Getting Some Exercise

So I have now added some exercise to my day. My goal is to do at least 30 minutes a day. I have trouble walking or running without pain, and, I can’t get to the gym every day because it is a 40-minute drive. So, I am using a piece of home gym equipment called the life-rider.

I think several version of this thing has come out over the years. It first appeared in the late ’90s. I first heard of it after I read a book written in 1996 by Covert Baily called, Smart Exercise. I remember the late-night infomercials of the SportRider, and how Bailey emphasized that low impact working of large groups of muscles in the body at once was key. Of course, back then, I was running and didn’t feel I needed a low impact exerciser. Plus, I didn’t have the money to buy the thing.

Now is a different matter. I’m much older and everything hurts. I can’t even ride my bicycle at this point, though that’s mostly because I really don’t have a safe place to ride. However, I need to exercise more than ever.

I have started using Life Rider by HealthRider. It’s the same machine from the ’90s. I acquired it from a friend a few years ago who said his mom had one in the garage that no one was using. He gave it to me. I later found out that she was upset about him giving it away. I really should send her some money for it. She let me keep it even though she was upset, and I was grateful.

It really is a good exerciser. It gets the heart rate up. It works a lot of large muscles in the body at once, just as advertised. It works you hard. It is not easy to keep it up for 30 minutes. Maybe when I am strong enough to do it without stopping I will be more willing to take my bicycle out. For now, however, this will do.

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New Progress Pictures

I have posted some new progress pictures in my progress journal. You may check them out here.  I have never given up on trying to lose weight and better my health. I have had to stop and rethink a few things.

The Ketogenic diet is a good one, but, I find that sometimes it is hard to stick with it. Sometimes, I simply crave carbohydrates and lots of them. We as a spieces are addicted to carbs and sugar. It’s simply a fact.

Since discovering intermittent fasting though, things have gotten a little easier. Fasting for me is something that I can physically be doing to contribute to weight-loss. When I’m feeling hunger, which is not very often, I feel like I’m contributing to the fat burning process in my body; and it is fat burning, not muscle. Just ask Doctor Jason Fung.

I am in the process of reading two books by Dr. Fung; The Obesity Code, and, The Diabetes Code. There is a lot of science in these books, but, not so much that its a hard read. You owe it to yourself to check out both of these.

My Girly’s 50th Birthday

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I just arrived back from a trip to North Carolina where I helped my “ladyfriend,” S, to celebrate her 50th birthday. We had a very good time. We celebrated with her Son and his wife and their two kids on Thursday and Friday. It wasn’t a party per se. We just hung out, played some games, and watched some TV and enjoy being together. Then, S and I went to visit her mother at Beech Mountain, NC.

I let my blood glucose get away from me for a couple of days. I didn’t get it back to normal until this morning. It took some fasting, of course. And it took some exercise. S’s mom and dad took us on a couple of good hikes. I couldn’t go far because of my pain issues, but,  I got some good exercise to help burn off that excess glucose.

I learned how important it is to watch what I eat, and, that it doesn’t take much to get the things out of whack. I also learned that there are certain foods I may have to give up for good. Pizza may be one fo those. It hurts me to even think such a thing. Of course, sugary foods are out, except for a few holiday occasions, and even then, limited to almost nothing. I have just accepted that sugar is just poison to the body.

I am back home now, in South Carolina, to face Dorian! Bring it, Bitch! Pray for us here.

I am still losing weight. Before I left for North Carolina I was down to 229 lbs. That’s the lowest since I began trying to lose weight in 2015 with a starting weight of 267 lbs. My goal weight is  165 – 175, 30-inch waist.

Intermittent fasting is working wonders. I will keep you informed.

34 Pounds

My last report was on August 1. It is now August 17. I have lost another 4 pounds. I’m still doing intermittent fasting, and it is still fairly easy to do. I am feeling better all the time. I have had no drops in energy. And the weight keeps coming off, and I suspect and hope that everything else about my health is improving as well.

I have adjusted my fast from 20 hours to only 18 hours, leaving myself a six-hour window for consuming nutrition. This seems to work better for me. I have fewer issues with hunger.

I am starting to notice that my face looks a bit slimmer. My legs are becoming pretty skinny. I think my waistline has decreased, but since it was so large in the first place, I can’t really tell. I can tell you that all of my clothes are fitting me much more loosely. Makes me wish that I had not gotten rid of my smaller clothes a few months ago.

I do still struggling to eat the right stuff. Every now and then I screw up and carb-load like a marathon runner. Or my sweet tooth overcomes me and I become a dessert monster. Other than that I am mostly in control. Perhaps one day I will learn to eat right all the time.

Oh, why no pictures? Because I don’t want to. Maybe when I reach my goal weight. But for now…

30 Down

30 pounds down. Intermittent fasting seems to be working for me. Several months ago I told you all I had been diagnosed with Type II Diabetes. My last series of blood tests showed that my A1C had gone back down to pre-diabetic levels, and trending downward. My doctor was pleased and is onboard with intermittent fasting.

