Sunday, July 28, 2013



I woke up rather early, too early to get up so I hoped to go back to sleep but the grin on my face and my thoughts kept me alert until I just had to get out of bed and try to catch them in my Blog/Journal.

Amazing thoughts,
This feels so good.

I want to stand on the rooftop,
Shout out my joy,
Dance in the street,
Sing out loud,
Spin in tight circles,
Do handstands,
And cartwheels,
Skip and jump,
Swing from the rafters,
This is JOY!

I wonder if this is similar to an endophin rush,
I wonder if I'll ever know the difference,
Random thoughts filled with awesomeness.
Better than sex?
Maybe not, but as good as the after glow.
As glorious as being bathed in Father God's love?
There is a difference,
When I'm touched by the love of God I want to draw others in.
This morning I want to hug the feeling to myself,
It's all mine,
I earned it,
It's amazing and wonderful,
And I will savour it.

This inner well-being has been hinted as my body made previous dips into Nutritional Ketosis and that is one of the reasons I was determined to settle into a Nutritional Ketogenic Diet.

It's the difference between trembling, crouched and fearful in the deepest darkest hole and walking on the beach in warm sunshine arms outspread loving life.

It's the difference between a dull grey sky and the azure beauty of a clear day.

It's the difference between brain fog with leaden lethargy and clear focus with energy to burn.

It's the difference between tedium and excitement.

It's discovering the gold at the end of a rain.

Colours are vibrant,
Life is worth the living,
Problems no longer dominate,
Anything is possible,
Solutions will be found,
Survival is too small a word,
This is an abundant life.

I have prayed many times over the years for the abundant life promised in the Gospels by Jesus. More often than not I have accepted second best and philosophised that my abundance is in living through the pain and angst. Yes it's true there is an abundance in learning to walk in hard places but I also think we are to walk with a grin on our faces. We are supposed to know Joy in the Midst of Sorrow. And I have on occasion.

What I am currently experiencing is quite different to any other joy. It stems from being in a healthy physical condition. My body is loving me.

The amazing thing is that this can become a permanent state. I have read and listened to the experiences of others. Jimmy Moore, for instance, is convinced he is more productive now than at any other time in his life. I believe that the end years can be more productive than one's early years. God promises this and I have clung to faith in His ability and faithfulness to deliver on his promises.

This is what the Lord Almighty says: 
‘In a little while I will once more 
shake the heavens and the earth, 
the sea and the dry land. 
I will shake all nations, 
and what is desired by all nations will come, 
and I will fill this house with glory,’ 
says the Lord Almighty. 
‘The silver is mine and the gold is mine,’ 
declares the Lord Almighty. 
‘The glory of this present house 
will be greater than the glory of the former house,’ 
says the Lord Almighty. 
‘And in this place I will grant peace,’ 
declares the Lord Almighty.”   Haggai 2:6-9

...... ‘and I will make you like my signet ring, 
for I have chosen you,’ 
declares the Lord Almighty.”   Haggai 2:20

This small Old Testament prophetic book has had special significance to me from my earliest days as a Christian.

I am becoming stronger both spiritually and physically. There is an exciting future ahead of me.

Proverbs 23:18

New International Version (NIV)
18 There is surely a future hope for you,
    and your hope will not be cut off.

There have been many times when I wondered how God could possibly take this feeble person, so mixed up and full of anxieties and give me the purpose I desire. There was always the sense that my dream may not be fulfilled until later in life. I used to mumble to God about that.

My life has been quite a ride until now. Once again there is a new sense of purpose growing within me. I am setting my face toward the future, not with grim determination but with renewed energy. Life has become a fun adventure.

I'm not sure what this all means but I know without a doubt I am moving along with God and we are partners in whatever is going on. So exciting.

Loving my life with this degree of anticipation is a refreshing experience. It is going to be interesting and hopefully lots of fun working it out in practical terms.

Saturday, July 27, 2013


Jimmy Moore pointed me to this hilarious guide to the paleo diet.

I watched a BBC documentary on the Atkins Diet a few days ago. I couldn't decide whether or not to publish the link here. There were moments of "Yes!" and moments of despair. One trusts the BBC to have integrity when they do a documentary but I cannot help believing they have missed a great deal of the scientific research such as that of people like Volek and Phinney, Gary Taubes and more. It seems to me they have ignored the experience of decades of people who have eaten the Atkins way as a long term lifestyle.

I am not advocating Atkins as the only way to lose weight. There was a time when I thought it was the most ridiculous diet out but that was when all the information I had was from newspaper and magazine headlines. I know better now and although I will not recommend it to anyone at this point in my life it is the eating style I am choosing. People must decide what works for them because we are all individual and that certainly comes through in this documentary.

