Food: Pleasant to The Eyes!


The other day I became upset with myself because I wanted to eat fried chicken, a nice steak, and some cheese. I wanted to go to an all-you-can- eat restaurant and totally have my way. I asked myself, why am I missing this stuff but never missed the healthy food? I quickly realized that the flesh will never give up; the flesh will always crave everything that is spiritually and physically bad for us.

 

Satan is doing a great job destroying our society through food. We must remember that food was what Satan used to trick Eve. Genesis 3:6 tells us:

 

So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.”

 

Here we see how Adam and Eve were in a perfect garden, eating right to the point of desiring fruit. I don’t know about you, but I desire meat more than fruit and vegetables…that’s for sure! But Satan used the beauty of that fruit to entice them to sin. Eve saw, first, that the tree was good for food and pleasant to the eye.

 

Have you ever tried to follow a diet to lose weight and as you drive on the highway you are able to see from the distance those giants billboards with the best quality photos of your favorite foods? The same tactic Satan used in the beginning is still effective today.

 

The reality is that I will never stop craving those bad foods. Therapy will not eliminate it; diets will not remove it; exercise will not erase it. I must pray for strength, depend on God, and trust Him all the way until this journey ends. Galatians 5:16-17 tells us:

 

16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.”

 

There is indeed a war taking place inside of us all. Every day we have choices to make that will either satisfy the flesh or please the Spirit: Should I eat that burger with bacon and fries or should I go for the veggie sub on wheat bread? Should I drink that soda or should I drink just plain water? Should I eat that chocolate bar or should I eat the fresh banana?

 

The choice is ours! God will do the rest and give us victory in the midst of this bloody war!

 

Eating My Way Back to Health


 

Beloved, I don’t write about these issues necessarily because I want to or because I want to brag about it. If you knew my life you will know very quickly that I have very little to brag about. I have been a great failure and even now I am standing because of God’s mercy. On the issue of food my awful numbers speak for themselves on how I have been killing myself physically for years. However, I feel compel to share these things because I am sure that this information will help somebody out there. My blog is not about exalting me; my blog is about exalting Jesus.

As many of you guys know, a month ago, June 4th to be exact, I went to the doctor to check my cholesterol and triglycerides. My cholesterol number was 238 (39 point above the acceptable maximum) My triglycerides numbers were a terrifying 590 (441 points above the acceptable maximum) Today, exactly one month since I discovered these numbers, my cholesterol went down to 207, a drop of 31 points and only 8 points away from the acceptable maximum. The triglycerides numbers changed in an even more dramatic way, they drop from 590 to 380.

I hesitated with the Vegan way of eating because I really, really, really like to eat; but I am enjoying this way of eating. As I eat better I am enjoying exercising more and my energy level is much better. These numbers were indeed impressive and they were reached in less than three months. To God be the glory!

I know that I have a long way to go with my triglycerides specially; I also know that I have to drop my weight big time but it feels good to finally be moving in the right direction. By the way, I am now 235 pounds; a month ago or so ago I was over 250.

I don’t want to take medication, but I want healing and the healing is found in God’s way of eating. Beloved, it is true; we can eat our way back to health. The Vegan approach is not a diet; it is indeed a way of life. I never go hungry; I eat until I am satisfied and day-by-day my body is adapting and actually craving healthy food. It is not easy; but gluttony is a sin. Unhealthy desires for food cause us the fall and that same unhealthy desire is killing us today.

I know that we like to laugh and make jokes about our weight and the foods we love to eat and not willing to give up, but it is not funny when we find ourselves facing a stroke or a heart attack that could severely damage the way we function or even kill us. It is not funny when our love ones suffered when we are gone too soon!!!!!

Follow Up on My Health


I have indeed been a Vegan since June 4th; today marks my 16th day! Dr. Esselstyn has opened the eyes of many; that is including me. You may want to be introduced to his work and research by watching this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YNeWCvLZaFM. Just to give you an idea of how effective this Vegan diet is; former President Bill Clinton, famously known for his love for fast foods is also a Vegan http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5zQAOQRpG8k&feature=endscreen.

