The other side of the scale

Weight fat loss tends to get its share of heated conversations on the net. People stand firm with their n=1s because their own experience is what worked for them, and well, sometimes everyone is right.

I’ve typed before about how (believe it or not) there is a such thing as too much fat on a LCHF lifestyle, but I don’t recall if we’ve discussed the other end of the LCHF spectrum too little fat.

If you are old enough to even contemplate changing your way of eating from the SAD (standard American diet), going against the grain {giggles}, thinking about cutting the sweet poison (to a large portion of us creatures known as humans), and opting for a more un-processed approach, you made it through the low fat craze that’s been going on since most of us were in diapers.

If you never fell for the whole “low fat, heart healthy approved” marketing ploys, good for you! You will breeze through LCHF 101 with flare! You’ve been eating butter and bacon your entire life, you, my friend have no need of BPC or fat bombs. Matter of fact if you’re one of those not losing, it’s not for lack of fat, but I digress, we’re discussing the other side today and I will get back to them presently.

What? You eat butter?

What? You eat butter?

The vast majority of us have been taught time and again that it is very very important to keep the fat off our plate. Fat was always at the top of the pyramid, use it sparingly, and when you do use it, only use these here vegetable oils and shortening. Even better is to have your toast dry, with a bit of jelly. (when did they start putting HFCS in jelly?) We cut our fat that was once on our plate, but we’ve increased the fat on our bodies. It would seem that if cutting the fat helped us to get fatter, then maybe, just maybe eating more fat would help us to not produce so much of our own.

Sometimes, the answer is “up the fat”. I know, it’s crazy. What works for Fred or Wilma doesn’t always work for Ben and Jerry, so one must remember that yes, sometimes everyone is right, but just not always at the same time.

Examples are easier, so I’ll just go with it.

We'll use Miss Piggy as the example. (no she's not still dressed up, it's an old pic)

We’ll use Miss Piggy as the example. (no she’s not still dressed up, it’s an old pic)

Miss Piggy started her LCHF way of eating some time ago. At first, she dropped a lot of weight. For the past month or so, she’s not really losing, she’s not really gaining either, she’s hit one of those dreaded things called a weight loss plateau.

Lucky for Miss Piggy, she has the most common problem in her weight loss journey that is easy to fix. See, for years Miss Piggy lived off of heart healthy whole grains for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. She traded her mayo for mustard years ago and always cooks in a non stick pan to avoid fats at all cost. She’s meat free on Mondays because she’s going to save the planet and to her, red meat equals heart attacks.

The LCHF change has been a change most difficult, she’s tired of skinless salmon and salad, but what else can she eat*? She’s doing everything right, chia seed pudding or Faux oatmeal for breakfast, salad with boneless, skinless chicken or skinless salmon for lunch and dinner, sugar free jello as snacks. She’s hardly eating 800 calories a day, so it’s not like she can eat less, or can she?

“Give that girl a BPC STAT!” is giggle evoking, but not the answer, well, it could be the answer, but remember, Miss Piggy is having a hard time with fat as it is. A coconut/butter oil slick in her cup-o-joe might just have her running from LCHF like the freaking plague!

While we can all (most likely, maybe?) agree, Miss Piggy is definitely not eating enough fat or calories (can you even eat a calorie?) food for that matter. She has become one of those low-carbers that are not only skerd to death of carbs, but she is skerd of fat too.

Chocolate fat bombs might do the trick for upping her fat, but she was a big fan of candies way back when, so they might also be that slippery slope that derails her entire journey. (Do you see now how everyone’s situation is different, that we can all be right, we can all be wrong, and well, arguing about it is silly, agreeing to disagree works better, truce, maybe?)

*What else can I eat? she asked. How about just eating food? What if Miss Piggy stopped counting her calories and cut her stress by proxy? Instead of looking at any vegetable other than salad as carbs and just ate broccoli, sauteed in real butter (or any other of the many non-starchy vegetables) because it’s food. If nothing can convince Miss Piggy that bacon is ok as long as you stay away from the biscuits, maybe she can work her way up to chicken thighs at least, to up her fat.

It all boils down to this: There is a such thing as not enough fat, just like there is a such thing as too much fat when eating LCHF. One person’s not enough is another person’s too much. We can all be right and wrong at the same time, but it’s up to the person asking the questions to evaluate the answers and figure out what works best for themselves.

