Tag Archives: exercise

From Coffee & Diet Coke to Kombucha & Everything Between

The coffee pot has been placed into the pantry on the top shelf and the grinder cleaned and put away. That’s right, no post for health 005more coffee. I stopped the caffeine frenzy back in May when I stopped the tobacco habit and haven’t looked back. I don’t even know if I’m allowed to call myself a writer without a daily coffee regimen.   

My six to eight diet Cokes a day were gone in that bargain, also. It’s all about making healthier choices. I get my fizz fix from an occasional flavored sparkling water…no sugar or artificial sweeteners, or Kombucha. My concentration, productivity and focus are much improved without the caffeine.

I had elective surgery in June, (one I had put off for six years), which took me to my general practitioner’s office for a follow up. Although her information came after the insurance company told me, she advised me that I was no longer in prediabetes, but had crossed the bridge to diabetic. (HgbA1C = 7.5) Immediately, she wanted me on metformin. I didn’t take that too well. Then she proposed another drug with weight gain as a major side effect. Not going there either. I’ve been losing weight; don’t want to do anything that’s going to compromise that progress. She was concerned about my total cholesterol, (just over the line at 201) even though my HDLs were good, my LDLs weren’t as good as they could be.

Meanwhile, the RS gets informed by his physician that he is prediabetic  (Hgb A1C=6.8), he’s had cholesterol problems for a few years and just recently had to stop a statin d/t side effects.

What to do???

The old hippie philosophies resurfaced. I’m a firm believer that there is a plant out there somewhere with the capacity to heal whatever ails animal kind. With little more discussion, we decided to seek out the assistance of a holistic nutritionist. A lovely lady was highly recommended, Dr. Samadhi Artemisa, who is a licensed nutritionist, iridologist, yoga instructor, massage therapist, and acupuncturist. She also writes a column for the local paper, The Orlando Sentinel.


While she lives the vegan/raw life, she was more than willing to help us meat-eaters develop a better balance and work to ward off some serious health risks. After four and a half hours of consultation and an iridology screening, she placed us on a gluten free, dairy free (except for European cheeses in very small amounts), soy free, low carb, sugar free diet that permits no GMOs or artificial sweeteners. Organic vegetables & fruits and grass fed, antibiotic & hormone free beef preferable. We eat five to six times a day, every two to three hours, small portions of healthier foods…nuts and nut butters, veggies, hummus, guacamole, sardines, wild caught fish, lean meats pressure cooked, seed crackers, millet bread, sugar free coconut milk frozen dessert and cultured coconut milk. I’m learning to spiralize zucchini, beets, rutabagas, daikon radish, and other veggies to make low carb noodles, rice and pasta.

This was my lunch today.

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Mediterranean zucchini faux pasta salad with heirloom cherry tomatoes, hearts of palm, anchovy stuffed green olives, artichokes, tiny Gruyere cubes and lemon-herb vinaigrette.

Replacing the coffee pot on the counter and taking up space in the fridge) are our supplement bottles which contain: manna stem, angelica root, aloe leaf, senna leaf, rhubarb root, zedoary root, myrrh stem, carline thistle root, camphor, black snakeroot, valerian root, cardamom fruit, saffron pistil, sunflower lecithin, muscadine seed, red Yeast rice, post for health 013CoQ10,flax seed oil, sunflower seed oil, raw sesame seed oil, evening primrose oil, algal, coconut oil, rosemary leaf oil, and oat bran oils, ginseng root extract, holy basil leaf extract, fenugreek seed, gymnema sylvestre leaf extract, Ceylon cinnamon, vanadium, bitter melon fruit extract, turmeric root, ginger root, jambui seed, digestive enzymes, B12 liquid, local bee pollen, Bragg’s apple cider vinegar, polycosonal, artichoke leaf, hawthorn berry, turmeric root, fennel seed, ginko biloba, banaba, and bladderwrack.

Sounds like witches brew, huh?

This concoction of herbs, extracts and oils is supposed to lower our bad cholesterols, raise our good ones, control our diabetes, and enhance our brain’s performance. My energy level has, at least, tripled!

Some of them are more palatable than others.

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Yummy and thicker than axle grease!

We’ve had two visits for therapeutic massage and two visits for acupuncture. So far, the RS and I have lost twenty pounds each in three months. His fasting blood sugars have come down from the 130s to the 80s, and mine have come down from the 130s to 110s. He hasn’t had his HgbA1C checked again, but mine has come down to 6.6 from 7.5. I’d still like to see my fastings come down under a hundred, but it’s early yet. Today I discovered that my two hour post prandials vary between 106-116.