My son Angelo is following a very close Vegan diet; just a couple of days ago I registered him at Vidant Wellness Center. At Vidant before you are allow to exercise there, they go over all of those numbers that count, cholesterol included. Angelo’s numbers are better than when he was 12 years old. At 12 he was a chubby kid with borderline cholesterol level. At 18 he is a very healthy young man! My wife; who is a medical doctor, dropped 28 points on her cholesterol in three weeks following the Vegan diet; she went from 178 to 150.

My numbers were very, very bad; but looking at my son and my wife gives me great hope that I am indeed moving in the right direction. I continue to exercise, but also I am eating right and I can see results again. I lost eleven pounds already! Soon I will be going back to the doctor to check all of those numbers that count.

I sense that God wants to do something amazing in this region; yesterday I received a powerful word from the Lord concerning Revival. Beloved, we can’t let the devil kill us; I want to be a part of what God is doing.

I will continue giving you all honest updates in weeks to come. For now God bless you and thank you all for your prayers!

Me? A Vegan?


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At Vidant Wellness Center in Ahoskie, where I workout, they have a system where you are able to keep up with your physical activities. The more you exercise, the higher numbers you get. We are able to key-in the weights we lifted, the cardio, the walks we take, working in the yard, swimming, etc. At the end of the month they displayed the list with the top thirty members with the highest numbers as it relate to their exercise program. I worked very hard to be on that list for the last two months, last month I ranked 14th.

 

As a former athlete, numbers and statistics are important to me. However, I was not paying attention to some of the most important number in our lives, our cholesterol and triglyceride’s levels. On June 4th 2012, after avoiding a visit to the Doctor, who by the way, is my wife; I finally went to check my cholesterol and Triglyceride’s levels. The results were terrible!

 

A good cholesterol number should be between 120 and 199. A good triglyceride number should be between 20 and 149. My cholesterol number is 238; that number is considered Borderline High Level. My triglycerides number was more alarming as it was categorized as Very High Level. My number? 590.

 

With those numbers I have basically two options: One: Medication or Two: Eat my way back to health. I have chosen to eat my way back to health. The Vegan community gives us a very simple diet. No meat of any kind, no fish, no dairy products of any kind (That includes: no milk and no cheese) and, no oil of any kind (That includes: no vegetable oil and no Extra Virgin Oil) So, what can a Vegan eat? A vegan can eat everything without a mother and everything without a face. Am I going to become a Vegan? It is my smart choice if I want to see all of these numbers coming back to normal.

 

In a month or so I will go back to the Doctor’s Office to check my cholesterol and triglycerides; I started eating as a Vegan the same day of my physical, June 4th. Today is day 8. Too soon to give an opinion, too soon to testify, but not too late to start making healthier choices in my life. I can only say…To be continued…

Bad News From the Doctor!


As I look at my forty-four years of existence I must conclude that my life is one filled with shameful failures and sin. Now, I don’t know why the Lord would have me writing and speaking about these things; but I know that some years ago I did made a covenant with myself that I was going to exalt Jesus, even if in the process I look like a fool. I did not know that it was going to be this bad when I made that promise.

 

In my short life as a Christian I have being involved in what we know as the big sins: fornication, rage, pride and many others. I know! Someone is saying that sin is sin and you are right, but there are certain sins, like fornication, that would destroy people a little faster. I am one that needs to be married and I am so thankful for the wife God has given me; she is such an amazing blessing to me! I am so glad that I am no longer alone; I was able to see, with my own eyes, how not good is for a man to be alone. Today, I was prompted by the Holy Spirit to speak about another struggle in my life; my struggle with food.

 

Since I was a baby my mom knew that I was a heavy eater. Puertorrican food is delicious, but not very healthy. As I came to the United States I was exposed to other styles of food that were also lethal. There is a lot of bread, noodles, meats and cheese in my diet…it is terrible! As I grew older I continued my bad eating habits; the only reason I was not obese as a child was because of my deep passion for sports and exercise.

