Day 22 to 6 Months – Week 17

What I Learned in Week 17 – Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

View From Vacation Rental in Costa Rica

View From Vacation Rental in Costa Rica

  • My Definition of Pura Vida – Defined as “Pure Life” (a sort of mantra they live by), I got to experience an environment that is alive and unspoiled.  I was blessed with seeing this amazing view along with wild spider monkeys, iguanas, and the colorful sights and sounds of it’s birds.  The people are quite friendly and every business owner seems to know each other.  Don’t expect perfectly paved roads, rules, or strict schedules – life is more laid back in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica.  The fish is fresh and the restaurant food makes a great balance of protein and vegetable.  Fruit drinks were amazing and fresh (no concentrate – yes!).
  • Layers of Health / Mental Blocks – Prior to Costa Rica, I learned that healing doesn’t just come from food.  You must heal with physical exercise, spiritually (connecting with God), and mentally.  However, I saw a healer in Costa Rica and learned much more about how my body is communicating mental blocks in my life.  She even got down to the date of June 2004 (dealing with fear and hopelessness) and connected it with what has been happening recently.  And if not dealt with, those blocks can deter my healing.  Needless to say, this weekend, those feelings were worked on and I will continue to work on her other suggestions.
  • Personal Health Challenges
    Pain in the Butt:  Since all the restaurants are open, the chairs are all hard and I was constantly adjusting and getting up to stay comfortable. To top it off, the TP in the bathrooms are like sandpaper as their water doesn’t flush as well as it does in the U.S.  Combine that with 1 1/2 hour drive to Fort Lauderdale airport, 3 hour flight, and another 2 1/2 hour drive to Manuel Antonio and you’ve got the makings of a sore butt, neck & back!
    Endurance:  Florida is mostly flat land, but in Costa Rica it’s mountainous.  This was my first experience since the diet where I had to climb and with a 3km walking nature trail & the zip line, I worked out more than I had in months.  The great news is all that hard work is paying off and my attitude is more focused on getting the job done – pain can take a back seat.

    Mahi Mahi Chayote Mango Salad

    Mahi Mahi Chayote Mango Salad

    –  Food:  I’m happy to report that the ‘fringe foods’ I ate did not affect my health.  It helped solidify my thoughts that eating a healthy, whole foods diet can put my health back on track.  Some fringe foods include flan, fried plantains (although I didn’t eat much of those), light amounts of cheeses, and many different types of sauces.  The foods I liked best were their fresh fish, real fruit juices, coconut water, and the way they prepared the mixed vegetables.

My Health in Week 17

  • Overall:  As mentioned above, I did well in Costa Rica and gained strength.  I still slept on average around 10 hours of sleep per day, exercised in the pool each day, did my chiropractic exercises, and explored the area.  Getting back to Naples, it’s been a challenge with sleep since I used an air mattress in Costa Rica & now I’m using a firmer sleep number bed.  Sleeping is around 6-8 hours per day along with a 1 1/2 – 2 hour nap.
  • Current Areas of Concern:  Right side of neck (improving after chiropractor), left hip, lower spinal area and shoulder blade area (however improved much more before I left for Costa Rica), less sleep, and swollen ankles.  The weekend I felt quite tired and beat up due to the travel back from Costa Rica.
  • Areas of Improvement:  I can get up out of bed without my rope, but it seems to get tougher to do each time I do it.  I have more mobility and strength due to my trip in Costa Rica.
  • Supplements:  My supplements now only consist of Pylicorin, Probiotics, Vitamin D3, Magnesium (Gluconate), HCL (few times per week), digestive enzymes, and Maine Omega-3 fish oil.
  • Enbrel:  It has been 12 1/2 weeks since my last shot.
  • My lowest weight was 134 lbs. and a BMI of 18.72.

Day 12 Food Reboot

Unique Events for the Day:  Got my “Big Shot” from Good Belly in the evening time at the Whole Foods in Naples.  Whole Foods seems to be the only place to carry “The Big Shot” from Good Belly.  I’ve checked 8 stores now and no one else has it.

Also doing research for natural / organic stores in Sarasota & Venice, FL.  Starting next weekend I’ll be staying up there for a few months.  I checked out Richard’s Food Emporium and two Earth Origins natural stores in the Sarasota area.  The biggest one of the bunch was the Earth Origins on Stickney Point Road (41) next to Carrabas (bought the fennel there).  Richard’s Food Emporium carries longer-perishable items but I didn’t see any produce.  Future areas to check out in Venice, FL:  Choices Natural Market, and (restaurant) sunflower organic cafe | MAP

Lastly, I did not take my pre-dinner fiber supplement & substituted fennel for it.  Seems to have worked well.  A good alternative should I forget to take the fiber supplement.

Waking Up:  Went to bed at 11:30 & got up at 6:30am with the moderate right leg / buttock area of inflammation with moderate shooting pains.  Back stiffness was quite prevalent (more mid-back than lower) as I was sleeping in my parent’s house (I have a sleep number queen bed that I use there & a king bed at my house).

Chiropractor: Head weights 2X per day (10 min. morning & evening) + Denny roll 2X in morning & evening (20 min.)

Morning Physical Symptom Check:  My normal stiff lower & less mid-back (moderate stiffness).

Smoothie Recipe (Banana, Mango, Papaya & Strawberry Smoothie Recipe)
I used what my parents had left in the house.
•2 smaller bananas
•2 handfuls of strawberries
•1/2 Cup blueberries
•3 Handfuls Spinach
•3 to 4 ounces of filtered water
Synopsis of Smoothie:  Instead of the Omni blender, I used my parents NuWave blender (similar to a Ninja blender).  The smoothie was less frothy, but you could taste the bits of spinach.  I remember that my Ninja would have a difficult time fully grinding harder leaves like Kale.  The taste was good & my mother even enjoyed it (she does not eat vegan / raw food diet.  Her diet is based on Weight Watchers).  Makes less than 2 glassfuls.
Lunch Menu:  Salad, Soup & Coconut Water (Earth Origins Market)
Artichoke with Tofu + Peppers & Tomato – 1/2 Hour Later (Earth Origins Market)

  • Salad – beets, spinach, romaine, carrots & artichoke hearts w/ Vinaigrette
  • Soup – Turkey, carrots, squash, tomatoes
  • Coconut Water
  • Tofu & Artichoke
  • Peppers, tomatoes, tomato sauce, capers and olives
  • Piece of 85% Chocolate Bar
Synopsis of Lunch:  I ate at two Earth Origins Markets.  The salad was standard, the soup was ok (definitely not like mom’s chicken soup) & the coconut water is never the same as the real thing.  The 2nd “meal” for lunch were both tasted good and were good combinations of each other.  I also bought some fennel (refer to yesterday for explanation) to help indigestion / bad breath and it works quite well.  I’ll try it some more & let you know if it’s consistently good.
Dinner Menu: Shrimp Salad
  • shrimp (small cup)
  • sweet peppers
  • cherry tomatoes
  • spinach
  • romaine lettuce
  • cauliflower
  • balsamic vinaigrette
Synopsis of Meal:  Take the salad from yesterday & substitute shrimp (my parents made this).

Evening inflammation check:  Since inflammation is most prevalent after the Denny Roll, I’m going to report on that from now on.  Inflammation below the right-buttock area & shooting pains in the right hip.  Stiffness in the lower to mid back continues due to the driving and moving materials today & yesterday.