Posted in Health

Health Update

Lately, I am having issues with numbness and tingling in my right hand, and sometimes my feet. I’m for sure that the foot issue is the result of pressure on my sciatic nerve. I initially thought the tingling in my right hand was carpal tunnel. Some of it may be, but, I think there is a problem with circulation. I say that because the problem seems to get worse when I lie down.

I didn’t just notice it recently. I’ve known for a while. I just assumed it was the carpal tunnel thing. It never occurred to me that it might be something else. Sometimes when I wake up I have extreme numbness in my right hand, and also there is a lot of pain; significant pain. It is not because I slept with my arm underneath me or in some weird position where I’m cutting off circulation. I sleep flat on my back.

So tomorrow I will be seeing my doctor again (sigh). The day after that I am also seeing a neurologist for a nerve study? It doesn’t sound like it’s going to be pleasant. I’m more concerned that it might be a circulation problem. A circulation problem would be indicative of an underlying problem with something else, like maybe the heart, or maybe I’m close to having a stroke. Those are worse case scenarios for me but that’s the kind of crap that runs in my family history.

Well, that’s all that is on my mind this morning. It’s time for breakfast and then to the practice room.

 

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Posted in Favorite Recipes, soups

Avgolemono Soup

I realize that hot soups are not usually a summer time dish. However, summer is almost over. The nice cool fall weather is coming. And I love soup. And this one is quite tasty. This is from FoodWishes.blogspot.com, a Chef John recipe. It is pretty easy to make, and as I’ve said, pretty tasty. I hope you like it as much as I do. This is not part of the keto-diet. But when I cheat, I cheat well. Here are the ingredients below:

Ingredients:

Makes 6 Servings Avgolemono Soup:
1 whole chicken, about 3 pounds
3 quarts cold water
2 tsp salt at least, plus more to taste
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
2 bay leaves
1/4 tsp dried oregano leaves
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups finely diced onion
2/3 to 3/4 cup Arborio rice, depending on how thick you like it
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
pinch of cayenne

Directions:

1. Add Chicken, celery, 1 carrot, bay leaves, 1 onion large chop, dried oregano, and water to pot.
2. Bring to a boil then lower heat and let simmer until desired doneness. Remove unwanted foam from surface.
3. Sauté the 2 cups fine diced onions with olive oil until soft, sweet, and golden. Reserve until needed.
4. When the chicken is done, remove it and the vegetables from the chicken stock. Chop chicken into pieces (as big or as small as you like). Also, if you don’t want chicken pieces in the soup, cook until it falls apart in the in the stock
5. Set heat at medium low, and add the sautéed onions to the stock.
6. Add the Arborio Rice. Let cook 30-45 minute until the rice is very, very soft.
7. Add salt to taste.
8. In the mean time squeeze 1/2 cup of lemon juice.
9. Beat the eggs and lemon juice and black pepper.
10. Once the rice is done, temper the beaten egg mixture with some of the soup liquid (2 cups). Once the egg mixture is tempered, add it back to the soup.
11. Add chicken back to the soup and cook another five minutes.
12. Serve.

Posted in Diet

Progress Report

July 30, 2017, Progress Report

I am holding steady at 245 lbs. I guess the good news is that I am not gaining weight. However, my goal weight of 170 lbs. is another 75 lbs. away. I have been holding at this weight since just after Christmas. The holidays brought delicious foods and treats that would break my progress. I thought I’d be able to get right back to my new eating habit, but it has been more difficult than I anticipated.

What has been happening is a consumption of too many carbs and sugary foods. This is a hold over from the holidays. After all, what do most Christmas treats consist of? Lots and lots of carbs and sugar. And carbs taste so good. I LOVE CARBS! And sugar. But they don’t seem to be my friends. They like to hang around too long mucking things up.

Well, I’m not upset about it. It doesn’t do any good to get upset anyway. I am determined, however, to reach my goal weight at some point. When that will be? I don’t know. I guess sometimes making such a huge change in life takes a while. I can be patient. The fact that I  have not regained the initial 22 pounds lost is somewhat encouraging. I just need to continue on.

I still like the ketogenic diet. It allows me to eat many of my favorite foods. It’s easy enough. The only time I have to use discipline is when my cravings for high carb sugary foods hits. But even then there are many low-carb, low to no sugar, high-fat keto-friendly treats I can make. Again, discipline. These are things I have to prepare, and, the more ahead of time the better.

