Saturday, September 30, 2017

three things

It feels like I'm doing so much lately - learning Welsh, listening to Celtic (metal) rock, and doing this ketogenic diet/fitness regimen.  It takes up a lot of time... and they are hobbies I've had but never went all of them at one time for as long as I have this time around.

Esme was in her room drawing comic strips and doing a really good job at it.  She is getting some use out of her desk area under her new bed.

Dw'in mynd dysgu Cymraeg rwan.  Dw mwynhau'r cyfle i ymarfe siarad efo chi!

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Construction Projects and Chicken

We've done a lot these past few days.  Esme's bed and mattress had come (it's early birthday and something we've been wanting to do for a long time).  She loves her new room.  It was such a project putting it together!

All finished and everything is in place.

 Looking down at me like a teenager

 I swear I will be careful with this ladder!

Her room looks so bright and colorful, -- also, very full, but a cool room!

There was some swearing happening during this stage - things had to be forced into place...

I love this expression on Esme's face! 

Slat, Key, Scalpel, What?

And Mark bought ten pounds of chicken on special and fried it up.  He put it away in the fridge for later and Esme took some up to Grandma.


 I was able to eat this with some lime juice, which is a first for me.  I've avoided chicken cooked on the bone for years and years - more than twenty.  But I had this idea that lime or orange juice is 'the opposite color' of what I don't like about the bone taste.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Super bandito weedwhacker rabbit

Had a workout for my arms weedwhacking today.  I wore a big floppy hat, safety glasses and a bandana to keep the dust and junk out of my nose.  Mark said I looked like a bandit, he hardly recognized me, etc etc  But it was a really good idea - as there was a LOT of stuff hitting whatever little bit of my face was exposed -- it would have been much more without the headgear.

Miss Irene walked with me in town at the park loop.  I also took that chance to use the exercise stations on the walking trail, too.  So I've been able to stretch out muscles I haven't in a long time.  Mark said we should put a trapeze in the kitchen.  Heh.

Kielbasa and bok choy on the stove simmering! 

I found six feet of wall space in Esme's room to move her futon against when we build her new bed.  It is a loft bed with a desk area underneath it.. and it is going to take up the entire wall where her bed is now... I should go check those measurements to make sure there IS enough room there.  Swept all the corners and used the long vacuum cleaner attachment to get rid of all the spiderwebs in that unused corner.  We got one big trash bag of dirty/broken toys and junk and one big bucket of possibly donateable stuff. 

Tomorrow while she is at school I will wash down the floor in there with a mild bleach solution.  Then when she gets home we can get all the tools and Daddy says he is going to watch while we try to build it, and then he'll help tighten down all the nuts and bolts and see if it needs to be bolted to the wall. 

In yoga tonight I did a tripod and half of a bridge... I couldn't get my head off the floor but all the rest of the bridge was there, which is more than I got last time.  Esme tried the tripod and succeeded.  She tried the bridge and didn't... but now she knows why it's hard!  I told her if she can do it now, really good.  If she can do it when she gets a little older - that will be even better.

I had salmon and cream cheese and blueberries for dinner (and felt like a black bear... just kidding).  13 sugars for the day and 52 carbs, 997 calories (at least), and 62% of that was fat (30 percent good monounsaturated fats).   I think I've earned some time sitting on my tail doing my Welsh Duolingo before bedtime.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

pros and cons

There are some pros and cons to this near ketogenic approach I have been taking.

The biggest 'con' isn't that bad - mostly I need to wash my face, neck and shoulders two to three times a day because I feel oilier - but I don't have as many skin issues at the same time.  I'll take one over the other, yes.  Another con is that my clothes are looser - not bad really either *heh*... And I can definitely feel it when I eat something with high carbs or sugar... that is a con.  I can feel the change through my body systems like a very tangible ripple.

Thirsty.  That's a pro and a con.  I have to drink more, and more often.  That's a con because I'm so used to being 'dry' except for a quart or two of coffee per day.  It's a pro because I'm sure this is a healthier way to survive.  I'm 'hot' and sweating more now than I did before.. when I ran terribly cold especially after eating.  I do believe water is good for me - and my body is finally agreeing instead of saying 'I can't take one more cup or I'll throw it back up.' as I used to feel about large quantities of water.  Now I suck down an entire 8 oz glass and it's no problem.

