30 Years and Still Learning

ken and loriFirst, I must let everyone know that Lori and I are celebrating 30 years of marriage. Just typing that number is soooo surprising to me. In some ways it seems a lifetime ago, yet in other ways I can remember it like it was yesterday.

Our first car, apartment…everyone of these details is etched in my memory. After we moved out of our duplex, it was condemned. We couldn’t vacuum the carpet because if you vacuumed the 30 year old shag avocado green carpeting, it came up in chunks. I am not exaggerating.

My parents arrived for the wedding pulling a U-Haul trailer. The families from my hometown had come together and given many items that we needed to set up our first home. Kitchen utensils, dishes, table and chairs, a dresser, a small black & white TV, a small couch ,even a washer and dryer. We had no idea how blessed we were in those days.

How rundown was that old duplex? My Dad installed the washer and dryer on the back porch. When the washer would go into spin cycle, literally the whole duplex shook. We could only do laundry when our downstairs neighbors were not home.

With all of the struggles and such, we were blessed. We have had so many precious moments the last 30 years. I remember the twinkle in Lori’s eye when she first was hired as a teacher in San Jose. She was excited and relieved all at the same time. I remember when she told me she was pregnant with Austin, and while the birth of each of our children was an awesome moment, the picture in my mind is one of her sitting up in her hospital bed holding that precious one.

We have some difficult memories also; but for every difficult memory, I can list probably 25 good ones. She has stood by me through the most difficult of times.

30th Celebration

Our actual anniversary was on Sunday, but we decided to go out to dinner a few nights earlier to celebrate. Where? Claim Jumper. I will first tell you that while I have a “high calorie” meal occasionally,  I am usually more nutritionally aware than I was last evening. I was there to celebrate, and I knew I was going to eat more calories than usual. We had a small calamari appetizer, and then a Caesar salad light on the dressing. Next came my entre; roasted tri-tip with shrimp and roasted vegetables. I ate probably ½ of what was on my plate…again not trying to be “healthy” I was simply full.

Why I am still Learning

So far on the evening, I’ve eating more calories than normal and after the calamari, salad, and entre, I have probably eaten 1000 calories. That is not horrid when you consider that a Double Whopper from Burger King totals out at about the same. But again, I’m really not paying attention.

I should have been.

Over the last two months especially, I have been cleaning up my eating habits. If I was to use gardening terminology, I would say I was weeding out various items, and filtering my diet. I had been eating virtually gluten free for weeks, and consumed very little if any processed sugar. Now, don’t get a picture that I’m perfect. I’m not. I still am weaning myself off of artificial sweeteners, but have been drinking more water ,less coffee ,and even cut dairy to a minimum.

To say it quite succinctly; I’m eating clean.

Clean Eating and Cheat Meal Desserts

That brings me back to my evening last night…I should have been paying attention. So far, I consumed about half my meal and packaged the rest to take home; but it is our 30th Anniversary, and we decided to get dessert. I am looking over the dessert menu, and I read the description of the Chocolate Chip Calzone. I knew what I was getting.

In February, I was on a trip to the east coast and while doing some work in a nice coffee shop in Atlanta, I order a nice cup of coffee and a Chocolate Calzone. It was about five bites of dessert and was excellent. This is one of the things I learned on Biggest Loser and have practiced since the show…if I want something sweet, I get something decadent, but practice portion control. No more Family Size Chocolate bars for this man. When reading the Chocolate Chip Calzone description, in my mind I saw the calzone I had a few months ago.

I ordered it.

Plates and Platters of Dessert

About 20 minutes later it arrived…on a platter; not a plate, a PLATTER. The size of one of the five slices of the calzone would have been about the size of the one I had in Atlanta. I ate one slice and a 1/3 of another, and then it hit me. I’m not sure if it was the gluten or the processed sugar, but I started feeling horrible. It only got worse.

By the way, I’m not indicting Claim Jumper. I knew when I walked into the restaurant it was not the paragon of healthy eating. I knew the dessert was decadent. I take responsibility for what I put in my mouth…and last evening, it made me ill.

Heres the point!

1. If you haven’t started your health journey and decadent food is your normal fare what are you doing to your health? Please consider this question.


2. What food does to our body is important and there is a price for what we eat whether now or later.


3. Finally, not everything that tastes good will be enjoyable.