Monday, April 30, 2012

A couple of vital statistics

I went to donate blood today in the middle of a firefighting exercise at work (I'm in IT, so nothing was literally on fire).  A bit stressed, but I'd made the appointment and thought I'd better keep it.  They took my pulse and BP as a part of the process.  The results:
  • Pulse: 60 beats/minute, resting (I had been sitting around for a while, but was not laying down at the time)
  • BP: 106/70
And I had actually been hoping for a little bump in BP, to help pump things out quicker, so I could get in and out fast.  Oh, well.


The random number generating scale has been sent off to its reward, replaced by a new one that does all the body comp tracking stuff, and is German.  No idea if it's more accurate or not; that will take some time - and all we'll ever really know is whether or not it's consistent.  Anyway, it thinks I weigh 148.0 this morning.  Certainly possible.  I ate a lot over the weekend - random stuff.  Here's a rough summary of yesterday:
  • no breakfast
  • tea with cream
  • cheese - maybe 5-6 pieces throughout the day
  • about 3 chocolate cherries throughout the day
  • olives
  • one or two pieces of the "bark"
  • 3-5 almond flour chocolate chip cookies
  • salad with blue cheese dressing
  • a glass of pinot noir
  • homemade sauerkraut
  • london broil
  • strawberry ice cream
There was probably more.

As I mentioned, we had our initial taste of the homemade sauerkraut yesterday.  It tastes great - not too sour, not too salty.  Lee thinks it is too crispy, but I actually like the texture.  And, not that I should need to mention it, but nobody got sick or died from eating it, so I apparently did it right.

Friday, April 27, 2012


I don't know that I have anything to say today at all.  So, scale said 146.1 this morning, and here's what I ate yesterday:
  • scrambled eggs
  • bacon
  • tea with cream
  • the usual supplements
  • cheese
  • beef jerky
  • bouillon
  • tortilla chips (probably about 7)
  • spinach-artichoke dip (no idea what's in it)
  • iced tea
  • steak-and-wedge salad with blue cheese dressing
  • two hunks of bark
  • two almond-flour chocolate chip cookies
That was it.  Sleep is still sub-par, but I do think the hot flashes are starting to ebb a bit.  It rained last night, which is a lovely sound to fall asleep to, and I don't recall fully waking until around 4 am, so it could definitely have been worse.

Plans for the weekend include shrubbery procurement and planting.  I wish we didn't have to, but it needs to be done.  The weather is supposed to be cool and drizzly, if I have been hearing the weathermen correctly.  Should help with digging holes, I guess.

Thursday, April 26, 2012


This week's settling into a routine, by golly.  Wake up exhausted, eat, go to work, go home, eat again, do random stuff all evening, fall into bed, sleep horribly.  Lather, rinse, repeat.  As a matter of fact, though, last night was somewhat less horrid than the night before - at least I didn't have one of those waking moments midway through where I looked at the clock, found that it was 1:45 and despaired because the night wasn't over.  But it was still a lingering thermal nightmare.  At about 4 am, I think, I got very cold, and turned on the mattress pad, pulled the blankets up, and curled into the fetal position.  So I've been thinking that "hot flash" is a misnomer.  Just saying.

The random number generator that we laughingly call a scale says that I weigh 145.7 this morning.  A slow weight decline all week, fueled (if weight loss can be fueled) by walnut-avoidance in the evenings.  Instead, I've been having coconut oil products - and then staying very busy until bedtime.

The coconut chocolate almond bark (yes, I do realize it's had a different name each day this week) finally solidified at an eatable thickness yesterday, and I had some after dinner.  And then made some almond-flour chocolate chip cookies, which pretty much took up the rest of the evening.  They do turn out well, though, and the recipe (from Food Lovers Make it Paleo) makes between 3 and 4 dozen, so we will be sharing, I think.

Here's yesterday's eating:
  • fat-bomb smoothie
  • bacon
  • tea with cream
  • the usual supplements
  • cheese (I didn't want it until around 1:30, which is unusual)
  • a few Godiva pearls
  • bell peppers, stuffed with grassfed beef, rice, tomatoes, and the cut-off parts of the peppers, chopped up.  Cheese on top.  Very tasty.
  • whatever-it-is bark - 3 or 4 small pieces (probably the equivalent of one piece of the previous batch)
  • two almond flour chocolate chip cookies
That was it.  I just realized that my chocolate cherry consumption is way down as well.  Which is certainly fine.

I had to laugh last night.  I have been drinking bouillon on workdays to ensure my salt intake is adequate, and I went to refill my supply and read the ingredients.  Wow, are Tones beef bouillon cubes NOT paleo!  MSG, Corn Syrup, random vegetable oils, I think beef is the last ingredient on the list.  But they do have about a gram of sodium per cube.  I don't think the stuff will kill me, but I may do a bit of research to find a better brand when these run out.  Yikes.