Pros.  I'm not hungry as often, unless I splurge on a high-carb thing, and then I am hungrier even with the rest of my food in me.  If I stick to the list I'm full sometimes long past the normal time I would eat another meal.

 Also, I've lost inches.  My waist and hips are down 2 inches each, and my legs are still steady at one inch less than before I began the ketogenic part of this diet.  My stomach doesn't stick out as much, but there is still some ways to go.  Since there is water weight included in this and not just body mass - I think it would be safe to lose a bit more than I was originally planning because the water weight will come back afterwards.

Muscles.  I feel like I have more control over some muscles (like the ones in my rear that grip the exercise bike seat, and my shoulder muscles as I ride hands-free to use more of my core muscles) and that I have more energy in my muscles than I had before.  That's contraintuitive to the glycogen things I read about, where I should be depriving my muscles of the stored glycogen from carbs and then refilling them slowly with new glycogen made from the ketones...

I can get big bursts of speed on the bike (it has a speed thing, and I used to ride for 6 to 10 minutes at 8 to 10 mph and now I ride for 10 to 15 minutes at 10-13 mph), and I can lift more things over my head at work that I wouldn't think of powering up before.  I'm talking about a 20 lb well tank, not an elephant.  But still, it is nice to have that power in reserve and know it is there.  I'm up and down and lifting things all day and I only occasionally feel like I'm about to fall apart on the floor and need to be picked up.  And now, when that happens, I know I've probably done some effort worth the response.

Most of my little cuts and scrapes are closing back up remarkably fast, unless I get dirt in them, and then they have a little inflammation.  I am bruising a bit more on my arms (because I'm lifting and doing more) but they are healing up pretty quick, too.

Yesterday I was at 76 carbs and 21 sugars.  Today, I refused the other half of Esme's cereal bar (like I had been doing for more than a week but had went back to sharing it with her the past two days) because I really didn't want that 12 carbs and 6 sugars on my 'plate'... I'm hoping to go back to 65 carbs and less than 20 sugars.

Sunday, September 24, 2017


Did the increase today, and went to 75 grams of carbohydrates, but less than 12 grams of sugar.  I had lots of ambition - did a LOT, especially in the morning.  It was one of those 'more done by noon than done all week' sort of days again...  But by four o clock I was ready to go home and rest, have dinner and take a nap!  I didn't get the nap - we watched a movie.  And in a few hours it will be time for bed.  I'm trying to stay up long enough to read Esme her bit of book.  I can sleep a little later tomorrow.

Will go by the same plan tomorrow, and see if my energy picks back up after getting used to the change.  I was thirsty again, today, too - very thirsty, all that water adding back in to process the carbs.

I bought some better olive oil, new green olives and more coconut milk - as I won't be completely changing the way I was eating the past week, just adding the carbs in to balance things out.  I'm still eating less than the recc. amount of calories, so we'll see what happens - weigh  myself sometime towards the end of the week and see how things have worked out.

We got some of Esme's birthday presents in the mail the other day, and I wrapped them up already.  Also got a new book for us to read after 'A Wrinkle in Time', - which is 'The Sixty Eight (Thorne) Rooms'.  I really liked reading that book myself last year.  My Dropkick Murphys CD has come and I'm still waiting on my 'Run Away (killer rabbit)' tshirt ;)

Saturday, September 23, 2017

easing off the ketogenic diet

I did the near-ketogenic diet for a week.

I've lost 6 lbs so far and have another 6 or so before I will reach my target.  But I don't want to do it in such a way that I will just bounce back - there is a relationship to carbs and water weight I've been reading about.  I'm increasing my carbs now to 65 to 75 grams per day, and the sugar to 20 to 25 grams (or less).  If that doesn't continue to feel like it is benefiting me, then I'll reduce it again.    I do like the feeling of eating much less sugar, bread and rice etc.  I'm not sure if I can keep up eating NO bread and rice for the long term.. so starting back with one or two servings per day under the mentioned limits until I find a good medium ground.

a birthday party

We went to a birthday party last night.
It was a long night for us, but everyone had fun!
Today I'm back at work....

