Nov 8
I’m Losing It!
icon1 basicallybenita | icon2 Diet and Fitness | icon4 11 8th, 2019| icon31 Comment »

Okay, so I’m losing it in a good way.

At my largest, I weighed 189. This was several years ago. I eventually lost down to the upper 160s to low 170s, bouncing back and forth between 168 and 172 on a semi regular basis. Once in a while, I would make the effort to lose and a couple of times actually saw me in the low 150s (152.2 was my lowest), but I always regained it back up the the 168-172 area.

Currently, due to my following the Keto way of eating pretty strictly, I am bouncing between 151 and 154. This time, I will not be regaining any of that weight back, and will continue Keto. I will continue this weight loss journey until I reach my goal weight of 125-130.

I will say that Keto is good eating. Yes, at first, it’s hard to get off the carbs, but, once you make the conversion from burning glucose to burning fat as your fuel, it’s pretty easy (Ketoade is a life saver!). And the food is delicious! My favorite place to get ideas and recipes is Keto Connect. Their recipes have been, for the most part, amazingly good. I haven’t tried everything (and won’t be because there are a lot of fish and curry-type-dishes that I just don’t like), but many of them have become staples for Scott and I.

Some of our favorites are:

High Fiber Muffins: I have been doing quite a bit of experiments with this one and banana (banana extract) and walnut is a winner, as is orange (orange extract) and pecan.

Easy Chicken Caprese: This paired with asparagus and mushrooms sauteed in ghee with garlic powder, onion powder, Himalayan pink salt and pepper is lovely!

Goat Cheese Tart: This is delicious cold and makes a great breakfast or late afternoon snack. I’ve used this during some intermittent fasting sessions as my last meal of the day at about 4PM. It keeps me satisfied for the rest of the day.

Keto Pot Pie: A quick and easy meal that is perfect for when you don’t have a lot of time to cook.

Fathead Dough Pizza: There are a couple of different crust recipes on here, but the fathead dough is simply amazing! I add sugar-free Italian sausage from Fresh Thyme, pepperoni, Fresh Thyme’s pizza sauce (again no sugar), black olives, oregano, basil, garlic powder, onion powder, and more cheese to top it. It is better than any store-bought or restaurant pizza going. Seriously!

Keto Bread: This is perfect as a toast for breakfast, or just with cream cheese spread on it.

Cauliflower Hash Browns: The video they put out out about this said it tasted just like real potato hash browns. So I tested Scott on that. I did not tell him it was cauliflower, and his first comment was just like in the video: “I thought we couldn’t have potatoes on Keto.” Seriously, you can’t tell!!

Green Bean Casserole: With Thanksgiving coming up, having a low-carb version of some of our favorite foods is a must. This one is delicious – creamy with that crunchy topping you expect.

Besides these recipes, I have been experimenting with different recipes, and fat bombs are one I think I have perfected – at least the chocolate ones. Mine is this: 1/2 cup coconut oil (melted), 1/2 pecan butter, 1T unsweetened dark chocolate, 5-7 drops of orange oil inflused Stevia. Thoroughly mix (you want it to be runny, so you might need to nuke it 30 seconds), pour into silicone candy molds, and freeze. The size I use makes 30 fat bombs at about 97 calories each. Perfect for an after meal treat, and it doesn’t trip-out your blood sugar or increase insulin levels.

There are many other recipes that I will be sharing on The Fiber Pusher website and channel as soon as I get the time. As I experiment and create new recipes, I will let you in on them.

And, I will keep you up on the whole weight-loss journey. Scott is on this as well, and is down 26 pounds since the start of Keto in late September. I hope we keep on losing it!

Mar 27
Short update and an apology
icon1 basicallybenita | icon2 Diet and Fitness | icon4 03 27th, 2019| icon31 Comment »

First the apology.  Due to the extreme busyness and extra hours worked in March, there will be no April issue of Dye-Anna’s Dye-Gest.  I hate skipping an issue, but there is no time to get one done before April 1st.  Once we get past April 15th, life will ease up a bit.

Now for the short update.

Forty-five days ago I started the Keto diet.  At first is was hard and the “Keto-flu” hit me over a weekend (thank heavens).  Once my system got used to using fat as a fuel instead of glucose, my appetite diminished and the weight slowly started coming off.  Forty-five days ago I weighed 164 with a resting heart rate of 77.  Today I weighed 154.5 with a resting heart rate of 63.  At Thanksgiving, I looked like this:


See how snug those jeans are and how round that face is?  Well, here is today:


My jeans are baggy, my top is loose on me, and my face leaner and less moon-like.  9.5 pounds has equated to several inches lost.  I need to go clothes shopping soon because these jeans can almost be taken off without unbuttoning them.  Not quite, but getting there.  I still want to drop 24.5 pounds.  I know this will take a while, but I am being patient and taking it one day at a time.

