Don’t Wait For The Middle Finger

white haired man in jacket with watch

Photo by Life Of Pix on

Young ones (well, anyone younger than me, aka 50 and younger), please don’t be like me.

I treated my body like it was immortal: nothing I did or didn’t do would have a lasting effect. Despite the little things (which just kept building up) I felt when I turned 30 years old, I kept right on rolling, downing that Crunch Berry cereal while doing virtually no physical activity. The scale didn’t matter, how my body felt didn’t matter, all I cared about was what goody I was going to put in my mouth next to drown out my emotions. I told myself I didn’t care what anyone else thought and I didn’t. The problem was, I just didn’t care, period.

I only looked in the mirror with “tunnel vision”, seeing only my face to put on tons of makeup (to cover up my blotchy skin and apply contour to my double chin) and fix my highly damaged hair but never looking at my body. I cannot remember ever looking at my body just out of the shower.

The year I turned 42 years old, after YEARS of warning signs, was the year my body stuck up its middle finger at me and said, “I’m done”. Thankfully, I have never had high blood pressure or high cholesterol but I became allergic to just about everything, I got sick if anyone looked at me funny, and I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Through diet and exercise over the past 8 years, I have reduced my A1C from 9.0 to 5.7 (my first ever fasting blood sugar was 400). I am very proud to officially no longer have type 2 diabetes and did it on my own.

Unfortunately, there is only so much proper (for me) diet and exercise can do after 42 years of neglect and abuse. Here is a partial list of the issues I am dealing with:

  • Allergy shots for the next 5 years
  • Gallbladder removal 7 months ago
  • Severe intestinal issues that were not resolved by removing the gallbladder. I am still undergoing testing to figure out what is causing this (upper endoscopy, MRI, so much blood work the technician knows me by name). Next will probably be scheduled for a colonoscopy (if none of the current tests reveal anything).
  • Just had a TIA (mini-stroke) in my eye last week. There was no permanent damage but this means more tests (went to the lab two days in a row this week and have 2 MRI scans next week), more doctors (in addition to my allergist, dermatologist, ophthalmologist, primary care, and gastroenterologist, I have an appointment with a neurologist and am waiting for a referral to a cardiologist) AND I had to stop exercising because that TIA could possibly lead to a full-blown stroke (can you say stress?).

To be brutally honest, I have no idea how much of what is still wrong with me could have been avoided if I had cared about myself earlier in life but now, I will never know. All I can do is hang on, say a few prayers, and do whatever I can to get through this so I can (once again) start over on my fitness journey. As soon as I am given some sort of clearance, I am hitting the weights and my neglected exercise bike (there will also be some digging in the yard going on, too, since I was not able to finish planting before this all happened).

So, you young whipper snappers, please. Take a good, hard look at your lifestyle. Take into account that you will not be in your 20’s forever. Our bodies age, whether we want them to or not. How old do you want to feel when you are 30, 40, or 50? Do you want to be able to do whatever you enjoy or would you prefer to get out of breath walking to the mail box? Do what is best (not easiest) for your health now so you do not end up like me.


One Week of Whining (and South Beach Ginger Chicken)


Over the course of the last week, I have been such a whiner! I have been desperately searching for ideas about how to reduce my fat intake without having to buy a ton of new food. So, I have begun diligently tracking my foods again on My Fitness Pal. I then remembered bodybuilders typically eat lower fat, so I am eating a modified “bro” diet but with flavor (lowering my fats, raising my non-meat proteins while keeping my fiber really low). The idea of plain baked chicken breast or fish made me cry BUT I just discovered that Costco sells egg whites!


One of the books I have been holding onto (my sister is a pathological book buyer and gives me some when she purges her inventory) is the South Beach diet. I never got a chance to even open it before last week but I am glad I did! This recipe is amazing! This would be wonderful with just any meat (I have been fantasizing about this with shrimp)!

South Beach Ginger and Garlic Chicken Breasts

I doubled the recipe, poured everything into a baking dish, and baked it at 350 degrees F for about 30 minutes. The chicken was so moist and tender! If you need more fat, you can add a little bit of olive oil to the basic marinade before cooking. The resulting juices were fantastic as a sauce!

I have also bought a few new things to help me get into shape while we try to figure out what is going on with my gut:


This recumbent exercise bike is amazing! After the first use, I did have to put a cushion on the seat due to my bum falling asleep but I have used it every day since I got it without irritating my stomach. It’s a Marcy ME 709.



AND a new scale that has the geek in me squealing with delight!

So, this screen shot is the closest thing to porn you will get from me! Take note that I am currently 49 years old but the results show that metabolically I am 53. I am doing what I can right now to change that but will do so much more once we figure out what the heck is wrong with me!


That’s it for this update! Please, try that South Beach chicken recipe! You will not regret it! Have a great week!

Keto, Atkins, and now Carnivore? Sigh.

Watch out for health buzzwords.

I really hate fads. Atkins was the first. Then Caveman (which morphed into Paleo). Keto is just starting to be a bit more recognized but now I am beginning to see the Carnivore diet. Now that I am sitting here, writing and researching my own book (basically, a simplified companion book to the original “Dr. Atkins Diet Revolution”), I keep running into all these faddish buzzwords that cause me to jerk my fingers from the keyboard before I make a total ass of myself.

I have never (and will never) go on a fat fast (eating nothing but fat) or an egg fast (eating nothing but eggs) or a soup fast (diet? I have no idea what the buzzword associated with this one is) simply to lose weight. If this is what I need to do to lose weight, I might as well buy some Dexatrim and live off of Slimfast shakes (that way, all my hair can fall out like my mom’s did when that is what she resorted to for quick weight-loss).

Fad diets have been around for quite a while (I used to have a women’s style book from the 1920’s that included a “Hollywood Diet” that somehow left out the illicit drugs they were doing in Hollywood at the time). When I first hear about Dr. Atkins’ “Eat Nothing But Bacon And Lose Weight” diet, I viewed it as just another fad. This is why I refused to read any of Dr. Atkins’ books (until I had to).

Now that I have read the books, I am glad I was wrong. What Dr. Atkins did was brought the clinical ketogenic diet (which was designed in 1923 for treating epileptic patients) into the mainstream by eliminating most of the counting (he focused solely on carbohydrates) and, since most of the public would balk at remaining on such a low carbohydrate diet, revealed a pathway back to a somewhat “normal” way of eating.

If you do not know what a clinical ketogenic diet looks like, check out this page: (which has 5 variations of a ketogenic diet) or watch this short video from Charlie Foundation:

And now, there is Carnivore. What is it? Meat, eggs, butter, and cheese. Doesn’t this sound similar to the clinical ketogenic diet? All they did was remove virtually all carbohydrates (I say virtually because the softer the cheese, the more milk sugars, thus carbohydrates, it has).

It’s almost all branding (or re-branding) to sell books, lectures, courses, or products. So, which of these is the best? That is up to you. If you want to limit your food variety and never count, look into the Carnivore diet. If you don’t mind counting a little, then the original Atkins is for you. If you like to micromanage every bit of food you consume, then Keto is the way to go! Just please, do not go on the Cabbage soup diet!

Meeting the Neighbors

Good Post Surgery Monday!

How the H*ll Did I Gain 2 Pounds Overnight?

Once I began this journey (and finally figured out what food my body did and didn’t like) one of the most frustrating things was magically gaining 2 pounds overnight. It happened so much that, at one point, I stopped weighing myself every day (choosing to only weigh myself once a week). I became obsessed with my daily weight, weighing (and limiting) my food and increasing my daily activity so I would lose those mysterious pounds again. Even though I have now adopted a broader view of my weight (I weigh every day but my focus is typically how I am doing over the course of the week). I never really looked into the why of it all. This year, with my renewed focus on my health, this is what I decided to do.

I have been tracking all of my food in My Fitness Pal since June. I had been using a different app on my phone but thankfully, someone told me how to work the app on my phone. I am loving it even more than before, especially since it has a UPC scanner! I am even able to scan a store-brand food item (from a local store) and it pulled up all the information on it! The idea of having to input (or rely on someone’s sketchy input) always made me tired. If you haven’t used it, try it! Grab that family pack of steaks and scan it with the app. It’s (almost) a miracle!

So, I have been going about my business, losing or gaining a pound, and usually I could attribute it to some specific food item, until two days ago. I had an especially busy day and hadn’t eaten as much as usual but what I did eat was typical. The next day, I had gained 2 pounds. The first thing I did was go over my food. Nope, that couldn’t do it. What about fluids? Nope, I drank my usual amount. I did notice, however, that my breathing was a bit off and I felt a bit “swollen.” That’s when I remembered all the dang reading I had done for so many years: my weight gain was caused by inflammation.

