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Gratitude

Waking up early this morning. Feeling fresh and refreshed. It has been a good night. One in which I woke up only once to go to the bathroom( that is a big plus for me).

  1. For the computer, internet and wi-fi that are available 24 hours a day and let me have a virtual world apart from the real world. The virtual world helps me escape from reality for a good while.
  2. For ability to get access to books that help me improve my knowledge of things I thought I knew but actually didn’t and new things I learn every day. For recipes I am learning, creating and perfecting through these readings.
  3. For lowered blood sugars and blood pressure readings and the joy of seeing my husband happy and relaxed. The blessing of seeing this can’t be described in words. I never imagined my life to be so run by the happiness of another person but it is so, it has come to be so after 25 years of being in another person’s life. It comes to me that I have lived more years with this one person than with my parents.
  4. For 20 hungry cats that wait at my door each morning and evening and sometimes just hungry for a pat or a word from my mouth( I talk to animals). For each day I have with them though the thought that they won’t be much longer with me does bother me, I am determined to live in the moment.
  5. For a supervisor who has cooled down and is able to take time off from her worries and enjoy life at work. Her happiness transfers to us too and it is a blessing not to hear the tap of her shoes on the stone floors outside our rooms as she runs to get things done. For the slower pace of things this summer.
  6. For the ability to look at the better side of things at least when it involves others. I am trying to incorporate this in my life too.
  7. For smiles- for the smiles I see each day, for the smiles that remain in the world still. For people who give their smiles freely still. For people who don’t expect anything in return.
  8. For smart world leaders who do their job in their own characteristic way in spite of all the obstacles in their way. For the leader of a certain party who went out of his way to give a bear hug to his bitter critic opponent in parliament and who is ridiculed for it- for his guts to do so and not to keep grudges.
  9. For two legs that allow me to walk at will and that are under my control. I need to appreciate this ability more when I have them rather than wait for when I don’t.
  10. For eyes that see and ears that hear and a skin that heals fast even when injured. For a body that keeps me in one piece despite all the injuries I inflict on it.
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Another slow Sunday

True to its name, it has been a sunny day. The sun seems glaring at us from every direction. Even the plants seem to have given up. The ground is parched and cracked even though it is watered twice a day. It can’t seem to win against the evaporation.

As my car’s insurance had expired and we hadn’t noticed until the weekend, I was advised by the car’s owner( my husband) not to drive it till this issue was settled. The funny thing is I have been driving the car from the 3rd of July when the insurance expired until Saturday in ignorance but ever since I became aware and its owner aware, we are trying to be extra careful and follow rules.(sic). So today I called up work and told them I wouldn’t be able to come since I had no car. They advised me to call up an Uber and come to work, rather than take a day off. About 10 am, I took a risk and drove the car as usual. But with extra caution and with a nagging feeling that something untoward was going to happen. Thankfully nothing did and my supervisor was shocked when I told her I drove without insurance. Anyway all’s well that ends well and I am back home, safe and sound and the insurance is all bought and ready.

Elder daughter called me this way and wanted to know why I had stopped messaging her  the past two days. Its true. I have been going slow with the messages since she doesn’t respond often and she is busy and I didn’t want to disturb her routine. Seems like she wanted to talk this Sunday, so I called her and we talked for about an hour.

Husband’s blood sugar is 90 mg% which is 5.1 and this is very normal for fasting levels. It now remains for the blood pressure to be controlled. His serum insulin came up as 10 and that is at the upper limit of normal- so he seems to be getting his insulin levels under control too. All the beef he’s eating has not activated any episodes of gout- yet. That is another symptom of metabolic syndrome. All in all doing well. There is a 24 hour fast scheduled for Wednesday and I rather dread the excuses he might come up with. It is difficult for people to starve in the midst of plenty.

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Friday Foibles

It is a time when there is so much to write about but so many things hold one back-have you ever experienced that ? Doubts, should I put it all down or should I ruminate over them in my mind?

First there are reports of rapes and more rapes and atrocities against women. All over, repeatedly. What can women do ? What should we do ? Should we look the other way ?

Then there is a girl and her sister who want to come to our house to work as our own helper man has gone on his annual vacation. She has a day job at our university and wants to make a little money on the side by working at houses. I would have liked to have her but she would only come with another woman. They work together. For me, it was rather difficult – being the shy, withdrawn person that I am to have one too many people at home. But we did it- I relented and they came.