Oh yes.  It’s been 86 days since I last had anything with sugar in it.  I know that has helped, but I credit Keto with the loss of the fat and inches.

Doing this during tax season hasn’t been easy because I cook nearly everything I eat from scratch, and that takes time and planning.  Still, it’s been worth every minute of it.

May 25

(46 unread) - basicallybenita - Yahoo MailNot quite there, yet, but looking much better.  The funny thing is, that least active day of Thursday was spent loading the trailer and car, and hitching the trailer up by myself getting ready to leave the next day for Kentucky Sheep & Fiber Festival.  I did a lot of walking, so it tells you how well I did the rest of the week.

May 10

I mean it.  I’ll see you all next week – maybe.

May 3

Except for a few days when I was home working on spring cleaning and the studio reorganization, I really fell off the band-wagon.  The only gain in the averages over the past two weeks was in the number of floors climbed, and this is completely attributable to the studio reorganization.

End of Week 1                                        End of Week 3

4,932 steps/day                                      4,711 steps/day
6.6 floors climbed/day                             7.7 floors climbed/day
1.64 miles walked/day                              1.56 miles walked/day
1,680 calories burned/day                        1,604 calories burned/day

This is a new week.  Let’s see if I can change this back to all steps forward.

Eating is better, and I’m changing things up a bit this week.  Due to the weekly work schedule, I am finding myself eating at a certain time whether I am hungry or not.  I decided to remedy this by not eating until I am hungry.  Yesterday, for example, I didn’t drink my protein shake until nearly 10AM rather that at 7:30AM.  And lunch was a banana and some pistachios around 2:30, which is when I usually have my snack.  I understand the supposed dangers of not eating enough, and there will be days when I am hungrier than I am on others, so I guess, I’m banking those calories for when I really want to eat something.  Seriously, why eat if your body isn’t hungry?

Also, I have discovered that when I eat a full meal, I am hungrier later.  So, I am going to only eat a small amount when I am peckish.  I do this on the weekends, and I don’t eat nearly as much when I am at home as I do at work, which is completely backwards.  I sit at work and I am active at home.  I think eating at work is more the boredom factor than anything, so that needs addressed.  Also, that whole schedule thing.

As to working out, I really need to get my average steps closer to 10,000 per day, which will increase my distance and calories burned automatically.  And I’d like to get my average floors climbed per day up to 10.  So, let’s see how this week goes.

Apr 19

As the title says, I started out so well.  In fact, I followed through on the workout through Thursday as per schedule.  Friday, after walking all over the Fiber Event, I copped out on the rest of the workout, then Saturday and Sunday I was sick, so there was very little walking done and nothing on the rest of the workout.  So, I am going to repeat last week’s workout schedule.  I want to do a complete week at it before moving on to the next one.  I am determined, though, to complete it this week.

Here is the week average comparison, though:

Beginning of Week 1                                End of Week 1

3,716 steps/day                                       4,932 steps/day
4 floors climbed/day                                6.6 floors climbed/day
1.23 miles walked/day                              1.64 miles walked/day
1,611 calories burned/day                        1,680 calories burned/day

So, there is an improvement, and since my steps walked Saturday were only 598 due to spending most of the day in bed, I guess I can’t complain for the first week.  But I am complaining.  I can do much better than this.  I have done much better than this in the past.

So, let’s look at food.  Today, my eating plan is:

Breakfast: 12 oz 2% milk, one scoop Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Spirutein protein powder, and a banana – 367 calories, 50 grams carbs, 6 grams fat, 25 grams protein, 297 sodium and 1,015 potassium.

Lunch: 1 serving spaghetti squash with organic pasta sauce (no cheese), homemade meatballs, steamed broccoli – 287 calories, 20 grams carbs, 14 grams fat, 20 grams protein, 686 sodium and 318 potassium.

Supper: 1 serving Asher’s “Green” smoothie (from Danielle Walker’s Against All Grain: Meals Made Simple book) – 191 calories, 40 grams carbs, 7 grans fat, 4 grams protein, 90 sodium and 473 potassium.

Snacks: 1 oz pistachios and 2 medjool dates – 220 calories, 40 carbs, 7 fat, 4 protein, 90 sodium and 473 potassium.