One of the biggest issues that is typically addressed within the low carb/paleo/gluten-free community of experts is how some carbohydrates (it seems to mostly be grains but we all know every body is different) cause inflammation within the body. It is usually that inflammation that wreaks havoc on our bodies, causing all sorts of illnesses/health issues. So, if you ate great all day but decide to eat that burger on a hamburger bun and gain 2 pounds overnight, it’s not simply the gluten or carbohydrates (or corn syrup) that caused that weight gain. It could be the inflammation caused by one (or all) of those properties of the hamburger bun that did it.

Or, if you ate fantastic all day, yet still gained that weight, what happened? After thinking everything over and going through my activities of the day, I figured out my weight gain was due to allergies. I had decided to tear apart the front room because it is that time of year when mice are wanting to come inside and I one had boldly walked through the house into that room. I vacuumed everything, rearranging what I could to make it easier for me to move things to clean (storing my son’s items in this tiny house is a bit of a challenge). Two of the things I am still allergic to are dust mites (check) and mice (check).

If I had been lifting heavy things (like lugging buckets of river rocks from one side of the yard to the other) or actual weight training, I could have gained water weight due to my muscles retaining extra water. The point of this post is, unless you truly ate garbage the day before you “magically” gained weight, it could be any number of things that caused that temporary weight gain. There is no need to beat yourself up, starve yourself, or overdose on water. 9 times out of 10, that weight will be “magically’ gone in a day or two, so just breathe. You are doing great!


Doctor Day! My Results Are In!

After 10 years, I am still med free and can officially say I no longer have type 2 diabetes!

A few months back, I went into the doctor weighing 207 with an A1C of 6.9 (normal is 5.6 and below). Keep in mind, I hadn’t been to the doctor in over 5 years and had been eating just about anything I wanted. His instructions were to lose 20 pounds and fix my diet.

So, I pretty much gave up all carbs during the day and ate whatever I wanted for dinner (but stopped eating almost all sweets of any kind, including sugar-free). The first thing I noticed was my desire for food began to lessen. I am now at the point where I may eat a meal and a half to two meals per day. I am just not hungry during the day but I eat something so I don’t get ravenous (and start shoveling any food into my mouth).

Today was my follow-up visit and I managed to lose 17 of the 20 pounds and brought my A1C down to 5.8! Do you see that? I am .2 above normal! It was so funny: he was reading through my blood test results, “kidney function is good, liver function is good, no diabetes … ” and I yelled, “WHAT?” (I think I scared him a little). The rest of the results were perfect. This time, his instructions were to keep doing what I am doing and mostly focus on my weight (I will mostly focus on what I put in my mouth and maybe incorporate some actual exercise if it ever cools off here in Central California).

There is one issue that it turns out I have had since I was 18: gallbladder. I had a CT scan in July and there was a gallstone. He asked about pain, I described the intermittent pain I get, and we came to the conclusion that I have had a messed up gallbladder for 30 years. I have gone to multiple doctors over the years for the pain but they all said there was nothing wrong (even went to the Emergency Room out at County about 15 years ago and after doing no tests, the doctor told me my pain was an ulcer). So, I am waiting for a referral to a surgeon. If I can get this taken care of, I will be even more unstoppable! 🙂


I’m sure you are wondering who I am, since it has been SO LONG since I posted anything! 🙂 I wanted to let you know I am still around and am currently working on this blog. I added a Contact page ( so you can actually send me questions (or make suggestions) AND a basic FAQ ( page! I am also changing/adding to/improving my About Me page (, since it was cold, dull and I hadn’t really read it since I threw it up here.

I was told that, due to my theme, links are not very noticeable, so I will be changing them all to show the URL (so you know it’s a link and not just slightly darker words on the page).

In addition to these changes, I will be posting an update sometime around September 5th. I finally broke down and saw a new doctor (it’s been 5+ years since I left my last doctor’s office in tears and swore I would never walk through his door again). It has been roughly two months since my initial visit and I go in for the follow-up on September 5th. No matter what the results are, I will let you know (just went in for my pre-appointment blood work yesterday).

OH! And my husband is 2 years cancer free! That’s it for now. I hope you are having a wonderful week and remember: my lazy rear-end is most active on Facebook. Here’s the direct link to my page there:

“But You Will Look Like A Man!”

A Year Today – Cancer and Life

It has been a year today since my husband’s surgery to remove a polyp that turned into a cancer diagnosis. It has been one heck of a roller coaster ride. I spend my days alone, while he is at work, yet when he was in the hospital I was like a little child, lonely and weepy, eating everything I could get my hands on, drowning my sorrows in food. It was awful!

Then, when he got home, it was time to play “What can he eat?” It has taken a year for him to be able to eat the fattier cuts of meat without pain or it running right through him. With that year of food uncertainty, I let myself go. It didn’t click how bad it was until I stepped on the scale and it lied to me, telling me I was 201 pounds. I tried it three more times before I realized it was correct. June 3, 2015 (15 days before his surgery) I weighed 176. That was the last time I weighed myself until this month.

I am happy to say that not only is he STILL cancer free but he has decided to begin exercising to build up his strength! So, while we slowly figure out how low carb/keto he can go, I am taking it slow. Very low/possibly keto during the day, then a normal dinner together (which is much better now that there are no children in the house again). And this is my current favorite exercise (which I have already posted on my Facebook page, so sorry about the duplicate):

Kettle Bell Swings

I actually read about them in the “4 Hour Body” by Tim Ferris. I knew what a kettlebell looked like. Heck, I even carried one into the house when my son was moving but I had never looked into exercising with it. So, I stole it from him (well, borrowed it). I began lowering my carbs and exercising March 29th. Day one, I managed to do 20 kettlebell swings. That was it for the week. I was wobbly and sore. The next week, I did 26 swings. This week, I have done 30 on Monday and 48 today. Since March 29th, I have lost a whopping 2 pounds according to the scale but I have lost 10 inches all over my body!!!! My goal is to work up to 3 times per week with as many as I can do while still keeping good form. I can truly feel this all over my body (in a good way) so this is the exercise I am having hubby do. Thanks to the work he currently does, it won’t be too long until we will have to purchase a heavier kettlebell (since his first day he did 50, which was Wednesday … I need to write that down).

This exercise has not aggravated my carpal tunnel (which decided to flare a bit, thanks to writing a book) or a gem of a gangleon cyst that formed at the base of my right middle finger (no, I didn’t get it from overuse) OR my still-slightly-tweaky shoulder. I am hoping to take almost-before pictures tomorrow (kinda hard when I am alone). Not sure if I will post those or hold onto them to include with “progress” pictures.

I do have an entire folder of recipes to go through and share here (313 at last count) but if you want to see anything more immediate, please join me on Facebook. It’s so much easier to share there (

The “After” Myth

2015. So Far

This year has taught me a lot and it’s not even over yet. I have learned that, despite being alone for 8 hours per day, 5 days per week, I do not like being without my husband. I learned that, no matter how long I was physically away from my family, we still truly love each other and can have a wonderful experience through a very dark time. I have also learned that I can eat whatever I want as long as I accept that my body will hate me for it.

In May of this year, my mom was diagnosed with liver cancer. Stress, worry, and the fact that we are a 15 hour drive from my family felt like too much to bear. While my brain kept trying to figure out some magical way to manifest the money to make the trip, I went through bouts of hardly eating anything the entire day to eating everything in sight. Thankfully, my blood sugars did not react adversely to these binges.

A month later, after a colonoscopy, my husband was in an operating room, which was supposed to be a pretty routine surgery (removal of a polyp) but in the course of the surgery, they found carcenoid tumors. He was in the hospital for 4 days and I sat here, crying and binge eating anything I could get my hands on (while extremely thankful we had no sweets in the house). Between June 1st and August 1st, my mom was going through chemotherapy and surgeries while my husband was undergoing surgery, and tests that even the lab technicians had to look up, since they are done so rarely. Around August 1st, my husband got the “all-clear” (his tumors are non=aggressive and they saw no signs of more) but he will have to go in at regular intervals to make sure no more appear.