 

I was a boxer as a young teen and my schedule was very active; I started the day with a five mile run. Coming back from school, it was very normal for me to get on my bicycle and ride another five miles to the Boxing Gym. At the Gym I was at the mercy of whatever the coach wanted to work on that day. I would ride that bicycle back home and ended the day with a two or three mile run. My Boxing Fights were on Saturdays and I played baseball on Sundays. With that kind of agenda it was very difficult to be fat; as a matter of fact I had a very nice six-pack that has turned to a couple of gallons.

 

I got married young, at nineteen, but I was still somewhat active in something physical. In my twenties I started getting involved with the Martial Arts World and I continued then my discipline for training. By then, I was already struggling with weight. However, Martial Arts help me to get back on track. My real physical decline, for me, started in April 26, 1997. It was then that I became a Christian and totally retired from Martial Arts.

 

During that time I went to the doctor for a general check up and for the first time I discovered that I had high cholesterol and that my heath was not good. With a family history of diabetes, high cholesterol and many other health issues it should have been a wake up call for me. I was then working with Foster Care Teens, but I was no longer working directly with them, as I became a Supervisor and later a director; so I spend a lot of time seating on my desk doing paper work and nothing active. This was a long season of not working out. I tried physical activities here and there, but I was extremely out of shape.

 

After my wife’s death in December 2005 and after over eight years of physical inactivity, I started taking working out very serious again; however, in the food department I was not doing so great. I did go a whole year without eating meat. In December of 2006 I re-married and even as emotionally and spiritually I was at my worst; physically I was feeling the best I had in years. In 2005 I was already close to two hundred and fifty pounds. In 2006 I dropped fifteen pounds, but I stayed at 235 pounds because of my eating habits.  In 2007 I decided to eliminate meat again, but this time I also eliminated bread and rice as I continued working out faithfully. It paid off as I went as low as 207 pounds. But I was still far away from my ideal weight of 185 pounds.

 

Personal problems, problems with my children, marital problems, etc. took the best out of me and the weight started coming back in 2008. It was a gradual thing, but by April of 2011, as I was going through a divorce, I was at my worst ever, I was 264 pounds.

 

I made some adjustments and lost some weight, but not much. I started working out at Vidant Wellness Center in Ahoskie about six months ago and that has helped me tremendously; but I continued to fail miserably in the area of my eating habits. I am 17 pounds away from my worst weight ever in April of 2011; that is good in a way. But the news are terrible, my situation is terrible! I am 79 pounds away from my ideal weight. The news got even worst today as my wife, who is a Medical Doctor, insisted in checking my cholesterol. My cholesterol is so high that the machine was unable to give me a number.

 

On my way back home I heard the Holy Spirit telling, “You are allowing the devil to kill you!”

My name is Angel Casiano and I am Fat Part II


“May God himself,
the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul
and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

 (I Thessalonians 5:2)

 

 

                Taking care of ourselves physically is not a laughing matter; the truth is that we do feel awful when we find ourselves overweight.  On August 16 of last year I wrote the first little article of this confession. Little did I know than less than a month later the Lord was going to open doors for me to start teaching Martial Arts again.  Teaching Martial Arts is giving me the flexibility to be able to workout almost every morning. I thank God for Vidant Wellness Center in Ahoskie. If you live in this area I fully recommend this place; it is truly more than just a Gym It did not take long before I engaged in a healthy exercise routine. However, to be honest, exercising is not a big challenge for me, eating right is!

One thing that I quickly discover is that you can exercise daily, but if we don’t make adjustments in our eating we will see very little results in the way we feel, the way we look and in the process of losing weight. Diets don’t work for me; I love rice, I love my chicken, my turkey and my beef and when it comes down to proportions I am the worst. The only thing that truly works for me is to cut things off. Matthew 5:29-30 tells us:

If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.”

 

                So I am not eating meat, only sea food; I am not eating rice and I am trying to drink water for the most part. I am taking vitamins and finding other ways of getting my protein.

