Tuesday, December 31, 2013

STARTING 2014 WITH GOAL TO LOSE 15 KG

I completed 55-58 hours fasting. Cannot remember exactly what time I last ate before going to bed. Yesterday was hard. I felt quite jaded although it was good to feel my empty stomach. There is something cleansing about a fast and since I can do this fairly easily I might even have a weekly 24 hour fast day. One's body responds to the regularity and it can be a great spiritual weapon as well as physical. It's many years since I regularly fasted so maybe this is the year to resurrect this habit. I have been drinking Keto Coffee so not a total water fast this time. I am breaking my fast with coffee laced with coconut oil and coconut milk. I'm sure this is not the classic way to end a fast but it will suffice, My first proper meal will be a herb omelet. 2 eggs cooked in butter with a mixture of fresh herds and topped with a little grated cheddar cheese. If I exclude the coffee I guess my total fasting time will be closer to 60 hours.

January 1st 2014

New Year

Clean slate.

What will 2014 bring?

Glad I cannot see into the future.

Two important things that will hopefully bring good changes.

# Mum's house, (in a family trust which we want to dissolve following Mum's death nearly 2 years ago), sells and we can begin to put in place our plans for our home and lifestyle for the next ????? years. We plan on living at least another 20 years so we will see Smile I did warn our daughter I planned to live to 150 but right now just getting though the next period is enough. I am in my 76th year andd John is in his 79th. Not sure how we grew so old but time doesn't stop for anyone.

# Continue with improving my health through weight loss, movement and creative activities. There are no major trips planned but there will be several trips to family in Christchurch. It's my goal to visit them about every 3 months. First one is coming up on 16th and we will be in Christchurch about 18 days.

Stats to begin 2014

2012 total weight lost:- 26.5 kg/58.5 lbs It's a little more than this but I had no starting weight.
2013 total weight lost:- 4 kg/9 lbs
2014 weight loss goal:- 15 kg/33 lbs

Weight 83.4kg/185.5 lbs
Fasting Blood Sugar 3.6 (normal is 4-7 so a little low but to b expected)
Fasting Blood Ketones 0.9
Blood Pressure 146/75 (No Medication It's a bit high but I hope to improve this too.)

Sunday, December 29, 2013

FAILURE IS ON THE ROUTE TO SUCCESS

Only two days left of 2013. I can't wait for it to be over. Crazy thinking I know.

In fact it's been an amazing year. We spent our 50th Wedding Anniversary in Hawaii. Wonderful time. We've been away from our house here at Matarangi for more than 4 months what with going to Hawaii, trips to Christchurch and house sitting.

I've experimented with Fat Fasting and Nutritional Ketosis. I've done two 5 km walks. 

But here I am ending the year on a difficult note. I want to be positive. I want to know that I can still work at improving my health. I really want to do it.

So why am I failing at the moment?

I guess it's complicated. Only God can help me find my way.

Yesterday I tried and failed. Is failure on option? 

It's not a word I'm happy with.

I need a positive spin. Something like this.

Failure is part of the route to success.

Only I can make that true.

Today I am probably fasting ... so far ony drinking keto coffee. I know that's a bit too drastic but I need to break out of some bad habits which have been accumulating over the past few months. The last two days have seen some imrovement but I keep slipping back into behaviours I want to change.

I've also done 30 + minutes on the cross-trainer. I put on our Route 66 CD. That brightened my day nicely.

The day began with a beautiful blue sky but now, middle of the day, looks as though we will get more rain. There was so much rain yesterday that there was flooding in several towns and some roads were closed temporarily at high tide. There were also a few slips, or landslides on the roas through the hills either side of us. Nothing that completely blocked us in for more than a short period.

I'll make an effort to come back tomorrow to say how today goes.

NOT GIVING UP YET

I'm going to do a Fat Fast at 900 calories today. That's a challenge. I'm also going to get on that cross-trainer for 20 - 30 minutes. That's a challenge.

Talking about the cross-trainer .... I was doing well for a while but not so much since our last trip to Christchurch in September/October. I think I am paying the price. I'm sure my arms, belly and legs and anywhere else fat accumulates are looking very flabby. Old age or lack of exercise. Probably both and the only thing I can change is the exercise.

