Sunday, October 16, 2011

And the winner is...

Diane Watkins!  

Oh, this was soooooo hard!  I don't like being a judge and selecting a single winner.   So many people did really well.  Congratulations to all of you.   Here is Diane's final report:

I discovered the Eat to Live program in June and immediatelyembraced it. I did extremely well the first 3 weeks, then found it difficult tocontinue. We were traveling a lot with my husband’s work and I found itdifficult to find the foods that I needed in restaurants, which was our usualway to eat on the road. So, I was looking for help staying on the diet when I found yourchallenge. This was exactly what I needed to help me adjust to the ETLlifestyle. I chose to set my goals as learning to organize my food and life tofit the Eat to Live program and staying on the program throughout the 6 weeks,specifically healthy eating at every meal and every snack.
 I feel that I have met these goals, although I am still learning andevolving. I found it easiest to get into a pattern of eating that supportsthese healthy eating goals. While the foods eaten change, the pattern hasstayed the same. I eat a fruit salad and fruit juice for breakfast, a largegreen salad for lunch, and a homemade bean or lentil and vegetable soup orsteamed vegetables for dinner. I sometimes add beans or a sweet potato to thelunch salad to keep me from getting hungry again before dinner, but I usuallyeat my beans in the dinner soup. I also have a green juice in the afternoon,when I have time to make it in the morning, and green tea or water during theday. I will occasionally snack on some homemade low-fat hummus with snow peas,nappa cabbage or other vegetables. I’ve discovered a few excellent no-oil saladdressing recipes. My favorite is tangerine juice, lemon or lime, and vinegar.The hardest part of the challenge is to not eat late at night, when my husbandhas his late night snack.
 I wake up each morning hungry, for the first time in my life. I wasnever much of a breakfast eater in the past. And I am usually ravenous by dinnertime. But I can honestly say that I have not had any problems with cravings,which is also unusual. The fruit satisfies my sweet tooth; but I am used toeating a lot of salt. I will admit that I cheated a few times in the beginning,adding salt to my soup, but I have gradually adjusted my salt addiction and amdoing better now. I am slowly getting healthy. Although I have a long way to go totruly regain my health, I can honestly say that I am a lot better off now thanI was only 6 weeks ago. I have a heart arrhythmia and an autoimmune diseasethat have severely limited my movement and energy levels in the past. Gettingmy health back is my priority right now, because I had truly lost it. I need toturn that around quickly. I believe that the Eat to Live program is my bestchance of regaining a healthy body. The autoimmune disease manifests itself in very painful skin lesionsthat make my life difficult. The Eat to Live program these past 6 weeks hashelped, I have only had one new lesion in the last 6 weeks, and the old lesionsseem to be improving, although not fast enough to suit me. It seems to me thatimprovement is directly related to my consumption of green juice. The more Idrink, the better they get. I also had a bad episode of A Fib during the challenge. This is notunusual, actually only having one is probably a great improvement. In the past,I have had bad episodes regularly, sometimes weekly, so one in 6 weeks is animprovement. I have increased my nut and seed consumption and that seems tohave helped. My blood pressure is good, without medication and I have more energythan before, with the exception of the week of the A Fib episode. I have alsolost some weight, although I promised myself I wasn’t going to concentrate onmy weight during this challenge. I wanted good health to be my goal.
 I have made quite an improvement, although I still have a ways togo. I will be joining you on your next challenge and look forward to a lifetimeof healthy eating. I appreciate your running this challenge and supporting us.The Vitamix has been a nice incentive, and I do need one; but I know that I ama winner either way. I really feel that a Vitamix would help me drink more vegetablejuices and this challenge has only intensified my longing for one. I have beenmaking juice in my regular blender, but I have to strain it. The entire processtakes a lot of time that I don’t really have in the mornings. The fruit juiceis easier, since I can drink it without straining, and it seems to blend a lotfaster. I have been struggling to figure out how to afford a Vitamix, we arevery strained financially and It doesn’t fit into our budget. I am putting iton my Christmas list, however, in the hope that we might manage it. My husbandand I talked about getting one for my birthday, which is only a few days away,but decided that we just couldn’t make it happen right now. Thank you for this challenge and your support.