Artist date : Jumping rope

The infinity cross ropes arrived today with an additional payment of 35 monies above and over the Fedex charges. I have the 1/4 and 1/2 pound ropes now. And I started jumping. It is difficult to use these ropes. It is like doing a workout on the run with a load in your hands. I started 5 minutes of jumping rope( broken up into bits and pieces) for the past 9 days. I have increased my jumps from 10-25 without tripping 90% of the time and it seems I might be getting a few, well, at least 2 lines on my abdomen. Hope it is not my eyes playing tricks on me. This is in addition to the left knee pain and quadriceps hurts. I can see why they say jump rope is effective. But it has yet to become the fun it used to be when I was a child

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 !




Doing the Sugar Smart diet has made me smart in other ways too. Becoming aware of carbohydrates in no mean way is one side effect.

One of the substitutes for white wheat which they advised was barley. I am not sure about others but barley water was something we might have been given as children when we had urinary problems( probably, or so I’ve heard). No one ate barley- I didn’t even know what it looked like.

The recipes in this diet substituted white rice, white flour, white sugar for all whole food. I did not feel inclined to eat brown rice as I was on a separate agenda to lose my taste for rice. Though we are predominantly rice eaters and rice figures in our breakfast, lunch and dinner recipes, I could easily do without it at a time. Over the years, I developed a taste for it and it became difficult for me to imagine lunch without rice of some sort. Added to this was the soothing comfort that a plate of rice afforded me. Branless, white wheat has been used in our house for years and I can make a mean roti ( pita type bread) in minutes. Ever since my daughter had a problem with her monthlies and possibility of having cysts in her ovaries, which could lead on to polycystic ovarian disease, we (the two of us) have tried to give up wheat too- in all its forms. So both rice and wheat were off for me on the Sugar Crush diet. I had to pick and choose the recipes that would suit my additional requirements.

And then I found a couple of recipes featuring barley. The grocery store had these small packets of barley ( barely 250 gms) and very cheap – so I bought a couple of packets and tried to cook it as in the recipe. Believe it or not, barley is so good- it has a white, chewy, almost crunchy taste to it, and I am huge on crunchy, chewy food ( that’s why I love chocolate so much). There was a recipe with cucumber, tomato, black bean and barley salad, that I initiated myself on. It was tasty and I was hooked. Additionally, you don’t feel too hungry after a mean of 1/2 a cup of cooked barley.

I read up more about barley and here is some of what I learned. It is supposed to have originated in the Orkney Islands off the coast of the Scottish Highlands and also a native of the Tunisian desert. Barley is a versatile crop and can grow anywhere. Barley can be of different types – one is the hulled variety ( not very commonly available) and then the common pearl barley. But the Ethiopian black barley is supposed to be the best of all in terms of nutrition. pearl-barley

( Google images)

Have you tried eating barley ? Have you liked it or become addicted to it as it seems, I have ?


Cat update and my day 31

The second last day before my diet ends. I am actually going to miss it, so I think I am going to continue it. A loss of 5 kgs is not a joke for me, someone who has been trying to do so for at least a few years. My sugar cravings are gone now, completely. I don’t want to be going there again and if I remind myself that I am on the diet formally, maybe I won’t fall off.

Kath, one of my coworkers has  a six week old puppy, who she adopted grudgingly recently. The puppy is seemingly healthy, playful and has a good appetite. My friend has dreadlocks and the puppy likes to sleep on her neck and he apparently chews her dreadlocks to soothe himself to sleep. Long story short, the puppy now has an inflated tummy and is sometimes in pain. His bowel and bladder move normally and he is eating well  but Kath is worried about the puppy. A scan of the abdomen showed a few blocks in his system and the vet is not sure what they are. Kath teaches diving on weekends and as her classes are important to her and her students, she would like someone to look after her pup while she is out teaching. Of course, I said I could keep her. At my home there is a 4 year old cat and I am not sure how he is going to react to having a pup at home. Called my husband up and he agreed to have her.

The stray cat Gundu is still in my laundry room. The guy who helps with housework took a look at him yesterday and told me cheerfully that he was a goner. He had seen the other strays lie down similarly for days before they passed on. I lost my spirit after this and went up to sit in my room and brood. Previously such emotions would have led me straight to a binge. Now I didn’t feel like it- was it my extreme anxiety or my genuinely having lost my sugar cravings- I can’t tell. When I came down at around 7:30 pm to get my daughter her dinner, I looked in at him and found him down from his cushioned perch and down on the floor, near the door- and— he was on all four legs. I called out to my house help and boy, was he surprised. I forgot to mention that while I was upstairs, I prayed with all my heart for him and concluded with ” Lord, if it is your will, take him.” Shortly after, I saw him  on all four legs . He still didn’t want to eat anything but he was looking a little more alive than the previous day- it was now about 36 hours since this started.

