Thursday, March 31, 2011

Wow. Bingo

Just read it.


Now that Lee's back, we had a more traditional dinner of meat (whole roast chicken from the grocery store) and leaves (salad).  I followed that up with some chocolate almonds - we found a new variety at Trader Joe's the last time we were there - Belgian dark (73%) chocolate - and they're quite tasty (no difference in carb levels, though).  Also some walnuts and a square of 85% Lindt chocolate.

I wish I could say that I slept like a rock, but the sleep aspect of a Paleo life is eluding me at present.  I know I listened to 2 different hours of old WWII news broadcasts at different times to get back to sleep, and it worked once and didn't work at all once.  So I'm dragging a bit this morning.  Heavy cream helps - a lot, most days.  And we had eggs and turkey bacon and pork sausage for breakfast this morning, so I'm as fueled up as I can be.

141.8 this morning.  I think I haven't seen the magical 141.4 (the full 50 pound loss from when I started eating this way a year ago) since the day I left for New Orleans.  I don't mind, really.  This is a good place to be.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


After my pizza post, I'm not sure there's much to add.  It was wonderful, but should have been bigger, so I also ate cashews and cheese and some chocolate almonds last night.  No change in weight from yesterday.

Liz is taking an anti-migraine medication that specifically cautions against low-carb eating.  Bother.  I gave her some suggestions about adding fruits and starchy veg and rice to her diet to make sure to avoid going into ketosis, and suggested getting some keto-stix to test if she's at all concerned.  Apparently this medication with low-carb can cause metabolic acidosis, very similar to diabetic ketoacidosis, and potentially fatal.  But another side-effect of the medication is weight loss, so it sounds like adding carbs won't hurt her in that way.  I wonder, though.  Does it work through some sort of insulin suppression mechanism?  Probably not, but it's interesting that those two side-effects are coinciding there.

Several other paleo bloggers reported on the French vegans who inadvertently killed their baby by not having vital nutrients in the mother's breast milk.  All I can say is how very sad that story is.  Because I'm sure they thought they were doing the right thing for themselves and their child.  I think we're doing the right thing by eating this way, but unless my daughter is careful to avoid ketosis, her migraine meds could kill her.  Given that, I hope they don't face any criminal charges - they'll be living with this for the rest of their lives, and that's more than enough consequence, as far as I'm concerned.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Okay, that did not suck!


I've missed it a good bit since going Paleo.  Not, maybe, as much as I would have predicted, but enough to have me trying alternatives.  A while back, we bought some large sliced pepperoni at the deli (unbeknownst to us, cased in plastic) and made a sort of lasagne with them standing in for the noodles.  As we ate it, we found the plastic casings, so it was sort of a bust - but tasty enough that Lee wants me to try it again some time.

I've been meaning to make Meatza for a while now, but haven't yet.  And I still will.  

In the meantime, I was trying to figure out what to feed myself for a night on my own, and remembered that we have a new stock of 2" pepperoni slices in the fridge.  So, I made experimental food.

  • Preheat oven to 350.
  • Overlap 9 slices of 2" pepperoni in an 8- or 9-inch square pan, so as to cover the bottom.
  • Smear a fairly small amount (less than 2 Tbsp) of marinara over the pepperoni slices.
  • Throw on a layer of mozzarella, to taste - mine was maybe 3/8" thick.
  • Add chopped veggies of choice - in this case, a single button mushroom and some yellow bell pepper.
  • Put pan on top rack of oven for approximately 15 minutes - check it after 10, and let it cook until the cheese gets a bit brown and bubbly.
In the finished state, I was able to use a standard metal spatula to transfer it to a plate - all but one corner piece.  I then tried to eat it with a fork - kind of awkward, and ended eating with my fingers - less awkward, but messy.

It tasted like pizza.  As I remember it - and as I've had it at office parties, peeling the toppings off and eating them, leaving the crust.  

I will so do that again!


That's weird.

I thought I heard something this morning on the radio about a change in guidelines on whole milk for children - no substance, just a part of a headline, heard over the hum of the toothbrush.  I checked Google just now - odd how it's become the source of all information these days - and see nothing with a recent date on it; stories from January about the USDA banning the substance from school lunches (idiots), but nothing more recent than that.  So either our local radio station is way behind (and it might have been WSJ's news thing), or I was hallucinating.  That seems unlikely, too.  Maybe something will surface later.

We had a boffo dinner yesterday, although we both came away from it with some stomach symptoms, so it may have involved flour somewhere.  I had an 11-oz sirloin, medium rare (interesting how eating Paleo makes you crave less-cooked meat), topped with sauteed mushrooms (may have been some flour involved there), a sweet potato with butter and sour cream, and country style green beans with bacon.  Left me so satisfied that I didn't eat another bite until breakfast.  The waitress was a bit surprised about what I wanted on my sweet potato - seems that if a vegetable is already a bit sweet, what you need to do is add sugar.  Um, no.  Fat - and plenty of it.

I was actually interested to see if eating that meal would have any effect on my getting to sleep last night - after reading Chris Masterjohn's blog on Getting Better Sleep, I wondered if adding carbs to dinner would help me.  I was sleepy at bedtime, but once I hit horizontal, my mind went into overdrive, and I ended up resorting to my one-hour playlists on my iPod - old radio shows or historic news shows.  They do work - and the change I made to set up playlists of just one hour seem to let me sleep better after - I used to put on my "WWII News" playlist - with a duration of 2-3 days - and let it go all night, and while it put me to sleep, the sleep was not so great.

