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.


Well that's over and done with ... almost. I have a follow up appointment with the surgeon on Tuesday when he does a clinic at a satelite hospital which means we have only 1.5 hours travel time each way. This morning my eyelid is too swollen to tell how successful the implant is in giving me the ability to blink and close my eye. Next stage will be the plastic surgery to straighten out my face. I had so hoped that choosing my food with care to healing the amage to the facial nerve I would get at least some spontaneous recovery but two years is a long time.

Yesterday was not too terrible as far as food goes but travelling takes a toll. I'm not in a great place today so just eating what I fancy. It won't be awful but nor will it be great.

I'm staying quiet while John goes to town for prescription and groceries.


Hi MargieAnne,

I've just read all your posts, and think a few tweaks may help you out.

1. Don't weigh yourself more than once a fortnight/month. Water loss gain on a daily basis can give you false readings. You can easily lose/gain 1-2 liters of water in a few days. Go more for measurements and how your clothes fit. ( it's not about the numbers. Please remember that ) 

2. It's not a "diet". A lot of people equate diets with negative experiences, suffering and unhappy times. 
It's a way of life or a " eating plan " if you need to call it something, which you don't. Just eat and be happy with your way of life. 

3. Stop wasting your time and money on Keto stix/strips. Once the body has adapted to ketosis, you won't be wasting ketones in your wee, as your body will be using/ burning them up for energy. So your numbers will decline or stay very low. ( if your eating lowcarb and moderate protein w/high fat for long enough you'll be in ketosis. You can't not be )

4. You need to eat more often. More snacks of high Fat. Your cravings are your body telling you it needs something. Food/ fat. Whether it be nuts ( macadamia's hazelnuts cashews ), cream, meat, cheese. Eat it slowly but don't deny yourself or you will binge...... 

5. You need GUILTY (carb free high fat) treats. My fave ATM is this....pancakes 

1tbsp psyllium husks
1 egg
1/4 cup water
Cinnamon or vanilla to taste
1 scoop low carb protein powder ( un flavored its all I have Tongue )
1tbsp butter to cook pancakes in 


50-100 mls cream
1-2 tbsp Hazelnut butter ( I make my own, but any natural low sugar nut butter will do ) 
1/2 cup berries ( blue/rasp/straw berries ) 

Mix dry ingredients then add egg and water and mix well, pour into small frying pan coated with the butter, 1 at a time. When done pour over the cream, nut butter and berries. 

Less then 5 grams of net/impact carbs, 30-40 grams of fat 30-40 grams protein. You can easily increase / decrease protein fats as you see fit. 

You have no real guilty pleasures. You need them to keep you sane and on track. 

6. Did I say eat more. Otherwise Your metabolism will slow down you will feel terrible and you'll binge if you don't eat more 1500 calories should have you losing weight and feeling great. 

7. Enjoy yourself. It's not about what others eat think or do that matter. It's all about you and your choices. Don't beat yourself up about eating this or that. Life's way WAY too short. ( well to honest it's the longest journey you'll ever take, but I hope you now what I mean ) 


Thanks for your thoughtful post, It's nice to meet someone else who is willing to wade through a few pages of posts to get to know you.

I think 'The Plan' addresses some of the tweaks you mention. I will try the pancakes but I'm not so sure about the psyllium husks even as powder. I do remember them giving me some severe stomach pain as in irritation/inflammation but it's still worth a try. I keep seeing them in low carb recipes. The idea sounds delicious so I'll give it a go even if I need to change it slightly.

I have no problems with the word diet since I see it in the larger sense rather than limited to a restrictive weight control regime.

Weighing and measuring ketones are something that happens when my focus is strong. Experience tells me that when I stop weighing regularly I'm most likely to gain weight as I've done these last two months. I guess that's the way my brain is wired. I'm not testing for ketones because I know I'm not ketogenic right now.

Tape measures are not for me. They are too imprecise being subject to where placed and how firmly applied. Two things which can change on the day. I do use my clothes but right now I only have one pair of jeans to give any indication of how I'm doing. Everything else is too loose to be of any use. I need to remedy this before winter sets in. Perhaps something new for my birthday in June will be motivating.

My reasons for being in nutritional ketogenisis have as much to do with brain and mood as with weight loss. But it does take determination and mental energy which I do not have currently so not worrying about that right now.

I do not believe in guilty pleasures and I'm sure you didn't really mean it that way. Guilt is a saboteur in itself. Believe me when I say I indulge. My weight loss would be far more spectacular if I did not do so. 

I have wondered many times about calorie restriction and it's affect on metabolism. I agree that there are times when I am too low but then there are times when I am exceedingly high too. Mostly I prefer not to worry about counting anything but that got me where I am ..... fat and lacking vibrant health. The weeks and months of measuring were part of self experimentation. That was last year Smile

One thing that concerned me ..... When I was in nutritional ketosis and limiting my calories I was also exercising regularly. I felt so good most of the time .........
There's a BUT........ as I progressed along this path I began to wonder if I was experiencing some adrenal fatigue. The lifestyle was demanding of my body and I have been living with unusual amounts of stress for many years. Things I cannot change, things that some days I can put aside but all too often intrude. A broken heart is not easily mended. Without my faith in God I am totally lost.

It seems as though I have been juggling some mighty prickly balls and as I become accomplished at the ones in hand another is tossed into the mix. I am proud of myself for handling what life has dished out as well as I have done, but that doesn't mean I can relax. Learning to rest and remain vigilant, content and at peace is an art I practice everyday. It's no wonder to me that I come unstuck and am overwhelmed now and then.

The wonder to me is that I'm still here. But then the combination of my faith in God and the LCHF lifestyle is my lifesaver.

This is a lengthy reply. Your advice was given seriously and I received it. 

