STUCK!!

Blogged Down: A bogged down blog, stuck in the mud - Craig ...

Have you ever been in a vehicle stuck in the mud or snow? I mean really stuck. The more you try to do, the worse your situation becomes? Sometimes you have to get out with a shovel. Sometimes you have to put something solid under the wheels. Sometimes you just have to call for help.

Well, that’s where I am with my weight loss. I am not on a plateau any more. I am now stuck. My wheels spin and throw mud, but the hole just gets deeper, and my situation gets worse. Yikes.

In the past, I would just give up, say the heck with this diet crap, and go back to eating what I want to eat. But this time, it’s not the past. I’m happy with my Keto/South Beach diet, and I’m not going to give up.

I’ve done a lot of reading this week. It seems that scientific studies are starting to show that there really are some people who become obese for biological reasons. It’s in their DNA. And those people often cannot lose weight. It was an interesting read. I’m not buying it, but I see the connections between DNA and my weight.

Three of my four grandparents were obese. Both of my Dad’s parents were morbidly so. My maternal grandfather was also chunky. In fact, I am built like both of my grandfathers. I have no waistline. I have a chest, a gut, and hips. Even when I am fit, I have no observable V shape. My chest and back have gotten big, but my waist will not shrink much.

I have about 50 pounds still to lose. I’ve lost about 70 or 75. But I am seriously stuck. Nothing works. I know this was about the weight I was for 15 years. I think my body got used to it, and thinks it’s normal. I have been thinner, but not for 20 years. In my opinion, I have hit the brown, hard fat that takes a lot of movement to shake it.

Starting Monday, I’m going back on a level one, South Beach, or a very strict Keto diet. Same thing. I’m also, gulp, going to increase my exercise and track that along with my food, to see what happens. I need to do something dramatic. I am dialing 911. I don’t like working out. I’m 64, not 34. But I hate this weight. So I’m taking action. Watch this space.

Some Thoughts On The Westminster Dog Show 2021

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I have absolutely been head over heels crazy about dogs since I was in the first grade. We had an American Eskimo named Prince. He was white, fluffy, and probably drove my mom nuts with his shedding. As a kid, he’s the only dog we ever had in the house. I’m pretty sure that cured my mother of the practice. After Prince, my dad got a little 13 inch Beagle, we called, Duke. Duke was everything a kid could want in a dog. He was a perfect companion. My dad bought him as a hunting Beagle. I was way too young to hunt. Duke was my adventure companion in the hills and forest lands around our small town in Indiana.

Sadly, Duke got out one day, and a drunk neighbor found him, caught him, and beat him almost to death, breaking nearly every bone in his body. My sister and I were at my grandparents when this happened. My mom said that Daddy cried like a baby, and had to put Duke down. The mystery as to why Daddy didn’t return the favor to the neighbor has stumped me for the last 58 years.

Dad said he would never get another dog. He meant it. When I was old enough to go to the library, school and public, I would read about dogs. I read everything I could get my hands on; stories, breed books, I read them all. By the time I was in the 8th grade, I had read every dog book in the elementary school, the Jr. High, and the public libraries in Lexington, KY. I resorted to buying books designed for teenage girls, like, “Love Me, Love My Dog.” I kid you not.

My maternal grandparents had a riding and boarding stable. All of my aunts, uncles, and most of my cousins were horse daft. I can’t blame them. I liked the horses. But all of my grandpa’s love for horses was passed on to me, in the love of dogs.

I think the summer of 1976 was when I saw my first dog show. It was outdoors, in Joplin, MO. I stood there with my mouth open and my chin on the ground. I thought I had died and gone to heaven. I roamed from ring to ring watching dogs of every kind compete for ribbons and trophies.

I went to one back in Lexington, in 78, and focused mostly on Belgian Malinois and Siberian Huskies. By that time, I had a husky and an Alaskan Malamute. One was just a back yard bred pet, and the other, a rescue dog from the local animal Shelter.

My own library was brimming with books on Siberian Huskies, and other sleddogs. I had one on Labrador Retrievers, Beagles, and one on Belgian Shepherds. I was seriously obsessed.

I got my first show dog, A Siberian Husky, in the mid 1980s in Scotland, when I was living here the first time. She was a typical gray and white girl with blue eyes. She was a thing of beauty to me. She had an average show career. Nothing special. She did qualify twice for Crufts, the UK’s biggest dog show. I took her once. Her name was Dawn. She gave birth to several dogs who qualified for Crufts, at least one Champion, and a boy who was my first lead dog, and who qualified for Crufts for life, during his limited show career.

I loved dog shows. I loved the competition, and the camaraderie. I loved the feeling of collecting ribbons. I loved showing off my dogs. I loved getting together with friends and bashing the judge when he or she didn’t give anything to our canine companions. I drove thousands of miles, and spent thousands of dollars in pursuit of those ribbons. Then I got involved in training and racing my huskies. Everything changed.