Thursday, September 21, 2017

The bits

I get the day off tomorrow, but we have a birthday party to go to.  I don't have a lot extra to report - have lost some weight with the near-ketogenic diet and I'm just a little away from my goal.  Wondering how to work the carbohydrates back up to maintenance level.. but that will be next week. 

I hope to sew some more shorts for Esme and do some laundry tomorrow while she is at school.  I have a new magazine and am still listening to the e-book.  Had some salmon today with plums and red cabbage in olive oil, as well as an egg.  That was supper, and I did have breakfast and lunch before that.  The plum was SO sweet now that I have not been eating any sugar.  It was almost too sweet to eat until I cooked it with the cabbage and olive oil and a little balsamic vinegar.  I still came out 60% fat today, 24% carb and 16% protein.  It is so easy though to not eat the 'proper' amount of calories because I feel so full. 

More to report after the birthday party!

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

menu bits

Continuing with the diet plan - and it seems to be working really well.  It's difficult to plan things that have no sugar and very little carbohydrates - but its definitely not difficult not to eat those things... I don't really want the sweetness.

Esme and Mark can still have all the sugar they want - it's all around me in the house, but about the only thing I'd want is a coconut Hershey's kiss with almonds - which I had one last night before bed.  Even with that yesterday was 15 grams of sugar - less than I used to eat in one breakfast 'cake' which would make me hungry again a few hours later.  I do admit I was very hungry at lunch today - but I went light on the calories the past few days and the avocado and pistachios today helped catch me up.

2/3 cup of coconut milk (unsweetened)
2 tsp of unsweetened cocoa powder
mixed those in a hot cup of coffee and let it combine
ate about a tablespoon worth of walnuts and a slice of swiss cheese with that

1/2 of an avocado
1/3 cup of black beans
2/3 cup of tomatoes
1 tortilla
handful of pistachio nuts
lots of water and coffee

Dinner :
2 brown eggs
a 2 inch square hunk of mozzarella
2 oz of turkey kielbasa (I usually cut the kielbasa into an equal # of hunks based on the weight, Mark did it this time so I tried to guess-timate)
1/2 cup of red cabbage shredded
1/3 cup of green peppers
1 tbsp of good Irish butter
1/4 cup of whole milk in coffee

I cooked the cabbage and peppers and kielbasa together, drained it, added the butter and black pepper to it and then made the eggs and cheese on the side.

 Today the planner said I ended up with 59% fat, 24% carbs and 17% protein.  I almost reached the calorie goal (which is a weight-loss goal of 1 lb per week), and today was 12 grams of sugar for the entire day.  Carbohydrates were 70 grams - and true ketogenic diets are less than 50 grams a day - but I'm not 'doing' true ketogenic - I'm just eliminating as much as I can without having to go out and buy really specialized foods.  I can see the difference.

I work later tomorrow, the past two days have been very early and lots of physical labor at work.  I'll get a chance to cook something tomorrow instead of having to throw things together on the fly.

Sunday, September 17, 2017


I'm averaging about 50% fat and the protein and carbs are wavering back and forth a bit around 25%.. and that seems to be working wonderfully for me.  This would be the third day of increasing monounsaturated fats and cutting back on carbs, with as little sugar as I can get away with.

I have energy and I'm not knife-gnawing hungry before mealtimes have even arrived.. which is a very different feeling.  I have to get used to that.  Do I need to eat right now?  Should I just eat later, or ..?  I keep waiting for it to swoop down upon me like it had even during the three weeks I was not restricting carbs and sugars - trying only calorie-restriction (and naturally doing 35-45% fat, although most of it saturated).  I used to be hungry two hours after I got to work - and yesterday I only drank water at my break instead of snacking.  I was cleaning and moving stuff, too - so it wasn't an idle day by far.

I like this - but I'm not used to it, yet.
We'll see how it continues to develop.

Esme got really great grades on her reading and math tests.  We have her parent teacher conferences tomorrow.  I have today off and she has asked to invite a friend over to play games.  I'm cleaning the house some, doing laundry et al.

These aren't out of the diet book I'm reading - just based on the foods they recommend and the ones they do not -  and what I happened to have in my cabinets and freezer that would fit with the plan.

