden passing. I’m glad your taking care of yourself, because when you get older your body just isn’t as forgiving.

    Take care!

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    • May 31, 2012 at 5:15 am
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      FF, I’m so, so sorry to hear that! :-( I had lunch with Nate several years ago, which at the time he seemed vibrant and healthy, being in good physical shape for his age, and all excited about moving back home from Okinawa to Honolulu. Do you (or anyone) know when he passed? His blog is no longer up. I’m going to have a very somber day today with that news.

      Reply
  • May 31, 2012 at 2:12 pm
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    Sorry to hear that you haven’t been feeling well, and thanks for the inspiring post! Being a fellow lover of food, I know the balance between health/wellness and the enjoyment of good food can sometimes be difficult to maintain. I totally respect you for hard work, and wish you all the best!

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  • May 31, 2012 at 8:19 pm
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    Are you seeing the PIC at KP’s Hi-Kai Clinic? If that’s him, I used to work with him several years ago. Anyway, glad to hear you’re trying to slow the wheels of time thru diet & exrcise. It gets harder-n-harder with time but something we all have to do…

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  • June 1, 2012 at 6:56 am
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    Good for you. Must be hard to diet now. Seems like the 808 food scene has improved a lot. Lots of new options with the foodtruck movement, new restaurant chains from Japan exporing 808 and brave new entrepeneur chefs setting up shop. Dont envy you trying to lose weight in a literal food paradise. BTW, how about a kamaboko or block tofu rating system for your healthy alternatives. Aloha and good luck.

    Reply

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