Tuesday, December 31, 2013


Christmas is behind me and I did not go overboard nor did I eat as sensibly as I have done some years. I am settling down into developing my sustainable lifestyle. 

I wrote the following into my journal on the Livin La Vida website.

Only two days left of 2013. I can't wait for it to be over. Crazy thinking I know.

In fact it's been an amazing year. We spent our 50th Wedding Anniversary in Hawaii. Wonderful time. We've been away from our house here at Matarangi for more than 4 months what with going to Hawaii, trips to Christchurch and house sitting.

I've experimented with Fat Fasting and Nutritional Ketosis. I've done two 5 km walks. 

But here I am ending the year on a difficult note. I want to be positive. I want to know that I can still work at improving my health. I really want to do it.

So why am I failing at the moment?

I guess it's complicated. Only God can help me find my way.

Yesterday I tried and failed. Is failure on option? 

It's not a word I'm happy with.

I need a positive spin. Something like this.

Failure is part of the route to success.

Only I can make that true.

Today I am probably fasting ... so far ony drinking keto coffee. I know that's a bit too drastic but I need to break out of some bad habits which have been accumulating over the past few months. The last two days have seen some imrovement but I keep slipping back into behaviours I want to change.

I've also done 30 + minutes on the cross-trainer. I put on our Route 66 CD. That brightened my day nicely.

The day began with a beautiful blue sky but now, middle of the day, looks as though we will get more rain. There was so much rain yesterday that there was flooding in several towns and some roads were closed temporarily at high tide. There were also a few slips, or landslides on the roas through the hills either side of us. Nothing that completely blocked us in for more than a short period.

I'll make an effort to come back tomorrow to say how today goes.

I have completed two days of fasting. What a way to start the New Year! It has been an ideal if radical way to get rid of some bad habits. Tomorrow will be more normal food.

We are seeing the New Year in with TV while neighbours let off their fireworks. Every now and then we jump as a loud canon noise goes off.
Photos were all taken on Christmas Day when John Jane and I went for a walk to shake down our lunch.

Saturday, December 21, 2013



Weight loss has been negligible for the last 12 or more months.

I'm maintaining too well. That would be great if I had lost closer to 100% of the excess but in spite of being ketogenic, HFLC, much of the time and keeping my calories within a decent range I've bounced up and down on the same few pounds most of the time. Right now I'm at the high point of a bounce and that is not acceptable. At 83 kg/182 pounds I am still at least 20 kg/44 pounds fatter than is good for me.

I've experimented with various ratios of macro-nutrients and so on until I don't want to measure or even record another thing. 

John and I both have minor but irritating chronic health problems. John says he would be jumping out of his skin if his sinuses would dry up. I have various skin issues from psoriasis to shingles not to mention Bell's Palsy and poor eyesight. None of these things, except maybe my eyes, are age related although maybe our age has aggravated and slowed our healing. Talking today we are going to try something pretty drastic. We are going 100% dairy free for a minimum of 4 weeks and maybe 6 weeks starting when we return from our next trip to Christchurch. Official start date will be February 10th 2014 although we will be working toward being dairy free before then no doubt.

In the meantime I am going to work towards eating only meat, eggs, maybe some fish, vegetable salads with balsamic vinegar or olive oil and lemon dressing, other cooked, mostly green, veggies, and 1 piece of fresh fruit daily plus a couple of prunes if needed. I enjoy having smoothies but I'm going to make them dairy free as soon as my current batch of whey powder is finished.

I don't intend to limit myself Christmas Day. We have a fairly simple menu of ham and various salads, strawberries, fruit salad and pavlova planned.

I will gradually move into this limited diet as foods I am declaring 'off-plan' have been consumed. I am thinking that I will go coffee free for a time too. This is more or less how I eat now and it will be quite simple to maintain through the summer months. The main thing I am changing, other than dairy and coffee, is to cut out nuts because I am nibbling on them all day long. It's become obvious to me I have a problem. Where once a few, 5-10 almonds was enough, I now eat unlimited amounts of all kinds. Another thing that may or may not be contributing to my current state of maintenance is the amount of fat in my diet. 

I absolutely believe the science behind Low Carb High Fat diets and Nutritional Ketosis but I am pretty sure I am becoming addicted to fat. I would think that even the so-called healthy fats become unhealthy when consumed to excess. What is excess? I have no idea but I know I can eat a lot. People like Jimmy Moore talk about fats being so satiating you cannot over-eat. I don't think they have met me. I'm not talking about any old fats either. I only eat animal fats, coconut oil, cod liver oil and occasionally olive oil and avocado.

It's a fairly loose plan based on unprocessed foods. It may become a lifestyle or it may be an experiment. The important thing is that whatever we do feels natural and does not cause stress. Although I want to lose more weight I'm not going to worry about how this turns out. I like my animal proteins and I like vegetables. Cheese and yoghurt will be the two things I find hardest to live without. I have done a dairy free experiment in the past so this will be limited to 4 - 6 weeks for health reasons and then we'll see if it brings any improvement.

I guess I need to mark February 10th as a Red Letter Day although it just might happen in the natural course of our lives before then.

Today we went over to Mum's to do another job. John broke up a slab of concrete and brought about 1/4 of it home in our car boot. We'll use it somewhere around the garden. Originally it was the base of an outdoor shower but it was built overhanging our boundary so had to go. The slab was too heavy to move to another location so finally we have done something about it.

A new hedge of griselinias has been planted and seems to be settling in well. It is being watered faithfully in the hot weather we are having. This boundary will look attractive again one day.


Friday, December 20, 2013


I could begin with saying, 'Meet Mrs. Misery Guts!'

Instead I'm really trying to be humorous. Ha! Me funny!

