Low Carb Flu? Get Back into Ketosis.

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Have you recently begun a low-carb diet and are feeling MORE fatigued than usual? Having a few muscle cramps, brain fog, dizziness, or headache? Ready to throw in the towel and chock up this eating plan as another failure? Don’t give up right now! It’s likely what we call “low-carb flu.” It is a state of transition. Your body is adjusting to burning fat instead of carbohydrates, and it will definitely pass. If you lowered your carb intake markedly, you are inducing ketosis. Soon, the opposite will be true, and you’ll be brimming with energy. Really!

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Once you have cleaned your body of sugar and junk foods that had nothing but empty calories, your life will be much more focused, and your body will join your brain in a state of clarity.

But for now, you need help getting through the low-carb flu (no, it’s not a true flu with fever, etc). Try eating more fat since it’s key in this way of eating. Fat is not the enemy as was once preached. Read a few up-to-date nutrition articles from reliable sources. You’ll see that low-carb, higher fat, and low carb eating is what our bodies thrive on. It can be difficult to make the switch after decades of believing the other way. If you fuel your body with fat instead of carbohydrates, it will adjust to burning fat instead of sugars and empty carbs. The energy you’ll experience will be SO worth your living this diet. Think mayo, cheeses, butter, steak, chicken with the skin on (not battered), half and half in your coffee, avocados, nuts, and sauces without sugars but with fat as a base (ex: Hollandaise sauce).

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In addition, be careful how much protein you consume. About 4-6 oz a meal is plenty. Your body might decide to convert protein you are eating into sugars and burn those instead of the fats. Balance is key.

You’ve heard that drinking water is vitally important to feeling your best. It’s even more important when you are on this type of eating plan. However, you flush away electrolytes (potassium, magnesium, sodium) when you drink good amounts of water. So, take a multi-vitamin every day. Also increase your sodium intake. I know, we’re flying in the face of recently-modern medicine but it’s now been researched and is becoming the norm given by health professionals.

 

Another idea if you are in a low-carb flu is to avoid sweeteners. They can cause cravings by their sweet taste.

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One last idea – move! It may be the one thing you do NOT want to do right now but just move a little. Just walk at a slower pace, and encourage yourself to do something besides lay around.

When you’ve eaten, had a drink of water, taken your multivitamin, and followed other actions to combat the low-carb flu, sit back and look forward to energetic days ahead!

Love you guys! Hang in there. It’s only temporary. Remember . . . good-bye sugary junk and hello new, healthy life!

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Carb-Sensitive? Want a Low Carb Diet?

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The above photo shows what many, many health professionals still believe should be a staple of our diets for breakfast, lunch, dinner, even snacks. Have you taken a look at the Food Guide Pyramid lately?

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Please don’t take this guide seriously. I’m living proof that this way of eating is NOT healthful for every adult. Too many carbs. They are telling us that they majority of our eating should contain carbohydrates. After decades of fighting my overweight body (yet using doctor-recommended and professionally recognized “well rounded” diets), I figured out why I didn’t feel well most of the time and why I couldn’t maintain weight loss.

I tried a very low carbohydrate way of eating. I felt 75% better after just the first day!

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I have several low carb eating plans but stayed with Atkins because it was more familiar and because I needed the structure of their Induction phase. I used to think that the more variety I was given, the better I could work the diet. Not so this go round. I went a different route, and it’s working well. After reading much research on carbohydrates, I realized I was likely carb-sensitive. Another phrase that stuck with me was Insulin Resistance.

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What is carb sensitivity? It’s How your body processes sugars and starchesSome of us can down a pint of ice cream and not be affected. Others, like me, can eat a half a cup and stall their weight maintenance. I know, it’s not fair but that’s life. All bodies are not created equally. “Carbohydrate-sensitive people have exaggerated responses to sugars and starches that set the stage for increased appetite, carbohydrate cravings, and very efficient fat storage (Georgia Ede, MD).”

Try a low carb diet and see if it helps you lose unwanted pounds. Fat pounds, not lean muscle. Look up Atkins Diet or the Keto Diet and see if they’re for you. I’m glad I did!

The difference between Atkins and Keto Diets

Good luck on your journey, and enjoy the natural foods you eat.

