Goal Setting for 2018

I’ve never been one for New Year’s resolutions.  I’ve always seen them as an excuse for people to get really excited for a few weeks (or even a couple of months) and then lose focus.  After listening to The Survival Podcast Episode-2121- Time to Start Planning for the 2018 Spring Garden, I got to thinking though.  It’s a great time of year to set some goals, and my 41st birthday seems as good a time as any to record them for posterity.

Microgreens

The other day when I was going through my small pantry, I had a moment of inspiration.  I forget what I was looking for in there, but as I looked at the shelves, I thought, “If I could only find another place for all this stuff, this pantry would make an excellent spot to grow more microgreens than I could shake a stick at!”

While I can’t actually grow microgreens in that pantry until our housemate moves out and my initial estimation of how many I could actually grow in that space might be overblown, it still left me wondering.  Why is it that I haven’t been growing microgreens? I love them, they’re easy, they’re inexpensive to grow, and they could be a potential revenue source.

To be honest, I got lazy.  I allowed things to get in the way that shouldn’t have, and before I knew it, I had no microgreens.  I have all the stuff here to start some, and I even have a handy shelf over my sink now.  So, after I finish all the Christmas baking and gift making, there will be microgreens at the homestead again! I have decided, therefore it will be!

Cottage Food Business

For those who’ve known me for a while, how long have I been talking about this? I think it’s been two years now at least, and I haven’t sold a single item.  I have, however, been more proactive over these past months testing recipes that could work for me.  Before I sell anything though, I need to establish the business entity and get the right insurance.  Fortunately, those are fairly low barriers to entry, but I’ve been suffering from “paralysis by analysis” for far too long now.

Homestead LIvestock

As many of my readers know, we are currently without chickens.  With a myriad of predators around, we were feeding the local wildlife (and stray dogs) rather than getting eggs for ourselves.  I miss homestead eggs, especially since I go through a lot of them, but I don’t miss the predation of my chickens.

We’ve talked about various thoughts on predation where the chickens are concerned, and I’m sure we’ll figure out a way to address that issue.  Fred and I have talked about something else though.  I told him that I wanted to hire a friend to build a hoop coop for us so we can grow some turkeys for next year.  Turkeys are something we’ve always wanted to do, and we knew they’d never be able to live in the chicken coop, so we knew we were going to have some sort of containment to raise them on pasture.  Next year is the year! I really want to celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas with turkeys that were raised on our property!

Health Goals

Lastly, I’ll be pressing forward with my health goals.  A ketogenic diet is working well for me.  I’m losing weight and seeing positive changes every day.  For instance, today I needed to leave the house for an appointment.  Rather than wearing a sweatshirt and pants that were too big for me, I put on pants that are a size smaller than I was wearing and I tucked in my shirt! It felt good to walk out of the house not feeling frumpy, and that was a great realization to have on my birthday.  I’ll have no trouble keeping that momentum going.

In closing, I know that it’s a busy time for everyone right now.  I also think though that it’s completely reasonable to take a bit of a time-out and figure out where you want to go next year.  A ship that’s just sailing around randomly covers a lot of ground but doesn’t necessarily get where it needs to go.  Put some forethought into things.  Set goals and write them down.  You might be surprised at how far you’ve come next year when it’s time to do it all over again.

 

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Bucking Birthday Tradition with ButcherBox

For more years than I can remember now, there has been a tradition in our home.  When someone has a birthday, they pick a restaurant for their special meal.  I have always enjoyed that tradition, and I think the rest of the family has too.  This year though, I asked my husband if we could do something different.

Last week, I got my first order from ButcherBox.  For those of you who’ve never heard of this company, it’s a meat subscription service.  On a monthly basis, you pick the grass-fed beef, pasture-raised chicken, or pastured or humanely raised heritage pork that you’d like shipped to you.  They pack it and ship it, and it arrives at your door frozen solid in individual portions.

ButcherBox ribeye stock photoAnyway, when my box arrived, I was thrilled to see the quality of the ribeyes that received for FREE.  (I got a pretty amazing deal when I signed up during Cyber Week.) Ribeyes are my very favorite cut of beef, and these twelve ounce babies were BEAUTIFUL! I put them in the fridge to thaw along with some fillet mignon (also free) for Fred and some top sirloin for the kids and the housemate.