If you, or someone you love is suffering from not losing weight while trying to keep the carbs and the fat low at the same time, here are a few examples that may or may not help you figure out that 1. Fat is not bad, except rancid vegetable oils  and 2. You don’t have to add obscene amounts of coconut oil to your coffee or your cocoa powder.

  • cook whole chickens, eat some of that skin. (hell no, it’s not the chicken skin that makes KFC un-healthy, it’s the crap attached to the skin and having macaroni and cheese as a vegetable option…)
  • Toss out your teflon. Invest in an iron skillet or stainless steel. Why? Because stuff sticks without a little butter or bacon lube. You will be forced to saute your veggies in some yummy butter or bacon grease.
  • Bypass the skinless salmon, opt for wild caught, skin on. Melt some butter in that new iron skillet and sear that skin like a boss. There is seriously nothing better than a nice fat piece of salmon that has been cooked til the skin is crispy.
  • Eat a ribeye. Seriously. Sirloin is ok for Stroganoff over shirataki noodles, but if you’re going to have a steak, you might as well enjoy it, and how could you not enjoy the marbled juicy goodness that is ribeye?
  • Plant your chia seeds. (I’m still puzzled as to why folks started eating them in the first place) Ok, that one is up to you. If you like them, keep them, just not for breakfast. Eggs were made for breakfast, end of story.

 

 

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Cat crazy days of winter…

Meet Bella, our cat.

Meet Bella, our cat.

I’m not a cat person. Bella came into our lives as a kitten, rescued by our son and his friend one cold winter day about seven years ago.

She was born of a stray, under the house of one of their friends, destined to freeze to a horrible chunk of cat ice if we did not take her in. “I’m not taking care of her, she’s your responsibility”

Famous last words.

Bella seemed normal, until she didn’t. She had a seizure, then another. Shortly after I partook of a LCHF way of eating, I started cooking offal and meat, often in bone broth for her. Switching her sometimes to sardines, tuna, mackerel, occasional oysters, and the strangest thing happened. She hasn’t had a seizure in we don’t remember how long.

I cook for Bella because going back to {insert any wet or dry cat food here, we tried them all before putting her on real food} would most likely result in her having seizures again. Anyways, she has kinda grown on us, so I don’t mind spending a small portion of my time cooking cat food.

I’m still not a cat person.

Lately though, I’ve been pondering which came first, the crazy or the cat in crazy cat lady.

About a month ago a stripy cat was sitting on our porch, then sleeping in our basement, with our dog (who is most def not a cat person). Since it’s cold this time a year, I tried finding her family (to no avail) on facebook.

Stripy cat. She's nice, polite, I can't believe her family would leave her or just drop her off.

Stripy cat. She’s nice, polite, I can’t believe her family would leave her or just drop her off.

Anyways, I don’t feed stripy cat. With the exception of left-overs, Biscuit is more than happy to share his dog food bowl, provided he is not around it when she gets hungry. She has managed full roam of the underneath of the house, beyond the basement. I’ve not missed any of the camel crickets or field mice that normally find a way indoors during these cold months.

I’m still not a cat person.

Shortly after stripy cat showed up on the porch, there was a big black cat sitting on the hot tub. For a while I thought that maybe the crazy came first and I was seeing things, no one ever saw the black cat, well until Biscuit saw him one day and told him to get the heck out of Dodge.

Over the past few years, occasionally, we would glimpse a white cat, like Bella, only larger, walking along the creek way back. More recently, this winter, he’s been coming to our house, never on the porch, and spooks easy. I really think he is one of Bella’s siblings, except he has battle scars.

I’m crossing my fingers that all these cats don’t turn me into a cat person, especially a crazy one, when Bob shows up.

This is Bob. Because he looks like a bobcat, even has a stubby tail.

This is Bob. Because he looks like a bobcat, even has a stubby tail.

It is hard for me to believe that Bob is an outdoor cat, much less a stray cat. He is bold, he may be a she, I’ve not been close enough, but he is not scared to come on the porch.

Bob hiding behind Ms. Piggy's apron.

Bob hiding behind Ms. Piggy’s apron.

He is scared to go in the back yard, Biscuit does not like him either. I don’t think we need to worry about Bob getting in the basement, but seriously if he doesn’t miss his family, I bet he misses the indoors and food.

Yesterday afternoon, as I sat on the porch reading, another cat ventured into the yard. This one is really fat, really furry, white with big brown splotches. Too elusive for the camera, think dairy cow morphed into a cat with shaggy hair.

