Friday, May 24, 2013



Hi all. I'm still feeling lazy about writing but here's a must see video if you still have doubts about LCHF or Low Carbohydrate and High Fat eating.

I'm right in the middle of getting my body back into nutritional ketosis. I'm learning that every time I diverge, as I did on our recent 3-4 days away from home, it takes 4 or 5 days to get those blood ketones back to where I want them. That should tell me I need to be a lot more thoughtful about what I eat when away. We all know how hard it is to stay within our personal guidelines when out of normal routines. I enjoy Café and restaurant meals too. Thinking about next month when we have two weeks staying with our son and his wife I need to get my head fully around the challenges I will face while there. I don't want to freak them out with the high fat component of my diet right now.  As the saying goes, 'the proof is in the pudding.' I want to have results that are worth boasting about before I shock them.

For years I called my weight/fat/health/food situation a vicious cycle. In the above video those are the words Tom Naughton uses. I could say I regret all the wasted years but it's all been a process of learning and development. I realise now that I also had a fat phobia. I have denied this in the past but recent months have revealed just how ingrained the fear of fatty foods has been. This was possibly because I had gall stones, or to be more accurate, my gallbladder had become one large calcified mass, before my 20th birthday. These days I wonder how much my high starch, moderate fat diet contributed to this.

Watch out too for the comment on fat burning contributing to raised body temperature. In the past I have been reasonably successful eating what is termed a low carb diet with moderate protein and low fats. Once I began to lose a significant amount of weight I would feel chilled from the inside out. It made me miserable on cold days as I tried to warm up. In fact some days only a soak in a hot bath worked. This time I have lost more weight than ever before and yet I feel warm, sometime uncomfortably so. I even wondered if I was experiencing the occasional hot flush ... at 74 yrs. That seemed rather odd.

More recently I have decided it is because I have more fat in my diet than I have ever dared to eat previously. I still feel cold on a chilly day but I am more likely to be in tune with where John is. That is a remarkable change in how my body is functioning and suggests to me my hormones are likely to be in better balance than forever. It still seems weird to add coconut oil to my coffee since I have always preferred black except for the occasional Café style cappuccino. I work hard to get my fat content around 70%. The only fruit I eat regularly are the few berries I put in my smoothie. I am eating fewer and fewer non-leafy veggies. I am doing the very thing I vowed I would never do. I count calories. This is made easy by using an online diet tracker. There  seem to be a few around but the only one I am comfortable with is The Perfect Diet Tracker which cost a few dollars to download but all updates are free. I cannot recommend it to others, just saying it works for me.


Wednesday, May 22, 2013


I haven't done much writing lately. We had a busy weekend and today I'm having some quietness .. maybe I'll get into the garden as I've been promising myself for the last month. My excuse now is that the ground is wet and soggy. Isn't it all to easy to find an excuse not to do something.

This morning I watched this video on TED. What can I say. I wish I could embed the video but please take the time to go to the link. It's well wrth the effort and time it takes to watch.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013



I've had this post in my drafts for a week. There's another one I must finish off too.

Before I talk about the last few days including our lovely day visiting a friend and my sister I want to draw your attention to this post by the Gluten Free Goddess. It is an excellent insight into the needs of those who are gluten sensitive and those who choose to go grain free for the sake of their health.

One day in early May we got ourselves organised for visiting a special friend.

One of the things that drives me nuts is that it takes so much mental energy to get into mode to leave the house. Shopping in Whitianga isn't so bad. We now find we can pop into town, a 30 minute drive, and pick up stuff we need, browse a little if we feel like it and be home again within 2 - 4 hours. Not a big deal anymore. Since Mum died our lifestyle patterns have been gradually changing and a pattern emerging. Considering Mum died 15 months ago I wouldn't call our adjustment speedy.

Alongside this adjustment has come a kind of laziness around 'going out.' It is an effort to get in the car to go visiting. I love to see my friends, I love going for drives but it is so much easier to stay home and look at the garden, weeds and all. Usually a visit to friends involves either a very long day or a night away. That's the price we pay for living in this delightfully quiet village.

We have a very dear friend who is now close to 90 years old and lives in a rest home in Thames. Thames is at least 1 hour 20 minutes drive and all of it twisty, turny, up and down. Since we were already going over the hills and down the coast we decided to visit my sister, a mere one hour drive further on from Thames. It makes for a wonderful day but we were tired when we got home just as it became dark.

We left home just after 9 am after several times getting in the car and then out again as we remembered forgotten things we needed. It was a lovely drive over the hills and along the coast with very little traffic. We were able to spend an hour and a half with our friend which was wonderful. Her husband died while we were away and we did get to see them before we left for Hawaii, thank goodness. I have missed them more than any body over the past few years. We were, 'down the street' neighbours when we lived in Tairua, then we moved north to Whitianga and later Matarangi, thus we became separated us by those awful but beautiful hills. They moved to Thames to be closer to medical facilities and family. Our lives changed as Mum became our main focus and energy for trips to Thames became business only with little energy or time left for visiting.  I feel sad that we saw so little of our special friends over the past 3 or 4 years but like all good friendships it's easy to pick up again. I'm thinking that we will make this trip a couple of times a month now. Our friend needs good company and we need her.