Five nights to Christmas Day and I am totally disorganised. I have cards that have not been written in, let alone addressed and posted. I have gifts but no idea what is for whom. I want to do some foody gifts but no idea what I planned to do with ingredients waiting in the pantry. I have visits to friends and my sister planned but don't want to get in the car. I have a mental plan but no get up and go. Plus the first thing on my list is not yet possible and I seem unable to move on to the second thing.

On the positive side ...

Our little Christmas tree brightens the day and looks terrific at night with it's pretty lights.

The ointment I got from the chemist is working almost like magic. I have no idea whether or not the tentative diagnosis of shingles by daughter, who is an experienced RN and has also had shingles, the Pharmacist whose advice we sought, and me, when I matched symptoms with my own experience and Dr. Google, is correct but it will do for now.

Symptoms:- I feel lousy with a touch of nausea and 'do not want to do anything'. I had itchy arms. Worse than itchy. It was like a gazillion mosquitoes biting in the same place but in several sites at the same time. I scratched and a red rash developed and I thought I was going to scrape off all my skin. This was localised to inside my elbows and north and south on my inner arms, both arms. Direct sun and any warmth made it unbearable. Sitting in the car driving into town for 30 minutes almost had me ready for a strait-jacket. It has been worse at night so poor sleep. I've been taking extra vitamin B stress complex, magnesium capsules and panadol which all seem to help somewhat. Other parts of my body reacted in sympathy and I sometimes felt itchy all over.

There was very little to see except for where I had scratched and broken the skin. There were a few signs of a red rash, especially if I got exposed to direct intense sunlight, as in the car. How do you describe something that's driving you nuts when there's nothing to see? I was glad that little trip into town on Wednesday brought out the redness.

Past experience:- Around 1999 or 2000 I had similar symptoms but my if memory serves it was my outer arms that were most affected and it crept onto my shoulders, particularly somewhere around my shoulder blades. See .... not typical of shingles! I spent many sleepless nights distracting myself by watching or listening to Catch The Fire church meetings on-line. The stress factor was directly related to a decision John made to continue working after he reached retirement age. He decided we needed the money more than we needed to adjust our lifestyle. At the time he was working at Reporoa Dairy Factory and I was helping manage our daughter's back-packer hostel at Tairua. About 3.5 hours drive time and John's work hours separated us. There were a few times when we did not see each other for 3 weeks at a time due to his shifts. The extra income was useful but we would have done OK without it. My skin problem continued for months gradually subsiding once the weather cooled. The worst times were when it felt as though I was being attacked by a 'gazillion mosquitoes' biting in the same spot. Since that time there has always been a tendency for my arms to get itchy in hot or humid weather and particularly when exposed to summer sun. I did see a doctor and don't remember him being much help other than continue whatever I was already doing, mostly bathing with baking soda and smothering myself in chamomile lotion. He may have prescribed a steroid or put me on prednisone.

Roll on 4 or 5 years. In December 2004 we sold the hostel and rushed to buy the house we now live in. Initially the house was for investment purposes only and we had a good tenant. Our daughter had plans to travel. John and I took a percentage of the profit from selling the backpacker hostel and booked a cruise with the Catch The Fire church group. We had a trip to Christchurch to spend Christmas with our S. I. family. We returned to Mum's, the beach house we now need to sell, and I hosted some friends who were speaking at a monthly meeting I organised. We had gorgeous weather and I spent a lot of time in the sun. I caught enough sun to get mildly burnt on my arms and back. A week or so later I peeled and we set off on our amazing trip to USA. It was so exciting. I had no expectation of overseas travel and that made this trip all the more special. We had a few days in San Francisco followed by a cruise out of Miami around the Caribbean. Since we never expected to travel overseas again we decided to rent a car in Miami and take our time, seven weeks in fact, to meander back to Los Angeles, before our flight home.

I was really uncomfortable on our 12-13 hour flight to San Francisco. My arms were terribly itchy. This increased over the ensuing days until I finally gave up trying to tough it out and went to the ship's doctor. By this time I was spending half the night under a cold shower trying to get some relief.  The South African doctor took one look and said I had some kind of infection due to getting sunburnt. He mentioned something that sounded like folliculitis and gave me medication to swallow and something to use topically. The symptoms abated and became bearable but lasted at least another month. The thing I remember most is the 'gazillion mosquitoes' biting in one place but several sites at the same time.

This time:- I finally got into the garden a few weeks ago and begin to undo the damage done during a very dry spring, while we were away for 5 weeks. The dry was followed by some good healthy rain. Choice plants had died or shrivelled and weeds had grown with vigour. I was careful about the length of time I spent outside but I did work in direct sunlight. My arms began to itch and I tried hard not to scratch. I was woken in the night by the 'gazillion mosquitoes' stabbing at me. We had bought some Noni lotion earlier this year when in Hawaii and that proved to give some relief until this week when the 'gazillion mosquitoes' began to win.

I guess I should have gone to the doctor but I am somewhat doctor phobic and if I can find a solution for myself that's better. *smiles to self*

At the chemist shop we decided that Zostrix, a topical analgesic cream would be the best thing to try. It is 0.075% capsaicin which is derived from chilli peppers. There are warnings about tingling or burning on the skin after application. This was true but so much more bearable than the 'gazillion mosquitoes'. I have only used this cream for three days and already the 'gazillion mosquitoes' seem to have fled. But I still feel lousy. It's a bit like the pre-onset of a cold sore so I'm not out of the woods yet.

I see that Zostrix HP Cream is recommended for medically diagnosed painful diabetic neuropathy or post-herpetic neuralgia, (pain following shingles). I'm not caring too much about the whys and wherefores. It's working and that's all I need to know right now.