Our current "bedroom" (the dining room, while we're redoing the master bath) is darker than our actual bedroom, which should be helping - and maybe it is.  It's warmer, though, and doesn't have a ceiling fan, and that has been causing me problems at night.  I am sleeping better than I was a few weeks ago, and darn grateful for it, but not as well as I slept last year.  So I'm still working on that.  Lee is trying to convince me to do full curtains for the bay window in the bedroom - I've had them only on the bottom 3/4 for years, in order to get the light cues from sunrise.  I'm trying to figure out if we can get something that would close in the evening, then open itself around 4 am, very quietly.  Probably not. 

142.4 this morning, I believe, so some of the carb water has gone.  Also of note regarding weight.  I think I'm still shuffling body comp these days - I measured myself for some pants I ordered over the weekend (more clothes don't fit), and my hips have lost 1/2", I think.  No weight change associated with it, they're just thinner.  Fine by me.

Monday, March 28, 2011

And, ... Monday!

Pretty good weekend, really.  Restful, exactly what I needed.  Slept in - twice, had lots of bacon at breakfast, snacked more than I should have, probably, finished with fire-laced green chile on cheese enchiladas, which was magnificent.  Yesterday morning, I was down to 141.6 for some unfathomable reason; this morning, I'm at 143.0.  Don't really understand that one, either.

Article in the paper this morning about two high school athletes who lost a bunch of weight by "exercising more, cutting out junk food, and reading labels."  I'm sure that label-reading was the key; probably burned off loads of calories.  I only read the picture captions and part of the intro; I just couldn't go any farther (that, and we were running pretty late this morning).  Labels.  The government is pushing to label everything; if they get their way, there won't be pictures in menus anymore (maybe no descriptions, either), just nutrition labels for every item on offer.  Ugh.  Have these dweebs failed to notice that there are no labels in nature? And yet, somehow, the wild animals - those noble, yet cranially-underendowed, creatures - they manage to stay slim, without reading a single label.  Guess that's the nobility or something, right?

JUST. EAT. THE. EFFING. INGREDIENTS.  In a natural state, or as close as you can get them.  Avoid most things with nutrition labels.  (I wish that were a good rule, but shoot - meat and milk and eggs are labeled, so it doesn't really work.) Lee and I were grocery shopping on Saturday, for parsley, lemons, olives, swiss cheese, and salami.  And we realized that our shopping trips have become a bunch simpler since we changed how we eat.  There are rafts of aisles we never venture down at all anymore.  At Costco, we buy meat, laundry and paper goods, eggs, milk, dog treats, and bulk nuts, with occasional forays into the movies and books and clothing.  Again, giant aisles we no longer bother with (always were, there - I don't think I've ever really spent time in the automotive area, or mattresses). 

I'm a little worried about my dad, though.  He's jumped on the bandwagon recently (sort of, anyway - they still eat some wheat, I know).  Lost some weight - that's all good, although he's always been pretty lanky.  Drove his total cholesterol down to 112, though - that's bad.  I haven't noticed any mental degradation, but his doc still has him on a statin, for crying out loud.  At this point, he needs to be inquiring about his inflammatory markers and getting off the dammed thing.  And get his TC back up in the middle 100s somewhere, at least - maybe closer to 200.  Maybe I can suggest Co-Q 10, at least.

Had a great dinner on Saturday - chicken thighs Provencal.  Crock pot the thighs with a can of diced tomatoes, some cooked-together onions, garlic, tomato paste, oregano, and olive oil, and white wine.  6 hours later, you can barely pick them up whole, and you skim the fat, add some chopped up Nicoise (or Kalamata, in our case) olives and some parsley, and serve, with wedges of lemon to squeeze over the finished product (it improves it even further).  Lee is planning to take the leftovers for lunch later in the week - but as a soup, he hopes.  There was a lot of sauce left over.

Pork tenderloin tonight - Nature's fast food.  They just don't come any easier.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Well, it was worth a shot.

It occurred to me not long ago, that I might be able to get the salt fix of a bag of potato chips without the seed oils by having Baked Lays.  I finally got around to looking at their ingredients today, and, well, not so much.  They are probably worse than potato chips.

Regular potato chips contain:
  • Potatoes
  • Sunflower or Corn Oil (or both)
  • Salt
and provide 15g of carbs per serving

Baked Lays contain:
  • Dried Potatoes
  • Corn Starch
  • Sugar
  • Corn Oil
  • Salt
  • Soy Lecithin
  • Corn Sugar
for 23g of carbs per serving.

Blecch!  Never mind.


I cannot tell right now if I am sick or not, which is really irritating.  I feel horrid, but it might just be exhaustion.  I sweat profusely in bursts, but it might just be a hot flash.  My throat is irritated, but that might be from days of smoke from the wildfires.  This so sucks!

Went home early yesterday and spent the afternoon in a recliner, reading and taking a short nap - would have been longer, but for the dogs' reaction to the UPS man, dropping stuff off for the bathroom.  I think it helped - at least at the time.  Overnight, I took an Advil PM again, and that helped with the sleep, but I'm at a point right now that sleeping for a straight solid week might just be enough for me.

