Posted in Diet, Health

Blood Pressure

It has been high but I don’t know why. And I mean stroke and heart attack high! My doctor had increased my med dosage an few months back but did not help.

I saw her last week and it was still high:142/100. So, she added another medication and in only 6 days it has come down to near normal numbers. This morning it was 127/83. I was very pleased,and, I feel better.

I am also feeling better because I am not driving a school bus any longer. I do have to find another job though. You know how when you’re working, and the money is good, and you start spending more and making new bills? Yeah, I did that. I am not completely sunk yet. I can conceivably pay off the debts I’ve created very slowly, or I can get a job and pay them off like I was doing before.

However, I am not worried about it. I will find a job eventually, even if I have to deliver pizzas in my car. And that’s not really a bad gig. I only need so much to get by. Being retired military helped immensely.

The only thing that really disappoints me is that I will not be able to buy that new motorcycle I have been wanting for the last 11 months. I wanted to buy a Harley Davidson. After test riding a few I can’t stop thinking about them. One day I will though.

Anyway, that is about all I have to say on this post. I feel like my health is improving. I am getting better and better reacquainted with my diet. And I am slowly but surly taking measures to improve.

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Posted in Diet, Health

Journey Back

I am trying my best to get back on my diet of choice, the Ketogenic Diet. It is a diet that has worked well for me in the recent past. It seems hard to get started though. And if you haven’t heard or saw on my other blog, I am no longer a school bus driver. I decided to give the job up.

The job itself was not causing my failure on my diet. I just haven’t been disciplined or cared enough. The job was causing a great deal of stress though. All I could do when I got home every day was sleep. I was sore, near physically ill from the stress, and dreading the next day. On weekends, I would go through several bottles of wine. This, I believe, was a result of job stress.

I haven’t worked there now for about 3 weeks. I feel like I’m becoming uncoiled finally. I was wound pretty tightly; tight muscles, joint pain, neck pain, and back pain. I’m starting to feel better. Before I took the job, I had begun to practice the saxophone again and learn some tunes. All that ended slowly when I started driving. Eventually, I could not find the energy to continue. Just this week, I remembered what my musical goals were. I had planned to be in a group by this time, or, at least doing some solo work.

I feel I became really unhealthy while driving the school bus. I don’t think I will ever go back to it. So now, since I’ve started feeling better, I intend to try to go all the way. Not even a weight loss goal, just a goal of eating better. I need to decrease some of the inflammation in my body. I need to send my triglycerides in a downward trend, and, I need to lower my blood pressure. The keto diet was doing all of that.

I am a little scared though. I don’t want to fail. And I know I shouldn’t think about it in those terms, but, its hard not to.

Also, I need to get engaged again in some sort of exercise. I guess I will approach all of this one step at a time. And of course, it was helping to post here on my blog. It sort of kept me honest. Anyway, that’s what it is right now. Wish me luck.

Posted in Health

Time for a Checkup

I am headed to the doctor’s office this morning. I have had somewhat of a relapse with my right hand. I had carpal tunnel corrective surgery in December. It was doing fine until a few weeks ago. I believe pulling the parking brake lever on the school bus re-injured my hand. When pulled out, the lever sends a shock wave through my hand. After three months of that my dominant hand is becoming my weaker hand because of the new pain in my wrist.

So today I am basically going to my doctor to be referred to the doctor who did the surgery. And not only for my right hand, but, my left also, which is showing the symptoms I had in the right before surgery. I also have an ear infection which has been with me since the beginning of April. I have gone through two rounds anti-biotics yet it persists.

Also, the pain in my neck has increased to a level I can’t even describe. Sometimes it feels like there is a knife in my neck (or what I imagine a knife in the neck feels like). And sometimes it feels like really hot water is being poured down my back starting at my neck.

So I’m hoping to see both the surgeons who operated on my hand and my neck. Sometimes I feel like I’m falling apart. I will also be giving some blood for my annual checkup. I’m not looking forward to that.

 

Posted in Health

My Makeover

What exactly is a makeover anyway? What exactly should I be trying to achieve? Am I trying become a skinny person? I don’t think that is actually going to happen. I think I love food too much, and that includes all the ones that are supposed to be terrible for you.

I think maybe I am, or maybe should be, trying to simply develop a healthier attitude about foods in general. I still like the Ketogenic diet. It is easy to follow and a fairly healthy way of eating. However, I find that I am prone to taking advantage of the higher fat intake with the wrong kinds of fat. I have been doing better with that part. This year so far I am mostly overdoing it with the carbs. As you may know, the ketogenic diet is low carb by design.