Last week was a crazy week, and with most of us sick, we never got around to grilling the steaks.  Fixing them today was out of the question because I started brining some non-GMO chicken from Sam’s Club; today was the last day I felt safe cooking them.  So what did this mean for my delicious steaks waiting in my fridge? It meant that a serious shake-up of tradition was in order!

This is going to seem random for a second, but stick with me here.  Back at Thanksgiving, we shared a meal with my side of the family at a track-side casino in Anderson.  The food was unbelievable, and even though my kids were more interested in desserts, I was loving the prime rib and seafood offerings.  It was the perfect meal for someone following a ketogenic diet, and I loved every bite of it.

Later, I said to Fred and the kids, “I know it’ll be really expensive, but maybe I want to eat at the casino buffet for my birthday meal.” Nobody objected, of course, and we kind of left it at that.

With everyone being sick though and some unexpected medical expenses that couldn’t have come at a worse time of year, I was pondering what to do about my birthday supper.  We definitely weren’t going to the casino, and I didn’t really think I could justify any of my other favorite places.  And to be honest, I’m just not feeling up to it anyway, so I hatched a plan.

My birthday is tomorrow, a work day, so the plan was going to require Fred’s approval.  I asked him if he’d mind grilling those steaks after work as my birthday meal since honestly, I’ll likely enjoy my ribeye much more than I’d enjoy spending a lot of money to have someone cook for me.  Sweet man that he is, he said, “It’s your birthday.  Whatever you want to do.” I really do love that man!

So the kids might not be too happy, but this year, I’m not going out to celebrate my birthday.  Fred’s going to grill a ribeye for me, and I think I’m going to make a cheesecake.  I’ve been wanting cheesecake for so long.  Tomorrow will be the perfect day to have some, I think.

After tomorrow’s feast, I’ll be sure to do a separate blog post detailing my experience with the ButcherBox beef.  I’m certain I’ll love it though.  Seems like a perfect way to celebrate my birthday to me!

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Contour Next One Blood Glucose Meter Frustrations

As most of my readers know, I was diagnosed as a Type 2 diabetic back in 2013.  I control my blood sugar with a ketogenic diet, berberine, and Tradjenta.  A critical part of my blood sugar control is self testing though.  So when they stopped making strips for the meter I was using, I got a little antsy.  As a blind person, I HATE shopping for new meters!

Sometime in late August or early September, I happened upon a meter at Wal-Mart.  It was the Contour Next One meter by Ascentia, and it seemed to be the perfect meter for me.  It caught Fred’s eye because he thought I might be able to see the LED display.  (Turns out that I can’t.) It also had the ability to connect to my smart phone via bluetooth so that I could make it accessible to me via Google Talkback.

I brought the meter home, I downloaded the app, and I tried to get started.  It turned out that the app wasn’t entirely accessible to me; there were buttons that Talkback didn’t even recognize.  If I hadn’t had my husband to help me, I wouldn’t have been able to set up the app by myself.

The app’s shortcomings weren’t a huge issue then though.  After Fred got everything set up, I loved the fact that I could take a reading with the meter and the numbers would pop up on my phone screen.  The important parts of the app were accessible to me, so I started collecting data.

Sometime in October though, my meter wouldn’t work with my phone anymore.  I got a little discouraged at first.  In order to use the meter, I’d have to take a reading and then find someone who could read it to me so I could log it.  It was incredibly frustrating.  I still loved how easy the meter was to use, but the sudden loss of accessibility didn’t thrill me.

Finally, this past week, I got sick of it.  I asked my husband if there was something that he could do to help me out.  He puttered around with it and couldn’t get it to work either, so he gave me the support number for the meter.

Before I say anything else, I have to say that the woman who tried to help me in support was fantastic.  She was patient with the fact that I needed help to troubleshoot the meter (since I can’t see), and she seemed to have access to clear, concise, and accurate troubleshooting steps.

At the end of the call though, I had no resolution.  We couldn’t even get my meter to pair with the app, and the gal in tech support said it was a known problem with Android devices running Oreo.  OK, well I can understand that, but I’m fairly sure I started haivng issues before the upgrade.  I set that aside for the moment though.

The woman in tech support advised me to enter readings manually even though she understood that it was a pain, and I agreed that would work since I still valued the app’s data tracking abilities.  Apparently though, entering readings manually on an Android phone running Oreo makes the app crash more often than not.  It’s bad enough that I have to enter the readings manually, but having to do it several times because the app crashes isn’t cool.

