Extreme diet continues

Discussion in 'Healthful Living / Natural Treatments' started by Marguerite, Mar 28, 2008.

  1. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I calculate I've been on this diet for three weeks now. I'm halfway through the month's supply of pills (I started them a week late because they had to be ordered in).

    I really hate having to diet in such an extreme manner, but it's the only way I can lose ANY weight.

    I've posted in detail before, I won't go over it too much now, but basically, perhaps thanks to years of stupid dieting when I was younger, my metabolism is so sluggish now that my body seems permanently in 'famine' mode.

    I must lose the weight. My liver is overloaded with fat, I have insulin resistance and I'm overweight. Doctors who don't know me assume first that I'm a drinker (I was never a heavy drinker, and I cut out ALL alcohol when my liver tests went abnormal years ago). Then they assume I eat tons of junk food, when actually I was on a low fat diet for over ten years. I use artificial sweeteners in coffee and don't eat cake or biscuits. My portion sizes are smaller than most people. In this way I was able to mostly maintain my weight.

    Three years ago I lost about 10 Kg on the Atkins Diet (which I don't recommend except in the short term, to teach you just how much we overindulge in carbs). I couldn't sustain the ridiculously low carb intake that I needed, to lose the weight and then maintain it.

    So it's now three weeks. I'm taking Reductil, which is supposed to reduce the appetite (yeah, right) and stop the metabolism going any further into famine mode. To take the Reductil, I have to empty out the capsules into another spare gelatine capsule that I get from another of my medications. The other medication is in granule form which can be taken loose.

    The diet - I've switched to wholemeal wholegrain bread. I have one slice, toasted, for breakfast, with a smear of Vegemite. For lunch I might have a bowl of steamed vegetables (with pureed tomato to give it flavour) or half a chicken salad sandwich (I cut a slice of bread in half, to make the half sandwich). That bread is my carb ration, unless I have a few spoons of steamed rice with dinner.
    Dinner - stir-fry chicken or beef with vegetables.
    Through the day - Greek iced coffee, made with decaffeinated instant coffee, 400 ml iced water, two sweeteners and a splash of milk.
    Through the day - no more than one piece of fruit. No more than one cup of juice (which I have frozen, for dessert). A list of vegetables from which I must have at least three serves. Protein at at least two of the meals. Minimal to no fat.

    You would think the weight would be falling off me, wouldn't you?

    I HAVE lost weight. Three kilos in three weeks. It's a sensible amount, it's not too fast - but with the diet I'm on, you would expect far more weight loss.

    I'd love to have that weight loss but be able to eat a bit more. It's not enough for a healthy diet, I've got mother in law & sister in law nagging me about not eating enough. I'm not sleeping well - pain, primarily. But they keep saying, "It's terrible to wake up hungry."
    Actually, I'm not waking up hungry, I'm waking up in pain. Then I was told, "Maybe your pain levels are worse because you're not getting enough nourishment."
    I don't think so. It's osteo-arthritis, I don't think dieting makes THAT worse.

    But just to be sure, I'm taking B vitamins, E (when I can get it) and calcium plus folate.

    Exercise - I'm limited, although I've been walking around the block (or equivalent) at least once a day. It's about one kilometre. That's about my limit.

    I'd love to eat breakfast cereal but I couldn't find one suitable, so today I bought ingredients to make my own oat-free muesli (I can't eat rolled oats). All recipe ideas welcome! In the absence of any good recipes, I'm going to experiment. I also bought some brown rice, to substitute for the white rice everyone else eats. That way I can eat more carbs, if I eat unprocessed high-fibre forms.

    I wish the weight was coming off a little faster, especially in the beginning. I'm worried that it's going to slow down or stop before I lose much more. I'm hoping my liver is cleaning itself and that my pancreas is learning how to behave.

    So wish me luck. I'll keep you all posted.

    Marg
     
  2. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Wow, Marg. I am in awe of your discipline in maintaining such a strict diet.

    I do know that conventional wisdom has it that 1 kilo a week is a good pace at which to be losing weight, and that it gives you the best chance of keeping it off.

    I hope that it keeps working well for you and that your weight loss doesn't slow down until you've lost what you need to.

    My husband is still working with a bariatric specialist, and they have him eating no carbs or fruit at all. They have been modifying his diet as he progresses to ensure that he's getting enough nutrients, and they have him on a course of nutrition supplements to make up the difference (potassium, chromium, calcium, omega 3 oil)

    The only "fruit" he is permitted to have is one tomato per day, and a squeeze of lemon in his tea or on his salad. His list of vegetables includes only the low-starch kind, so no corn, peas, beans or carrots. He is allowed cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, onions, celery, mushrooms, all varieties of lettuce, and spinach.

    He's allowed 4 ounces of protein per meal, as follows:
    - 2 omega 3 eggs per day, or the equivalent in liquid eggs. Apparently they have lower cholesteral and fat than the regular eggs (which explains their much higher price tag, I suppose)
    - fish, seafood or chicken
    - lean beef, up to 2 servings per week, lean ground beef, one serving per week

    Portion sizes for veg are approximately the amount you can cup in your hands.

    It is a very restrictive diet. From the sounds of your program you're doing similar things, but I thought I'd provide the details of his program in case there's anything else in there that helps you.

    I hope that you keep making progress, and that your liver and pancreas get with the program.

    All the best,
    Trinity
     
  3. SearchingForRainbows

    SearchingForRainbows Active Member

    Marg,

    I'm very, very proud of you!!! Despite so many obstacles in your way, you've lost over 6.5 lbs. in three weeks!!! (Ok, I admit - I had to look up kilos on the net - Hopefully, I got the math right, lol.) Your feelings of frustration given how little you can eat in order to lose weight are so understandable!!! However, you are doing an excellent job sticking to your diet and walking too. You are a very strong person.

    I'm glad you joined this forum!!! I'm keeping you in my thoughts and hoping that your diet and exercise plan are helping your liver and pancreas. WFEN
     
  4. dreamer

    dreamer New Member

    Marg, I am on very similar to you, now, (thanks pred)- Metabolic syndrome----yeah, docs office instead of gently telling me my diagnosis, they simply accused me of overindulging alcohol- which I gave up over 20 years ago.

    I have been reading about the glycemic index of different foods, and other things about other foods, I had thought I would feel better, altho for me, it is too early to tell (5 days in, for me) BUT yup- I woke this morning and yup- my osteo in my knees is extra bad today, too! It has been months since thats happened.

