Journal, What I'm Doing Now

My Shop, Updates and Questions

Some changes and have some plans in the works.

  • First: I have a shop. It is a list of all of the things on Amazon I recommend (and, once again, I am not an Amazon affiliate). I am unable to personally fulfill any orders at this time, so please click the link in the description (do not add to cart … I can’t figure out how to NOT have that option show up right now). Here are a few of the items.
  • Second: I have merged my website with this one. All of my low carb/keto information is on this page. I am not sure how far I will take this (if I will merge my YouTube channels or not). Since the merge, there may be duplicate posts (I think I caught most of them) and any links to the Atkins Journey website may not work properly. I will slowly be working on those issues over the next few weeks.
My Atkins/Keto Journey
  • Third: I got some new goodies. I have a taller tripod for my phone, so my videos will be a bit better (and I will be able to do a few different ones), I got a wireless microphone so I can walk around the yard and you can still hear me, a webcam so I don’t have to use my phone for video conferences, and
  • Fourth: I got a fancy microphone so I am thinking about starting a small podcast. Is there anything specific you would like to hear about? Any questions you haven’t asked? Let me know! Also, would you like strictly audio or audio/video posted on YouTube also? I haven’t even opened the box yet (I have been busy with home improvements), so it may be a month or so until I am ready to get this going.
See? Fancy!
Health, Journal

Doctor Day! My Results Are In!

After 10 years, I am still med free and can officially say I no longer have type 2 diabetes!
A few months back, I went into the doctor weighing 207 with an A1C of 6.9 (normal is 5.6 and below). Keep in mind, I hadn’t been to the doctor in over 5 years and had been eating just about anything I wanted. His instructions were to lose 20 pounds and fix my diet.
So, I pretty much gave up all carbs during the day and ate whatever I wanted for dinner (but stopped eating almost all sweets of any kind, including sugar-free). The first thing I noticed was my desire for food began to lessen. I am now at the point where I may eat a meal and a half to two meals per day. I am just not hungry during the day but I eat something so I don’t get ravenous (and start shoveling any food into my mouth).
Today was my follow-up visit and I managed to lose 17 of the 20 pounds and brought my A1C down to 5.8! Do you see that? I am .2 above normal! It was so funny: he was reading through my blood test results, “kidney function is good, liver function is good, no diabetes … ” and I yelled, “WHAT?” (I think I scared him a little). The rest of the results were perfect. This time, his instructions were to keep doing what I am doing and mostly focus on my weight (I will mostly focus on what I put in my mouth and maybe incorporate some actual exercise if it ever cools off here in Central California).
There is one issue that it turns out I have had since I was 18: gallbladder. I had a CT scan in July and there was a gallstone. He asked about pain, I described the intermittent pain I get, and we came to the conclusion that I have had a messed up gallbladder for 30 years. I have gone to multiple doctors over the years for the pain but they all said there was nothing wrong (even went to the Emergency Room out at County about 15 years ago and after doing no tests, the doctor told me my pain was an ulcer). So, I am waiting for a referral to a surgeon. If I can get this taken care of, I will be even more unstoppable! 🙂

Fitness, Health, Journal

A Year Today – Cancer and Kettlebell Swings

It has been a year today since my husband’s surgery to remove a polyp that turned into a cancer diagnosis. It has been one heck of a roller coaster ride. I spend my days alone, while he is at work, yet when he was in the hospital I was like a little child, lonely and weepy, eating everything I could get my hands on, drowning my sorrows in food. It was awful!