So today, thinking about my frustrations, I got an idea.  What if there were another app that was written better that would interface with my meter? Then I wouldn’t have to worry about Ascentia’s issues.

I was so excited when I found an app called Glooko that claims to be compatible with my meter.  I downloaded it, and I was happy to see that it was accessible from the start.  I turned everything over to Fred though since I figured he could configure everything for me faster than I could.

He got to the part where he was trying to sync my meter with app, and guess what! The meter won’t sync with Glooko either.  I’m so stinking frustrated right now!

Sweet man that he is, Fred tried to help by going onto Amazon and ordering a cable that’ll let me connect my meter to my phone via USB.  Hopefully, that’ll solve my issues.  In the meantime though, I’m feeling pretty defeated because the whole setup USED to work and I loved how it worked after getting through the initial challenges.  It’s like having a dishwasher that breaks.  You can still get your dishes clean, but it’s going to require a lot more work on your part.

I’ll definitely keep folks posted as the situation changes.  Right now, I’m just waiting to see what happens once I get my hands on a data cable.

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Cast Iron in the Homestead Kitchen

Folks don’t usually think of cast iron in December, especially here in Indiana, but with all the things that are going on at the homestead, we definitely have cast iron on the brain here.

About a month ago, Fred and I were shopping at Aldi.  We had originally stopped in for a few “essentials”, but by the time we left the store, we’d spent entirely too much money.  We got groceries, of course, but we also got flannel sheet sets for every bed in the house.  (Did I mention it’s winter in Indiana?) But my favorite find of all was the Crofton cast iron.

boxed cast iron cookware from AldiIt was the grill pan that caught Fred’s eye.  He knew I’d been wanting one for ages, but since I have a glass range top, my cookware has to be flat on the bottom.  I can’t have any ridges or rims.  And do you folks know how hard it is for a blind person to buy things online based only on the descriptions?

Anyway, I was basically acting like a small child right there in the middle of the store.  I took one of the pans out of the box and squealed with delight as I noticed that the bottom was flat and the cast iron didn’t have a surface that felt sandy or bumpy.  I tossed the pan into the cart before I even knew how much it was.  Then Fred proceeded to tell me that it was only $13 and they had other options too.  Boy, was I in trouble!

Next, I checked out a 12″ skillet, and if I hadn’t felt the weight of the pan in my hands, I almost would have suspected that it was some kind of Teflon coated pan.  The surface was so smooth, almost like it had been milled.  Since I had been struggling with some Lodge cast iron that wasn’t non-stick yet, I snagged that skillet too.  It was also $13.

I also ended up snagging a covered braiser.  I think I only paid about $25 for that piece.

I know a lot of folks might wonder why I’m such a cast iron fanatic, especially since I have a glass cooktop in my kitchen.  I guess I’ll start by dispelling a few myths.

  1. I thought you couldn’t use cast iron on a glass or ceramic stove top.  You can absolutely use cast iron a glass or ceramic cooktop with a few caveats.  Remember that cast iron is heavy.  Don’t drop it on your cooktop or you’ll break it.  Don’t drag it across the cooktop either or you run the risk of scratching it.  This isn’t a functional issue, but it’ll likely annoy you.  And lastly, make sure the bottom of your pan is FLAT.  If it isn’t, you don’t get the right heat transfer to the pan and you run the risk of creating a vacuum in that air gap that can break your stove top.  (I saw it happen once when someone set a hot lid on top of a glass cooktop.  It made a lid-shaped hole in the cooktop.)
  2. Cast iron is hard to care for.  In my experience, cast iron is a lot easier to care for than the other cookware in my kitchen.  In fact, because of that, I almost NEVER use anything but cast iron.  Frequent use maintains the seasoning so it doesn’t get rusty, and simple cleaning with hot water and a plastic scrubber or cast iron cleaner will keep your cookware in great shape!
  3. Cast iron is unsanitary because you don’t clean it with soap.  The issue of soap is a debated one.  Personally, I don’t use soap on my cast iron unless it’s an enamel coated piece or I’m trying to strip it to reseason it.  Outside of those situations, I’ve never had a use for soap with my cast iron, and the logic I use is this.  Cast iron does a great job at distributing heat.  Heat sanitizes.  If one uses cooking temperatures well above the boiling point of water, microbes won’t survive that, thus I don’t worry about getting sick.

