Wednesday, June 25, 2014


Not a very good day. I slept badly last night after a tiring day. 

Yesterday John had a hearing test but we had to go to a bigger town 1.5 hours drive each way and I felt travel sick. We shopped and lunched. Altogether we were out for 9 hours, but I'd been up extra early too. 

Having the most annoying problem with my keyboard. Many keys sticking. I'm getting this typed by copying and pasting the worst letters. I will have to take it in, but not until next week. Meantime I just might end up using John's laptop.

Hope tomorrow goes better than today.

Sunday, June 22, 2014


This week I was invited to take part in Conversations with Jimmy Moore and co-host Dietitian Cassie. It was fun.

Surprise! The podcast has been released so I must go listen to myself. Yikes! That photo is a shocker. Bells Palsy has made a mess of my face. It's even worse when I smile.

I am a great fan of Livin La Vida , Hope you are too. This is the link to my scary photo.

So far I've had two surgeries so I can almost close my left eye. The first tightened up the lower lid. The second was an implant to my upper lid which enables me to blink. This has made a huge difference but my eye is often uncomfortable and can dry out quickly. I am scheduled to have at least one if not two plastic surgeries to pull my face straight and maybe a stitch or two to tighten the inner part of my eye so it will completely close ..... hopefully. Two and a half years and I'm a long way from being finished with doctors and surgery. I maintain that the damage to my facial nerve caused by Bells Palsy is the result stress.

I wish I had the new breath testing gadget for ketosis. I don't think I'm there yet.

Until next time.



I am shocked to see I have not been here in nearly three months.

Sadly I let things slip a bit recently so have to go back over and re-lose some weight. I'm on track again and determined to not let that slackness creep in. There have been many things going on family-wise and I find I am not as resilient as I once once. Interpret that as Stress Eating.

These questions are from Pealark on the Livin La Vida Forum.

1. What its Keto coffee? (I have decaf w/cream)
I make up a full carafe of coffee as soon as I get out of bed..... fresh ground a shake or two of cinnamon. That's somewhere around 6 large cups. While the coffee brews I prepare 30 gm, (1 ounce,) coconut oil, 50 gm, (1.7 ounces), coconut cream and 50 gm, (1.7 ounces), thick cream, (the kind you make butter with). I pour about half the coffee over this mix and whisk it up. This I sip while checking email etc. The rest I drink black and that's my coffee for the day. Most days I'm finished with coffee before mid-day. After that I drink water or herbal/fruit infusions which are so low in calories I never count them. Keto Coffee is a term coined, I think, by Dana Carpender who co-authored a little book called Fat Fast Cookbook: 50 Easy Recipes to Jump Start Your Low Carb Weight Loss [Kindle Edition]
Dana Carpender (Author), Amy Dungan (Author), Rebecca Latham (Author), Andrew DiMino (Foreword), Jimmy Moore (Foreword)

2 In my Atkins book, yogurt its specifically mentioned as something NOT allowed on induction. The sentence its something like "you can have sour cream, but not yogurt". Its yours with the "h" lower carb somehow?

Haha Smile Yogurt, or yoghurt ..... I'm a New Zealander so we use funny English/European spelling. The yoghurt I use has nearly 7 gm carb per 100 gm serving, (0.25 ounces per 3.5 ounces, or about 2 ounces carb per 18 ounces). So it's higher in carbs than I like, and when I was using it regularly meant I had to limit my veggies more than I wanted to. 

I make my yoghurt using the Easi-yo system. It's delicious and can be thick enough to use instead of sour cream or cream cheese.

I have stopped making smoothies for now because the recipe I use has whey milk powder which together with the yoghurt puts me over my self imposed carb limit.

So what am I eating this week?

Mornings ..... Keto Coffee
Lunch ......... Cheddar cheese or eggs with celery, gherkins, olives.
Dinner ......... Meat with veggies. Tonight's dinner will be roast pork including the crackling, some roast veggies such as onion, pumpkin and kumera, (sweet potato) and broccoli. 
Snacks ....... Almonds, celery, cheese.

I'm keeping things simple for me. Not counting or measuring except the ingredients for my keto coffee.I have not decided whether I intend to be in ketosis or not since all I have to measure with is ketostix, (urine testing).The proof is in my scales. As long as I am losing weight I know I'm on the right track..... for now. I'm interested in the new breath tester for ketones. You can see it advertised on Jimmy Moore's blog

Be back soon :)


Written on March 30th.