At first, It was loads of fun keeping my show dogs in shape. Then I started to notice small differences between the most successful show dogs and the most successful racing dogs. In the early days, I considered the show dogs superior examples of the breed, while the successful athletes at least had that to fall back on when no one wanted their photos, and they had no ribbons.

For several years, I worked as a ring steward in some major dog shows. That allowed me to talk to breeders, owners, and judges. I was a sponge. I soaked up everything I could learn. And I got to work with dozens of different breeds from Chihuahuas to English Mastiffs.

Over time, and with experience, my opinions completely shifted. I began to understand what made a successful athlete, and how they fit the breed standard best. I also noted how the breed standard for the Siberian Husky, and other breeds, changed over the years to highlight certain features that had no role in their working ability.

In the last 30 years, my eyes are totally different in what I’m looking for in a working dog, a gun dog, a hound, or a herding dog. I watch for dogs who can still excel at what the were originally bred to do. In nearly every ‘working’ breed, including Terriers, there is a vast difference between successful show and successful working dogs. Most breeds have arguments in their breed focused websites and discussion groups. It’s fun and it’s funny. It’s also sad.

Now, nearly two pages in, I finally get to last weekend’s Westminster. I didn’t get to watch it live, due to the 5 hour time difference between the US east coast and Scotland. But the internet had all the breed judging as well as the groups and best in show. I fixed a cup or 10 of tea, and in between projects and before going to bed, I watched hours of it. Have I mentioned how much I love dogs?

The first thing, is I loved the fact that Covid drove the show outdoors. I think outdoor shows are the best. I think the dogs look better on grass, and have better footing outside. I love the fresh air, and the whole atmosphere of an outdoor show. I wish they all could be outside. Here in Scotland, we have a few open air shows, but not many, because the odds of rain are pretty darned good. I congratulate Westminster on the outdoor event.

I think the coverage was excellent. The crews and commentators took the show, dogs, and handlers seriously. Awesome.

I hated the fact that spectators were not allowed in. I know that’s been true of all kinds of sports since Covid mania has taken control of the world. The vendors and spectators make the shows truly exciting. And the best dogs feed off of the crowd noise. The just do. Ask any judge or successful handler. So that was a bummer.

I did not watch every breed. First, I’m not interested in every breed. I’m glad some people are. I personally don’t particularly like some breeds in every group. I’m glad that others do. Every dog has a group of fans. Yay.

I watched the breed judging for about 30 breeds. I watched the groups. And Best in Show. The first thing I saw was the Hound Group. I stumbled on it on YouTube. From there I went to the Show website to watch the rest.

The Hound Group made me realize that I was going to have some problems, as usual, with the dogs, and with the judging. No surprise there.

First, I wouldn’t even had put the Whippet in the final four. I was delighted to see the two coonhounds placed. I remember when Bluetick and Redbone were not even recognized by the AKC, so to see that result made me cheer.

While I watched the dogs moving, the Saluki actually took my breath away. It was stunning. I honestly thought there was no way that dog was not going to finish first. Boy was I wrong.

I did not pick a winner in any single group. Nor would I ever pick a Pekingese as Best in Show. But, honestly, those are the type of dogs best suited for a dog show.

As I watched the breed judging I was almost sickened by the quality in some of the dogs. Some breeds hardly even resemble the breeds from my youth. So many are much blockier, with heavy bodies and shorter legs. One thing I learned early on in showing dogs, was that short legged dogs move better in indoor rings. They are often smaller than outdoor rings, and longer legged dogs need a little more room to get fully into stride. This has had a major impact on breeding over the years.

I noticed it in Siberian Huskies, in some of the Belgian Sheepdogs, Lakenois, and Tervuren. I saw it in some of the Smooth Collies, and in loads of the retrievers. I thought the Bullmastiffs, and Boerbels looked pretty good. Most of them needed a little more exercise. This showed in their toplines. The English Mastiffs were much smaller than I expected them to be. Gorgeous, but more like pocket mastiffs. I won’t even comment on what’s happened to the German Shepherd breed, in the show ring. If you look at those dogs, and look at the ones being successful in IPO, or flyball, they don’t even look like the same breed. The health issues they face are incredible.

In short, (I’m thinking three full type written pages is anything but short), my thinking is that Dog Shows have not been good for any breed of dog that was created for an active purpose. Whether that is running and pulling, digging out vermin, hunting down pigs or deer, protecting and herding livestock, you name it. For the Toy, and Non Sporting Dogs, it’s all fine. But for most breeds, the show ring has been a long term disaster.