I know that many times as we engage in diets and exercise routines the first thing that we want is to see results in the scale number; however, that should not be the case. Our bodies talk to us, they let us know when they are hurting and when they feel great and we out to listen. For example, you can be 30 pounds overweight, but feeling increasingly better because you already started and exercise and a life style of eating that are healthier. So even as you still, technically overweight, your body is already reaping the benefits of your life style changes. On the other hand, you can have somebody else who is 15 pounds over weight, but it is not exercising or making any healthy life style changes and that person feel horrible. You can have somebody else and technically his weight is not an issue, but without proper diet and exercise that person to could be feeling terrible. So what is it that I am look for in order to make a proper inventory of my progress? As I make  adjustments in the things I eat and don’t eat, together with my exercise routine I am already begin to see changes in the way I feel, the way I look and on the scale.

We must be honest with ourselves, if we are not feeling well, if our bodies are feeling weak, if we are lacking energy to do the basic things we have to do in this life, whatever we are doing is not right; something is terribly wrong. Then, the second thing I look for is the way I look. Sometimes we start losing inches in certain places before we see a drastic change in the scale. Perhaps we start feeling a little more comfortable in those jeans we love so much! Then the third thing I look for is indeed the scale. With time, that scale number is going to get smaller and smaller, but we must be patient.

My personal journey is a long one; I am feeling better, I am seen changes in my physical body and some improvement on the scale, but it took me some years to mess my body up; so it is going to take some time to get physically healthy again. So this journey is as much mental as it is physical. What I do feel is that I am on the right track again and for that I am thankful to God.

TO BE CONTINUED…

 

My name is Angel Casiano and I am Fat


Day One of My Weight Lost Journey

Well, I started working-out again with the help of my
son Angelo, today Monday August 14, 2011. I Jogged very little, mostly walked,
threw a few kicks, a few punches and a few combinations. The whole pitiful
work-out lasted an hour. I have such a long way to go!

You know, we laugh about our weight, we make jokes
about the food we eat, but the reality is that when we look at ourselves in the
mirror without a shirt right before taking a shower, it is then, no longer
funny. When we can no longer sleep facedown because of the amazing pressure we place
on our bellies, it is sad. When our pants are so, tight that they leave a mark on
our waist, it is pretty disgusting. When we use belts just for decoration
because truly, they are not needed to hold our pants, it is pretty
heartbreaking. When our bellies are so, big that our waistline moves south, it
is indeed, painful. The reality is that physically, I feel terrible; I have strayed
away from the zone of training and taking care of myself. Now, I must do something
about this or this fat is going to kill me!

Recently, I reach my worst weight ever. In April of
this year, my scale told me that I was 264 pounds. I did lose twenty pounds in
a matter of weeks by just limiting my carbohydrate consumption, but I was so
far off, that twenty pounds did not make much of a difference. By the time my
trip to Puerto Rico came in July 8 of this year, I was down to 244. I gained eight
pounds in my two week vacation in my beautiful island. Oh my land, I was out of
control! It was almost like as soon as I got to the Airport in San Juan, Puerto
Rico; the spirit of gluttony placed me on a choke hold. I am only 5’7”; 264 pounds
is indeed, shameful, devastating, unhealthy and extremely dangerous.

It is very frustrating for
me to start all over again. I know what it is to be in great shape! I am a
former Track and Field athlete, a former boxer, baseball player and martial
artist. I am a second degree Black Belt in Kick Boxing and have a first degree
Black Belt in Taekwondo. I am in the United States, Martial Arts Hall of Fame.
I know better! Yet, I still neglect myself. Not only am I starting all over
again, but this is the worst start ever because I am at my worst physically! With
my unhealthy habits, I have moved farther and farther from being healthy. So,
if before it took five miles to get there, now it will take fifteen, figuratively
speaking! At this very moment, I am at 245 pounds. At least I am 19 pounds away from
the 264 in April! Help me Lord!

“May God himself,
the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul
and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

(I Thessalonians 5:2)

 

TO BE CONTINUED…