My Personal Journey to a Better Life

Real Health in a Real World


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First and foremost, remember, I am not a doctor.  I am merely passing along information that I have learned and/or applied myself with success.  If you have serious health problems like diabetes, heart conditions, cancer, etc… or are seriously overweight, please, please consult with your physician before undergoing any change to your diet.   

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

Making a life change is never easy, and it’s even harder when you are trying to break habits that you have had your entire life, habits that are reinforced by modern media and encouraged by for-profit industry.  Other than possibly close loved ones, you won’t have many supporters as saboteurs will appear left and right throughout your venture.  Friends may feel you are abandoning them, coworkers may think you are odd for bringing your own healthy lunch.  Your doctor may wonder if you’ve switched to another practice.  Even your own body, the one you are trying to improve and preserve, will fight you tooth and nail along the way.  

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

In order to change habits that can be decades old, you have to want it.  You have to be honest with yourself, admit that something isn’t right in your life and that something is missing.  Maybe you don’t feel well, maybe you don’t like the way you look, your clothes don’t fit right or look good on you, you can’t get dates, your loved one makes cracks about your pudge, or a host of other negative aspects that you may be experiencing.  Recognizing that there are things you can improve, and that what you feed your body accounts for a majority of how you look and feel is the first step towards self-improvement.  Once you start fueling your body with the proper ingredients, all other things fall into place.  

Where to Begin?

WithorWithoutBacon Copyright 2015

Charlotte, NC  United States

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.

Get Set,

First let’s look at some of the larger changes you will need to make, and you can decide how you are going to implement them into your lifestyle, either all at once or gradually.

Even as you make positive changes, start to lose weight, and feel better in the process, your body will fight you to put the weight back on.  When we begin to lose weight, our body immediately thinks something bad is happening and that we are in danger, that there is a lack of calories and maybe we are looking at a period of starvation.  Our brain knows this isn’t true, but our other organs and millions of cells don’t.  It takes courage, discipline, and willpower to overcome our own body’s desire to maintain the status quo.  

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.

See, the thing is, your body became comfortable, and adapted to your current lifestyle.  It now sees the extra weight as normal, and the health issues as not a problem as long as you are still alive.  It’s been giving you signs and signals, but they have been subtle.  Aches and pains here and there, the occasional bought of sinus infections or questionable bowel movements, heartburn that comes and goes, etc…   It saves the “Hey Pay Attention” signals for immediate life or death scenarios. 


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.

On Your Marks,

For example, I myself am a cold-turkey type of person.  I will purge my kitchen and start from scratch.  Withdrawal symptoms be damned, I’ll just deal with them and chalk it up to punishment for my previous bad decisions.  This doesn’t work for everyone.  Many people might need to gradually make changes, and implement new routines one at a time.  Look back in your life at major changes you’ve made, those that worked and those that didn’t, and take into consideration your current situation.  If you have a spouse and children, you might not be able to purge the kitchen of all processed foods and sugars, or you will have a riot on your hands.  But there are still ways to make positive changes, and I’ll give you some tips below that will help you out.  Just remember to be honest with yourself and do what works for you.  If something isn’t working, recognize it right away before you do more damage, and adjust where needed.  


If you’re still with me and have been interested in a life of proper nutrition and wonderful health, you’re probably wondering where to start.  Well, it depends on who you are.  Honestly there isn’t a one-size fits all approach to changing your lifestyle.  Every person is different, and what works for one may not work for another.  The end result will be the same, a healthy body being fueled with proper foods, and moving in ways it was designed to move.  But getting there is something you will have to experiment with yourself.