The family stuff goes on but the crisis is past. There's an aftermath to live through but we are not directly affected. I'm glad to have the sewing. Stitching by hand is so peaceful and it's satisfying my soul. It's ticking so many boxes. I have a project to distract me, it's creative and involves just enough brain power without adding extra stress and it's keeping my hands out of mischief. 

I'm making something for myself and also gifts. The time passes quickly while I listen to podcasts and I'm learning. I can also listen to audio Bible and music when I want to. The only thing I'm missing out on is getting enough exercise but that will come.

I've up-dated my weight. It's a very small loss of half a pound over the last 2 weeks but my highest weight this year was 190.5 pounds and today 4 pounds less. Hopefully the up 3 and own 2 has come to an end. It will be interesting to see how I do in April. I'm very comfortable with how I'm eating so that means No Stress!

Generally I am sleeping better. It's looking good as the calender turns over to another month tonight.

Thursday, March 27, 2014


Stitching, stitching, stitching! I can see my new border working out. Heaps more work though. Then there is the quilting.

I think that I am at last seeing some weight loss just from doing what now comes naturally to me. I hope so as I don't want to go back to weighing and checking and watching macronutrient ratios. 

Last year I worked hard to lose weight. I seemed to be i a permanent stall and really the only time only lost anything significant was when I tried Fat Fasting. From November to January this year I gained 6 kg/13-14 pounds. It's been quite a mental battle to not let myself become upset by this.

I knew the gain was largely due to stress, (with a few poor food choices thrown in) ..... situations which I had no control over but none-the-less were painful.

The situations are still there. The stress is still there but I am finding ways to live with it. 

I am working toward more regular exercise. I know this is a major key.
MY food is reasonably good. I think I am in ketosis, or at least close to, most of the time. I am learning that I must do something positive about sleep. Exercise and sleep seem to go hand in hand for me so that's a bonus. I just need to be a bit more disciplined every night, not just now and then. For instance,last night I stayed up until about 1.30 am playing solitaire on my laptop. I still woke up at least an hour before sunrise which has become my normal. I need to be in bed by 10.30 pm latest.

Lack of good sleep an exercise has become a vicious circle. I intend to break this. 

Will keep some records to encourage myself.

Sunrise Walk:- 0
Cross-trainer:- 0
In My Bed:- ?


I am feeling a lot better about things today. There is nothing I can do about the situation except 'Be There' to talk with when I'm wanted.

Sleeping better again and weight beginning to drop back down. I'm stitching away at the next lap quilt top. Piecing the bits. I've made a much bigger job for myself than planned but that's OK because I'm not planning to go out anywhere for the next 10 days. 

It's good to be over the shock and disappointment of the last few days. I don't mean to be negative but I do wonder what will be next. It just seems that we do not get much time between one serious problem or another errupting.

At least I can switch off by putting in my ear buds an stitching. It has a tremendously calming affect Smile

Talking of quilting ..... Does anyone have an idea for something small I can stitch for an engagement gift? Both have been previously married.

Sunday, March 23, 2014


My turn! To be stressed out by life's happenings. It seems to me that every second blog I read the writer is dealing with some kind of family issue that is causing great emotional pain.

We had some not great family news over the weekend. I'm still processing it all and coming to terms with what is.

Couldn't sleep last night. It was close to 4 am when I finally went to bed and was awake again before 7.

This morning I could have eaten a loaf of bread and a pound of butter or even a large block of chocolate. Instead I began the day with a bubble bath and a book, because I can. I made my usual keto coffee and now I'm not hungry. 

I'll be going to bed earlier tonight. Right now I'm going to listen to a podcast or two and do some stitching. 

Dinner is in the slow cooker so no stress there.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014


Hi Kitty. I'm sorry the Fat Fast upset you to that degree. I never suffer that way unless I have been on a total fast, my first meal, whatever it might be has unacceptable results, so not something I do very often.

Hi to all those who missed me the last few weeks. I'll try to keep up but as you will read I have added something newish to my life.

I have two admissions to make.

