Healthy Living in Connecticut Blog

Your Story! Your Voice! Your Health!


It was just announced today that Pepsi plans to offer their once-popular Diet Pepsi without aspartame. You'd think I would be happy with this news. I was when I first read the headline, but then I read the article.

Apparently, Pepsi thinks people will accept sucralose as an effective substitute for the aspartame. People are smarter than this, Pepsi. It's been known for years that sucralose is not a natural sugar substitute and screws up digestion. I'm too young to remember much about this, but i's probably similar to when Coca-Cola introduced aspartame as an alternative to saccharine, which they used in their Tab product, I believe.  The difference is, Coca-Cola made a new product with Diet Coke containing aspartame and probably kept Tab, containing saccharine, on the market for a while. Pepsi is taking a huge gamble changing the formula for their soda without offering a different product.

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Derek Mitchell made the national news last month when he completed his first 5K race. It wouldn't have made the news except for one fact, he weighed in at 570 pounds. Derek plans to walk a 5K every month this year as he tries to lose weight. I don't have any doubt he'll reach his goals with the determination he has!

I reached out to interview him for this website as I thought his story was very inspirational. I hope to update you on his story as it develops and as he no doubt loses more weight. You can read about his journey on his Facebook page by clicking here.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_1178.jpgAs many of you already know, I've been wearing a pedometer for a while now. I haven't really updated the story in a while but I have now walked 13,140,000 steps in three years! That's equivalent to 6,225 miles, or roughly the distance from Connecticut to Los Angeles, CA and back!

I don't keep a daily log of my steps and the numbers are an estimate. I just know that on average, I probably get around 12,000 steps a day (some days around 10K, other days closer to 15K). It's not an exact number but I'm confident that it's probably close to the actual number of steps that I walked.

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It was quite a day today! I went through an awesome doctor appointment followed by an injury at the fitness center.

First about the appointment... My doctor is set to retire at the end of June, so I wanted to see him one last time. He hadn't seen me for about 6 months or so and my weight was down from last time.

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...At least I hope I'm gaining muscle! I've been hitting the weights 5 times a week. I've been doing stretching, crunches, planks, chest presses, lunges and so much more! I know I eat enough protein and calories and I definitely feel stronger. My trainer won't check my body fat percentage for a while but I know it's getting there!

So far no one has said they've noticed I've lost weight, which is a good thing! I've been trusting my trainer when he said to not worry about my weight. It might drop but as long as I'm eating the right foods and enough protein, it should level off. I weighed myself today and the scale read 201.8 pounds. This marks the first time, probably in my whole adult life, that I'm not in the overweight range on the weight chart. It was not my goal to lose weight, but I'm fine with it as I am now officially in the "normal body weight" area of the weight chart. According to the BMI chart (which I don't usually pay much attention to), my weight should be less than 202 pounds.

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I met with my trainer today and he did the measurements with the calipers. He also checked my weight and that is now 207 pounds. No need to worry that the weight is getting low, it's still considered overweight even though I'm obviously not!

So the numbers did come down and I do have more muscle! My abs came down 2mm and my chest did as well. My body fat percentage is now 12.2, closer than ever to my goal of 10 percent! Last time he checked, my percentage was at 13.34, so he was really impressed!

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Here's part 2 of the interview with Philip McCluskey, the former CT resident that has become well known nationally after losing over 200 pounds and becoming a vegan. Click here to check out part 1, if you haven't already done so.

Philip offers some insight on protein and how he thinks it's a myth that more protein is better. I now there's a lot of conflicting information out there as to how much to have, so check out Philip's view on the subject.

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We've all heard that protein is important, especially to bodybuilders. What many people disagree on is the amount of protein that people need each day.

My trainer wants me to have 200 grams per day. So many people have been telling me that it's a high amount. II've heard comments that you shouldn't overload your body with too much meat. Being a vegan is an alternative, but it's difficult to maintain such a lifestyle. A website I stumbled upon recently focuses on body builders that are vegan and they have a lot of muscle! I do have some turkey most days, but most of my protein sources are plant based. I have a pea protein powder, almond butter, peanut butter, quinoa, broccoli, spinach, kale and a flax quinoa bread that has lots of protein.

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