Don’t misunderstand me, the dogs were all….drop dead gorgeous. Some of the Siberians nearly took my breath away. There were very few who could make my team, but they were groomed to perfection, and they behaved impeccably. How can anyone not love a well groomed Papillon, or fail to fall in love with a French Bulldog? But I wonder if there was a single musher, hunter, or farmer who thought they saw their next dog in the Westminster Kennel Club Show.

I guess when all is said and done, I had mixed reviews. Some stunning canines. But some big disappointments. Well done to all the competitors. You did well. Your dogs looked fantastic. Well done to the judges. I’m sorry you didn’t ask my advice, but you did alright. And I can’t wait till next year!

BTW, I’m still upset about that Saluki. For my money, the Best in Show didn’t even get placed in Group!

A Review of The New American Standard Bible

NASB Outreach Edition Trade Paper | Bible translations ...

Those who listened to my old podcast, Rediscovering the Bible, know that I used to review various translations of the Bible after I’d read them. Since it doesn’t look like I’m going to be able to continue that podcast I’m going to use this space to keep you updated on my perceptions of translations. And, I’ll, overtime, go back and write up some reviews for you of the translations I talked about on Rediscovering.

I know that many of you read my page because of the Keto Diet posts, and I appreciate that. A few stop by looking for posts on dogs. Stick around, I’m going to do one of those tomorrow. I’ll be writing about the Westminster Dog Show that was held on Saturday and Sunday. And a handful of readers are here because of some of the podcasts I recorded dealing with paranormal activities. You’re in luck, too, because I have some things to write, or maybe record, about that.

The fact of the matter, though, is that of all the topics I write and talk about, Jesus tops the list. The Bible is His Word, and I love it. I read an average of 6 chapters a day from the Bible. Sometimes more, once in a while a little less. But one of the things I try and do, is read a different translation through each time. That way I can see the Bible from a slightly different angle each time. I’ve done this for years, and I really like it.

I have studied Greek and Hebrew. But I’m not proficient enough in either language to read the Bible devotionally from those original tongues. When I need to, I can translate a verse or two, and I can certainly look up words and phrases. But I’m not a language scholar, by any stretch of the imagination. Heck, I’m from Kentucky. I’m not even an English scholar!

This time through, I’m reading an English translation of the Septuagint as my Old Testament version. The Septuagint, sometimes referred to as LXX (70), is the Greek translation of the Old Testament that was popular in the first century. This was the translation that the writers of the New Testament used most often when they quoted the Old Testament. This was the Bible the early Christians used to spread the good news throughout the world. I will review it for you once I’m done. I’m only in 2 Kings right now.

For the New Testament, I used the New American Standard Bible (NASB). A new edition came out in 2020, so I thought it was time I tried it. Here are my thoughts.

First, I have never been much of a fan of the NASB. I had to use it for some classes and projects back in the mid 1970s during my undergrad work. I didn’t like it then, at all. In those days I was a huge fan of the shiny, brand new, New International Version. I found that things hadn’t changed much in my enjoyment of the NASB.

The NASB is unique in modern Bible translations. Many, like the New Living, the Good News, or the New International, have tried a style of translation that translates thought for thought, rather than word for word. It makes the Bible much easier to read, but it has a tendency to lean a bit on the translator’s theology. That’s why there are committees that do these translations. The committees are always from a variety of denominational backgrounds to try and weed out any biases.

Even the venerable King James Version is loaded with theological and even political biases. Loaded. Some day we’ll talk about it.

The NASB, has stood head and shoulders above the crowd, working hard to make a word for word translation of the Bible, yet make it readable. It’s that last part where problems come in, and it’s natural. Greek and Hebrew syntax are different than English. All languages are different, that’s one of the things that makes learning a new language difficult. And one of the things we find amusing when someone from another country is trying to speak English.

The translators have been aware of this from the 70s, but their noble and faithful commitment to produce a great translation left them some challenges. They have improved them over the years, to be fair, but, for me, it is still hard to read the NASB. It doesn’t flow. It is stifled. I would honestly call it work to read. It’s fine for a few verses, or a chapter, but for reading devotionally, it requires a type of concentration that I do not possess.

Don’t get me wrong, the translation is awesome in it’s faithfulness (so says the non language scholar). It is great to keep around for study. Every preacher, every teacher should have a copy on his or her bookshelf to check regularly. Especially if you are weak in your Greek and Hebrew knowledge. I truly appreciate that aspect of the NASB. And I highly recommend it for that purpose.

As for devotions? Perhaps if you are a true literal thinker you might really like it. Certainly, if you’re at all concerned about doctrinal biases creeping into the Bible, you will not have to worry much. There is one place in Hebrews 6, where I have some questions, but again, I’m getting wordy, so we’ll save that for another day.