Totals are: 1,065 calories, 149 grams carbs, 32 grams fat, 52 grams protein, 1,092 sodium (out of 2,300 max), and 2,495 out of 3,500 needed.  Most people don’t get enough potassium, and getting 3,500 in a day isn’t easy.  Since I have a hereditary potassium deficiency issue, I need to eat more potassium rich foods.  Still, this is far better than I used to eat.  Also, I want to add a scoop of casein protein to the evening smoothie to make it burn slower.  I have ordered some, but it isn’t here, yet.  I’ll let you know how that goes.

As you can see, I front load my calories in the day.  I think this helps me burn them better during the day rather than eating a heavy supper and then going to bed soon thereafter.  Most of the week will be along these lines, but as soon as the casein protein comes in I will add it to the smoothie.  It will add 112 calories, bringing my total up to 1,177.  Since I don’t want to go over 1,200 calories a day, this will work in perfectly.

My weight is still 155, but I am blaming doing nothing exercise-wise Saturday and Sunday.  We’ll see how this next week goes.

Edit:  I received the casein powder in the mail last night and tried it.  It wasn’t bad – reminded me of the taste of hominy, which I love and can no longer have.  Also, I slept very well last night, so the slow digesting casein might become a permanent part of my diet.  I am going to try blending it into a smoothie tonight with fruit, avocado and kale, so, basically, the Asher’s Green Smoothie but replace the apple juice with water and casein.  I’ll let you know how it works.

Apr 12
I’m at it again
icon1 basicallybenita | icon2 Diet and Fitness | icon4 04 12th, 2016| icon32 Comments »

Okay, you all know that I went off all sugars and sweeteners last July on my birthday.  And in January, I did the Whole 30 plan.  Well, here is an update on where I stand right now.

Since last July, I have lost between 17 and 19 pounds (I am bouncing between 153 and 155) and nearly two pants sizes.  I say nearly because I was wearing tight size 14’s and now I am wearing lose size 12’s.

Beginning February 1st, I added back in some dairy (about 10 ounces milk each morning with my protein shake (Spiru-Tein Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl) with no ill effects.  But, each time I have tried to add in something grain-wise, I have had a severe reaction as in bloating, gassy and diarrhea.  I’ve tried different types of gains from gluten free to oats to rice and all with the same reaction.  So no grains.

I have not added back in legumes although I may try lima beans.  Why lima beans? Because they contain a very high level of potassium and I am naturally potassium deficient.  I get this from my maternal grandfather, and I know of one cousin who also inherited this problem.  Because of that, I eat bananas, dates, green vegetables, etc. each day to get as much potassium as I can.  I may make a chicken soup this weekend with lima beans in it just to try it out.

So, what is next?  Well, since my weight is pretty much stabilized in the low to mid 150’s, it’s time to add in some form of exercise, especially now that tax season officially is over for me.  I came up with a slowly increasing, 16-week program that I began yesterday.  I have an appointment with my cardiologist at the end of next week and will go over it with him just to make sure it is okay to continue at the rate I have designed.  I have been having some angina issues lately, which I hate, but the 81 mg aspirin a couple of times a day seems to be helping.  Over exertion seems to trigger it, and I have been so sedentary lately, that any exertion seems to be over doing it, which is another reason it is time to get moving, again.

I still wear my Fitbit Charge HR pretty much 24/7 (shower and charging times are the only times it is not on my wrist) and I printed out my weekly status this morning.  It is pathetic.  My average daily steps are only 3,716 (1.23 miles), floors climbed is 4, and 1,611 calories burned daily.  Like I said, pathetic.  So, the following is the daily program for the first week – same thing each day except Thursday, which is my rest day.  Thursdays are my lowest ebb energy-wise of the week, so I am taking that day off to rest.

Partial squats – 10 (partial so that I don’t damage my knees while getting used to doing squats again)
Side to side lunges (10 each side)
Walking – 30 minutes at 2.7 mph
Tricep curls – 3 lb weights – 10 each arm
Bicep curls – 3 lb weights – 10 each arm
Plank – 10 seconds
Leg lifts – 5 (I am laying on my bed with my legs off the end and am bring my legs up over my head)
Stairs – up and down three times (this is on top of any normal trips each day)
Calf raises – 10
Pecs – 3 lb weights – 10 times (I am lying on my back with my arms outstretched and bringing the weights up in front of me.)
Back – 3 lbs weights – 5 times (I am lying on my back with my arms outstretched and bringing the weights back as high as I can go.)