Then, when he got home, it was time to play “What can he eat?” It has taken a year for him to be able to eat the fattier cuts of meat without pain or it running right through him. With that year of food uncertainty, I let myself go. It didn’t click how bad it was until I stepped on the scale and it lied to me, telling me I was 201 pounds. I tried it three more times before I realized it was correct. June 3, 2015 (15 days before his surgery) I weighed 176. That was the last time I weighed myself until this month.
I am happy to say that not only is he STILL cancer free but he has decided to begin exercising to build up his strength! So, while we slowly figure out how low carb/keto he can go, I am taking it slow. Very low/possibly keto during the day, then a normal dinner together (which is much better now that there are no children in the house again). And this is my current favorite exercise (which I have already posted on my Facebook page, so sorry about the duplicate):

Kettle Bell Swings

I actually read about them in the “4 Hour Body” by Tim Ferris. I knew what a kettlebell looked like. Heck, I even carried one into the house when my son was moving but I had never looked into exercising with it. So, I stole it from him (well, borrowed it). I began lowering my carbs and exercising March 29th. Day one, I managed to do 20 kettlebell swings. That was it for the week. I was wobbly and sore. The next week, I did 26 swings. This week, I have done 30 on Monday and 48 today. Since March 29th, I have lost a whopping 2 pounds according to the scale but I have lost 10 inches all over my body!!!!

My goal is to work up to 3 times per week with as many as I can do while still keeping good form. I can truly feel this all over my body (in a good way) so this is the exercise I am having hubby do. Thanks to the work he currently does, it won’t be too long until we will have to purchase a heavier kettlebell (since his first day he did 50, which was Wednesday … I need to write that down).

This exercise has not aggravated my carpal tunnel (which decided to flare a bit, thanks to writing a book) or a gem of a gangleon cyst that formed at the base of my right middle finger (no, I didn’t get it from overuse) OR my still-slightly-tweaky shoulder. I am hoping to take almost-before pictures tomorrow (kinda hard when I am alone). Not sure if I will post those or hold onto them to include with “progress” pictures.


Amazing Update – Our Bodies are Truly Amazing

January of 2010, as I have noted before, I was rushed to the E.R. I had developed an allergy to scallops, which branched out to all fish/seafood, then to latex, then to certain chemicals, etc. Two months later, I was diagnosed with not only type-2 diabetes but my Vitamin D levels were in the single digits. I worked on the diabetes and started taking Vitamin D supplements but I read that many adult-onset allergies can be “outgrown”. I told hubby that I would test myself in 5 years.

Fast forward to Monday of last week. I was sitting here, thinking, and then a realization hit. I hadn’t had to wear a face mask in public in about 4 months. I also hadn’t had to wear one when working outside in the yard. So, I decided to test myself. See, in 2010, when we were scouring the house of all fish-related products, we tested Worcestershire sauce. I put a little on my finger, touched my tongue, and was immediately hit with an itching wave that shot down my tongue, into my throat. I performed this test on Monday of this past week and nothing happened. So, I decided to try some actual fish.

As of this moment, July 25, 2014 at 3:40 pm, it has been an hour since I ate a grilled tuna steak and having NO REACTION WHATSOEVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! OMG! I just realized I can now start posting fish recipes! 🙂

Next test (next pay day) … shrimp. That’s what I miss the most. AND I may be able to handle it. My allergy to fish had gotten so bad that just walking near the aquariums in Bass Pro Shops made be unable to breathe last year and today I shoved my nose (not literally) into a bag of fresh mussels and had no reaction. I can’t tell you how thrilled I am! I’ll go measure myself and post my number on my stats page (I bought my first new pair of shorts and they are a comfortably loose 32 inch waist) and am 2 pounds down from last week (164 pounds).

Fitness, Journal

New Weight Training Program

I’ve added a new weight training program to my Physical Training page. So, why am I doing this? Well, because I’m bored. I’m bored and tired of having to remove exercises from my training because of my shoulders. So, while I was trying to work myself into training mode this morning, I stumbled on an article posted on Fitocracy. I have enjoyed every article I have read on T Nation but this one got me really excited. Why? Well, let me tell you. 🙂

Bodybuilders have always held a special place in my heart. I have never sat there, looking at Arnold, thinking, “I want a man like that”. I have always thought, “I want to look like that!” Not really (I LIKE looking like a female) but I love muscles. I always have. I read Muscle and Fitness, watched Pumping Iron (and Pumping Iron 2), read up on supplements, etc. and that was all in high school, when women in the weight room were frowned upon by all those manly football/P.E. coaches (fast forward 30+ years and almost 100+ pounds and I finally began weight training). So, when I started seriously thinking (that’s the key term) about implementing weight training, I ran across Arnold’s book, “Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding” at a thrift store. What luck! I paid $4 for this massive book! I read it cover to cover, then wrote down all the exercises I needed to do, … that was in August of 2012 (remember, I didn’t actually start any weight training until August of 2013)!