But I agree I need to see a doctor and deal with the herpes thing for good if that's possible. Since it's a chronic problem and we are short on time and cash and I am very short on energy I'm leaving this until sometime after New Year.

It's time to bring out the happy and soothing music. I must look for all my Christmassy CDs and set the atmosphere.

Thursday, December 19, 2013


Only 6 nights and Christmas Day will dawn. I'm not sure whether to be delighted the year is nearly finished with or shocked by how the days have flown by.

It's been a very mixed up year and nothing has changed as far as mixed up goes. Diet wise I have really worked at find what fits best for me but so far have not found that place where I can lose the last 1/3rd of excess fat.

I am relieved that the ointment I got from the pharmacy yesterday just might be making a difference. I slept right through to nearly 7 am only waking a couple of times, each time I fell asleep again without getting out of bed, but I did not go to bed until well after mid-night.

It doesn't help that somehow I've messed up my settings possibly in the control panel and cannot work out what I did. I'm having some serious problems with photographs. storing, downloading and now placing them into my blog. I'm not in the right frame of mind to deal with this. I guess I'm going to have to find a clever person to do it for me .... just as long as they do not mess up how I use me laptop. One thing I've found is that every expert I've ever asked to help me has put the default settings into a system that they like and it may not be the way I am used to using my computer. That means there is always a learning curve and there may be some things I never get right again.

I've copied in last night's post in my journal at Livin La Vida.

We went into town to shop this morning and I was being driven nuts by the rash which has developed on my arms. This has been going on for some weeks and I blamed it on gardening in the sun. 

As we parked and were getting out of the car our daughter called from across the street. She had pulled out from her work place as we went by and wanted to know what we were up to. Clearly she is not overly busy today so had time to be nosey.

I complained about the rash which was increasing and how uncomfortable it is. Nurse that she is, took one look and said it looks and sounds like shingles. Duh! She followed me into the chemist shop where I spoke with the pharmacist and bought some kind of anti herpes cream. 

I've looked up the symptoms and have to agree that they are probably right. What's more this is my 3rd bout of a similar rash in 13 years, not to mention that Bells Palsy which I've had for 22 months, could also be associated with the herpes virus. For years cold sores were the bane of my life until eventually one never healed and was finally diagnosed as basal cell cancer with subsequent plastic surgery. The first two bouts of the rash were never given a diagnosis. All I can say is that I have been poorly served by the medical profession. Someone should have picked up before now that I am prone to herpes infections and warned me to take care and not take it as lightly as I have been doing.

Looking at the symptoms it's no wonder I have felt below par, lacking energy and verging on depression. It all fits now. I'm hoping I can get away without a visit with my Dr. We'll see whether the cream brings sufficient relief.

I feel cheated and angry. My almost-paleo style diet should have helped build my immune system sufficiently that I would be strong enough to avoid this complication to my life. 

Useless reaction. 

I'm having a quiet afternoon while I assess where to from here. I fully understand that stress has been the major contributor to each attack of this virus. My eating pattern will stay much the same. I will not be doing any fat fasting for a while. But I do need to see if there is anything I should be doing to strengthen and heal my body. It's like a vicious cycle. Stress and worry equal some poor choices and lack of sleep. Shingles simply makes it more difficult to undo the stress damage and get quality sleep.

Deep breaths. Take one day at a time. This will pass by but I'm hoping the discomfort does not last until the weather cools next May/June.

Sunday, November 17, 2013


AMAZING!! I loved my walk. About an hour from home and back, most of it barefoot on the beach.


The difference my weight loss to date makes..... 
In the past I would either count steps or mark off small landmarks, 
more so as I became tired. 
There are a couple of small rises and some steps to the beach. 
I would notice them, sometimes they slowed me down, 
sometimes I would puff like a steam engine. 
Today I barely was aware of them. 
4.5 km and I could have stayed longer on the beach 
but it was getting too warm. 
Must dial these walks into my early morning routine again. 
I haven't walked regularly for about 18 months 
because my eye has been such a bother but .
... I can handle it if I choose the best times.

Yoohoo!! ...talk about feeling good for achieving something

I did intend to spend another hour in the garden today but the day is over. Tomorrow is another day.

This post does not look right in Blogger Preview but I don't know how to fix it.

Friday, November 15, 2013


This lecture session is quite long but well worth watching if you have an interest in nutritional health. Diabetes and obesity along with some other serious illnesses are covered. I really appreciated the last portion of the video with dietitian Dr. Caryn Zinn. The main speaker, Dr. Grant Schofield, is director of the Human Potential Centre at Auckland University of Technology. 

Hopefully their work will bring about changes in the way we think about the food we eat. It was revealing that Dr. Zinn mentioned a little booklet printed in 1951 that advocates avoiding bread and other starchy carbohydrates and eating plenty of green vegetables, eggs, meat, fish and cheese. This is about 51-52 minutes into the video if you don't want to watch the whole thing.

Dr Schofied has a blog which is attracting a huge amount of controversy. Some people will never open their minds to take in a different scenario to the one they have already accepted. That is a great pity because we now have more obesity, more heart problems, more diabetes and growing rates of alzheimers and no abatement of cancer with our so called healthy diet of the last 50 years or so.


Thursday, November 14, 2013



I have struggled through the days since we got back from Christchurch 16 days ago. Some days have gone well, some have been stress filled, some ho-hum and others just plain exhausting and I have so little to show for it all.

Today I'm making a real effort to sort myself out food-wise and set myself up for some more productive days. Food wise I'm following the Fat Fast protocol to get back into nutritional ketosis. I know this is alarming for some people but it does work for me. I have been crabby, grumpy, felt unco-operative and just plain out of sorts most of the time. When I am in nutritional ketosis I feel fine, more alert and more energetic. I would like to be in that state all the time but it is easily lost especially when away from home. I am a little fragile right now when it comes to food choices so today will hopefully help set me going in the right direction again.