I have started using the stairs exclusively at work - my cube is on the third floor of a 3-story building, so it's not an arduous climb or anything (certainly, it shouldn't be!).  I'd made up my mind to do so about a week ago, since I have had no luck getting to the gym at all, but could not remember to do it in the mornings, so the net effect was to have me take two flights of stairs downwards at the end of each day.  This morning, I finally remembered to go UP the stairs, too.  Not particularly hard - and with repetition, should become much easier - which, I hope, will help with the Bolder Boulder at the end of next month.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


Sleep continues to elude me.  It's the heat, to some degree - we did indeed hit 88 yesterday, so I'm sure it didn't really get colder than about 60 last night, and that and the hot flashes made for a disturbed night.  Plus, I just could not get comfortable.  I have some sort of blockage thingy going on in my left ear - either wax, or something on the inside of the eardrum - and when I lay on my left side last night, I could hear the blood whooshing through my arteries quite clearly.  Nice, slow heartbeat, I must say, but it was distracting. 

The scale was feeling benevolent this morning - 146.3, and Lee said he was down a pound.  I think we did eat well yesterday.  Here's the breakdown (for me):
  • fat-bomb smoothie
  • the usual supplements
  • tea with cream
  • cheese
  • bouillon
  • Godiva pearls, eaten mindlessly
  • wedge salad with blue cheese dressing, tomato bits, and bacon
  • some hunks of lobster - a claw's worth, I think
  • 6 oz filet, medium rare, with bearnaise sauce
  • about 1 spear's worth of roasted asparagus
  • 3 sauteed shrimp (might have been 4; they were small)
  • iced tea
  • a few pieces of something called "bacon steak" (explained below)
  • part of a creme brulee
  • a spoonful of chocolate mousse
  • a small piece of chocolate coconut bark
The bacon steak was cured pork belly sliced about 1/2" thick, seared and then baked, and served as a side dish.  Lee ordered it to see what it was, and we all had some - I had edge pieces, which were crispier.  It was very rich - between (among?) the three of us we could not finish it.  Tasty, though.

I did redo the coconut chocolate bark last night - the parts that were thick.  I got smart this time, and let it solidify enough in the fridge to get flat and stay that way, then put it in the freezer for the finishing touch.  Will be breaking it up tonight.  The thin parts were quite good - I used up some "dark" chocolate chips we had in the house, which were sweeter than the Lindt 85% (only about 50% cacao, I think), and I like the results a bit better.  It melts a bunch faster than the last batch, though - very messy.

Had the rest of the fat-bomb smoothie this morning, but it isn't working its magic quite so much today.  I'm very sleepy, although my brain is functioning well.  And no meetings to break up the day.  I'm going to have to be creative.  Doable.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


147.0 this morning - either the scale, or my body, is being mean to me.  And given that I'm in the throes (or throws - as in blankets) of menopause, we already know that the latter is true.  Lee would have it be the scale - it wantonly added 4 pounds to his weight yesterday.  I think it's on the way out - and I think it knows it.

Here's yesterday's eating:
  • scrambled eggs
  • bacon
  • tea with cream
  • the usual supplements - for Monday
  • cheese
  • about 8 Godiva pearls - okay, maybe 10
  • a half-sour pickle slice
  • iced tea
  • a bacon-blue cheese bison burger, no bun
  • green beans
  • two french fries
  • a piece of chocolate-coconut-oil bark
About that last, I would like to say that it continues to function as Speed to me.  We were tired when we got home from dinner (at Ted's), but I wanted to make some new bark, so I ate one of the remaining two pieces of the previous batch.  And almost instantly got the fidgets.  Made the new bark.  Made a pot of tea.  Checked the transplanted plants from the weekend.  Watered all of them.  Put the dog food out for morning.  Changed clothes.  All in about 5 minutes - and after that, I was able to sit down and read for the rest of the evening.

It is unseasonably warm here just now - going to get very close to 90 today, which is pretty radical for April.  So my sleep last night was a bit broken up - I know I ran the iPod to get to sleep in the first place, then three additional times throughout the night, the last two starting around 3:30 am.  This morning, as a result, I had a coconut milk smoothie, and I'm feeling just fine right now - full of vinegar.  Good stuff, coconut oil.

Oh, and I have to redo the coconut bark from last night - I froze it on a slant, which made half of it thicker than the last batch - and the whole goal was to make a thinner, more accessible batch.  Bugger.

