Miscellaneous Science

How a House Mover Opened My Eyes and My Resulting Exploration of Diets

June 22, 2017
House at the Lot - House Mover

It is sometimes within the insignificance of significant things when I have a realization.  Perhaps it is a characteristic of myself I am forced to accept or just a general epiphany on life.

The house mover came to take the tiny house away on Father’s Day.  They did not disappoint.  The state trooper escort was set to arrive at 7:00 a.m.  As soon as the paperwork was verified by the trooper they were pulling out.  And, they didn’t let moss grow under their tires either.

Police Escort - House Mover

I was so tickled with the whole thing.  And, a little nervous as I repeatedly popped out of the sunroof to take pictures with a state trooper on our rear. 😉

Two weeks earlier, Mickey, the house mover, and his crew had the house up and on a trailer, which they constructed on-site to fit the house, in about four hours.  Naturally, we brought the kids over to watch although it was really my intrigue that drew us over to spend the morning.

We packed a grill and some food and settled in to watch.  It was impressive.

The Beginning - House Mover

House on Beams - House Mover

On the Truck - House MoverTowards the end I apologized to Mickey for not having my husband grill them some hot dogs.  You know what he said in response?

He drawled back gently, “Oh noooo.  I’m a vegetarian.”

My mouth dropped in my head, but I think I did a good job hiding my surprise on the outside even though I somewhat stammered, “Oh really!”

This is Mickey with my sons the morning of the move.

Mickey the House Mover


I would have guessed him to be the type of guy who frequently dines on sausage gravy and biscuits for breakfast and pot roast for dinner, snacking on deer jerky in between with a freezer full of venison awaiting the next stew.

I followed with, “Oh gosh!  I’m so sorry for offering you a hot dog!”

Of course he was not remotely bothered by my assumption and went on to explain his vegetarian position.

Apparently, Mickey’s wife’s health suffered for decades.  She was first misdiagnosed with lupus and then rheumatoid arthritis, was walking with a limp and was facing hip surgery.  Being an avid reader and finally fed up with her situation she set about researching her ailments.  She found enough convincing evidence to become a vegan.

Several weeks after eliminating animal products from her diet every single one of her ailments completely disappeared.  Decades of suffering ended with her diet change.  Her limp disappeared.  Her hip surgery was cancelled.

Mickey lamented about the pill-pushing doctors who don’t really ask questions or listen to their patients and followed-up with a story of his own.

After being diagnosed with high-blood pressure coupled with high-cholesterol Mickey was placed on a regimen of medications to regulate both.  In short order he was barely able to get out of bed.   He decided he was taking matters into his own hands and cut out the pot of caffeinated coffee he was consuming every morning and upon returning to the doctor, his blood pressure had returned to normal.

He eliminated the meat to assist with lowering his cholesterol.

A vegetarian, salt of the earth house mover from a small town in North Carolina and his vegan wife.  One heck of a house mover and also pretty remarkable to work with.  If you get a chance and take advantage of the opportunity to chat with him, he has some neat stories to tell too.

You can see more of his work at Simmons House Moving or on their FaceBook page here. Make sure you click around and check out some of the structures they have moved.  The work is impressive.  Moving our tiny house pales in comparison.

And, he runs a business born from a single opportunity almost thirty years ago.

Mickey sold our tiny house for a small fee to an elderly man in the foothills of NC.  The man had worn out two travel trailers.

Our house will be perfect for him.

According to the 2010 census, the population of the town where the man lives is 297.  We plan to explore the town limits and search for ‘our’ house just to see where it has landed.  Surely we will be able to find it.  But perhaps it would be wise to give Mickey a call just to be sure.

We had a symbiotic relationship with the tiny house.

It gave us shelter on the banks of a beautiful lake while we developed house plans for the lot on which it sat for many, many years.  We gave it love and attention and filled it’s heart again with the pitter patter of children’s sandy feet and an elderly, blind and sweet dog.  It seemed to overlook our occasional frustrations with it size and oldness (you can read more about that here) and held itself up strong, proud to be our shelter.

It was fate it traveled to the foothills of North Carolina.  We tried to donate the house to Purple Heart Homes, an organization that helps veterans, as I mentioned here, but it didn’t work out.  The organization couldn’t reallocate funds to cover the house-moving expenses.

It just wasn’t meant to be.

It turns out it was needed elsewhere by someone else.  And, after sitting on a make-shift trailer at the top of our lot for two weeks, it is now a home again.

One Last Picture - House Mover

At the Top of the Lot - House Mover

Entourage - House Mover

I know it is an inanimate object, but I like to pretend it’s tummy had butterflies as it crossed the lake.