I don’t ever remember being especially concerned about my appearance when it came to weight. However, before I turned 40 I had never been heavier than 185 – 195 pounds. When I turned 40 things just seemed to slow down; my metabolism, my running speed, and my energy level went way down. I got out of the Navy when I was 44. I feigned injury to get out of my final Physical readiness test (PRT). I would have probably hurt myself doing it anyway.

So when I began writing this blog I had just had my 50th birthday in March. The month I started writing (Sept), is the month my Mom died. She was my best friend. Nothing could have prepared me for such a loss. I was, and am, affected deeply by this event. I think sadness sometimes has a lot to do with the way we eat. Some of the times I ended up eating when I’m not hungry are times I thought to pick up the phone and call my Mom, having forgotten for a fraction of a second that she is gone. There are, of course, other triggers. I think this is what is meant by emotional eating. Everyone probably does it.

As far as controlling weight gain I believe exercise is half of the equation, but sometimes injuries can keep that from happening. I have had a lower lumbar fusion, two levels. I have had the same type of surgery on my neck, level C6. The one thing I am never without is physical pain. My doctors always ask me what my pain level has been between visits (1-10). Mine is always between 5 & 10. Most days it is around 8.

So, I don’t know what kind of a makeover am trying to achieve or could expect. I once thought that if I lost weight maybe my pain level wouldn’t be so high. I’m not sure I believe that anymore, mainly because I don’t think I will ever lose enough weight, but also because degenerative disc disease is, well, degenerative. So, a makeover I may need or want, but, I don’t know what that actually means.

Maybe, in the beginning, I wanted to prove I could lose a lot of weight, and be able to post before and after photos. Now I don’t care about that part of it. Some days I just want to feel sane or normal and feel good physically. Maybe I suffer depression. I don’t know. Perhaps a makeover of the mind is in order.

So, I don’t know what a makeover means for me. I will always try to watch my weight. At my age its a sensible thing to do. I want a healthy mind and emotions. Maybe when that happens (and I believe it will) I will have a better relationship with food, or a healthier one anyway.

Posted in affordable foods, Diet

Finance & Eating Right

I have to confess that I made a financial miscalculation in 2014 when I chose to buy a new car. Truthfully, I don’t know what I was thinking, except, that I needed a car. Well, it has my finances stretched pretty thin. It has been pretty difficult to pay all of my monthly bills and eat and do other things I need to get done.

If you don’t know, being able to afford the kinds of foods you need to eat right is a big deal. Some would argue that it cost less to eat right that it does to eat fast foods or junk food. Personally, I disagree. There are a lot of “convenient” “quick foods” you can buy in the grocery store that can be stretched a long way. You know the foods. They come in containers and boxes, and the ingredients lists are filled with things you can’t even pronounce. Pop them in the microwave or add hot water and you’re good to go. These foods are found in the inner aisles of the grocery store.

Being able to shop the outer aisles in the grocery store is a big deal. As you know the outer aisles usually are filled with the whole foods which are better for your health. They are the produce and meat and dairy sections. In other words fresh or fresh-ish food sections. These foods have not been processed or have ingredients you can’t pronounce added to them. Of course, there may be some poisons depending on whether or not we’re talking about non-organic or organically grown.

I figured out years ago that simply staying out of the inner aisles and away from “instant” or “processed” foods is enough to improve your health to some degree, even if you’re not shopping organic foods. Unfortunately, the inner aisles cost a lot less, not to mention quicker at home when it comes to preparing meals for your family. So to eat healthier cost just a little more.

Of course, you should, as much as you can, shop those outer aisles. Because I bought a new car in 2014 it has been increasingly difficult to shop those outer aisles. I purchased the car while I was in school as a retired veteran so I had a little extra income. So when I stopped going that income also stopped. I don’t need that much to ease things a little, but I do need something.

Well, I guess I said all of that to get to this point. Today, I begin training to drive a school bus for Berkeley County school district. Commercial driving is another skill I picked up when I got out of the Navy. Actually, I learned to drive large vehicles while in the Navy. I didn’t get a commercial license until I got out.

I have had driving jobs before. I like driving. I have had a spotless driving record since 2001. I am pretty good at it. Driving the school bus will give me enough extra income to get by with more ease and I will be able to continue to shop those outer aisles in the grocery store.

I have been doing the best that I can to eat right this year and it has been difficult. And sometimes I have had to eat those “convenient” foods. It will be much easier to support my chosen eating habit with a job.

So, wish me luck. I will keep you informed.

 

Posted in Diet

Perseverance

Well, it’s a new week and a new chance to get on track. I have been struggling since the beginning of the year with my diet, but I am determined to succeed. Besides, my ultimate health would be better if I do succeed and that is very important to me.

I have had an upset stomach for a few days because I have been completely off the diet. I think I have completely exhausted all of my off limit foods now, including the beer in my frig. I am down to only what I need for my diet again. I’m sure my stomach will be grateful in a few days. I will also go grocery shopping later today to get anything I am lacking.

