Some Observations Re: My Blood Pressure

About two weeks ago, I decided to adjust my diet, again. This time to help me get off of blood pressure medicine. The simple truth is, I’m kind of anti pharmaceutical. I think there are drugs that are good for you, don’t get me wrong. I’m a fan of moderate use of antibiotics, aspirin, and certain pain killers after surgery. You get the point. But I am pretty much a conspiracy theorist when it comes to pharmaceutical companies. I think many meds are addictive, and many are for short term use, yet we are prescribed them for long periods, or for life.

I could rant about this for days, but won’t. For now! I started thinking about my blood pressure medications. I take 3. They are called; Atorvastatin, Felodopine, and a blood thinner, Rivaroxaban. The Felodopine, makes me retain fluid, so I’m also on a diuretic, Furosimide.

I’ve been on this stuff for four years this month. I was put on it after my heart attack and some small strokes. I had a triple bypass three years ago. I’m still on all the medications. I haven’t seen a doctor in nearly two years, due to Covid. They just put my prescriptions on auto renew. I phone the doctor’s office and they phone the pharmacy.

Well, I got to thinking, ‘wait a minute. I’ve lost over 50 lbs. Why am I still on such a high dose of a Statin (twice what it was in the beginning), and such a strong blood thinner?’ Originally, I was on an aspirin tablet once a day. So I started to read. And the more I read, the more suspicious I became.

First, I learned how much I could do with diet. I was a good way there with the dietary changes I’d already made. I just needed to tweak a couple things.

I’ve been on the Keto diet for a couple of years. It’s been great. But I read that some of the fats I’ve been eating, like butter and cream, for the sake of my blood pressure, I should modify. Sadly, I’ve cut back. I use more olive oil in my cooking, and milk in my coffee. I haven’t cut them out, just cut way back.

I also learned I should probably cut back on my caffeine. That one was hard to think about. I start every day with two cups of coffee, then switch to tea, both hot and iced. I think decaf tastes weak. I’ve tried it before. But I have switched to one cup of regular, and one of decaf in the mornings, then I drink mostly decaf cups of tea the rest of the day. So far, my iced tea, is still caffeinated, but I’m down to about 1.5 litres a day. Plus I drink that much plain water. The decaf is weak tasting. But after two weeks, I’m getting used to it.

I have also added fruit to my diet. I eat berries, an apple, a banana, or an orange daily. Always organic. It was hard to adjust to, because Keto doesn’t allow fruit, other than a few berries. My system was squemish about it. Additionally, I eat a couple of small sweet potatoes a week.

So far, those are the only changes I’ve made in my eating plan. So I’m still low carb, but not fully keto. I have added a couple of different medicinal mushrooms (lion’s mane, and shiitake) to my daily routine. The lion’s mane I take in capsules, and the shiitake right now I’m using to cook with. I may eventually go to capsules for those as well. But since I like mushrooms in omelettes and most things with hamburger, I’m just using those rather than the much cheaper button shrooms from the supermarket. I

I added Quercetin supplements, and Zinc to my daily routine. The zinc I have to watch, because Alzheimers runs in my family. I will only take it for a short time. The Quercetin has a double purpose. First, it helps with blood pressure. I get a lot from all the veggies I eat, but the supplement should help. Secondly, it works as a prophylactic against Covid. Seriously, and it’s regularly used by doctors in treatment for light and moderate cases. It’s natural, so why not? I take some other prophylactic stuff, but won’t discuss it here. It’s not illegal, it’s just not politically correct. I don’t want to start a big agument.

I first reduced my meds to every other day. Now I’m on my fourth day in a row. On my off days, I do take an aspirin tablet. I take my blood pressure two to three times a day. The most consistent time, is when I first get up in the morning between 6:30 and 7:00. Ironically, my blood pressure has slightly dropped since I’ve been doing this. It is in the upper range of normal. There is no difference between days I take the medicine and when I don’t. Now, since I’ve started doing this, my heart rate has gone up slightly. Still well within the normal range. I haven’t studied that at all, other than what the range should be.

The only other thing I’ve noticed, is my sleep pattern has been interrupted. I still get up at the same time, but I’m not sleepy when I go to bed. This is despite the serious reduction in caffeine. And I drink none after 5 pm. I don’t know how to attribute this change, except I have taken a half hour nap about 1pm the last three days. But I’m staying awake an extra 1.5 hrs at night.

