Monthly Archives: January 2012

Almost Vegan – Day 30 Results

Late last year my brother Mike and I had the opportunity to attend a conference with the Northeast Business Group on Health, and listen first hand to the man that authored the nutrition / diet plan behind President Clinton’s transformation, Caldwell Esselstyn, MD.  For those that haven’t heard, President Clinton made a bit of a health transformation in 2010, and sources claim that he actually “reversed his heart disease”, crediting Dr. Esselstyn (a former cardiac surgeon with the Cleveland Clinic) with getting him to eat an almost 100% plant-based diet.   Mike (a self-proclaimed “health & performance data geek”) having already read Dr. Esselstyn’s book, new this would be one presentation to remember.

While I can’t say I’m a huge President Clinton fan (although I’m very happy to see his positive results), in listening to Dr. Esselstyn’s lecture and viewing his presentation of angiogram slides that included a before & after of an individual that started with severe blockage and wound up blockage free after only nutrition-based interventions….I was at the very least intrigued.  To sell me even further….Dr. Esselstyn hit guys like me, the “Everything in Moderation” types with this, “Sure, you can have meat and animal products in moderation, as long as you don’t mind having a moderate heart attack”.  And whether I agreed 100% with this or not, needless to say – the man had my attention!

As his lecture continued, and Dr. Esselstyn show study after study that supported his claim that eating plant-based could prevent & reverse heart disease, I started to think about how this might effect me personally….maybe I should give it a shot, and see what happens….and so I have…for the last 30 days (and for the next 60), I’ve eaten “Almost Vegan”.

Now, being a health & fitness professional, I’ve done a bit of homework to bolster my nutritional knowledge, having read countless articles, studies, and books to stay current on the nutrition scene and do my best to help clients steer clear of all the crap out there than can lead to information overload.  And here’s the facts – study after study after study comes out….and there’s one consistent principle – eat mostly fruits, vegetables, grains, and nuts / seeds (like almost exclusively) and the vast majority of health risks & issues we face each day can become obsolete.  Put another way by Dr. Esselstyn, “Don’t eat anything that has a face or a mother!”

For me, I say “Almost Vegan” because there are some things that (regardless of research and study that outlines the risks) I’ve consciously decided are not worth giving up…or in other words….are worth the risk.  They are:

  1. Milk in my coffee
  2. Pizza for dinner on Fridays
  3. Small amounts of cheese here and there on things like prepared salads at restaurants….to be honest, I just don’t want to have to ask to “hold it”
Now being a relatively fit guy, who has probably exercised for somewhere between 3-6 hours consistently each week for nearly the last 22 years (or since I could play organized sports), I’ve decided that the only way to see if “Almost Vegan” works for me is to continue my traditional exercise routine in addition to this new nutritional change….below is a summary of my results:
Jan 1- Jan 30
  • 3 lbs. lost (2 lbs. body fat, 1 lb. lean muscle – doesn’t seem like much but for someone that only weighs in the 150’s…these is a decent amount in 30 days…especially since I’m not “trying” to lose weight, and am yet to be “hungry”).
  • 1 lb. body fast lost off of mid-section
  • 1 % overall reduction in body fat
  • 12.75 hours exercised (avg. approx. 3 hrs / week)

Stay tuned next week and I’ll share some of my struggles, successes, recipes, tips, and tricks I’ve learned along the way.  Till then, thanks to my wife for going along with me on this one, cooking dinners for me, and doing her best to find new tasty (or at least not awful) recipes to try.  Also, if you want to stay on top of some good vegan and other healthy cooking recipes consider following these blogs:

http://fuelingood.blogspot.com/

http://marthastoever.wordpress.com/

 

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In Pursuit – 2012 Goals

For the last few weeks I’ve been alluding to the process in which I pursue desired goals, outcomes, achievements, etc.  I’m not sure if it’s just me, but I find much more self-worth and satisfaction with life in general when I’m in the pursuit of something I deem great….and there’s not much better then when I’ve achieved.  But in thinking about it here, I’m not sure what I like more….the achievement, or pursuit thereof.  I mean, the moment of achievement (at Pro-Activity we sometimes call the “Ah-Ha moment”) is an amazing natural high.  It’s something that we can reflect back on…something that stories are built from….something that in many ways can define who we are.

But on the other hand – the pursuit can be just as exhilarating.  The process of setting goals and beginning with the end (that Ah-ha moment) in mind (thanks Steven Covey), and then mapping out a road map to get there, being sure to reflect regularly on progress and check off the appropriate milestones (or mile markers if many of you health goals are endurance related like mine) on your way.  I find that each little check mark helps me grow in strength, ability, and many times more importantly – confidence to act with persistence, as I journey to a better version of myself.

So each year, I take a hard look at the most important aspects of my life and where I can improve, aiming to set goals, follow through, and better myself in each – these areas are unchanging year by year:

    • Family / Personal Relationships
    • Faith
    • Professional Development
    • Health & Fitness
    • Financial Freedom
    • Community Service

I do my best whenever possible to make my goals “SMART” (i.e. Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-bound), and when appropriate, state them publicly because I firmly believe in what I call the “Cone of Influence”, outlined to the right (not sure if I’ve heard this somewhere or just made this up).