Crossing the Lake - House Mover

Full of joy and excitement to experience somewhere and someone new.  Untethered from a foundation if only for a brief moment of its life.  No stress about the change.  Just eager anticipation to feel mountain breezes on its clapboard siding and new footsteps, perhaps a little slower moving than the feet of a child, on its worn-down, painted hardwood floors.

We stopped to take a picture of it passing by and then followed it for a while.  As it flew down the road on the trailer, with the police escort out in front, it seemed to smile back at us with an oversized, crooked grin. 🙂

The Smiling House -House Mover

Diets in the 21st Century

Dieting as we know it in the United States has only been around since the mid-twentieth century, with the exception of the grapefruit diet which was developed in the 1930’s.

There was no use for dieting until then because food was never available in such an abundance and in so many convenient ways.  Unless you were royalty many moons ago there generally wasn’t a problem with obesity as we know it today.

Today, there are so many diets that even US News and World Report has a Best Diets Overall Ranking.   You can read how they measured and ranked the various diets here.  And, if you click on a diet within their ranking it will give you a plethora of information about each one.

Here are their top twelve:

1. DASH Diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension)

The aim of DASH is to prevent and lower high blood pressure.  It emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein and low-fat dairy and restricts fat-laden sweets and red meat along with salt.

2. Mediterranean Diet

The goal is weight loss, heart and brain health, cancer prevention and diabetes prevention and control.  It promotes an active lifestyle, weight control and a diet low in red meat, sugar and saturated fat while emphasizing produce, nuts and healthy foods.

3. MIND Diet (Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay)

Prevention of Alzheimer’s disease with brain-healthy foods is the key goal of the MIND diet.  It emphasizes eating from ten brain-healthy food groups:  green leafy vegetables, all other veggies, nuts, berries, beans, whole grains, fish, poultry, olive oil and wine.

4. Flexitarian Diet (tied with Mayo, TLC and Weight Watchers)

Weighing in at 15 percent less than those who eat more meat, those who follow this diet also have a lower rate of heart disease, diabetes and cancer.  Essentially, you are a vegetarian most of the time, but can still eat meat occasionally.

4. Mayo Clinic Diet

Supposedly ones who follow this diet will lose 6 to 10 pounds in two weeks.  Following this plan, you emphasize fruits, vegetables and whole grains.  You eat more, but the foods have less calories.

4. TLC Diet (Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes)

The goal of the TLC diet is to cut high cholesterol.  Fat, especially saturated fat (fatty meat, whole-milk, dairy and fried foods) is cut back substantially.  Fiber is also boosted.  The diet claims to manage high cholesterol without medication.

4. Weight Watchers Diet

The goal of the Weight Watchers Diet is eating better and making behavior changes for a healthier lifestyle.  The program provides a point value to every food and beverage.  Healthier choices have lower points, thus allowing for the consumption of more healthy options.  Points are counted to ensure one doesn’t exceed the daily allotment.  Support groups are also available in-person or online.

8. The Fertility Diet (tied with Volumetrics)

This diet centers around promoting fertility.  The claim is that if you consume good fats, whole grains and plant protein you will see an improvement in egg supply.  Full-fat dairy is also recommended instead of the low-fat varieties.

8. Volumetrics Diet

Volumetrics is very similar to the Mayo Clinic Diet theory.  It advises you to fill your plate with foods that have less calories.  If you eat low-calorie-density foods, which are low in calories but high in volume, it helps you to feel full and thus lose weight.

10. Jenny Craig (tied with Ornish and Vegetarian)

Jenny Craig’s diet theory is centered around the simple act of restricting calories, fat and portions.  The diet has pre-packaged meals that make it easy for someone to do all three.

10. Ornish Diet

The Ornish Diet can be tailored to your needs whether they be to lose weight, prevent heart disease, lower cholesterol or to prevent and treat prostate or breast cancer.  Essentially the more you change what you eat, the more you will benefit.  The diet groups foods in a one to five ranking from most healthy to least healthy.  It also stresses aerobic exercise, flexibility and resistance training.

10. Vegetarian Diet

There are many branches of the vegetarian diet (lacto-ovo, lacto-vegetarians, raw veganism, fruitarian…) and the restrictions vary within each.  However, the one commonality is no meat is consumed.  It claims benefits of weight loss, hearth health and diabetes prevention and control.

As far as some of the other diets that made the ranking:  Mickey’s wife’s Vegan diet tied for number 16.  And, surprisingly the Paleo diet came in at number 36 followed by the Whole 30 at number 38.

I’m not one to follow fad diets, but all of the aforementioned have one thing in common:  there is no fad to them – they are just about making healthy choices!  And, I can definitely go for that!

Now, if I can just choose the carrot to accompany my sandwich and put down the chips!


XO, Melissa the mamabrain at mamabrains


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