The following is taken from one of my other blogs and modified to fit the nature of this one.

We arrived home from Christchurch to find a medical appointment for John to go to Thames Hospital, (1.5 hours of winding road), to have a possible skincancer checked. We kept that appointment last week. Hard on the heels cam a call from Waikato Hospital, (3 hours away, half of which is on the winding roads), with the Vascular Clinic for day surgery. We only had 4 days notice and most of it was over the weekend and John had to get a blood test done in time. That alone stresses me out theses days. The background to this ....... In February John had an angioplasty, or an unblocking of the femoral artery in one of his legs. The pain went away and he could walk freely for 2-3 months. Another angiogram revealed the artery was closing up again. I went into semi panic mode because I thought there was a plaque build up and three months is a very short time for this to happen. I worried about what was going on. I was also concerned about the reaction of medical people at the hospital when they learned John wasn't taking a statin drug. He says he would rather suffer the consequences of not taking t than the horrible symptoms of muscle weakness and pain when he does. I have encouraged him to not take a statin because I believe they are unnecessary for most people who have them prescribed and I think they are a pharmaceutical con.

The last couple of days along with my anxiety took a toll. My anxiety was wasted .... as it always is Smile The surgeon said plaque build up was not the problem. The artery was no longer strong enough to stay open on it's own so a stent was inserted. This morning John walked freely again. Cheers!!! No-one mentioned the statin word although one nurse advised John he must take a whole aspirin everyday. He's been taking a 1/2 tablet every second day otherwise he gets awful bruising and every time he gets a tiny skin abrasion he bleeds madly. He will continue with what he's been doing and I am suggesting that when he has blood tests in abut 6 months he will probably be able to stop taking all the aspirin too. I can't see the point if he's healthy. I guess they have to advise according to the set protocol ... We are being treated like peas in a pod instead of individuals. What happened to good medicine?

I am paying the price for all my anxiety and travelling. Feel slightly better now that I've had my first cup of keto coffee since Monday morning, (today is Thursday, 8 am). I had been craving sugar in my coffee and last night was looking for a high carb hit.... only nuts and chilli flavoured rice crackers available so not too much damage done.

Tuesday it was nearly 7 am when we left home. I had been up since around 5 am after sleeping poorly. I made a kumera, (sweet potato), and broccoli frittata ..... more like an American casserole, with 10 eggs, bacon and cream cheese. Because it came straight out of the oven in time to leave the house I took it all with us ... enough to feed 10 people. We had time to go to a Cafe for breakfast before going to the hospital at 11 am. We had beautifully served Eggs Benedict on gluten free toast. 

At the hospital, and after the usual being sent from here to there and hanging around, John went off to Day surgery and I went to a waiting room. The waiting was tedious, about 2 hours in a room of chatty people with TV running background interference. I tried to turn off all of this, and stay absorbed in my Michael Connelly book, which was not too hard most of the time. 

John had about 4 more hours to stay quiet. The list of care for day surgery includes food. They offered John a sandwich, "gotta have some carbs!" Fortunately I'd packed our normal lunch food of salami, olives etc. so John did not need to starve. But because food is on the list he was offered icecream and jelly which being a man he was delighted to eat Smile Once they'd made sure there was no immediate risk of haemorrhage we went to the studio flat, hospital accommodation for out-of towners, we had booked. It was OK but again I didn't sleep well.. hospital beds, plastic pillows and all that, but lovely view from large windows. Next time we will go to a decent motel. We were able to take our time yesterday morning and I had NestlĂ© coffee sachets and frittata for breakfast before leaving to visit my sister. She had a nice ham salad for our lunch and I was fine when we left about 2 pm, although I was feeling tired. We still had 3 hours travelling plus a stop for groceries. I began to lose the plot and felt really grumpy as John drove the twisty roads through the hills. Exhaustion was setting in, my eye was aching and it was too warm in the car. We had a lovely sunny day but the car has no AC. 

Finally we pulled in at home to find a campervan had parked up. We have advertised our place as a 'Park-Over-Property' in the absence of a campground in our area. We love meeting folk who travel but it was too much for me. I don't know where John got his energy from but I guess he was still on a bit of a high after finally getting some real relief from the discomfort in his leg.

I concentrated on putting away groceries, cooking some sausages to go with heated frittata and getting in another cup of coffee. I couldn't get into bed fast enough.

This week is also birthday week for our three sons. Somehow I never got their cards in the mail on time and I never called them on the phone either. It all seems rather flat. Mother's are not supposed to get this sort of thing in a muddle. The only thing I got close to right was putting birthday money into their accounts electronically but how boring is it to receive your birthday gift that way. Of course we have no choice for the one in prison. We are not allowed to send parcels unless they are requested by the inmate. This is one of the ways they monitor what is coming in.


Monday, November 4, 2013


Lynda's latest post is sobering, more so if you have type 2 diabetes.

A sad story of Diabetic complications.
Terminal and Scared

I Guess many of you guys will think me weak, silly and pathetic, but honestly, other than that, I hope I'm a nice guy,

I'm 52, just !

I'm very very happily married, we have a 23 year old butter of a son, he's the apple of our eye,

My darling wife is the sweetest, kindest, most understanding person EVER to have walked this earth, and to me the MOST Beautiful too,

OK, you get the picture, All is perfect.