After all that, my summary is, I did not enjoy reading the NASB in my morning quiet time. It was work and if I was not committed to the Word, I would have stopped reading somewhere along the way in Matthew. I was, however, reminded of what a great study tool it is for use in preparing sermons and lessons, and will use it more frequently in that capacity.

If you’re new to the Bible, this has probably confused the fire out of you. And for that I’m sorry. What I try and do is help people find a translation that is easy for them to read and understand so that they learn to love the Bible. If you want to know more, and I hope you do, I will recommend my ebook, ‘(Re)Discovering the Bible‘. Just follow the link, or search in Amazon.

Thanks. Tomorrow, we’ll be back with a look at this past weekend’s Westminster Dog Show. Have a good one.

Some Changes In Content Coming!

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It won’t be much of a surprise to regular readers of this space to hear me announce some coming changes. I really appreciate your patience as I try and find my groove. A few months ago, I used this space for my Paranormal Investigations Podcast. Sadly, that only lasted a few months. It just didn’t catch on. I went back to posting mostly about my Keto Diet experience. I must admit, there have been a lot of readers of that information. Thank you. I’m going to continue it, just not quite as much.

I intend to use this space to write about my experience and life with purebred dogs. I’m in the middle of writing a new book, called, “Life Lessons Form a Lead Dog”. The book is going to be a collection of stories and adventures from my 32 years showing and mushing sled dogs. It’s a lot of fun reliving those stories. But I’ve also spent a lot of years working with rescue dogs, and other purebred canines. And I want to launch a podcast and maybe a YouTube channel, built around my experience, and to use it to promote purebreed Rescue agencies.

There are thousands of purebred dogs, in these Rescue Centers looking for homes. There are lots of people looking for a purebred dog but not knowing about these rescue agencies. I want to connect the seekers with the providers. This way, everybody wins.

I want to talk to people about how to feed, exercise, and train your rescue dog. The posts, and podcasts will not be designed for people who want to compete with their dogs, though I’ll provide the resources to do so. It will be mostly about people who want to have an excellent canine companion.

I will still post quite a bit of stuff regarding my Keto Diet experience. And I will include the occasional money management diatribe.

I’m getting close to retirement. Yikes. And I want to spend a good deal of time working with dogs and the people who love them. I don’t want to start a bunch of different websites and blogs. I will use this one. The search engines already know this site. It makes the most sense.

Please stick around and enjoy all the discussions. If you subscribed for the Keto posts, don’t panic. I will post plenty of food stuff. If you subscribed looking for Paranormal discussions, I’m sorry. I’ll only rarely post about that. Although, I expect a couple in the next month or so. But no more podcasts. I recommend you try Paranormal Round Table. Check them out on YouTube, and on Facebook.

For those who want to follow me on Social Media, I’m on FB, Twitter and Instagram as @samburtonga. I’m fairly active on them all. I post a lot of Keto related stuff on Instagram. On FB I’m all over the map. On Twitter, I have been fairly inactive, apart from replying to posts, but I’m about to kick that up with ‘Life Lessons…’. And I’ve started a new Instagram page, @lifelessonsfromaleaddog. That page will be only related to dogs, dog stories, dog photos, and dog products.

I think that will do it. You are updated. I really appreciate all of you who have stuck with this page through all it’s iterations. Have a great weekend. I’ll talk to you soon.

Did You Miss Me? Or Did You Even Notice I Was Gone

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I’ve been away for about a month. My laptop was down for repairs, and there was no way in the world I was going to write a blog post on my phone. Nope. Not going to happen.

I noticed that interaction from readers stopped within a week. I was not surprised by that. But things started to pick up again about a week ago. I got lot’s of likes, and even a few new followers. Thanks so much you all. Now my laptop is home, safe, sound, and working.

Let me give you an update. While I was away, I tried another experiment. I have been in touch with a lot of people who have said that Keto is just too expensive for them these days. It seems that a combination of a certain virus, and recent inflation, have hit incomes and outgoes, and a lot of people are hurting. I totally get it.

The ketogenic diet is not the only way to lose weight. I think it’s the easiest, but there are lots of ways to lose weight. I would recommend the South Beach Diet, or even the Mediterranean Diet. But if those two are also too expensive for your budget. You could do, what I did.

I started eating 1800 to 1900 calories a day of whatever I could afford. There were a few rules. I ruled out sugar. I honestly believe that processed sugar is the number 1 poison we eat. I also saw recently that between sugar cane based products, and high fructose corn syrup, it’s the number 1 food eaten on earth. Hmm.

I also didn’t eat snack foods, like potato chips. I also didn’t eat margarine. I just can’t do it anymore. But that was pretty much all I deprived myself of. I was trying to lose weight and save money. I opted for sale items. If bread was on sale, I bought it. If frozen pizza was on sale, I put it in my shopping cart. It was on sale for pennies. I bought frozen meat that was on sale. I bought lunch meat that was on sale because it was about to go off. I bought potatoes and onions.