This week I will get back into my walking routine again. It has been about a month (maybe two) since I’ve done it. It had been difficult because of my back. I have been receiving injections for pain in the last 3 weeks. They have helped a little but not a whole lot.

Sometimes I think there is no reason to try to continue because of my physical ailments.  But I guess my instincts to fight kick in and I keep trying. I guess that’s just human, the desire to persevere. In my case, I feel like I’m trying beat insurmountable odds. Maybe I am.

Posted in Fitness, Health

Missing Youth

I read a great post the other day on Heart To Follow.  The post was called, Acceptance (aka It’s Better To Humour Yourself Than To Have Someone Else Do It For You). It was about accepting yourself and not worrying about what others think about you. She had come to the realization that she was not ugly, and that she looks good. I agree with her.

I used to think I was ugly when I was young. Then when I was older, like Sam, I realized that I was not ugly and that I looked good. Now I’m even older and I know for a fact that I am quite ugly, but I don’t care. These days I mostly care about being healthy.

I still care about the way I look. And I know that I’m not that ugly, but youth had its perks. Every time I go to one of my daughter’s ballgames I long to be able to run without pain. Though, no matter how healthy I am, I will not be able to run without pain ever again. Youth. I took it for granted when I had it; just like my son and daughter do now. I never doubted I would be able to run for as long or as fast as I wanted, ever. However, at 54, and have degenerative disc disease, running is not an option. I can’t even do many of the exercises in the gym that I used to do.

Youth is powerful. So, if you still have it, enjoy it. I never ate healthy when I was young. I developed some not so healthy habits in that area. I drank too much alcohol and I only exercised enough to keep my job in the Navy. Youth is the only way I could do that. Now I couldn’t pass a physical fitness test if my life depended on it. Ironically it sort of does.

I do get as much exercise as my body will allow; mostly walking. I also do some exercises that only require my body weight. I do what I can do. The weird thing is that on the inside I still feel young. On the outside, there is just pain. As I have stated before, aging is not for cowards.

So for sure I truly hope for that new body that the apostle Paul was talking about. I long for youth again.

Posted in Favorite Recipes

Keto Pork Rind Tortillas

Keto Pork Rind Tortillas?

Now we’re getting somewhere! I love junk food, and tacos were some of my favorites. I have not actually made these as of this writing. By the time you all read it, I may have and will indicate how they were in the comments section. This probably still meets the qualification as “junk food.” I found this one @ https://theprimitivepalate.com/

Ingredients

4 oz. Hot & Spicy Pork Rinds (regular work just fine, too)
1 (eight oz.) package cream cheese, softened
8 eggs
1/3 cup water
1 tablespoon granulated garlic
1 tablespoon ground cumin

Directions

1. Place pork rinds into a food processor and blitz for about 10 seconds, until they are dust.
2. Add all other ingredients to food processor and blitz for about 45 more seconds. Until you have a nice smooth batter.
3. Preheat an electric griddle to high. (Using a non-stick pan on the stove top would work also, I would just set the heat to medium-high)
4. Spray cooking surface with a little spray oil (I use either coconut oil or olive oil spray) and pour 1/3 cup of batter onto griddle.
5. Gently spread the batter as thin as you can with a rubber spatula and cook for about 2 minutes or until golden brown.
6. Flip tortilla and continue to cook for about 45 more seconds.
7. Repeat with the rest of the batter.

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Posted in Diet, Health

Fine Tuning a Life Style

If you had seen my food diary you would know that yesterday was definitely a cheat day. I know, I know. I said in a previous post that, “there is no cheat day.” Well, I don’t plan cheat days because I really don’t believe in them, but, apparently, my body does. So, cheat days happen. However, I don’t feel guilty about them.

I’m learning that sometimes you just have to listen to the body. This allows me to go back to eating the right stuff right away. Without the guilt, I don’t feel like I have ruined myself, which eliminates any stress about having screwed up my diet.

I have been following the ketogenic diet. However, it’s not so much about the diet, as it is a lifestyle change that I am making. I have been on the ketogenic diet for the past 4 months. However, I sometimes just don’t do it right.

The keto diet has not let me down when it comes to losing weight. However, my blood pressure has been higher than normal since about the 3rd week. And I am not only trying to lose weight, I’m trying to improve my health as well. My doctor has already increased my bp meds. I am still hoping to be able to take less of these medications as I improve my health.

On the Keto diet, saturated fats are allowed, but it may not be working for me. I want to get my bp back under control. Until the keto diet, my bp was always around 121/70. I don’t know if the change in diet caused it but I really don’t like the idea that I have had to add more meds to what I am already taking. And I still have noticed no change.

I have another doctor’s appt in a couple of weeks. I hope to have some good news.