OK except I'm in a wheelchair now, I have to take phone number quantities of drugs each day, just to take the edge from the PAIN I am and never will be free of,

Why ? Well the truth is that almost 19 years of excuses, no real effort, and leaving things too late, I am amongst many other things a Type 2 Diabetic, with almost an entire collection of complications of the Diabetes,

I sit here in the dark, at 6.49 am in terrible pain having had less than an hour's sleep, and I'm balling my eyes out, crying like a new born baby because I'm SCARED,

I'm dying, amongst many things it's due to Diabetic Autonomic Neuropathy, I also have End Organ Damage, and a multitude of other problems,

It's too late for me, I can't be saved,

So WHY am I here now ?

Really because I needed to scream, and I guess to warn you all, PLEASE look after yourselves, DON'T let you'd Diabetes get out of control, be GOOD, be SAFE,

DON'T be ME !!!


This is indeed a very sad letter on the low carb diabetic website.

I had a friend who died about 25 years ago so she was probably not yet 60 years old. I'm not sure whether she was Type 1 or 2 diabetic and her symptoms were aggravated by the genetic disease Muscular Dystophy similar to MS.

All the time I knew her she suffered with neuropathy and the threat of having one foot or another amputated because ulcers would not heal. She was such a sweet and wonderful person I still miss her. She was careful with her food and her medication but I wonder how she would have reacted to the science we now have regarding elimination of grains and eating good meats in her diet. I remember watching her eating a white bread sandwich filled with a slice of luncheon sausage for her lunch. That was her protein potion!

Another friend died in the 90s after contracting diabetes 2 and although his wife followed the dietary guidelines carefully he went on to lose both legs and die within a few years. I believe he drank a lot of fizzy drinks. Again I am fairly certain he died well before his 60th birthday.

Back then these were fairly isolated deaths but what are we heading into these days with people becoming diabetic so young and being advised to eat plenty of whole grains?

There is a lot of grief ahead for some families.

Diabetes is an evil disease and so avoidable for most people.

On a happier note .....

I have recovered from our 6 weeks away. My weight is back where it was when we left and my fasting blood ketones are at 1.7 after only 5 days. That's very good.

It's a gorgeous day here and although showers are forecast they will have to come out of the blue. I have nearly finished here on my laptop so I am going for a walk before lunch. Yay! to walk on the beach, first time in many months.


Saturday, November 2, 2013


This series of videos is illuminating. In 1967 I was a young mother expecting my 2nd child. I was also an emotional mess for reasons that are too complex for this post. Simply said our first child was a crying baby and I now suspect that our diet was largely to blame. He also was dyslexic and all was blamed on being born slightly blue from lack of oxygen at birth but I think there is a much simpler explanation and that is, we are all wheat intolerant. Nobody guessed at that in 1967. We had a diet high in wheat. Sandwiches made with bread or baked beans on toast was our mainstay at lunch. I ate cereal sometimes with canned fruit for breakfast. And I loved to bake although I soon learned that I was eating most of what I baked and there did come a day when I stopped baking because if I didn't eat it, it went stale in the tins.

I always thought I had a weight problem but it was not until I was put on an anti-depressant that I began to lose control. The sad thing is I had a nice womanly figure. I was not overweight until depression entered my life and this was definitely related to female hormones. Back then no-one was talking about female hormone imbalances and we were expected to live with whatever the consequences and stop moaning. I once went to a specialist in women's health, the only kind I knew about was a gynecologist. The help he offered was ludicrous. Have a hysterectomy!!! What the?????
Thus began my disillusionment with the medical profession.

There are moments in the video which are out of step with today such as the suggestion of using saccharine as a sweetener and the authoritarian attitude of the doctor but we would all benefit from a modern version of this message .... don't you think?

How far we have come from the truth with our nutritional teaching.

Today we are told to avoid all natural fat, especially saturated or animal fat.

Today we are told to eat lots of grains which are starches.

Today diabetics are put on what I would call a low fat, high starch diet. Is that not the very thing which contributes to weight gain and diabetes, not to mention heart disease.

How did we get it so wrong when in 1967 we had it so right?

That's a mere 45 years ago. In biblical terms that's a generation.

God help us come to our senses.

It's not too late.


We watched this child play with her balloon octopus while we had coffee in a Café overlooking the courtyard. It was quite windy and at one stage they had the balloons anchored to a chair. It may not be one of my best photos but it is the first time I have ever asked a stranger if I could take a photo. I did ask the parents to have the child facing her Dad for what it's worth security wise. In the background is another restaurant and bar celebrating Oktoberfest. The staff were dressed Bavarian style in white stockings, short skirts for the women and halter top shorts for the men. I believe everyone had a great time. They certainly sounded as though they were enjoying themselves.

Monday, October 21, 2013


One woman lost 324 pounds, that's a whopping 146 kg thanks to the  Fat Head movie. The other is the story of a whole family, parents and 3 children who changed their lives.

It's a quick and well worthwhile read.

Friday, October 11, 2013


I was surprised I haven't put anything on this Blog for weeks. Where have I been?

Simply stooging along trying to find out what works best for me.

I've stopped losing weight and that is not a good thing as I am still 15-20 kg overweight.

On the other hand I have dropped five, yes FIVE, pants sizes in 20 months. I have no idea what my weight is according to my regular scales because we have been in Christchurch for the last 3 weeks and will be here for another 2 and half weeks.

Yesterday I wore size 16 jeans and top given to me by our daughter-in-law. It must be 25 years since I wore size 16s. John took some photos. I really don't like my photos these days. My face is so weird it looks ugly to me and sad. I used to have a big smile,now it just comes out as an ugy twisted grimace so I have learned to smile differently .... on the inside.

Saturday, September 14, 2013



You may not consider this piece of information world shattering but for me it was a gob-smacking, jaw dropping revelation about the fat cells accumulated over the years.

