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…

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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

28 Down

dubw9s6psfyfb8hxm5wjfq.jpgWell, 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

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.

Screen Shot 2019-07-10 at 9.00.04 PM
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

No-Knead-Bread-Rolls_5

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

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

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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To The Gym Today

To The Gym Today

So, I went to the gym today for the first time since 2015 I think. I didn’t do much; some chest exercise, shoulder, and back. Then I did 20 minutes on the elliptical machine.

too_muchIt was weird watching all of the younger guys in the gym. Many of them were using too much weight as indicated by their horrible form. I remembered myself at their ages working out the same way. Eventually, I hurt my back, shoulders, and irritated what doctors call degenerative disc disease.

Today, I was careful about only using enough weight to stimulate my muscles. I only used the machines; no free weights. I did not want to come out of there with any un-natural pains. I only wanted to do what my doctor wanted me to do. Get a little exercise.

Woman Doctor cartoonl

My new doctor is a little intense. She scares me a little even. Every time I see her, I get the impression that I am just a little closer to my own demise. She is very driven to make me healthier. I guess I should be grateful, but, like I said, she scares me a little bit.

So, I don’t know if going to the gym is a thing for me yet. I am almost always in some sort of pain. Making it an everyday thing, or a 3 day a week thing would be difficult for me. I want to. I just don’t know if I can. I may be able to do some walking, but even that can be difficult at times. Then again, some walking or other exercises may be what I need.

40,000 Miles

40,000 Miles

A milestone of sorts I suppose. I  hit 40,000 miles on my motorcycle today. I have had it for almost 11 years. Since April of last year, I have ridden 8,000 miles.

April 23, 2014 Broken Down on the side of the road

In April of 2014, the drive shaft broke. I had right at 32,000 miles at that point. It sat for a couple of years before being repaired. I didn’t think I had the money to repair it. I hadn’t even checked in to it. Some good friends arranged to have it repaired for me as a Christmas gift. It still wasn’t ready though. It was leaking oil.

So, last April I bought the parts I needed and repaired the leak myself. I have been riding ever since. Suzuki makes a good dependable motorcycle. I’m glad I bought it. My only issues have been the driveshaft and the oil leak. And those turned out to be minor issues. It needs a few other maintenance repairs. It shouldn’t be a huge deal though. I think it will take me several thousand more miles down the road.

One day I will get another, bigger bike. I don’t know what brand it will be. It will be much bigger than the one I have right now for sure. Today as I road across a couple of bridges I thought the wind was gonna blow me right over. It was a little frightening. I have ridden a bigger bike in some of the same conditions and circumstances without the fear of being blown down by the wind.

2018 Harley-Davidson Softail Heritage

Harley Davidson seems like the logical choice. But there are also other bikes I like; the Indian Chieftain, the Honda Goldwing, the Triumph Rocket III. There are several of the HD models I like. They cost a lot more money, as much as my car in fact. So, I probably won’t be getting one until I pay off my car or get another job.

Anyway, just wanted to report my 40,000 miles and no accidents. I have had a few close calls, but thanks to the motorcycle class I took when I got my license, the strategies I learned made it possible for me to escape. I recommend taking a beginners course if you are thinking about taking up riding. And if you do ride already, take an intermediate course or an advanced course. It could save your life.

Down 10 Pounds

Down 10 Pounds

10-poundsI am down about 10 pounds this week. As I said before, my new medications are suppressing my appetite somewhat. Some of that is nausea but that is slowly subsiding. I am also researching foods and nutrition again to see if I can do better.

I have been working to eat the right stuff. And with the meds helping me it has been easier to stay on track. I even have plenty of the right foods in the house for now. I have said in other posts that it pays to be prepared. I am trying to be more prepared by having in the house what I need. It is much easier to stay on track when everything you need is available at your fingertips.

One of the things I have come across in my readings is lectins, which is a protein in several plant-based foods with the ability to wreck your gut health. I am talking about something called leaky gut syndrome. Some doctors (Dr. Gundry in particular) believe that leaky gut leads to a whole other host of health issues.

Hey, I need all the help I can get.  Dr. Gundry’s research offers some hope that I could get a lot of my health back, eliminate some physical pain, and even get off some of the medications I’m on.

So, I’m 10 pounds. I would like to continue losing weight. That in itself can improve a lot of my issues. It is not even about the looks anymore, or the clothes, or how attractive I may or may not feel. At this point, I would settle for feeling better and being healthier.

I’ve bought a couple of new books: The Plant Paradox: The Hidden Dangers in “Healthy” Foods That Cause Disease And Weight Gainand,

The Plant Paradox Cook Book: 100 Delicious Recipes To Help You Lose Weight, Heal Your Gut, And Live Lectin Free.

I hope to learn much more about the effects of lectins on my health and how to deal with it. I long to feel better, be healthier, and actually feel like I would like to live longer. If aging continues in the way it has gone so far, I am not so sure I would like to live longer. In the grand scheme of things, I would like to be around for my kids, meet my grandkids, and enjoy my life. At the moment, getting there and feeling good at the same time is a challenge.

Aging is not for cowards!