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Low Carb vs Junk Food Diet

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I’ve made a discovery. I had to choose a path to travel when I approached a fork in the road. Ironic that it’s called a FORK when my diet is what drastically changed. Over the last couple of decades, I made junk food my go-to when I felt stressed, bored, afraid, or whatever other emotion I was dealing with. I was alone a lot in my first marriage and fell to food as a coping mechanism.

You’ve heard this tale before by many others BUT mine hit me square in the face tonight. With hubby number two off at a meeting, I was bored and hungry. Instead of choosing the low carbohydrate foods in my pantry, I turned backward and drove to a taco stand. It sounded so tasty, and it HAD been a month since I’d changed my diet. I deserved one meal I craved, right?

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I crushed the tacos in a bowl and added salsa. I sat down to watch a sit-com  – anticipating the first bite of an old delicious friend, a taco with an actual crunchy shell on it.

Boom! There was the taste. Only it wasn’t what I remembered. It had a stale, kind of burned taste, and the texture of the meat was odd. It was packed together tightly but get this . . . there was almost no taste at all. It WASN’T delicious. It was greasy and bland and not even close to what my mind remembered.

I finished the tacos anyway, secretly hoping each bite would find me enchanted again with my old habit. Nope. So, I ate until I was too full (like I once did) and felt like crap! Within fifteen minutes, I had a headache. I kid you not. MSG? I knew there was no “going back.”

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I had taken a path of clean eating over the last month, and it prevailed. I was both encouraged and disappointed. I didn’t have the old habit I once counted on as my Band-Aid.

Yet, I faced a new path . . . one with a healthier destination.

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I now walk in the light of health and won’t have the old unhealthful habits. I guess that’s one way to quit a habit you hate. It becomes something you detest after a while.

My bare feet take me to a happier and tastier place, and I do enjoy the journey much more than I used to. Soon, there will be no fat, headaches, mood-changing sugars, or any other detriment that I once held so closely.

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I wonder what else 2018 has in store.

Happy February, dear ones ~

Bipolar Disorder – My Shadow

 

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A mood disorder is tough to deal with – whether you are the sufferer or the loved one of a sufferer.

It’s like my own shadow but one that often catches up and overcomes me, Bipolar Disorder. And it doesn’t play fair. I go along with my life “normally” for a few weeks until a dark mood sneaks up behind me and bites me in the behind. I’ve had a few episodes of severe mania but now mostly experience the severe depression side when the disorder kicks in.

I dutifully take Zoloft and Abilify to even things out. Thank goodness for those. They allow me to live a life of being stable most of the time. However, when PMS hits or when perimenopause changes my hormone levels, watch out!

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An old friend and I text now and then. She never knew I had been diagnosed with this disorder, and I had hurt her feelings a few years back. I tried to apologize many times  but she kept me at arm’s length in fear of being treated poorly again. I finally told her why I’d been on a roller coaster of emotions back then. I imagined she didn’t want to complicate her life with a friend who had mood issues.

Can’t say I blame my old friend. I don’t like having me around at certain times, either. However, I do the best I can to treat others with respect and understanding (when I have my wits about me).

So, please, if you know someone with this (or other) type of mental challenge, consider being as understanding as possible with him or her. It takes a lot out of a person to ride this coaster.

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Soup-Bowl Cabbage Rolls – Tasty Recipe!

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Prep: 15 minutes   Cook 30 minutes  Makes 4 large servings

Ingredients:

1 lb lean ground beef

1 garlic clove, chopped or minced

1 small head of cabbage, chopped

2 1/2 Cups water

2/3 Cup uncooked long grain white rice

1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp dried basil

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

1 can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes

1/2 tsp salt

In a nonstick Dutch oven, cook beef and garlic over medium heat until meat is no longer pink. Drain. Stir in the next 8 ingredients; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, until rice is tender (25 minutes). Stir in tomatoes and salt. Heat through.

397 Calories, 9g fat (4 sat fat), 56 mg cholesterol, 707 mg sodium, 51 g carbohydrates, 6 g sugar, 9 g fiber, 30 g protein.

Where IS This Monster?

 

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Where is William Bradford Bishop, Jr?

WHO is William Bradford Bishop Jr?

Mr Bishop is a killer. He “is wanted (by the FBI) for bludgeoning his wife (age 37), mother (age 68), and three sons (ages 5, 10, and 14) in Bethesda, Maryland on March 1, 1976. He then allegedly transported their bodies to Columbia, North Carolina, where he buried the bodies in a shallow grave and lit them on fire.