    I am haveing a hard time with this whole thing, tho, becuz it is more food than I am accustomed to, even at 1,000 calories per day...AND I also am haveing difficulty with the bread/grain part-----the wheat and corn are bad for the rhuematic, so I am doing steel milled oats some....rice is bad for glycemic index.....
    Nope, so far I have not lost anything, in fact I GAINED a pound! Yeesh!
    today I had half an apple with plain cinnamin sprinkled on it, and a tablespoon of oatmeal cooked in water- mixed it with the apple I chopped up in a bowl, with 3 raw unsalted almonds. I could not finish it. Last nite before bed I had 2 blueberries, 1 strawberry, 1 bite of pineapple and 1 tablespoonspoon nonfat unflavored plain yogurt smeared on the fruit. For dinner I had 1/4 cup whole wheat pasta with 1/4 cup chopped tomatos and a clove of raw garlic crushed in with it and 1 T of each raw onion and raw celery. For lunch I had 1/2 cup of mixed up raw zuchinni, raw celery, raw carrots, raw onion, raw cauliflower, raw red pepper, and I smashed a tiny bit of plain steamed to mush broccoli to smear on it and some white vinegar and 1/8 of a lemon squeezed for juice. I did not finish that, either. (too full) Yesterday I "splurged" and had one poached egg white on 1 peice of cracked grain bread. (dry) and 8 ounces of skim milk. This sounds far too restrictive to me on one hand, bt is more than I am accustomed to haveing. Tonite I am haveing 3 ounces plain baked salmon and 1 cup of raw spinach not sure what I might put with the spinach, prolly more celery and raw onion and vinegar. (hey it's fish fry!)
    I might air pop 1 cup popcorn later, not sure. I have a feeling 1 cup popped popcorn is not very much. Maybe sprinkle it with cinnamin or toss 3 almonds in it?
    Know I am right beside you with this difficult struggle. This is SO hard, my fav pastime always was socializing at a meal, and it has created quite a stir in our home. I am too nervous to even TRY to go out at all, anywhere to eat for anything -----but I will be tested cuz me and son have to travel out to Shriners beginning SUnday. UG! Their cafeteria IIRC does not have very good options or choices. Maybe I will be just bringing along a baggie of plain greens.
    Ah well, I keep reading to try to figure out the best way to do all this, and I keep learning more and more, and keep realizing there is still so much more to learn.
    Hang in there, take comfort knowing I understand.
     
  5. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    When I've dieted before, especially when I was younger, I made the mistake of allowing calories from sweeter foods (including unsweetened fruit). What I'm doing now is allowing ONE serve of unsweetened fruit per day, generally in the form of frozen fruit juice, and nothing else sweet. I'm finding that my use of artificial sweeteners is cutting back - it now tastes much sweeter with the same amount I've been using.

    Carbs - I've cut back but nowhere near as much as on Atkins. I've also switched to eating carbs from unprocessed sources. For example, I'm buying the wholemeal wholegrain bread instead of eating my delicious home-baked white bread. If I try baking my own grain bread it wears out the bread machine really fast. I bought some brown rice and I've cooked up some of that, to re-heat in small serves when I'm feeding white rice to everyone else. I'm not being too fussy about limiting it when it's so thoroughly wholegrain because I know so much of it is indigestible fibre and this will speed up the whole process.

    I made up my muesli. Because I can't use rolled oats (or oats in any form) I've substituted rice as rolled brown rice (very hard & chewy, but it's actually not bad as part of the mix) and also puffed brown rice, which is really light and delicious. To this I added bran (as the powdery stuff, not the cardboard-textured straws), walnut pieces and sultanas. I'm using a one cup ramekin as my bowl, eating out of that. This keeps the serve sizes small and frankly this is still very filling. When I get hungry at other times in the day, I'll have another serve without feeling guilty. I remember I lost a lot of weight on a similar recipe, back when I made it with oats. It all went haywire when I developed my GI reaction to the oats but didn't at the time realise what the problem was.

    Today for lunch I had made a Greek salad, which I had with a slice of wholegrain bread. I couldn't eat it all at one sitting, so I ate it over about two hours.

    This morning I discovered I'd lost another kilo - that makes 4 Kg lost since about 5 March. Four Kg in 25 days. Maybe it's a worry if I'm counting my diet in days, when I've got to keep it up for months, probably years. The pills cost me about A$100 a month.

    I see the gastroenterologist in five months' time. I doubt I'll be able to keep up this rate of loss, it will plateau soon, but any loss should help.

    Marg
     
  6. dreamer

    dreamer New Member

    what are sultanas? All the rice and rice even puffed has high gylycemic, so I was trying to steer clear. I LOVE Greek salad, YUM! I have no idea what my blood sugar is doing, gonna call to have doctor Rx a meter so I can check it....
    I FINALLY got the paperwork re diet docs office said they would send me last monday, got it yesterday- one page of a sample diet of 1800 calories! Not at all what they said by phone! I could not believe when I read it! Mayonnaise every day at lunch! 12 saltines at a time nearly every day. Ice cream for a snack twice in the week? Canned soup? WHEW so much sodium! and they sent NOTHING else, just this one page of this 1800 calorie sample dit.

    Yesterday I went to grocery, to see what I might find. I decided to TRY shredded wheat, very plain, nothing added at all, I also had raw spinach .....
    UG! I was nervous about so much pure wheat, and then also realized spinach is high is oxates? oxaalates? (coontributes to uric acid/gout) um, somethinng....DANG! I woke up with some of the worst symptoms in my joints that I have had in well over a year! I had 1/2 cup of shredded wheat, and about 1 cup raw spinach, 4 ounces of plain nonfat yogurt, and 2 ounces of fish. and an apple, for the whole day yesterday. (I was in and out running errands with the kids etc and moving furniture etc and grabbbbed what I could munch while driving in the car etc- so I was worried about over eating wrong, so opted to be sure to not over eat and I overcompensated)
    I am only on day 6 of this- and I am quite frustrated. I have not dropped a single ounce yet at all. I never dieted before of any kind of diet, not ever.
    My blood pressure has not changed at all.
    I had a couple peices of walnuts the other day on some oatmeal- I did not like them. was sorry I had put them on, altho almonds are OK.
    So, the cereal bread fiber thing still has me so confused. wheat and corn are high allergens, and it does look like I might have to be careful with wheat, and corn is so high glycemic and so much starch? and rice things are also high glycemic.
    Yesterday when I fed PCs rabbit (while she is still in Ireland) I thought well dang, maybe I should eat rabbits alflfa hay and timothy cubes? Maybe instead of mowing the lawn, I should munch at it instead?
    I am so confused and so frustrated already, I do not like haveing unuseable joints. knees ankles and wrists and thumbs. ACK! Makes me wanna sit and cry.
    I sure hope I can figure out what I CAN eat soon! And yeah, I get full so fast, I drag the food around with me all day it seems, picking at it half heartedly---becuz I think if I ate any less, my body would rebel even harder.

