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Wednesday, July 2, 2014

WARNING, An Apple A Day May Kill You

           Apple Cider Diet, Warning

     When you have died once and been bought back your views and opinions tend to change.  In 2003 I started the Apple Cider Diet after reading about it. It seemed like a simple enough system.  What was amazing is that I actually lost 90 pounds while on the diet.  As the diet progressed I noticed patches of blister like sores on my feet and then they started on my hands. I just blew it off as a side effect of my diet, I had changed my whole way of eating also. Then January 22, 2004, I had a major heart attack. They put five stints in me.

    My goal for losing weight was to get back into my favorite sport, skydiving.  I knew at 350 pounds my knees could not take the landing impact.  Most of the standard equipment on the market is designed for a maximum canopy weight of 220 pounds. My ultimate goal was 175 pounds which is what I weighted when I got out of the Army. This would make me only half the person I was when the diet started. All went well for a while.

     Being fair and honest the other things I was doing and changes I made may have been responsible for the weight loss. My daughter a nurse advised me to start on what she called The Way Down Diet” A Bible based diet that views excessive eating as gluttony. We should understand the effects of what we consume.I liked it for its common sense and simple routine.  It was probably responsible for most of my weight loss. It is very simple. You always try to cut your portion sizes a little each time you eat.  For example if you are used to getting two platefuls at the all you can eat buffet, you cut back to one and keep going from there.  You only eat when you are hungry, but you eat whatever you want to eat.  You just watch your portion size.  You never eat after 6PM and you try to consume as much water as you can each day. No calorie counting or anything like that.  You know what you eat and you have to be responsible enough to follow the guidelines.

     At the same time I started walking every day.   I started at ten minutes and by the time of my heart attack I was up to forty minutes every time I walked.  Actually I got up to an hour and then cut back to 40 minutes as it seemed the point at which I was most comfortable.  I did not speed walk, I just walked.

    After the heart attack and especially after the second one when they installed a defibrillator in me I quit my diet routine.  My commercial driver’s license was terminated.  It meant I had to sell my truck and all my equipment plus half of my land just to keep the bills paid till my disability started.

     Having lost my license I assumed my chances of skydiving again were over.  Then in February of this year I spent a week or so in Zephyrhills, Florida which is the skydiving equivalent of Mecca.  Jumpers come there from all over the world to participate in jumping.  They are definitely geared up for handling large numbers of jumpers and they have first rate facilities as well as staff.

     In the course of my time there I met some people from the Ontario, Canada area and they advised me that they knew Canadians who had a defibrillator and still jumped. After seeing my doctor, he said he could see no reason I couldn’t jump.  It inspired me and I went back on my apple cider diet. I had heard warnings about the diet, but blew them off as it had worked for me.  Then about a month into the diet I started noticing the same blisters I had when I first used the diet.  It caused me to do more research on the diet.

     As I researched I found that the warnings against the diet were based on the fact that many countries use arsenic for pest control.  It was banned in America years ago.  The problem is many American companies use imported apples to make their products.  As I was dieting I cut out soda pop and started drinking fruit juices instead, especially apple juice. 
      When I discovered the issue of arsenic I read up on the symptoms and there was one site that had pictures of people with arsenic poisoning, follow the link to see the pictures.  Sure enough the sores in the pictures were very similar to the sores I was getting on my hands and feet.  Needless to say that was the end of my apple cider diet. Dr. Oz might not have been out there as it seems. Going up against the major food companies is the equivalent of going up against big oil, the big three automakers or even the government bureaucracy.

     Then recently I had a discussion with my daughter and she said she knew tons of people who are on the diet.  Basically she told me I was full of it, but I think my own experience is sound proof.  Yes I lost a few pounds again, but I also started watching my diet.  I did not start walking though and looking back on it, that may have been the real reason for my previous weight loss.

     When you are dieting it is easy to seek the miracle cure, especially the one that requires less or no effort to get the job done.  I reminded her of the Fen-Phen craze of a few years back.  She told me that was different.  Personally I do not think so. It is easy for me to see the obesity problem in America as a side effect of eating all the foods we eat that are treated with growth hormones to make them grow bigger and quicker. 

     Recently I subscribed to Mother Earth News and their focus on organic and natural food sources made that connection even easier to see.  Remembering the DDT scare back in the fifties it is not such a stretch.  They proved in that study that the fish the Eagles were eating was effecting their egg production and endangering them with extinction.  Today with the rise in autism, it might be good to look into and see if we are suffering the same effects that the Eagles did.  It is not only possible, it is highly likely. We eat a much more varied and definitely more polluted food group than the Eagle and probably with effects we are just beginning to see.

      I would appreciate hearing comments from anyone using either diet.

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