Archive for Food and Dining

Lifestyle Change - Revised Eating Habits

keto.pngLast year, we both had our annual check-up with the family physician. After our exams, he ordered some lab work, mainly phlebotomy (blood work). Within a few days, Verna got a call from their office advising that her tests had come back showing her to be in pre-diabetes (type 2) with high triglycerides. My results weren’t all that too hot either, with the usual (for me) high cholesterol and other chronic problems showing up (kidney, hypertension, etc.). The doctor recommended a low-sugar (i.e. low carbohydrate) diet for her.

The pre-diabetes condition was something that immediately needed attention. We searched for and found a volume on KETO pre-diabetic recipes that went a step further than food prep and described how a body typically could reverse the diabetic trend by eliminating most high-in-carbohydrates foods. After reading up on some of the science behind the recovery process, we both decided to adapt our food preparation and consumption habits. Verna to try and slow down the diabetes potential and me to try and lose some of the fifteen or so extra pounds.

The first step was to purge from the pantry any and all items that were on an IMMENSE list of high carb no-nos. After filling up four good sized cardboard boxes of goodies headed out to the local food bank, we dutifully delivered them never to see the likes of those items in our pantry again. The list included rice, pasta, legumes, peas, corn, carrots, wheat flour, cornbread mix, pancake mix and so forth, most of which would regularly be included in our home-prepared meals.

We quickly adapted to the change and found many delicious recipes for low carb meals. There is plenty of on-line help on the food topic out there including Diet Doctor, plus there are cookbooks galore including many by TV Chef George Stella whose variety and clever substitutions for hi-carb goodies is a very good thing.

Early this year, after being on the new feeding arrangement for a few months, we saw the family doctor again. He prescribed follow-up testing to see how we were doing. When the test results came back, Verna showed a definite drop in the triglycerides and other lipids that were now essentially normal. I did not see her A1C number, but the verbal report indicated it was now normal.

Verna has lost a few pounds since the onset of the low-carb regimen, but more importantly, she is now in the green arc.

Me, on the other hand, I am now back to my high-school weight, having lost about 25 pounds. My weight is now stable and is normal for my height and build. I have now backed off of my blood pressure meds to about ⅓ of the previous dosage. I visited the kidney specialist and was advised that my marginal function had improved from 60 percent efficient to 80, which is fairly normal for my age (just turned 76 this week). My lipid numbers are all normal except for a high HDL cholesterol reading (a GOOD thing) and a low risk for cardio-vascular problems (a VERY GOOD thing).

The following excerpt* from one of our several books on the topic describes how we are neither starving nor craving these days:

MAINTAINING A LOW-CARB, HIGH-FAT DIET is beneficial for weight loss. Most importantly, according to an increasing number of studies, it helps reduce risk factors for diabetes, heart diseases, stroke, Alzheimer’s, epilepsy, and more. The keto diet promotes fresh whole foods like meat, fish, veggies, and healthy fats and oils, and greatly reduces processed, chemically treated foods. It’s a diet that you can sustain long-term and enjoy. What’s not to enjoy about a diet that encourages eating bacon and eggs for breakfast!

Studies consistently show that a keto diet helps people lose more weight, improve energy levels throughout the day, and stay satiated longer. The increased satiety and improved energy levels are attributed to most of the calories coming from fat, which is very slow to digest and calorically dense. As a result, keto dieters commonly consume fewer calories because they’re satiated longer and don’t feel the need to eat as much or as often.

* Ramos, Amy. The Complete Ketogenic Diet for Beginners: Your Essential Guide to Living the Keto Lifestyle (p. 13). Rockridge Press. Kindle Edition.

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Happy Independence Day!

patriot-bouquet.jpg

Aside from a couple of minor chores, we relaxed and enjoyed the Independence Day Holiday today. We ate pulled-pork sandwiches and Cole slaw with a root beer float. It was an excellent dinner! We’ll be watching fireworks this evening from the courtyard, where we have a limited view of the Sunset Park fireworks exhibit five miles west of our place.

I took this picture of these patriotic flowers back in July of 2007 (sorry, no larger image available), which are shown here on throwback Thursday in honor of the Independence Day celebration.

May God Bless and keep our Freedom in America!

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New Throwback Dining Room Set

Dining Room Set

After finally retiring the old dining room furniture to a local charitable organization, Bob and I assembled the new table last week. Today, we ate our Easter Sunday Dinner using the new furniture.

The photo does not clearly show the snow white color of the table top but it does render the candy-apple red faux Naugahyde™ chair color and the shiny chrome on both table and chairs. The whole dining room set effect takes us back to the 1950’s Diner era with its appearance.

We think it’s charming. Click on the image to enlarge.

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Thanksgiving 2018

Thanksgiving 2018

We have a turkey breast in the smoker this morning which will be the entrée for our Thanksgiving dinner. We know that we are blessed on this day and others by the grace of God. May He bless you and yours on this day of thanks.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Household Dietary Changes

Cobb Salad

Verna and I are now on a low carbohydrate dining regimen because of recent doctor’s advice. I could stand to lose some weight and She needs to lower her triglycerides and glucose. With those criteria in mind, we are now avoiding pasta, bread, cereal, fruit and other carb and sugar laden food items.

About the diet: we’re not going to strictly count carbohydrates, but rather select food items that we know are on the “good” list. It’s not really hard to do and there is plenty of on-line help and printed recipes that support the diet.

The Cobb Salad (pictured above - click to enlarge) we had for lunch yesterday was nutritious, high in protein and fiber, and delicious. Since October 21st, dinners that we posted on the Food Blog reflect the sorts of things we are now eating.

Over the last week, we have been easing ourselves into revised eating habits and this weekend we prepared both main meals with the diet in mind. We’re just getting started and already we’re noticing subtle changes to our bodies.

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Electric Pepper Mill

Electric Pepper MillWith both of us experiencing discomfort in our hands with osteo-arthritis, we have had difficulty using simple kitchen tools like our traditional pepper grinder. The grasping and twisting motions were difficult for us to dispense fresh ground pepper without experiencing pain. Sure, the pain was minor, but, still it was unpleasant. What could we do to alleviate the pain?

Enter the OPUX Battery-operated Salt and Pepper Grinder Set! Our order arrived today which included two grinders, one for pepper and the other for salt. However, we use a salt shaker for when we dispense salt and seemed to have an extra grinder. But Wait! We could use a battery operated pepper mill for the RV. So Verna installed the batteries in both, loaded them with peppercorns and placed one on our kitchen counter in the house and the other in the galley in the RV. Perfect! Now, with the press of a button, freshly ground pepper is painlessly dispensed on our foodstuffs either at home or on the road.

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January Outdoor Grilling

January Outdoor GrillingWe managed to escape a few showers that were moving through the area today in order to cook our entrée on the grill behind the patio. There were showers early in the morning and then a reprise until after we finished dinner and put the grill away before some shower activity resumed.

Image: Us posing on the RV Drive in front of the grill as the robot camera took our picture.

Our delicious meal consisted of Grilled Chateaubriand with Carrot/Snow Peas Medley and Mashed Potatoes. The roast was part of a beef tenderloin that we bought a couple of weeks ago. The side dishes were also very good.

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