# I am an addict. Doesn't matter what. It can be fat especially as in pork crackling, blogging/internet stuff, (not so much games unless you count Sudoku), and now patchwork quilting. 

I am surprised I have set it aside for a few hours this morning. It all began a few weeks ago when I decided to make a table runner for our daughter-in-law's birthday, March 6th. I finished that, and began a knee snuggle rug for myself featuring fabric I bought in Hawaii last year. I have almost finished the top part and will put it away to finish another snuggle rug top to make as a gift for another son's partner who has a birthday in May. This is all very time consuming because I sew all by hand. No machines for me.

I have so many ideas buzzing around in my head that I just might have to get the sewing machine back from our daughter. Every time I consider doing such a thing I remember how stressed sewing by machine makes me. So here I am with a million plus ideas and doing things the slow way. 

I cannot wait to get out of bed in the morning to get started again, I cannot wait to see the next block take shape and now how it looks with the blocks joined up and ready to sandwich with the backing and wadding. I have gone whole days without taking time to dress and John has had to cook dinner more than once or twice.

The wonderful thing is this has come about since I had the surgery which allows me to blink. While my eyesight is less than perfect I am comfortable enough and it might even be improving. 

The other good thing that allows me to enjoy this hobby is my pain-fee hands. For years I have picked up hand-work and put it down again fed-up by aching fingers. I have been 90% wheat free for 2 years and 11 weeks. Not only are my hands pain-free but they are increasing in strength. There are many simple tasks I no longer request John to do. The most obvious is can opening with the hand held opener. 

Becoming wheat free has turned the arthritis right around. I still have bent fingers and some thickened knuckles but there is no crippling and no aching. And best of all, the improvements seem to be continuing.

# I gained back every pound I lost doing Fat Fasts. They were useful in that I learned a lot about nutrition and what works for some people and how it works for me. I'm not saying I will never do another Fat Fast but not for some time at least. 

It is taking me a while to settle into a routine that works for me. Not getting out to exercise regularly is one of the negatives about my new addiction to quilting. I'm fairly certain that once I add in that daily or twice daily walk/cross-trainer thingy I will be improving my general well-being and therefore weight loss too. It won't do any harm that a little exercise improves sleep too.

So there you go. An up-date that will hopefully lead to me being more active here again.

Hope everyone is doing well.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014


I'm working on my quilted table runner. Would love to finish before Sunday but still have at least 4 days work and that means sewing for as long as I can manage at a time.

I have not walked in the last few days. That's not the best for me.

Ketones looking good though. latest blood ketone reading 1.7. Only four test strips left. Mostly I will be depending on urine strips which are not as accurate. I've been doing low carb off an on for 10 years in various forms. I should have the hang of this but I like to see some kind of confirmation that I am still on the right track.

Back to my sewing. That's my break over for now. I am listening to archived podcasts from Balance Bites. It's one way of getting some information into my brain.

Sunday, March 2, 2014


I skipped my walk yesterday and I'm starting today differently with a soak in a bath of bubbles an epsom salts for no particular reason.

Ketone level is beginning to look good and my weight is down another small fraction. Maybe I'm getting the hang of this. It doesn't seem quite so difficult this time.

I think that's because I have already done a lot of experimenting with food patterns and recipes, measuring ingredients and serving sizes so that I don't have to think so much about that.

It's not that I do not need to work at it but that I have gradually been getting my meals more in line with a ketogenic diet.

It's so encouraging to see the numbers doing what I want. I know that's not more important than good health but ...... I have reached a point where there's not a lot more I can do to stay healthy except lose weight and move more. The two seem to go together.

I am thinking about the 10,000 steps a day but I don't want to push walking or the cross-trainer or anything else until I am stable in fat burning. It has been suggested this may take three weeks in ketosis without stumbling. That's enough to work on right now, especially as I have a big weekend coming up with a 70th birthday party and outings with son an his wife who are coming up from Christchurch for a week, arriving next Saturday.

Friday, February 28, 2014


This might become a habit. .... Walking first thing that is. I woke up this morning rearing to go. I was later than yesterday by 30 minutes. I put the coffee on before leaving the house after clinging to my bed for an extra few minutes before facing the cool morning.

We have a noisy but not overly strong, S.E. wind which has brought autumn to our doorstep, right on schedule since today is March 1st downunder. I was very pleased to find that the cool wind did not cause any problems to my eye. Walking will become a pleasure again.