Thank-you. It's always good to question your reasons for doing something. It's been good for me to look again at the way I do things and why.

Today has plenty of challenges for me. I hope I'm up to posting tomorrow. I guess I'll be one-eyed for a few days. I woke extra early and couldn't go back to sleep so I've been up since 5.15 am. It's now time to dress and get ready to leave the house. 

I'm nervous about today's surgery. It will be done with local anaesthetic and while it sounds like a fairly simple procedure it is delicate. I am putting myself in the hands of God and the surgeon. The surgeon told me that he only does this particular procedure two or three times a year. One thing I'm grateful for. It's cloudy with a chance of showers so I'll not have to cope with getting too hot or bright sunlight. Our car does not have air-conditioning so cloud blocking direct heat from the sun is a bonus.

See you as soon as I can use my laptop again.


That was quick.

I called the eye clinic yesterday and did say all I needed was 24 hours notice.

I am now booked in for 12.30 pm tomorrow. 

We are planning a one day trip. 7-8 hours total driving. Two meals on the road. Must take extra water. Goodness knows how long at Waikato Hospital. It could be 3, it could be 6 or 7 hours. We leave home at 8 am latest, preferably earlier. Last time we did this I found the drive home difficult. I must make sure I have enough pain relief.

I have a beef casserole/stew in the slow cooker for tonight's dinner. That will give us left overs tomorrow if we are home early enough but I am guessing we'll want our dinner somewhere along the way.

Just as well today we have money in the bank. Yesterday we were too broke to eat out Smile

I have a long, slow soak in the bath planned for this afternoon. Soothing music, good book if I can find one and that will be my day of preparation.

Monday, February 10, 2014


Amazingly I have lost another 400 gm, that's almost 1 pound in the last two days. I feel that I might be eating too much because I am hungry at dinner and also tend to snack through the evening. I am not even trying for a ketogenic diet because I eat several prunes, dates or dried figs after dinner. I'd rather be healthy that way than be in ketosis right now.

My focus is PFC or protein, fat, carbohydrate. The acronym is used by Dietitian Cassie.

My plan was to have four to six weeks dairy free. John and I will do it together. I'm not ready to tackle this challenge right now and I doubt John is either so it's on hold until March 10th when I will review the situation. I have some skin problems and John has chronic sinus so going dairy free will be an attempt to see if it makes a difference. There is no point in attempting something so drastic, for us, unless we are ready to do it with dedication.

The main focus of The Plan is food. 

I am intending to eat only meat, eggs, maybe some fish and cheese for my protein. Vegetables will be mostly raw, in salads with whatever dressing appeals on the day although I want to trend toward only using balsamic vinegar or olive oil and lemon dressing or other vinaigrettes. I will also have other cooked, mostly green veggies, and occasionally carrot, potato and kumera, (sweet potato). I am going to allow myself one piece of fresh fruit now and then plus the dried fruit as necessary. I enjoy having smoothies but I'm going to make them dairy free as soon as my current batch of whey powder is finished. 

My 'go to' Smoothie Recipe

50 gm frozen berries, 
100 gm plain Greek Yoghurt, 
50 gm coconut cream. 
50 gm whipping cream, 
10-15 ml cod liver oil
2 scoops or 30 gm whey powder 
1/2 cup water. 

Whizz all together and pour over ice. This is pretty easy to make dairy free but not until I have used up my current batch of protein powder. I won't be using any other type of protein powder. When I change it will basically be a Berry and Coconut Smoothie. I might try it with a raw egg if I can find a good source of farm eggs.

For now I'll continue to have my Keto Coffee in the morning. I am drinking far too much coffee according to what I think is reasonable but I don't want to change yet. 

Morning Coffee

Set up the coffee maker for 10 cups with 2 tablespoons of beans ground to medium. Sometimes I add cinnamon to this.

Prepare the jar for the Whizz stick with 30 gm coconut oil, 50 gm each of coconut cream and whipping cream. When the coffee is made I add in about half the coffee and whizz to combine and get a light froth. That's my current breakfast and I drink the remaining coffee black during the morning. 

I have been making a smoothie for lunch/brunch and sometimes eating a piece of cheese or HB egg snack mid to late afternoon. I eat 'whatever' for dinner with focus on PFC. I've eaten this way for over 10 years now with many breaks and various versions but this seems to suit my lifestyle and personality without setting up unreasonable cravings.

I need to get some daily exercise but since I'm not feeling very motivated I'm not pushing myself. I have noticed that I feel flabby compared with last September when I'd been using the cross-trainer regularly. It's important that I begin to do something about this fairly soon. Walking is the best but I'm still having trouble with my eye...... That's the one with the eyelid that cannot close or blink naturally due to Bells Palsy. I'm hoping to have surgery, which will fix the problem, within the next three months. It will be so nice to be able to garden or walk on the beach again without bother.


That was quick.

I called the eye clinic yesterday and did say all I needed was 24 hours notice.

I am now booked in for 12.30 pm tomorrow. 

We are planning a one day trip. 7-8 hours total driving. Two meals on the road. Must take extra water. Goodness knows how long at Waikato Hospital. It could be 3, it could be 6 or 7 hours. We leave home at 8 am latest, preferably earlier. Last time we did this I found the drive home difficult. I must make sure I have enough pain relief.

I have a beef casserole/stew in the slow cooker for tonight's dinner. That will give us left overs tomorrow if we are home early enough but I am guessing we'll want our dinner somewhere along the way.

Just as well today we have money in the bank. Yesterday we were too broke to eat out Smile

I have a long, slow soak in the bath planned for this afternoon. Soothing music, good book if I can find one and that will be my day of preparation.

That's me for this morning. Catch-up again tomorrow Smile