The other day I had this which was EXCELLENT
I've made it before, actually, when I needed 'something' and the fish seemed to be it.
Five of my seven dogs sat at my feet and demanded some of this.. so that tells me it's good!

Mackerel and Tomatoes (2 servings)

1 tin of boneless mackerel in olive oil  (Season brand)
1/2 cup diced tomatoes
mix together and put in toaster oven on 350 until hot and steaming 

Last night I made this:

 Eggs and Swiss with spianch and black beans

2 Large brown eggs cooked in 1 tbsp of butter.
handful of torn up spinach greens tossed in when mostly cooked
2 tbsp of black beans, mixed in after cooked.
1 slice of Swiss cheese torn up and mixed with it all.
A few frozen blueberries on the side

Then this morning I made this:

Coconut Cocoa Greek Yogurt

4 tbsp of toasted unsweetened coconut flakes (we had in freezer, and I had an inspiration)
I toasted that in the toaster oven on low broil and stirred it until it was dry and starting to brown
2 tsp of unsweetened cocoa powder, mixed in after toasting
3 tbsp of full fat Greek yogurt

I liked the coconut yogurt, but it probably would have been better with a few tbsp of unsweetened coconut milk.  It needed something 'more'...  The cocoa powder was much subtler than I expected - the taste actually rounded out and hit me after I had eaten it... it might have done well to be mixed and let stand so the fat and the cocoa powder could combine some before eating.

Friday, September 15, 2017

diet bits

I decided to embrace the higher fat lower sugar trend my numbers were showing me in the app - and I didn't even want to eat all the food I had today - which is pretty astounding.  I was reading an audiobook about eating more fat to actually lose weight - and I'll try it for a few days and see if I continue to feel this good or if I need to go back to the simple calorie counter method.  I didn't even make it to my calories today - even with what I planned to eat, which I didn't eat all of.  And I was not starving at lunchtime (like every day for weeks) or snacking when I got home from work. 

I did drink a LOT more liquid.  I was thirsty, and I did a lot of physical work moving large things around at the store.  I got all of my work done for the night and even some of the cleaning I normally do on the weekends.  And I still had enough energy to do exercises at home without feeling like I was about to fall over dead... 50% fat for the day (good fat, from eggs, fish and avocado)  30% carb, 20% protein.  The only sugars I ate today were in the tomatoes, fresh peppers and a half cup of milk.  That was 11 grams for the day compared with the 59 grams they 'allow' me for the day. 

We even had free pastries in the breakroom and I was so full feeling I didn't want to eat my dinner or a pastry - I just drank another jar of green tea and had my dinner at my break much later than I normally do.  I'll see after three days if I want to continue this or go back to the other method which had more carbs.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

tiny bits

Not much, Esme opened a can of green beans by herself with the can opener!  So there is a skill to keep in practice.  Mark got me a left handed can opener once.  It worked really well.  I lost that in the flood in Duluth (I was planning on eating canned food and saving money that way while staying there a few days) so he got the electric one we have now, which I can also use most of the time.  Me vs a regular can opener is sadness... dulled mutilated edges mixed with sharp ragged ones that have paper stuck in everything.

So three weeks into using the fitness thing I have a few good things to report.  I'm drinking some water - although that has more to do with having actual verre glasses instead of plastic ones.  I'm making some time for exercise every day - exercise bike or yoga mat or arm weights.  It's making a difference.  I'm working muscles I didn't remember weren't working well... right up until I started working them.  Then, I remembered.  It's only been three weeks but I do feel like some of my clothing is fitting better - maybe it is, maybe its just wishful thinking.

Continuing with the Welsh - it's tough on the headphones a little because there is a lot of overstatic when they make the breathy noises and I have to turn the volume up high to hear some of the other mutations properly.

Esme has tests this week at school and we have a parent teacher conference on Monday.  I think she's doing well - it's hard to tell.  She's in fourth grade now and they're supposed to do everything on their own with very little prompting.  And not all the students are doing the same work - so just because her classmate had to make a diorama or write a report doesn't necessarily mean she has the same assignment?  I guess we'll see when we go to the conference.