    Eating used to be such a happy thing for me, social and kind of fun.....now it is like a full time job or something, and quite unpleasant and I feel right now like I would just rather not bother at all. :-(
     
  7. dreamer

    dreamer New Member

    Oh, the sweeteners? I do not use any. I don't like them. Been haveing a cup of black coffee in morning- an maybe one mid day. (used to have half and half and a sprinkle of sugar in it)
    I have steered away from juice becuz I often do not like it and it seems too high in calories for what I get? I drink water, always have. BUT this is too funny. Last nite I was hot and thirsty and one of the kids had a can of soda pop- so I decided to splurge and have one drink of it. YUK! It tasted AWFUL! SO awful I wound up spitting it out all over, makeing my son LOL so hard! I grabbed the can to look at it to make sure it was what I thought it was. He kept telling me, mmom, its fine, it tastes good. LOL. I was miserable baout it, thought I was sneaking in one splurge for the week, a sip of dumb soda pop? a one sip cheat? YUKKY! I had to go brush my teeth to get that nasty taste out of my mouth! I was surprised becuz it did not taste sweet, it tasted bitter, but it also felt like it coated my teeth and tongue in slime? or something? even tho it tasted so bitter.
     
  8. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Marg,

    Wow! I can't believe you haven't lost more weight.

    Question. I believe I remember you were not happy about having to take a medication. My wondering mind is thinking why take an appetite suppresant (since that does not appear to be the issue at all) rather than a natural supplement (something with vitamin B complex) that can help to raise your metabolism (since that appears more the issue)?

    Can you eat fish protein so that you get some healthy oils in your system? The beef and the chicken won't help there. You are obviously not eating many nuts (because of the fat content) so you are not getting it there either.

    We've gone to all whole grain in our home. difficult child hasn't even noticed the difference. I use the Wonder Bread Whole Wheat/White and he hasn't noticed (and it's great for easy child and me on WW - it's four grams of fiber per serving so it's not great, but it's a help). He loves fried rice and I make it with whole grain brown rice and when you add a little sweet soy, you can't even tell the color. We use whole wheat pasta and whole wheat cous cous. We make our own pizzas (for cheese and topping control and price control as well!) and that is the only thing we use "white bread" on. I haven't found a good whole what pizza dough yet......suppose I may have to start making it eventually. Wondering if you could add some flax seed to your muesli?

    Good luck Marg. Congrats on the weight loss already. What is the answer for getting rid of the fat stored in the liver?

    Sharon
     
  9. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Dreamer,

    Tropicana has a good light orange juice - both with and without pulp. It has half the calories as regular orange juice and is quite good if you enjoy juice. I usually have a glass every morning - 1 8 oz glass is one WW point.

    Sharon
     
  10. dreamer

    dreamer New Member

    I am at the mooment investigating the flax seed, etc.....sounds interesting. Wonder if it will help at all with adding fiber and helping defat the liver?
    THanks for the info on the OJ..I just really do not like juice, would rather eat half an orange or a whole orange, and drink water, LOL. my kids find the idea of makeing more fruit and veg juices inviting, but------I just prefer to EAT instead of drink things. - altho Marg, your idea of frezzing the juice and eating it that way sounds interesting.
    Gosh there is so much to explore, so much to learn!
    I am haveing a hard time finding much info to help with liver difficulties. :-( Continuing to search.........
     
  11. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    OK, some questions to answer.

    The rice - because it's brown rice, and any bread is wholegrain, the fibre content keeps the GI much lower and sends much more of it through to the exit sign, taking other stuff with it. I used up the last of my pre-cooked brown rice today, I made fried rice with it. I had too much to eat for one meal, so I will reheat the rest for lunch tomorrow. It tasted great - to my taste, anyway. I used a non-stick pan so oil content was minimal. I put prawns in it plus an egg and lots of fresh vegetables.

    The muesli - the puffed rice and rolled rice is made from BROWN rice, again ultra-high fibre. It's not the supermarket puffed rice which is refined, processed and often has added salt & sugar. There's also a lot of bran in the mix.
    Sultanas - not sure what you call them. They're like raisins in that they're made from grapes, but they're smaller and seedless. Bigger than dried currants. I know they can be fattening but I've used them sparingly. The walnuts are my choice because I like walnuts. I could just have easily used chopped macadamias, or hazelnuts, or pistachio nuts. Or slivered almonds. I wanted a nut with a lot of flavour. I did eye the flax seed (aka linseed in Australia) and I might get some to put in it later on. We have a ground nut mix called LSA (linseed, sesame and almonds) which is sold as a health food product, to be added to smoothies, cakes, breakfast cereal, salad sprinkle, whatever. I meant to add a fair bit of that, if the supply I have is still OK. I bought some a year ago or so because it's supposed to be good for liver cleansing.

    We have a doctor in Australia who has written a book about cleansing the liver. I was given a copy of the book and I read it, but found myself disagreeing with a lot of the 'medicine' in it. I've attended a medical conference where this doctor gave a talk on the topic, and was not impressed. However, I did do some independent reading on the topic because maybe SOME of what this author said is worth thinking about.

    The liver is able to regenerate itself. I've been told that losing even a little bit of weight can make a big difference. I hope so. I have to hope that as my body loses fat, the liver cells will give up their load of fat as well.

    Good oils - fish is good, but we don't need a huge amount. The good stuff is the oily fish like salmon or tuna. I do eat small amounts of raw salmon when I eat sushi, but that's no more than twice a week, if that. And usually only two or three small pieces of sushi.

    When I have to cook with oil, I use olive oil, macadamia oil, canola and sesame oil. But nowhere near enough.