Unfortunately, my mom was not so lucky. They were finally able to shrink the tumor enough to do surgery and discovered it had not only damaged her liver too much but had spread. On August 18, 2015, one more beautiful star was added to the heavens. She was a beautiful woman who, despite the trials she dealt with throughout her life, always had a smile on her face and love in her heart. Due to our distance, it had been too many years since we had seen each other. With normal life events getting in the way it becomes so easy to say, “I’ll visit next year” (which was our original plan). My husband had not had the chance to meet her and now he will only in the stories we share with him. We drove down there for her memorial service (non-stop, which I really do not recommend if you are not accustomed to driving that distance without sleeping) and I saw not only my immediate family but some of my family from Mexico who I had not seen in 33 years. It is amazing how, despite that many years apart, it was like we had never been separated. We laughed, cried, hugged, and loved together. It truly was beautiful, despite the sadness of our reason for reuniting.

I am still reeling from the emotional roller coaster of this year. I have gone from 176 pounds up to 186 (possibly closer to 190 but I stopped stepping on the scale for a while) and now, am back down to 176 pounds. My body has been extremely angry with me this entire time. As I binged, my lower legs would bloat so bad it hurt to walk. I had extreme intestinal issues and my kidneys actually hurt (all this without blood sugar spikes). When I stopped eating, my blood sugars would eventually dip to dangerous levels, with me becoming so exhausted that it took all my energy to eat anything. Thankfully, those days were rare. I’ve come back from Arizona a little sick. I keep telling everyone I’m just allergic to California but I’m pretty sure it’s the massive amount of smoke in the air. You could see it as a light brown layer all across the valley as you were heading out of the mountains. The first night home, I had to use my inhaler for the first time in about 6 months but thankfully, none of my extraordinary allergies have returned. I am on the mend but the emotional toll this year has taken has me still quite exhausted. I think it’s time for lunch (Del Real Chicken Asado, shredded cheese, sour cream and jalapenos). Thank you all for being here. 🙂

Get Keto Quick … I Mean Get Rich Quick Schemes

I just received a message from someone on Facebook about a fantastic line of products that will get you into a state of ketosis in 3 hours.  From the little I read, you drink two of their drinks (two separate products), eat their “special treat”, then subsidize the rest of your calories with meat and veg.

O.k.?  Well, if any of you have read any of my blog (at all), you can receive the same results in just a little more time for the one time low, low price of … FOOD!  No gimmicks, no special drinks, no special bars to buy.  Just buy some meat and there you go!

I will not tell you the name of the product (or the name of the person who sent me the message) but just do me a favor, everyone.  Remember these words: There are no quick fixes for better health.  It doesn’t matter which eating plan you decide to embrace.  It took us quite a while to ravage our bodies.  For me, it took 42 years to put my body into shut-down mode but it only took 12 months to recover (see that?  Not another 42 years or even 42 months … only 12).

If you truly feel the need to embrace some quick fix fad, go ahead.  I will still be here when you get back, posting recipes and occasionally being a human and posting words I type.

I Have An Amazon Store!

I know I’m a bit slow.  I’ve been sitting here coding a website, getting feeds going, cleaning up my three blogs, and I just (last month) found out about Amazon stores!  lol  Yeah, I was on someone else’s blog and clicked on their store.

And voila!  Everything that they like was listed right there for all to see!  So, I made one up with the books, items, and foods I’ve either reviewed (and liked) or eat on a regular basis.  I know for a fact that I have forgotten a lot of things, so I will be adding to it as I remember.

Here it is:

You can also access it from the top menu and the side bar (to the left).

OH!  And they have copies of the original Dr. Atkins’ Diet Revolution AND his Dr. Atkins’ Diet Cook Book (many of the recipes I have shared here).

One more note: I will be adding guar gum to my cooking ingredients since my husband was recently diagnosed with gluten intolerance (not sure yet if it’s celiac disease or not), so I’m trying to bake him some good gluten-free replacements.

With that already being in the house, I may try some of the recipes that call for it and see if that really made a difference and let you guys know.

Quick Update

As I’ve said before, I flew off the rails once I discovered my fish/seafood allergy was gone. Well, life (my subconscious, the gods) have a funny way of throwing me back on the rails. As I’ve noted before, my husband has had health issues that coincided with not only my type 2 diabetes diagnosis but my first go at Atkins. It was the “New Atkins New You” version, though which version does not really matter. HE did not eat low carb and when I look back, I think I shoved even more carbs in their diet (my son was still with us then) because I did not want them to feel deprived (like I did at the time, having not only given up sugar and carbs but all seafood too, which we lived on at the time). Well, 5 years later, we have a bit of a diagnosis (we’ll know more in a week or two) but the initial diagnosis for my husband’s ill health is gluten intolerance (or allergy). They did biopsies Monday for celiac disease. Well, having almost no gluten free foods in the house, I’ve gone lower carb. lol In two weeks (this is how much I was eating before), I’ve lost 5 pounds. I can feel that most of that was water but the better part of this story is I have begun to exercise again!

One morning last week, I walked into the back yard, looked up at the beautiful blue sky, smiled and stretched, then realized my shoulder didn’t hurt! I’ve been working on my shoulder this entire time, paying attention to how it’s positioned when I did anything (from sitting here at my computer to cleaning the house). I just didn’t realize how good a job I had done on it until that morning. So, I moved my barbell out of the garage, hauled some of my weight plates into the back yard, and now am working out in the fresh air (early enough in the morning so I don’t burn myself on the sun-baked metal).

So, I have begun tracking my workouts on Fitocracy AND am tracking my food on MyFitnessPal (the good, the bad, and the ugly … why not track everything so I can see it all), have updated my stats and posted a new picture from last month (being girly in the apron I sewed, at 181 pounds). I’m not rushing into dropping my carbs too low because at this point I think my head would explode. I need to find foods for my husband. It’s truly amazing how many foods out there contain wheat that really shouldn’t (Knorr Chicken bouillon granules and Kikkoman Soy sauce, just to name a couple of the most surprising ones). I’ll be experimenting with various gluten-free mixes to find things that will satisfy him, so we will be eating those together. I’ll also be trying out some of the more complicated recipes I’ve posted (I was a boring eater, pretty much eating the exact same things week after week).

Quick Update – Dead Scale

So, two days ago my scale died.  I don’t think it was due to shock but just before it went completely blank, it said (no, yelled) that I weighed 183 pounds.  So, according to it, since I cut back on smoking a week before, I had gained 11 more pounds!  I hope it was my scale going a bit crazy but I have no way to know for sure.  What I DO know is, for the first time in two years, I have been retaining water badly (as in my calves feel like they will burst if poked).  I upped my water intake and my lips do not feel like I’ve been injected with Botox but it’s disturbing.

I also went a bit crazy when I stumbled onto some videos of Callanetics.  I stole … I mean borrowed the original book from my mom but can’t stand working out from a book.  That’s when I found these videos and I’m tickled.  🙂  After the first day, my neck muscles were killing me, then my triceps, then my stomach muscles.  My stomach muscles took three days for me to stop wincing every time I stood up!  🙂

So, that’s it for now.  Time to have some more coffee!  Have a great day!

The 2015 Version Of You – Setting Goals

And another fantastic bit of wisdom shared by Elliott Hulse. I’ve never really been a goal setter. No, that’s not true. I’ve never set big, life-altering specific goals for myself. I set small ones all the time (like finishing a project) but I have always found it difficult to not only figure out “what I want to be when I grow up” but how long it should take to get there and what specific steps I need to take.

That’s where I find myself now. I am now, at the age of 46, truly looking at my life and, by attempting to define who I am at this moment, doing my best to figure out what direction I want my life to take (basically, who and what I want to be when I grow up). I’m going much deeper than the typical New Year’s resolution (which I don’t do).

So, this blog post by Elliott has come at the most opportune time!

A Fit and Healthy 2015 Starts With Your Mind

And now, for some truly helpful advice.

Update: January 3, 2015

Well, before the recipe post-fest commences, I thought I would give everyone a proper update. My stats have been updated, reflecting my weight and size gains since August.

In case anyone is unaware, I injured my shoulder when I re-started this journey in August of 2013. I hadn’t lifted weights since high school and immediately envisioned myself becoming Arnold Schwarzenegger (wow … I spelled his last name correctly the first time) at his prime. I lifted too heavy, improperly, and tweaked my shoulder. I tried working around it but eventually (August of last year) it became so painful I could barely move my arm. So, as I always do, I self medicated. I stopped moving my arm as much as possible, took ibuprofen, and learned to knit (even knitting for extended periods of time was hurting the dang shoulder).

