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.

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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 Diet, Health

Cures of the Right Diet

Today I have realized that I have been without any form of antacid for over 3 weeks. In 1993 the doctor diagnosed me as having GERD or a Hiatal hernia. I don’t think the doctors actually knew which one. They were Navy Docs.

A Hiatal Hernia – A condition in which part of the stomach pushes up through the diaphragm muscle.

I don’t think this is actually what it was!

Gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, is a digestive disorder that affects the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), the ring of muscle between the esophagus and stomach. The weak esophageal ring allows acid to enter the esophagus.

This sounds more like what I was experiencing

Since that time in 1993, I have taken every antacid ever produced in the pharmaceutical industry. That’s what it feels like anyway. 24 Years! TWENTY-FOUR YEARS!!!! I don’t even think the stuff is good for you.  Earlier years on some of those drug labels I remember reading that it was a temporary treatment, but, I took them for 24 years.

I wrote a post earlier in my progress about how my stomach situation seemed to improve on the Ketogenic diet. But when I began to veer off my diet the symptoms returned.

Today I suddenly realize how long I have gone without my Nexium. I have meant to buy it but never got around to it. I haven’t even mastered being back on my diet yet. I have been fairly consistent, but I’m not all the way there yet. I don’t think it is only the diet that counts. It has to have something to do with how much I eat. When I know I’m eating something that could give me heartburn symptoms I certainly don’t eat a lot of it.

With GERD, I realize that how much food I consume at one setting is very important in keeping digestive acids in my stomach where they belong and not my esophagus. A few times in the last 3 weeks I have had to drink about a half cup of water with about a teaspoon of baking soda mixed in. This neutralizes the acid and gives heartburn relief. Other than those few times everything has been pretty good.

I would like never to have to take antacids again. To do this, staying on the right foods plays a key role, and gives me another incentive to keep at it.

 

Posted in Diet

Into The New Year

IMG_0298I am beginning the year with a very bad cold. It started with a very sore throat 3 days ago. Then last night, it just exploded into snot, phlegm, and stuffiness. I feel awful. Forgive the picture. I had trouble stopping the flow of yuck.

Last year, as far as eating healthy and sticking to an eating plan, I failed. That is not my plan this year. The plan is a simple one. It is the same as before; low carbs, high fat, and moderate protein.

It is the Ketogenic diet. It works well. It is easy. High carb foods are hard to resist though, almost like an addiction. Two years ago I managed to go a long time without cheating. I lost nearly 40 pounds. But I get bored sometimes. And when I get bored I start looking for a treat, a sweet treat. Not good if you are a baker.

I guess it will require a little discipline. Sometimes its like I don’t know the concept. Anyway, it has been a rough start. I’ll be glad when I get over this cold.

A new year and new challenges and hopes of new successes abound in 2018. I will keep you posted.

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, Health

Keep it Keto Simple

Recipe: Baked chicken, Miracle Noodle tossed in a few tbsp of the chicken fat from the pan, and lightly seasoned with salt & pepper.

Meals on the ketogenic diet usually are not that complicated. I usually eat some protein with a good concentration of fat. The discovery of Miracle Noodles has allowed me to eat really low carb and get some fiber into my diet as well. They also leave me the room in other meals to eat more nutrient dense foods; usually broccoli or asparagus or spinach or something. And of course, they are great if I happen to get too close to my carb limit in foods I really shouldn’t be eating.

I have probably said it before, but, the easiest thing to do when trying to eat low carb is to stay away from anything that comes out of a box, has been processed, or man made in general. I usually eat with my protein some sort of whole food vegetable; things that steam, like broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, or even Brussel sprouts. To get my fat calories in I usually will pour olive oil, coconut oil, or even butter over my veggies.

My macro goal is 5% carbs, 20% protein, and 75% fat. I know it sounds like a lot. But this diet has been around for a very long time as treatment of epilepsy and other conditions. My blood pressure has come down. My blood sugar seems to be normalizing and I’m losing weight. I couldn’t be more satisfied, literally.

Fat satiates hunger like nothing else. The low amount of carbs doesn’t spike blood sugar, allowing me to go longer between meals, AND eat less, which is the real contributor to my weight loss. It’s almost fail proof.

Posted in Cooking, Favorite Recipes, food

Spaghetti Marinara

Pasta? With Miracle Noodles

Pasta is one of my favorite foods, especially after living in Italy for 3 1/2 years. Being on the ketogenic diet, however, has made pasta a once in a long while treat. That is until I found MiracleNoodles.com.

There is absolutely nothing hard about preparing Miracle Noodles themselves. It’s quite easy. Open the packet, drain, rinse, boil for two minutes, drain and dry them by placing in a dry pan on medium heat. Then add them to whatever sauce you’ve made.

The pictured dish is one I made, using the fettuccine style Miracle Noodles. The chicken legs are just regular baked chicken.