    So I'm taking supplements. Calcium plus Vitamin D, a multi-B plus minerals and another multi-vitamin with more Vitamin E and a few other minerals. Cranberry capsules for my recurring bladder infections.
    I've got to choose supplements carefully because I have a number of allergies and sensitivities. Most herbal supplements are risky for me. I grow a lot of my own fresh herbs and eat those fresh-picked or in a pot of herbal tea made from the fresh plants, rather than take bottled herb extracts.

    The frozen juice - I buy it in those little single-serve bricks, like mini-cartons, the things we put in kids' school lunch boxes. My ration is one 250 mls 'popper'. I cut my way into the brick with scissors and eat my way through it like an icy pole or similar. It takes time to eat it when frozen so a little goes a long way and is very satisfying.

    Dreamer, your arthritis - have you looked into the diet specially designed for people with arthritis? From memory it excludes plants from the nightshade family - the potatoes, tomatoes, peppers etc. I think it's a low salicylate diet, but I would have to check.

    Spinach shouldn't have caused you problems with arthritis unless you have a sensitivity problem. It's high in oxalic acid, which can be a problem if your kidneys are in real bad shape, but otherwise shouldn't be a problem. But it's important to define exactly what you mean by 'spinach'. In Australia we call silverbeet leaves "spinach" and true spinach is called "English spinach". Both are nutritionally similar, but silverbeet grows more prolifically. It has thicker stalks and needs to be cooked for longer. I wouldn't eat it raw, although you can if the leaves are very young.

    A good healthy recipe for silverbeet - works for English spinach too - cut the washed leaves into 1" strips, when you get to the stems cut them smaller. Put it all into a large saucepan with a splash of water and steam it until it wilts right down and changes colour. You can smell when it's done. Drain it then do stuff to it like mix in grated cheddar and freshly squeezed lemon juice (yum - and promoted absorption of the iron in it) or add feta cheese to the well-drained silverbeet/spinach (squeeze it out first), add beaten egg and maybe toasted pine nuts or other nuts and wrap it in filo pastry or puff pastry and bake it into a spanakopita or cheese and spinach pie.
    When I cook it, it rarely makes it to the plate, the family just grabs the pot and a fork and it gets passed around. difficult child 3 is the only one who doesn't like it.

    I've also used the chopped leaves and stems in a stir-fry.

    Something I chose to do years ago - give the liver a helping hand by avoiding all likely liver toxins. Cut out caffeine and alcohol. Cut right back on paracetamol, below 3 g a day (spread out over the day). Preferably below 2 g. Cut out fat and oils as much as possible, trying to keep to less than a teaspoon a day in total. Cut out all sugar in any form, especially after midday. The only sugars permissible are the small amount of lactose in skim milk and in one serve of fruit (max) per day. I stopped buttering my bread long ago. For a special treat salad sandwich I use low-fat cream cheese or salad cream instead, as part of the teaspoon a day fat allowance.

    The pills are a pest but I'm getting used to taking them now. The biggest pest is having to empty the coloured capsules out into another clear capsule. But I'm in a routine now, it helps.

    We soldier on!

    Marg
     
  12. dreamer

    dreamer New Member

    I did go buy some brown rice, have not seen puffed brown rice, but the puffed rice I did get has no sodium or sugar. I got it to leave in my car in case I am stuck out away from home too long...(happens far too often) I have never used brown rice before, but, am gonna try it.
    Yes, I am grateful for my nonstick cookware, I can use it and not have to use anything in the pan like oil....altho if I have to, I am now useing olive oil, very spareingly. I also have been poaching in water, and grilling things, and bakeing them wrapped in foil or a covered pyrex dish. Or steaming. (with tiny amounts of water for the steam)
    I have not yet tried meusli, not quite sure what it is, LOL----and I am wondering if I simply did not like the walnuts I got and the application I used them for. I am useing 4-5 peices of almond here and there, to jazz things up some- like last nite I steamed fresh green beans and then dumped them on a dry griddle with a few almonds and onions. Everyone loved them!
    I keep trying to find more about my liver, the hep and fatty liver part- and diet.and yeah, so far thats what I have found, too. Plus I am fearing my medications contribute- so am gonna be talking to rheumy more in depth about it. (especially since GP kinda seems to have abandoned me and so far I have not found a doctor to accept my Medicare)

    I have increased my fish, tuna and salmon, but salmon is rather expensive here, - most days I have 3 ounces of a fish, and 3 times a week, I have 1 or 2 chicken tenderloins. I use vinegar, lemon, garlic and/or herbs to jazz it up. also cinnamin, celery and onion. I am makeing sure to have cinnamin, celery, vinegar and garlic every day.
    I also take Omega 3 fish oil supplements per GP and calcium and vit D supplements per rheumy due to prednisone and folic acid due to methotrexate per rheumy....and a multi vit with zinc.
    Yeah, the arthritis diet does exclude niteshades- potatos, tomatos and peppers. I gave up the potatos, anyway, LOL- and the tomatos I mostly only like in summer---altho I never seem to have trouble with tomatos...the peppers, it comes and goes. Sometimes symptoms kick up a little with peppers, but not always. Same with tomatos. The wheat is also a thing with the arthritis stuff, so is corn. so is dairy. I have not ever used ginger, but, am going to check that out, it is supposed to be helpful.

    The spinach is regular spinach, and the oxalate in it can contribute Occupational Therapist (OT) uric acid crystals in synovium fluid in joints...which hurts like cut glass in the joint, my kidneys are OK, but, am wondering if the joints are taking on the oxalic acid? I LOVE spinach, raw or cooked, even plain..I LOVE spanokopita, yummy yummy. My oldest daughter eats it as a desert, even, LOL. Spinach does pair very nicely with feta, in salad or an omlet or whatever, and I love the combo, but am staying away fom feta more now becuz of the sodium....altho one day last week, I did use 1/2 ounce of feta with some raw spinach for lunch, as my milk/dairy allotment.