I’ll add that we are both swimming and walking daily with three ten minute exercise routines, after breakfast, lunch and supper, that aren’t terribly strenuous and can be done in a bathroom.

Little strides over time.

The RS doesn’t like it, but I’ve added Kombucha, an effervescent, fermented tea, to my regimen. He says it tastes like flavored beer to him. I never liked beer, but I love Kombucha. If you would like to learn more about Kombucha and brewing it, I recommend the Kombucha Mama’s blog, web site, store and videos. Her Kombucha Kamp has everything you need to know to get started brewing your own.

There are so many added health benefits. The antioxidants, polyphenols, and probiotics are reason enough to drink it.

What it does:

*alkalizes the body

*detoxifies the liver

*increases metabolism

*improves digestion

*alleviates constipation

*cancer prevention

*reduces blood pressure

*relieves headaches & migraines

*aids healthy cell regeneration

*reduces kidney stones

*improves eyesight

*reduces eczema – softens the skin

*prevents arteriosclerosis

*speeds healing of ulcers

*helps clear up candida & yeast infections

*boosts energy – helps with chronic fatigue

*destroy free-radicals that cause cancer

*rebuilds connective tissue – helps with arthritis, gout, asthma, rheumatism

You can buy commercial brands, but why, when you can brew it yourself?

I keep it in a dark, well ventilated room. The temp stays between 75 and 85 degrees.


Have you made any dietary changes to improve your health?

What is working for you?

Progress Update with Peccadilloes and Celtic Thunder

It wasn’t that long ago that I was whining about being in a pretty deep funk. I thank those of you who beared with me through all of that.

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Today I wrote 1740 words which brings the grand total on this project to 16,146. I did manage to kill two people today and blow up a Church.

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I also managed to swim 853 yards. That might not put me in the Olympics but, for someone as sedentary as I have been this past winter, it is progress.

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Here’s the lyrics to a cute little Irish ditty. You might want to sing along.

God forgive my peccadilloes, I pray.

“A Place in the Choir”

by Celtic Thunder

All God’s creatures got a place in the choir,
Some sing low and some sing higher,
Some sing out loud on the telephone wire,
Some just clap their hands or paws or anything they got.

[Repeat Chorus]

Well listen to the bass its the one on the bottom,
Where the bullfrog croaks and the hippopotamus,
moans and groans with a big to do,
And the old cow just goes moo.

The dogs and the cats, they take up the middle,
Where the honeybee hums and the cricket fiddles,
The donkey brays and the pony neighs,
And the old gray badger sighs.


Listen to the top with the little birds singing,
And the melodies and the high notes ringing,
And the hoot-owl cries over everything,
And the blackbird disagrees.

Singing in the night time singing in the day,
And the little duck quacks and he’s on his way,
And the otter hasn’t got much to say,
And the porcupine talks to himself.


Its a simple song living song everywhere,
By the ox and the fox and the grizzly bear,
The grumpy alligator and the hawk above,
The sly old weasel and the turtledove.

Pool is Open!

The pool finally hit the 86 degree mark, which is the coolest temperature I can tolerate. The chemicals are all balanced; it is clean, and ready to dive into. Two years ago I lost thirty pounds swimming every day. I would swim laps back and forth across the pool for thirty minutes to an hour and a half…weekends included. We don’t skinny dip…we chunky dunk.

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Last year I had a bout with frozen shoulder, adhesive capsulitis. It was too painful to swim and I spent the summer in physical therapy. I also gained back ten of the thirty pounds I had lost.

My eating habits and food choices are good, but psychotropic meds and sedentary lifestyle don’t help. I use a glycemic index diet. It is a bit stricter than Atkins in some ways, but more lenient in others. You can have carbs, but they must meet 55 or less on the glycemic index (unless they have an extremely high nutrient content, like sweet potatoes and watermelon). I have used it so long that I know now what is allowed and disallowed, so it is easy to follow.

Almost all writers are plagued by sedentary lifestyle. During the winter and early spring, I was seated at the computer most all day, and into the night. I have decided to ride my bike to the produce market once or twice each week. It is too hot to walk.

We sold our treadmill and stationary bikes. They were taking up too much room and were not being put to use…despite being under the air-conditioning.