About a month ago, I realized I was no longer waking up every morning with shoulder pain (only roughly 4 times per week), so I started slowly trying to test the waters. That’s when I realized I had greatly decreased my range of motion. I could not lift my elbow to shoulder height and forget bringing my hand around to my back (I had switched to bras that hook in the front … tried wearing my old one and the pain in my shoulder was excruciating). So, I have spent the past month slowly working my shoulder. I move it just enough so I have mild pain, making sure I don’t go past that point (August was when I got frustrated and impatient so I just grabbed the pull up bar and hung from it, sending a shooting hot pain through my shoulder). As of yesterday, I have actually been able to lift some weights AND almost assume a full-blown push-up position with little discomfort!

So, this quite possibly will be a New Year for me! My weight machine has been so lonely. 🙂

Happy New Year!

grumpy-cat-happy-birthday-gif-i8newyearsWell, it’s that time of year again.  I see a lot of new visits and, having been MIA for few months, it’s time for me to stop hibernating and start posting more recipes (right?).

This post is for any new readers (and old ones who feel stuck).  I truly believe that no single way of eating is appropriate for everyone.  Anyone who says that is delusional or just wants your money.  What we each need to do is to find what makes our bodies the happiest.

I know some people who feel their best following Weight Watchers.  I know some who follow the newer version of Atkins (seems there is an even newer version, which I have not looked into, called Atkins 40 or something along those lines) and do quite well.  I know some who are straight up paleo who are doing fantastic and others who need to maintain a low carbohydrate way of eating in order to maintain their optimum health.

What I’m trying to say is, if something isn’t working for you, you don’t have to abandon it: play with it.  If I had stuck with just one option, I would have never achieved the level of health I have.  In August of 2013, I was a recluse.  I could not go out in public without a face mask (due to my many allergies, from perfumes to cleaners to foods).  As of today, despite being 11 pounds heavier than my lowest weight, I am virtually allergy free AND my blood sugars have remained in check. All that despite straying away from my nutritional ketogenic way of eating (high fat, moderate protein, low carb).  I can even eat potatoes and regular bread with no health consequences (as long as I don’t mind putting on a little weight).

What I hope for all of you is for you to decide this year is the year you will commit to becoming the healthiest version of you.  Do not compare yourself to others.  Compare yourself to you.  Any progress is better than no progress at all.

So, what do you say?  Shall we both begin 2015 on a healthier note?  I’ll setup some recipes that I’ve been hoarding away to post over the next couple of weeks (roughly 2 per day).  That should give you some ideas about the variety of foods that can be had in any low carbohydrate way of eating.  Who wants to live on hamburger patties and eggs?

Gyro Jerky is amazing…


New Picture

Well, I’ve been doing nothing physical all week.  I decided to teach myself to knit.  These aren’t perfect but I learned what I did wrong so, with the next hat I’ve already started, hopefully it WILL be perfect.  I had hubby take this picture to share on Facebook.  Less than 5 minutes after I posted it, my son called (he moved to Michigan this year).  The first thing he said was, “Dang, Mom, you have lost A LOT of weight!”  The second?  “Don’t ever wear that stuff in a picture again.  It makes you look old.”  LOL!  Here I am: new hair cut, color, knitted items, and 162.8 pounds!

August 30, 2014

August 30, 2014

August 22, 2014 Update – Salonpas and Kippered Snacks

Well, this is the week I’m slowly climbing back on the wagon (ran out of popcorn shrimp lol). I’ve finally updated My Stats and surprisingly, I’m down (weight wise) from the last time I updated it! I am two pounds higher than I was before I went on my seafood binge (pretty good for how high my carb counts have been lately) and my blood sugar is still within normal ranges.

I’ve also decided to begin implementing a split weight training routine and, boy, what an eye opener! Monday I was able to do cable deadlifts and squats to 80 pounds. When I isolated my thigh muscles (leg extensions and standing leg curls) I could only manage 10 pounds! I’m doing what exercises I can from Arnold Schwarzenegger’s “Encyclopedia of Bodybuilding” but without killing myself this time around. I still have to be careful with my shoulder. Speaking of shoulder, if you have any aches and pains, you need to find (buy and use) Salonpas pads.

Sunday, my tendonitis was so bad I had a constant burning all the way down to my elbow. Hubby said his co-worker swears by these, so we bought some. I wore one for 8 hours. Slept like a baby (no waking up having to use my other hand to move my arm) and have done weight training 4 out of 5 days this week with no pain! You HAVE to try these! OH! But you will smell like Pepto-Bismol (which I loved so had no problem with that).

I have another suggestion for you. For a quick snack that has roughly 19 grams of protein, 13 grams of fat, and 190 calories, you need to try Kippered Snacks. It’s smoked herring. I grew up eating these and started crying when I realized I could eat them again!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Low carb courgette (zucchini) lasagne.

Stiffened Whipped Cream with Gelatin (sustainably-sourced)

A little vanilla, eat it with a spoon! lol

Spicy Cheese Thins

Cheez Its were my downfall … I could sit and eat almost and entire box before finally feeling the salt bloat. I MAY try these … may not (slippery slope and all that). 🙂

From garden to ranchero

Ranchero Sauce, anyone?

Update – Seafood Tests Completed

When I first began this journey, the first foods to be eliminated (before sugar) were all seafood. My allergy was so severe that I didn’t even try seaweed just in case (I’m not sure if I mentioned but I could not even be near aquariums). So, that eliminated a lot of food establishments. If it was a small diner, they usually used to the same frying oil for french fries as they did for fish filets. Most of the Southeast Asian restaurants use fish sauce. Many barbecue restaurants use Worcestershire sauce (which has anchovies) and I couldn’t even think about Caesar dressing (again, anchovies).

Well, yesterday was my final test. I had mussels … with no reaction. As of today, I have eaten fresh water (tilapia) and salt water (tuna steak) fish, crustacean (shrimp) and shellfish (mussels) with no need to use my epi-pen. I am truly free. AND that has been my dilemma. Friday, hubby and I were on our way to do our bi-monthly shopping and he asked me what I wanted for dinner (figured we wouldn’t have time to cook once we got home) but he added, “since you can eat anywhere you want.” That’s when it hit me. I can eat wherever, whatever I want. 4 1/2 years of extreme limitation that had nothing to do with carbohydrates and now I have total freedom!

So, I’ve been living a bit loosely this week. My average carbohydrate intake has been around 75 grams per day (with normal blood sugar readings) because I can eat wherever I want AND whatever I want! LOL! I even ate Popey’s chicken today (they fry their seafood in the same oil as everything else). I know this is temporary. I will get back on track (I’ve put on 4 pounds this week) but I wanted to disclose that I am human, too. I have made decisions that have thrown my body for a loop (and 1 mistake … crepes at IHop).

Everything we put in our mouth (or don’t) is a decision we make. Every exercise we do (or don’t do) is a decision we make. We have the power (an image of He-Man just popped into my head) to do whatever we choose, beneficial or not. Despite the shakes I got in the beginning when I “couldn’t” eat those Cheez-Itz that I could smell from a mile away, I was not (and am still not) addicted to carbs. It was all a habit. The same with smoking. I am a smoker (have been for going on 27 years). I have quit a few times. It was the habit of smoking that was the hardest to give up. I smoked like some people drink alcohol (or do drugs). I smoked to escape. It was my “quiet time”, smoking outside away from the kids (or when stressed, it calmed me). It was what meditation can be.

And it’s the same with whatever food we think we can’t live without. If I didn’t have type 2 diabetes, I would be in big trouble. Sweets have always been a big issue with me (natural, as in fruit or man-made). If they were in the house, I kept eating them until they were gone (there is no “just have one” for me). This is why, now, I am thankful for my diagnosis. If this hadn’t happened, who knows how bad my health would have gotten. As of this morning, I am at 166.6 pounds and my morning blood glucose reading was 76. Tonight’s dinner will be grilled shrimp skewers (salt, pepper, butter, and garlic) and MAYBE even a salad. 🙂

Lemon Cheesecake

Yum! No Bake Cheesecake!

Amazing Update – Our Bodies are Truly Amazing

January of 2010, as I have noted before, I was rushed to the E.R. I had developed an allergy to scallops, which branched out to all fish/seafood, then to latex, then to certain chemicals, etc. Two months later, I was diagnosed with not only type-2 diabetes but my Vitamin D levels were in the single digits. I worked on the diabetes and started taking Vitamin D supplements but I read that many adult-onset allergies can be “outgrown”. I told hubby that I would test myself in 5 years.

Fast forward to Monday of last week. I was sitting here, thinking, and then a realization hit. I hadn’t had to wear a face mask in public in about 4 months. I also hadn’t had to wear one when working outside in the yard. So, I decided to test myself. See, in 2010, when we were scouring the house of all fish-related products, we tested Worcestershire sauce. I put a little on my finger, touched my tongue, and was immediately hit with an itching wave that shot down my tongue, into my throat. I performed this test on Monday of this past week and nothing happened. So, I decided to try some actual fish.