In August of 2013, I took another look at the exercises and training schedule and knew I would burn myself out (or hurt myself) if I went from absolutely no movement whatsoever to that. That’s when I found Omar Isuf on You Tube. His basic program was perfect, and still is despite my shoulders. I am much stronger and more fit than I can remember being. Now I feel like I need to step it up a notch.

So, I found this article today: Reg Park’s Three Phase 5×5 Program. So, who is Reg Park, you may ask? Well, not only was he the hunky Hercules throughout the 1960’s (check out this picture from Hercules In The Haunted World from 1961)

BUT he was Arnold’s inspiration for becoming a bodybuilder. AND, if I can’t yet workout like Arnold, then why not work out like his mentor? So, beginning today, I am beginning Phase One of Reg Park’s Three Phase 5×5 Program (if you are interested in reading the article or checking out phases two and three, please visit this link).

Reg Park’s Three Phase 5×5 Program
Phase One
45-degree back extension 3×10
Back squat 5×5
Bench press 5×5
Deadlift 5×5
Rest 3-5 minutes between the last 3 sets of each exercise.
Train three days per week for three months.
The only special equipment I do not have is anything to do the 45-degree back extension on but I will! Remember that first video I posted regarding my shoulder stretches/exercises? Remember the stool he made? I will use that and hook my feet underneath either the drawers or bottom of the desk we have in the garage (It’s a big, metal, heavy 1960’s behemoth). So, now that I’ve spent the entire morning on this, it’s time to get busy! I’ll post updated stats tomorrow morning.