It was great to have someone ( though two) clean the house for me. I never can do it right-mopping the floor would leave water all around that I would slip on myself. Sometimes I leave my footprints on freshly mopped floors and have to do it over. So I was glad to have help but as they were new- I needed to be with them to show them the ropes. So half of my weekend day was expended in this supervisory role(:)). After they were done, I dropped them at a mall where they could get a cab to their work camp.

The house is clean but I think I will be doing the house myself again- that is feasible and workable.

My daughter has learnt a new dance move and she was showing it to me so I joined in. She woke up after 14 hours of sleep – she had come to the mall to drop the two girls yesterday and she got food from the Cheesecake factory- after eating which( perhaps??) she got a migraine, from which she recovered at 10 am today( Saturday)- a nice long nap or sleep she had.

Husband’s sugar is almost under control and without any medications- he is adapting with the lifestyle- no carbs at all- at least none that I could identify. But he took two days of the hypertensive medication which has Thiazide in it and so his blood sugar was a little higher than when it was without any medication. Thiazides are known to affect the liver and cause increased blood sugars. The blood sugars were still in normal range. He planned to get his fasting insulin and hs-C-reactive protein levels done today to confirm hyperinsulinemia and inflammation of the liver but he didn’t make it to the laboratory this morning. Early in the morning on Saturday, his car went to get the annual road worthiness check up and it failed the test- he had bumped the side of it parking in our shed- so that failed the car. Now he needs to get it fixed before the car can go the test again. So one car is out of service again as it has no third party insurance until it passes the test.

Otherwise, today is Saturday and the woman who helps with the cooking is there, preparing healthy meals for us for today- when today I will be fasting and my husband can add one carbohydrate to one meal today- the other meals continue as before( protein 25gms and two cups of above  the ground veggies). It is day 9 today and apart from a few complaints yesterday, he has done well on this diet. Am bent on getting him to a normal lifestyle with no medications if possible.

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Wednesday Writing

I confess I have spent a couple of hours over a couple of days in a week thinking what words go well with days of the week, so I could use it to title posts on different days of the week and also those that would inspire me to think in terms of those titles and restrain  my writing within those categories. I must confess I have not been very successful- I have even searched on the net for rhyming words- what goes well with Wednesday- whines, worries- no- something positive – really have not come up with anything great so far, so it is Wednesday writing for now. I thought I would use Wednesdays to reblog inspirational blog posts or those that I resonated with,  in spirit.

First up, the keto diet is working- for my husband. His fasting blood sugar is down to 99 mg% this morning. He is so inspired he doesn’t want to see a carb in his life again, or so he says. I am skeptical though. All I have asked him is 21 days of his life to put him and his liver back on the bandwagon. It seems even medical people have got it wrong and him being a gastroenterologist and all. Though insulin is secreted by the pancreas, it is actually the effects it has on the liver, glycogen stores, carbohydrate intake and utilisation that determine how the liver functions. And the liver is what affects the way we use sugars or do not use them. It seems like our forefathers had got it all right when they talked of the four humors one of which was from the liver- gall.

And the other major thing that affects our carbohydrate metabolism is inflammation. I am still working on understanding this and will write more about this when I understand better. For now, I understand that the way you find out if you have inflammation is by measuring C- reactive protein. I could be wrong about this.

For all the metabolic diseases we aim to cure with this diet, it seems we might have got our hands around two of them at least- blood sugars and high blood pressure.

This week is entirely vegetables alternating with protein.

Yesterday, I made keto almond bread in a coffee mug ( microwave method). So delicious- was as good as a snack. I found a website that showed this recipe. Let me share it here. It is delicious. Husband and I refrained from trying this out as we are on vegetables and proteins only this week, though we did take a bite each and declared it great.

So for breakfast yesterday we had cauliflower pancake. That again was delicious.

It seems going no-carb is helping with the temper issues too. When we are small, our parents keep us from having too many sweets, as that makes us hyperactive, prone to temper tantrums and so on. It would seem we never grow out of them and that they were right in telling us to keep off sweets. Those days, there weren’t too many sweets at home too, so that helped. Now there is plenty of all those things but the restrictions remain- the only change is that there is no mom or dad to tell us – keep away from the sweet stuff !

 

 

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Slow Sunday

It is a slow Sunday again. I am up at 2 am probably because of my diet which makes me very active, very early.