As of this moment, July 25, 2014 at 3:40 pm, it has been an hour since I ate a grilled tuna steak and having NO REACTION WHATSOEVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! OMG! I just realized I can now start posting fish recipes! 🙂

Next test (next pay day) … shrimp. That’s what I miss the most. AND I may be able to handle it. My allergy to fish had gotten so bad that just walking near the aquariums in Bass Pro Shops made be unable to breathe last year and today I shoved my nose (not literally) into a bag of fresh mussels and had no reaction. I can’t tell you how thrilled I am! I’ll go measure myself and post my number on my stats page (I bought my first new pair of shorts and they are a comfortably loose 32 inch waist) and am 2 pounds down from last week (164 pounds).

Update – July 15, 2014 – Blood Sugar Success

Well, this past week has been busy and full of experimentation.  My typical physical training went out the door, due to the weather and my improved mental state (and physical).  When we bought this house, there was so much that needed to be done (and only a month to complete it before we moved in) that we focused on the main areas of the house (you know, the areas that we did not want to move furniture to finish painting).  So, that’s what we did.  I worked like a mule.  We had to rip out carpet, deodorize and seal the floors (dogs were allowed to do their business anywhere they pleased), scrape as much paint as we could, prime and paint, plus clean like crazy!  Heck, I had even managed (by the skin of my teeth) to get a garden in that year.  Well, it’s taken me 2 1/2 years to build my strength (and health) back up but I have to say, our house is finally on its way to being our “home”.  Two weeks ago, I focused on the kitchen.  I’m still in the process but pulled up the linoleum in 2/3 of it (still have to deal with the area where the fridge is) and now I’m focusing on the kitchen cabinets and finishing painting (figured I should do that before making the floor in that area pretty).  With my brain, though, I’ve also managed to get the basic structure of our front yard in place (all that I need to do is add to it, now) AND we pretty much have a working (as in cat-urine carpet pulled up, everything rearranged to enable us to work without catching anything on fire) garage.  All this I logged as yard work on Fitocracy, since there is no listing for “scraping paint”.

On the blood sugar front, I decided to test what I can and cannot eat.  I started testing with crackers (Wasa Sourdough, which only have 9 carbs total per cracker) and not only did my blood sugar not spike, I didn’t gain an ounce.  Then, Friday came (and so did the biggest test for me).  Pizza.  As in real New York style pizza, crust and all.  I ate 2 slices that first night, then 2 more the next day.  Guess what?  My blood sugar went from 89 pre-meal to 91 post-meal! Can you believe that?  I bet you CAN believe that since Friday, though, I have gained 4 pounds!  😀  It was worth it to see that, eventually, I will be able to incorporate more carbs into my diet without solely focusing on my blood sugar (for those who may not recall or were not here then, in August of last year, bell peppers spiked my blood sugar).

So, as of this morning, I am at 170.4 pounds (still a loss of 41 pounds) and despite the bloating and intestinal discomfort (this time both hubby and I are constipated, since I bought him a ton of bread, too) I feel fantastic!  I am thrilled that this is my turning point.  It has been just about a year since I refused the meds my doctor wanted to give me went low carb/keto.  It’s been about a year since I cut my carbs so low that some days I was lucky to take in 10 grams.  So now, I think my main focus can shift to weight/inches lost and strength gains.  I’m one happy and grateful woman!

June 28, 2014 Update – 45 pounds gone

Well, I’ve spent the past couple of weeks basically scooting around on my bum, pulling up linoleum and scraping paint. I stretch every day but my left leg, by the end of the day, was still numb. So, I broke down and bought a proper exercise pad, an expensive piece of ABS pipe (foam roller) and torture balls (I mean, la crosse balls) so I can actually do all the stretching for DeFranco’s Limber 11:

Let me tell you! Imagine someone VERY strong jabbing their bony elbow into your bum muscles, and that’s what the move with the la crosse ball feels like. So, though my stretching may have been helping something, it was doing nothing for my pinched sciatic nerve. I was in tears when I finished but I’m tired of walking around with a floppy leg by the end of the day.

I’ve update my stats. As of Wednesday (because the loss has stuck that long), I have officially lost 45 pounds since August of last year. I now weigh 166 pounds (started at 211). So, if I was your normal average joe, I could be only 16 pounds from my goal weight. The problem with that is, I don’t have a goal weight. I know how I want to look and feel. I can’t put a number on that. I don’t even have a goal clothing size or measurements. I want to be a softer version of “The Rock” with breasts AND be able to go turn soil by hand all day long. I also want to be able to have my glass of mead a couple of times a year without it messing up my blood sugars.

So, here is my before and afters of my dining room (my exercise for the past two weeks). Before I go, I will do my best to get some more recipes scheduled. I have so many set aside that I don’t want to bombard you by posting them all in a few days.

Dining Room Before

Ripped up the linoleum to reveal these lovely linoleum tiles.

Ripped up the linoleum to reveal these lovely linoleum tiles.

June 14, 2014 Update – Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Dud and MYO Liquid Sucralose

So, I was all prepared to post a wonderful sugar-free recipe for mint chocolate chip ice cream. I even had my phone charged and ready to take that close up. Then, I tasted it. I didn’t have mint extract, so I used peppermint eo (essential oil). Although I did not use the same amount, I’m not sure if it is the EO or I put too much but OMG! It is bitter! The first taste isn’t, but the second spoonful produces this strong bitter taste on the back of my tongue. I was (and still am) so disappointed! I’m REALLY hoping I just put too much, so I’ll be making some vanilla today and we’ll mix the two up and see what happens. PLEASE let it be the amount! I want to post the recipe so bad!

I’ve updated my stats. So, I’ve come to the conclusion (just because I can) that I only lose weight when NOT doing my weight training! lol I haven’t trained all week (at least I don’t think I have … no. My last training session was Thursday, I believe). AND I’m down 3 pounds and 3 1/2 inches all over. I don’t think it’s stress (or release of stress) since I’ve been eating my normal average. Perhaps it’s the change in eating. I’m not sure. The only physical anything I’ve done all week is stretching (a lot … still having issues with my lower legs and shoulder) and I’ve been out of the house three out of 5 days (highly abnormal for this hermit).

Last week I made a conscious effort to get in the proper amount of protein/fats instead of just looking at my percentages. I had noticed one day last week that, although my fat/protein/carb percentages are always between the appropriate ranges, the total grams of protein were low for the weight training I was doing (not to mention my total calories … difficult to get in 1200 calories most days). So, I upped everything and you can see the results. Maybe I’m not doing enough training for the amounts I calculated … I’m not sure. I’ll have to go double check. I do know that I was getting to the point of wanting to add weights AND, now that I’m in “looking back” mode, I wasn’t nearly as out of breath as before. I was scared of hurting myself, I think. Time to go back to reading “Becoming a Supple Leopard” (my attention deficit left that book at page 52).

I’m also testing out a new-to-me program: Calorie King. I’m not sure. While the selection of foods is much cleaner than what is on My Fitness Pal (looks like the actual amounts, not what some idiot just threw in there), it’s limiting and almost tiring when I look at how much food I’m going to have to input. I have also decided I’m no longer going to count the carbs in pourable Splenda. It’s just not worth my brain freaking out when I come close to my threshold of carb intake and the idea of giving up any form of sweetness makes me irritable. The liquid versions are not an option … much cheaper to go down to Costco and buy the big bag than search online for a liquid equivalent that will end up costing more … looks like I might be wrong. I just did a search and you can buy the straight-up pure sucralose powder and mix up your own liquid sweetener. Hmmmmm … (can you hear my brain working?). I’m eyeballing this one:

It looks like the percentage for mixing sucralose powder is 25% powder to 100 % liquid (that was the unscientific version I found … basically, water can only absorb 25% of sucralose powder, so put some powder in a container, and add enough water so it is no longer cloudy). Here’s what I found that requires math skills (this was posted on Springpad but since that site is closing down, I’m going to copy the entire thing:

Sucralose Dilution by foggybeach

I received my 2oz ‘Quick Sweet’ Sucralose powder in the mail today (ordered on 2nd, received on 7th 😉 It appears exactly the same as the 22oz Sucralose powder I ordered from Best Body Products (makers of FiberFit) in 2003…a white fluffy powder.