Back home, with pockets full of sandy shells. all I had to do was pour and whisk my keto coffee. I took a blood ketone reading and was disappointed but not surprised to see it had dropped back to 0.3.

I ate a large dinner last night and was totally uncomfortable. I did not need so much food but who passes up a nice steak with mushroom, onion and tomato sauce.

Today's plan is to continue quilting. I might have a session on the cross-trainer. The day is warming up and promises to be sticky in spite of the wind. 

The first two months have 2014 have flown by and I'm only just beginning to get my act together on all fronts.

Thursday, February 27, 2014


Ketones: 0.5 up one point on yesterday but I did the test a little later in the morning after a walk and drinking my keto coffee. Don't know whether that alters the numbers much anyway.

We went out yesterday. We had lunch with our daughter and spent the afternoon (planning) dreaming about the home we will build once the beach house sells. I haven't made my little coconut, butter and almond chocolate treats. I'm going to add in some chopped fig this time.

Blood ketone testing:_ I notice that it helps me focus on my health goals and I quite like seeing the ketone numbers on a daily basis but ..... the test strips are expensive even when I make them stretch out by not testing daily. Once the 7 I have left are gone I'll have to wait for some spare cash. It shouldn't be so hard to stay on plan. After all I do know how to do this. 

It seems that 10 test strips cost anything between $18 and $28 in New Zealand while Australians can get them for under $9. I tried pretending I'm an Australian but there are criteria I cannot meet. I just live in the wrong country to get affordable test strips.

Not having blood ketone test strips is like learning to live without the numbers on the scale. It might work for some. For others it's a regular check to prevent the dreaded wake-up call of weight gain gone out of control.

I need to work on some emails then it's another quilting day.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014


Sleep:- I think I slept right through again last night so that means about 7 hours. Good job.

I had a long bath late afternoon. I probably ate less than normal for my evening meal. I checked our money and did any sorting out that was required. That left me with fewer things to agitate over if I woke during the night.

This morning I tested blood ketones just because. 0.4 Not a great result but much better than the 0.2 I have been commonly getting for the last few months.

I don't think I'm doing anything in particular to improve the numbers. I have keto coffee in the mornings still, and most times a berry smoothie for lunch. I do have dried fruit such as dates, figs or prunes with almonds as a snack sometime in the late part of the day, either with dinner or as a supper snack.

I don't do much measuring and I'm not really tracking right now. It all got a bit too boring.

I'm going to make some 'Fat Bombs' today as they make such a useful LCHF snack.

I think I will just keep plodding on as is. My weight is too stable!!!!!!! But each day I feel a little better in myself. I'm sure getting enough sleep is part of the key. I take it as a sign I'm not being pushed under by stress.

I'm not getting any exercise to speak about either unless you call sewing an keyboard activities hand and brain exercise.

Sunday, February 23, 2014


Not a happy camper. I gained half a pound last week. When will I get my act together on this?

The last few days I've had moments when I felt as though I was NK but without weight loss. Not fair! I'll keep plodding on and hopefully sometime this week the numbers will begin to prove I am on the right track.

I am a terrible sister. My sister had her 70th birthday yesterday. I knew I should call her but kept putting it off. Why? I simply did not feel like talking.

Mid afternoon our daughter called to let me know an invitation to my sister's lunch party had arrived in her mail. Thank goodness the party is not for another two weeks. I would have been in big trouble if it had been on her birthday. That's when I phoned my sister and we chatted for over an hour. Did me no harm. It's too easy to settle into my own little corner of the world and turn off the rest.

Mum would never have let me forget this milestone in my sister's life. And now I feel old. My younger sister is 70 years old. I guess that means we are on bonus years. My young brother is only 68. John, my husband is only 18 months away from turning 80.

This little look at the numbers of our years is depressing. Personally I think we all feel and look at least 10 years younger than our records show so I'll go with the feeling not the facts in this case.

I've had two, or is it three nights in a row with better sleep. I aim to make a chain of them. I'm sure if I begin to sleep properly and get myself into NK I'll be on top of the world again.

There is a touch of autumn in the air this morning. I guess that means a lovely day unless the cold south west wind gets up again.

