My Personal Journey to a Better Life

Real Health in a Real World


WithorWithoutBacon Copyright 2015

Charlotte, NC  United States


You’ve probably heard of “shopping the perimeter” of a grocery store, and this is where this section comes into play.  Generally, the outside walls of the grocery store are where all of the fresh produce and products are.  Think about it, meats, eggs, butters, milks, vegetables, all found on the perimeter of the store.  This is because these foods need to be refrigerated as they spoil quicker.  Stores save money by not running coolant pipes, lights and electricity for refrigerators to the center of the store.  Everything in the middle of the store has a longer shelf life, and doesn’t need to be refrigerated.  These “center” products are generally loaded with preservatives and other added ingredients that we want to avoid.  Sure there are exceptions like Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, Dark Chocolate, Coconut Flour, etc…, but the majority of your time should be spent cruising the perimeter of the store.  

This was actually pretty difficult for me at first.  I’m a sucker for chips and desserts.  I actually used to dip potato chips in chocolate ice cream.  Yeah…  And I kept trying to find loopholes – “well, these are gluten free rice chips, they’re ok” or “but this ice cream is made with coconut milk, not dairy”.  Next thing I know I polished off 2 bags of rice chips and a pint of “ice cream”.  Even though these were better alternatives than what I was eating, they triggered my binge eating and I had to recognize that I should avoid them altogether.  So what I did was train myself to not only not walk down the chip/snack aisle, but to not even look down it.  Just seeing those colorful bags of salty crunchy goodness and I would start to try and justify purchasing something.  Same with the ice cream aisle, and with the pastry section.  Anything cakey with frosting would be devoured in the car ride home, so I put my blinders on when I walked by.  

The information on this website is intended for informational and entertainment purposes only.  It is an opinion blog based on personal research and experimentation.  It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice.  The reader should always consult with a licensed professional healthcare provider before undertaking any diet or lifestyle change.

Foods you should definitely be eating to those you should avoid at all costs.  Get to know about Protein, good and bad Fats, and how to manage the very tricky Carbohydrate intake.

Identify your triggers, whether they be salty, crunchy or sweet, and plan accordingly.  Make a list and stick to it.  Include substitutions.  Instead of chips, get nuts or beef jerky.  Instead of sweets, get some dark chocolate or some blueberries.  The old wisdom is also true, don’t shop hungry when possible.  That’s when I find myself most often justifying questionable purchases that can induce a week straight of bad eating.  Be honest with yourself, know that you can go without, and avoid the triggers.  

Boxes Bags and Wrappers

If you’ve mastered the previous changes, this should be a little easier as we are mainly trying to avoid those toxic oils and sugars.  There are other things traditionally found in processed foods we should be avoiding too; unpronounceable ingredients, preservatives and artificial colors and flavors.  None of these things existed hundreds of years ago, we didn’t need them then, and we don’t need them now.  If someone has to artificially color their product to make it look good, and add unnatural flavors to make it taste good, then the beginning product probably wasn’t that good to begin with.  

A collection of recipes and guides to some of my favorite meals, sides and snacks.  Real ingredients, satisfying and healthy. 

All pictures are property of withorwithoutbacon, jrsphotography, or have been used with permission, and may not be copied, printed or published without written consent. 

Think exercise is a chore?  Don't have time?  No more feeling like a hamster in a wheel for hours on end.  Get results with functional strength training. 

From photography, to gardening, to martial arts, to technology and entertainment, we all need to relax and take time to enjoy things that make us happy.  Here are some of my interests.