This post is not offering any medical advice. No way. I’m a doctor, but not a medical one. LOL. I’m just sharing some of the things I’m doing. Please consult your medical professional before making any decisions about what medications you take or decide to stop taking.

P.S. I have started a You Tube Channel, SamBurtonPresents. From time to time it may have diet related stuff, but not too much. It will mostly be related to the Paranormal, and to Dog breeds. And some vlogging. I’m telling you this because I will announce some episodes here on the blog from time to time, and I don’t want anyone to panic.

MSG, I Curse Thee!

A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned some water retention issues I was having. They are back this week, big time. I’m troubled. I have had to take water pills three of the last four days. I got on the scales and didn’t like what they said. I had gained back the pounds I lost. And this, despite the fact that I’ve been very strict on my Keto. I have eaten a ton of veggies the last two weeks. Fresh ones.

As I looked closer at my notes, I see that on Friday, and on Monday, I ate hot dogs. I cooked them on Friday, and ate the leftovers on Monday. Turns out, they are loaded with MSG. Bingo. Nailed it. But what’s going on with my body that I’ve become so sensitive to MSG?

I’m not a scientist. I’m not a nutritionist. I’m not going to attempt to answer those things from a medical perspective. Just doing some research, and using my noggin, I’ve come up with some sad conclusions.

First, MSG is in so many pre packaged things. It’s a flavor enhancer. It makes bland things taste better. I remember as a kid, my mom would buy ‘Accent’ from the supermarket to sprinkle in recipes. It was a little miracle in a shaker. It was MSG. I believe it’s still sold in the USA.

MSG is a staple in Asian Restaurants, at least in the States. I remember there being lots of MSG jokes once upon a time. It’s in, or at least was, many fast food items.

I’m not against it’s existence, or it’s use. But I have developed an intolerance to it over the years. And now that the years have started to add up, the intolerance has increased. I know that when B and I went out to restaurants, I was often swollen and bloated the next day. Heck, sometimes by the time we got in the car to go home.

Now I realize that I have to avoid the stuff. Keep in mind, that my blood pressure medicine already makes me retain fluid, so I’m at a disadvantage from the get go. So it might mean that I have to avoid pretty much all pre packaged food. I don’t know. I never gave a thought to the hot dogs. I did notice they tasted a bit salty.

A couple of weeks ago, I discovered my pork rinds were full of MSG, and I haven’t had any of those in the last two weeks.

My veggies have all been fresh or frozen, mostly fresh, except for some Brussels Sprouts, and they were frozen. It has to be from the pre packaged meats. I will need to check the packages more closely on my salami, sardines, and smoked salmon.

I don’t use bouillon cubes, because of MSG. And I hardly add any salt to my cooking. I might uses a tea spoon for my whole supper, and that would surprise me. I have had lots of diet cola lately. That could be the source of some of the extra sodium.

Some people have said that as they’ve gotten older, they can’t eat as much spicy food. Fortunately, that has not happened to me. But saltiness has become a challenge to me. And apparently, the sodium load in MSG has become almost an allergy. So, I have to watch closely, and read labels thoroughly.

This is one of the reasons I track what I eat. I want to know what goes into my body, and how my body responds to it. My body is changing.

For example, I’ve always liked hot peppers. No, I love them. When I was young, they always affected my bowels; both in terms of volume, and burn. Not any more. When people say, ‘oh, that will hurt tomorrow’, I just smile.

Oh, I just thought of something. I don’t sweat in this country. In America, I used to sweat up a storm. Partly from work on the farm, and partly because summers are just plain hot. Here, I hardly ever sweat. That would get rid of some extra saline. I would need a sauna, and the only one in town is closed due to Covid. Hmm… something to think on.

Ok, I’m starting to ramble. Stay tuned.

Starting Over….Again!

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Those of you who are regular readers, know most of this, but there are quite a few newbies, so a little review of my weight loss journey will do us all some good.

I’ve been morbidly obese since I was 19 years old, except for 7 years, 1990 – 97. I’m 64 years old. I peaked out at 305 lbs a few years back. Yikes. Even the full moon hid behind me when it got scared of werewolves. I was not just big, I was….enormous. At 5’9” tall, you get the picture. I was round. And round IS a shape.

Off and on, all my life, I have lost weight and regained it. And usually a bit more to boot. I lost down to 220, about 20 years ago. Then I ballooned up to 305. I got down to 250, and went up to 25. Rinse and repeat that 275 to 250 several times. Then in 2019 I started the Ketogenic diet. I lost a lot of weight, though I didn’t weigh myself. I know from clothes sizes. I gained it back. I started Keto again in early 2020, and got down to 215. I was cruising. Along the way, I started this blog to talk about it.

