Skinny Daily Post

Invincible.

Ginger's Beer, sugar-free, Sugar!

I rarely feel sorry for myself the way I’m eating these days because I’m not denying myself delicious foods. I’m having fun cooking wonderful meals. I’m eating until I’m completely full. Never hungry, losing weight, and feeling healthy. So what’s to hate.

Except once in a while I miss something. It’s rare, but when I get a hankering, I get it, and then I have to think about what can replace the thing I hanker for.

And I love ginger beer. Like REALLY LOVE IT. I have tried most brands and I tend to go for the hot, hot stuff. The kind that kicks you back and makes your ears burn. The kind you kind of HAVE to mix with alcohol and lime just to tone it down a bit.

When I got serious about my new way of eating, I ransacked the house and deleted all of the sugary, flour-based foods — anything that would tempt ME anyway (husband food still intact, because I’m not MEAN), and found a home for all of the ginger beer, because it was just going to be too hard to have it around.

But I got to mopping the kitchen and out from way under a cabinet came rolling one lonely can of Regatta… Oh…

And it would have killed me to drink it just then. No….

But thankfully I had fresh ginger in the house. Somehow I did. And yes, if you are a longtime reader you know we are already equipped with a Sodastream, a dieter’s VERY good friend. So I can carbonate my own filtered water. And then there’s the stevia. And a bit of lime juice for kick and shelf life…. (I thought about adding a drop of cider vinegar? To give a SENSE of fermentation, not knowing a THING about how ginger beer really is made… Anybody know anything? In the end, I didn’t, or haven’t yet. Because…. SUCCESS!)

And here is what happened. The first batch really worked quite well. QUiTE well.. Thinking because the ginger was very fresh.  So I got hot, hot, HOT, BABY! Something Ginger herself might purr over, little beads of sweat trickling through her sequins? Old or frozen ginger probably wouldn’t work quite so well? Try it or tell me if you’ve done similar, and what you think we could do to tweak this thing…

Recipe in that Image:

Grate a 1-inch knob of peeled ginger on a microplane into a cup and a half of boiling, filtered water. Squeeze in a half a lime. Pour into a clean glass jar. Add 15 drops of Stevia or so, to taste. Sweet, but not too sweet. Let it cool off in the fridge. When you are ready to drink it, half and half with sparkling water. Or use it straight to make a nice buck cocktail.

Whoops Plate. Skinny Daily Post

Oh dear….

Well, alert reader Jill helped me out of this mess. I would be nowhere at all, as usual, without alert readers. You guys have always been the biggest, best part of this community!  I will go, now and pay attention to the fact that this latest admin, did, in fact, move that darned cartoon mountain while I slept in my crate.

And I commit to looking before I bark next time.

But I confess, I have peeked at it. And I note that fats aren’t even one of the cartoon parts on the plate. Even though they ARE one of the three macronutrients the body recognizes and one of only two we absolutely must have, technically, in a pinch. So, as clean, and clear as that plate looks to me, graphically, I’m concerned, even as I head over to myplate.gov to give it a good study.

Please, let not my foolhardy first run straight into a wall reflect ill on the good, great works of the lovely geniuses posted at the bottom of the last post. They are all doing remarkable things, and all deserve to keep working on whatever the next iteration of these recommendations will bring about.

Like putting fat back on the plate.

Our brains and bodies need good fats. Our immune systems need good fats. We simply have to have them. Athletes run better on good fats. Right…. Reading on… Simmering down.. Bubbling away… in… a coconut oil probably, because even olive oil is not good at high temperatures, I have learned…

No links today. I rather you go back to the ones from yesterday. They’re all fabulous… Especially that last one.

Update: I am adding a link. This article. Showing the struggle as it happens…

Same WP writer. In the room, reporting not so much specifically about which recommendations, but about whether we should even continue trying to do this recommendation thing, because, whoa…

Coffee with full fat cream, skinny daily post

Well, October 6 article in the Washington Post is going to steam a few latte’s. Milk is such a hot nutritional topic. Almost as hot as corn, which is almost as hot as beef, which is almost as hot as sugar. Which burns almost as brightly outside our bodies as it does inside. Causes nearly as much havoc.

Well no it doesn’t.  I gotta calm down. I haven’t had my coffee yet. Or even painted it.

Here. Coffee, with.. reaching past the whole milk, past the half and half… with whipping cream… and coconut oil… whipped up into a nice lather, a couple of drops of stevia to open up the sweetness. I’m not adding a chunk of butter to that today. But that’s because I’m saving calories for the bacon I’m probably going to have with my eggs later…

Right…. What was I? Oh! Ranting! Banting? Yes, but, focus.. Ranting!

Yes, well the article?! I loved the article, but not because it had anything new to say. Actually it did not. But it was brilliantly constructed to LOOK like news, to pique a committee into action. Most of the supporting evidence the piece is knowledge our governing bodies have been sitting on, and some of it for decades, but not acting on. Because we have made it so very hard to act.