I guess watching a video might whet your appetite but you have to dig deeper if you want the truth.

I am loving the way I eat now and finding it delicious and satisfying. I feel good as you will discover when you read my next post.

Friday, July 26, 2013


I have just watched another Ted Talk. Now it might seem that I spend all day watching videos, listening to podcasts, reading Blogs etc. but when you come across a gem such as this it's worth it.

I am getting along fine with the knitting and expect to finish the first sleeve of John's cardigan today. I never thought I would be close to completing the cardigan before the end of July but it's beginning to look doable. Jane bought John a smart cardigan so it doesn't matter that this one will not look as good as I'd hoped. I really must stop moaning about buying the wrong yarn. It got me back into something I enjoy so much. Knitting jerseys for my family. Listening to podcasts has been a brilliant way to occupy my mind while knitting.

This Ted Talk made me think about all the time we waste being anxious about how we look and what we weigh. I don't mean we should accept our weight if it's something we need to change for good health and better lifestyle. I am thinking about how our own attitude makes a difference to how we deal with the things that happen to us. There are so many disappointments as we travel through life and coming to terms is never easy. We ask questions, mostly useless ones. We feel like failures. Another useless occupation. We get depressed. We battle guilt. Every negative thought we have is a waste of time and energy unless it leads us onto asking the right questions and acting on them.

As I've been listening to podcasts, mostly around the Paleo/Primal lifestyle and touching on autoimmune diseases I am learning that many of the things our family went through when our children were little may have been reversible. If only the knowledge I now have had been available when it was most needed. Our eldest son had something that now looks like a messed up metabolic system. Our three sons are dyslexic, Two of them would have been on Ritalin if it had been available. Our eldest son was on something briefly and I loved the change it made in him. He was so biddable and so willing it was like having a different person in the house. It also scared the heck out of me because it was completely unnatural. Back in those days there was no internet to check out the drug and I have no idea what it was but it seemed all wrong for a child to be taking a mind altering drug no matter how much easier it made my life. so I took him off it and we went back to our normal family life.

I had some weird health issues when pregnant and breast feeding. Unfortunately the only answers I found back then, in the 60s and 70s, were to get on with life as best you can and don't moan about it. I touched briefly on nutritional things but never went deep enough to discover what was really going on. I love that there are places on the internet where ordinary people who do not have the skills to research deeply into things can find answers and what is more important support from knowledgeable people. And I can quickly look up a tricky word for the proper spelling too.

I could go on and on but this couple have a story that is full of new hope and courage. They picked themselves up of the ground and began to treat their son as a real person in spite of his disability and their disappointment. What joy there is in this family because they took a positive attitude. It makes me think and the comments are interesting too.

Do watch it and ponder on what the real message is and what it means to you personally. It's not a long video and well worth the few minutes it takes to watch.

 And God said, 
“This is the sign of the covenant I am making 
between me and you and every living creature with you, 
a covenant for all generations to come: 
I have set my rainbow in the clouds, 
and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. 
Whenever I bring clouds over the earth 
and the rainbow appears in the clouds, 
I will remember my covenant between me and you 
and all living creatures of every kind. 
Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life.
Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, 
I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant 
between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.”
So God said to Noah, 
“This is the sign of the covenant I have established 
between me and all life on the earth.”
Genesis 9:12-17.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013


Today's photos come courtesy of the cloud.

Loved this Ted Talk

I'm off to waste time gazing at the clouds.


Tuesday, July 16, 2013


Plenty going on. More than I want to think or write about.

We went to a photo workshop that was meant to be mostly outside. Oh dear! It rained cats and dogs... sorry no snaps of that. It was another wet Thursday. John and I were the only attendees and had personal help with setting up our cameras and using a tripod.

The guy was interesting and we spent nearly 5 hours in his studio. Looking back I'm not sure what I really learned that will enhance my confidence and ability to take decent photos. But we had an enjoyable day. Murphy's Law played a great trick on us. The sun came through when we were half way home so we drove for over an hour with direct sun in our eyes. The next day would have been perfect for our trip.

Today is Tuesday. Last Friday we moved into Mum's house, AKA the family Beach House, which we are selling. Jane who lives here, is on holiday so we are enjoying the wonderful views and amazingly we have brilliant winter weather. Chilly with a south easterly but beautiful.