Monday, April 23, 2012


We had a pretty-near-perfect weekend.  Fabulous weather, yard work to provide a sense of accomplishment, a fun family get-together, and I got some sleep.  Just spot on.  I think I ate fairly well, although the scale says 146.6 this morning.  My assessment of that number has to do with sore muscles from the gardening.  Here's yesterday:
  • bacon
  • strawberries with cream
  • tea with cream
  • the usual supplements, I think 
  • 2-1/3 hot dogs, with mustard
  • a very few potato chips (we split a bag three ways)
  • a few almond-flour crackers
  • cheese
  • walnuts
  • a glass of merlot
  • meatballs with spaghetti sauce and mozzarella
  • salad with some sort of "lite" commercial dressing
  • ice cream
  • two chocolate cherries (or maybe five - I might have gone for them more than once)
The gardening took the form of planting out the last two tomato plants on Saturday, and rigging up drip irrigation for them and the other patio pots.  We are now growing two slicing tomatoes (one heirloom), four Romas for sauce, and two cherry-sized - one heirloom and the other a grape tomato.  Along with the lettuce and carrots and berries.  On Sunday, we hooked the drip to a timer, and then started weeding without really intending to - it was just so nice outside, one hated to waste it.  I pulled up about a half-bag of dandelions and other unwanted vegetation from the big flower bed in the front, while Lee dismantled our compost bins - they've never worked here; it's just too dry and I don't have an easy way to water them.  Then he and Elizabeth filled another 7 or 8 bags with random stuff from around the driveway - we had vast drifts of pine needles this year that we haven't had before.  And we all hauled those to the curb.  After which I helped Lee clean out the garage storage shed and finally crashed (around 3 pm).  And as usual, I'm all astonishment at the stamina that Paleo gives me.  I can get hot and sweaty, or sore, and keep going in that state for hours.  It's really weird.

We are all a bit stiff this morning, but not bad.  I'm a little sunburned as well - hopefully enough to kick off some tan without peeling.  At some point yesterday afternoon I took 3 Advil and 3 fish oil, and felt much better after that kicked in.  I really do think that helps a bunch with the stiffness.

The week ahead is supposed to be fabulous weather, so I suspect that more yard work may await.  Or at least more sitting outside enjoying it.  Yeah!  Summer is close!

Friday, April 20, 2012

And, Friday

Gosh, let's see - what's up?  Not much, frankly.  I've managed to wander back into ketosis, according to the Keto-Stix last night - a display of "Small".  So I'll work on my salt intake today, as I have been much of the week.  145.9 this morning, and I only tried once.  I think it's about right.

Here's yesterday's eating:
  • scrambled eggs
  • bacon
  • tea with cream
  • the usual supplements
  • bouillon
  • cheese
  • salad with blue cheese
  • some sort of chicken dish with swiss cheese on it and a mushroom sauce almost certainly roux-based
  • a glass of Riesling
  • broccoli and carrots with added butter
  • a couple of forkfuls of mashed potatoes
  • chocolate mousse
  • two more pieces of cheese
We ate dinner at Mimi's, and I'm not sure, based on how I'm feeling this morning, that I want to go back soon.  It may just be the flour in the sauce on the chicken, though.  We'll see how things go as the day progresses.

After Wednesday night's really bad sleep, we opted to pull the down insert out of the bedspread last night, and try sleeping with just a blanket and the spread.  It got a bit cold around 3:30-4:00 am, but other than that, I slept much better than previously, as did Lee, I think.  I am seeing continued improvement in my shoulders as well - thanks to whatever is the cause, whether that be slightly better sleep, the Advil and water routine, or just the passage of time.  Which reminds me, need to go get my water and Advil (although I drank most of a bottle of Perrier on the way to work, so I'm ahead of the game, there).

For the weekend, I am planning on making some almond-flour based crackers - a recipe I ran across yesterday looks intriguing, and if I can achieve a crunchy snack that is not corn chips, I would be a happy camper.  Probably some more garden cleanup, as I think the weather is supposed to be nice - maybe it's time to get the patio tomatoes put in.  And more dandelion removal - we're inundated this year.  Should be fun!

Thursday, April 19, 2012


This morning, my one trip to the scale said 146.3.  So I'm either 0.3 pounds lighter or anywhere from 0.2 to 0.4 pounds heavier than yesterday.  And the man who has one clock knows what time it is.

Yesterday's eating:
  • tea with cream
  • pale, wimpy scrambled eggs (these are the "cage free" ones from Costco, which periodically put on bursts of color - and may be doing that now, but in comparison with the eggs from the backyard chickens, are bland - and don't get me started on the color of hotel catering bulk scrambled eggs - cream-colored at best)
  • bacon
  • cheese (2 pieces at work)
  • bouillon
  • chicken breast (from a grocery store roast chicken)
  • salad with meat in it
  • blue cheese dressing
  • water (several glasses at work, at least one at home)
  • two chocolate cherries
  • more cheese (2 more pieces)
  • walnuts - and probably too many of them
I can't say for sure, but the water and more regular advil may be helping with the pain in my shoulders.  I feel fairly good this morning.  And will be continuing with the water and regular advil for a few more days.  Sleep was better last night, but I think we're about due for another rejiggering of the duvets - possibly time to remove them altogether and use the thinner one as the auxiliary foot-warmer for the summer.  Even Lee was complaining about the heat last night.

I was out checking the garden last night, and the raspberries are on the brink of blooming.  They were so good last summer, and it's quite exciting to think we should get more this year as the canes mature (what is this, year 3?).  The few strawberry plants I moved last summer are taking off really well - they're currently sharing a 4x8 raised bed with a few volunteer onions and garlic, but get to take the whole bed over at whatever rate they choose.  There are still a lot of strawberries in with the raspberries, but I'm guessing they'll get crowded out this summer or next; hence the move.  And we have lettuce, and tiny carrot seedlings, and the tomatoes have settled in perfectly.  Once the lettuce bolts, I'll put in a cucumber or two, for tomato/cucumber salad, and maybe a batch of fermented pickles.  Should be a good summer for fruit and veg!