Ate garbage yesterday.  Popcorn, an actual shortbread cookie,... well, maybe that was all of the garbage - beyond that, it was cheese, chocolate, nuts, meatloaf, green beans.  Oh - no; there were chips and salsa as well, just a few, to see if the salsa would help the throat irritation.  It didn't.  Anyway, I only paid a little for it - 142.2 this morning.

Thursday, March 24, 2011


Nothing much to report today - stuffed bell peppers for dinner (Stouffer's out of the box - too sweet for me, so I only had one) and salad; had lunch for a change and had an elk burger patty with swiss cheese on it and cole slaw.  Chocolate almonds and then walnuts for snacks last night.  Real bacon for breakfast today - yeah!

Did some walking at the gym last night - to help Lee walk on the golf course and hopefully to help me with hot flashes.  I didn't notice any improvement last night, that's for sure.  I may need to get new shoes to walk in - my left knee started aching after a few rounds of the track and I had to stop.  IT-band, maybe; it was on the outside.  I might - maybe - try walking in socks tonight if we go again, see if that makes a difference.  Don't think the gym would be sympathetic to a barefoot approach.  I don't know if I could do Vibram Fives - I know I'd take a load of crap from Lee if I were to get them.  Maybe something of a moccasin, though - I think I could do those okay.  So the socks will be a bit of a trial run.

142.0 this morning.  Seems to me like I may just have hit my genetically programmed weight.  It's a good weight.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Got some sleep last night - artificially assisted, but real sleep.  It helps a lot.  I also crashed at the acupuncturist's for about an hour - amazing how having needles poked in some fairly nerve-heavy spots can knock one out solid.  I think if I could have gone straight from there to bed, I might not have needed the "PM" last night - but it was a precaution against waking at 2 am and being stuck there - one that worked.

Eating yesterday was on the weird side.  I fasted breakfast due to a mild stomach ache, then ate 3 cheese-snacks (pure cheddar) through the morning between 9 and noon.  Got hungry for real mid-afternoon and hit the trail mix and chips - which is not good for me, but could be worse.  We had Mexican for dinner - chips and salsa, and a stacked cheese enchilada with very hot green chile.  Acupuncture after that, and I think I had tea but nothing else.  So not a lot of food, really, but fairly carb-y for me.  I'm at 141.8 this morning, though, so it wasn't very insulinogenic, apparently.  I have a bit of indigestion this morning - ate breakfast, but am wondering if I should have skipped.  I have a lunch scheduled today, so it wouldn't have been much of a fast.

Lee's still suffering from having walked 9 holes of golf on Sunday evening - his legs are stiff, he says.  I think we'll start an evening walking program - should help with my hot flashes (or so the Internet says) and get him more in shape to walk a round more often, which he would like.  Possibly tonight.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


There are some things that Paleo does not help with - at least, it's not helping me.  I had plain, unfiltered busy-brain insomnia last night, and no amount of audio input would lull me to sleep.  Add on top of that my hot flashes - but I must say they were a bit subdued last night - why not?  I didn't need them to keep me up.  And we had a windstorm, causing some plexiglas windows on our screened porch (next to where we're sleeping just now) to flex and bang around - no amount of fasteners will keep them firmly attached in wind, unfortunately.  Oh, and the dog started being sick at 2:30 am.  Paleo does not help with any of that, I'm afraid.

We had eggs and sausage patties for breakfast yesterday - real pork sausage, too, not the turkey stuff.  No lunch or snacks, and then went out to dinner.  Lee had a "turkey dinner" - sliced turkey, potatoes, stuffing, veg, gravy - and I had beef bourgignon with mashed potatoes.  It all contained flour, I'm absolutely sure, and probably seed oils.  Could they have contributed to my wakefulness?  I haven't read that they're a problem, but who knows?  We both had stomach aches this morning, so have skipped breakfast to let things simmer down a bit.

Weight was 142.0 this morning.  Fine, whatever.  I need my sleep!!!

Monday, March 21, 2011


One week into Daylight Saving Time, and just as we might have been sorta-kinda getting used to it, we have to empty out our bedroom and master bath for a remodel, resulting in a temporary relocation of our bedroom to the dining room.  Which is hotter than our bedroom.  Not a good thing for me right now, so I got some sleep - not sure how much since I have the clock covered right now (that does seem to help) - but not a lot, I think.  There is a radio commercial running right now, for some patent menopause symptom medicine, and they ask a series of questions about symptoms.  I can answer "yes" to all of them except the one about weight gain (thank you Paleo eating!!!).  Coincidentally, there was an article in this morning's paper about acupuncture for menopause that said a placebo controlled study indicated that it helped.  I'm glad to know that, but if it's helping me, I'd hate to think what the past few weeks might have been like.

We ate pretty well this weekend, but it was stressy - in addition to moving all of our stuff around, we did our taxes, prompting a lot of "nautical language" on my part.  We're nearly done - one more in-kind donation to DAV to put in before we declare defeat, I think.  But I digress...  Lots of bacon - both days' breakfasts consisted of only bacon for me - Lee had tomatoes and maybe yogurt with his.  Grassfed burger patties and hotdogs (the latter were Hebrew National, but not grassfed) for Saturay lunch, with, I'm sorry to confess, a few potato chips.  Sunday lunch was BBQ - both of us had fries (and they tasted damn good!), and dinners were Chinese (hot & sour soup, Mongolian beef, a little rice) on Saturday, and giant ribeyes (about 1 lb each) and a salad on Sunday.  I'm up to 143.2 this morning, probably from the miscellaneous starch consumption.