But about 5 months ago, and I haven’t talked much about it, something happened that put me into a major depression. I mean big time. For two or three weeks, I just ate and drank myself into oblivion. Eventually, I stabilized a bit, and got my eating mostly back under control. Alcohol, though, was another story. I had several drinks every night of the week except Saturday, to help me sleep. Such was my depression. I didn’t go out and drink. I never drove with alcohol in my system. I did frequently get tipsy. Anything to get some sleep.

The main problem with that was, calories. Beer has calories AND a lot of carbs. The low carb beer tastes awful. The only reason I think anyone would drink it is for the alcohol. Good beer, is loaded with flavor. Flavor, alcohol, carbohydrates, and calories. Wine has fewer carbs, but still a good amount. And whiskey, like tequila, gin, and vodka, is quite low in carbs, but very high in calories.

I was having several drinks every night. And sometimes, of course, I got hungry and ate. Most of the time, it was keto friendly food, but not always. I’m just being honest here.

About a month ago, I came to the conclusion that I don’t like the taste of alcohol every night. It was getting yucky. And it was taking more and more to get to sleep. That was getting expensive. So I quit drinking. I wasn’t addicted, I was depressed. There’s a big difference. I was using it to hide from my pain. But I didn’t like my hiding place.

So, it’s been a month since I quit drinking to get to sleep. But I noticed early last week that my belt felt a bit snug. It wasn’t bad, but it was not comfortable, either. Yesterday, it was particularly distracting. And yesterday, I was also in a major funk. I mean a major one. I was depressed all day. I cried a lot. I haven’t done that in a while. I locked my doors about 6 p.m. And just watched Amazon films the rest of the evening. I went to sleep about 1 a.m.

This morning I weighed myself for the first time in several weeks. I was stunned. The scales said, 235. So I weighed myself again. 235. I moved the scales and got on again. Even moving the scales, I got the same results. Well, crap!

So I’ve spent the morning, going over my notes, and figuring out what went wrong. First, those weeks of binge eating probably accounted for some of it. And the months of ever increasing alcohol probably accounted for the rest.

Here’s the deal, alcohol not only has a lot of calories, it slows down your metabolism so that you don’t burn as much. That won’t matter whether it’s carbs or fat. You just won’t burn. And, as I’ve often said, regardless of whether you’re on keto, or some other diet, calories count. The just do. Perhaps not at first, but eventually, they matter. It’s basic science.

I have one other problem. Two days a week I eat in the home of friends. They are good friends. I love going to their homes. But neither of them understand my dietary restrictions. Plus, they fill my plate. I don’t even get to choose what I will eat. And both of them, insist on giving me dessert. They are being hospitable. No one is trying to mess with my weight loss. These are people who actually care about me. I’ve got to figure out what I’m going to do. Maybe just not clean my plate. My mom would be extremely disappointed in me for that, but I might have to.

I’m going to go hard core keto for two weeks, then shift to South Beach phase 2 diet, which is still very keto friendly. I’m bored with keto. Bored to tears. I like vegetables, but I don’t like fancy vegetable dishes. I like steamed and boiled veg. I like them plain or with butter. I have tried recipes from books and the flavor is not worth the extra work. Sigh.

For the next month, I will weigh myself twice a week. Then I will go back to once a week. The scales are there, I might as well use them.

Here’s he deal. I’ve been knocked down. Again. It happens. It’s time to get up again, and start over. I could quit. I could give up and say screw it. I’ve done that before. But not now. Not this time. I’m just going to get up, dust myself off, and fight on. I want to win. Somewhere along the way, this time, my attitude has changed. For the first time, in decades, I have no intention of quitting. Watch This Space!

Water Retention War!

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I’m always amazed at how many rather deeply personal matters I describe to you. It’s like I have no filter or restrictions when it comes to my body and the challenges related to weight loss. So be it. I tell you this stuff, because it’s real. And I want you to know the truth. On Instagram, for example, there are thousands of awesome, motivational, before and after pics of people’s weight loss journeys. I love them, too. They keep me going. Yet they rarely talk about the struggles they faced.

Have you noticed how many more of them are photos of women, than of men? Yes, I know there are men who have Instagram pages. Most of them are guys who have become body builders. That’s cool. As odd as this might sound, I was once one of those dudes. It was long before Instagram. Frankly, it was before the internet. So it was many hairs, and pounds ago.