I checked my sauerkraut last weekend - it seems to be doing okay.  Probably will sample some this coming weekend, and move it into the fridge if it has gotten sour enough.  The method I found, using the tall Italian canning jar and the removed stem as a weight, seems to have worked really well.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


I'm starting to think we need a new scale.  And ours is relatively new - but very random.  I got on it this morning first thing, and was startled to see it say 145.9 - that would be a 2-pound loss yesterday with no reason for it.  So I stepped off, waited for it to zero itself again, and stepped back on.  146.6.  Tried again after showering: 146.1.  I think I can only conclude that I weigh more than zero.  And I think I already knew that.

Here's yesterday's eating:
  • scrambled eggs
  • bacon
  • tea with cream
  • the usual supplements
  • cheese (2 pieces at work)
  • antelope steaks (from a Christmas gift - quite tasty, although they cook REALLY fast, so they were well-done)
  • Southern-style green beans, made with the ham stock I made last weekend from Easter leftovers - the best ones yet (Lee thinks they still need more salt)
  • Sliced tomatoes
  • vanilla ice cream - one of those little Haagen-Dasz cups
So, yeah, I didn't eat much yesterday, but not two pounds loss worth.  No idea what's going on.

My sleep last night was pure screaming stench-filled crap.  To put it mildly.  I took another Advil PM, hoping to get another night of crazy-deep sleep, further allowing my shoulders to relax.  Yeah, no.  I spent large chunks of the night, near as I can tell, dreaming I was lying there awake.  Woke a bunch, including once to a bad dream and once to some sort of noise that had me halfway out of bed before I woke, only to find that I was apparently the only one in the house (including two dogs) who had heard it.  And once, thinking that it had to be after 4:00 am, to find that it was 1:43.  Just awful. 

So, of course, my shoulders are killing me this morning.   I'm going to try increasing my water intake; hoping that will help flush out whatever it is.  And if that doesn't work, I guess it's time for another round of MAT.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

My unified theory of human nutrition

This is a bit of a thought experiment.  I've been mulling over a lot of the competing theories wandering the paleosphere over the last year - especially in light of the Taubes-Guyenet cage match that took place in the months immediately after AHS11 - and have some ideas of my own regarding what we should eat and why we react as we do to some foods.  Not based on any scientific studies or anything, just distilled out of a lot of reading other people's thinking on nutrition.

Let's start by removing man's ability to store food prior to eating it.  If we don't eat something we have hunted or gathered, it will spoil and make us ill.  That means that we eat what's available when it's available, naturally, rather than what has miraculously been shipped around the world and kept fresh for us year-round.  If we ate that way, what would it look like?  I think it would look a bit like this (I'm looking at this from the high plains of North America - regional variances would obviously apply).

Start with January - plants would be scarce; we might find some leaner animals or fish if the weather permits.  But we'd have to live to some degree off our own fat stores.  Early February might look a lot the same, maybe we'd start seeing a few leaves or shoots toward the end of the month if the winter had been warmer, but still a lot of living off those fat stores.  As Spring gets rolling, the plant matter increases, and the animals would be competing with us for it - but that might also make it easier to hunt them - and, even if it would mean "eating Bambi", I suspect that mothers and young might be easier targets.

Summer would bring a big increase in available plant food and fatter animals to eat; and as it progresses, our plant-based diet would move into fruit, with its relatively high sugar content.  The taste would provide high reward, and we would gorge as much as we could.  This would increase our fat stores as the season continues.  In addition, meat and fish would be easier to get than in the depths of winter, since we wouldn't be fighting the weather.

In the Fall, our plant food availability would start declining, and would shift to tubers and cool-weather greens, maybe some winter squashes, which don't spoil so quickly.  The animals would be at their fattiest, but as the weather grew colder, would start getting harder to find, and as Winter returns, we'd be back at scarcity, again relying on the fat stores built up in our fruit gorge over the summer.

So, maybe from November to May, we'd be operating on a ketone-based fuel, June-October on glucose, with the result that we are fatter ourselves as Fall deepens, and burn our own fat during the colder months as well as any animals we can find and eat.

Note that I mention the word "gorge" in late summer.  Fruit sweetens, the reward increases, we eat until we can't, based on the reward.  That fuels a glucose/storage cycle that fattens us up - as should happen.  But, because it's not available all the time, this isn't a problem; we wouldn't choose fruit over meat in January, because there isn't any.

And if ketones fuel our brain in ways that seem to sharpen our intellect, does that not also make sense in terms of needing to be a bit sharper during ketone-fueled months to find scarce resources and manage to kill them to eat?