Somehow we have put ourselves in awe of a fictional pyramid. We have come to believe that a digital graphic, no matter how ill-conceived, can’t be moved.

It IS quite bottom-heavy, of course, being a PYRAMID. So it takes lots of little people in suits n rooms in Washington to stare at that monolith, over days and weeks of hearings, generating reports several hundred pages thick generating the tiniest of tweaks, moving a nut here, adding an extra kernel to a stalk of wheat there.

That we could delete a cartoon pyramid, because that whole bottom layer describes a nutrient — carbohydrates — that the human animal does not require in their diets? And we know that? Seems not to occur to our hive mind of those be-suited minions scurrying around that imaginary, glutinous base.

That the known equation: [excessive carbohydrates = rampant disease ]  explodes the pyramid that has ruined the lives of people around the world, made them sick, shortened their lives, ruined their hearts and brains doesn’t drive any ethical movement in our own country, is a hate crime in my book. Not only on our children, but we’ve exported this crime around the world.

Can’t we now admit what we know, much less what we have done? That saturated fat is not now nor ever was a threat to our health, but quite the opposite? That cholesterol is not only not usually a threat, but quite protective to our immune systems? We need to tease apart the good from the bad and understand good fats from bad in our diets, particularly the horrible seed oils that replaced all the good saturated fats the minute we demonized them — THOSE giving us ill health?

Is it time to get clear on how much our politics are pushing good foods and farming traditions and seed stocks and animal husbandry practices and skills and out of our cultures around the world? That it’s created a tradition, practice, and tangled up school of bad medicine worldwide?

Right. So. The article, it’s nice to see, was doing a very good job of guiding these suits to maybe, maaaaybe thinking a little farther this time around. It pointing to many of my favorite heroes in the field. And this is good.

What is good news, and I’m SO happy about this, is that, while I’ve been asleep in my bed, I’m waking up to notice that it really has become a lot easier to take your health and your family’s into your own hands.

Great teachers and brilliant guides out there. The science is happening.

Buuuutttt, institutional food will still be governed by the damned cartoon pyramid. As long as it exists. Prisons, hospitals, nursing homes, and schools will get bad food. And you’ll have to dance around that. I’m sorry. Politics and politicians, working hard to find a home for all the crops planted to carbohydrates in this country are making the pyramid happen. So there it’s going to be for awhile.

If you have insulin sensitivity in your family as a thing you have to watch out for, you need to know that can drive all sorts of illnesses from heart disease to neurological disorders to obesity to neuropathies and arthralgias. The list of inflammatory diseases that can be tamed by this diet is long. Look to the hard working folks who have been pushing the rock around the pyramid and up hill for a good while. I’ll be highlighting folks, and interviewing them here as we go along. Here is a short, short list. These folks point to more folks. But here are a few.

Nina Tiecholz, The Big Fat Surprise, Fabulous Book, well researched. The skinny on fat, the science, what went wrong in the history of fat in our diet, immensely readable.

Gary Taubes, Why We Get Fat, this one is for every person in the world to read. His book Good Calories, Bad Calories, every Dr. in the world should have read.

Dr. Malcolm Kendrick, The Great Cholesterol Con, a must read if you have heart disease risk in your family or love someone who does.

Dr. Eric Westman at Duke, who described the LCHF or Keto diet long ago, and whose work is vindicated over and over again by more and more researchers around the world all the time. Go work with him. I started my understanding here. Good guy. I owe him a huge debt.

Dr. Sarah Hallberg at Indiana University, case in point. She’s doing the research now, and it’s looking good for fat in the diet. Her Ted Talk here is a quick course in obesity-the-disease for people who still don’t understand the insulin-response, because it’s hard to understand that type-II diabetes expresses way earlier than you think it does, and even in skinny people. She’s doing amazing work with the low-carb, high fat diet.

Dr. Tim Noakes at realmealrevolution.com, a book, an online destination, LCHF nirvana. A chef, a diet coach, a counselor, a community. My personal hangout, where I have dropped a third of the weight I put on while I got sick, so far, picked up a bit of a South African accent, and a taste for biltong. I have no financial affiliation with these people, except that I’ve given them very little money in exchange for getting my life and good health back on track. I adore them. Oh, they call it Banting in South Africa. For very good reason. I love them.

Also, Reddit has a killer keto subreddit with lots of very, very deep-brained keto geeks. Very good group, quick with their help.

Hello? Hello? sKinny daily post

I wonder?

Five years is a bit of a long time between posts… If you are still looking, well hi there, and thank you so much for your interest!

I’ve decided to write about this topic again. And more widely, cutting a broader swath this time, I think. If this work sticks and helps someone, terrific. Here’s hoping. As always, its intention is to help me think and to help you find focus, too. I’m leaving my breadcrumb trails. If you have something to add, point out, correct my thinking, direct my attention to, that would be great. Always open for learning.