The cats are driving me crazy. I am not a cat person, so you can maybe see my dilemma. If crazy came first, I may very well be on my way to being a cat person…

On a serious note, it’s cold outside. If you have pets, keep them warm, keep them fed, and keep up with them. Of all the strays hanging around lately, only the white battle scarred cat looks like he is really truly stray.

 

Trouble in Paradise…

Maybe you’ve noticed I’ve been MIA for a while. Maybe I could tell you that I’ve been busy (which I have), or maybe I could tell you that I’ve just been less than impressed with the whole LCHF bullshit going on lately. (which I have)

Low carb high fat, in and of itself is not the problem. You can surf the webz and see lots and lots of folks (myself included) who have changed not only their waistlines, but also their overall health. Truth be told, low carb high fat is a godsend for some of us currently (and formerly) morbidly obese individuals when “low fat/no fat hearthealthywholegrains” did not work, backfired even.

The problem my dear readers is not the WOE (way of eating), the problem is all the mixed information, all the keyboard warriors typing louder than others so that their information looks as if it is the only true information out there, and if they type long enough and loud enough, maybe, just maybe, it spreads, like wild fire.

Seriously though, what works for one does not work for all.

It’s so easy to become discouraged after taking the leap of faith that is LCHF and only losing a certain amount of poundage. Without diving in too deep (the sled awaits, we’re snowed in, and I’m running late for general goofiness) how about instead of lamenting over “how little” one has lost, why not think about “Gosh darned it, I lost some freaking weight”.

Seriously, it’s better than gaining.

The problem with wanting to lose more than we are actually losing is that we get sidetracked by all the n=1’s that are out there. What worked for Shirley and Tom might not work for Mary and Fred. “You’re not eating enough fat” says so and so, and while they may be well intention-ed, maybe so and so didn’t have much body fat to begin with and well, upping the fat helped them, so it should help us all, right? Wrong.

(Sorry, I’ve got to type the following out loud) THERE IS A SUCH THING AS TOO MUCH FAT ON A LCHF WAY OF EATING. I don’t give a rat’s ass if you don’t believe me, but seriously, use a little common sense prior to dismissing that sentence. If you are morbidly obese as I was, and you are upping the fat and still not losing, maybe, just maybe, you are over-eating to the point where your body does not have to tap into your fat stores.

I urge you to think before reacting to everything you read on the internet. There are so many people out these days who “KNOWITALL”, and well, really they know how they did it and it worked for them, but they forget that Shirley and Tom and Mary and Fred are unique individuals with different paths to take.

I guess what I am trying to type (as the snow calls my name) is to read every bit of information you can find. If you want the weight gone yesterday, you should have started earlier. It does not happen over night, hell, it took me 3 years to lose 82 pounds, but then again, I’m a type 2 diabetic over 40.

Be real people. Do your homework. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably isn’t. Low carb works, it’s not magic, it takes time. Instead of focusing on a finish line that isn’t there (a never-ending journey) enjoy the ride. Lord knows I’m going to be enjoying the ride down the hill in the snow instead of the backbiting in the “LCHF groups”.

Instant gratification

Here it is, January 9, 2015 (yeah, I backspaced the 4, the 5 is so new and all), five days into getting my head on straight and I’ll be damned if my size eights still do not fit! {pouty sniffles}

Granted I have lost three whole pounds and lord knows I’ll surely find them, but it hasn’t really been all bad. I actually misplaced a couple of pounds Monday morning, which reminds me of finding them Tuesday morning. I don’t even want to talk about Wednesday and Thursday because I didn’t even check in with that old hag the scale.

It’s got to be that I’m not doing it right, I picked the wrong diet, which isn’t really a diet anyways, I call it meleo (combo of primal, paleo, without carb loading and crossfit (giggles) what works for my diabetes and me). It didn’t even make the cut, but it’s great uncle “Paleo” did and came in dead last. {Don’t wag that finger at me, I know, I know, I shoulda done #13, Slimfast (howling laughter at this point, seriously, bottle of chems or whole foods, yep, chems it shoulda been)}

Maybe I should have re-started Atkins, you know, hit the new and exciting Atkins 40, for when you just want to lose a little, but if you checked out the linky-do, Atkins is on the last page too, #32 to Paleo’s #34.

To be completely honest, I’m not even doing anything aside from what I was doing prior to hunting season and really, really, losing three pounds in five days of doing absolutely nothing is pretty spectacular, maybe downright scandalous. What exactly is that absolutely nothing? No sugar, no starches, simple. Leafy greens, meat, cheese, eggs, fish, even slightly higher carb veggies like Brussels sprouts.

