Sunday, November 11, 2018

THE LAST 4 or 5 pounds The bottom line

My sheet on my eating plan takes up a whole typed page single spaced on the fridge

It's hard to remember all at once.   But these are the poles holding up the tent.

Eat every 3 hours or our body will start piling up fat for emergency

Get calm before we eat even our snacks, or our digestion may revolt

Check to see: Are we really hungry or just thirsty?

Eat every vegetable we can find

Put protein in every meal

Sunday, November 4, 2018

THE LAST 4 or 5 lbs... Eat every 3 hours...sort of

While loading up her sharp tools, my phlebotomist friend gave me quite a surprise.  We'd been talking about hydrating every few hours in last month's ugly heat.  When I said I  also watch the hours on my eating, she said:  "Of course!  That's been folk wisdom for .... "

Well, I'd never heard it until this year. (My dad, determined farmer despite important job, would never schedule a snack.  Sneak one, maybe..)

Anyway, that same 103 degree day at blood lab, the car was sizzling when I got in.  Way too hot to eat the emergency secret cheese stick on the drive home. No place in the doctor's to eat after three hours...

The weather now may make a purse or briefcase cheese stick safe, if you get the privacy to eat it. Or,  a last-minute Lara bar is a possibility, but can be hard on a white shirt  And, maybe too much fructose for more than one meal a day. 

You may have some situations when three hours is just not the time to eat. 

Whatever the weather, when I wake (not early), my thyroid pill has to do whatever it does for a half hour or more while I do eye drops and other med trivia.  It's a long time between bedtime and getting all the med stuff done.  Too long?

By the time I do all those morning health chores, breakfast is on time for a mid-morning snack , and a  snack becomes lunch.  So five meals don't always happen.  BUT would I be less hungry between meals if I got breakfast on time, and so  got the other four meals on time?

In a really crowded day, one of my dishes of microwave veggies and a bite of meat may be the whole\afternoon snack meal.. You can work out a never-fail snack meal for your emergencies.s

HINT If you, like me, can't eat a lot of salt or spices, some markets have onion powder, which may be easier on my digestion than raw onion for seasoning.

Also, we have to remember Marilyn Glenville's encouragement to put protein in every meal (including the 2 snack meals.)  When I'm home, I can make a minuscule sandwich with some uncured ham. Then a small apple.

All I can do is what I can do.  (And that includes not grazing until I'm sure I'm hungry and NOT just thirsty.

I wish you health.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

THE LAST 4 or 5 pounds Good moves.

 I had a great  Physical Therapist twice a week for a few weeks.   My doctor says he'd be more than happy to get me another course of it any time. 

But there are other moves we work on alone, and those moves make the difference for us.  Some are harder than others for me.

1.   Put the spoon or fork down between bites.  Makes me more aware of eating slowly. 

2.  Chew food slowly and politely even if you're late for work.  

3Whatever I'm mixing up or serving up in the kitchen, I try to put it on a plate and sit down to eat in  the dining area. 
  (If I had a kitchen window counter with stools, I hope I'd still sit on a stool, not eat standing up.  Eating standing up is okay at a formal reception, but a person like me can wander around grazing and eventually forget having eaten.  (Except for being forgetful, I have nothing against grazing.) 
4. Other mindless eating:  If I bring a whole cheese stick to the laptop, you know I'll eat it all instead of the half I planned on.  And I may have to go back to cutting off one piece of Lara bar in the kitchen and bringing it to the table.

Yes, I do eat my breakfast oatmeal and berries in front of the screen once in awhile, especially when I can't wait to see the thunderstorm forecast.   But I know I'll eat the oatmeal every day.  It's the remembering to chew slowly and pay attention to the good food... Okay, I admit I may also read at breakfast. 

(Next weekend I'm going to talk about timing: the rule to eat every three  hours. That can need a lot of adjusting in bad weather when there are doctor appointments, and other places where it's awkward to eat.)  Send me your suggestions!

I wish you health. 

Saturday, October 20, 2018

LAST 4 or 5 POUNDS Cool room myth?

 When I lived in northern Indiana, my father's idea of healthy cuisine helped me put on more weight than I needed.

In winter, once in awhile someone would  say, 'You want to lose weight?  Just go out the front door, stand in the snow, and breathe that icy air."

I don't remember doing that often.  I felt like an idiot standing in the front yard, and besides,  my grandmother's mantra followed me out there: "You'll catch your death.!" 