I really need to look into ways and means to get back to deep sleep during second sleep - I certainly was asleep at times this morning (I'm guessing I woke around 2 am), but in fits and starts, lots of trying to find a comfortable position to sleep in, and lots of covers-adjusting.  Ugh.  There has to be a way to get through this - and really, is it normal?  Haven't found a lot of information yet, but I'm still looking.

Friday, March 18, 2011


No weight change today at all - 142.4.  Had Mexican food for dinner last night - cheese enchiladas with green chile, chips, salsa, a bit of rice and refried beans.  And a margarita - I needed it, after getting another resignation letter from one of my team members at work.  Stress nearly always interferes with my eating habits, unfortunately.

That might have influenced how well the oriental herbs worked last night, which was less well than the night before.  Still better than last week, though.

I didn't eat between eggs-and-bacon for breakfast and the mexican, and had only 2 chocolate almonds after.  Not much else to report.

Thursday, March 17, 2011


Happy St. Patrick's Day!  I'm wearing no green myself, not being at all Irish.  But I got some quality sleep last night - good enough for some more - and am feeling quite a bit better.  Perhaps the new, nasty-flavored herbs are working. 

It seems to me that corned beef and cabbage would be very Paleo, although I don't have any plans to eat it today.  Got breakfast, since Lee's back, and we had a nice filet and salad for dinner last night - and I threw some French sea-salted butter on my steak, making a decent sauce as it melted and combined with the juices on the plate.  Followed that up with walnuts and probably some chocolate almonds.

But I did eat a bunch of garbage mid-afternoon yesterday - potato chips and two bags of trail mix, including sugar, seed oils, and legumes.  I was bored.  Boredom makes me want to eat.  I'd finished the cheese snacks off around noon, so I guess I got a 15-ish hour fast from the pieces of cheese I'd eaten the night before to take the taste of the herbs away.  All that said, I was at 142.4 this morning, so my garbage-nosh didn't damage my weight at any rate. 

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Someone in my immediate vicinity has made, and is consuming, toast.  And while I know I won't eat it, the smell is very enticing.  I don't miss bread, much, but I kind of miss toast.  So be it - a small sacrifice for vastly improved health.

Not that it feels like it today - I'm still fighting night sweats, and while I can get a reasonably good first sleep, my second sleep is just bloody awful.  Flip from side to side, sweat, throw the covers off, freeze, pull them up, flip to the other side, repeat.  I'm half-asleep doing this, which is, I guess, an improvement from a month ago, but when the alarm goes off, I feel like compost - it doesn't even rise to the level of shit.  New herbs from the acupuncturist started yesterday; she thought they would take about a week to really work.  Don't know whether I hope they do or not, since they taste substantially nastier than the first lot.  And they certainly didn't improve things last night.

I used my computer last night with f.lux active.  It's a little disconcerting, because the screen background gets redder when I scroll, and then lightens up again.  I have no idea if the change made me more likely to fall asleep when I did (shortly after 10, I believe) or not.  Having the blue clockface blocked was less of an issue last night than the night before, so I believe I'll make that permanent.

143.0 this morning - apparently I was carrying some water I didn't know about.  I had 3 slices of bacon, 2 3/4-oz cheese snacks, miscellaneous aged gouda (probably about 4 oz total), some walnuts, a square of 85% cacao chocolate, and 4 mini-meatloaves yesterday.  It doesn't seem like much - and very dairy-centric.  With Lee home (tonight or early tomorrow, he thinks), we should get back to a more structured diet.  I'm fasting for convenience at the moment - didn't have time for breakfast.  I have cheese snacks with me and will eat them when I get hungry, though, so I don't know that I'd call it an IF, exactly.

Ugh.  Just ugh.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


I tried out a couple of suggestions on sleep improvement last night, and while they did not overcome the night sweats completely, I do think the quality was better and I feel much more rested this morning.  Downloading f.lux, while useful in the long term, really didn't do much for my sleep, since I didn't use my laptop much last night.  However, I closed blinds in the bedroom and closet, and covered my very blue clock radio display with a washcloth, and that did increase the darkness (it did not eradicate it; I have a large bay window that is only about 2/3 covered - to provide morning light to wake up by - and I'm not going to cover it for that reason) and seemed to reduce the time required to get back to sleep after waking.  So I'll try it again tonight and see if it continues to improve.

Saw this in line at the grocery store last night - unbelievable.  Cookies and Diabetes do not mix, people!  And not on one publication, but two - it's like a conspiracy to reduce the surplus population or something.  Sheesh!