Should one wish to make up this 2oz amount into a ‘Sweetzfree’ equivalent, just mix the contents with 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon water. (for cyberus 😉

PS: I make up 1 cup at a time and refrigerate…no problems or mold in the 6 years I’ve been doing this…


Liquid Sucralose = 5 Tablespoons Sucralose Powder mixed in 1 cup water (1/4t = 1c Sugar)
(you may make up smaller amounts using 3 1/8 teaspoons water per each teaspoon Sucralose powder)


Given that Sucralose powder is 600 times sugar:

1t. Sucralose powder = 12.5 cups sugar (600/48)
1/2t. Sucralose powder = 6 1/4 cups sugar (12.5/2)
1/4t. Sucralose powder = 3 1/8 cups sugar (6.25/2)
1/8t. Sucralose powder = ~1 1/2 cups sugar (3.125/2)
1/16t. Sucralose powder = ~3/4 cup sugar (1.56/2)
1/32t. Sucralose powder = ~1/3 cup sugar (0.78/2)

Given that Liquid Sucralose is 200 times sugar:

1t. liquid Sucralose = 4 cups sugar (200/48)
1/2t. liquid Sucralose = 2 cups sugar (4/2)
1/4t. liquid Sucralose = 1 cup sugar (2/2)
1/8t. liquid Sucralose = ½ cup sugar (1/2)
1/16t. liquid Sucralose = ¼ cup sugar (1/2 / 2)
1/32t. liquid Sucralose = 1/8 cup sugar (1/4 /2)

To prepare 1 cup liquid Sucralose from Sucralose powder:

1c water = 8floz = 16T = 48t = 192 1/4t requires 9216t (192*48) sugar equivalents to = a strength of 200 times sugar (1/4t = 1c sugar).

AZJeanne measured 1oz Sucralose powder to be approximately 4T (or 12t) powder (I confirmed ;-). Therefore 12*600 is the equivalent of 7,200t sugar per oz of product. I have seen no official specification of serving size per ounce of Sucralose powder to date ;-(

Thus it will take [(a ratio here 😉 1oz is to 7200t as X is to 9216t. Cross multiplication gives 7200X = 9216, X= 9216/7200 or] 1.28 oz Sucralose powder per cup of water to achieve a strength of 200 times sugar…the 1/2oz Sucralose powder to 1 cup of water I’ve been using (per my previous post) is not correct but has kept me satisfied for 6 years LOL!


Sweetzfree is also a very strong concentration (~25g Sucralose per 100ml water).

June 6, 2014 Update

There isn’t much to say this week. I’m tired and will go back to bed after I post this. My stats are posted … not much has changed except an increase of 1/2 inch for my upper belly roll and I’m 3 pounds heavier than last week (which hopefully will go down after I get up later). I forgot until I stepped on the scale (and flipped it the bird) twice that how much my weight fluctuated when I was consistently (wow … huge flock of geese just flew over my house … the best sound EVER) training, which I have been.

AND my weight training has been going great! I have managed to not hurt myself (thanks to switching to cable exercises and the roughly 40 minutes of stretching I’m doing every day) and am thinking I actually might be able to begin adding weight again (I’ve been sticking with one weight until I built myself back up). And yesterday’s training was great! I felt so good after the weights that I did dance moves that no living human should ever see for almost half an hour afterward (the music helped … SOAD, Aerosmith, Godsmack, Metallica, Korn … fantastic!).

Mentally, I’m in wind-down mode. One situation that my husband and I had been dealing with has somewhat been resolved but … life! It would be so lovely if all we had to worry about was what goes on within the four walls of our own house without outside influences shoving their bitchy selves in. I better stop before I say what I’m really thinking and those words become part of some NSA database for eternity (instead of just in my head).

I have some recipes set aside to share. I hope to get those up and scheduled to share sometime today. Just to warn everyone: I’m on a mission to create low carb ice cream … I just need an ice cream maker (hopefully I can go thrift store shopping next week to see if I can find one). My favorite one I used to have was the one where you put the base in the freezer (no ice or salt needed). We’ll see what I can find. And this leads me to food.

I’ve been ravenous all week but, at the same time, find it difficult to eat enough. It feels like I’m eating all the time, then I input everything into My Fitness Pal and I’m lucky to be eating 1000 calories most days. It doesn’t help that the temperatures have increased (supposed to be 100+ degrees F this weekend).

O.k. I’m off! I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

Sciatica – “Old People Issue”

Yeah, that’s what I thought. Only old people get sciatica. Then, one day a few years ago, I got this shooting pain that started at my rear end and ran down my thigh. By the time it had gotten unbearable, I looked to Google. When I discovered what it was, I told my mom and she giggled, “You are getting old”. Well, I fought back. I found some stretches on my own that, a few weeks into them, relieved the pain. After about 6 weeks, the pain was gone completely and I never had an issue with it again. That is, until two weeks ago.

Just after I started exercising again, I noticed that if I sat too long, my lower legs would almost fall asleep (I didn’t realize that’s what it was … I was just not able to fully walk properly. Then, I felt my calf, and it was numb). I thought, maybe it’s just lack of circulation, so I started rotating my ankles, getting up more often, bouncing my legs up and down like I was nervous, hoping that keeping the blood flowing would rid me of this annoyance. Well, yesterday was a banner day. Instead of numbness, both legs were tingling, like they had been asleep but were waking back up. So, back to Google.

It turns out THIS is sciatica, too! I had thought sciatica was just the pain but no. There’s a muscle in your rear end called a piriformis (to read more about this check out this article: It runs from your tailbone across to your hip and if it gets tight, it can pinch the sciatic nerve and cause numbness. What the heck? So, I get to add another set of stretches to my ever-growing arsenal of stretches.

One that I used to do before … I don’t know if I came up with it on my own or saw it somewhere but I stand in front of a wall. I keep one leg straight, lift the other foot off the ground, then, using the wall, I turn my body, stretching my straight leg at the hip. Then I repeat for the other side.

The other one was standing with both feet on the ground, legs straight, then slowly push my hip out to the side just to the point where I feel tightness up the side of my hip, hold, then repeat on the other side.

All these stretches must be very gentle and you must ease yourself into them. So, my conclusion from all of this? I’m either really working my glutes deeply or I’m not positioning my feet correctly when performing my cable exercises. Either way, if I ever want to be able to sit for longer than 5 minutes stretches of time, I will be stretching every day. I need to finish reading the book, ”
Becoming A Supple Leopard“. My brain is so disjointed it’s like I don’t have enough time in the day for everything.

May 28, 2014 Update – Slap Upside The Head

I have updated my stats today. My husband and I have been going through some personal issues for the past few months. I’ve been barely checking my blood sugar … mostly doing it if I felt off (and, since the readings were always good, I kept doing that). Well, yesterday was different. I got some news disturbing news and was deep-down angry all day. That lead me to not be hungry, thus I didn’t eat. No, I take that back. I had a (as in one) piece of beef jerky (Jack Link’s Peppered Beef Jerky is awesome and only 4 total carbs per serving) and tried a piece of bacon jerky (yes, it’s just cooked bacon in a bag and I didn’t like it … I should have known something was wrong).

After a cleansing hour drive out of town, it was time for dinner. I felt a little off, so checked my blood sugar. It was 52. I ate dinner and after an hour, it was 152, then 90 after 2 hours. That’s great, right? Well, yes, it was. Then, this morning, my blood sugar was 55. I need to check every morning but I have a problem. I have been suffering with my allergies since February and tend to wake up after 3 to 4 hours sleep and, since I usually eat dinner late, I can’t get a true fasting blood sugar (and everyone who knows me know I cannot function on that little sleep without coffee).

So, I HAVE to eat dinner earlier if I’m going to keep waking up at the “witching hour”.

On my physical training front, I’m back on track. I trained last Wednesday for the first time in over a month and it took me until Sunday to recover (as in I didn’t need to use my arms to lower myself down onto a chair). I have switched to 100% cable exercises, hoping to not aggravate my shoulder. I can definitely feel the difference. The moves are more focused on specific muscles, so I squat and immediately feel it in my hamstrings/glutes. Perhaps this is what I should have started with (if I had my machine at the time), since I’m 40+ and the only time in my life (before beginning this journey again last year) I had trained with weights was in high school.

AND I may be having someone take some pictures of me this week. I’m actually (again, first time since high school) making an article of clothing with an actual pattern! The first one is just a pair of pajama pants but THEY ARE SIZE 12!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I can’t tell you how many patterns I have purchased through the years, intending to make them, that are now WAY too large (most are size 22/24). I’m sure I can’t resize those patterns this much (especially since I really am a newbie when it comes to working with patterns) but … WOW! 🙂

O.k. Time to check my blood sugar again, then do my weight training, then finish my pajama pants (which is the easiest pattern I’ve seen … no drawstring, just elastic).