Other than that, just waiting on a real day off.  I close these next few days so its like having a day off that stops mid morning and then I have to get ready and go to work, only to return at the verge of bedtime.   Big changes happening at work, too - in processes and procedures... paperwork changes and computer program changes - new freight processes - have to get used to those, as well as the lovely 'get ready for inventory' kicking up into full gear. 

Meg and Charles Wallace and Calvin have just come through the boundary in 'A Wrinkle in Time'.. Esme had a lot to think about with the description of the crossing of the time boundary.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Recipes beef curry and peanut sauce

There was a cooking class offered at Esme's school,  but it was after school every week and we couldn't provide transportation home because of my work schedule...  so, we've offered to teach her a few more things at home, and she has agreed to be brave and try things.

Tonight, she made her own sloppy Joe tonight start to finish :-)   She cooked the meat and added spices and tomatoes and chopped up some cheese with a knife and then poured it all over Italian bread.

I also made beef curry (for myself tonight and tomorrow's lunch) and it was excellent.
1 tbsp olive oil
Onions and green peppers
Hot madras curry powder
Black pepper
Tiny bit of good cinnamon
4 oz. Ground beef
1 tbsp unsalted butter (melted then mixed with the curry)
'Golden curry' Japanese curry (1 / 10th block)
 1 tsp tomato paste (add curry and paste together with cooking meat)
--I added about a cup of water and let this simmer and boil until the meat was cooked.. it made its own curry gravy :) --
2/3 cup carrots (add last)
Makes two servings 270 calories era
Serve over 2/3 c white rice

Recipe for peanut butter ginger sauce I want to try
1/2 cup all-natural peanut butter
3 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp grated ginger
Add water if too thick
2 tbsp per serving of rice and meat

3 weeks with the fitness tracker tomorrow

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Leather jacket

This is the new fall to winter jacket.  It has really long sleeves, so I tacked them up at the seams and we can let them down to probably wear next year.  It was at the outlet store, so it was not crazy expensive (like it was originally), but should last her for a good time.  I also have a 'parka' type winter jacket that was on clearance from WM coming in a week or so - just in case this doesn't make the cut to wear to school during the winter.  I picked her up some magic type gloves at the store.  It gets cold in the mornings at the bus stop!

She's a little leery of wearing this to school after Mom and Dad talking up that it is 'cool' but was a really big thing when we were her age.  We'll see.  I've got her name in it and she said she would try to be careful with it!

And this is the dog bed (a huge floor pillow) that Mark has been after me to make for Sweetie (shown) for over a year.  I finally collected up all the filling for it (remnants, old jeans and foam bits from an upholstery shop) and put it together.  It is approved of.  We have agreed I should probably make a longer thinner one for the futon for the other dogs.  And maybe before another year and a half has gone by.

I'm starting to cut out Esme's shorts pattern.

Friday, September 08, 2017

Fitness Bits and a leather jacket

Now we have a weekend - but so many things to do.  I have a store meeting very early Sunday.  On Monday we are helping grandma with the cats.  Today we looked for jackets for Esme as it is getting cold in the mornings.  Mark found a black leather jacket at the outlet store.... adult size small - as in, Esme size... We decided to get it when we got our chicken.  I will have to get a picture soon of her 'coolness' jacket heh.

I still need to sew the shorts - but maybe now they will be more like knee pants.

I have been using the fitness tracker for about two weeks.  There hasn't been a dat that the fat percentage has been less than 35%. There were several days it was nearing 50%.  The reccommendations say 20-35% max for fat in the percentage ratios.  But the calorie count and sugars have been within the goal each day.   That is just the way I eat...  I wonder if my grandmother's Anishinaabe blood has something to do with it.

At least I am getting good exercise and stretching.  I can feel my muscles protesting heh.  Mark points out that I already have a quite physical job - throwing showers, toilets and vanity cabinets around (as well as pipe and boxes of plumbing goods) on a daily basis.  I also do a lot of walking at work, back and forth across the large store over and over and over... but it only works some of my muscles and leaves others with needing more.  The simple routines I've picked out for the yoga mat help get the shoulders and hips more, and the workout moves target specific areas in my arms (small weights) and legs that are not usually exercised by simply lifting and pivoting large boxes.  Considering my abdominals are now complaining to me about the bike and plank combination means I must be getting somewhere!