When we look at Instagram closely, we can see that many of the women are also using the gym to shape their bodies as they lose weight. It’s obvious in the muscle tone. There is nothing wrong with that. But the fact is, some of us are getting a bit long in the tooth for highly strenuous workout routines. And there just isn’t much demand for photos of 60 something individuals on the world wide web. Discrimination! πŸ™‚

In the world of the Great Apes, the big bellied Silver back Gorilla is much more desirable to females than the young, buff members of the society. How I wish….

I digress. Sometimes, I see a rabbit, and just want to chase it for a while. Thanks for your patience.

I told you last week, that I’m stuck. I’m not just on a plateau, my tires are spinning and I’m throwing mud, but getting no where. This week I’m going to address one of the factors contributing to this crisis. I’m retaining fluid. Badly.

Three years ago, this month, I had open heart surgery; a triple bypass. It would have been a quadruple, but one of my valves is in the wrong place. It is connected to another valve rather than to the heart itself. Now that’s weird, and it looks odd on the scans and diagrams I’ve seen, but when I had my heart attack and strokes, that weird deformation kept me alive. It was placed just right, so that it didn’t clog up with plaque, so when the rest of my heart flow slowed down, that valve stayed open.

Anyway, I am on blood pressure medicine. I take three kinds. One statin, one actual blood pressure med, and a blood thinner. As a side note, the thing I hate most about the blood thinner is when I cut myself shaving or get a scratch on my arm, or, a nose bleed. They bleed forever. They just don’t want to stop.

I have changed the blood pressure medication a couple of times, because it causes me to retain fluid. My legs were swelling up and felt like they were going to explode. My doctor, switched medications and gave me a diuretic to help relieve the retention. It worked great. In fact, I usually had to take the diuretic only once, sometimes twice, each week.

But in the last month, I’ve had to take one on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday. I only skip Friday and Sunday, because my schedule is so full that I don’t have time to stop and go to the toilet every ten minutes. But the next day, I’m desperate for a pill.

It scared me at first. I was afraid something was wrong with my kidneys. But according to tests, they are working just fine. Relief. Unfortunately, my blood pressure is still so high I can’t wean myself off the medication. I need to lose more weight. Grr….

By tracking my food intake, I have found a possible factor, salt. Let me explain. I don’t use much salt it my cooking. It’s already in my butter and cheese. I will sprinkle a little on my hamburger as I cook in, or on my chicken thighs, pork chops, etc. But not much, and not often. I use a lot of hot sauce, and mustard, and those are also full of salt. I don’t like the taste of over salted food.

But over the last few months, since my wife has been in the USA working, I’ve been cooking for one. So I’ve often bought frozen meat products. Things like Pork Tenderloin, frozen cooked hamburgers, chicken kiev, things like that. Those are loaded with salt. Some of them even have MSG.

The biggest culprit of all, has been my consumption of pork rinds. Pork rinds are highly recommended on the Keto Diet. They are full of fat, but have no carbohydrates. I love the things. I will crush them a bit and use them in salads to add some crunch. I will eat them with homemade dip. But it turns out, that here in the U.K. They are chocked full of salt. I’ve eaten them at least 5 days a week for a couple of months.

So, what am I to do? First, I have to cut back on my Pork Rinds. I found a variety that doesn’t have as much salt. Unfortunately, those are not always available. I’ll have to stock up on them next time they are available. But I’ll also have to go back to cooking ‘raw’ meat. No more, frozen pre made stuff. It has other carbs, I know, but I factor those into my daily allowance. I just hadn’t factored in the salt. Hot dogs will have to be reduced, too.

The main disadvantage of this, is, cost. Those frozen meats, and hot dogs, are so cheap. And they taste great. Calories and carbs have not been affected. But this water retention is becoming troublesome. So I have to do what I have to do.

I will track this for a couple weeks, and get back to you on the results. I’d love to hear from you. Do you have any problems with water retention? If so, what has caused yours? I know some other people here who have had it caused from their blood pressure medication. The good news is, the water pill they give me is called Fouresemide. It can be taken daily with no side effects or addiction. I have asked often about it. I don’t want to risk my kidney function.

One other thing I need to do, is sweat. I need to exercise in the heat, and maybe visit the sauna. I’d love to hear your tips. Talk to you soon.

STUCK!!

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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 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. πŸ™‚

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. πŸ™‚

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. πŸ™‚

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.