I am pretty certain that I have always understood that once you have a fat cell it never goes away. This is bad news, especially for younger people who might have been fat babies or become obese children which is all too common these days. It seems to me that it has been one of the reasons used to explain why people tend to yo-yo in their weight loss. And it could have been one of the reasons cited for the poor rate of permanent weight loss. The statistics are very poor in that only 5 % people are reported to maintain their weight loss beyond 5 years. There are many other reasons for poor results of permanent weight loss including people not wanting to remain vigilant long term, or make permanent changes to their lifestyle and returning to the eating habits that made them fat.

I don't know about you, but saying that only a small percentage have long term success, has a negative affect on my brain and emotions. Why bother to lose weight if I am unlikely to keep it off? Certainly my experience over nearly 60 years of various diets gave me no indication things could be different.. Fortunately I have found a way of eating which gives me confidence that something has changed. I expect my fat loss to be permanent this time around. Of course I have the added incentive of age. My health and enjoyment of life into my latter years depends on maintaining a healthy weight among other things.

But Hear This! Apparently fat cells die after 10 years of maintained weight loss. Is that good news or not?

I was listening to this podcast on Jimmy Moore's Ask The Experts and I nearly dropped my cup of coffee, I was so surprised. The comment is about 1 hour 9-10 minutes in and was almost a throw away as though we should all know this. Well I did not!!!! It was great news and another example of the ability our bodies have to heal itself given the right support.

Now I know I only need to maintain my current weight for another 9 years and fat cells will give up and die. They will not be there, begging to be filled up with fat once more. I will only be 84 years old with lots of living ahead.... God willing.

Ten years to wait may seem like a long time but if you are, say 25, and have been fat for many years, you are a great age to lose weight. You are young enough that your body is not totally messed up and weight loss and suitable exercise usually comes more easily to the young, and now you have the knowledge that before you are 40 your body will have adjusted to being slim and the fat cells will have reduced through die off. That sounds like a good reason to begin losing weight ASAP.

I guess it is a funny piece of the weight loss jigsaw but it gives me another incentive to get rid of as much fat as possible as smartly as possible and keep it off.

A couple of other neat things I am noticing.

It is easier to exercise. It's not just a matter of fitness but ease of movement and I do not get out of breath as quickly. I'm sure I am extremely unfit by most people's measurements but yesterday I complete 30 minutes on the cross-trainer, (zero resistance), went straight into 30 minutes of strength exercises, which I haven't done for years, followed by 30 minutes of stretching to improve my flexibility. I was amazed that I did all this and still felt fine at the end. In fact the stretching was quite relaxing. I can feel a few muscles have worked hard but there are no ill effects today and my plan is to repeat all of this in 4 days time. For a couch potato this was also a revelation to me. I can do it Yay!!!

It's getting easier to eat the way I have chosen which is low carbohydrate, high fat and moderate protein within a calorie limit. I know all the LCHF gurus say you don't need to count calories but if you look at who they are you soon find out they are young and fit. By young, I mean they all seem to be about 30 years younger than me and most of them are men too. We women all know how much easier it is for men to lose weight and develop strong muscles. We are different in case you hadn't noticed.

At last I am finding my sustainable lifestyle. It has taken me some time to work this out. I began experimenting back in April or May putting together all the knowledge I had gleaned over the years and more recently through the explosion of information on the internet. Learning about nutritional ketosis was a turning point. While I still have a lot to learn about what this means for me. I cannot imagine eating my old way. I shudder when I think of eating cereals. I may be adding fat in strange ways right now but that's all part of experimenting until I find the right balance and how it should fit into everyday life. I feel good and while I would never recommend that anyone follows my example, eating more fat than I ever thought possible is working out well for me right now.

Sometimes I shake my head in wonder. Is this really me drinking coffee laced with coconut oil or drinking a green smoothie? The coconut oil has more to do with some health issues I am dealing with. Coconut oil is reputed to have many healing qualities, particularly when it comes to gut and skin issues. I keep hoping it will work but it could take a year or more to see the improvement I'm looking for. When I first read about Green Monsters or spinach in smoothies I thought people were off their rockers. Now I'm off my rocker!  Not everyone likes smoothies but they have worked well for me for years and I have always noticed that a smoothie seemed to always accompany feeling good and loosing weight.

Here's my latest recipe and it is DELICIOUS.

50 gm frozen berries, strawberry, boysenberries, whatever you have.
100 gm plain Greek yoghurt, we make our own using easiyo.
50 gm cream, can be whipped first
10 - 15 ml cod liver oil Arctic brand lemon flavour only
2 scoops or 30 gm whey protein powder I use vanilla sweetened with stevia
30 - 50 gm baby spinach. I prefer to use 50 gm but I failed to buy enough to last until our next shop.
1/2 - 3/4 cup cold/chilled water

Whizz it all together until it looks a bit like a milk shake. I drink it through a straw.

Without the berries I get a pretty pale green. without the spinach I get various shades of pink, depending on the berries. Put the two together and it's a not quite so pretty, more like coffee latte. It still tastes good and just as all the people have been saying, you do not taste the spinach.

I cannot tell you how good it feels to know that I am finding a way to eat that continues to promote weight loss, makes me feel healthy, and is sustainable in my real life.

Thursday, September 12, 2013


What a great way to protest.

Jimmy Moore said the community had won their battle but a news search brought this up for September 9th 2013. These people have been working so hard to have what they want for their community but it's a tough battle against Big Bucks. What is happening in our world when concerned and honest people cannot protect their community from unwanted commercialism that they consider socially and morally detrimental? It reminds me of some of the community battles going on in New Zealand, Brothels in family residential areas, Liquor too close to schools, Pokies in every club, legal/illegal harmful Drugs sold in what once were innocent dairies.

The world is full of unscrupulous people and it's no wonder there are many who turn to the extreme right which of course is little better when you look into their tactics and methods.