So here’s a few (not all) that I’m in hot pursuit of in 2012! (I’ve withheld some goals or specific metrics when not appropriate for disclosure).

Family / Personal Relationships

  1. Be home to attend “family dinner” at least 90% of the time
  2. Take family on vacation
  3. Build a new tradition with friends & family

Faith

  1. Attend 90% of Sunday services
  2. Invest time daily for spiritual reflection & prayer

Professional

  1. Develop into more effective leader & coach through increased wisdom (2 books / quarter), effective planning & reflection (daily), and prepared communication (at least x minutes prior to crucial connection)
  2. Increase strength of professional relationships, personal brand, and size of professional network / sphere of influence by x% via by “x” number of personalized contacts
  3. Strategic growth in the lines of business that I serve

Health & Fitness

  1. Complete Olympic Distance Triathlon on June 3, 2012
  2. Run 5k in less than 18 minutes by year end
  3. Complete 100 resistance / strength training sessions
  4. Go “almost vegan” for 90 days (primarily fruit, veg., nuts, grains)

Financial Health

  1. Establish child’s college fund – YIKES (nothing like planning early)!

Community Service

  1. Volunteer for local community group at least 20 hours
  2. Complete community level charity event

So now that you know where I’m headed, feel free to leave comments or “tweet me” and let me know what you’re in pursuit of in 2012!  Wish me luck, I might need it!

 

 

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Strong in Spirit

I’m going to divert from the plan a little here and instead of delving into my 2012 personal goals, as promised last week, share a story that really had a profound impact on me since my last post.  Maybe it’s my way of recognizing that it was “real”….it was “live”…or maybe it’s just my way to pay a bit more tribute to someone I cared for deeply.  Maybe you can relate….

If you’ve read my last week’s post, you know it was sent from the hospital room…maternity wing to be exact, and done about 24 hours after we welcomed our daughter into the world.  What I didn’t share last week was that the 24 hours leading up to delivery, and the 72 hours post delivery came with a few unexpected hurdles.  With respect to my wife, and not getting to into the details….let’s just say that after 22 hours of labor (I have a reinvigorated respect for all women and all moms!), the doctor ordered a cesarean delivery to minimize any risks or complications.  Thankfully the procedure went well for both Amy & Emma – but as the doctors rushed me and Emma to the nursery for check-ups it was determined that she was born with a slight fever and respiratory infection and would need to go into the “Special Care” nursery, aka Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, for at least the next 72 hours.  This was one of the scariest and helpless moments of my life…..in one room, behind a closed door, my wife was being stitched up, and in the other room, behind a closed door, only minutes old, my newborn was having an IV & antibiotics put in….and I was left in the hallway (thankfully my Mom was there to lend some comfort)….and ultimately I could NOTHING to help them, except pray….ask for help when I couldn’t physically help……so that’s what I did.

Now, before I go on, I need to say that I consider myself someone of strong faith, but it really gets me when I feel another pushing their “religious” agenda on me.  Personally, I regularly practice my faith and think it’s important – but that doesn’t necessarily make mine better or more important than another’s – so please don’t take the rest of the story as a push in any way…just an amazing experience…and one of spiritual strength….

In my prayers, I asked God to take care of Amy and Emma….I prayed to loved ones I’ve lost over the years including my maternal grandmother Grace, best friend John, and most recently, my paternal grandfather Joe….and I asked that they do anything they could to help the situation.

The next 14 hours were a challenge….Amy was confined to her bed (thankfully we convinced the Dr. to let Emma come into our room for 30 minutes so Amy could hold her)  and I was back and forth to the NICU to check on Emma, hold her, and continue to pray.  And as the hours seemed to tick away….both Emma & Amy continued to progress.

About 24 hours after Emma was born, in between visits to the NICU, Amy and I heard what sounded like violin music coming from right outside our hallway…it was loud, and seemed strange to have “live” music in the maternity wing….so I went out in the hallway to check it out….and sure enough, there was what looked to be a high school student with his volunteer ID badge on, playing sheet music right outside our room.  I smiled went back inside the room and thought, “that’s a nice touch” as he played a few familiar songs….and then his next song hit me like a ton of bricks.  With the first few notes of “Danny Boy”, I got chills….a little choked up (then and now as I write this), and at the same time….at ease.

You see, this past summer, when my Grandad (Joe) passed away, it was decided that as his casket was walked out of the church, his favorite song “Danny Boy” would be played in his honor.  It was a spirit-filled moment as his funeral, as we all knew he was headed to a better place……and last week…..with the seemingly “random” violinist outside our door (out of 30 on the maternity wing)….and of all the songs….the violinist…maybe not so randomly chose “Danny Boy” to finish his music set…and again my spirit was full, because in that moment, as I looked at Amy, and struggled to get the words out, “He’s here”, I was confident all would be ok…..and it is.