Every once in a while I find fasting difficult, but, most of the time it is easy enough. I have found that my appetite is changing; desiring more healthy choices. I am still, for the most part, doing the ketogenic diet. I think keeping my carb intake low is a good idea.

I am not always losing weight. However, I seem to be feeling better all the time. My only issues are pain related to my past back surgery from 2010. Also, sometimes my neck also hurts. I had surgery on it in 2016. I am doing my best to avoid any more surgeries on my spine. They always seem to cause more pain down the road.

So the next time I do blood tests with my doctor I expect to see more improvement. I plan to totally reverse diabetes, bring down my inflammation levels, and lose weight. I am hopeful that the weight loss will relieve some of the pain I have in my back. However, I think the degenerative disc disease has done a lot of damage to my spine.

Anyway, that is all the good news I have for right now.

28 Down

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Well, I can’t believe there was not more interest in the last post. Anywho, I’m down 28 pounds as of today! That’s another 18 pounds since the last time I reported. But it is definitely not because of medication now. I did it on purpose.

Intermittent fasting has been helping a lot. I am still doing the ketogenic diet for the most part. I have found that if I deviate from that with higher carbs or add sugar to my diet, I don’t feel so well. I don’t know if this happens because of fasting or not.

I have been fasting for 20 hours and eating during a 4-hour window. Sometimes if I eat too many carbs or add sugars during that time, the next fast is more difficult. And sometimes it is just difficult. Most of the time though, the fast is fine. I don’t feel hungry and I have plenty of energy.

Why is this not the same as calorie restriction? The way I understand it calorie restriction means to restrict calories at every meal, eating less all day. Eating in this way the body releases insulin every time you eat. However, insulin is a hormone that tells the body to store energy. So restricting calories doesn’t work after a while because it signals the brain that there is a lack of food and the body adjusts by using fewer calories for energy. The result is that the insulin being release all day is storing everything you eat in your fat cells.

With fasting, the longer time without food lowers the levels of insulin in your body after it has done its work of dealing with your blood glucose levels. Once the glucose is gone and insulin levels are back where they belong, the body can then begin to use your fat stores as energy. That’s the way the body is supposed to work. There is very little hunger being felt during this time.

During the fast, I have to be careful not to do anything that will signal the brain to release insulin. The book (Delay, Don’t Deny) refers to it as clean fasting. Water and black coffee are your only beverages. You can’t use diet sodas or anything with artificial sweeteners. When something sweet touches your taste buds, whether it has calories or not, triggers the brain to release insulin in response. Artificial sweeteners trick the brain into thinking that calories are being consumed. This ruins your fast because of the presence of insulin in the blood. This stops the process of fat being used for energy. Then, of course, you get hungry and eat at the wrong time.

Sometimes this happens. So, I just have a meal and then begin a new fast. And sometimes I only fast for 16 hours leaving myself an 8-hour window of eating time. Sixteen hours is plenty of time for the body to clear itself of blood glucose and lower insulin levels and burn some fat for energy. However, being a type 2 diabetic, I want to give my body more time without higher levels of insulin. Apparently, lowering levels of insulin give the body a chance to reverse insulin resistance by giving the receptors a break from the bombardment of insulin release.

So, I am very excited. I am losing weight. I feel better. I’m pretty sure my inflammation is decreasing. I have less back pain; less pain in general. And in general, I feel pretty damned good. Unless I eat too many carbs or sugar. I suspect that will change once my body is able to heal itself a bit more.

Delay, Don’t Deny

So,  I have been doing pretty good not gaining weight. However, I have not lost any more weight. So, I started researching intermittent fasting. I had already come across this concept while researching the keto diet. Many people on the keto diet have talked about using intermittent fasting as a way of stimulating the weight loss process.

It IS a good way to stimulate weight loss, but, I have found that there is a whole community out there and it is their lifestyle. They also make some serious claims about the benefits of the fast. There are also some serious studies and research from plenty of doctors backing up said claims.

The benefits range from correcting hormonal imbalances to reversing type 2 diabetes, to lowering blood pressure. And weight loss just seems like a side benefit (and a good one).

So, of course, I bought a book. A friend of mine who was in town on vacation from Florida recommended, Delay, Don’t Deny: Living An Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle, Gin Stephens.

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Gin Stephens, Author

fullsizeoutput-45cdIt is a fascinating book telling of her journey through the research she did finding the facts. She also tells her own story of weight struggle and eventual success. I am very encouraged by what I have read so far.

I have also started researching the resources myself. In fact, I began my intermittent fasting last night. I got so excited once I started into the book I began right away. I figure I can participate and research all at once.

I made it through my first day. It was a little rough but I knew I could make it through. I had been fasting without thinking about many times before. However, because I purposed to do it, it seemed much harder today. I didn’t get light headed until I drank a cup of coffee (black).

Now, before anyone starts thinking I’m not eating at all, don’t worry. It’s me! The fat man! I did eat today. I just delayed somewhat. I have set aside several hours in the day, a window in which I can eat as much as I need. Then the rest of the hours in the day, I fast. This is supposed to have great benefits for the body that I look forward to experiencing.