I've run out of cream so only coconut oil and coconut cream in my coffee this morning. Is this the start of going dairy free one step at a time? Not sure. I miss the cream. I'm actually thinking about cutting coffee for a month .... John had better be warned Smile

It's been raining cats and dogs for the last few hours. Water is running across our lawn and flooding the road with no time to soak in or drain away. Typical Christmas/New Year rain especially after a dry spring. It's so dark I turned on the Christmas tree lights to brighten my daySmile

DECEMBER 27TH

I know this sounds pathetic but I'm glad Christmas 2013 is behind me. I guess my sigh of relief has something to do with borderline depression.

I slipped right away from nutritional ketosis and have gained several kilograms until I am very close to the same weight I began the year. Kind of disheartening.

Too many sad and stressful things in my life. Nothing new. It just seems to have caught up with me. 

We had a quiet Christmas Day. The weather was a little damp in the morning but fined up enough for a walk on the beach in the afternoon. We enjoyed watching people swimming, playing beach cricket, paddling boards, boating and canoeing. 

Menu.

I began the day with Keto Coffee
Lunch was fresh baked ham, boiled new potatoes and green beans dressed with pesto; beetroot, walnut and feta salad; green garden salad. For dessert we had a lovely fruit salad and pavlova topped with strawberries and cream. Our evening meal or tea, was a repeat of lunch. Jane had dishes of nuts, date coconut balls and pieces of crystalised ginger out. No chocolates although we did have sweet, sugary treats.

My meals are lower carb than they would have been a couple of years ago but nowhere close to ketogenic.

Today:- Keto coffee, berry smoothie, steak in tomato sauce with a small potato and green peas mashed with cream cheese. Snacks included an almond biscuit, (GF Cookie), a few nuts , fruit salad and yoghurt, and a couple of prunes. Well perhaps not so LC after all.

I'm sleeping badly but did treat myself to a long soak with a good book in a bubble bath this afternoon. 

John and I are on our own with few distractions over the next few days so I have no excuses. I'm trying to pick up the pieces and get back on track with my eating plan, sleep and exercise.

MERRY CHRISTMAS

We wish you a Merry Christmas Smile

The shingles are not too bad I think I'll survive. Smile

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

WHAT NEXT ........ DECEMBER 18TH

We went into town to shop this morning and I was being driven nuts by the rash which has developed on my arms. This has been going on for some weeks and I blamed it on gardening in the sun. 

As we parked and were getting out of the car our daughter called from across the street. She had pulled out from her work place as we went by and wanted to know what we were up to. Clearly she is not overly busy today so had time to be nosey.

I complained about the rash which was increasing and how uncomfortable it is. Nurse that she is, took one look and said it looks and sounds like shingles. Duh! She followed me into the chemist shop where I spoke with the pharmacist and bought some kind of anti herpes cream. 

I've looked up the symptoms and have to agree that they are probably right. What's more this is my 3rd bout of a similar rash in 13 years, not to mention that Bells Palsy which I've had for 22 months, could also be associated with the herpes virus. For years cold sores were the bane of my life until eventually one never healed and was finally diagnosed as basal cell cancer with subsequent plastic surgery. The first two bouts of the rash were never given a diagnosis. All I can say is that I have been poorly served by the medical profession. Someone should have picked up before now that I am prone to herpes infections and warned me to take care and not take it as lightly as I have been doing.

Looking at the symptoms it's no wonder I have felt below par, lacking energy and verging on depression. It all fits now. I'm hoping I can get away without a visit with my Dr. We'll see whether the cream brings sufficient relief.

I feel cheated and angry. My almost-paleo style diet should have helped build my immune system sufficiently that I would be strong enough to avoid this complication to my life. 

Useless reaction. 

I'm having a quiet afternoon while I assess where to from here. I fully understand that stress has been the major contributor to each attack of this virus. My eating pattern will stay much the same. I will not be doing any fat fasting for a while. But I do need to see if there is anything I should be doing to strengthen and heal my body. It's like a vicious cycle. Stress and worry equal some poor choices and lack of sleep. Shingles simply makes it more difficult to undo the stress damage and get quality sleep.

Deep breaths. Take one day at a time. This will pass by but I'm hoping the discomfort does not last until the weather cools next May/June.