And that is the key, isn’t it? Being prepared. I know how to be prepared but I am, and always have been a procrastinator. When that urge and craving for high carb sugary foods hits there must be something available at that moment that is in accordance with my desired eating style or I’m doomed. If what I need is not available I will most likely go to the store down the street to fulfill my desire for foods that do me more harm than good.

So, I am not finished yet. I have a long way to go. One of these years I will reach my goal. The reason I say one of these years is that I believe a year is enough time to lose 75 lbs. or less without endangering my health. Hopefully, within the year I won’t regain any weight previously lost.

Posted in Diet

The 4th of July

What a Party!

Yesterday was the 4th of July. Family and friends gathered for food drinks and just being together. We made it an all-day affair starting with lunch and then we finished with dinner later.

For lunch, we had grilled hamburgers and hot dogs, cucumber salad, and a broccoli salad my son made. It was quite good. I ate too many hot dogs, but, hot dogs are one of my favorite foods.

For dinner, my friend Diana made bbq chicken, and I made bbq ribs. Both came out quite goodly. Diana has a really nice grill. I was a little jealous. If I haven’t said so on this blog before, I am addicted to bbq grills & pits. It seems like I buy one every year.😂 Right now I currently have 4. When I’m in the store and I see one I like, if I have the money, I buy it. I can’t seem to help it.

Anyway, not here to talk about grills. I’m getting better and better at making ribs. I have them at least twice a month. I’ve got my seasoning down pat. And I’m close to perfecting my sauce/glaze, including a few store bought ones I really like. And besides the sauce/glaze being a little high in sugar and carbs, the ribs work pretty well for my diet as long as it is only a couple of times a month.

We all had a great time. There are a lot of teens in our extended family, so we didn’t have too much food left over, which is always good. We got lots of compliments on the food.

I hope you all had as nice a time as we did. Happy independence day.

Posted in Diet

Challenges

DSC_0058My son has been home from college for several weeks now. We haven’t figured out how to co-exist with our differing eating habits. I really can’t expect him to adapt to my diet. Nor am I blaming him for my failures. Comparatively, our two eating styles are at opposite ends of the spectrum.

In his 20’s, he is still processing sugar as the main fuel source for his body. Had I known in my 20’s or even 30’s what I know now about nutrition I might never have gained weight. Also, when I was in my 20’s and 30’s I probably wouldn’t have listened to anyone who might have known better about nutrition. And neither does my son. Compared to what I need in my diet his is less boring. Hell, my diet bores me.

IMG_0460So we need to find a way for him to have foods he likes and a way for me to be able to resist eating it. The problem is that I am truly addicted to high carb, sugary foods. So are my kids. After all, we did raise them on cereals and lots of carbs when they were younger. And I don’t mean sugary stuff. They rarely ever got McDonald’s, and the cereals they ate were hot cereals, grains; stuff we were taught were wholesome. They also got lots of fruits and vegetables. Unfortunately, we have trained them to eat in a way that will give them health problems when they are older.

Higher carb diets lead to high blood sugar levels and sometimes ultimately to diabetes and other problems.

Anyway, my son will be here for several more weeks until school starts again. I need to figure out how to stay on track. Right now I feel like a total failure. And not only that, my stomach and butt have been punishing me accordingly.😕

Posted in family stuff

Father’s Day & Softball

This past weekend I went to watch my daughter play a softball tournament. Well, the last day anyway. I drove 2 hours with her step-dad, Robert to see her play. We thought we were going to see one game. No one told us that her team was undefeated and were contending to win the over-all tournament, and that meant more than one game. We were there for 4 games, in fact.

When they finally got to the final game they lost by 1 point. However, we were treated to something we had not seen before. We have seen Kat make incredible catches, steal lots of bases, and get some great hits and bunts, even in-park home runs. This weekend though, we witnessed her first ever home run. It went right over the fence. I guess she is getting stronger. She has been lifting weights for several months now.

Even though I wanted to spend Father’s day at home on the couch watching TV, going to see Kat play was very rewarding. Soon she will be off to college. She will soon be playing with the Limestone Saints. Can’t wait to see her play.

Posted in Favorite Recipes

Double Crust Apple or Peach Pie

Who doesn’t like Apple pie with vanilla ice cream? Even better, Peach Cobbler (pie)? I learned to make both of these at The Culinary Institute of Charleston. This is a great recipe. I couldn’t believe how well it turned out the very first time we made it in class. I know you will be pleased as well.