    I am useing mostly very plain foods- plain fish, plain chicken tenderloins and fresh raw vegs to make all our meals, and the plain rice, barley and oats- useing no fats at all for prep most of the time...altho I do add maybe 1 teaspoon of olive oil to certain things etc. I figure there is probably plenty of fat in the bread altho I also sprinkle a dab of olive oil on the veggies here and there. NO butter, (or margeine) I never did use much anyway....and whatever fat might be in the approx 10 nuts a day I eat. I am useing no sugar or sweetener, (I never used sweetemers) - am getting sweet from my 1 serving of fruit per day. Or from my nonfat milk/ nonfat unflavored yogurt per day. LOTS of broccoli, some cauliflower, many green beans, spinach 1/2 cup oats or shredded wheat and/or a peice of grainy bread......LOTS of onions, celery, garlic, some (uaully raw, shredded at time of use) carrots. (another sweetener)

    I am just discouraged becuz no weight is coming off yet, LOL. I am impatient, LOL. I wish I thought this was temporary, but, I doubt it is. Well, maybe I can up my intake of some of the things after I dump some pounds, but...already it is more than I can seem to get down into me most days. I had 1/2 cup oats with half apple and cinnamin today so far, and only managed to eat half of it.
    I am surprised however, that I do LIKE the things I am now createing. :) My family is also surprised they like most of it, too! My kids are huge pizza fanatics, and yesterday I was smelling it and wanted some. I used a tortilla - my bread group for the time- and put on some nonfat no salt tomato sauce, some oregano and basil, garlic, and crushed red pepper flakes- like 1 tablespoon of sauce? then used half a peice of skim mozerella (my milk group) I broke up all over the top- popped it in oven to crisp it, and had my own very nice "pizza" for lunch.
    Ah it was gone all too fast, LOL- but was lower calories than anything I saw at store sold as "pizza"

    SO I am leaving in a couple hours to Shriners CHildrens Hospital with my son.....and this is going to be a challenge becuz we could not find a room, yet....much less one with a microwave or fridge anything.....so I have a baggie of celery and carrots, some oats in baggies measured out, an apple and LOL a tiny baggie of cinnamin.....a 4 ounce cup of plain nonfat yogurt, some measured puffed rice, and might air pop some corn (I have always eaten it plain, no salt or butter or anything) BUT my son WILL be eating at the hospital cafe and something around the hotel-------so I am gonna hafta exercise will power and "good choices" and do the best I can do on the road, under circumstances. I have been able to do so well the last week becuz I have stayed home, and not been out running around etc, not by any temptations etc. ANd I have had plenty of TIME to do well, and think things out carefully...

    Marg, thank you for your help- I am hoping me and you can kinda exchange ideas, hold each others hand etc. Celebrate each others successes etc?
     
  13. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Word of warning on brown rice - it needs to be cooked for almost twice as log as plain white rice. For those in the family not on a low-fat diet, brown rice is fabulously yummy with butter and salt.

    We're having stir-fried beef and vegetables tonight so I cooked myself some brown rice well ahead, so I could have that when everyone else has white rice with their dinner.

    And as I said before, it made a really delicious fried rice, with the other vegetables and some prawns (which I keep frozen in the freezer, just grab a few when I need them and thaw first).

    Muesli - it's Swedish in origin. There are some healthy ones and not healthy ones. Those with extra sugar and fat - not healthy. In general toasted muesli is not healthy for a diet like ours.

    An alternative to walnuts - pecans. But with muesli, use whatever nuts you happen to like but watch out for their fat content. It's healthy fat (monosaturate) but we need to eliminate as much fat as possible, including the good ones. Chopping or slicing the nuts makes them go further, spreads more flavour through the muesli.

    A basic muesli is based on rolled oats, which I can't eat. It's supposed to be high in fibre, no added sugar (apart from a small amount of dried fruit) and can be eaten with hot milk or cold. husband likes to let his sit until it all goes soggy (bleh).

    I'll dig out my recipe and put it here.

    Gotta dash - husband is cooking, he might need my help.

    Marg
     
  14. dreamer

    dreamer New Member

    Marg, I DID get some brown rice, had it last nite, loved it! I had it plain, LOL.with my salmon i grilled (on a bbq grill, no pan to grease etc) with celery, carots, red and green peppers sprinkled on it while cooking. I had some leftover green beans with onions and a scant few almonds to go with it. It was divine!

    It is a new experience for me to now go in the grocery and ONLY go to produce aisle and nowhere else, and grab whatever fresh vegs are on sale. I have a rutabega now to deal with, maybe tonite, LOL. (never had that before)

    Seems I have really settled in to a grainy cereal type something (and cinnamin) for breakfast and a salad for lunch, my fish for dinner (and more vegs) and nonfat yogurt (and maybe more cinnamin) before bed. I split my one serving of fruit between breakfast and before bed.....and I get my garlic, onion and vinegar in my salad. My lunch salad is always some kind of fresh greens...always raw onion and crushed raw garlic and some raw celery,and vinegar and might have leftover coooked vegs from previous nites dinner. Dinner always has at least one green veg and one other color veg and usually 3 ounces fish baked grilled or poached in a tiny bit of water---or 3 ounces of white sskinless chicken a couple times a week.


    I found this cereal the other day- Natures Path Organic Flax Plus Multibran cereal. It does have wheat, tho, but I am hoping if it is not only wheat maybe I will do better with it, I am tending towards the wheat being what REALLY kicks in my arthritis problems most, from my food journal and symptoms, thats what seems to be. This cereal has whole wheat flour, wheat bran, cane juice (I know- "sugar" it is 4 gms total in one 3/4 cup serving) flax, oat bran, barley, sea salt (I know "sodium" 140 mg in a serving) and tocopherols (vit E) No cholestrole, no trans fat, 7 grms fiber, 4 grams protein, 10% iron, and 500 mg Omega 3.
    Surprise, it TASTES good! even my kids love it, either plain and dry or with milk. It did not get soggy in milk on me.

    Alas, I am now um like a week and a half in and still no weight loss at all! That is kinda bothering me, - even tho this is more than I used to eat, it is FAR better what I eat now......and I was so sure I would lose something. I NEED to lose something......I measure and weigh EVERYTHING.....and my caloric intake is low. ALL my fruit and vegs are fresh produce, and I use NO fat to prepare anything, no salt for anything.....I am relying only on the vinegar, peppers, once in awhile some lemon...and the cinnamin and garlic.....to jazz things up. my fish and chicken are also weighed and bought plain. I must be doing something not quite right, but cannot figure out just what, yet.
    I have noticed my blood pressure already is lower. My skin LOOKS "nicer" I feel a little better. even my vision seems to be some better. (maybe that is only power of suggestion, LOL)
    I no longer eat on autopilot at all, and I am likeing what I am eating (thats good!! YAY)
    I have no idea what my blood sugar is doing, I just still cannot believe my GP just left me hanging this way, and was out of town and have not yet sought out a different doctor.
    How re you doing, Marg?
     