A trend that I’ve really come to appreciate in cast iron cookware is the process of enamel coating.  I have a large enamel coated “dutch oven” (not the kind that you’d use on a campfire but the kind that’s basically a big covered pot), and it does an amazing job of cooking acidic soups or stews that I might not want to cook in cast iron that hasn’t been coated.

My new skillet and grill pan from Aldi are enamel coated on the handle and the outside of the cookware, and this makes care a lot easier in my view.  It means that I only have to worry about seasoning and rust on the cook surface rather than the entire pan.

I have enough cast iron at this point that I may need to reinforce one of my cupboard shelves.  The pans that I use most frequently though just sit on my stove top.  I’m certain that my fixation with cast iron will mean that I’ll have cookware to pass on to my children when they move into their own homes, and they’ll likely pass it on to their kids too.  And my cast iron isn’t even fancy or antique.  It’s just used frequently and treated right.

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Going Keto: Update for 12/04/17

It has been far too long since my last keto update, but I have nothing but great things to report.  Since I haven’t shared my progress for more than two months, I’m sure you can imagine that I have a lot of things to share.  I’ll try to keep it interesting.

The Metrics

I decided to enlist my daughter’s help with more progress pictures.  These pictures are only the second set that I’ve asked her to take since beginning this journey on September 8, 2017, because my weight loss is pretty slow.  Later, I think these photos will be a lot more impressive, but for now, they are what they are.

front view of Sarah standing in front of doorprofile image of Sarah in front of door

These photos were taken on December 2, 2017.  I weighed 264.6 pounds for a total loss of 23 pounds since September 8.

My daughter also took some basic measurements.  At two weeks and one day keto, my measurements were:

  • Hips: 60″
  • Waist: 48″
  • Bust: 51″

And at twelve weeks and one day, my measurements were:

  • Hips: 55.5″
  • Waist: 47.5″
  • Bust: 49″

I do have to say though that I question the initial waist measurement because I need to drop down a belt size and losing half an inch off my waist would not have accounted for that.

Labs

I had an appointment with my family doctor on October 11, and before the visit, we ran some labs.  At the time the labs were run, I had been following a strict ketogenic eating plan for one month and one day.  Here are some numbers of note.

  • Hgb A1c: 5.8%
  • Random Glucose: 74 mg/dL
  • Total Cholesterol: 229 mg/dL
  • Triglycerides: 98 mg/dL
  • HDL: 63 mg/dL
  • LDL: 146
  • Vit D: 22.6 ng/mL
  • TSH: 3.590 mcIU/mL
  • T4: 9.5 mcg/dL
  • T3 Free: 2.35 pg/mL

There were a few items of note that we discussed at my October appointment.  First, I was happy to see that after only one month on a keotgenic eating plan, my blood sugar and A1c looked great.  I had assumed that the A1c had probably been higher and as I continued on my journey, that number would get better.  (I’ll get to that in a minute.)

My vitamin D level was still entirely too low despite supplementation, so we decided to continue the supplementation and retest before the end of the year.

My thyroid levels weren’t in the optimal range, and since I was having hypothyroid symptoms despite taking 30mg NP Thyroid each morning, we decided to increase my thyroid meds by 15mg and retest.

My kidney function (which I didn’t share above) was stable, but that was a little disappointing since I’m not going to recover full kidney function after taking Victoza in 2013, 2014, and 2015.

In preparation for my November visit with the doc, I had more labs drawn.

  • Hgb A1c: 5.9%
  • Random Glucose: 87 mg/dL
  • T3 Free: 2.11 pg/mL
  • T4: 9.1 mcg/dL
  • TSH: 3.740 mcIU/mL
  • TPO Antibodies: 17.7 IU/mL
  • Insulin: 7.0 munit/L
  • C-Peptide: 2.4

I was definitely frustrated with the second set of lab values.  Despite doing everything “right” with my eating, my A1c went up.  As a diabetic, I know I should be thrilled with an A1c of 5.9%, but the fact of the matter is, that’s still an average blood sugar of 133 mg/dL.

My healthcare provider and I discussed it, and we decided to try Tradjenta.  The hope is that we can get a better handle on the glucose that’s being made in my liver since it’s not coming from my food.  Paying for that medication is going to be a challenge though.  My insurance doesn’t cover it.