This takes work. You have to know what time of day, and what days your supermarket has specials. You have to count your calories and measure your food. Calories count. So count them accurately.

The results are mixed. First, I was hungrier than on Keto. Cheap food, filled me up, but didn’t stick with me. I saved a ton of money. I mean my grocery bill was cut in half. And, I didn’t end up losing any weight. Oddly, for the first three weeks I lost some inches.

The last week I gained some water weight. I am losing it now. So not a problem. But that result, scared me, and I went back on strict Keto this morning. I’m going to try and figure out what happened.

One of the things I notices was, some processed foods, like frozen pizzas were really cheap. Our local shop had a major sale on their store brand. And I mean a major sale. So I bought 3 of them for less than I would usually pay for one. But I found that they are just too high in calories. There are none left over to be used for other food. So I conclusion is, you can eat them and save money. But not save money, eat them, AND lose weight.

Bread was a problem. On the sale shelf, it was literally pennies. I instantly froze the loaf and buns so they wouldn’t go off. But I realized right away, that I still have a major addiction to white flour, and I can’t do that. The only bread I can eat, without going nuts, are small, taco sized flour tortillas. There are lots of cheap bread options, and you can always make your own. But I have a major addiction, and can’t control how much I eat. That made me really sad.

In conclusion, I was able to count calories and save money. A lot of money. But in the end, I didn’t lose weight. Mostly, due to the pizzas. I think it would be possible, but there’s a learning curve, and I didn’t want to work that hard.

I have learned when my local shop has meat on sale. It’s first thing in the morning. I go at 8 a.m. right when they open. I’m going to make that my regular habit. I’ve gotten some good deals that way.

Also, here in Scotland, sardines are really cheap. And I love sardines. Tuna is pretty expensive. Chicken thighs, and legs are pennies. I mean pennies. Chicken breasts are really expensive. Whole chickens are cheap, too. But thighs and legs top the cheap meat. Cheese is well priced, as is whole milk, and cream.

Ok, you don’t need to hear about how much every food item is here in Scotland. I just want to tell you about my experiment. Now I’m back on Keto, but I’m going to see what cheap meat and veg keto is like. I’m here for you, my friends. 🙂

Hot Peppers For Weight Loss – My Favorite Trick

Hot Peppers for Pain, Infection, and Heart Health

The benefits of hot peppers are an open secret in the dietary and medical fields. Before I go on, I have to confess my bias. I love hot peppers. I grow my own. I make my own sauces, I read about them, and study them.

In the first place, hot peppers are full of Vitamin C. Much more than in an orange. They aren’t as sweet, but they pack the vitamins as well as a punch.

They are being used heavily in Cancer research. It seems that capsaicin is a cancer killer, much like garlic. I have an acquaintance who grows specialist hot peppers for medical research.

They also benefit your gut. My father died of Colon Cancer. As a result, I had to start getting checked earlier than most men do. I was 49 when I got my first scan. I said something to the Doctor about the fact that I eat a lot of hot peppers, so no polyps are going to be able to affix themselves to my colon. He said, “Actually, you are on to something.”

Hot peppers can help with weight loss. I’m not kidding. First, they will make you feel fuller. So you don’t eat as much. Plus, eating hot peppers can affect your metabolism. For women it’s like they can burn an extra 100 calories a day, and for men, an extra 200.

Now to be fair, some of them also hurt….a lot. I grow and eat everything from Jalapenos, all the way up to Carolina Reapers, the hottest pepper in the world. I consume a lot of Ghost (Bhut Jolokia), and Moruga Scorpion peppers. They aren’t quite as hot as reapers, but I think they taste better.

Capsaicin is located in the membrane around the seeds. Capsaicin is where the cancer and fat fighting properties are found. The vitamin C is in the outer casing of the pepper. You will get more vitamin C from Red, Yellow, and Orange peppers than from Green ones. That’s one reason I let even a lot of my Jalapenos ripen.

Hot pepper growers are starting to breed their fruit to have more and more membrane to increase the heat levels. When you cut open a bell, poblano, or even a Jalapeno pepper, you notice they are mostly hollow. That’s great for stuffing, but not what heat lovers are after. Many super hot varieties are now almost full of a thick, juicy membrane. Sometimes, when you cut open a Scorpion or Ghost pepper, you will wince just from seeing the membrane. You can see the heat awaiting your taste buds.

I will have days where I have hot peppers or hot sauce with everything I eat. Not everyday, but some days. Today, for example, I’m feeling the need, so I’m going to go spicy all day. I don’t eat spicy food in every meal, every day, but I pretty much have something spicy every day. I truly love it.