Of course, as I learn more I will write more about it, cuz right now, I don’t know jack! And of course, I will keep you informed of my progress. I will know soon enough if this is a doable thing for me.

Soft No-Knead Dinner Rolls

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Just because I am working to avoid high-carb foods doesn’t mean I don’t keep up with all kinds of high-carb recipes. Here is a good one, especially if you like hot, fresh dinner rolls. You will love these. They remind me of the fresh rolls they used to make in the school cafeteria when I was a kid.

I found them @: Recipetineates.com This recipe is easy. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1 tbsp dry yeast (Note 1)
55 g / 1/4 cup caster sugar (superfine sugar), or sub with normal white sugar
1/2 cup / 125 ml warm water (Note 2)
600 g / 20 oz bread flour (4 1/2 US Cups, 4 Cups everywhere else except Japan)+ extra for dusting (can use all-purpose/plain flour) (Note 3)
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 cup / 250 ml milk, lukewarm, whole or low fat, (Note 2)
50 g / 3.5 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 eggs, at room temperature, beaten with a fork

BRUSHING:
1 tbsp butter, melted

Directions:

Place the yeast and 2 teaspoons of the sugar in a medium bowl, then pour in water. Leave for 5 minutes until it froths.

Place flour, remaining sugar and salt in a bowl. Mix to combine.

Make a well in the center. Add milk, butter, eggs and pour in the yeast liquid, including all froth.

Mix until combined with a wooden spoon – it will be like a thick muffin batter. Not pourable, but thick and sticky.

RISE #1:

Leave the dough in the bowl, cover with a wet (clean) tea towel and place in a warm place (25C/77F+) to rise for around 1 1/2 – 2 hours or until almost tripled in volume. See Note 4 for how I do this (you will laugh – but it works every time!). Dough surface should be bubbly (see video or photos in post).

FORMING BALLS (WATCH VIDEO, IT’S HELPFUL):

Line a 31.5 x 23.5 cm / 9 x 13″ tray with baking paper with overhang.

Remove the tea towel and punch dough to deflate, then mix briefly in the bowl to get rid of the bubbles in the dough.

Dust work surface with flour, scrape dough on work surface. Dust top of the dough then shape into a log. Cut the log into 4 pieces, then cut each piece into 3 pieces (12 in total).

Take one piece and press down with palm, then use your fingers to gather into a ball, flip (so smooth side is up) then roll the dough briefly to form a ball. This stretches the dough on one side and that’s how I get a nice smooth surface on my roll. (For this step, use as much flour as needed to handle dough and avoid piercing inside into the wet dough)

Place the ball with the smooth side up on the tray. Repeat with remaining dough. Line them up 3 x 4.

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Low Carb Bread

This is my breakfast this morning; a one egg omelet with tomato, cheese, and basil; sausage, and toast. The bread used for my toast is from ThinSlimFoods, who makes a zero carb bread. It is not the best tasting bread in the world, but it does serve a psychological purpose. I don’t quite understand why I feel incomplete if I haven’t had toast with breakfast, but this bread does the trick. Each slice contains 7 carbs, 7 grams of fiber, and 7 grams of protein. Here is what the company has to say about their product..

ThinSlim Foods revolutionary Love-The-Taste Low Carb Breads and Buns are only 0g net carbs per slice or 1/2 bun and are suitable for ketogenic diets.
Unlike traditional high carb breads and high calorie breads, made from fast digesting white flour and other unhealthy ingredients, ThinSlim Foods Low Carb Breads and Low Calorie Breads are super low in calories, even lower in carbohydrates, and contain very slowly digesting ingredients that help fuel fat loss by keeping blood sugar levels in check.
We guarantee they will not spike blood sugar levels and we guarantee you will enjoy the taste!
Start your morning off right, make a sandwich fit your plan, or munch on toast all day long! With this outstanding line of bread, you might just be able to, “Have it all.”

You can check out some of their products on their website here: ThinSlimFoods. I haven’t tried all of the products yet. It is a little more expensive. But it is worth it to have my toast in the morning. I have also been using only one egg for breakfast now. I don’t know why, but it is hard to eat more than one in the morning now. I think it is because of the medicine I am on (Trulicity). It causes some nausea and lack of appetite. In the end that could be a good thing I guess.

 

Tuscan Fish Stew by Chef John


I’m a huge fan of seafood. I like fish stew, but I have never had anything in the U. S. that taste good, at least to me. I have not tried the recipe yet, but I will very soon. I trust Chef John. I have not come across any of his recipes that have not been delicious. I will let you know how it turns out.

Watch the video for instructions.

Ingredients for 2 large portions:

3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 sliced green onions
4 cloves sliced garlic
1 anchovy fillet
pinch of red pepper flakes
3 cups cherry tomatoes, blended with 1 cup of clam juice, or chicken broth
12 ounces halibut or other white fish
1 pound peeled, deveined shrimp or other seafood
salt to taste
2 tablespoons freshly chopped Italian herbs (basil, parsley, oregano, and a pinch of rosemary)
crusty bread for soaking up the broth

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