Jan 31, 2011

Bit of a Laugh. Angiogram Day. (Only the good bits)

I was the last patient for 2010 and the staff at Breamar Hospital in Hamilton were so good despite the fact that I was keeping them from their Xmas party. Nice people make it so easy. Anyone would think I went there to eat!
The last bit of the video is back in the motel where we had to stay for the night....just in case.
The outcome of the procedure was not as good as I wanted (ie no problems) but it at least showed me the things I needed to address. So all good.


Day 40. Plant Based Diet.

More Data.
Blood Pressure.
I measure this periodically by taking it each day at the same time in the morning and I do this for 20 or more days in a row. I have data going back a few years. For this update I took 20 days in Oct/Nov 2010 and another 20 days finishing today. Meaning the latter data is starting from being on our new diet for 20days until today.
Not sure if this is the way to show this but I simply averaged the 20 days results.
  • Oct/Nov 2010 = 130/80 Pulse rate 62 (Prior to diet and best I had been for years)
  • January 2011 = 118/74 Pulse rate 52 (After 20 days on the diet till now)
Experts may put a different spin on this but to me this is a measurable improvement.
Still nudging down but slower now and I have lost 5.5 Kgs in 40 days. (Start weight = 79.8Kgs, today 74.3Kgs)
This is subjective but generally I feel good with good energy. Exercise seems very doable and I can ride my bike no problems (not pushing it too hard of course)
The Cardiologist prescribed Calcium channel blockers to ease any pain and improve circulation. But I have decided not to start these. I will meet him again late Feb and explain what I have done with this diet and see if he thinks I still should go on to these drugs. Frankly my view is that I want to do this (halt and hopefully reverse CAD) without drugs.
In the kitchen.
Robyn and I have stripped Amazon's stock of books about this subject and we now have a great library of reference books with lots of guidance and best of all lots of great food ideas.

It's still early days but the overall trend is looking very positive and I was lucky enough to have had holiday time to work through this significant "event" in our lives.
More updates soon.

Jan 29, 2011

The Hat Rescue

Rob makes a dash back to safety after rescuing Thomas's hat when it was blown across the main highway in a 40 knot gust! Check out the mouth action.

Second Cyclone in Two Weeks. Game anyone?

Cyclone Wilma dumps 200mm of water on Tauranga in about 12 hours. (Not official figures but taken from my rain gauge)

The Picnic (Or how to get ducked)

So the idea was lets take the grandees for a picnic. Good idea till we got there and were immediately surrounded by hundreds of "friendly" ducks. So everyone headed for high ground (on the table top) and stayed there. You can see by Thomas's face he was not convinced.

One of the many ducks that kept them there!

Tairua's Mt Paku from Pauanui Beach

What a spectacular place to live.
On a beautiful headland with the Pacific Ocean on one side and an inland harbour on the other.
About 2000 people live in Tairua on the Coromandel Peninsula. It was a dull day when we visited but still worth it.

21st Century Cave Painting!

Jan 28, 2011

All Os'. Christmas Day 2010.

Seems so long ago!
3 generations.
Sarah, Robyn, Kyleigh.
Robert, Thomas, Mike, Grace, Paul.

Jan 26, 2011

Historic New Zealand Buildings (Digital Painting)

Pauanui Beach

Had a great day yesterday. Went to Whangamata, Pauanui, Tirua and came home via Thames (A really nice period New Zealand Town)
This is Rob (In Red) on Pauanui Beach. I was blown away by the population of this place and while its not shown by people on the beach there are over 2050 homes. Many will be holiday homes I suspect. The street layout is something else you can easily get lost! Worth a look.

Calcium & Vitamin D

These two are getting lots of publicity lately. I found this chart (Just released) click on it for a larger version.
But also check out this LINK for the background information.

Jan 24, 2011

The Centre of New Zealand

Rob after a small climb to the top of a hill called the centre of New Zealand. Well it was in the 1870's according to a local surveyor. But the "real" centre was recalculated in the 1960's and is located in bush in the Spooner's Range in the Golden Downs Forest.

Also the site of New Zealands's first rugby game.

Jan 23, 2011

Historic New Zealand Building Design

Tauranga Historic Village. This is what downtown New Zealand looked like when I was a kid. You can still see this building design in towns today. I think we have lost something in todays sterile mass market buildings.

The Village Church

Tauranga Historic Village

Jan 22, 2011

Picture Window

Day 31 Plant Based Diet. The data.

31 days now of no animal protein, no oils or fats including no nuts or avocado. The reason for this radical life style change was due to an angiogram finding I had coronary artery disease and my subsequent research that showed the only scientifically proven way to stop and reverse my problem was to adopt a rigid plant based diet so that's what we did. Now I have hard data to share.
So here is an overview.
Chest Pain on exercise = None (2 x1 hour bike rides to test)
Weight = Lossed 4.4kg's (This was not an objective but I am happy)
Blood pressure = > 130/80 consistently well below. (Previously consistently well above this)
Pulse rate (sitting)  = 50 (Previously consistently over 60)
Cholesterol (A stunning result)
Total = 3.1 (1 Month prior 5.6)
LDL = 1.3 (1 Month prior 3.6)
HDL = 1.32 (1 Month prior 1.77)
In the book "Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease" by Dr Caldwell B Esselstyn Jr he states "If you follow a plant based nutrition program to reduce your total cholesterol to below 3.88mmol/lt and the LDL level to less than 2.07mmol/lt, you cannot deposit fat and cholesterol into your coronary arteries"
So in my case I am absolutely over the moon with the results so far as it means my body can start to repair the problem (well let's hope...). At worst it should not progress if I look after my health.
The bottom line of this experience and research (originating with the China Study) is that the experts in this field are claiming its scientifically proven that if you stop eating all animal protein and all oils and fats and start eating only plant based foods you will have a statistically very low chance of heart attack and be less susceptible to many kinds of cancers and also diseases like Diabetes.
I will update as we learn.