  15. dreamer

    dreamer New Member

    Oh and I think I might now be ready to experiment with some more beans/legumes etc. I have not used them much, always liked bean soups, split pea soup, and lentil soup- but, aside from haveing the soup or chili with kidney beans or kidney bean salad (kiidney beans, carrots, celery, mayo) or nice too sweet too much fat baked beans, LOL. I have no other experience. If "I" make the soups, they might not be so unhealthy.....but I am gonna investigate other applications, too, maybe?
     
  16. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I had to chuckle at the "cane juice" - it's where Aussie sugar comes from. And 4 g is a teaspoon. Back when I used to put sugar on breakfast cereal, I'd put a teaspoonful on a cup and a half of cereal.

    Making your own meals is really good, it is healthier. You have to change ingredients around depending on what's in season. Growing your own is even better - if you've only got a window box for a garden you can still get mini-vegetables. Mind you, I need to rip out my veggie bed and re-plant, it's all gone to seed.

    Go easy on the beans until you are sure you can tolerate them (I can't tolerate them). Beans of the kidney bean family need to be soaked overnight and the water discarded, then cooked thoroughly. I'm going to try chickpeas - I can eat tinned chickpeas. I also make my own hommous. I have a recipe for Moroccan bread which uses chickpeas in the flour mix. It bakes really fast, it's a flat bread with no rising time although you do use yeast.

    Minestrone soup is a good way to use beans.

    Whatever you cook, watch your ingredients. Don't slip in too much naughty stuff. For example, I made a batch of Bearnaise sauce last night. It's at least 60% butter, plus whole egg, with some concentrated tarragon vinegar. I grow the tarragon, steep it in cider vinegar, our hens lay the eggs, it's all fresh ingredients, no preservatives. Tastes fabulous, but not good for me right now. A total dietary disaster.

    Another diet suggestion (linked to the good diet book I bought) is to try to eat a certain number (I think it was 15) different plant foods each day. Adding garlic or herbs means they are included too. But it forces you to eat fresh and a variety. It also keeps you focussed on planning your meals and enjoying your food, without overindulging. It's also another way you can find minestrone soup useful.

    I got annoyingly hungry this afternoon so I had another small serve of my muesli. It did the trick. I cooked osso bucco for dinner tonight, but I didn't use the veal osso bucco cuts, I used gravy beef. But the recipe begins with sofrito - chopped onion, celery and carrot plus garlic, all cooked together until soft. Then I added a big tin of peeled tomatoes, a half glass of white wine (the alcohol boils out) and a big handful of chopped fresh herbs from my garden (lemon basil, tarragon, oregano, thyme) and a sprig from the bay tree with about six leaves on it. Then the cubed meat goes in and it simmers very gently for at least three hours. I thicken it if necessary (usually not much needed if at all) then turn off the heat and sprinkle it with a mix of crushed garlic, lemon zest and chopped parsley.
    Tastes wonderful, uses a lot of different plants, provides protein and iron too and I served it on brown rice.
    It makes for marvellous comfort food (it's been a cold day today).

    Over the last couple of days the scales have been hovering around hinting at dropping another half kilo or so. It generally takes me ages for the weight to begin to drop, when I start a diet. Then each kilo seems such a major struggle. This time it's not seemed quite so difficult, although I am still keeping my total intake ridiculously low. Yesterday's lunch was two small pieces of sushi, each one two bites. I could have eaten each one in one bite, but I was being ladylike.

    I think the tablets are helping there also. I have cut just about all sugar, all I'm getting now is from the few sultanas in my muesli and the small amount of natural sugar in my daily fruit allowance (my frozen juice). All carbs are now unprocessed (no white flour, no white rice). As little fat as possible, the minimum needed to cook with, in non-stick cookware.

    The other thing that might help is to push your liquid intake. Make it either water or water equivalent (ie calorie-free drinks). Coffee or tea, with no sugar and a splash of skim milk at most. I'm aiming for 2 litres a day. I must admit, most days I don't get the full 2 litres. But drinking a lot fills you up and is a cheating way to cut your appetite.

    The other thing is exercise - I didn't go for my walk today. I've had an overly busy week, so I'll have to do more walking tomorrow.

    Let's keep on fighting!

    Marg
     
  17. dreamer

    dreamer New Member

    Yes, the cane juice is same here.and I have not sugared cereal in decades. LOL. I can TASTE the sweet in this new cereal, for sure! So- I do not have this cereal every day....but, I might have it once every few days- maybe twice a week or so? I measure it....(I measure everything right now, with my measureing cups and measureing spoons)
    Before I got my crummy news, I had been seeking soda pop- coke specifically- made with cane sugar rather than corn syrup. Most of our soda pop is now made with high fructose corn syrup- and I wanted to see how different it tasted made with cane sugar. I had heard soda pop made with cane sugar was better. LOL That reminds me I saw frozen sugar canes in the grocery one day, and me and my kids and thir friends all wondered- what do you DO with a chunk of frozen cane sugar? Do people eat it? Cook with it? Guess I am not gonna be doing ANYTHING with it, now, LOL. But we wondered.

    Yes, right now I am making everything myself, partly so I have the control, and partly hopefully so I learn better. Learn my food groups, learn my own sensitivities etc, and learn exactly what different things REALLY taste like. SO far it has been fun and interesting. I did have my first veg garden last summer, but, again, I have SO much to learn, LOL and my yeild was quite poor, altho I DID Have a lot of fun, and I got a LOT of exercising in doing it. LOL. My radishes and lettuce had zero yeild as did pumpkins, watermelon and green beans and peas. My corn gave 1 ear from 8 stalks, and it was immature and shriveld. My sunflowers, all 100 of them died before any buds appeared. My green peppers gave me 6 peppers and my tomatos gave me maybe 20 tomatos out of starting with 10 plants, and my strawberries gave me ONE berrie from 4 plants, LOL.....One shriveled cuc from 6 plants......you get the idea, LOL. My herbs fared far better! Even after much snowfall, I still had fresh parsley and chives. and rosemary. and mint. BUT I have never USED herbs, so I mostly had no clue what i was DOING with them, LOL.

    I did not get around the the beans, yet, after all, will go slow and careful. I only first tried hummus over the winter holidays just past, did not like store bought, thought I might try makeing my own....but not today, LOL, maybe not even this week.