Journal, Just Because

How To Get Sh*t Done

I can’t tell you how much I enjoy Elliot Hulse.  He doesn’t censor his language and each video is just one guy talking to another.  This one is especially pertinent to me lately.  I’m still in “look back” mode.  What did I do before and how can I do those things differently so I will actually get results?
The one answer that encompasses everything may shock you.  I do not get up every morning with a smile on my face and jumping for joy because today is weight training day or cardio day.  I’m not beaming with anticipation about tracking every bit of food that passes my lips.  It’s become just what I do.  It’s a habit.  It’s Monday?  Weights today.  It’s not an option, it’s a fact.
But it’s too hard!
I’ve re-connected to a group I met on the Atkin’s website back in 2010.  The Lord knows I have overcome much in this leg of my journey but one of the biggest is the negative self-talk.  If you have been reading my blog for a while, you’ve read plenty of it in my weekly rants … I mean updates.  One of the issues that I have overcome (and what I hear a lot of people complain about) is tracking my food.  When I first ventured into the low carb arena, I only tracked carbohydrates.  Heck, that is what was encouraged (“Carbs are all you need to worry about”).  When I began this journey again in August of 2013, I began low carb eating the same as before … only tracking carbs.  When I continued to see the spikes in my blood sugar, I decided to track everything.  Now, it’s just not an option.  My browser’s home page is My Fitness Pal and the first thing I do is track my coffee/supplements and work on what I plan to eat for the day.  It’s a habit and feels strange now if I don’t track throughout the day (it feels like I’m forgetting something).  For those who aren’t seeing the results they want with any way of eating, the only way for you to discover WHY it isn’t working is to track your food/liquid intake, then dissect and analyze your food choices.  If it’s “too much work”, then I really do not see how you can truly be committed to improving your health.
So, what do I track?  The only no-calorie beverage I track is water (to make sure I’m drinking enough).  Otherwise, if it has calories, I track it.  You would be amazed (or at least I was) with the massive database on My Fitness Pal (I haven’t used any others, so I’m not sure how they are).  If I made something from scratch and REALLY don’t feel like inputting my recipe, I will find one that’s close.
If it’s Monday, it’s weight day.
Now for exercise.  I just do it.  If it takes me 4 hours to get my energy levels up to exercise, then that’s how long it takes.  If (like this week) I just don’t feel like doing it (Monday became my “rest day” this week, which I spent tearing up some of the linoleum in the kitchen), then I begin the next day.  I do my best to NOT do this, since that means I will end up exercising on Saturday (which I haven’t incorporated into my routine because the weekends are reserved for 48 straight hours of wonderful time with my husband).
My mornings are all based on routines.  I get up, let the dog out, relieve myself, get the coffee going, feed my dog and let him back in, boot up my computer, brush my teeth, get hubby’s lunch ready, make hubby’s coffee and wake him up, get him off for work, make my coffee then start MY day.  I track my coffee, decide what I’ll have pre-workout (for breakfast), then an hour after I eat, I exercise.   As long as I’m healthy, this happens Monday through Friday.  Period.  It’s now a habit and feels odd if I miss one thing.
So, what about those days when nothing seems to be going right?  Here was my Tuesday: I did everything listed in the last paragraph until the exercise part.  I was dressed, out in the garage, and getting ready to begin.  My son comes home and we have a lengthy discussion.  That discussion put me into a deep dark place.  It wasn’t depression, it was a mix of anger, frustration, disappointment, irritation, etc. and I said, “F*ck working out” and came back in the house.  I had decided that I wasn’t even going to bother (yeah, that’s my blanket defeatist statement that I have been working hard to eliminate from my vocabulary but it still rears its ugly head once in a while).  I sat here, at the computer, brooding.  It took me almost 2 hours to bring myself out of the funk but once I did, I got busy.  I got dressed, went back out to the garage, did my weight training, and decided to start some work on the exterior of the house.  Tuesday was the longest I’ve worked in over a year (not only did I do my weight training, I also spent 2 hours pulling concrete shingles off the exterior of our house).
So, what does this have to do with me, if I’m not dieting/exercising?
Everything.  If you are not one of those that naturally has a list of things to do for the day (and does them on a consistent basis), building habits is how you will accomplish all those things you desire in life.  Hate how messy your house is?  Make a habit of picking something up every day.  It doesn’t have to be a 10-hour cleaning marathon but you have to develop the habit of doing that one thing (putting your dishes in the sink or putting your dirty clothes in hamper) every single day.  That one small act will become a habit, that can be expanded on.  Start today!

Fitness, Journal

So, Who Am I and Why Am I Here?


I am a married 40 something over-weight type 2 diabetic who intends to remain med free. That is pretty much all those pages up there, rolled into one sentence. Of course, if you want more information, just click on the pages above. I’m brutally honest about myself. I’ve been heavy as far back as I can remember (my first double chin was in 4th grade). I was resigned to remain that way until 2010, when I was diagnosed with type 2 Diabetes. I began Atkins, lost 10 pounds (got off my meds though my doctor didn’t know about it), thought my blood sugars were under control since I wasn’t gaining any weight, so I fell off the wagon. At the beginning of August 2013, I went back to the doctor. I was wrong. So, I embarked on Atkins again but this time I could not control my blood sugars (amazing what happens when you continue to test yourself, huh?). While desperately searching for the cause of my blood sugar swings, I stumbled upon the nutritional Ketogenic diet. It has been a life saver (literally).  So, check out the pages above (see some awful pictures of me) for more information. On my stats page, you wil find my weight, measurements, and fasting blood glucose reading for the day and here you can find my physical training schedule.  I recently update the About 1972 Atkins page to include a snippet about the first week (Level 1) AND the menu included in the original book.