This thought experiment leads to these implications, for me, at least. 
  • Glucose is not toxic, per se, but it has predictable effects on human health.  Ditto fructose, which generally should be accompanied by the rest of the fruit of origin to mediate the effects.
  • The fat-storage mechanism that correlates with high insulin levels has a beneficial purpose that makes sense when seen in context.
  • There's a reason we are a dual-fuel creature
  • Plants are in symbiosis with animals and we should act in accordance with that symbiosis.  Our role in the circle of plant life is to spread whole seeds around in excrement; modern technology has allowed us to blow the symbiosis out of the water (refining sugar and seed products to eat them in isolation, etc). 
  • It might be worth exploring if seasonality itself is important, or if we can use the information above in isolation.  Might there be the benefits to eschewing food storage and eating as if some foods were less or not available during part of the year and in crazed abundance at other times?
I don't know if this works for anyone else or not, but it does for me.  As an explanation, mind you, not necessarily a set of instructions for how to do my very own form of Paleo re-enactment.  I don't know that it matters (to me) exactly what mechanisms drive this cycle, if it exists, but I like it as a way to understand why things happen.  And I may start eating more seasonally - if I go with local food, it should certainly taste better when consumed at its peak.


Finally got some sleep - through artificial means, unfortunately, but I'll take it.  And my shoulder hurts less - probably because I was properly relaxed all night (which I can tell this morning - so relaxed just now that I can't really type).  I may do it again tonight, to see if a couple of nights of really deep sleep would make the shoulder pain issue go away entirely.

Or not - don't want to get used to the stuff, either.

147.7 this morning; no real idea why.  I had a rather weird day of eating yesterday, I admit, but hardly weight-inducing, I would have said.  Here's the scoop:
  • fat bomb smoothie with strawberries
  • tea with cream
  • the usual supplements
  • cheese
  • bouillon
  • a bag of beef jerky
  • a zucchini sliced into tiny noodles
  • sauce for the same, made of sour cream, butter, and a mix of Italian grating cheese (parmesan, romano, asiago)
  • walnuts
  • a square of 85% chocolate
  • three chocolate almonds
I did the zucchini because I was the only one home for dinner, and my family doesn't think zucchini stands in for pasta all that well - but I think it's delicious - and way quicker to cook (bar the cutting it up into tiny noodles, which did take a while).  It's something I thought of yesterday afternoon, and since I had a Whole Foods trip to do anyway, I grabbed a zucchini and went to town.

I need to get to the gym.  In a little over a month, I have a 10K, and I haven't trained for it at all.  I know I can racewalk 6 miles without major issues, but I doubt I have any speed in me at all.

The smoothie was terribly helpful yesterday - despite being rather exhausted, I was quite productive and my brain was working smoothly.  I do appreciate that.

The lettuce in the garden is quite visible, and I'm starting to see carrots.  I really am going to try to thin them properly this year, so as to get good sized results, but I also hate to dig up and discard plants.  Doubt I could transplant them.  Anyway, the tomatoes all seem to have settled in well - despite, or maybe because of, the cold, damp weather immediately after I planted them.  And the raspberry canes have leafed out, the strawberries are starting to spread a bit, and the blueberries have flowers.  I sure hope there are bees around!

Monday, April 16, 2012


Let me just start out with today's weight: 147.2.  I snacked yesterday - too many chocolate blueberries, and finished the day with Tostitos scoops and salsa, because I wanted salt.  I don't think I can chronicle the day's eating, either; Lee was golfing for most of it, and because the weather was chilly at best (snow/hail/rain at worst), I spent the day inside in a chair, snacking.  My bad.

Before that, though I had an interesting experience.  For one thing, I was at a business conference at a hotel, and breakfast was real.  Eggs and bacon, ham, sausage.  Stuff of that sort.  I spent parts of 3 days there, and ate very well at all of it - and lost a pound, roughly.  On Saturday morning, I was at 145.9.  Made me laugh a bit, since on the last day, several of my fellow attendees were moaning about all the weight they'd undoubtedly gained.  And eschewing the bacon.  I don't mention it anymore unless someone asks, because I get nothing but a polite murmur before the information dissipates.

So anyway, back to it.  Had a fat-bomb smoothie this morning, with strawberries.  I am beginning to think I prefer the mixed berries option, because it's less sweet.  Whatever, I've had coconut oil for breakfast, and should spend the day in some level of ketosis. 

Sleep is not going well, just now.  I am still struggling with temperature issues - too hot or too cold, absolutely never "just right".  It's getting very old.  Making me feel old, actually.  But for now, I'm just gritting my teeth and waiting for it to be over.

Dinner on my own tonight - Elizabeth is on her way back from LA via train, and Lee's going to drive down and meet the bus that is her last leg, which arrives at its first stop (well south of downtown) around 6:45.  They'll be late getting back, but not as late as if she stayed on the bus the whole way.  Anyway, I'm thinking about zucchini parmesan "noodles" and maybe some sort of meat (not sure what).  We shall see.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


Three-meal day yesterday, a rarity on a weekday.  Had salad with meat and cheese for lunch, and half a piece of gluten-free pizza, which wasn't bad.  146.8 this morning.