    As near as I can tell, so far I have entirely stayed away from all naughty stuff so far...I had hoped to get some weight loss behind me and some better lab values going solid before I cheated or slipped or stretched anything. I have been usening mostly the onion, garlic and vinegar, and celery, too- and maybe some bell pepper-- and I did not know the name sofrito so I told the kids it is "confetti" and everything lately is ala confetti. LOL.

    Hmm, INever heard of osso bucco, but I do know I need to watch less fod network, LOL, cuz when I see them make things, I want tomake them, too! LOL
    we used to go out several times a week, but, I have not gone out now in 2weeks becuz until I know more, until I grasp this all better I do not trust eating out. I KNOW I cook my fish and chicken with NO fat.....I measure EVERYTHING I use.....and it is all fresh. KInda different, considering I loved eating out, packaged foods, etc. Oh yeah, me and processed foods, I was SO naughty.
    PLain water is and always has been my beverage of choice, and lots of it. I am lucky there, it helps, and I drink while eating, too. and before eating. always have.

    I thik today I am gonna try to research more about carbs. Maybe the vegs I am useing are too high carb content? I do not know, I have more been focused so far on the food groups and calories.....as s tarting point, but, I KNOW I need to learn so much more, too.
    The good news? Yes, there is some good news finall.

    My blood pressure has stayed lower, 10 -20 pts lower all week! YAY and...(drumroll please) FINALLY this morning the SCALE showed a slightly lower weight! YAY! (ha ha ha, now if it stays at the lower weight - that will be good) a whole 1 pound less. (aw come on, it is a start) I was beginning to worry that if by Monday - my 2 week mark, if I had not yet lost even just one pound, I might get SO frustrated I might seriously self sabotage or something.

    Bummer, today has been hectic, since pre dawn.and I was not properly prepared - so I missedbreakfast entirely and now am also missing lunch, back to my old ways too easily.....a BAD thing, I hear.......and I am not sure how to continue the day now, do I just take on from midday on, and hold to my low later in day intake? will my sugar drop too low? I dunno. I know or I think- I am not supposed to try to "make up" those lost meals, and must not give in to over eat now.......yes, this is my old way---I just simply stay on the go and forget to eat (on occasion I forget to eat for DAYS even, yeesh)

    Oh, exercise? right now so far the biggest change I have made is to use stairs instead of elevators at the hotels with my son etc and at courthouse etc.....and in parking lots, I park way far from the door instead of useing my handicapped permit----becuz hey, I CAN walk now, and I CAN use the stairs, so I have been. ANd I run up and down my stairs to my basement several times early morning and later in day, just running them to run them....and, LOL, I have begun to stop and do these 5 minute wiggly dance things at odd times thru the day, sure does make the kids LOL. BUT I am considering joining an asthritis water exercise class or a health club ($$$) and if it had not been raining/storming/flooded/snowing here, I keep trying to go outside to walk a power walk type thing. I also want to get kickstand on my bicycle fixed so my back tire will roll. Then maybe my son will ride with me?
    Oldest wants to walk with me.
     
  18. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Sounds like you're having a go at doing all the right things. You're doing well if your BiPolar (BP) is dropping. Anything which can help you avoid or cut back on BiPolar (BP) medications is a good thing. Give the weight time.

    I've been growing and using herbs for years, I can help you there. My veggie growing isn't that brilliant either. I had another try with corn this year, but I think my vegetable garden is just too shaded. Also it doesn't get enough water. When I rip it all out (hopefully this weekend) I'm going to harvest the amazing crop of parsley seed then top up the soil from the chook house (FYI - chooks are hens. Poultry). I bought some irrigation hose which I will be able to lay out now, so I can water the garden more easily from the rainwater tank.

    Back to herbs - don't rip it out because you think it's dead - rosemary, thyme and mint are perennials, it could grow back next summer. Tarragon is my latest favourite - when mine died back, I thought it was dead. I had something else growing in that pot so it got left and next spring - wow! It seemed to grow inches overnight.
    With herbs, you use your nose and your tastebuds and work it out for yourself. The fleshier herbs such as chives, parsley, tarragon and basil should be used fresh. Dried, they taste like dead grass clippings. You can chop them and freeze them though. Another thing you can do with strongly flavoured soft herbs is make flavoured vinegar or oil with them. All you have to do is pick a bunch of the herbs and put them in a (good quality) oil or vinegar, in a nice-looking bottle. And label it. I have so much tarragon I bought a 2 litre bottle of good cider vinegar and I'm going to stuff it with the tarragon before it dies back for winter. I have more growing than I can use in cooking, so this way I get to keep more of it to use over winter (and to share with friends).

    I grow a lot of my stuff in big pots. Small pots are a fast way to kill plants, especially in summer. The small pots overheat and dry out. Some herb varieties such as dill, fennel, chervil and coriander are very short-lived, so you think you're a bad gardener when really, you're not. Rocket is called rocket because it bolts to seed really fast. I don't like it, which is a pity because it's so easy to grow, and I have so much harvested seed!

    With herbs, you should pick off the tips that are trying to flower. You can still use those tips, but once it flowers it will go to seed and then die off. From the plant's point of view, it's done its job. When it goes to seed, collect the seed so you can plant more next spring (or right away, if conditions are right). If it's an annual, rip it out at tat point. Don't rip out dead peas or beans, though. Leave the roots in the soil to provide more nitrogen.

    What happened to the veggies? Were they too dry, or too wet? Or was it snails? I have trouble growing peas & beans because of snails. They eat off the young shoots and you come out to check the garden and nothing's there, except maybe a dying stalk flat on the ground.

    All seeds should be planted one seed's depth into the ground. Tiny seeds such as carrots & lettuce can be mixed with sand and poured out through a tiny hole into a furrow. The seeds will then be naturally fairly evenly spread, mixed in with the sand. Always water after you sow. Large seeds - don't water them again until you can see them poking up above the soil, or they will rot. That might be what happened to your larger seed plants.

    You also need to plant at the right time of the year and in the right place. Like my corn - I planted at the right time, but because it's too shady, it wasn't successful. It also needs a lot more water than I was able to give it. You also need to plant a lot of corn close together so it will pollinate properly. My garden bed it really too small. A long, single row of corn will almost always fail to produce more than an ear or two at most.