I generally keep away from political argument these days. It seems so fruitless yet here is a bunch of people in Tecoma, Victoria, Australia who are willing to protect their town. Sadly it has become a bitter fight.

Personally I have nothing against McDonald's because I doubt if I go there once in three years but ...... more and more people are depending on them for all kinds of reasons.

Perhaps a better way is to improve our nutritional education and teach our children how to cook real food that's fast and probably cheaper too.


Tuesday, September 10, 2013




I am despondent. I have fallen out of nutritional ketosis. I increased my calories and thus carbs and proteins and my Fasting blood ketones dropped to 0.2 today in spite of reining things in yesterday. That is ridiculously low. Added to that I am hungry. I could eat a horse. Not right now because I've just finished my high fat Keto Coffee. I have two cups of medium strength coffee with 30 gm coconut oil and 50 gm coconut milk whizzed together to make a palatable drink. I often add in up to 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon too. It's not a drink I crave but I have noticed that the days I change things I do not feel as good so it stays except when I decide to take a break from coffee for a few days now and then.

My Keto Coffee in the mornings and my version of a yoghurt and CLO smoothie at lunch are part of my normal routine when at home and I can continue this most of the time when we are away. These two 'meals' alone give me 735 calories, 14 gm carb, 29 gm protein and 63 gm fat for basic ratio of 7.5% carb: 16% protein: 76.5% fat before I add in my snacks and dinner.  I adjust the smoothie by reducing the yoghurt and berries when I'm Fat Fasting. Usually I do not have many snacks in a day. Maybe cheese or an HB egg, a few almonds and a chocolate fat bomb, occasionally I'll have peanut butter or cream cheese on celery. Dinner is the only place I have veggies. Now that summer is coming this will often be a salad of lettuce and a few other bits and pieces.

As I write this  I can see where I can be more vigilant and thoughtful in my choices without starving. I have most flexibility around snacks and dinner.

Checking back to see what I was doing when I hit my lowest weight of 80.2 kg/  lbs, which is 2.7 kg/ lbs less than yesterday, I can see that my morning fasting blood ketones went to 2.6.

The following is an example of what I was doing.

I was 100% a couch potato and eating 1000 calories from 11 gm Carb, 14 gm Protein and 100 gm Fat I cannot call this healthy even if it did raise ketones and reduce my weight.

Breakfast:- Keto coffee
Lunch:- Yoghurt, (50 gm Plain Greek), cream, (50 gm Whipped), CLO, (10-15 ml lemon Arctic), 3 Boysenberries.
Dinner:- Bone Broth, Jelly Whip made with WW jelly and whipped cream.
Snacks:- Pork Crackling, (20 gm), Peanut, and Chocolate Fat Bomb

While it was not a terrible menu for that day it is not exactly the healthiest with no green veggies at all. The goal is to be Healthy. I am frustrated. Does good health mean I cannot loose more weight?

At the same time I am determined to get myself back into ketosis so for the next few days I am going to Fat Fast once more. I'll see how that goes.

One thing I will try, not today because we are almost out of veggies, is a green smoothie by adding spinach into my lunch.


I think I've worked out what I will do. I feel more settled in myself. 

We had a lovely sunny day but there was still too much wind for me to enjoy being outside for more than a few minutes at a time.

A phone call from the Eye Clinic at Waikato Hospital late this afternoon was kind of annoying. I told them months ago we would be away from September 20th to the end of October .... Why can they not make a note of such things? First the woman said she had a place for me on Sept. 23rd and when I said that would not work she suggested October 5th. 

She  ended the call by wishing us a nice holiday. I didn't tell her we were not going away for a holiday. None of her business but it did kind of grate that she assumed we would be on holiday. We would not be making all these trips to Christchurch if it weren't for our son in prison. This time we are also Kitty-sitting which just takes the pressure of a lengthy stay with our other son and his wife. Of course we try to make the most of our time down South but it's really not all that different to being at home. We both have very mixed feelings about these trips. We look forward to them and dread them at the same time.

I am to call the hospital the week before we come home again. Hopefully I will have the operation before Christmas .... maybe. 


Friday, September 6, 2013


I have other posts pending but this one seemed more important right now.

I tend to be a 'stress merchant.'

Many years ago I told my minister that I function best when under stress. I work best when on the last minute to deadline. I always enjoyed the pressure that made me get going and leave procrastination behind. I liked having so many things on my plate that I had to stay on focus to get things done. I liked lists and being able to tick stuff off one after the other. I liked challenges.

Roll through the years and suddenly it seemed stress became my enemy. My body refused to co-operate with my mind and there was a major breakdown. Many things contributed. In three short years my father, brother, mother-in-law, a young aunt and my grandmother died, Cancer being the cause. I became pregnant with our fourth child, our family business was failing and we were in a difficult financial position. Many other 'smaller' things, part of life in general, were going on. I suddenly found I was unable to function as I was used to. After several years a doctor who looked at things differently diagnosed me with ME or Myalgic Encephalomyelitis. They were tough years. I was mostly a Zombie. Slowly I recovered with great determination, more rest than I wanted, gradually increasing my movement and activity levels and trying out a Stone Age diet. If the Wheat Belly book had been around then I might have shortened my recovery period to a single year instead of 5 or 6 years with a continuing need to monitor my activities and pace myself.

Roll on a few more years and other seriously stressful situations entered our lives. I ate, especially bread and cake, to cover my stress and pain. The exact opposite of what is helpful. I learned that you can deplete your adrenals or end up with adrenal fatigue but I had no answers as to how to reverse this. By this time I was a 'Born Again Christian,' with a powerful faith. Traumatic memories, emotional and spiritual and even some physical healings began. I found worship, music and dance and the joy that comes with this kind of fellowship extremely helpful. I also found that the best meetings, the ones I enjoyed the most, left me drained and exhausted for days. I did not think this was right but had no answers.