Jan 17, 2011

It can't be!

Was I seeing a Leprechaun on a bike? Well this one just appeared while I was taking pictures of something quite different. If you are of Irish decent be ready for anything that's my motto and here is the evidence it's appropriate.

Jan 15, 2011

PaulO Racing In Germany!

Yes this is a shot of Paul in his Mazda 787 doing about Mach 2 in a stealthy undertaking maneuver.
(Shot while in a virtual GT5 world at Nurburg Ring circuit)

Jan 13, 2011

Day 22 Plant Based Diet

Robyn and I are starting to love this diet!
Medically I have no way of saying how things (LDL etc are really) progressing as I won't have any tests for another few weeks. But here are a few observations so far.
Diet (Just to remind us) = No Meat, Fish, Chicken or anything with a mother or a face! Also no oils, fats, nuts including Avocados. (We have decided to continue with fish oil)
So with this in mind we are forging on doing our best to eat well and frankly its not that hard. Our books have arrived from the states so we have a bunch of recipes now which is fantastic. But eating out is a challenge and I know that despite careful selection from the menu that when we eat out we will be getting some oil so eating out will not be a frequent event now.
On to the observations.
I feel a lot better!
My resting pulse rate has never been so low in my life (46) best ever was 49.
My blood pressure has dropped and I am measuring it daily to get some good data.
I rode my bike around the course that I could not manage once without pain a few weeks back. I rode it 3 times! A little pain on the first lap but otherwise it was good.
So something is happening. I can still do my weights workout and have the same strength.
My weight has dropped over 3kgs.
My taste has changed to like cleaner tasting foods.
It's early days and we must not get too excited as who knows where this will go. But we are optimistic.
Robyn has reported a number of improvements and her weight is dropping now as well.
We plan to talk to a dietitian just to be sure we don't ruin our basic health. We are also supplementing with Vitamin B12, B Complex, Folic acid as these can be a concern with plant based diets.
Will keep you posted.

Jan 12, 2011

Family History Update (O'Sullivan side)

We have located the grave site of John O'Sullivan (Sullivan) my GG Grandfather. It is at Wakapuaka cemetery in Nelson and very close to the Reeds' and Wets'. It is plot 51 in block 5 (Red section). See this link for the map.
History background of John O'Sullivan (32) is that he traveled alone as an married labourer from England (formerly from Ireland) to New Zealand on the ship Will Watch that arrived in Nelson in November 1841. This was the first ship of early settlers sent out by The New Zealand Company in England. John was followed later by his wife Ellen (29) and their 4 children who came out on the ship Lloyds in 1842. One of the children was Timothy (1) my G Grandfather. The Lloyds voyage was a disaster and many people died and this is documented for anyone interested.
In this picture John (to the best of my knowledge and I need to check next visit) is located in the unmarked grass area just to the right of center. He died in 1888 aged 68.

Paul, Ky's and Ben

From their recent trip to Melbourne to see Ben & Nadine and their new baby girl Sienna.

Ships in Port. Tauranga.

Jan 4, 2011


Day 12 Plant Based Diet

That's right plant based! No meat, fish, chicken, dairy, nuts, or Avocado for 12 days. My body is in total reform and I guess, shock. My weight is dropping (2kgs) and I don't want that to go too far. I am finally coming to grips with the fact that this is a long term strategy to halt and reverse (hopefully) the build up and blockages they found in some of my coronary arteries. A few observations so far. All I think about when I am not doing anything is food. Not wanting to eat but wondering what the hell we will have for dinner that will give us the nutrition we (Robyn and I ) need. It is obsessing me right now. I think this is part of the change process and we are buying books to help. Robyn has not had a lot of free time lately but I know she will make a great job of what she does so stunningly well.....making our food. (See there I go again).
Actually I am feeling quite good the positives are that my taste has changed and I am liking clean tastes more. I am less hungry and I still seem to have the strength for my weights work out no problem. On the negative this diet has reved up my gut issues (reflux) but I am hoping this will all settle back.
An example of a days food. Breakfast = Uncooked Rolled oats, a Date, Prune and three fruits with water. I know that sounds ghastly but its really nice and filling. Lunch = Wholegrain bread (no butter or oil) with sliced Beetroot and Canned Asparagus on top. Dinner = Vegetarian Chili.
More as we progress.

Jan 2, 2011

The real oil on the Mediterranean diet.

If you have believed the Mediterranean diet was the answer check out this perspective. The stats and background discussed leave me thinking there is an awful lot of people following the wrong path.

The Food.