    If you find you've missed a meal, don't deliberately eat more to 'catch up'. Just eat a normal meal when you can and maybe postpone the next a little. I'm trying to spread out a day's intake so I eat less at meals but include snacks (of meal-type quality). No biscuits, no cake, no junk. For example, I had my serve of muesli on Thursday morning early then drove difficult child 3 into the city to his school. At morning tea I had just my coffee, then let difficult child 3 buy himself a hamburger when we finished at 1 pm. He ate his burger (I ate nothing) as we drove to the supermarket nearer to home. We got there at 2.30 pm and I'd had nothing since my cup of muesli. So I bought the two pieces of sushi as a snack, but it turned out to be lunch. It was enough for me. In the supermarket I bought a pint of skim milk which I drank on the way home. That all held me until dinner time, which was roast chicken. I ate a fairly normal meal but no potatoes. Extra carrot instead.

    Vegetables - they're all good, but those heavy in carbs need to be cut back on a bit. So limit the spuds and kumara, substitute with pumpkin and carrot. Enjoy lots of beans, loads of salad vegetables. Avoid creamy dressings, but it's OK to have an oily dressing you've made yourself using a SMALL amount (tsp or so) of a good oil such as olive oil, macadamia oil or similar. If you mix it with lemon juice or wine vinegar, it tastes great. Leave out the croutons - if you must have crunch, toss in a small amount of freshly dry-roasted nuts such as slivered almonds, walnut pieces, pistachio or pine nuts. About a tablespoon of nuts per serve, at most.

    There is a nutty/seedy preparation called LSA, which is short for linseed, sesame and almond. You can combine it yourself and grind it, or buy it already ground. It's really good for liver cleansing and added fibre.

    Good monosaturate oil such as olive or macadamia is like Drano for the blood vessels.

    If you have a bad day diet-wise, don't scrap everything. Just pick up where you left off next time.

    I allow myself a small amount of chocolate, but the rule is, no compounded, cheap chocolate. It's got to be good quality stuff, preferably dark chocolate. We get 70% cocoa dark chock and I allow myself ONE square of that, every few days. There's good stuff in chocolate but you only need a tiny amount. It's good for the soul, but one square of 70% chock can give you a chocolate hit that really lasts. Also, don't eat it at night, or anything else sweet, if you're worrying about keeping your insulin levels down. Save the chock hit for a busy morning or early afternoon.

    The exercise is good, do what you can but don't wreck yourself. The more you can do, the more it should speed your metabolism and the more chance you have of getting the weight to shift. Exercise can get you off the plateau.

    Good luck!

    Marg
     
  19. dreamer

    dreamer New Member

    yeesh, I donot know why I could not figure it out thismorning when I posted, LOL. I simply continued my day, had BRUNCH, LOL. (I took my "salad" and added 1/4 cup egg beaters.....had an omlet. LOL.
    BUT..then becuz we used to go out to eat several times a week, and going out to eat is my #1 fav thing in the entire world to do......and I had been 2 weeks + deprived....we went out.
    I DID "behave" and had plain broiled salmon and green beans, BUT I also had a cup of chicken soup (soup has always been a huge fav of mine) and instead of potato with my fish, they also offer -pasta (yeesh) so I had pasta and I ATE it!
    So- I did NOT stick too well to the rigidness today.....altho I also did not go way way extreme over....but I am fairly sure it was more than I otherwise would have had. Ah but the social part of it combined with just doing something so "normal" was nice.....and really the big difference was only the chicken soup and the pasta. I am hoping I can soon be more at ease figureing out eating out -----and not being so ..confused? overwhelmed? with meu options. Altho reality is that eating out does offer far less "healthy" options. I would have LOVED to be able to have decent vegs instead of potatos or pasta or even the soup- but, that simply is NOT an option on menus around here....and the pricing structure also does not permit such things. So trying to choose better and still pay fair price is nearly impossible.
     
  20. dreamer

    dreamer New Member

    LOL we were posting at the same time.

    It is starting to be my kids time, so my attention is not good right now....
    um, so far I am doing just vinegar and crushed garlic on my salads and am enjoying it plenty enough. Maybe I will get tired of that and need to ad a dab of a healthier type oil eventulaly, maybe once some weight begins to go?

    you mentioned something I was unfamiliar with, starts with a k..???

    My corn, I did read to not do it in one long row, I had like 3 rows or 4 by 3 or 4....yes, to help it pollinate, but....
    the lettuce carrots and radishes? I am pretty sure lil critters kept eating them? I tried useing cayenne to repel them....but... SOme of my garden I think just got too much wind damage, and abuse, my sunflowers I think neighbors little day care charges were horseing around with them....a friend who gardens more than I thought maybe I needed fertilizer (manure) which he offered to provide me from his farm this year? and another 2 people thought maybe I could have chosen a more sunny spot...turns out some mulberry trees nearby shot up and out a LOT this year - more than I expected and did wind up interfereing.
    I did put some peppers, tomatos and the strawberries in very large pots, as well as some in garden plot, and the potted ones did LOTS better.
    Last year I did use chives, in omlets, on potatos in salads. I used a lot of fresh parsley.....I made mint tea for husband and difficult children boyfriend.they liked it, I didn't. MOstly I planted the herbs to attract hummingbirds andor butterflies, LOL. we used a little of the rosemary, here and there, to experiment with it.
    I still have flooding here and nothing is greening up yet, but, I remembered many things I have are perennials.....and I remember reading a couple of them take extra long to green up- and that I should not assume they died.....but, it has not quite yet been decent enough to really get out there, oh, die hard yard people might already be out, but......I have been pretty busy with follow ups far away and in between, the weather has been yukky when I have been here. BUT I am getting nervous that I am gonna get too far behind with my "new" gardening projects if I do not get out there really soon. It is a very good thing we do not depend on my gardening skills, tho, or we would starve! and I think I had more fun just doing it than harvesting anything. LOL. Turns out I LIKE sitting in dirt and mud all day!!!!!! Yeesh. LOL. I actually found it was nice for my hands to be in the warm dirt, and I did take care with the sun (I am blonde haired blue eyed fair skinned) but, being IN the sunshine really did seem to do me good. (I had worked nites all my life and had never spent ANY time in sunlight at all) Harvest was like last on list of benefits, go figure. LOL. Most days my family thought I abandoned them, and wuld go looking for me and I was just sitting lost in the dirt talking to and touching and admireing the silly plants. I think I was fascinated. I really really hated to see summer end last year more than I EVER did before in my life. Kinda funny. I kept thinking "Is this ME"? LOL. I never dreamed I would LIKE being outside or being in dirt!
     
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