We took advantage of a TreatMe opportunity and booked to go on a TranzAlpine Rail Tour which includes a night in a Greymouth hotel and a half day activity. We have chosen to cycle the Rail Trail with a guide. It should be fun and we have 8 weeks to get cycle fit. I have been coveting my own bicycle for a year or two or more, but since we are half a step from being totally broke I will have to wait a little longer. I'm hoping to borrow a bike from a friend then John and I can go riding together, otherwise we will have to share the one bike, a man's tourer. John bought this high quality bike at a bargain price from a back-packer who was returning to England and did not want to ship it back home way back in 2001. From that time on I have hankered after my own steed so we can ride around together as John prefers riding to walking. I've seen exactly what I want in the local bike shop but $500 puts it out of reach right now. It would make a great reward for 100 pounds gone forever. Thirty pounds to go.

My weight is not moving much these days. 30 pounds/13 kg would put me around 69 kg/152 lbs and that would be a super place to end this year but at present it isn't looking promising. I bought new scales from Warehouse last week. They are neat and I presume accurate. The best thing is I can read them and they are consistent. Last time I bought digital scales I eventually threw them out because they changed with the position on the floor, how I held my face/posture. I could get variations of up to 3kg or nearly 7 pounds. That made them incredibly frustrating to use. I cannot be certain until we get home again but I think I gained 2 kg just by changing scales. I'm not worried because it's only numbers and now I can read the smaller changes which will be encouraging. Before I had to guess anywhere between the kg markers and the needle often threw reflections or shadows which my dodgy eyes had trouble seeing. At this stage of the game even 100 grams less will encourage me.


I've been knitting away and have John's cardigan the back and one front finished. I'm still very cross with myself for buying acrylic yarn as I think it is going to stretch into a shapeless mess very quickly. Still it's got me back into one of my favourite hobbies, knitting. With a floor lamp beside me I can knit and watch TV at night. But I have less time to read and write. It's always hard to stretch enough hours in a day to do everything.

I received a letter that upset me. Not bad news as such but distressing news from our son and some of the strife his partner is trying to cope with on her own while he is in prison. I wish I could do more to help her. Being so far away can be frustrating yet at the same time it is also healthy to let the distance be a buffer between us at this time. I feel some of her pain and distress of her situation even if mch of it is self-inflicted. It takes me days to work through my own distress. It serves no purpose to fall in a hole over something I cannot change. Two or three weeks ago the creek flooded and went into a shed. It has never been that high before. Last week a cow was in distress and the Vet was there 6 hours with a return visit to help her calve. She wasn't supposed to have been with a bull but these things happen. Now they have a bill they cannot pay. I had to be firm and suggest they sell something. I really, really wish I could bail them out but it would not be in their best interest long-term and anyway we are not in a good position ourselves right now.

At home we got a little more done in our garden and John did some trimming. I still have plenty of weeding to do so hope the weather stays nice till the end of the month. I need to get my seed order in for tomatoes etc so I can have plants big enough to set outside before we go south. We Fly down on Sept 21st and will be away 5 weeks. Here at Mum's place we need to get out and do some tidying up while the weather is good too. Our boundary is looking a lot messy.

We are also looking at house/cat-sitting for our friends at Otama for 3 weeks from mid-August. I really don't know why we have a house. This year we will be in it for less than 8 months total. Still it is somewhere to call home and put all our STUFF. Personally if I had my way we would sell it and live here but it's a mute point which house would sell first. If the two houses sold at the same time we would then be in a rush to find somewhere to call home again and I don't want that. Our next move will be the final one so we need consider it carefully. Mum moved from the farm to this beach property when she was 85. That is too old. No matter how good your health, once you are in your mid eighties most people are running out of energy to make a new life for themselves.

This is a truly rambling post. My head is all over the place.

Thursday, July 4, 2013


There isn't much to write about. It's winter. It rained again but the sun came through for a while this afternoon and our temperatures have warmed up to 19' C or 63' F. I decided it was time I got back into riding the cross-trainer. I've got a set of Jenny Craig exercise books. It's time I looked through them and began a strength and flexibility programme.

We bought a cordless lamp so I can see to knit at night while John watches TV. I think it's going to work. My eyes are terrible. Apparently I have the beginning of a cataract. That is a major frustration. The other eye still doesn't blink, (Blame Bells Palsy), and can get very sore because it is easily hurt by something as simple as my towel brushing carelessly over my face. I'm still waiting to hear from the hospital with an appointment for the surgery to put a gold implant in the upper lid. I feel quite desperate at times. There are moments when the pain is such I'd like to break down and cry. Such a baby am I.

A few months ago we bought an electrical gadget to slice and grate veggies. It's a Tefal Fresh Express Slicer and Grater. Our initial trial did not work. I was disappointed and this thing has sat on the pantry shelf taking up space and annoying John. Today it came into it's own.