WEIGHT INCREASING DECEMBER 9TH

What a roller coaster I've been on. I saw my highest weight in months the other day. Gave me a bit of a fright in fact. But not enough to get back on the straight and narrow apparently. This morning I had to go back to bed and lie down for a while instead of continuing with my normal routine. I had awful stomach pain which subsided as I rested. It was caused by some 'off-my-grid' food choices and far too many cappuccinos made with NestlĂ© sachets with added sugar and cream. I hope reading about my failings does not set off triggers for anyone who reads this. Generally speaking my food has not been terrible but there have been moments and then there were the times when for one reason or another I wanted to continuously snack on 'legitimate' food. 

I'm really unsure why I allowed myself such liberty but it certainly was not concern for my general health. There was probably a coming together of many factors, some obvious while others were subtly hidden in the complexities of my life.

We had dinner out last night. It was a farewell gift from our Hawaiian friends. John had pork belly while the rest of us had lemon cured, thinly sliced salmon with various pieces of vegetable, all beautifully presented and delicious to eat too. We had side dishes of either garden salad or broccollini. We all passed on dessert and some had cappuccinos while I had hot chocolate. We talked until the restaurant was closing. So much fun to be with nice people with lots of travel stories to share.

When we got home I began to relax and ate a lot of strawberries and some camembert and almonds before going to bed. 

Today I've had my normal keto/coconut coffee and a berry smoothie for lunch. We have cold meat and salad for dinner tonight.

One of the things that contributed to my difficulties over the last month or more is that I am getting bored with the whole food/paleo/low carb focus. I have a routine that works for me and as long as I keep to it I'm fine. But I began to experiment beyond my normal routine and I listen to too many podcasts and read far too many blogs. All this has sometimes led to confusion as I think about what new thing can I do.

I need to get back to basics, My Way. I need to re-establish my routine even if it does seem a little boring at times. I also need to take a break from some of the stuff I read and listen to. 

Perhaps the most important of these is my routine.

I am going to confess something I never thought I would ever say.

I am most comfortable when I have a routine.

Is this because I'm growing older?

It's a shock to me. I have always thought of myself as someone who thrives on being laid back, going with the flow and being sufficiently resilient to work with whatever comes along in the day.

I'm not going to go on and on about this because to be quite honest I have no idea where this is going.

My first concern is to become settled into my eating pattern, stable in nutritional ketosis and get back into the routine of some kind of daily exercise. All this is easier said than done. Only 14 days to Christmas. We will be flying into Christchurch in 5 weeks and staying with our son and his wife for 3 weeks. Thus another year will start with plenty of coming and going for us. 

Now to get on with my next task. I have been asked by the Real Estate agent to put together a folder of photos of out family beach house. I cannot put it off any longer.

DECEMBER 7TH BIRTHDAY CAKE FOR CRAIG

The last few days have gone by without any recording or tracking .... I expect the usual result ... weight gain GRRR!

We have visitors from Hawaii. Such fun. Made birthday cake yesterday for him.
I found something I thought might work on-line and adapted it These measurements are a bit rough but you get the idea and I will work on this one and see if I can improve it. I also need to take photos as it's a cute idea.

Coconut, Lemon Berry Birthday Cake, or friands, or muffins.

Serves: 4

I have 4 special terracotta plant pots which have been glazed on the inside. They are perfect for single serve cakes or large muffins. I line the base with a little circle of baking paper, (They still have the little drainage hole the plant pots have so I have to cover it), and butter the sides. 

⅔ cup coconut flour, sifted
5 eggs
⅓ coconut milk
rounded dessert spoon honey
1 teaspoon vanilla paste
juice of 2 lemons
zest of 1 lemon
½ teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
2/3 cup frozen strawberries or any mixed berries chopped into chunks

For the frosting
I whipped together some soft butter, powdered sugar and lemon juice

Instructions
Preheat oven to 175'C or 350'F degrees.
Break up any lumps in the coconut flour 
Add eggs and coconut milk. Mix until smooth.
Add the honey, vanilla, lemon juice, lemon zest, baking soda, and a pinch of salt. Mix well to combine.
Fold in fruit.