Tuesday, September 05, 2017


Got some fabric today to make Esme's new shorts, one bandana and one with cute birds on it.  She's told me there is some sort of cooking class at the Dixie this year - but she wasn't that interested in cooking when we tried last... have to take a look at the dates and times.

We had a nice Labor Day potluck sort of thing with friends last night after Esme had a sleepover with their girl the night before.  The girls still get on each other's nerves about half of the time they are together... but then, they are preteen girls.  It seems to be the way of it.  We had a nice talk ourselves with the parents and their relatives, it was a nice 'social' night we don't do a lot of.

Found another place online that returns gift cards for surveys - and that is already adding to the purchase we plan to make in a week or so.  We are finally going to buy Esme a loft bed (and wow, we'll have to put it together) that she has been asking for more than a year.  Then there is the mattress that goes with that and a few little things we've thrown in our cart like a tshirt and a closet organizer for her etc.  The gift cards pare down little bits of the bill at a time, which will make it less expensive to actually purchase it. 

We've started reading 'A Wrinkle in Time'... and Esme was not thrilled with the first chapter but I dropped enough hints and explained that we have to see who Meg and Charles Wallace are before they can start doing all the interesting special things _they_ don't even know they are about to do yet.  So, she kept on listening.  I hope tonight it does start to get more interesting.  She perked her ears at the 'tesseract' idea.. she wants to know more now.

I've been sticking with the fitness tracker - last night was hard because I didn't cook half the things - but I think I'm doing okay still.  I'm getting more exercise during the day, (bike, weights, yoga mat) and that has to help.  I'm not going for immediate weight loss.  I had been trying to reduce sugar for a long time - that is working, sweet things seem so much sweeter now and I want less of them.  It's good to know the ratios of nutrients, fat and protein that is in what I normally want to eat, and making sure I get some exercise in and stretching because there are placeholders daily to report that.  And I'm taking my vitamins, again... which I can feel that difference.

Off to look at the cooking class thing, and then get the fabric and other laundry out of the dryer...

Saturday, September 02, 2017

more little bits

I had a dream early this morning that was interesting.  I was looking everywhere for my Welsh lesson I'm not even sure what exactly I was trying to find, audio or paper or ... but suddenly I stopped and it was like I could tell exactly where it was.  I opened my jacket and pulled on a zipper in my chest and my lesson was inside me all along.  I've never felt this way about a language I've been learning - but it does.. it feels like the Welsh is inside me and I'm being 'reminded' of it.  It's really cool.

I realized I could download the image of a workout routine on my tablet and save it to my gallery and have it downstairs by my mat to refer to without actually loading the pages again.. simple but nice hack.  Esme and Callie cat both like the mat.  Cat, no mat.. get!  I think I said that three times yesterday and had to carry her off protesting each time.

Work is getting even less clear and more tightened up about exactly what minute we can punch in and out.  The robots are taking over... that is the general consensus.  Humans will no longer be in control of figuring out if other humans were 'on time' or not.. it will all be computer recorded.  Oh joy.  Like that has worked so well in the past!

I processed the rest of the hot chili peppers with tomato puree last night to make chili sauce.  It was good (but hot!) with black beans.  Mark had made bacon.  It made a decent dinner.

Friday, September 01, 2017

bits of bits

So much rain.  School was cancelled today - which makes a four day weekend for Esme.  I have to go in to work, though.  Hoping the roads are okay.  I actually did get out the yoga mat last night after she went to bed.  I didn't follow any specific routine yet, but just getting over that threshold of taking it out and letting the dog stare at me funny is something.  Nova thought I was being 'puppy' and refused to speak to me about it.. she is the oldest of our dogs and crawling around on the floor is not something she expects or admires in a human apparently...

I've almost got rid of what is in my lungs but the rain just keeps coming, which is no good for it. 

Cut up all the hot peppers last night and roasted them in the oven, put them in oil in a jar in the fridge for making my next batch of soup.  I should take some of that soup to work today as my meal.  I'm just not looking forward to that drive after the hurricane-remnant storms have come through.