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 16 Food Reboot

Unique Events for the Day:  My 1st breakfast without it being a smoothie, getting 9:15 hours of sleep, a change in my “end product” (read under gas / bloating at your discretion), and a massive amount of food – seriously, my “snack” consisted of 1 head of romaine lettuce!

Waking Up:  Went to bed at 9:00 & got up at 2:30am with moderate shooting pains getting out of bed, right hip area slightly inflamed, and my entire chest / back area is inflamed & stiff.  Laying on my stomach on my bed, walking around, doing bends / stretches & drinking water from 2:30 – 3:30.  Slept from 3:30 – 7:15am.  This is the 1st time in over two weeks I got 9:15 of total sleep.  At 7:15am I woke up with a stiff lower back, no shooting pains, & my right hip / buttock area with moderate inflammation.  8am took a walk for 15 minutes and noticed pain in my right hip / lower buttock area throughout most of the walk & afterwards.

Breakfast:  Fruit Salad
  • 3 bananas, peeled (Subbed 1/2 Papaya + 1 Banana)
  • 2 cups pineapple, cubed
  • 2 cups blueberries (1 pint)

Synopsis of Breakfast:  As I’m sure the picture above will tell you, that’s a lot of fruit.   I could barely finish all of it.  I hope I don’t go into insulin shock!

Lunch Menu:  Green Smoothie
  • 2 mango, peeled and pitted
  • 1 cup whole strawberries
  • 1 head romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon whole flax seeds, freshly ground
  • 6 to 8 ounces filtered water
  • 1 tablespoon of dulse flakes
  • 1 tablespoon of bee pollen

Directions: Blend the mangos and water together. Add remaining ingredients and blend on high for 30 seconds or until smooth.

Synopsis of Lunch: 40oz!  Geez, that’s a lot of smoothie.  The taste was ok, but nothing spectacular.  My suggestion is to take some of the filling from the collard green recipe in day 15 and eat some of that between each glassful.  BTW, this smoothie is 3 glassfuls of healthy goodness.

“Snack”:  Salad with Strawberry Dressing
  • 1 head romaine lettuce, chopped (only used 1/2)
  • 3 plum tomatoes, chopped
  • ½ avocado, chopped
  • 5 medium mushrooms, chopped (didn’t use b/c I don’t like them)
  • 3 to 5 slices of red onion, chopped (future sug. – 1-2)
  • 2 small carrots, slices


  • ½ cup whole strawberries, chopped
  • ½ cup parsley, chopped

Directions:  Add water as needed to reach desired consistency
To make the dressing, blend the strawberries in your blender for about
30 seconds. Next add the parsley. Add water to make it a thinner

Synopsis of Meal: I’m starting to wonder if I’m living in the land of the giants because these meals are a lot of food.  This “snack” alone is what I used to have for dinner.  The meal was was overall OK, but I didn’t get to eat until 4:30pm.  I didn’t like all the red onion.  I suggest using 1-2 THIN slices in the future.  Also, there was no way I could eat more romaine lettuce + have dinner 2 hours later.  So I cut that portion in 1/2.  The dressing was not easy to blend and had to shake the strawberries to make it all work.  Eventually it pureed enough to get it to the dressing form (kept adding little bit of water each time to make happen).  The taste was fine & again the meal was overall good.  I just don’t see how someone can sustain eating this way due to a typical American busy schedule.

Dinner Menu:  Fruit Salad


  • 2 bananas, peeled
  • 1 cup pineapple, cubed
  • 1 cup papaya, cubed
  • 1 orange

Synopsis of Dinner: This meal complimented the “snack”.  Not nearly as filling (whew!) and the bananas taste excellent with the orange juice & a good mix when you add the pineapple.  The papaya was fine, but I feel it tastes better on it’s own.

Evening inflammation check:  After lunch, the inflammation was quite manageable.  However, it did come back (started with a shooting pain & then subsided to a moderate pain in the right hip area) after my dinner and it could be the excess in bananas.  My limit is usually 2, but today I had 4.  Going to go to bed early again (9:30 probably) & see if I can make two great nights of sleep in a row.

Gas / Bloating Check:  Take a truckload of healthy food & feed yourself to the limits.  What happens to it?  Well “the stuff” compacts and you get very little bloating / gas & a big end “product” – twice.  Hey, I don’t like writing about bowel movements as much as you don’t like reading it.  But this is what we’re looking for when we know our body is healing itself.  The lack of inflammation & end “product” delivered in a way I haven’t seen in awhile tells me this food reboot is working.  What a day…