It was mid-day when we left Enid and set off for Morrinsville where my sister had lunch ready. We had a delicious pumpkin soup, I need her recipe, and she had laid out little dishes of carrot sticks, aoli dip with added chopped brazil nuts, cashews and preserved ginger, honey roasted peanuts. Lynn is a vegetarian who has recently stopped eating wheat and most grains.

We had a good catch-up and I brought out the gifts I had for her and her grand children. Lynn called her daughter who was free, it being school holidays so I was able to give the children their gifts. A lovely flower hair clip for the girl which immediately went on her pony tail and a shell arm band for the boy. He was so proud of his warrior band and tried it on his ankle too. My sister and her daughter chose their sarongs. The choice is limited now, for the remaining women and I wish I'd bought two or three more.

I thought it might be a good idea to buy a few sarongs and a couple of other small things from Hilo Hattie's, on line if the price was right. Problem! Postage was going to cost me around $50. More than I was spending on the goods. Ridiculous! Another purchase  tried to organise on line was coffee beans from Pau Hana Estate, the plantation we stayed on. Carol emailed me to say she was shocked to discover postage was going to be $84 so she has refunded us. Lesson learned. Make sure you buy all the gifts etc you want while in the country. The best part is we have multiple reasons to go back to Hawaii. I wonder how long before we can go. Maybe less than 12 months. It all depends on when Mum's house sells now.

So far everyone seems delighted with having a taste of Hawaii. Funnily enough while we were away they had a Hawaiian theme family evening. Perhaps we can extend it now and have a wider family do.

We had planned to stop for dinner at Castle Rock Restaurant which is about 10 minutes from home but we were tired and wanted the comfort of our own chairs. I walked in the door, grabbed the pans and we had bacon and eggs with tomato on the side in next to no time. I was surprised by how tired I was. By 7.30 pm I was struggling to stay awake. I was in bed asleep before 8.30 pm and here I am typing this at 4 am. I'm almost ready to go back to bed now and get a little more sleep.

Today will take care of itself and tomorrow I plan to go to church. It is also Mum's birthday and that of our son David's partner. I live so much one day at a time I never seem to get birthday cards in the mail early enough, I'll phone her and we'll see her in 6 weeks when we are in Christchurch.

Now I am mentally preparing myself to begin a blitz on weeds. Our garden looks sadly neglected and after months of being dry the recent rain, more to come, has all the stuff I don't want growing and smothering the precious things.

I am trying not to be concerned about what I'm eating. BUT! I do not want to lose the gains progress toward goal weight I have made. I notice there are many people who think weight is irrelevant if you are eating in a healthy way. Well I have news for them. If you are 74, or any age for that matter, and have lost a bunch of weight but still weigh 20 kg/45 lbs above a modestly assessed optimum weight, then you should be concerned about keeping off what you've already lost and taking the right steps to keep up the fat burning.

Enough! Time to go back to bed.


Friday, May 10, 2013



I am frequently in nutritional ketosis but I am not yet keto adapted or a true fat burning machine.

It has taken many steps to come to this conclusion.

1. Way back when I did Lean For Life I learned the value of being in ketosis for weight loss. Lean For Life was a Low Carb, moderate protein and low fat programme and it worked. I would test my urine every morning with ketostix and look for the pink. I lost a good amount of weight and felt so much better generally, but I did not stay with the programme and after several successful attempts and each time reverting to my old ways I became reluctant to do this again.

2. By this time I was learning more about the successes of people who followed the Paleo lifestyle and discovered for myself the benefits of eliminating wheat.

3. I learned that fat is not our enemy and cholesterol is not as damaging as traditional medicine says it is.

4. I read Wheat Belly by Dr. William Davis.

5. I became hooked on Jimmy Moore's podcasts and began to hear about nutritional ketosis. Atkins has been a popular diet for decades but I still had an aversion to his programme. I'm sure I read his book a long time ago and decided it was too complicated. I was not going to waste time and money reading it now when Jimmy Moore was offering so much information and entertaining me.

5. Jimmy began his n=1 self experiment and it worked wonderfully.

7. I felt sluggish and my weight loss from going wheat free had slowed to almost zero.

8. I decided to get into nutritional ketosis. Easy peasy.... I was getting good readings with three days.

9. It takes a certain degree of discipline and determination to continue in ketosis day after day. It's not easy if you enjoy travel and restaurants and, and, and...... Most of all I missed piling up the vegetables including carrots.

10. I did a 10 day Modified Fat Fast. It worked and I began to wonder if this should be my forever pattern as long as I need to lose weight but..... I based my version on 1150 calories which is possibly a little low for long term.

