Eat To Live 2016 Q4 Report
If it seems like I’ve been a bit of an absentee landlord on the blog lately, that’s because I have been. For months, I haven’t posted as many recipes as usual. And I not only skimped on my last three quarterly Eat To Live (ETL) reports by combining them into one (see this post), but I also haven’t followed through on publishing an eBook regarding “What I Ate During My 6-Week Eat To Live Challenge”, as promised in other posts.
Since this summer, there’s been a lot going on in my blog and non-blog life. And every time something happens, or I acquire some new information, it seems to complicate the content I want to share on this blog. So I’ve decided I’m going to do things a bit differently going forward (see Upcoming Changes To Blog, below). Here are some of the things I’ve been working on/out/around:
1) My Eat To Live Dilemma
Anyone who’s read my blog probably can tell I’m a big fan of Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s Eat To Live program. Out of all the diets I’ve tried in my life so far, ETL is the only one I feel is truly healthy and effective enough to follow for a lifetime – not just for a “lose weight quick” fix which is bound to result in regaining all of the weight.
In my Final Results On My 6-Week Eat To Live Challenge! post, I reported that I lost 10.5 pounds on the challenge. Adding that to the 10 pounds I lost following ETL the previous year, I was down a total of 20.5 pounds. Sounds great, right?
Well, here’s my dilemma. I keep regaining back some of the weight I lost on ETL. I’ve been able to permanently keep off 13 pounds. This is a huge improvement over other diets I’ve tried where I always gain back everything and usually a few extra pounds to boot.
The reason I haven’t published the eBook on my ETL challenge yet is because I’m trying to figure out the parts of the ETL program that I have trouble following and figuring out how to fix it. Yo-yo dieting is really bad for your health, so I don’t want to give you readers any information that might cause you to experience exactly that situation. I’d rather publish the eBook really late with the best information I have to share, rather than crank out a half-baked product just to fulfill some ill-conceived deadline I imposed on myself.
2) Blog Burnout
I began burning out on blogging early this summer. When I started this website, I didn’t have any plans to try to make money at it. Sure, it would be nice if someone wanted to advertise products that were in sync with my overall blog message. Or maybe I might get a chance to write a cookbook! But in general, I didn’t have any monetization plans.
But then I started adding up how much money I was spending on the blog – camera(s) and equipment, blog design tools, web hosting, anti-spam protection, photography workshops, Photoshop/Light Room subscription, dishes, forks, napkins and other props for photographing. Not to mention the cost of groceries for testing all those recipes!
This was turning into an expensive hobby. Panic started setting in. That’s when I started comparing myself to other food bloggers and feeling a desperate need to do something. I hired someone to help my blog’s SEO (search engine optimization) to get more exposure, which was actually a good thing. But then I felt like a hamster on a wheel trying to keep up with social media. (Such a time suck!) It actually made me more anxious. So I’ve backed off blogging and am taking stock of what I want to really accomplish with this blog (see Upcoming Changes To Blog, below).
3) Health Spa Vacation = Game Changer!
In early December, my husband and I went on a 5-day health care/detox retreat. This isn’t one of those “pamper me” health spas. This is a hardcore nutrition/body reset boot camp! I’m talking 400 – 600 calories a day, daily colonics, detoxing teas, massages and infrared saunas. My husband had just been there in August with his mother, who had been there a few times before that. The results all of had were pretty phenomenal.
I’m working on a post about this experience – there’s a lot of ground to cover and information to share. And it helped me understand why I had some trouble keeping weight off on the ETL program. This didn’t overthrow my ETL program by any means – just gave it a big boost. But separating out the benefits of the spa versus the ETL program will take some explanation. So check back in a week or two for the details about this fascinating experience.
4) Comparing Dr. Fuhrman’s Eat To Live Program vs. Dr. Hyman’s Eat Fat, Get Thin
In my last ETL report, the plan was to finish out 2016 following the ETL maintenance program. I would then start Dr. Mark Hyman’s Eat Fat, Get Thin (EFGT) program in early 2017 and compare my results on the two programs after a few months.
But on what basis will the results be compared? The most objective way is to compare “before and after” blood test results. Based on his experience, Dr. Hyman believes vegans exhibit many nutritional deficiencies and therefore recommends a long list of nutritional markers to have tested.
I’ve been following the ETL weight loss and maintenance programs for the better part of 3 years and have posted the results of my prior two annual blood tests here on the blog (see this post and that one). The first test showed room for improvement on my Vitamin B12 and D3 levels. I made some adjustments and the next year’s blood test showed both levels had improved and were up into the normal range.
So last week I had a more extensive blood draw to include the list of tests recommended for vegans by Dr. Hyman. I have to admit I’m a bit anxious about the results because I had this done two weeks after coming back from the health spa. Will all of the detoxing skew my results? Or will the results truly reflect what happens after following the ETL program long-term?
Check back in a few weeks to find out!
November 2016 marked the 3-year anniversary of starting this blog. I feel quite lucky and honored that during this time, I’ve been featured in two articles in Prevention magazine, worked as a weekly recipe contributor for one year at EatClean.com, am currently contributing recipes to SideChef.com (an online cooking app), and most recently was featured in an article in the Huffington Post Wellnes/Taste section.
Considering that my blog has a small, niche following, I’m quite amazed anyone has been able to find my little spot on the internet tucked away deep in a back corner. If someone finds my blog, they probably had to dig really deep down into a Google search!
That got me thinking about what is it that I’m trying to accomplish with this blog? I feel to a certain extent I’ve lost my focus and need to redirect my efforts accordingly. And that’s what led me to implement…..
Upcoming Changes To Blog
When I searched for alternative solutions to my health problems about 20 years ago, there were no easy internet searches that would yield thousands of results. It was multiple visits to bookstores and libraries for me! Frankly, I would have killed back then to so easily find the type of information contained in my blog and others like it. So why haven’t I made it easier for readers to find my blog and, once here, navigate it more easily?
An analysis of my blog traffic shows that the vast majority of visits result from people searching for information pertaining to experiences with Dr. Fuhrman’s Eat To Live program. And although I have a lot of information in that regard on my blog, I realize that it’s not as easily assessable as I intended. Sure, I have a drop down selection for Dr. Fuhrman Eat To Live Recipes. And there are links to my most recent Eat To Live Reports in the right hand column of my blog. But that’s pretty much it.
In fact, I received an email from a reader a few months back who was frustrated about the inability to easily find a list of my weekly Eat To Live reports. From my perspective, I thought they were easy to find – but that’s because I know where to look for them! If you’re not me, then I realize it’s not so intuitive to find all things ETL on my blog. That needs to change (thanks for the suggestion, Wayne)!
Although it’s going to take some time to get everything sorted out, here are some changes I plan to make to the blog:
- Add new and reorganize links within the blog making it easier to find ETL and other health-related information
- Write posts containing helpful hints for developing a healthy eating lifestyle such as a sample daily routine, pantry staples, kitchen tips for fast & easy food prep, essential kitchen tools
- Write recipe posts with more emphasis on nutritional benefits and selection of healthy ingredients
- Write posts discussing/analyzing claimed health benefits of various foods, supplements and health products/claims
Heads up – I’ll probably be posting less frequently, but hope that what is published includes content that is more helpful and meaningful to my core readers. Of course I very much appreciate all visitors to my blog and hope that the content and photos will encourage everyone to come back – frequently! I just feel the need to get back to my roots. Hopefully, if I build it, they will come.
Wishing everyone a Happy & Healthy New Year!