Since I proved to myself what I already knew (you just can’t out exercise a bad diet), I’m not even counting my general goofiness like toting firewood as exercise, so without my general goofiness, I’m pretty much sloth-like. (general goofiness takes up most of my time, so I’m not sloth-like often)

I’m not doing anything silly like putting an entire stick of butter into my 32oz coffee, or just eating sticks of butter talking about my deep ketosis. Ketosis-smosis and all that, you won’t see any snap chats or instagrams of my pissedonketostix for a few reasons, #1 I don’t pee on sticks, that’s what potties are made for. #2 I don’t have snapchat which leads to #3 nor do I have instagram.

I am doing what I found to be most helpful when I lost the weight in the first place, right prior to thinking I was ten foot tall and bullet proof…

Dr. Jack Kruse’s Leptin Rx combined with Mark Sisson’s When Hunger Ensues Naturally. Anyways, both of these were big helps back in 2011 and 2012 when I was discovering my path to controlling my diabetes and losing weight. As far as combining them goes, on the days I wake up hungry, I eat within 30 minutes of rising, high protein breakfast, (I never stopped following the sleep well part), wait 4-5 hours (or longer) between meals. The couple days I’ve awoken without a thought of food, I’m IFing and eating when hunger ensues naturally.

Anyways, I was just thinking that with all the technology, things should be going quicker. My eights pert near falling off me by day five, but no, I’m human just like everyone else. Sometimes we just have to think “yeah, I want it now, but it’s going to take time.” Maybe I’m trying to tell any of you sweet folks out there in Readerville that no matter which diet you chose, what eating plan you adapt, that no big change after 5 days is no big deal. Weight loss is not a transporter from fat to flat in an instant, it’s a series of fits and starts, ups and downs that ultimately lead to getting into shape. The key though is not a “diet”, a “pill”, or a “superfood”, the key is to find what works for each of us as individuals and sticking to it.

Random acts of children…

The girls have known for a while that they had a little brother on the way. The date and time had been chosen, so the girls were going to stay with us while their little brother entered this world. The date and time meant that they would miss a little school/daycare, but Aunt May still had school and Pepaw still had to go to work. Two rounds of breakfast is enough, so I copped out. I gave in to their “Reeses Puffs dreams” and bought some freaking cereal (yeah, bad memaw you think, but hey, even us memaws need a cop out now and then.)

Since the girls were missing the most important days of the school year, you know the holiday parties, in addition to the evils of cereal, I also bought sugar, brown sugar, and flour (oh the horrors). After my purchases, I pulled out and dusted off the ole cooky press and set out planning for spritz as a baking lesson that was just party-like enough to keep them from whining about missing the festivities at school.

Sweet baby Cam and I picked the girls up on Sunday afternoon. Ever the conversationalist, Diamond sat shotgun. We talked about where were Aunt May and Pepaw, and what we were going to be doing. I told her about cooky making and she was especially excited, “Chocolate chip cookies?” she asked, and I said “no, shapes, like Christmas cookies”. “I really like chocolate chip”, so I told her we’d make both.

Eventually we got to talking about school and how she likes school but the kids laugh at her. Imagine this beautiful little girl being picked on, I asked her why would the kids laugh at her, they must be jealous. “Oh no Memaw, they aren’t jealous, they laugh at me because I have a memaw”. She told me. “They have grandmas” she added. Since Diamond not only has a memaw, but she also has a “grandma”, a “grandmother”, a “mimi”, and so on with extended family, I told her that now I knew for sure they were jealous because I know she’s got a “Grandma” and me, they were jealous because they didn’t have a memaw.

Turns out nobody has memaws and “nobodys not supposed” to have memaws, kids should only have grandmas. (Dem dare kids are gonna light my fuse, I tell ya) Anyways, I told her about how their Aunt Lori is also their friend’s memaw and we went on to talk about how Aunt May played her saxophone in the Christmas parade.

The first thing they noticed upon arrival was that “Oh! Memaw got Reeses Puffs!” “Thank you Memaw can we have cereal for dinner?” (um, no!)

Since Lovely and Faith had slept through the over the river and through the woods conversation, I asked Lovely if the kids laugh about her having a Memaw. She said “No, I keep it a secret.”

Had I known that being a “memaw” would be making them subject of ridicule, I would have insisted they call me “grandma” like they call their grandma, but I never would have dreamed this outcome.

Anyways, being a Memaw takes special skills (read good freaking luck lol) and I ended up showing them a picture I took of Cam’s memaw during the Christmas parade.