And then there’s my thyroid.  We increased my NP Thyroid in October yet my symptoms persisted and my lab values got worse.  We went ahead and increased the NP Thyroid to 60mg per day and we added 25mcg Cytomel.  I still think it’s a bit too early to tell if that’s making a difference or not.

Everything Else

Overall, my outlook is positive.  I’m happy with the progress I’m making, and aside from hypothyroid issues, I’m happy with how I feel.  I haven’t had trouble with acid reflux in weeks, the pain in my feet has significantly lessened compared to twelve weeks ago, and I’m very happy with my eating choices.  It’s really quite easy for me now, and I’m determined to do NOTHING to wreck my progress.  I refuse to mess with something that isn’t broken.

Eating on plan was so easy for me over Thanksgiving.  Even if we hadn’t eaten prime rib on Thanksgiving Day, I still would have had no troubles with food selections because there are so many things that are keto and satisfying to me.

I imagine that Christmas and New Year’s will be more of the same for me.  I’ve discovered some recipes that I absolutely love if I’m looking for something sweet, and I’m lucky that most of the people in my life support my positive changes.

In the end, I just remind myself to stay focused on the end goal.  And honestly, with keto as a tool, it’s about as easy as it could be.

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Recipe Review: Low Carb Pumpkin Bread

It’s that time of year where it feels like you can’t walk three feet without seeing pumpkin spice something, right? Well, I happen to like pumpkin and the warm spices of cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon that happen to go along with it, so I thought I’d try a low carb pumpkin bread recipe.  It didn’t take much searching before I found something that looked tasty but didn’t look too complicated, so I decided to try some one Sunday afternoon with the help of my daughter.

sliced pumpkin bread on a cooling rackI made “Healthified” Pumpkin Bread from Maria Mind Body Health, and my recipe choice was definitely a winner! I was a little worried that the bread would taste too nutty and gritty since the recipe is based on almond flour, but the texture was smooth and moist like pumpkin bread that was made with wheat flour.

As is the case with almost every recipe I try, I made a few modifications to suit my tastes and ingredients.  First, I didn’t make the glaze.  I just wanted a basic pumpkin bread that I could enjoy with butter.  I’ve never had a glazed pumpkin bread, so it didn’t really sound appealing to me.

The second change I made was a substitution.  I added four teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice instead of the sum of the spices that were in the recipe.  I was afraid that four teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice would be way too much, but it was actually perfect.  In fact, maybe that’s why the nutty taste of the almond flour didn’t shine through.  It worked out well.

Lastly, I used Truvia and liquid sucralose instead of the sweeteners that were recommended in the recipe.  I like a blend of sweeteners to round off the sweet taste.  To us, doing that tastes more like sugar than any one sweetener alone, and none of us react adversely to sucralose, stevia, or erythritol.

As I had hoped, this recipe was delicious spread with warm butter, and everyone in the family loved it.  I intend to make it again but I’ll try making it in some silicone baking cups that I purchased recently from Amazon (review to follow).  Having muffins rather than slices of bread might be a little more convenient for my family.  I’ll add comments to my post with the results of that experiment.

If you’re following a gluten-free or low carb eating plan and you’re looking for pumpkin bread, I can’t recommend this recipe highly enough!

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Recipe Review: Easy Spinach & Mushroom Omelet Muffins

Attempting to effect self rescue from my food rut, I’m trying new recipes.  I found “Easy Spinach & Mushroom Omelet Muffins” on All Day I Dream About Food, and I thought the recipe looked delicious.  When I showed it to my daughter, she said we HAD to try it, so we made the muffins today.

The recipe was really easy to put together.  The instructions were clear and easy to follow, and the process made sense.

The recipe made 16 muffins for me, but perhaps that’s because I added extra cheese and two tablespoons of dried chives.  I used one silicone muffin pan and one aluminum muffin pan with this recipe.  I greased both pans with coconut oil and despite the eggs and the cheese, the muffins released easily from both pans.

I should also note that I baked this recipe in an electric convection oven, so I reduced the temperature by 25 degrees Fahrenheit and they were done after baking for just 20 minutes.

close-up of muffins on a cooling rackAs soon as the muffins were cool enough to eat, my daughter and I tried one.  We both thought they’d make an excellent grab and go breakfast or snack.  I’ll bet splitting them and using them like English muffins would work well too for breakfast sandwiches.