Here's yesterday:
  • scrambled eggs with ham (Easter leftovers)
  • tea with cream
  • the usual supplements
  • salad with meat and cheese and some light vinaigrette
  • iced tea
  • 1/2 slice gluten-free pizza
  • cheese
  • burger patty
  • salad
  • dijon vinaigrette
  • chocolate blueberries (rather a lot of them)
  • walnuts
I don't even like chocolate blueberries; the cherries are much better.  So I'm not sure why I'm mindlessly stuffing the damned things down my gullet of an evening.  I stopped and went for walnuts after a while, just to have something less unhealthy.

Made some almond-flour sweet-potato bread last night.  Had a bit this morning for breakfast, and it wasn't bad at all.  I don't really get how almond flour works, but it is a pretty decent substitute for wheat flour in baked goods - the texture of the bread is very similar to banana bread made with wheat flour.  Unlike the coconut flour, which has to be so very eggy to work properly - but does produce very light baked goods when you beat the stuffing out of the egg whites.  Anyway, I'd do it again.

This afternoon starts a 3-day "leadership conference" for work - at a hotel conference center, with meals provided.  Not at all sure how it will work, but I am counting on them providing salad and/or fruit, and I'm taking a bit of beef jerky with me.

Sleep was better last night, possibly because I cranked the ceiling fan up to high.  I have a new soporific playlist - an hour of "Information, Please", that has me out before they've explained the rules.  It works, which is all I ask of it.  However, the hot flashes are starting to occur during waking hours now.  I'm really not up for doing this again - it was so miserable last time.  Not like I have much of a choice.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


I fasted yesterday until about 1:30, I think - so, assuming my carb binge on Sunday ended around 6-ish, I guess that makes for a 19-20 hour fast, roughly.  Broke it with a bag of beef jerky, then had another later in the afternoon.  Not much to them - 90 calories, 8g carbs, advertised as "low fat".  Dinner at Country Buffet, which is always a minefield, and stayed true to that last night.  147.0 this morning, so maybe it wasn't water.

Here's the breakdown:
  • tea with cream
  • the usual (Monday) supplements
  • beef jerky (2 snack-sized bags)
  • caesar salad, no croutons
  • mixed greens with mushrooms
  • "blue cheese" dressing
  • cottage cheese (nasty, too - no tang to it)
  • meat loaf
  • green beans
  • 3 pieces of fudge
Came home and worked on taxes and trying to fix the printer for Lee's laptop.  Before we knew it, it was bedtime.  And I slept miserably.  Hot flashes - or maybe warm flashes.  These aren't as intense as the ones a year ago, but I have no other explanation for what's happening.  I sleep on my right side and am fine, until I need to change positions.  Roll over onto the left side and I get maybe 2 minutes before the sweating starts and I have to get out from under the covers.  Once I've cooled off, I'm freezing, and can throw the covers back on and sleep on that side for a while - until I need to change positions again (unfortunately, this occurs rather frequently), and the whole thing starts over.  Very few issues during the day - maybe one episode while driving to work - but the lack of sleep is painful.  And on top of that, my right shoulder is starting to hurt again.  The massage lasted about a week.

Got my race package for the Bolder Boulder last night and am in a minor quandary.  It includes a chip to be attached to my shoes.  My don't-lace-up Vibrams; the chip has 4 holes in it and came with a nasty looking plastic jimmie to sew through them and attach it to shoelaces - at least, that's the impression I had.  I'm wearing the Vibrams - my traditional walking shoes make my knees hurt - and at the moment, I think I'm wearing one tennis wristlet on my ankle, with the chip sewn onto that (with satin ribbon or something - definitely not the plastic jimmie, which mimics a ball-chain in shape and would hurt like hell if it rubbed against skin for 6 miles).  If another solution emerges, I'm certainly open to it.  In the meantime, I'm in the market for a tennis wristband thingie.

Monday, April 9, 2012


We survived Easter.  Barely, but we survived.  Surreal weekend; on top of "Sunday dinner" (meaning it was lunch) for 12, I had a semi-crisis at work and spent intervals all weekend on conference calls trying to get some repair software to run faster by force of will.  In the end, it finished up last night, just in time, so that was good.  But I'm pretty tired - it was by no means a restful weekend.

I'm at 147.2 this morning, a little surprised (not all that much, though) to be there.  Had a carb binge yesterday evening after everyone had left, that I think explains it.  That, and some rather crap sleep over the past few days.  It may be all water, though; I was at 145.2 yesterday morning.  We shall see.

Here's a rough summary of yesterday's eating, as I recall it.
  • bacon
  • tea with cream
  • the usual supplements
  • ham
  • baked sweet potato
  • green beans with almonds
  • sauteed brussels sprouts
  • ambrosia salad (marshmallows, fruit, whipped cream, coconut)
  • about a half-glass of Riesling
  • flourless chocolate cake with raspberry sauce and whipped cream
  • a couple of strawberries
  • possibly a Reese's peanut butter egg
  • cheese
  • chocolate blueberries (absolutely the full 1/4 cup serving)
  • tortilla chips and a sour-cream dip
I think that was it.  If I'd avoided the salad, the dessert, and the binge after, it would have been a pretty clean paleo day, really.  I made the croissants for dinner, and thought of having one, but when one didn't make it onto my bread plate, I didn't feel like making the effort to get one, so I went without.  I hear they were good.  For what it's worth, I have some lingering indigestion this morning from something and am fasting; a choice made in favor of sleeping in an extra 15 minutes.  That, and forgetting to bring cheese to the office with me.  So probably a real 20+ hour fast today.