It doesn’t look like much, but it’s a start and will help me get back into the routine of working out each day.  I actually woke up looking forward to doing another round today.  I don’t believe in the “no pain, no gain” mythology.  I am a little sore in the quads and pecs, but just enough to know I did something with them.

Steps walked yesterday was 7,145, which is still pathetic, but nearly double the daily average last week.  I need to start getting in some extra walking in each day to get this up to 10,000, but I have to go slowly into this and not push it.  This is something I will be discussing with my cardiologist because the angina attacks are painful, and I want to avoid them if at all possible while getting back into shape.

So, this morning I weighed 155.  Let’s revisit this a week from today and see where I stand.  Also, I will give you the Week 2 program with a comparison with this week’s so you can see the differences.

The last day of Week 15 is my birthday.  I’m going to be interested in comparing where I am with where I was on the same day last year.

Jan 9
Bragging Rights!
icon1 basicallybenita | icon2 Diet and Fitness | icon4 01 9th, 2014| icon35 Comments »

I did a happy dance all over the bathroom this morning.  When I stepped on the scales, I lost more weight.  That makes 9.5 pounds since Thanksgiving – 24% of my goal.  As far as I can tell, I’ve lost it all from my face.  I heard that you lose weight from top down, but this is getting ridiculous!  I’d like to be able to tell it in my clothes, but the only thing to reduce so far has been the double chin.

The only exercising I’ve been doing so far has been walking, but I soon want to add in some weight training to tone up as I lose – maybe carry light dumb bells and swing my arms while I walk to start with.  I have increased my daily steps goal from 10,000 to 12,000.  All I know is that when I see my cardiologist in March, I want him to be pleasantly surprised with my progress.

That, and this summer, when I want to work outside, I won’t be so sensitive to the heat.  All this additional insulation makes being outside even harder when it’s 90+ degrees.  It’d be nice to take bike rides or long walks without the heart spasms the next day.  Also, I want to do some of my dye pots outside.

Besides, I have 3 new pairs of size 10 pants that I’d love to fit into.  At this rate, maybe I’ll be wearing one of those new pairs to the doctor’s office in March.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed!

Apr 24

I did it!  I worked out for 45 minutes yesterday morning concentrating on cardio and 45 minutes right after work concentrating on strength training.  My shoulders hurt so bad last night I had to take ibuprophen to go to sleep, but I did it!

And, I put in 45 minutes on cardio this morning, again, this time pushing up the incline height and really making myself sweat it out.  Okay, I don’t sweat, but I did get very tired.  I wish I did sweat, because I think it would help cool me down since the treadmill I use is directly under a ceiling fan.  I just get very red in the face and drink lots of water.  🙂

Also, I priced and entered 44 more items into the inventory spreadsheet, which took me an hour and a half minutes last night.  I think I still have about 50-60 more items to enter, so I should reach my goal of getting it all caught up by the weekend.  Whew!

Over the weekend, my MIL asked me if I am ever going to slow down, meaning give up dyeing, teaching, going to shows, etc., and I told her “no.”  Then I explained to her that while I like my day job, it is there to pay the bills.  All these things I do away from the day job are what makes my life worth living.  I love teaching, I love dyeing, spinning, weaving, knitting, writing, and creating.  They are my life’s blood and without these activities, I’d be miserable.  I’m not sure she really understood, but it got me to thinking.  Do the rest of you feel the same about your activities outside of your job?  How many people are lucky enough that their “job” is getting to do the things you really love?

Apr 23

It was another productive weekend, but especially yesterday.  I now have all of the tie-dyed items washed out and pressed.  I stood at the steam press for hours yesterday, but everything looks nicely finished and ready to sell.  And I got about a third of everything priced and entered into the inventory spreadsheet.  Whew!  I hope to have everything priced and packed away by the end of the week so I can finish getting everything ready for the students at the natural dye workshop on the 12th.

And, now with tax season behind me and my morning walking partner off at her new job, I started arriving at Push for Women at 6:00 AM to get my cardio workout in.  By 7:00 this morning, I had in over 6,000 steps for the day already.  On Monday, Wednesday and Friday nights, I will go back after work and concentrate on strength training.  I think that most days I will have my 10,000 steps in with little extra effort.

All-in-all, I weighed about the same this morning as at the first of the year, so, with my new schedule, I hope to see a minimum of a pound on average weight loss per week, although I’d like to see two pounds lost per week.  Let’s see how it works for me.  I weighed 161 this morning.  By next Monday, I would love to see the scales come in under 160.  Below 159 would be even better, but I’m not out to kill myself.

Here’s to the beginning of a new and busy week!

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