It didn’t surprise me that my daughter and I loved them.  What did surprise me though was that my boys loved them too.  They both ate two, and they both asked if they could take them to school for a snack.  It looks like I’ll have to make a double batch next time which means I’ll need more muffin pans! Oh well.  I guess there are worse problems to have, aren’t there?

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Fall Food Rut

Fall has finally arrived here at the Wittekind homestead, and I have to admit that I’m feeling the effects of a fall food rut.  I don’t feel like cooking.  I don’t feel like eating.  In fact, I find myself wishing sometimes that food could be absent from my life altogether.  This has been a strange experience for me because normally, I love to cook and bake.  It doesn’t matter what eating plan I’m following; I can make all kinds of tasty stuff.  This rut has been hitting me hard though, so providing food for myself and my family has been a struggle.

“So what are you doing about it, Sarah?”, you might be asking.  Well, my strategy has been twofold.  I’ve been looking for inspiration and I’ve been working on planning.  Both strategies are important to my success, I think, so here’s what I’ve come up with so far.

On the inspiration front, I’ve been combing through some pretty great websites.  If I had only had these great resources when I first started eating low-carb back in 1997, things might have been a bit different.  In today’s world of Pinterest, ebooks, blogging, vlogging and the like, there are so many resources at your fingertips now.  It’s almost overwhelming, especially when you’d rather not be thinking about food at all.

I’ve also snagged a couple of cookbooks.  I don’t normally turn to cookbooks, but my most recent purchase was especially worth it, I think.

The planning front has been a bit more challenging for me.  I have no problem making grocery lists and picking foods that my family will eat.  The problem creeps in when it comes time to execute the plan.  I prefer freshly prepared food as opposed to leftovers, but that means I have to actually prepare said food.  It’s purely a mental thing at this point, and I realize that.  I think I’m basically at the point where I have to fake it until I make it.

Fortunately, I am a problem solver.  If I can identify a problem, I’m happy to do everything I can to change my circumstances rather than sitting around and acting helpless.  I thought that briefly sharing my struggle here on my blog might be helpful to other folks who might be facing some of the same challenges.

In my case, I think it boils down to the change I’ve experienced in my relationship with food over the past eight weeks.  Following a ketogenic eating plan means that I’ve spent a lot of time not being hungry.  This means that food is nothing more than fuel, and so food and I have become more like frenemies.  The all or nothing mentality that I must have with non-keto foods can’t be the same mentality that I have with food altogether, and changing that mindset is just going to take time.  In the end, I just have to keep reminding myself that what I do matters, and there’s nowhere to go but forward!

Resources:

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Going Keto: Update for 9/29/17

It’s been three weeks since recommitting to a ketogenic eating plan, and things are going GREAT! The scale is moving, I’m noticing a difference in how I feel, and I’m loving the little victories that wouldn’t mean much to most people but they’re HUGE for me.  Of course, there have been some challenges too, but I feel like those challenges toughen my resolve to whip this beast once and for all!

I’m going to start this update with some metrics.  Last Saturday, I had my daughter take some measurements for me.  She also took some pictures.  It wasn’t a pleasant experience, but having done this before, I know that I’ll want something more meaningful than a number on the scale to show my progress.

front view of Sarahside view of Sarah

These aren’t actually “before” pictures, but they were taken when I was within ten pounds of my highest weight, so I’m hoping as I proceed along my journey, the changes will be noticeable.

Also, as I said earlier, my daughter got out the measuring tape for me.  My hips measured 60″, my waist measured 48″, and my bust measured 51″.  While I definitely had an emotional reaction to those numbers, I also realized they’re just as important as any other data points I’m collecting.  It’s hard to quantify progress if you don’t know where you’re starting, right?

I’ve been tracking my weight from the beginning, of course, and it’s tracking downward nicely.  I’ve lost 8.2 pounds in three weeks, and I’m thrilled.

weight loss graph trending down from left to right

I’ve also experienced some other small victories since my last update.  Fridays have been pizza night at the Wittekind homestead for a while now.  Last week, I wasn’t even hungry for supper.  I was pre-occupied by one of Jimmy Moore’s live streams at The Ketonian Korner.  All the sudden, I had an epiphany.  I could smell the pizza cooking in the oven, and it smelled really good, but it didn’t trigger me at all.  I didn’t have obsessive thoughts about pizza and how I needed it.  In fact, I didn’t even have thoughts about needing food of any kind.  I was shocked by how empowered I actually felt, and that was a huge realization for me.  I was definitely a happy girl.