On my agenda for today is a WALK. A simple four letter word which has been challenging me for weeks.

See ya'll tomorrow.

Saturday, February 22, 2014


Today is somebody's birthday. I miss my Mum. I used to call her to check important dates. She had a great memory. Me not so much .... Is it my sister or my brother? They are one week apart. One year I gave them their gifts in January all in a flurry thinking I was running late ... Ah Me!

I've been in my own little world for the last few days. Probably lack of sleep. I really must do something about this. It's getting serious when I only sleep 2-4 hours in a night. More exercise would help no doubt. 

Food and weight nothing new.

Let's see how the coming week goes.

Quilting news. I'm on a roll. I finished piecing the table runner. Can't do any more until I've been shopping for batting and backing. I also pulled out something I pieced years ago and gave up on because it wasn't working out. I'm going to finish it as a knee rug for our other D-I-L. 

I am challenging myself in all the main areas of life. Sleep, Exercise, (walking), tidying up and re-organising inside and outside the house, and getting settled into being a fat burner. I need to be in nutritional ketosis.... a constant refrain. I left spiritual which is an integral part of my life.

As I write I am slowly coming to terms with the fact that NK really must have priority and the other stuff follows on with ease.

Except maybe sleep. Time to stop dilly-dallying around. This is a mind game as much as anything.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014


The patchwork for my quilt runner, a gift for one of our daughters-in-law, is coming along nicely. Yesterday I left it alone. This morning I have cut all the border and binding strips and will start linking the three squares together today. 

I'm so tired I don't think I'll be doing very much at all. I should go outside for a walk but we have a sticky damp tropical stream hovering over us. I did not sleep well last night in spite of being tired, physically and mentally.

Yesterday we went to the Eye Clinic at Thames Hospital. I had quite a wait since I was not officially given a time. The ophthalmologist is a lovely man and did not worry that he had no file forwarded from the base hospital, but then he does have his computer records. He is happy that he has done what he can to make my eye as comfortable as possible but warned me it will never be perfect. At least I can blink even if I have to think about it and it will stay closed through the night when I'm asleep now too.

We left home at 8.30 am and were home again by 3 pm after having coffee and getting some groceries. I showed pink on the ketostix when we got home so that must mean I am more or less in ketosis, in spite of eating a banana.

I didn't keep track yesterday although I ate reasonably well. Today I'm so tired anything could happen. So far I've had black coffee and an herb omelet, 2 eggs and cream, with bacon and tomato, all cooked in butter.

I hope I have a good snooze this afternoon and that I sleep well tonight.

Sunday, February 16, 2014


John sat up late to watch Winter Olympics. I slept about 8 hours. That's almost a record for me. 

My patchwork quilt is progressing nicely with two of four squares complete.

Nutrition P = 51 gm: F = 99 gm: C = 27 gm

That's a very rough guide because I mistakenly used John's sweetened yoghurt in my lunch-time smoothie.

I had my usual breakfast, coconut coffee, and smoothie for lunch. For the rest of the day I ate 2 HB eggs, celery with cheese spread, almonds and dates and a few rice crackers.

Cream cheese spread. 1 cup grated cheddar, 100 gm blue vein cheese, 2 tbs finely chopped onion, a little hot water to mix. It becomes firm in the fridge but does make a tasty spread which you can play with adding favourite spices and herbs. It also works with cheddar cheese only.

Another day of patchwork and listening to podcasts coming up.

Saturday, February 15, 2014


Re-cap on yesterday. We had left over beef casserole/stew instead of the egg and salad for dinner. Someone had to eat it and there was too much for John alone. It would not have been too bad just not quite as LC as egg.

Tired. We sat up to watch the Beatles tribute which was over all too quickly. I did wonder if it would pop up on our TV and not sure how much was edited out but thoroughly enjoyed a little trip down memory lane even if it was on late.

I also woke up a couple of times with weird dreams and an over active brain filled with dumb memories. Became so agitated I ended up reading for a while. Sooooo sleep deprived today. One of these days I'll put in place a healthy sleep protocol.

Today I'm aiming for 20% Protein, 70% Fat, 10% Carb or keeping my carbs under 35 gm. That is a little high for NK but I don't feel up to going in hard today. I've lifted my calories to 1350. That will still be low for some people but I'm not very active at present.