I'm inexplicably at 145.2 this morning - assuming it is delayed reaction to the weekend or something.  My eating yesterday went like this:
  • 4 slices of real bacon
  • 2 3/4 oz cheese snacks
  • a honking-big chef's salad with turkey, cheddar, swiss, and blue cheese dressing
  • 2 chocolate almonds
  • miscellaneous tea with and without cream

Shouldn't have added anything, I think, anyway.  So it will probably be gone tomorrow unless I go on some sort of binge on donuts and toast or something.  Which is very unlikely.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Changing the lights

Just read a post in Mark's Daily Apple about the effects of light on sleep quality.  Given that I'm struggling with sleep issues right now, I think a couple of changes are in order:
  • I am going to install f.lux on my computer - I don't use it that much at night, but don't want that to get in the way of sleep.  And if it works, I'll send the info to Elizabeth, who uses movies on her laptop to help get to sleep at night (that can't be working all that well...)
  • I am going to throw something over the face of my alarm clock.  I love my clock radio - it's a Sangean digital atomic clock repeater that resets itself to match the correct time, and gives me the option to vary my wakeup alarm (or not have one) daily.  But the display is bright blue - even when turned down all the way.  If blue light at night says "daytime" to my system, then that clock is throwing me out of kilter every time my eyes flutter.  I'm mildly addicted to knowing what time it is when I wake up at night, but maybe not having a blue glow in the room will make that less of an issue.  Worth a shot - and with Lee out of town for the moment, I have a chance to experiment for a bit.
If my n=1 on either of these seems to bear fruit, I'll post.

Monday (first of Daylight Saving Time - ugh)

Spent the weekend in sane Arizona - they don't play this stupid game with the clocks twice a year.  But I had to come home at the end, so I'm paying now. 

We ate reasonably well this weekend - Mexican for lunch on Saturday, with nothing to drink that wasn't sweetened, and ballpark food for dinner.  But!  They had sweet potato fries to go with the burgers, so I had some.  Not nearly as good as the ones in California a few weeks ago, but pretty good.  Lee and Elizabeth didn't care for them - the sweetness seemed misplaced, apparently.  Ate the burger without the bun, as usual - the ballfield did have forks, making that possible.  I don't know what they make the patties with, but it had a peculiar texture - almost like Play-Doh.  Sunday we ate in both meals - eggs and turkey bacon for breakfast, brats for lunch - with chips and guac, so that was less than perfect.  Still, not too bad.  144.4 this morning.

I do see some bad habits forming on my part, though, so I'm going to have to work on them.  I have taken to eating the honey peanuts on airline flights lately - and I don't even like honey peanuts.  Need to get back to refusing them - and whatever else flight attendants are passing out to eat.

Not much else going on this morning.  Four slices of bacon for breakfast, and a couple of hunks of cheese with me to keep me away from the trail mix.  Don't know what dinner will be yet.  But I am sure it will involve meat!

Friday, March 11, 2011


Peri-menopause sucks.

I drank my tablespoon of oriental herbal sludge last night, as I had the two previous nights, but last night was similar to Saturday night last weekend in terms of quality and quantity of sleep.  Maybe it's helping and last night would have been worse without it, but it was pretty bad with it, and I feel like a wrung-out grubby old rag this morning.  I am going to do some more reading today if I can - see if I have other options to try - but knowing that I'm at the beginning of an extended period of this sort of thing is rather demoralizing.

Back on topic - enough whining.  Had a great dinner with a menu theme of "clean out the fridge" last night.  Two sirloin patties, pan-seared.  Nearly a pound of mushrooms, sauteed in ghee and the drippings from the meat.  A green pepper cut up and dipped in blue cheese dressing.  I was mildly inspired by a long read about gut flora repopulation in the Cooling Inflammation blog - seems one needs raw vegetables to get the good bugs back in there.  I actually think mine are in pretty good shape - I've never been allergic to much (other than penicillin, and maybe that's a good thing), and my systems responded so well and so quickly to the lacto-Paleo diet that I think most of the raw materials were already in place.  But the end result was a very tasty and filling dinner.

Down to 141.8 this morning.  I have had a couple of hunks of aged gouda for breakfast so far, with some cheese snacks available for sustenance throughout the day.  I hope that they'll keep me from going all unconscious at my desk today, because that definitely feels like an option.

Thursday, March 10, 2011


Weird eating day yesterday.  I ended up eating the two cheese snacks fairly early in the morning, had nothing for lunch, and then, in the spirit of Ash Wednesday, decided not to eat meat for dinner.  What I had instead:
  • Microwave popcorn
  • Cheese - both aged Gouda and sliced Cheddar
  • Dried Coconut strips - plain and with dark chocolate
I think that's it.  It didn't do much to either my weight or the calf cramps of the night before - I am still feeling some fasciculation now, after getting up and having breakfast, although I must admit I didn't have to leap out of bed last night to stomp anything out.  Note that we ran out of pill-form potassium and I hadn't replaced it until dinnertime last night, so that's probably contributing.  Weight this morning is 142.0.

I'm wearing the green skirt I made last fall - the one I'd messed up and made too small back then.  It needs to be taken in around the hips.  The other day, I had on my black chinos, size 12, and at one point, thought I'd had a mix-up while getting dressed and inadvertently put on a pair of size 16 chinos in navy blue that I still have in the closet.  Actually had to check the size, because they're suddenly too long and baggy.  There are worse problems to have, I know, but it seems to indicate that my body comp is still changing. 