Fast forward: one day recently, I saw a line on line about sleeping in "a cold room"  for our weight.  They gave a simple reason:  Our bodies have to work harder to warm cold air to a temperature we can use.

This week I dug around on line  to find that original quote.  Instead were notes and articles from various formal  studies. 

But we're not in a scientific experiment.  As it gets chilly out, I can have an extra blanket ready.  Or two.  And find out what my lungs might do with "cool-room" air on the last 4 or 5 pounds.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

THE LAST 4 or 5 pounds: The Plateau versus The Ego

It crept up on me.  I've always gone up and down a pound or two with my new eating regime.  (And since I do retain water, there will be some higher numbers at times. )

But the last week or so,   the  same couple numbers keep bouncing  up and down..

And I hate it.  Especially because my doctor isn't delighted that these few pounds are at a lower level than months ago.

I want to go in there in two weeks and show him Progress! But he's a doctor, not a guy who will take my picture for a yearbook or something.    

I want to see the best of my numbers every day on the scale.  

Yes, it's ego.   

And I'm embarrassed to write about it because I know a plateau, a time to rest at the same weight before going on can be good for us.

  (Remember I was the one who lost too many pounds too fast two years ago, and watched them come stubbornly back.)

I know that if I keep up my eating plan, and stabilize here,  (okay, and remember to check if I'm thirsty when I think I'm hungry) the next three or four pounds will go in good time..  

I wish you health.

Saturday, October 6, 2018


My PTh doesn't say much when I mention how tired I get.  I'm wide awake when we're working on my strength, balance, and endurance.

But other days, I may be  just plain tired, or have leg fatigue or allover fatigue.  Even in a few-minute nap, I fall asleep. (Good for my dry eye, at least.)

But  what if there's more to the tiredness?  So of course I went shopping on line for answers--this time to Healthbeat in my email.

Harvard had a lot to say about something called ATP, which I had to look up:

"ATP is a high-energy molecule found in every cell. Its job is to store and supply the cell with needed energy. " from

Then back to Harvard.  " your body produce more ATP and replenish dwindling energy levels. The most common strategies revolve around three basic concepts: diet, exercise, and sleep. "         

Let's talk about food.  And some of their suggestions you already know I do:
"Diet. Boost your ATP with fatty acids and protein from lean meats like chicken and turkey, fatty fish like salmon and tuna, and nuts. "  But too many nuts and too much meat..they say my body has to work harder and uses up my ATP.

Then they mention what I do!

 "When lack of energy is an issue, it’s better to eat small meals and snacks every few hours than three large meals a day," according to Dr. Komaroff..."Your brain has very few energy reserves of its own and needs a steady supply of nutrients,” he says.

 “Also, large meals cause insulin levels to spike, which then drops your blood sugar rapidly, causing the sensation of fatigue.”  my bold

Then: something many of us need work on:  enough water.  A slim, energetic , older friend of mine told me recently she is required to drink 7 of those grocery store 6 pack bottles of water.  I know I"m still not drinking that much.  But Harvard stresses the amount:
"If your body is short on fluids, one of the first signs is a feeling of fatigue. ...Although individual needs vary, the Institute of Medicine recommends men should aim for about 15 cups (3.7 liters) of fluids per day, and women about 12 cups (2.7 liters). " They offer some foods with high water content, but you can figure it out.  It is watermelon season, after all.!

 There are so many ways I need to pay attention to this water amount.  Do you?

I wish you health.

Friday, September 28, 2018


Today I have to throw away four small slices of cheese. For a cheese addict, this is like throwing away a car.

It seems I need to watch the salt intake (due to retaining water.)  Along with drinking enough water.

So, I have to check labels for more  than just sugar - the sodium content can be staggering, as can the fat content.  Less fat = more salt too often. Gotcha!

Day before yesterday I ignored reality and bought a package of a cheese I really, really like.  Now, the label  keeps jumping out at me, shouting FAT and SALT!   And those ankles are a bit...puffy.  No, I won't say "stay tuned for the big cheese sacrifice."

What I will say is: if you suspect that salt and fat may play a part in your weight (or whatever part of your health) you might try reading labels on your next trip to the store for fun and excitement.

If your spouse buys all the food, do your label recon at home, say "No, thank you" to danger, and go feed the cat to avoid a discussion.