We'll see how that goes. I don't really want to count calories but I've found I am more likely to keep to my plan if I fill in the Perfect diet thingy, similar to fitness pal I think. By measuring it helps me get used to portion sizes once more too. I don't get hungry very often and I believe I'm still pretty messed up so doing things by numbers gets me back on track with habits that hopefully work.

We do have a longish day coming up on Tuesday when I go to the Ophthalmology Clinic for follow up to surgery. I'm delaying going on lower carbs until later in the week. The clinic is only 1.5 hours drive from home but it will probably mean shopping and sitting in the waiting room for x time. That means we'll be having lunch in a Café somewhere. I could make a picnic but rain is forecast so may not be a good idea.

We have a beautiful Sunday and if I weren't so lazy I would be out walking on the beach. Instead I'm listening to another Livin La Vida podcast and stitching.

Friday, February 14, 2014


I'm a little bit naughty.

My daughter-in-law has a birthday soon .... within a month. We gave them the dining-room suite which John's father crafted 80 years ago. The oak sideboard sits in their front hallway and I immediately thought it needs a runner to protect the newly restored wood. A quilt runner is something I can make. Yesterday I began and because I like hand sewing that's what I'm doing. I really don't think it's the best therapy for my eye but I'm enjoying it.

Food wise I'm not terrible and not good either.

Having coconut coffee in the mornings and a strawberry, yoghurt and whey smoothie for lunch. Dinner is some kind of meat or other protein and veggies and then I snack on nuts, cheese and whatever.

Not counting calories or anything right now.

I am back into listening to podcasts and reading stuff so I think I am beginning to feel motivated again to be more pro-active.

One thing bothers me. I have several blogs. My main one gets comments from a dear friend who is at least partly responsible for me getting into the grain-free/paleo/primal lifestyle. Now she keeps telling me not to bother with nutritional ketosis. She has successfully lost and maintained around 30 pounds and looks great. I have lost twice that and still have a long way to go to be a healthy weight. Mentally I do not cope well with her slightly bossy comments. I know they are meant to encourage me to 'just eat healthy real food.' But I keep having a negative reaction to her comments. 

Without being disrespectful of her health quest no-one should consider that what works for them will work for another person. What's more a person who only needed to lose 30 pounds is very different from a person who needs to lose more than 100 pounds. Some of the principles may be the same but individual differences are huge. My friend had a wake-up call when she became pre-diabetic with a family history of diabetes. I have never been close to diabetic. The one thing that probably contributed to my steady weight gain was wheat and the hidden damage it was causing. The other cause is stress. 

I hate saying I've not had an easy life as an adult because there are so many people who would laugh in my face and tell me I have it 'cushy.' But there are things which I would never put in a public forum. Believe me when I say I have been stunned by the stuff that a well educated, middle class family can hide behind close doors. One of my main tasks has been to face the truth and open doors within our family. 

It looks as though if I want to be in nutritional ketosis I will be saying very little on my main blog. I will be talking about it here as it seems to be the only safe place at present. I find that sad. 

My age and sex and life stressors are probably making it more difficult for me to lose more weight. In fact, while losing weight is desirable, that is no longer my main concern. Nutritional ketosis offers me far more in the way of mental and emotional health as well as general well-being.

Over the next few days I am preparing myself to be on nutritional ketosis once more. We have no major stuff on the horizon so I can focus on becoming a fat burner. 

I seem to have been waffling all over the place for the last few months. I want to stop doing that and be absolutely clear about what I am doing. For that reason this journal will record my journey back into nutritional ketosis and how this impacts my health and daily life. 

In other words I'm restoring the original purpose and focus of this journal.

I want to say it's not easy getting my head in a place where I carry through the discipline require to get into nutritional ketosis. I've done it before and I know what it takes. That alone causes me to be cautious about any claims I make right now.

One thing I am doing is increasing the amount of protein from what I was eating when last in nutritional ketosis. I'm fairly certain I verged on adrenal fatigue. Experience shows me that I need to be careful with carbs. I believe Kris Kresser does not really count most vegetable carbs except the starchy ones. Maybe that will help me eat better.

The plan today is to have something with eggs and salad for dinner and count and record all my snacks. That usually means I will not slide into random snacking which I do not need.

Here goes the beginning of the end of weight loss.