We have lots of left-over ham (and I swear I bought a small one!) and the bone, which is simmering in the crock pot to make ham broth/stock.  No idea what I'll do with it, but it seemed foolish to waste it.  If I were to find beans suddenly a food again, I suspect it would make a great bean soup base.  Maybe I'll try cooking green beans in it the next time we haul out the pressure cooker.

The theme for this week is "sleep", I think.  Probably won't be getting any, truth to tell; I have some sort of "leadership conference" at work the last half of the week, where one night ends at 8:00, the next at 9:00 (they're putting us up at the hotel that night).  And Thursday morning (after the 8:00 night), Elizabeth is catching the bus to get the train to LA - and has to be downtown around 4 am.  So not so much then, either.  But I can shoot for a good night tonight and tomorrow night, and hope for a solid weekend.

Friday, April 6, 2012


Either the week's not-so-great eating caught up with me, or I am carrying water again.  Not sure which, but I was at 147.0 this morning.

Sleep seemed better - for one thing, my shoulders seem to have got over the pain yesterday and are feeling pretty good.  So all I was battling was the thermostat - probably my internal one.  Each time I rolled over, I got hot and sweaty, so my night was full of cover-adjustments.  Annoying.

Here's yesterday:
  • tea with cream
  • scrambled eggs
  • bacon
  • the usual supplements
  • cheese
  • a Hershey's bar with almonds
  • about 1/2 pound of gyro meat
  • part of a salad (we split it)
  • one bite of pita with hummus
  • tzaziki sauce
  • strawberry/mango juice
I stopped after that.  It seems more or less healthy, although certainly carby-er than it could have been.  Dinner was at the local Mediterranean joint, and their hummus is wonderful, as are their juice drinks, so I had a little of both.  The Hershey's bar was a stress reaction - at one point yesterday, I thought I would be working through last night, tonight, and possibly tomorrow night, on top of hosting Easter dinner for the family.  As things turned out, the work won't be quite that bad, although I will probably be involved in something tonight (evening, though, not 2 am) and tomorrow some time (if all goes really well, early tomorrow morning).

Easter dinner is mostly healthy.  Ham, baked sweet potatoes, green beans and brussels sprouts (not mixed), ambrosia salad (okay, that's not healthy - but it has coconut in it!), green salad, croissants (for others, not for me), and a flourless chocolate cake.  I have the croissants started - they're a 3-day ferment in all, so they are probably less toxic than they could be.

I will try to get some sun over the weekend, as well - maybe some outdoor garden cleanup of some sort tomorrow, if work doesn't get in the way.  If it does, maybe I'll rig an extension cord onto the front patio and work out there.

Thursday, April 5, 2012


Yesterday started out well, but I made the mistake of reading through the "what garbage did you use to eat?" thread on PaleoHacks yesterday afternoon, and ended up adding a bag of jerky at the time.  Then, because we were out of potato chips at dinner (not that they're all that good, I know), I had Nacho Cheese Doritos instead.  And a bunch of the dark chocolate-coconut oil bark we made a while back.  So it was a mix of eating garbage and eating too much in general, I think.  145.9 this morning.  Here's the breakdown:
  • scrambled eggs
  • bacon
  • tea with cream
  • the usual supplements
  • bouillon
  • cheese
  • one or two Godiva Pearls
  • beef jerky
  • 2 hot dogs
  • a bag of Nacho Cheese Doritos
  • more tea with cream (an attempt to head off what follows - it didn't work)
  • 3 chocolate cherries
  • aged gouda - 3 pieces, I think
  • chocolate coconut bark - about 5 pieces
  • walnuts - not very many
I was really hoping to report further improvements in my right shoulder, but I can't - it's starting to bother me again.  Made for a night of much more broken sleep and I'm just tired and cranky at the moment.  Add to that Lee's initial plunge into allergy season (or a bad cold; hard to tell which), so he was snoring a good bit as well as thrashing around and periodically waking to blow his nose noisily, all of which was despite a dose of Advil PM (for the sleep and the benadryl).  I won't catch it, or at worst, I won't have enough symptoms to fill a thimble (thank you Vitamin D!!!), but he doesn't like suffering in silence, so I'm very tired this morning.

I think I start Easter preps tonight - I'm going to make the croissants to be baked late Saturday rather than on Sunday, and that means starting the sponge tonight.  They're very easy once you get the technique down, and only require sporadic attention - and a 3-day rise in the fridge means that some of the anti-nutrients are wiped out.  I still probably won't eat one.

I would love to say that tonight's my turn with the Advil PM, but a) I'm fairly sure Lee will still need it, and b) I think I might be up half the night for work.  I hope I'm wrong on that one - especially since I don't think I'd add value in any way.  And I really need a good night's sleep right now.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


This is proving to be a long week for some reason; at least, my brain wants desperately for this to be Thursday.  Not sure why. 