I do a significant amount of housework and gardening, which keeps me moving, but probably doesn’t burn off the calories that I would like to burn. I can’t deny that I am a bit lazy when it comes to workout routine discipline, but I do enjoy swimming.

What are you doing to stay in shape this season? Many Florida homes have pools.

Do you have a gym nearby?

Wish me luck!

Trick or Treat, Smell my Feet, Give Me Something Good to Eat


My pug is overweight. My husband is overweight. I am overweight.  We eat well. I am a good cook.  I hate denying myself of the pleasures in life, but I would love to live to see 60.  I am looking forward to growing old with my husband.

I am a nurse.  I have taken advanced nutrition classes. I know about healthy lifestyles and corrective behaviors, but it is all easier said than done.

Last year my doctor did the hgbA1C test.  That’s the one where they can see how your blood sugar has spiked over the past three months.  Unlike a simple blood sugar test where they see where you are at with your blood sugar at any one moment in time, this test is a long range predictor.

Mine, and my husband’s, showed that we were both pre-diabetic.  We had hit that 6.0 mark that indicates some major lifestyle changes or you are heading for oral antidiabetic agents, insulin, and major complications if you can’t keep it under control.  One of those complications being death.  This sort of adult onset diabetes is almost always preventable.  Sure, some are more genetically predisposed to it, but even they can take certain measures to get and keep things in check; like losing weight, eliminating or controlling carbs, avoiding refined sugar, exercising.

So, last year, I put us on a diet that involved the glycemic index.  The object is to eat only those foods which have a combined average glycemic index (GI) of 55 or less.  Meats and alcoholic beverages have a zero glycemic index, so I was okay there.  Green and yellow vegetables have a glycemic index of 25 or less (except sweet potatoes and white potatoes, sweet potatoes are as high as 85 but the nutritional value when combined with other foods is enormous, so not so bad, and white potatoes, except for the little red new ones, are pure carb trash for your system whether you bake it and eat with no butter or not, so those are out), so our veggies were fine. Most fruits are okay at around 60 but not juices as they are concentrated sugars whether sugar is added or not. Carbs have to be watched carefully.  I told you about potatoes, but breads, pasta, and rice can vary by both the type of grain and the method of cooking or preparation.  For example, that luscious, fragrant Jasmine rice you love so much with stir-fry, has a GI of 87, while brown rice and basmati have a GI of only 57-58.  Candy, cake, pie, ice cream, non-diet sodas, all the sweet stuff, a big no, no!   It’s a complex diet that requires much research, but once you learn what you can have, it is relatively easy to plan meals and even eat out without too much worry.  It is very similar to the Atkins diet, but a bit stricter, because there are so many foods that you must totally eliminate.

In addition to the diet, we got a treadmill and started walking daily.  We got an exercise bike and started peddling three times a week.  Last summer, I swam every single day, 7 days a week, for an hour to an hour and a half.   I stopped skipping breakfast (a practice that tricks your body into storing fat for survival). I was feeling better.  Are you ready?

I lost 48 pounds over the course of the year. My husband lost nearly that much.

We were so proud.

Then I plateaued. I stopped losing.  I wasn’t gaining, but I wasn’t losing, so I kicked up the exercise a notch.

Then I hurt my shoulder. Seriously, developed adhesive capsulitis and was in physical therapy for the entire 12 weeks of summer. No pool, no swimming. I would have drowned. Limited exercise. I could barely move my arm without severe pain. Sleepless nights. Steroid injections. Terrible pain.

Still, sticking strictly to the diet, I managed not to gain any weight all summer long.  My food portions were bird sized, but I was eating six times a day.  On rare occasions we would dine out and splurge…very rare. Pizza is actually on the diet plan, so I was okay there.  My weight, though still not at goal, was staying constant.

Halloween comes along.  We buy five huge bags of candy for trick or treaters. We pass out two.  We have three left.  With me being home all day, I have managed to nibble down every last bite of leftover candy in the past two weeks. Mama wouldn’t take it for the granddaughter; it’s all her fault, right? And this is just the beginning of the Holiday Season.

Where am I?  I stepped on the scales today. OMG! Twelve pounds! How does one gain 12 pounds eating Halloween candy?  Twelve pounds in two weeks.  Nearly a pound a day. Nothing else changed…nothing!  Halloween used to be my favorite holiday. I hate you, Halloween!  Next year, I am going to turn off the lights and pretend I am not home.