Super sweet huh? They should have driven her in the parade, not just parked on the sidelines.

Super sweet huh? They should have driven her in the parade, not just parked on the sidelines.

I don’t know if telling them that even Cam has a memaw made them feel any better about having a memaw or if it just gave them a good giggle, they haven’t talked about the down side of “memaws” since right after we got here.

Since the late night dance party didn’t end until I about blew a fuse at 3:00 am Monday morning, only Diamond got up early. It was too early to make the cookies, so we just prepped for them. By the time the other girls got up, she wasn’t feeling well and didn’t feel like helping.

Not many green trees. Stupid cooky press I haven't used in forever!

Not many green trees. Stupid cooky press I haven’t used in forever!

Lovely and Faith ended up eating a crapload of mistakes before I could scrape the dough off the pan and get it back in the press. By the time we got around to the blue snowflakes, we had the hang of it. The girls did not consume any raw blue cooky dough, but they thoroughly enjoyed the green.

Pink wreaths. Not flowers. Wreaths.

Pink wreaths. Not flowers. Wreaths.

The cookies ended up being a success. The girls had fun, and by Tuesday, Diamond felt better and got to try them herself.

Today’s plan is to make the chocolate chip cookies, when ever the lazy bums who stay up half the night wake up. Diamond and I have been up all morning, keeping this house cleaned (lol) while those lazy bums sleep all day. again.

Most likely, they will wake up and want Reeses Puffs, just like Diamond did. They’ll probably wait a good ten minutes after eating to ask me to make them some bacon or eggs, they’re still hungry, just like she was and they all have been each morning. Turns out cereal wasn’t a cop-out after all, I’m preparing four different breakfasts now.

Whattaya know, Memaw is also a psychic, they’re up demanding the cereal. Guess I’d better get the griddle going again so we can get straight to cooky making after breakfast fixed number 5…

 

 

 

 

 

 

What are you waiting for?

Tis the season. The season to over-shop, over-spend, over-indulge in the spirit or is it the “spirits”?, and over-consume all things “comfort”.

Sometimes I catch myself wondering why certain foods are labeled as “comfort”. Maybe it’s the comfort while eating, because after a big ole plate of “comfort”, a slice or scoop or bowl of “comfort”, I never much felt “comfortable” afterwards. Tired, lethargic, irritable, moody even, but most definitely not comfort.

With this time of over-everything, we  realize come January that there is a price to be paid in over-everything. Be it that credit card we got to make Christmas happen, the serious hang-over from a week of excess, or maybe those clothes are a bit more snug than last winter, heck maybe more so than last week when we tried them on.

We see it every year come resolution time. Resolutions to stop bad habits, to lose weight, to improve health markers, save money, spend less, the list is as long as the number of us human beings are different in what we perceive as needed changes in our lives.

Sometimes folks talk about how they’ve been meaning to do this or that, since it’s resolution time, the meaning is over, they’ve decided that it will happen, it’s a resolution after all. Don’t get me wrong, resolutions are great, we get all gung-ho the month of January, half of February, revived during Lent, and pepped back up for bikini season…

Not everyone loses their way with a new year’s resolution. Sometimes we actually attain our goals set and accomplish change. Sometimes though, we find ourselves re-hashing resolutions past, excusing away why we weren’t successful, making a new and improved plan for success.

Here we are, a couple of short days away from the biggest comfort food event of the year, Thanksgiving, followed by the best deals and biggest shopping days, which ironically includes Thanksgiving for some retail giants… and I wonder, what are we waiting for?

Why wait until January, a whole month away? Why not start right freaking now? I’m not saying make a major dietary change just two days before the annual gorge-fest, maybe just make a plan to be a little more thankful and a little less comfort food minded? Maybe instead of leaving the table for a grand Thanksgiving day sale, stick around, watch a football game (football games have the greatest commercials btw…), hang with the fams, reflect what we’re thankful for and how maybe we can be more mindful year round of things we should be thankful for?

I know, I know, it’s no fun to think about resolutions in November, but it’s really not any fun in January either, sitting at the computer in our newly tightened clothes, thinking “good gracious, I’ve got my resolution right here” or looking at the cobwebs in our billfolds thinking maybe there is something to that 52 week money challenge. (word of advice, if you do the 52 week challenge, don’t wait until January to start, start now, with a dollar, be ready to have your cash flow in November, not January, spend the cash on Christmas instead of using it to pay interest in January, duh!)