Now you know who Mr Bishop is.

But WHERE is he these 41 years later? The FBI added him to their top ten fugitives list. THEY would like to know where this man is, too. There is a $100,000 reward for information leading directly to his arrest. He was a US Government Foreign Services Officer in 1976 and speaks English, Italian, French, Serbo-Croatian, and Spanish.

He was 6’1 and was born in Pasadena, California, August 1, 1936.

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Have YOU seen him? Is he YOUR neighbor?

Age-progression drawings show what he might look like.

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I can’t imagine beating your family to death, burying them, then lighting the grave on fire. This man, if still alive, must be caught. He’s been free for far too long.

 

Step-Families – How to Deal . . .

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I’m hoping this quote is true in my case of dealing with my step-family.

Who is this Jean De La Breyere who wrote the quote anyway? It seems he was a 1600s French philosopher and moralist who was noted for his satire. So, does that make this quote some tongue-in-cheek advice? Nah, I know better. I’ve lived through difficulties that did cause amazing things to manifest.

Anyone have advice on tactfully dealing with an adult step-child who can’t get her life together? She always needs financial help, won’t work outside the home, and has divorced twice in a decade? I love this young woman. She is generous, loving, and has a wonderful sense of humor. She would give you the shirt off of her back, wake at 3 a.m. to help a friend in need, or hold your hand at a scary doctor visit. So, I’m completely confused as to what my role is in this situation.

I’ve decided to follow my mom’s and dad’s advice and step back, hush, and let my wise husband deal with his daughter during this time of her second divorce from a man who is abusive emotionally (and could be physically, if he’s been drinking). I won’t resent my husband or his decisions because that is his child. I have two grown kids of my own. How would I feel if one of them got himself or herself into that type of trouble?

Yeah, I know.

Step-parenting is hard and full of gray areas. When in doubt, I’m going to trust my intelligent and loving husband’s choices because he is smart enough to know how much is too much, I trust.

I have many readers of this blog; might you share your ways of dealing with blended families? I’d love to hear them. Comments must be approved before appearing on this post, so if you tell me you’d rather keep yours private, will do!

Thanks, and best of luck in all of our blended families. Love you guys!

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There’s a Ghost in my Photograph!

I’ve never believed in spirits or otherworldly things . . . until two days ago. I’ve been on this earth for 53 years and am, for the first time, freaked out by a spiritual matter. My daughter took a selfie from her cell phone of herself and her three kids on Halloween night. The kids weren’t even dressed in costumes. They sat in the car in their other grandma’s driveway off of a country road with little traffic. What showed up on the picture was ghastly and hard to write off as a fake. My daughter, C, said she hadn’t altered the photo at all.

Here it is:

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Sitting in my grandson’s lap is an eerie visage of a woman staring back at the camera. Hard to miss, huh? I told you, I’m not one to “look” for these kinds of things. I’m a major skeptic with a degree in science, so this literally kept me from a decent night’s sleep when I received it from C.

What do you think? Do you see it? Do you believe in ghosts? What DO you believe?

Basic Country Potato Soup

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The picture does NOT do this soup justice. It’s the easiest and tastiest potato soup ever! Basic flavors but FULL of flavor. Served with a loaf of freshly baked sourdough bread. Whole house smelled heavenly. Recipe below:

Ingredients:

2 lbs Russet potatoes, chopped into 1 1/2″ cubes

1/2 C chopped yellow onion

1/2 C chopped celery

1 Can Evaporated Milk (NOT Eagle Brand type but Evaporated Milk)

4 Tbsp butter

3 Tbsp flour

Salt and Pepper

1 box chicken stock

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Combine potatoes, onion, and celery into a large bowl. Add flour to coat. Add salt and pepper – pinches. Let sit for about ten minutes. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a soup pot. Add potato mixture and coat in butter. Add chicken stock and bring to a boil. Add evaporated milk and bring to boil. Simmer on low for 20-30 minutes or until potatoes are done. Stir occasionally. For a thicker soup, use a whisk to break up some of the cooked potatoes and stir into the soup’s juice. Add additional salt and pepper to taste. Serve with topping of bacon pieces and grated cheese if desired. This is my personal favorite potato soup recipe. It’s chunky and has a nice semi-thick base. Serves 4