Fitness, Journal

Doctor, Low Carb, Weights, Anger

I need to find a new doctor.  I started seeing him because he was there for the birth of my husband (yeah, he’s that old).  The whole family goes to him.  But after today, I need to find a doctor that will support the changes I’ve made in my life.
So, the first words out of his mouth are, “Your blood sugar is out of control”.  Me: “I thought I was doing so much better than when I was here in July!”.  Him: “Well, your average is in the 160s.”  Me: “What does that mean?  Is it lower than it was last time?”  He looks … “Yes but we need to put you on medication.”  Me: “Oh, man.” Him: “Well, you don’t have to do anything if you want to go blind and lose limbs!”
I explained that I had been doing so good, read off my morning and evening blood glucose readings for the last few weeks and didn’t understand how my a1c could still be so high still.  I told him my exercise schedule (2 days cardio, 3 days weights) and he snapped, “Why are you lifting weights?  Have you ever seen a skinny weight lifter?”  Me: “But I’ve lost 8 pounds in 6 weeks!” Him: “Oh.” Now comes diet.
I told him I started on Atkins, then switched.  Before I could even tell him anything else, “So, what do you eat for breakfast?” Me: “A couple of eggs with some cheese”.  Him: “And lunch?”  I think for a minute … Him: “Is it really that hard for you to tell me what you eat for lunch?”  Me: “I’m down to about 20 carbs per day.” Him: “What? Do you eat potatoes, rice, oats, bread?” Me: “No.”  Him: “Well, we need to get you on a 2000 calorie/day diabetic diet.”
This is the third time he’s tried this one.  Let me show you just the two sample breakfasts they give:
Sample One:
2/3 cup Apple Juice (Apple Juice – 100 % Apple Juice- No Sugar Added – 29 g carb)
1/2 cup oatmeal (Quaker Oats Old Fashioned Oatmeal – Hot Oatmeal – 27 g carb)
2 slices Toast (Ezekial – Sprouted Grain & Seed Bread – 30 g carb)
1 soft-boiled egg
2 t. margarine (NEVER!)
1 cup 2% milk (Borden – 2% Reduced Fat Milk (8 Oz) – 12 g carb)
Sample Two
1 cup Orange Juice (Florida’s Natural – Premium Orange Juice Most Pulp No Sugar Added – 11 g carb)
3/4 cup Corn Flakes (Kellog’s – Corn Flakes Original – 18 g carb)
2 slices Toast (Ezekial – Sprouted Grain & Seed Bread – 30 g carb)
1 poached egg
2 t. margarine (NEVER!)
1 cup 2% milk (Borden – 2% Reduced Fat Milk (8 Oz) – 12 g carb)
So, he actually thinks it healthier for me to either have 98 grams (Sample One) or 71 grams (Sample Two) carbohydrates in a single meal than to continue with the way of eating that has already showed an improvement in my daily blood sugar readings?
That was it. He handed me two boxes of Januvia samples and wants me to come back in 3 months. I left sobbing. It’s not like I expected him to grab my hand and tell me what a good girl I’ve been but I did expect some kind of acknowledgement that I had worked hard and improved my health. Once I got home, I called the office back to find out what my a1c numbers were. July was 8.3 and last week’s was 7.5. That still didn’t make sense until that word average popped out on my computer screen. Average … so what was it really? I don’t give a shit about the average … I want to know what the actual number was last week (She couldn’t see any other numbers on the report). I want to know exactly how much of an improvement I made in 6 weeks. I guess I could do some Algebra but that will just irritate me. HA! I did it. So, my true a1c from last week was 6.7 … a 1.7 decrease in 6 weeks and he wants me to fundamentally change everything that has worked?
I am upset, sad, and angry.

Fitness, Journal

What is Wrong With “Normal” Foods?