This past weekend I made a very spicy Indian Curry. I mean it will put a hurt on you. If you have someone at work who gets into your lunch and steals it from time to time (I’ve been in several workplaces where that was common), putting some Chicken Phall in the fridge will both entice and cure the thief. Everyone will know who it is within moments.

And best of all, hot peppers are Keto. As far as I’m concerned, they must be the perfect food!

Time For An Experiment!

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Something weird is happening. For the last two weeks, I have been hungry. I mean really hungry. I’m not sure why. Part of it might be that because I’m eating in people’s homes a lot, it means I’m getting a lot of carbs on those days. Usually it’s Wednesdays and Fridays. I try hard and limit my carbs the day of, and at least the day after. On weekends, I might go totally carb free on Saturday and Sunday to help redress the imbalance.

Keep in mind, that this Keto thing is a lifestyle choice, and not a prison sentence, so I don’t feel guilty when people fix me rice or potatoes. I live in northern Scotland, in potato country. I’m going to be served potatoes when I eat out.

But that can’t explain the severity of my hunger. It’s like I’m starving. I can’t figure it out, and I can’t get it to go away. As a result, I’m eating too many calories. I try and use fat to curb my appetite. Veggies don’t do it. A salad will bore me as a snack. So I will use cheese, or pork rinds, or something equally high in fat to ease my appetite. Pork rinds are kind of perfect for easing hunger. But essentially they’re pure fat, and very high in calories. So I’ve been going over on my calories and not losing weight.

So I’m trying an experiment for two weeks. It’s not wild or crazy. But it’s a step back in time. About 9 months ago, my wife’s success with intermittent fasting, intrigued me, so I tried it. I would start eating at noon, and not eat after 8 in the evening. It worked. My body adjusted almost instantly. I didn’t even think about food until lunch time.

Now, I’m making a mess of things by eating too much, so I’m going to eat three meals a day. I will have breakfast between 9 and 10 a.m. I will have lunch between noon and 1 p.m. And supper between 5 and 6 in the evening. I will have a snack, if I need one, just before 8. I will still eat about 20 grams of carbohydrates daily, along with around 1800 calories. Those are the two items I track. I don’t worry about protein. I know I will get enough of that. I love eggs and meat. And the calories also keep my fat intake in check.

Let me be clear. Fat is not an enemy. It is my friend. My very close bosom buddy. People are amazed by the fact that I use full fat milk in my tea, and cream in my coffee. I actually avoid anything that is advertised as low fat. That means low flavor. And many food items replace the fat with sugar. I’m not falling for that trick. Fat is indeed my friend, but it is extremely high in calories, and has to be watched

Oh, yesterday, as I was walking home from Church, I had a rather uncomfortable experience. First, my undershorts, slipped down to my knees. No one would notice that but me, of course, but it made walking a bit awkward. Then my trousers started to slip. It seems my belt needs a new notch and since my trousers are all a bit large, the belt wouldn’t hold them high anymore. So I had to quick step it home before I got arrested. 🙂

Now, to be fair, those were my largest pair of under pants. They have also been my favorites for many years. The elastic is still good. But, they have now graduated to rag duty. The belt is new. I only wear it on Sundays, or to funerals, I have another one that I’ve punched many holes in that I use for daily wear. It appears that it’s time to invest in a new one. Oh well, belts are cheaper than trousers. I want to wait a little while before I start buying new trousers.

I mention this in the same article about hunger, because while the scales are saying I haven’t lost any weight the last two weeks, I’m still losing inches. Around here, that’s a win. Some of that has to do with the fact that I have started some body weight exercises. Nothing dramatic, it’s just that I’ve reached an age where exercise isn’t something to consider, it’s become a requirement to avoid aches and pains. I will never be buff, I already did that one, about 30 years ago, I don’t want to go back to the gym. I may buy a set of resistance bands when I order a new belt. We’ll see.

How are you all doing with your weight loss and fitness? I’m wondering because, around here, a lot of people talk about our weight loss, and ask how we’ve done it. When I tell them, they say, oh, I could never do that. It’s too hard.

I can honestly say that eating a keto diet has never been hard since the second week. My body went through some serious shock when I cut out carbs completely. But once I got over the sugar addiction, it’s been pretty easy. And, tasty.

So let me know how you’re doing. And feel free to ask any questions. This site is FREE. I will not try and sell you anything.