Carbohydrate intolerance and insulin resistance- two words commonly thrown around these days. Research seems to show that almost all of the metabolic diseases are attributable to insulin resistance probably stemming from deposition of fat in the liver and cycles of highs and lows through years of consuming more sugars/starches than necessary. High blood pressure, edema around ankles, blood sugars, gout, fatty liver, gall stones, insulin resistance are all supposedly related to this.

Last week, my husband had high blood sugars( post prandial above 200 mg/dL),which led to a minor panic situation here. He agreed to go zero carb too to see if that would help . So starting two days back, the two of us are on the low carb diet. Day 1 was tough as it involved 24 hour fast. For most of us who have never fasted, completely giving up food is unthinkable. It was the same for him. I have done it before, so I fasted with him. Probably because I have more to lose than him and probably because I have done it before, it was a lot easier for me than him. At hour 18, he almost gave up as he was seeing stars, had a headache and felt horrible. At this time, he broke his fast and indulged in some cheese and olives. Then he continued for the rest of the 6 hours and called it an almost 24- hour fast.

Day 2 was four meals of only vegetables. This was a difficult proposition- most of our bodies are conditioned to automatically reach out for sugars and something starchy throughout the day. Fruits, even healthy ones, were out. The better half confessed that he had been snacking through the day even while at work When food is found all around you, what does one do when he is hungry ? Eat. And that is what he had been doing.

Day 2 helped him and me realize that though he often said, he hadn’t eaten anything since our hearty breakfast, in actuality he was eating sugars. Day 2 cleared successfully for both him and me.

Day 3- today we can add protein back to the diet. For two meals, lets see how it goes.

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Gratitude

Monday is the day set apart for being grateful. Honestly this morning I am not finding many things to be grateful about but let me try. Let me see what makes me grouchy first this morning.

  1. Grateful for the Air Conditioning in the house for without it and the power supply we would not be able to live in arid conditions. Thank you.
  2. For family that has returned safe after more than a week of busy travel and activity.
  3. For the Thai boys who got rescued last night from the cave and for the remaining 8 boys who are still alive.
  4. For the cool wind that brought cooler weather in some parts of the world and did not bring harm.
  5. Oh, now that I am counting, there seem to be so many. For a friend who is busy at work but still writing and I know she is well somewhere.
  6. For the guts to face up to someone I needed to forgive.
  7. For sleep and hunger that plague me through the day. There are many people who do not feel these basic instincts of life. I am often not grateful for my hunger for food and cravings for crunchy stuff. I am grateful that I seem to have gotten over my sugar cravings.
  8. For a sister who works hard at work and at home with her children and her ill health. She has been looking after my husband and children every time they visited her city over the past two months.
  9. For the woman at the visa counter because she set me off on an alternate path of life, one that I never thought I would be going on this July. For new times and new experiences.
  10. For a spare car that in spite of my car being silent and still in the garage works well and takes me in comfort to work.
  11. For the chapel service that went well last night – that elder daughter sang in the choir for- it was her first experience singing in a choir and for appreciation. For the younger daughter who was kept safe through weeks of travel back and forth to the home country and the church service she attended here yesterday.
  12. For peaceful times at home and the cats outside. For peaceful neighbors who live their lives quietly. For a neighbour girl who put on 5 kilos of weight after a battle with extreme starvation. It made me happy to see her almost like her old self yesterday. I hope she gains her body image back- is that the correct way of putting it ?
  13. For the monthly times for both my girls. I have come to appreciate this with their lives as they have often missed these cycles in their lives but this year, seems to have brought regularity in their rhythms.
  14. For the change in mood from when I started this post, that I don’t want to write what was bothering me at the beginning of this writing.

Thank you for this day and for the challenges this day will bring.

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Slow Sunday

Today is a day for taking it slow. Reading blog posts, writing up comments, is what I have planned. It is also day 4 of the keto diet. As per the book, I get to do four meals of

1-2 cups of veggies + 20-25 gms of proteins

1-2 cups of veggies

1-2 cups of veggies + 20-25 gms of proteins

1-2 cups of veggies

In the morning I woke up feeling cold. Really cold. I was sleeping in an AC room and the weather outside is really hot but I am feeling cold. I think I have the flu- not the viral kind because I am immunised ( in May) but the keto kind.

I was dehydrated of course, having lost a lot of water overnight and not drinking enough to replace lost water. Finally I went downstairs to grab a drink and fill up my water bottle and add some rock salt powder to it. In half an hour, I feel better.