Spoon the mixture into prepared baking dishes or cake tin.
Bake for 20-30 minutes or until slightly brown on the top and cooked through in the middle. Do the toothpick test to check.
Allow to cool till you can handle them comfortably before removing from baking container.

Top with a swirl of frosting and decorate with fresh strawberries. 

We had the numbers 6 and 7 candles so Craig got to light his candles while we sang Happy Birthday. We ate the cake with whipped cream and they were delicious and not at all sweet. But I will play with this a couple of times or two because I think I could have used more lemon juice and I want to see what happens if I use even less honey and a few drops of stevia.

Today is more food and more friends and family Smile

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

DETERMINED TO WIN THROUGH

Following on from yesterday's post I am admitting there are times when I am scared stiff of sliding into depression. All the signs are there but I'm determine to stay drug free. Not because I'm ashamed but because I have many techniques I can use to get through the bad patches. So far the bad times have only lasted a few hours or days at the most. But I see the signs of something a lot more chronic. Not wanting to face up to things, finding ways to hide within myself and shutting out the people around me and not being able to get jobs done in a timely fashion is typical for me. I am also nervous and jumpy and little things can trigger a reaction of dread. This is not me. I'm like a gun shy horse, on edge all the time.

All of this has little to do with weight loss although I do admit to a little frisson of joy when there is a decent number.

No! Not at all. The last few years have been full of one thing or another. Some days I get angry because I am trying to cope with "stuff" at this stage of our lives. Some "stuff" is the result of our own choices but by far the worst has come from situations we have been thrust into and have no control over. 

I don't like complaining. It's a fruitless exercise. Feeling sorry for myself creeps through the door.

One of the best solutions is to get myself into nutritional ketosis. When those numbers are good my brain is much happier and stronger. I worry less. In fact all things that are bothering me become mole hills rather than mountains.

I have not been testing daily for quite a while and maybe that's a mistake. Maybe I should do a fasting test, just for the sake of being consistent, until I get good numbers for 3 days in a row. After that I will go back to weekly tests since the cost of strips is becoming a bit too expensive.

To this end I restricted my calories today to 1050
Carbs were a little high at 31 gm. Protein 30 gm and Fats 91 gm.

I began the day with keto coffee and had egg and celery salad for lunch. Tonight I had a berry smoothie and a plate of dessert with strawberries, dates, almonds and whipped cream.

Dates are a bit of a risk when it comes to a ketogenic diet but I need something to keep me regular and dried figs, plums or dates are the only things I have found to work safely.

It's raining. I guess we are catching up on after an extra dry spring. There's something cosy about being comfortable inside while the rain falls steadily outside.

Monday, December 2, 2013

PLUGGING AWAY

I am sick and tired of being frustrated by exceedingly slow weight loss.
I still feel the same.

That is how I began this journal on July 23rd. Four months plus have slipped by with some days better controlled than others.

My recorded weight on that day in July, 85 kg/187 lbs. Today I weigh 82.1 kg/180.6 That's not very impressive for a ketogenic diet.

I've come so close to cracking through to being in the 70 kgs that it's driving me nuts to keep bouncing back up. Maybe I simply need a few days with no major distractions ..... think stress. From time to time I'm having to employ some weird mental distractions to stop my brain going into full blown anxiety. Imagination runs riot and becomes paralysing. Depression comes too close for comfort.

I need to get ketones stable. Oh Yes! That's where success lies.

Of course I'm not always eating properly to stay in nutritional ketosis. Nor am I getting enough movement into my everyday life.

It's hard to stay up-beat and enthused.

But somehow I'm still putting it together one day after the other as well as I can.

Today is higher calorie than my normal. Tomorrow I will drop back to around 1000 for fat fasting.

Today I started the day with my usual keto coffee.
Lunch was a berry smoothie
50 gm frozen berries, 50 ml cream, 100 gm plain Greek Yoghurt, 30 gm whey powder and 1/2 cup chilled water.
For Dinner 100 gm chicken, 100 gm garden salad, olive oil and balsamic vinegar dressing
Dessert:- strawberry, date, almond, 50 gm whipped cream
Coconut oil chocolate fudge

Total calories 1335
37 gm Carb 11%
69 gm Protein 20.5%
102 gm Fat 68.5%