I was doing more research for Elizabeth and her vertigo yesterday and ran into the Cooling Inflammation blog.  He has an entry on migraines that matches what I am trying to do with her diet, nice to see.  He also mentioned feverfew, I believe, and vagus nerve stimulation, which I'm not sure she'd go for, since the easiest described method involves putting a bag of ice on her face from scalp to nose while she's simultaneously holding her tongue relaxed in a mouthful of warm spit.  While I was searching, I saw a bunch of other blog entries mentioning that magnesium shortage is common in migraines, and supplementing with bio-available magnesium (citrate or malate, I believe) can often have good results.  So I sent Lee out to hunt both of those things down for her.  I know medicine is not an exact science and the body is a very complex system, but I wish there was another way to figure out what's going on with her and get it to stop - other than relying on my ability to perform internet searches, I mean.  Not that I'll stop, but it does seem sometimes that the doctors are locked into thought patterns and aren't really paying attention to reality on the ground.  For that reason, I guess, thank God for the internet.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Two things

First - a confession.  I forgot that I noshed on potato chips with my burger yesterday.  Rather extensively.  Potato - okay.  Sunflower oil - very bad.

Second - I think I'd seen this before, but this link has a great "How to Paleo" article: - as good as this one (which I've sent to several people asking why we eat so funny):


Lee's gone - so the usual process applies - I sleep in a little, have to feed the animals and get ready for work, and the result is the opportunity to fast.  And maybe I will - it is Ash Wednesday, after all.  I have a couple of pieces of cheese with me - the pre-wrapped cheese snacks - so I don't know if it will happen or not.  Also, I'm a bit hungry right now, which is unusual for me, so I will probably have a cheese breakfast shortly and not eat lunch.

Had the acupuncture for hot flashes yesterday, and I can't tell if it's likely to work or not.  I had a couple of "thermal episodes" just as I was falling asleep, along with a bout of leg cramps, oh joy, but they were short and less intense - at least, I didn't have to throw the covers off to recuperate.  And then I slept until around 3:50, I think, so all things considered, it should have been as good a night's sleep as Sunday was.  But it didn't feel as good.  We shall see - I have a fairly vile herbal concoction to drink each night at bedtime that is supposed to help as well - if we can get the hot flashes to stop with that, I can switch to some sort of pill-form thing.  So I have a goal.  Going back in next Tuesday to see how things are going.

I did get breakfast yesterday, and supplemented with trail mix in the afternoon (forgot to bring any cheese with me).  A burger patty with melted cheese and tomatoes on it for dinner - heating the tomatoes under the cheese for the second half of cooking is really very tasty!  After that, the usual - cheese, chocolate, nuts.  141.6 this morning.  I will probably have bratwurst for dinner, just to keep from wasting it.

During my acupuncture appointment last night, we went over a long list of possible symptoms, apparently associated with menopause.  Palpitations, anxiety, and digestive issues were the ones I recall - and I have none of them.  Apart from not sleeping very well because of being too hot at times, I feel pretty wonderful.  Thank you, (lacto) Paleo!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


In this morning's Wall Street Journal, there is a story extolling the virtues of the Mediterranean Diet - again.  Stressing the virtues of lots of fruit, vegetables, and whole grains - again.  Okay, yeah, it's healthier than the SAD, if for no other reason than that it probably doesn't include Captain Crunch or Spaghettios, but outside the paleo world, it's very interesting to me that fruit and whole grains being good for you is a "given" - nobody looks any deeper to see if it's actually true, or under what circumstances. 

I still say that human metabolism is designed to fatten up for winter.  If we were to eat seasonally, we'd be adding fruit into the diet in late summer, along with whatever meat we could catch and kill.  But not any other time of the year, so the fructose would metabolize into triglycerides and get stored as the sweet taste spurred insulin production.  Seems pretty straightforward to me.  So my plan is to eat fruit mostly in the summer, when it's naturally ripe and available locally.

We had family over for dinner last night and ate BBQ from the local joint - meat, cole slaw, and beans (I didn't have any beans).  A glass of wine, a bit of cheese, and some cashews over the course of the evening.  142.4 this morning.  I gave Mom and Jen some coconut water to sample, since Mom said she or Dad had been having leg cramps recently.  They thought it was palatable.

With the glass of wine, my night was somewhat worse than previous, but not obviously tied to the alcohol consumption; we'd shut a window and the room was significantly warmer.  I'm going for acupuncture tonight - it's supposed to help with this quite a bit (either needles or Chinese herbs, or both).

Lee's on the road today and will be gone for about a week, so I have to feed myself.  Unfortunately, I have defrosted brats in the fridge, and I don't think I actually want any.  Not sure what I'll do.

Monday, March 7, 2011


The weather today is nasty - freezing drizzle, that forced me to drive to work with the heat turned to max and the defroster running, just to be able to see where I was going.  Supposedly the roads were slick - traffic reports indicated huge numbers of spin-outs and flips, but they seemed fine to me, and nobody going my direction on the freeway appeared to be having any issues.  We're in for a couple of days of it, apparently, and then we will be returning to our regularly-scheduled weather.