In this case, it is Italian Marinara Sauce (makes 2 cups)

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
8 cloves garlic, minced
1 can 28 oz San Marzano tomatoes, crushed
Salt to taste
Crushed red pepper to taste
10 fresh basil leaves, sliced very thinly

Directions

Heat olive oil and lightly saute the garlic.
Add the tomatoes and cook for 20 minutes.
Add sliced basil and cook for 5 minutes. Season with salt and crushed red pepper.

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Posted in Favorite Recipes, food

Kickin Collard Greens

Kickin Collard Greens

As a kid, collard greens was not one of my favorite dishes. My grandmother made them at least once or twice a month. She was also one of those grandmothers who was no stranger to cooking raccoon, possum, or a rabbit. With a coon, the side dishes were usually collards or mustard greens, and spicy roasted sweet potato.

Since growing up I have come to like both collards and mustard greens very much. I don’t do any possum or coons though. This is a pretty good recipe for collards, and a great side dish on the ketogenic diet, as it is very low in carbs. I found it on www.allrecipes.com

To make Kicken Collard Greens

1 tablespoon olive oil
3 slices bacon
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
3 cups chicken broth
1 pinch red pepper flakes
1 pound fresh collard greens

Directions:

1) Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.
2) Add bacon, and cook until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, crumble and return to the pan.
3) Add onion, and cook until tender, about 5 minutes.
4) Add garlic, and cook until just fragrant.
5) Add collard greens, and fry until they start to wilt.
6) Pour in chicken broth, and season with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes.
7) Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 45 minutes, or until greens are tender.

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Posted in Diet, Journal Entry

Progress and Dieting in my Life

10 Weeks

I am coming upon the end of week 10 of, “The End of My Big Fat Life.” I have lost a total of 23.5 pounds. As of this morning I weigh 243.5. This is just below what I weighed in 2010, the year I had my back surgery. That year I thought I would be able to lose weight since the surgery was supposed to eliminate the pain that stopped my exercise progress in the first place.

I wasn’t always fat. I was in the Navy for 20 years. I got out in 2007. Soon after though, my back just got worse and worse. Turns out I had two herniated disc. My only recourse was a lower lumbar fusion. The doctor that did the surgery was sure that this would eliminate my pain. It did in a way, but, after the surgery I had a different kind of pain that has been with me since the operation. Now I’m faced with the same type of surgery again, only in my neck. Going to talk to the doctor about it next Wednesday. Hopefully it won’t be as bad as the surgery on my  back.

I don’t really want another surgery, but, there is some weakness in my left arm and hand because of a nerve being pinched.

In my 20’s and 30’s and part of my 40’s, weight loss was just a matter of getting out of the house and doing some exercise. Back pain slowed me down though. I had never had to get on any particular diet.Maybe I could have avoided gaining so much weight if I had done so.

Losing weight gets harder the more you gain, and as you get older. I would hate for my life to be defined by constantly trying to lose weight, but, that’s what it has been for the past 9 to 12 years.

I am trying to make a life-style change, but it can be difficult. Each time I go into the grocery store there is all that junk food they have at the checkout counter to tempt you. And then there is driving around town and seeing all the fast food restaurants that I used to frequent. I’m not usually hungry when I’m out, but the temptation to eat foods that aren’t good for me persist. They only thing that saves me is that I am usually broke.

I am still pleased with what I am doing. I feel good. In fact, I feel better everyday. Sometimes when I eat a meal on the keto-diet I feel a little guilty; not like I’m on a diet. I am expecting good things from this change. So far, it had been really easy (as long as I am alway prepared food wise).


Exercise Today

Elliptical
40:00 Minutes
Active Calories: 543
AVG HR : 174

Strength Training
Dumbbell bench press, 4 sets of 12 (30 pounds)
Dumbbell flies, 4 sets of 15 (20 pounds)
Machine chest press, 2 sets of 12 (85 pounds)

 

Posted in Journal Entry, Video

6 Weeks – 21 Pounds and Counting

6 Weeks in 21 pounds lost from Tony Tate on Vimeo.

Well here we are. This just a short visual. Can’t see much. The weight loss isn’t significant enough to see the difference. It has been 6 weeks since I began my diet. So far I have lost 21 pounds. I have averaged a 3.5 pound loss per week.

So I guess I am leaning more toward a ketogenic diet. It is a little tricky though to consume the amount of fat required without consuming too much protein. But it works. When I consume the right amounts of fat the weight really starts coming off.

I’m gonna start in the gym next week – maybe this weekend. I’ll be taking it easy though. I saw the orthopedic surgeon yesterday to go over the results of my MRI. Apparently I have a ruptured or herniated disc in my neck. I will be avoiding surgery as long as I can. But I don’t know how long I can endure this pain.

Anyway, thats my 6 week update.