Had my all-shoulder massage last night; it seems to have helped quite a bit with overall mobility, especially on my right side, which was feeling locked up, although the therapist said I had a big range of motion.  Maybe for someone else, but it felt constrained to me.  So now I have to do something on an ongoing basis to keep it loose, yet strong.  I may ask Elizabeth to show me her rotator cuff PT exercises.

145.7 this morning, while in "small" ketosis (up from "trace" or something).  Yesterday ended up being pretty fast-y.  I ate some cheese around 1 pm, along with bouillon at 11 am, and maybe a Godiva pearl or two later in the afternoon.  If the bouillon doesn't count, it was an 18-hour fast, roughly.  Here's the total breakdown:
  • tea with cream
  • the usual supplements
  • bouillon
  • cheese
  • possibly Godiva pearls
  • take out Chinese Green Pepper Beef
  • Hot and Sour soup
  • fortune cookie
  • 5 chocolate cherries
  • more cheese (3 pieces of Dutch Gouda)
I think that was it, because after that, I had the massage, and got home just in time to go to bed, basically.  I made a slight change in my supplements routine, though - took a mag citrate at bedtime rather than this morning (I'd already taken one yesterday morning), in hopes that it would prevent my shoulders from locking back up.  I think it helped with that as well as with sleep quality - I know I woke up at 11:38 because the double duvet got to be too much (I was cold when we crashed), and I recall waking up several times to roll over and thinking that my shoulders felt pretty good for a change, but I feel quite rested this morning.

I think I will also work on my mechanics while seated as much as possible - trying not to lean on my elbows so much, which I think was the origin of this round of shoulder issues.  Don't know how successful I'll be, truly; I might need to put spikes on the arms of my chair or something.  But I will try.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


Fasting today - but not on my behalf.  The dogs had a vet appointment, for bloodwork of some sort, and couldn't eat breakfast, so we opted out, in solidarity with them.  I am now rather hungry, so it probably won't be a very long fast.

145.5 again this morning.  We ate pretty well yesterday, but I did have a small walnut bender after dinner.  Here's the breakdown:
  • scrambled eggs
  • bacon
  • tea with cream
  • the usual supplements
  • cheese
  • a very few Godiva pearls
  • Grassfed London broil, marinated in soy sauce/ketchup/olive oil and garlic - quite tasty
  • Southern-style green beans - pressure-cooked with onion and bacon - still need more salt, but I'm very close
  • Cole slaw that turned out far better than I'd expected after tasting the dressing - I even had seconds
  • about 6 chocolate cherries
  • walnuts
  • aged gouda
As predicted, it's snowing today, and the commute to work was a ruddy pain in the butt.  The roads are wet, a little slushy, maybe.  So, of course, everyone slowed to a 10 mph crawl.  Instead of 40 minutes to work, it was an hour and 20.  Just doubled.  It's supposed to snow all day, so I am guessing that going home will be similar.  I just hope it's not worse.  I have a massage tonight and I'm not going to miss it.  One hour, and if I have my way, nearly all of it on my shoulders - especially my right one.  Something has it all knotted up, and if I can just get it untied, things should improve rapidly.  I hope.

Monday, April 2, 2012


I'll just confess up front.  I have no idea what all I ate yesterday.  Bacon and strawberries, I think.  Lots and lots of tea - I went through at least a full airpot.  Walnuts here and there.  A couple of hot dogs.  Cheese.  Probably some chocolate cherries.

Breakfast was a sort-of-organized meal; we did sit down and eat together, at least.  Lunch was hotdogs and pickles.  But the rest of the day was catch-as-catch-can; Lee was not feeling well, and I'd spent the day fighting a headache, so last night's dinner will be held tonight, assuming we all are in better fettle.  It will be a marinated grassfed London Broil, southern-style green-beans, and cole slaw that may be a bit odd (I did some substitutions in the dressing that I sense are not going to work all that well).

It was 84 yesterday - and 80 in the house at 7:30 last night.  I can say with confidence that some of my sleeping issues of late have had to do with unseasonably high temperatures, so after we switched out the duvets (which did not help, at least, not on Saturday night), I also added in a light blanket, with the idea that we can sleep only under that on nights like last night.  And it helped a lot - until the cold front moved in; it's supposed to snow this afternoon, and looks it.  I did manage to get a bit of sun yesterday - not enough for any tan, but maybe some contribution toward my vitamin D levels.

145.5 this morning, so I can't have eaten all that badly yesterday.  We ate at White Fence Farm on Saturday, and I had two corn fritters and two helpings of their kidney bean salad, which is possibly my favorite there.  Call it a treat day.  I paid afterward - the headache may even have been part of the payment. 

Plan for this week is to get back into proper ketosis; it just feels healthier for me to be there.  I think I've overturned my need for sugar, at least temporarily.

On other fronts, the lettuce is starting to sprout in the garden, the carrots have been planted (they're my dirt-eating vehicle for the summer), and the berry plants are all leafing out.  I have hopes for a good harvest of all that, plus the tomatoes we will be planting in the next few weeks.