I believe prayer and spiritual strength can have incredibly profound effects on our physical health, and I’m ever so thankful that I have people and the spirits of those passed on, still with me to help me through life’s unexpected hurdles.

God Bless

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Priorities, Priorities!

So last week I recapped many of the highlights and wonderful fit2be(a)live moments in 2011, and in the weeks leading up…I’ve thought long and hard about what I wanted 2012 to look like. What goals I’d set in each of the important aspects of my life. And as in years past I’ve set goals for myself in the following areas:

1. Family life & personal relationships
2. Spiritual / Faith based
3. Health & Fitness
4. Professional
5. Community Service & Philanthropy

I really try to put my heart into my goal setting. I take lots of time to think and reflect about what I want to achieve…what impact I want to have on this world in 2012…and what experiences I want to have and share with others.

And while I plan to not only share these with my readers and the world (did you know your much more likely to achieve when you share your goals publicly and with people you care about?? ..it’s true!)….you’ll have to wait till next week (please stay tuned) for the details, because priority #1 is finally here!!!

Amy and I are most elated to welcome our daughter, Emma Julieann Eisenhart to the world!

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Reflect With A Smile – 2011 Fit2Be(a)Live Moments & Recap

Rather than spending a ton of time writing and recapping all the amazing experiences of 2011, I thought I’d share some of my favorite with you via photo & video, month by month.  But before I do, just a message of thanks:

To my family, both extended, and immediate – another year goes by, and we continue to grow in wisdom, spirit, faith, and love – thank you for your uncompromising support and unwavering strength through each enriching experience 2011 has brought to us.  Each of you, in your own specific way, help me to be my best.  Semper Familia!

To my clients, colleagues, and all Pro-Activity stakeholders – thank you for providing an unending source of inspiration, countless real “fit2be(a)live” examples…and a reason to bring passion to “work” everyday.  I am and continue to be honored to work with such a dynamic group.

To my readers, although maybe just a few of you, your comments and words of encouragement are heartfelt and appreciated…if you have gained something positive from this blog in 2011, please consider “subscribing” below to receive an emailed version or “following” @ericeisenhart via twitter….consider passing it on to a friend, and maybe ask them to do the same.  I hope in some way, the stories I tell can be a source of encouragement, inspiration, and strength, and that each of us may continue to “pay it forward”.

January 2011 – PACER Team Banquet

Awarded the fastest corporate team at the 2010 VA Beach 1/2 Marathon

Awarded the fastest corporate team at the 2010 VA Beach 1/2 Marathon

February 2011 – Pro-Activity-Trained Wrestlers Advance

8 out of 8 Pro-Activity Wrestlers Competing in the District Championships Advance to the Next Round!

March 2011 – Pro-Activity Crowns 3 Region Wrestling Champions, 1 Runner-Up

Statistically only 7% of wrestlers competing in post-season qualify for State Championships, of those trained by Pro-Activity, 50% advance!


April 2011 – A month of firsts…..my first “I’m going to be a Dad moment”, and my first Boston Marathon – PR 3:04:45

Clockwise:

  • With Dick Hoyt of “Team Hoyt” – Man Who Pushes Paraplegic son through Marathons & Triathlons, including Ironman!
  • Somewhere around Mile 15 running about 6:45 pace
  • Finished….finally, with 3:04:45 PR

May 2011 – A BIG MONTH!

Clockwise starting top left

  • PACER members kick off the season with a little Karoake!
  •  “Do Unto Others” Nick runs 13.1 miles alongside Wandy to a 30 min. PR
  • We complete the “RUNAMUCK”….again
  • Kyle Cyphers “rucks” a marathon in full army attire to raise awareness and donations for those serving overseas!
  • Mike Eisenhart is the first Pro-Activity Ironman after completing “Ironman Utah”!


June 2011 –

BaseCamp 31 officially opens to the public

“A Place to Move, Fuel, Recover, Endure…..and Connect!”

Colleague & Friend Nick Pfaff marries the love of his life….he’s crazy enough to ask me to be the best man!

July 2011 – “I Pink I Can” 9.5 hours (relayed) running in 110 degree heat….in pink…on a treadmill alongside the highway…to conquer breast cancer!

August 2011 – Amy & I reveal to the world (our family) that we’re having a girl (soon I hope!!) by cutting into the “gender cake” with pink filling

September 2011 – PACER team rocks VA Beach…again!

October 2011

First Annual “O’er Hills & Far Away Race” (Ohfar)

Marine Corps Marathon 10/31/11 – 3:02:00 PR


November 2011 – Team Pro-Activity Turkey Trot Record – 150+

December 2011 – the First Annual Pro-Activity Holiday Extravaganza

“A Party with a Cause”….Pro-Activity “stakeholders” race to see who can be first to make perfect sandwiches for a local food pantry in need, before moving on to the next part of the survivor-like themed party!

A Job Well Done....A Year Well Done...Lindsay takes 100 sandwiches to Elijah's Closet Food Bank in New Brunswick, NJ

Stay Tuned for more fun in 2012….Happy New Year to all…..and spread the word, make this year one you’re Fit2be(a)live!

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