CBD – It’s legal, it’s healthful, and it’s Keto

CBD, marijuana and hemp: What is the difference among these cannabis  products, and which are legal? | Kiowa County Press - Eads, Colorado,  Newspaper

I am a serious law abiding citizen. I am an even more serious Bible believing Christian. For most of my adult life, I’ve believed the law was all wrong in it’s campaign against Cannabis. And for that matter, Peyote, Psychedelic Mushrooms, and even Opium. It is, and has long been my belief that God built everything we need into creation. We just need to look for it. And not abuse it if we find it. I believe that if it’s natural, and naturally made, that it has benefits. For example, aspirin was discovered because some explorers found natives eating the bark of trees. The locals had found the healing benefits of the tree long before Bayer ever existed. Tobacco was for calming people. In the early 1800s it was prescribed for cancer patients to help them relax and sleep when the disease had seriously progressed. Need I tell you the benefits of Opium?

With magic mushrooms, doctors have found that by using micro doses it dramatically helps many mental illnesses, including PTSD. I could go on and on, but I think you get my point.

God put healing benefits into His creation. All we need to do is find them and their benefits. Even the fermentation process of Alcohol, has great benefits. Wine can be extremely beneficial. As can, oddly, beer.

The trouble with all these substances is human abuse. The human race has found that opium is not only an amazing pain reliever, but a great way to forget emotional pain, and life’s difficulties. And even more so than Alcohol.

So governments came in and made it illegal to possess or consume products that God put here on earth for our benefit. We’ve gone about the whole drug war the totally wrong way. But I digress badly.

With Cannabis, we have found that not only does heating it, produce THC that allows humans to relax beyond what’s natural, but we’ve also discovered that it’s stems and leaves have natural oils that relieve pain, help us sleep, provide beneficial vitamins, and also do things like assist children with severe conditions, like epilepsy, lead much more normal lives. It helps adults with Parkinson’s disease not tremor, or reduce their tremors dramatically. Until recently, to take this medicine, that God provided for us, meant risking your freedom, or the freedom of a loved one.

Fortunately, we’re beginning, however slowly, to learn how to navigate this minefield of our own making. I have personally experienced the benefits of CBD oil.

As I’ve mentioned before, I have a bad case of sciatica. The only way I could ever expect to get over it, is via surgery. And even that’s risky. I’ve taken many things over the years. The only time in the last 6 years, I have been pain free from it, was when I was on strong opiates after my heart surgery three years ago.

The doctor then gave me a very mild opiate, dihydrocodeine. I am allowed up to 4 a day, but only take one at night, to ease the pain enough to sleep. But recently, I tried some CBD oil from our local pharmacy. It helps as much as the prescription medicine. Plus, I have major insomnia during the full moon cycle. The CBD helps me relax enough to sleep. And does so without impeding any mental or coordination abilities. I don’t understand it. I’m not a scientist. But I KNOW it works.

Here’s the rub. Here in the United Kingdom, CBD cannot be sold if it comes from marijuana. What a shame. However, if it is derived from hemp, it’s legal. And hemp CBD is just as good as cannabis CBD. So you can buy it off of Amazon. Which would be great for people who don’t want to ask their pharmacist for it. But not all of the hemp based CBD is real. Much of it, is hemp seed oil. Hemp seed oil is an awesome source of vitamin E, and a great way to get additional omega 3 fatty acids. But it has no CBD. You have to read all the ingredients. If it says, something like, hemp extract, then it’s good. That means it comes from the stalks and leaves. If it says hemp seed oil, it’s just expensive vitamin E.

I have read through every single label on Amazon.co.uk. And I can tell you, that there are a ton of companies out to take advantage of the millions of uninformed members of the public who are looking for medicine. I find that, despicable.

Yes, there are sites where you can buy CBD and know for sure that it’s genuine. You’re also going to pay a lot more for it. That’s the price of integrity. I’m a cheapskate. I will read every label I have to in order to get the best deal I can find.

I found this out, by buying the wrong stuff once. After I bought the bottle from my local pharmacist, I wondered if I could save a few pounds from Amazon. And I got a decent bottle for a great price. When it came I was very excited. I had not yet done any of the research I’ve just told you about.

I noticed that it was oilier than the other bottle. It was supposed to be slightly stronger, so I thought that was it. Then I noticed I didn’t get any sleep benefits or pain relief. I was heart broken. Then I read the label. I saw it said hemp seed oil. So I went to my search engine and searched Hemp Seed Oil vs CBD. Suddenly a whole new world was opened up to me. I learned the benefits, the drawbacks, and the scams that are out there. And I spent the rest of the evening lost down the rabbit hole of search engines looking for answers to questions.

Since that time, I have found a nice product on Amazon that it genuine CBD, and priced somewhat more effectively than from my local pharmacy.

It is my belief that we’ve only scratched the surface of the possible benefits of CBD. Right now, we are caught in a maze of drug laws, scientific discovery, human need, and shameless con artists. Many of the best discoveries are made in private labs, and are not yet available commercially. Sadly, the big pharmaceutical companies are trying to get control of the industry so they can profit unmercifully from something that grows naturally. This is a story to watch closely.