My Own You Tube Channel

It’s not pretty, nor is it filled to the rim with wonderful information or fantastic recipes but it’s only been in existence for less than an hour-ish. No more having to wade through my smaller government/prepping/crochet videos. This one is strictly low carb/ketogenic/fitness related (and where I’ll post any videos I make, if I ever make any more ~grin~). I’ll be switching links all over this blog and pages (haven’t finished that up yet) but here it is, in all its glory:

Atkins Keto Journey

Fitness Is A Skill article and another mini-update

So, after a month of inactivity and a week of stretching/strengthening my shoulder, I did my first weight training this morning. I feel great, though my muscles already are a bit upset that I did more than sit in the chair all day. My shoulder isn’t sore at all and I think that’s because I altered my training to cable/machine only. I’m putting all free weights aside until I’m sure my shoulder is fully recovered. I’ve updated my Physical Training page to reflect the cable versions of the exercises. My weight is up (I think … can’t remember what I logged last time) but I’m bound and determined to bring that back down. I’ve been a scarfing fool and, after really thinking about it, I think I would consider myself a binge eater. When I like something, that’s all I eat until it’s gone (or I want to puke just thinking about eating it again). Both hubby and I are that way. When we discovered Del Real Chile Verde, that’s all we ate for 4 days straight. That’s just one example. Another was pre-made hamburger patties. They were so easy and we could make our own Mc Doubles, so we did, they tasted great, and that’s pretty much what I lived on when I started this in August of last year. Now? I have 5 patties in the freezer, taunting me to eat them before they get freezer burn, but the thought turns my stomach! AND that’s where I come to Russel Stover Sugar-Free candies. I bought some because I wanted an occasional sweet treat. Well, as of yesterday, I was averaging 4-5 per day PLUS all my food. Of course, I didn’t log them in My Fitness Pal, because “I was only eating a few”. Well, that few sure totaled up! 110 calories and 13 total carbs EACH. So, obviously, if you multiply that by 4 or 5 then add that to all the other “real” food I was eating … I’m surprised I’ve only gained a few pounds! I’ll go grab the tape measure as soon as I post this and update my stats (since it’s been forever since I have). All I know is I weighed 172.2 this morning and size 14 jeans are still a little loose.

And that brings me to this article. Though he’s speaking of fitness and training, this also goes for what we choose to put in our mouths. It’s not about motivation or willpower. It’s me, sitting here, listening to the call of the candy (which is within arms reach) and telling it no. That’s a conscious decision I’ve made, since yesterday I started my day with willpower and became depressed and paced around the house like a caged lion until I binged on candy (and just about anything else I could get my hands on).

April 28, 2014 Mini-Update

In life, it’s good to not get too comfortable.

This is from a fortune cookie my mom left here the other day. It’s amazing how appropriate this is.

Stress. How do you handle stress? I’m not talking about rush-hour traffic or job deadline stress but life changing stress? I share a lot about myself without really saying anything at all. You know most of the basic, insignificant things I like to do, maybe can guess what music I like, whether I like to actually cook or not, etc. But what I have never shared publicly is anything truly personal. I will, but won’t, right now.

I have not had the most stress-free life. Many bad choices have lead to many bad circumstances (and some that weren’t even within my control). Right now, as I sit here typing this, I’m going through what might be the second most stressful time in my life. A friend on Facebook mentioned her coping mechanism for the stresses in her life now is to eat nothing but garbage. It got me thinking and I’ve coped with stress in the past by following my friend’s lead or doing the opposite: not eating anything. Of course, both routes lead to weight gains.

This time around, I have made a point of keeping religious track of the foods that pass my lips and the amazing thing is, despite being well within my macros, I have now officially lost 40 pounds! I weighed in yesterday (I didn’t weigh myself after 2 hours sleep last night) at 171. So, what is different this time than any other time in my life? I think it’s the fact that it’s not only about weight this time. It’s about my health and my ability to deal with this stress, for as long as it takes to get resolved. Don’t get me wrong. If there were a dozen glazed donuts sitting here in front of me, I can’t guarantee I wouldn’t be wallowing in my sorrows and eating every crumb. I’m just lucky (blessed) that I do not keep any of those types of foods in the house.

Should Giving Diet Advice Be Against the Law?

Everyone here who even remotely suggests a change in diet needs to read about this case.

“How blogger and former diabetic Steve Cooksey became a scourge of the American nutritional establishment, and why his legal predicament matters to all of us.”

Fiber and You (Leptin Resistance)

So, this isn’t a talk about poo (I’ve already done that one). This is something else. Out of curiosity, I clicked on one of those paid links Facebook is now including on our home pages about the one weight loss secret for women. I sat there, listening to one of those annoying 3 minute “videos” that you can’t pause or turn down just so I could find out what the guy was preaching about. He finally (I swear, it must have been 2 minutes and 40 seconds into this thing) mentions Leptin resistance. Well, me being who I am, I hit Google. It turns out, there is such a thing and it sounds like it goes hand in hand with insulin resistance.

So, after reading about all the whole grain, less meat suggestions, I stumbled onto a study about some fancy shmancy African mango seed extract (The effect of Irvingia gabonensis seeds on body weight and blood lipids of obese subjects in Cameroon) that, according to Natural News (Reversing leptin resistance naturally), is supposed to help. My initial reaction was, “Where can I buy this stuff NOW?” until I read the entire study. The study shows fantastic results regarding obesity (more inches lost and vastly improved blood panels over those on the placebo) but the first line in the Discussion section is what got me:

The soluble fibre of the seed of Irvingia gabonensis like other forms of water-soluble dietary fibres, are “bulk-forming” laxatives.

So, it’s not the extract itself but the water-soluble fiber? Well, if that’s the case, then why pay all that money (I saw some bottles for well over $20 for 150 pills)? Why not just get some psyllium husk or Metamucil (if you can’t spare the calories) or increase our intake of foods that naturally have more soluble fiber in them? Here is a list of low carb foods that contain more fiber for you caloric buck:

Collard Greens
Nuts (especially Almonds) and Seeds
Psyllium (or Metamucil)
Brussels Sprouts
Chia Seeds (still need to buy a Chia pet)

I recently started a nut eating run (stumbled on some at Walgreens, ate some every night, then went to Costco and BAM! They have the best nut mix with no peanuts EVER!). This has pretty much been my evening snack for the past week and I have now dropped down to my low weight again. I’m thinking, since reading all the above, that it may be from the fiber (and other goodness) of the nuts that finally broke my stall. I hope so. I hope this isn’t some fluke of a thing but I feel better, my bowels are almost too happy, and I have lost inches despite being a lazy-ass and playing a video game for a week.

April 11, 2014 Update

Well, I’ve been very “inside my own head” lately. My stats are posted and I’m down 2 pounds, a couple of inches overall and I finally slept well enough to take a real morning blood sugar: 67! The past few weeks we have been in computer mode (hubby and myself) and that will continue today. I hadn’t realized his computer had not been automatically updating, so that’s where I’m headed right now (figured out how to reset it and now I have to continue installing all the updates he’s missed). I’m just thankful the update system for Windows 7 isn’t nearly as bad as it was for XP. No multiple restarts while applying various updates.

As for my health: I’ve been fantastic despite the weather officially thinking it’s spring/summer. What is surprising is the fruit trees that were pretty pathetic last year are in full bloom and fruiting like crazy! I say surprising because I’m in Central California and we’re in the middle of a pretty bad drought. It’s so bad that I’ve decided it’s better to grow whatever I can in pots this year. My cardio a month or so ago was leveling out the back yard (I’m sure I whined about the small hill the last occupant of this house built that turned out to be a trash heap covered with dirt). Well, once we get the weeds mowed down (none of which are edible/medicinal) I’ll make a video (or take pictures if my awful phone camera cooperates) to show the before/after.

Food-wise, I think we’ve finally adjusted to being childless, so there will be less eating out. I swear, it’s like we were dating all over again as soon as my son moved out! We didn’t want to cook, we just wanted to sit together and enjoy the peace and quiet. Now, we have actual food that I need to cook. LOL! So, hopefully that means that I’ll truly get back on track now!