I put him on his window perch outside my kitchen window and he sat there quietly watching the other strays eating. There are about 7 now, left after the poisoner did his job. After some time he allowed me to carry him and put him inside the laundry room on his cushion.

This morning at 3 am, I woke up and found him quite awake and eyes alive. He hit himself against my legs as cats often do and then when I sat down on the floor wanted to climb on my lap, which I let him. He sat there peacefully and I sat at peace too, grateful in the moment, for the few extra minutes that God had granted me with him. You can never tell with strays.

At 6 am, I went to check on him again and he came out of the room on his own and even sniffed at a bit of his favourite cat food but didn’t seem to want any. But at least he sniffed.And that is something.

So at the beginning of day 31, I am at 85 kgs and am wearing a top which was way too tight for me when I was “obese” and now I could just about manage to pull over my head but at least it got in. My bust looks crushed because the top is a little tight over there but I am ok. The arms feel tight. It is good to be back in the ” XL” range of clothes from XXL or XXXL.

And I am grateful.


Day 30

Just 2 days to go and the Sugar Smart Diet for me – first phase should officially be over.

I am now 85 kgs light. I am energetic and a lot of my lost memory seems to have come back. There were times I went to the kitchen to get something and then my mind is a blank- I didn’t know what I was there for. I thought it is my excess use of computers that did this but it seems sugar had a hand too. At least I can remember why I went somewhere and what my intent was. I used to be afraid that I would be driving and would suddenly forget where I was going and for what.

One of the strays I look after outside and who used to be on my kitchen window sill come sun or rain, didn’t turn up yesterday morning. The serial killer poisoner of cats is in action these days and there have at least been 4 deaths that I know of. It is pathetic to see healthy cats lying stiff and cold. I searched for my stray as much as I could yesterday. I came back late from work yesterday, around 7 pm and went looking for him again. After a long search and helped by the other strays ( who now number only around 6), I saw him lying behind a water tank in a bed of sand and saying small “mews”. I called out his name -Gundu but he could not or would not get up. He did not seem to be salivating or hurt but he looked smaller than I remembered him. Glad that I found him, I went home to bring some food  but he refused to eat- this was a first for him- he never would say “no” to food. I left him alone for about an hour and then came back to look at him, when I saw him standing up near the sand pit. I called his name and asked him to follow me. Wanting to take him to our laundry room outside our house, where he could be warm, I led him on. He followed me for a bit and allowed me to carry me into the room and I put him on an old cushion there. He propped himself up happily. I left some cat biscuits on the floor and closed the door so other cats could not get in.

I checked on him at 3 am, when I usually get up to feed our indoor cat and he is just the same and lying there with no energy at all. I opened his mouth and fed him some of his favorite cat food and he swallowed a few bits. I am not sure he is poisoned but I am so grateful he is still with us and we found him. My husband thinks he has FIV but I think the cold weather and his being outside in it gave him a fever, maybe.

So my day was packed with all this and I forgot much about eating food though I am supposed to eat regular on this diet. Weight 85 kgs- so a 5 kg drop from start about 29 days back- which is 10  lbs which sounds a lot. I am able to walk a lot faster than I used to before.


Day 24

Going to the bathroom I found a trickle of blood, I thought it was my monthlies but about 10 minutes early. Note that as I am peri menopausal, these things come without notice and with no rhyme or rhythm. So I started using pads, only to find that there has been nothing more, overnight. I have concluded that it must have been ovulatory bleeding(mittelschmerz) or that I am having a pre-menstrual flow as a warning. My husband has been urging me to have a scan to see on progress of fibroids, such as they are.

It is surprising that at my age, a woman might ovulate. Anyway, surprises will never cease.

The diet is still going on and I am bloated, as might be expected with all the hormonal changes going on. I seem to be stuck at 87 kg.

Sugar cravings : nil. Breast size: come down 3 inches ( success).

Back side ( 2-3 inches off). Waist ( possibly 2 inches)

I love the recipes on this diet. They are all perfectly creatable and eatable and don’t need expensive ingredients. No chia, macha, or fancy stuff. Sometimes we use barley, quinoa and wheat berries( which I haven’t tried yet, not having any).