Fairly quiet weekend - especially compared to last week!  I got out and pruned the raspberries and cut down the dead asparagus foliage; they and the strawberries and blueberries all seem to be surviving so far, and we are starting to see some bulbs emerge.  We bought a couple of recliners (such an odd thing to say in a casual fashion, but that's roughly how it fell out), since I mentioned to Lee that I'd nearly gone out to buy one on Thursday evening, causing him to light up - he'd been wanting one as well.  So we got two of them, and both spent a good bit of the weekend enjoying time with our feet elevated.  Finally, I had a massage yesterday, and got rid of a couple of nasty bits - the pain in my right shoulder has subsided, and she found and stretched out some issues with my left ilio-psoas muscles that were probably aggravated by all the standing we did on the float last weekend.  I need to stretch more in that area - and should probably become an "upstanding citizen" as the Hunter-Gatherer blog has termed it.

The improvements from the massage let me sleep nearly the night through last night - I think I first stirred around 4:45 am.  So, what I'm finding with regard to the hot flashes is, if I'm otherwise occupied (busy with something, or deep asleep), either I don't notice them, or they don't happen.  If not, they come on in gangs.  Interesting.  The abstention from alcohol doesn't seem to have done much - I guess, if nothing else, not drinking makes me sleep deeper, maybe.  Anyway, this is the first day in about 3 weeks that I haven't woken up in a state of abject exhaustion, and it was very nice.

We ate pretty well this weekend, sorta - apart from Friday dinner at La Loma, where I had a chile relleno.  Very tasty, and I could tell the next morning that it included wheat flour.  Not for regular consumption, obviously.  Saturday, I had some bacon and most of a pound of strawberries sliced up with heavy cream.  Lovely!  Another thing that I wouldn't do every day, but when they're ripe (and these were), worth it.  Lunch was hotdogs (and a few potato chips), and dinner was stuffed peppers, which included rice.  Yesterday breakfast was some scrambled eggs with stuff in them (bacon, mushrooms, scallions, tomatoes) and bacon; no lunch, but several hunks of aged gouda; and Irish stew for dinner - something Lee found at Costco. 

The end result?  I was at 143.6 both yesterday and this morning - a fine weight.  Nice to see that a mild increase in reasonable carbs didn't really do much to add weight.

Lee's to be gone much of the coming week; not sure what I'll be eating, although it will, apparently, involve bratwurst, since I'd started thawing some before I knew about the Irish stew.  Also something made of ground beef - have a half-pound (bison, actually) left over from the peppers.  No idea what to do about breakfast - maybe the cheese option will work.  Guess we'll see.

Friday, March 4, 2011


Wow - for a week-after-a-vacation, this has actually been pretty fast!  I'll certainly take it, anyway.  Sleep was marginal last night - only a couple of wake-ups to adjust the temperature of my immediate environment, so it should have been good, but I woke up drained.  I have pains in my right shoulder and have had in some form since we got back, and I think that's actually what I'm dealing with.  I think a visit to the massage therapist is in my near future.

I did some severe boredom eating yesterday, mid-day, and could foresee more today, which I will have to guard against.  Yesterday, I had potato chips and trail mix - let's see, that's starch (probably not bad), seed oils (bad), legumes (bad), tree nuts (neutral-bad), raisins (fructose bombs - bad), and m&ms (chocolate - good, sugar - bad, HFCS - awful).  Probably a bolus of 50+ grams of carbohydrate on an empty stomach.  It tasted really good, and occupied maybe 30 minutes eating it, which is probably what I needed it for.  And so far, it hasn't messed with my weight (not that I want to keep testing that reaction!).  142.4 this morning, which I'm guessing probably indicates that I'm done with losing water from the trip, as my ankles and feet are fairly normal this morning.

Lee cooked the grass-fed NY Strip steaks to perfection last night - maybe 5 minutes a side.  They were tender and juicy, and I melted butter on them, just because we could.  We also had salads and some pre-fab potatoes au gratin (Christmas food, I think).  Up for the weekend?  I want to try shredding a sweet potato and making hash browns with it in bacon grease, as a side-dish with something grilled.  That just sounds really good.  And then, maybe something in the crock pot, though I don't know what yet.  And starting on the garden cleanup and prep - St. Patrick's day is the traditional cold-weather planting day around here, and it's coming up soon.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Thursday, it says

I did take a look at Paleohacks yesterday for hints and tips about reducing hot flashes and night sweats in peri-menopause, and the theme that ran through most of the "answer" postings appeared to be, "avoid alcohol".  Given that on Tuesday evening, I'd had 2 glasses of wine because Lee didn't like his, and Tuesday night I'd had so much thermal activity that I don't think I'd really slept, those answers seemed to me to be spot on.  So I abstained last night, and things seemed to settle down a bit - I think I only had to throw the covers off two or three times, and the temperature swings weren't so extreme.  I'll continue to abstain - we don't drink all that much anyway - and see if I can get it to stop altogether. 

Unfortunately, while the hot flashes had become less of an issue, calf cramps took their place - and that's with a glass of coconut water before bedtime.  I know I was stomping one off at 4 am; there may have been more.  Still, even with that, I slept better last night than I did the night before - and managed to sleep well enough to dream.

143.0 this morning, I think, although the scale wandered about a good bit (I think I saw it consider 138) before settling there.  I may be hallucinating, but it seemed this morning that I'd lost some more of my subcutaneous abdominal fat - I know that a lot of Paleo advocates believe in short bursts of intense exercise, but would they term 3.5 hours of standing on a moving parade float, bending down to rip open bags of beads and straightening up to throw them, a short burst of intense exercise?  Because that's pretty much been it for me of late, barring the practice deadlift the other night (short, indeed, but not intense).