I may not be the most “natural” eater (I do use supplements and Whey protein, after all) but I don’t understand some of the ingredients that are “must haves”. I’ve been reading (yes, mostly reading since I’m so out of shape) about health and fitness for most of my life (We recently started watching “The Shield” from the beginning of the series and right there in the 3rd or 4th season was Cory Everson and I just about died. I looked at my husband and exclaimed, “Wait until I show you who that is!”. Then I dragged him to the computer and showed him her Ms. Olympia-era pictures.) So, that proves how long I’ve been reading! Anyway, it seems like every two to three years, a magical, miracle food shows up with claims that it will revolutionize your fat loss, your muscle gains, your health and wellness, or some other claim. Most of them I either wanted desperately (who wouldn’t want an easy, no exercise needed fat loss supplement?) or totally discounted because the claims were just too outlandish.
One of my favorite pieces in Muscle and Fitness magazine (I truly hated “Muscle and Fitness Hers”) was just inside the back cover when they would bash themselves for the stories published in the past about everything from exercise, food/supplements, and clothing fads. Who doesn’t still giggle at the brightly colored spandex, headbands, and mullets?
Well, now that so many people are either going low carbohydrate in one way or another (or gluten free), I’ve been seeing a lot of recipes with the latest miracle foods: flax, quinoa and chia seeds. I typically just bypass those recipes just because they include the “it” foods of the day (yeah, I’m such a rebel).
While I have done my best to include flax in my diet (I can’t pass up the Omega fatty acids since I am unable to eat any seafood). I hate it. I tolerate it as long as I can’t really taste it. The first full-blown recipes I tried were MIMs – Muffin In a Minute. The first one was a cinnamon muffin. It was awful! I hated the flavor and boy, did it bound me up! The next one I tried was a chocolate muffin. That one tasted great and, since I had that intestinal issue with the first one, I sliced it and didn’t scarf the entire muffin in one sitting. My mouth’s initial reaction: What flax meal? BUT if you are on a low carbohydrate diet, have you looked at the nutritional breakdown of the basic muffin? Whether you do net carbs or not, one muffin contains 12.7 grams (9.3 grams fiber). If you are limiting your carbohydrate intake to 20 grams per day, you just blew most of them on one muffin! I think I’ll stick with adding it to my protein powder shake. Plus, with it adding only 3 grams carbohydrates (3 grams fiber) and 3 grams of protein in two tablespoons per day, that’s not bad!

Next is quinoa. I have not tried it and probably will not (no, I take that back. I tried an ancient grain tortilla with quinoa, amaranth, flax and other grains I can’t remember. It was alright but the carbohydrate count was still too high for me). Quinoa is the magical Andean grain that will give you everything you need to stay healthy, right? Well, yes, as long as that’s pretty much all you eat. If you look into the diet of those who have been eating it the longest, you will see this is a staple of their diet (little meat, whatever vegetables they can get, and quinoa). Well, it was until it was more expensive for them to eat it than to sell it. Now, their health is beginning to suffer because this miracle grain is a “must-have” for those who are in with the in-crowd. Another thing to consider is the nutritional content of quinoa. Yes, it has 8 grams of protein per cup of cooked quinoa but in that cup of quinoa is also 39 grams of carbohydrates.

The next is chia seeds. Every single time I see this in a recipe, the song from the Chia Pet commercial goes through my head. I had never considered this a food because of those dang commercials. I thought it was interesting, but that was it. That is, until I began reading about it. I’m intrigued, especially since this (and the flax) I can grow here (which is always a bonus for me). I tried growing maca but I guess everything about my region is wrong (I’m in Central California). I really like plants that have more than one purpose (more edible/medicinal parts) and all I’ve been able to find on leaf usage is as a medicinal tea. If anyone has any more information, I would love to see it. From what I read, it’s suggested that you only consume 2 to 3 Tablespoons per day but it gives a powerful nutritional punch! In two Tablespoons, there are 12 grams carbohydrate (10 grams fiber) and 4.7 grams of protein. It seems hefty on the carbohydrates but with all the other nutritional benefits, this one just may be worth it! Here’s a great article on the health benefits: I haven’t quite jumped on the band wagon but it can’t hurt to buy a chia pet if it’s majorly on sale! 🙂
After writing all of this (and second guessing myself on chia seeds) I really think it’s important to get as much of our macros (protein, carbohydrate, fat) from as much whole food as possible and make the wisest choices for ourselves. If I could eat seafood, you can bet your bottom dollar I would rather have salmon over this stuff any day of the week!