I found it worth the risk, and effort, to let you know what’s going on out there. The short version, which I’ve saved for last, because that’s how I roll, is, CBD is available. It can be beneficial. It’s got a good as it will be in a few years. It will not get you high. No matter how much you want it to. You can buy it off of Amazon, or in many local stores. Read the labels very closely. There are lots of scammers out there.

The end. 🙂

Potatoes and Keto– A Second Helping!

Potatoes Free Stock Photo - Public Domain Pictures

A few weeks ago, I posted on a topic I thought would be really controversial. Potatoes. I said that potatoes are not our enemy. I expected to get blasted by all the Keto purists out there, but I did not. Instead, I got a bunch of likes. The article is still getting hits and it seems to resonate with people.

I’m going to follow up on that installment with just a few more comments. Some of them will be kind of repeats, but I want to be really clear.

First of all, I haven’t bought potatoes in over a month. When I do, it’s usually New Potatoes. They are lower in starch that their big brothers and sisters. When I prepare them, I cut them and soak them in water for at least an hour, to get some of the starch out of them. There really isn’t much, but I want to be smart about it.

I will boil them. Sometimes I will mash them. Not too often, because I’m just too lazy. Other times, I will roast them. I love roasted potatoes. I can eat them like French Fries, or like a baked potato. Either way is yummy.

I never fry them. I don’t eat fries. They are too much of a trigger food for me. As a cheapskate, it’s sometimes hard, because fries are so cheap to buy or make, and they are filling, but they will KILL my eating plan. And I know it.

I’m going out to dinner at a friend’s house tomorrow (Tuesday) night. I already know that Mashed potatoes will be on the menu. That just means the Wednesday and Thursday I will have broccoli or lettuce with my meals. It’s really simple to adjust.

The main reason I wanted to write this post, was to emphasize that when I say potatoes are not your enemy, I mean POTATOES. I’m talking about the real things. Whole, fresh, potatoes. I don’t mean potato chips (Crisps, they’re called here in Scotland) from the local gas station. Those are highly processed and often have a whole chemistry set of additional stuff sprinkled on them to make them taste like something they are not. Don’t get me wrong, potato chips are delicious, but they are not Keto friendly.

The other thing I need to warn you about, and I do so with tears in my eyes, because I love them so much, are…instant potatoes. Oh my word I love those things. They are cheap, delicious, and filling. In the old days, I would fix a bag of them and eat the whole thing myself as my supper. It was about a dollar, it filled me up, and I was happy. The problem is, again, they are so highly processed, they are essentially no longer potatoes. Any nutrients they have are loaded back into them.

The problem is, they are so cheap, and many of us are on a strict budget. I assure you, that if you use real potatoes, you’ll save money, and enjoy them more. Yes, it’s more work, but it’s worth the effort.

Remember, be careful. If your food choice comes in a bag, a box, or a can, read the ingredients closely.

Winning Again!

winning success achievement sport public domain image - FreeIMG

Weight 224

The last couple of weeks, I’ve written about problems and obstacles we face, in weight loss, and in life. Things were getting very discouraging, but I stuck with it. I faced my obstacles, and I shared it all with you all, both as a confession, and as a lesson. We all face these challenges.

I got on the scales today, and saw a drop. I haven’t lost weight in three weeks. In fact, I had gone up a bit. But today, I’m back where I need to be. And I’m psyched.

You all deserve a lot of the credit. You kept reading, liking the posts, and some started following the blog because of the articles. You gave me so much support and confidence. Thank you so much.

The changes I made in tracking, and adjusting my calorie intake, really helped. As I have said before, calories count. It’s basic science.

Over the last three weeks, I have found some fat based snacks to help me quell my hunger. I don’t have to eat many of them. And I’ve begun regular exercise. My workout is pitiful right now, because it’s been so many years since I’ve done this, but I’m doing it. And I’ve started to see some improvement in my performance.

I’m doing only body weight exercises. And I’m doing those for a few reasons. 1. Gyms are all closed here. 2. Gyms cost money. 3. Weight sets cost money. 4. I don’t want to spend money. 5. Pumping iron will do more to make me gain weight as muscle, I think, than body weight exercises. I’m trying to tone my body, rather than bulk it up.

Three weeks is not a long time to be stuck on a plateau. I know some of you have been there much longer. Just stay with what you know has worked. Don’t give in. Tweak what you do. Tweak your calories. Adjust your fat vs protein calories. Walk, Run, exercise. Do something to surprise your metabolism. You will get through this.

I know I may have reached the stage where I won’t lose weight every single week. I’m ok with that. I have a goal. But I’m not on a time limit. We’ve got this!