Also of note was my discovery of CRON-O-Meter.  I’ve played around with a lot of tracking tools over the years, and this one looks the best by far.  I realize that in my last update, I was talking about another tracking program, but CRON-O-Meter is a God-send.  Not only can I track more nutrients than ever, but I can track a multitude of biometrics like blood pressure, pulse, blood sugar, body temperature, and of course weight.  Perhaps the most exciting feature though is the ease with which I can add recipes.  Rather than using an empty day in Fitday to create the recipe and then copy all the information to a custom food, CRON-O-Meter does all the work for me.  It’s pretty darned spiffy!

I’m still dealing with some pretty tough fatigue, but I still have sick kids in my house, so I’m not ready to attribute that to something I’m doing wrong with my eating.  I’m also still experiencing mild reflux, but it’s markedly better than it was when I wasn’t paying attention to what I was eating.

Good things are happening.  I’m maintaining a positive attitude of gratitude, and I’m continuing to plow ahead.  Every day brings something new and I’m continuing to feel motivated and empowered.  What we do matters, folks!

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Going Keto: Update for 9/19/17

I’m really happy with my progress since recommitting to a low carb, high fat, moderate protein eating plan back on September 8, 2017.  I’m already feeling so much better even though I’m fighting some sort of bug that the kids brought home.  Some annoying symptoms have gotten a lot better, my blood sugar is stable, and oh yeah, I’ve dropped a little more weight.  I’m a happy girl!

Since my last update, I’ve dropped another 2.4 pounds for a total of 5.4 pounds lost altogether.  As I’ve said before, I’m more worried about getting healthy and less worried about a number on the scale, but since it’s something that I can quantify for folks, I’ll be noting weight changes in these updates.

What has really surprised me though is how quickly I’ve lost my cravings for sugar.  Avoiding things that don’t support my health goals was tough at first as it always is, but now, I feel pretty ambivalent about food.  It’s nice to not have to eat because I’m starving or shaky or cranky, and while I’ve experienced this all before with a low carb eating plan, it snuck up on me this time around.

I still have emotional issues with food for sure.  This past weekend, I was having a moody moment and in an online chat, one of my friends randomly proclaimed, “I want cake!” Before that, I hadn’t been thinking about anything sweet.  In fact, I hadn’t been thinking about food at all.  But when she mentioned it, my brain switched on with some obsessive thoughts.  I had to deconstruct the whole experience logically and remind myself that I really didn’t want cake, but it totally shocked me because the thoughts came out of nowhere with the simple suggestion of cake when I was feeling vulnerable.  I viewed the whole thing as a success in the end, but it was disturbing for sure even though I was in no danger whatsoever of eating cake.

And of course, there’s great news on the acid reflux front.  When I’m eating trash food, I suffer terribly with reflux.  I get sore throats, a hoarse voice, burning in my throat and the worst chest pain ever.  Since going keto though, the only thing that has bothered my reflux has been some big name coffee that I won’t mention here.  Imagine how surprised I was though when I got my Holler Roast Coffee and drank some with no pain.  I was so happy! I know I still have to heal my esophagus, but drinking coffee without burning and chest pain sure was nice!

I have noticed something though that I’ll have to watch carefully.  I seem to be having some allergy symptoms that are associated with food.  It’s too soon to know for sure, especially because I think I’m fighting a virus of some sort, but I had some periods of facial flushing last week after eating.  What was more alarming though was a rash that appeared on the right side of my face.  It started on my cheek with flushing and itching that spread around my eye, over the top of my ear, and on my scalp above my ear.  I took some Zyrtec (which I hadn’t been taking regularly ’til then), and the rash stopped itching within an hour or so.  Unfortunately, all I’d had that morning was some coffee with cream, and I haven’t done another test since then to see if it happens again.  I’m definitely keeping an eye on symptoms and foods though.

Other than that, I don’t think I have anything exciting to report.  I hope to get my daughter to take some pictures soon so I can post them along with my updates.  I hate having my picture taken with a passion, but having a visual record is nice when you’ve made significant progress.

Is there anything else you’d like to see in my blog updates? Comment on this post and I’ll see what I can do for you.  Until then, remember that what you do matters! Go and do good things!

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