11. For the last 10 days I have been all over the place. This is partly because I had sweet desserts three days in a row. I have also noticed slightly higher blood pressure readings on the days my blood ketones are very low and a disinclination to do any exercise or be active and my weight loss has stopped. In fact I've gone up by 1 kg.

Conclusion. I need to get over my aversion to Dr. Atkins and read the New Atkins for a New You book.

I need to stay in ketosis deliberately for at least 8 weeks before I eat the occasional sweet dessert.

I am devising a new plan that I can sustain for 8 weeks including the two weeks we will be in Christchurch. I am going to base it on 20 gm carbs and around 1300 cals a day. That allows me more protein. My ratio of macro nutrients will look like this.

1300 cals
6% from carbohydrate
25% from protein
69% from fats

I will keep to this for the next 10 days and re-assess if I need to. I can see that my veggies will be based around more silverbeet, spinach, cauliflower, lettuce, celery and cucumber,

Time to put this into practice.


THE NEW ATKINS FOR A NEW YOU BY Westman, Volek and Phinney

Monday, May 6, 2013


Poached pork tenderloin

I tried to poach the meat as shown in the video this but had a small disaster. I did not check the zip lock bags I used and they melted in the hot water. Quite an oopsie and a big disappointment. I pulled out the plastic and left the meat to poach for another few minutes before pulling it out and finishing it in the pan I was cooking mushrooms.

So in the end my meal went something like this. Place pork into plastic bags and cook in hot water, kept below boiling point.

Slice mushrooms, spring onion and chop a little garlic. Saute in butter and season with pepper, salt and a tiny sprinkle of grated nutmeg. I have freshly grated nutmeg on the brain at the moment. Rescue the meat and add to the cooking mushrooms and allow to finish cooking. Pull the useless plastic from the buttery seasoned water. Reduce the water to a sauce to make gravy for the meat and mushrooms.

Now I know this will probably horrify some people because the water was contaminated by the plastic. Sorry! I don't care, as I will never make this mistake again and I refuse to believe that a single Oopsie like this is a danger to us.

There is quite a lot of seasoned thyme flavoured water left and it will go into tomorrow's casserole.

Lesson learned. Next time I go shopping I'll look for zip lock bags that are suitable to poach in.

We ate poached pork tenderloin with buttery mushroom sauce and silverbeet. John had a potato baked in the microwave. It was amazingly tasty and the mushroom sauce was delicious. I'd love to do it again but with the proper bags to poach in.

Sometimes I think I need to go to cooking school or maybe vodka will do the same for my cooking as it does for for cleaning.

Saturday, May 4, 2013


I love Wellington and this video captures the spirit of the city. Watch right through and don't miss why so many people liken Wellington, NZ to San Francisco, CA.

Oh darn! I so wanted to embed the video but cannot work out how to do so. Here is a link to Judith's post. I hope you will go there and watch it. If I had to live in one of our major cities I'd be hard pushed to go past Wellington. Here is the direct link to the video on Vimeo.

Now I have a serious problem. I love Christchurch too but it has a totally different character, partly because it is build mostly on the flat.

When I was a child, a trip to Wellington was special, a rare treat. So many memories. The drive; stopping at Paekakariki for a meal at the Restaurant that seemed to hang out past the rocks and over the sea; the excitement of being country kids in the city; traffic; would the tram stop or run over our car; brillaint, glittering shops full of all kinds of treasures; so many people, not all of European descent; beautiful buildings; stunning shoreline; architecture that stimulated my imagination; houses glued to hillside; and stopping on the way home at a tiny roadside fish shop for freshly caught butter fish. At the end of the long day Mum would drop butter into a hot pan and pop in the thick pieces of fish to sizzle. I haven't heard of butter fish for years but they were the perfect fish, for a fussy, non-fish eating child, with their sweet flesh and big transparent blue bones. Every now and then a memory comes along and I want to turn the clock back. This video triggered a massive bout of nostalgia.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013



I am rapt. The Fat Fast worked and I now weigh less than at any time since maybe 1989/1990.
I believe my lowest weight in the period 1985-1990 was possibly 72 kg/160 lbs, maybe less and I still was overweight but I was very healthy at one point. What a pity I allowed stress to almost destroy me. There is more to it than those simple words. Had I understood the role wheat was playing things would have been very different.

Today's weigh in 82 kg/180 lbs
Weight lost during 10 day Fat Fast 3 kg/7 lbs

Total weight loss for 2013 5.5 kg/12 lbs
Total weight lost since New Year 2012 32 kg/70 lbs

Goal weight around 62 kg/136 lbs

I am getting excited. My goal looks more than possible every day.

I still have a way to go with 21 kg/46 lbs to reach goal weight. I intend to re-assess my goal at around the 65 kg/143 lbs mark as I will not be sure until then whether it is wise for someone my age to go all the way to my skinny weight. Only 17 kg/37 lbs to go. It looks as though it should be possible to reach my goal this year. How amazing would that be. I can hardly believe I've found what works for me after all the years of struggle.