We ended up eating at the golf course last night, rather than having the grassfed NY strip steaks I'd thawed, so those are for tonight.  Last night, I had a naked burger smothered with green chile (translucent enough to make me believe that no flour was killed in the making of it) and cheddar, with a side of cottage cheese.  And then came home and had more cheese, nuts, chocolate (the usual) while I tried to work out a nasty knot in my right shoulder with the bag-o-microwaved-rice.  It didn't work, but I think getting Lee to attack it this morning with our percussion massage thing might have encouraged it to leave - albeit slowly.

Sounds like we're not hitting the gym tonight - apparently we need to do a Costco run or go eggless tomorrow morning.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Being brain-dead sucks

My post-du-jour was rather wandery and uninformative.  Sorry, but I'm operating on crap sleep today - peri-menopause has been exerting its influence in a way that keeps me well out of REM sleep, even, most of the night.  Kick the covers off, dry out a bit, start being really cold, pull the covers up, start sweating, kick the covers off...  It's getting old.  Think I must go over to Paleo Hacks and see if a search on "hot flash" renders any useful info.  Last night really bit the big one, though - the kicking action caused some minor cramping in both ankles/calves, making it even harder to return to sleep. 

I'm at 143.6 again this morning - some of the swelling is gone, but I'm still sore.  Although some of that may be from having slept like a rolling stone all night.  No moss on me today, that's for sure.


We had meatballs with spaghetti sauce for dinner last night - I'd made them some time ago and froze them, which was very convenient.  Ran a few errands after dinner and came back and collapsed, pretty much.  Definitely a sign that we need to do some work to get in shape - the weekend should not have clobbered us this hard.

So I did try doing a deadlift with my 8-lb hand weights.  I guess I did it right - hard to tell - and my knees don't seem to want to cooperate; they wouldn't bend as much as is shown in the pictures, so I am a little worried about the mechanics. 

Breakfast this morning was sliced strawberries with cream, real bacon, and eggs.  I do think I'm going to try adding bits of starch (obviously, the strawberries weren't that) to get a bit more basic glucose circulating each day - not a lot, but enough to sustain my present weight without gain or loss.  We'll see how that goes.

I'd mentioned my perennial fruit and veg plants a few posts ago - got a chance to check, and everything seems to have survived (well, the asparagus isn't making an obvious show of it), so we should get some good stuff this summer. 

Steaks for dinner tonight - probably with a salad of some sort.  Yum!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

That was amusing

I got an e-mail reminder at work about an insurance service called a "wellness assessment", and went and took the survey.  It likes me - it really likes me!  I scored 93% out of a possible 100, characterized as "Excellent".  It wasn't too keen on my answer about consuming cholesterol and fatty meats though - I answered that I did that 5-6 times a week (only because there wasn't a higher number).  It's trying to encourage me to go read up on nutrition.

I think not.

Progress, of a sort

Our machine at work now sells bags of salted almonds!  I was eating peanuts in a sort of faute de mieux way (although, truth to tell, it also has some rather stiff and nasty beef jerky), and had actually gone down to get some potato chips to increase my starch intake (after reading Dr. Harris' recent posts on ketosis), when I noticed them.  So I got them instead.  They taste very good, but do have either canola (linseed) or safflower oil in them, so they aren't perfect.  Still, compared to the pretzels?  Nutritional Nirvana.


I was right yesterday - I wasn't done.  Up to 144.4 this morning, and betting that it's all water, based on the way my fingers and feet feel this morning.  Lee says he's up 5 pounds since last week - no real surprise since he was traveling, and it's just hard to eat well on the road.  That, and he's probably equally swollen from the parade "workout". 

I'm more interested in getting the water weight gone for the reduction in pain than I am in getting the numbers to be different right now - which is telling me that we need to start hitting the gym.  I got a book about a week ago that goes into variations on five weight-bearing exercises for strength conditioning - one is the deadlift, and I cannot recall the others (probably squats are in there, maybe pushups or something like that).  Anyway, I mean to take a look at that again tonight and start working on getting deadlift form right with my tiny 4- or 8-lb barbells at home, with the goal of being able to do one correctly with a kettlebell at the gym (I'm fairly sure they have them).  That, and I think I'll use the machines for crunches and quads/hamstring work, at least to start.  If this goes as planned, I'll probably start gaining weight but losing body fat.  We shall see.  Getting stronger is the important part.

We hit the local BBQ joint for dinner last night - Lee had ribs and slaw, and I had turkey and slaw.  A pound of turkey.  Ordering just a pound of turkey gets me some odd looks from the waitresses there, but it's the easiest way to get what I want without having to un-order things.  I got slaw last night because Lee's ribs came with 2 sides, and he just got slaw for both of us.

Late last week, I ran into this article on Mark's Daily Apple, about a two-phase sleep pattern possibly being more natural for humans.  It was very comforting, since I've spent the last 20 years (approximately) waking up at least once a night, and then stressing out about getting back to sleep.  After reading that, I don't think I'll bother stressing out anymore - I'll just make use of the wakeful hour in some way, and fall back to sleep when I need to.