I hope everyone has a fantastic weekend! We will be busy killing demons (the other aspect of being in computer mode is playing Diablo 3). 🙂

Pork Heart and Liver Results

So, I made the liver recipe and the first heart recipe (from Mark’s Daily Apple) from this post.  The results?  Well, the liver was tasty.  I used our deep fat fryer and have TONS!  I had no idea they were so large!  If it hadn’t been frozen already, I would have just used part of the liver and frozen the rest.  The sauce, on the other hand, was too … soy sauce-y.  I think it would have been better with tomato paste instead of ketchup (or something … it’s almost like the sauce needed to be sweeter to counteract the mineral taste of the liver).

Now for the heart.  I loved the texture.  I did it just like the recipe said and the flavor was just “blah”.  BUT mixed with the sauce from the liver and it was brilliant!  🙂  I keep making my mom be my guinea pig.  She gets to try them today, which I expect her to just spit out.  lol  That’s pretty much par for the course with her.  She didn’t even like those almond cookies I made!  I swear, she has no imagination.

March 25, 2014 Update

I know it’s been a couple of weeks since my last update.  I have been running around like a chicken with their head cut off.  Imagine, if you will, a child left alone for the first time (just neater).  That’s the way it has felt since my son moved out!  😀  There is so much to do and just not enough hours in the day to do them!  My stats don’t seem to show much (up 2.4 pounds, down 1 inch on my chest and waist, up 1/2 inch on my thighs and calf and, once again, forgot to take my morning blood sugar reading) but I’m telling you, I can see and feel a huge difference!  When I look down at my thighs, I see muscles.  I can feel muscles in my biceps and shoulders.  I can really feel collar bones and my butt!  LOL!  I didn’t realize there were muscles amongst the flab!  Something else, too.  When I was measuring my upper belly roll I realized just how much lower it is (if that makes any sense).  I decided to lift my shirt and tighten my stomach.  Above that roll, the stretch marks could almost be mistaken for abs!

My weight training has been progressing nicely.  It’s hard for me to believe that it has been almost (at the end of the month) three months since beginning Reg Park’s 5X5!  I’ve stuck with something that long!  Last week I added yoga (last video of my You Tube playlist and today I added Glute Bridges since I come from a long line of flat butts and figured I should start now.  The yoga will be my non-weight training and the Glute Bridges?  I did o.k. doing them at the end of my workout today, so we’ll see if I can keep those up.  I will tell you that the yoga actually made me sore!  I did that (for the first time since I actually owned a VCR and was about 60 pounds heavier than I am now) on Friday and rested until today because my waist was STILL sore yesterday!

Eating-wise, I’m still bouncing my carbs around (a couple of days last week I only had 8 for the day … we discovered a new-to-us butcher shop and had two glorious days of nothing but meat with some cheese thrown in for the carbs/fat).  I’m telling you, that was the best tri-tip I’ve ever had!  Aside from the seasoning (best pre-seasoned meat we’ve had, also) I think it was aged.  That is the only thing to explain the color of the meat, the texture, and the flavor.  It was amazing!  By the way, here’s an article about dry-aging meat at home.

That’s it for this week.  No, I’m off to do some more weaving!  🙂  I hope you are having a fantastic week!

Carb Reloading

I’m not sure how “normal” my thinking is. I’ve always been a “what if” kind of person. If you have looked at my website (wouldn’t blame you if you haven’t … it’s still pretty pathetic) or my other blog, you can probably see a ‘theme’ of what ifs: What if you lose your job? What if there’s a natural disaster? What if, for some reason, you can’t purchase what you need at a store? I believe in food storage. Over the years, I can think of at least 3 times when, if it hadn’t been for my food hording … I mean food storage, we would have starved (extended unemployment). So, when I began this Keto journey, it was a blessing and a curse at the same time. What kinds of foods do I have stored? Nothing I can currently eat! If we were in a true survival situation, there would be no way for me to get in the fats and protein that I currently live off of and that makes me angry at my body. I’m also currently “stuck” at this weight and have been playing around with my carb amounts, so when I read this article this morning, I actually let out a sigh of relief. I know that what she is saying is basically what Dr. Atkins himself suggested, even in his original book. In his books, you start out really low in carbs, then slowly bump them up as you get closer to your goal weight. My issue is, I feel like I’m in this delicate balance, since I don’t really have a goal weight. I have a goal fitness level/clothing size/blood sugar/measurements/etc. As much as I love this way of eating, I don’t want to HAVE to eat this low of a carb amount all my life (nor go back to my pasta with a little meat diet). Just knowing that someone (though a generally healthy non-diabetic someone) was able to transition into a much higher carbohydrate consumption while remaining fit, cut, and healthy has eased my mind quite a bit!

March 9, 2014 Update

Well, it’s that time of month again (CAN’T WAIT for the change to occur) and this is the first time I can remember having to take a diuretic. In 3 days I gained 5 pounds of bloat (and that was with drinking at least 96 ounces of water) so, I took OTC diuretics (Diurex) for two days and now my face no longer feels like it will pop if I stuck it with something sharp. I am happy, to say the least!

My stats are posted. I’m still up a little from the last update but I’m happy. I was finally able to exercise all this week and got out in the yard to do some clean up after the rains. We’ve pretty much decided this year, we are just going to work on fixing the soil back there, so I’m growing food in pots again. I cleaned them all out (well, all the ones that didn’t have food stuffs in them), dumping the old dirt out back, and had enough potting soil for three huge pots. I figure we need about three or four more bags (and a few more seeds … I want to try growing leeks this year) and we’ll have enough to get SOME food out of the garden this year. I’ve also re-thought building raised beds (as in wood frames). I think we are going to end up doing what this guy did (which, of course, will require fencing the area off from the dog entirely).

My health is good (knock on wood) and I’m feeling great! I’m so happy to be properly physical again. And, it definitely is Spring here (Central California). Despite more rain heading our way, it’s been warm. We need to get things growing before the heat of summer tries to kill it all.

As soon as I post this, I’ll be posting my menu for last week and my physical training. I hope you all have a wonderful week and remember. If you fall, just pick yourself back up. Tomorrow can always be a fresh start.

Not Quite O.T. – “The Fat Drug – How humankind unwittingly joined an experiment on antibiotics and weight gain.”

You really should read this. It’s listed as an opinion piece from the New York Times but the fact that “we” have been experimenting with antibiotics causing weight gain in animals AND humans since the 1950’s is interesting, to say the least. I have been seeing article after article bashing the “Paleo diet” for this and that. The one thing I always loved about it (though I don’t follow it due to lack of resources) is the push toward natural meats. This, right here, would be a fantastic reason to do our best to lessen our reliance on factory farmed meats.

March 1, 2014 Update – Scale and NS Victories!

Well, what a shocker. When I stepped on the scale this morning, I just knew it was lying. I weighed myself 4 times in two different places in the room and it registered the same number. Yesterday morning, I was 178.0. This morning? 173.8! I’ve never had such a significant drop in weight … ever. I’m thinking it’s a combination of things: I was getting my woman cave ready (moving stuff out, throwing stuff away, cleaning) for 6 hours yesterday. I also passed a good amount of kidney stones last week (so I’m thinking that maybe my kidneys are finally working the way they are supposed to … I’ve had slight issues with them all my life but not enough to see a doctor about). I’ve been incorporating a few more veggies and non-dairy carbs into my diet this week AND I slept a whopping 12 hours last night (with the bedroom door open and NO ONE ELSE in the house but me and hubby!). Boy, that was glorious! Hubby thinks it’s lack of stress because the boy is out of the house finally. LOL!

I had a non-scale victory last night. While going through all that stuff piled in the other bedroom, I stumbled onto some pants my sister gave me a while ago. You know, the kind of pants that hold up and immediately know there’s no way they will fit? I had forgotten about them. Since I found a vest that I had stored until it would fit better and had success with that (it was a little too tight (pulling on the buttons) so I put it up and forgot about it. I tried that on and now it’s WAY too big (size 18)), I thought, “What the heck”. Well, they all fit except one. They were all a size 12 pants! And not stretchy material pants, either. Real denim and cotton! So, the one that didn’t fit? It was a size 14 and it was way too big! Can you believe it? I haven’t been a size 12 since the sixth grade!

So, my goals this week are to include even more dark green veggies and non-dairy carbs into my meals plus get back to exercising. I’m also incorporating more stretching into my daily routine (even when I was really hurting, it helped a lot). I’m going to end up making a playlist on You Tube of the stretches I’m doing that have helped (will update My Physical Training page when that is ready). In the mean time, I updated My Stats page with today’s stats (no changes except weight and blood sugar, which was 66) and made it cleaner (easier to read and follow).

Supercalifragilistic-nutrional ketosis?

lol … I had to look up what BPC stood for (Bullet Proof Coffee). 🙂 This is a great article!