Over the years I went from a normal weight to extremely fat in spite of all my efforts to eat and live a healthy life. I searched and learned and finally discovered the value of a low carb diet. More recently I found that wheat is not my friend and that certain fats, such as animal fats and coconut oil, are my friends. A huge learning curve began to take place in my understanding of how our bodies crave a certain type of nutrition. I lost weight quickly before going into what feels like a seventeen month plateau. My weight loss has not completely stalled but it is beginning to feel as though I might have to be satisfied with where I am. That's not what I want. I am not at a weight which is optimally healthy for me.

I am not willing to stop here. I began to ask why but there were no answers until perhaps today when I watched this video.

There are so many things going on in our lives which cause stress. I do not know anyone who is facing as much as we are at this time. It's not helpful nor wise to go into detail here but believe me I am not exaggerating. I know there are people who face worse stuff than us but I don't know how they manage their lives. My concern is how do I manage better and how do I handle my stress level so that it no longer hinders weight loss and my pleasure in living?

Perhaps this video tells the story. Stop being afraid of stress and embrace it. I guess to some extent I have learned to do this or I would not be here now. I have more to learn, attitudes to change and more personal growth to experience.

Fear is a destroyer of life. Perfect love casts out all fear. Surely if I can find the strength to adjust my attitude to all the stressors in my life I will be a winner. The truth sets us free. This looks like truth to me.

Saturday, August 31, 2013


What do you think?

I fell for the clever marketing too. My children began their day with weetbix. Other cereals were a treat because they were so much more expensive. I heard the comment that weetbix were no better than chaff and that they had as much nutrient as the cardboard packet but here in New Zealand we trusted the manufacturers, Sanitarium, who were also Seventh Day Adventists and, like Kellogg's, promoted the vegetarian lifestyle.

I feel sad that I was not wiser about the nutrition of cereals. As I watched this video the science of advertising took on a whole new meaning. I knew it was there but was kind of shocked to discover how subtle and invasive it really is and how much I had been sucked in when I thought I had a reasonably healthy degree of scepticism.

If you have had enough of the skill and skull-duggery of advertisers take a look at this article which describes how some researchers are studying ideas to change our shopping habits. Awesome! Put a mirror to reflect your own image as you go around the grocery store making your selections.

And there's more. I was totally shocked to read this today. I followed a link on the Livin La Vida forums. Shock horror. Now I will never eat anything again with aspartame even in an emergency. I'd rather eat sugar despite it's addictive and other negative qualities. This is not BS there is now public access to the patent for manufacturing Aspartame. Does this scare you about food manufacturers? It does me!

Today's photo of Otama Beach. You can't feel the wind but let me tell you it's straight off the Antarctic ice.

Friday, August 30, 2013


As a nation New Zealand tends to be a great sporting nation and we succeed way above our weight if you consider our population. When I was younger the description Rugby, Racing and Beer was synonymous with being a Kiwi, perhaps less so nowadays. The racing referred to is horse racing and there will not be many Kiwi's who have never placed a bet. Of course our friends across the ditch in Australia were sometimes better than us but there are a few arenas where we have excelled above anything that Australians can do. Rugby Football is one of those sports.

On Saturday our All Blacks secured the Bledisloe Cup. This is a rugby football competition between Australia and New Zealand.

If you're starting to take this All Black dominance of Australia for granted, banish those thoughts.
New Zealand's vice-like grip on the Bledisloe Cup - and Wallaby rugby minds - is now so absolute it should be considered a national treasure.
Steve Hansen's All Blacks tonight secured the Bledisloe Cup for an 11th consecutive season as they despatched the Wallabies for the second straight week with another very impressive performance, winning 27-16.  NEWS ITEM 

 On Sunday, 25th August, we finished off the Louis Vuitton Cup and the Team New Zealand boat lines up to do battle with Oracle for the America's Cup starting on September 7th 2013.
Here is a link to the first race with a very dramatic moment 45 minutes into the video.
Today's race was in fog and must have been quite a challenge in light winds. Luna Rossa, the Italian competition got lost more than 3 minutes behind to the finish..The Presentation.

And 15 year old Lydia Ko has shown her remarkable golfing prowess again.

Golf: Lydia Ko wins Canadian Golf Open

Newstalk ZB - August 26, 2013, 9:59 am
Kiwi amateur Lydia Ko has romped to a successful defence of her Canadian women's Golf Open title at Edmonton.
She's won by five shots, finished with a stunning birdie putt on the 18th to card a final round six-under 64.
The 16-year-old finished on 15 under for the tournament.
Frenchwoman Karine Icher finished second.

Motor Racing is a sport both Australians and new Zealanders tend to excel in. For a few minutes we thought Scott Dixon was well on his way to winning another championship with a win at Sonoma Raceway. A controversial ruling when he hit a crew pit member from another team put paid to his chances. Sometimes it's tough to be an elite sportsman. NEWS ITEM
Valerie Adams, four times world Champion with Shotput was robbed of her gold medal at last year's Olympics when the Belarussian drug cheat made an incredible throw. Since then the wrong has been righted and Valerie has been showing Europe that she is definitely the best. This event was actually two weeks ago but who's counting when Kiwis are top of the sports ladder. NEWS ITEM Incidentally her younger brother, Stephen has been selected to train with  the NBA

None of these people got where they are without hard work. They all were persistent at working toward their ultimate goal and at times they became single minded in their pursuit. Money plays an important part in getting to the top but guess what? New Zealanders do not begin with big budgets. They get there with persistence and a 'Never Give Up' attitude.

In New Zealand we are proud of them. I am not terribly sports orientated but these people make me proud to be a Kiwi.