Ingredients:

Pie dough 2 twelve oz discs, chilled
5 oz granulated sugar
0.5 oz Tapioca starch
1 oz cornstarch
2 grams salt
1 gram ground nutmeg
1 gram ground cinnamon
.5 oz fresh lemon juice
1 oz butter, melted
24 oz Apples or peaches, peeled, cored, sliced 1/8 thick

Egg wash (1 egg, tbs water, slightly beaten) as needed.

Directions:

1) Roll both discs of dough into 1/8” thick circles. Line the bottom of a pie pan with one crust. Chill both crusts.

2) Combine the sugar, tapioca starch, cornstarch, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, lemon juice, and melted butter and toss with the sliced fruit.

3) Fill the chilled, unbaked pie shell with the fruit mixture.

4) Egg wash the edge of pie shell. Top with a second rolled piece of pie dough(or lattice).

5) Crimp the edge to seal. Vent if not making a lattice top.

6) Egg wash the top crust or lattice.

7) Bake pie on a paper lined sheet pan at 375°F (non-convection) until the filling is bubbly and the crust is golden approximately 45 minutes.

8) Serve warm or cool to room temperature.

Posted in Favorite Recipes

3 – 2 – 1 Pie Crust

Here is a simple but tasty pie crust (pastry). It is worth a little effort to get a better crust than you might find at a grocery store in frozen foods.

Ingredients:

8 oz flour
4 grams salt
5.5 oz shortening
2.75 oz water

Directions:

1. Combine flour and salt.
2. Mix flour mixture and shortening together by hand until it forms pea size pieces.
3. Add water and mix just until dough comes together (should still be able to see pieces of fat in the dough)
4. Scrape out onto a floured table; knead slightly.
5. Portion out dough mix into 8 oz pieces (shape into a hockey puck)
6. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill.

 

Posted in aging, my Appearance

What The Hell is Up With mY Hair?

For nearly 25 years I have kept my hair extremely short – bald – and lately, I’ve even been shaving it. About 2 weeks ago I decided I would try and grow it out just to see if I still could. This morning I was checking it out in the mirror to see if I had begun to lose even more hair than when I first realized it was happening about 9 years ago. I AM!

What I saw in the mirror was excruciating. Does anyone remember Sanford & Son? Red Foxx was the old man (Pops) in that show. There is only one way I know of to describe what his hair looked, raggedy. I knew I was losing hair at the crown of my head, but it is not happening at an even rate. It is very spotty and it looks EXTREMELY raggedy.

I didn’t think to take a picture before I cut it all off. And it is not likely that I will let it grow out again. I refuse to be seen out in public with such a mess. Needless to say, I am even more motivated to get myself into shape. If I can’t have my hair I at least want to look better in my clothing.

I’m really starting to hate the aging process. It hurts, threatens my good looks, and is very hard on my self-esteem. That’s right ladies, it sucks for men too.

By the way, I have not gained any weight. Yet, I haven’t lost much either; maybe a pound. I am constantly fluctuating with a 1 pound loss or gain. And that is mostly because of my lack of discipline.

Anyone else out there having similar problems? What’s your deal? I told you mine.

PS, I am still waiting to see a specialist about the issues mentioned in my health update.

Posted in family stuff

My Youngest has Graduated

DSC_1635
L to R Me, K, Step-dad, and Mom

It was a busy weekend. My daughter graduated from high school on Saturday. Last week on Tuesday we were in Gaffney, SC for her orientation at Limestone College. From there we did a lot of preparation for the graduation weekend.

DSC_1607
Grandparents

We had friends and family gathered, including  K’s grandparents. She graduated with honors and she was in the top 10% of a class of nearly 400. She was awarded several scholarships, including an athletic scholarship from Limestone College. So we are all very proud of her.

After graduation, we went to a restaurant called The Bohemian Bull. There was some great food. They also had some great appetizers. I have never had fried okra the way they prepared it. It cut lengthwise instead of the usual rounds. And instead of being breaded with cornmeal, it was dipped in a tempura batter. It was quite delicious.

There was cake and ice cream afterward at a close friend’s home, a true family gathering. All of our friends here are like family. I am glad to have them in my life. We are all very proud of our K. She is soon to be off to college and she is looking forward to her new beginning.