I wanted to break up a fresh coconut.

Step 1.  Get out an eggbeater drill and make two holes to drain the milk. There was none so missed out there.

Step 2.  Bash it with a hammer several times to break the shell into manageable pieces.

Step 3.  Separate the white flesh from the hard shell. Tricky job and I did have one slip with the knife and was lucky to only get a tiny nick. I need a chain mail glove like the ones they use for opening oysters.

Step 4.  Let the Man get out the grater and set it up. Took some grumbling and mumbling but then a Eureka moment and he had it worked out.

Step 5.  John washed the pieces and the slicer did a great job with no more pain. In a few minutes we had a bowl of thinly sliced fresh coconut.

I had a few sticks of celery on the bench washed and ready to slice and stirfry in butter to go with our steak for dinner. John put it through the slicer gadget and followed it with an onion. Super quick.

I guess we'll use this gadget more often now. I know John wants to try potato rosti. I wanted it to grate beetroot and carrot etc for salads. The only thing is that with just two of us the quantity is usually so small it hardly seems worth getting out another appliance.

Tomorrow morning I will make some Fat Bread. It's so simple to make but unfortunately it is expensive so not something I will make every week. I took my recipe from Richard Nickoly's Blog, Free The Animal,

Last time , the only other time, I made Fat Bread I put the macadamia nuts in a liquidiser followed by a cup or more of coconut which I had grated and frozen some time ago. I just dropped in the eggs, lemon juice, salt and baking soda and baked. Voila, a very nice loaf that John was happy to slice for a sandwich or toast. Tomorrow we are meeting my sister at Mum's house for lunch. She is a vegetarian so thought this would be a treat for us all.

The ingredients:-
  • 5 eggs (medium to large size)
  • 1 cup raw whole macadamia nuts (made into butter per the instructions)
  • 1 cup coconut butter (nuke 20 seconds to get a smooth butter)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 rounded teaspoon baking soda
Still thinking about what else is for lunch but maybe a few savoury eggs and some celery stuffed with cream cheese. 

Monday, July 1, 2013




New Low Weight ......but not where I had hoped to be so will be working on this for a while to come.

I weighed in at 81 kg or 178.2 pounds. Theoretically I should weigh around 58 kg or 128 pounds. I doubt if that's realistic so I'm aiming to reach 65 kg which is 143 pounds. Time will tell.

I have lost 6.5 or 14 pounds this year. In total since I went wheat free at New Year 2012 I have lost 33 kg which is 72.5 pounds. I don't consider that earth shattering loss over a period of 18 months until I remember I am now 75 years old and very few people my age lose weight to improve their health. All too often weight loss in my age group is a sign of ill-health.

What does excite me is that it's been easy to keep off. There has been no yo-yo dieting although for the last 12 months my body has been somewhat resistant to losing weight. This is the reason I chose to work on being in nutritional ketosis. It's not been an easy option because we have been away from home so much. I reckon there have been at least 4 casual nights, plus the week in Christchurch before going to Hawaii for 4 weeks and again another two weeks in Christchurch. It's not over yet. The challenges of being away will continue through the year with maybe a few more hospital visits for us both and four weeks in Christchurch in the spring, followed by a another possible visit in December.

Are there any benefits in losing weight at 75? I do wonder sometimes. But... there are benefits that are hard to describe. One is the satisfaction of finally discovering what works for me and doing it. There is no doubt in my mind that I feel better when eating very few carbohydrates. When I get too casual about my choices I begin to feel depressed and don't want to bother real quick. When I'm in ketosis I'm nicer to be around, better at decision making and carrying through and more likely to get stuff done. I look better. It's interesting that I'm knitting. I think I gave up knitting because my fingers hurt. Certainly that's one reason for my lovely butterfly quilt remaining folded and unfinished in it's bag for so long.


This morning I weighed in at a smidgeon under 81 kg, as I did yesterday. John hopped on the scales after me and weighs 77 kg. That makes me spit. He just eats whatever he is given or feels like including Cadbury chocolate bars. The only thing he is strong about is avoiding wheat. He has oatmeal porridge with sugar or sometimes fake maple syrup nearly every morning for breakfast and eats rice crackers for lunch and as snacks. In the 15 months or so he has been wheat free he has lost something like 12 kg doing nothing very special. When we married he weighed less than 70 kg and I was around 60 kg. I know this isn't a competition between us But I'd really love to restore that balance. I should feed him up on wheat in secret.  Nah! That's not going to happen. *smiles*

It's a gorgeous winter day. I love these mid winter blue skies. They have a special quality of simple purity. We did a little more gardening and caught up with laundry.