It’s still going to be about getting fit, staying fit, the life of the body. But I’m getting still more fierce, focused, political. Because, as we learned from our teachers long ago, the body is politic, after all.

But to any readers who may actually still be around, as stunning as that might be, don’t you worry. I don’t think I’ve lost my humor. Not yet.

Right. To catch up… Well, I’ve been buried for five years. Really in a bunker of disease- and pharma- and pain-induced confusion. I’m mostly out of the bunker. I’m well up the stairs. More than head and shoulders, I do believe. (I don’t tempt fates by bragging.) More work to do. Much more.  That’s the other piece of it. I’m not writing this time from the vantage point of the peak of health. I’m writing from the place of fighting to get back to fit. But I’m getting there, and I’m going to share what’s working for me. Some amazing stuff. Really great stuff.

I was lost to illness for a long while. And I’m so sick of being sick. I’m not going to focus on illness here. I’ll work on behalf of my ill shadow self on my other blogs, but this place is all about rising from near-dead.

Skinny Daily Post is coming back with a new life and a new mind that works in a different way than it used to. Appreciating what I can do. Being thankful that I am still here. Assembling the raw bits into a new being and a new person and moving ahead. I’m writing in wide, loopy, non-specifics, yes. Something I would never advise students of writing to do, but only because the real writing comes next. This is just the announcement that I will begin again.

But here is a twist. Part of my illness brought with it a bit of havoc with my brain that led me to artwork as therapy. Oh this is a long story that will spin out and spin out…

So this blog will include some of that too. No kidding. It’s going to be a graphic blog. A big change in my life is that I live in two places now. In Michigan and in Florida. And I love to paint both places. You’ll see the places I love. And some of the people, too.

Oh yeah. It’s going to be a new voice, a new look, a new way of thinking about food, and I have discovered that much, much has changed out there in the world of nutrition science. My goodness! YOU haven’t been asleep have you, World?

News flash. Still working on Lyme recovery. Head is recovering enough to get some writing done, and have fired up a new group blog with a bunch of my writer buddies. Bunch of middle-life Midwestern smarties. Check it out if you like that sort of thing. (I know you do.)

New Communitas

Checking in, folks.

Well, I”ve been on quite an adventure since I last checked in. It seems Lyme Disease, if you don’t treat it immediately and soundly, is not so easy to fix.

This version of the disease is called Neuroborreliosis.  Which is an infectious disease that comes from an untended Lyme infection. That is, I did not seek proper care when I was infected, or perhaps re-infected, and the bacteriae introduced by some long forgotten tick bite(s) had been calling my body home for many years before they were discovered, in February 2010.

For long-time SDP readers, I was was likely infected during those long, glorious runs and hikes in the Maine woods back early in the decade, when I would seek out (!) matted down deer beds to pee on really long runs. Sheesh. There was a rash I ignored, and well… The blood clot, the horrible headaches, the menses-from-hell, all part of the Lyme picture. As was the scary cognitive deficits that had me turning off the car as I drove down the road, and sitting at stoplights, not understanding their meaning, and unable to remember how to make the shower water hot or cold… crazy stuff.

Unfortunately, treatment for this disease is tricky, and individualized, and sometimes our best medicine can do little more than try to achieve a kind of uneasy truce with the bacteria. My response has been at times terrific, but lately thwarted by complications.

As a lifelong storyteller and communicator, the central frustration for me (putting aside the physical disabilities for now) is that the infection sometimes affects my ability to read, write, speak, or understand the spoken word. Also my hearing is affected, and my sensitivity to light limits spending time online, considerably. The good news is that the symptoms are not consistent. I have days when I feel great. Days when reading and writing is not very difficult at all.

But on those days when I can’t think straight, I’ve found it helps me to draw. I don’t know why. I’m a lifelong knitter, and I thought knitting would tide me over those times, but knitting hurts when the symptoms are flaring. Drawing doesn’t hurt.

Also, graphic novels are somehow, if not easier to follow, then just more pleasant for me, when my mind is mush. It doesn’t frustrate me to stare at a page of images the way it does to reread the same sentence 50 times, trying to decode it.

I am new to drawing. There is much I don’t know about it. But I won’t let that stop me. I have begun posting my drawings in another space, a drawing project that lets me work out my frustrations about Lyme, and also help to provide some information about this aspect of the disease that so few people understand.

I hope it will help others who are dealing with this nasty illness. My humor tends to be dark and snarky, though. And like a lot of people who have lived online a long time, I have a propensity to over-share. For those offended by that sort of thing, let this be my official apology  and invitation to ignore it.

Oh, I should say this… I spend on average a third to half of my days in bed, in a quiet, dark room, wearing a mask, trying to sleep through horrible headaches and manage violent nausea. Good days are half about catching up with my life, loving my family and friends, and then there’s a little time to actually produce. I guess what I’m saying is, production is a crap-shoot.

I’m sure I’ll get back to writing about health again when it is possible for me to do that. That is a day I look forward to.

Meantime, I hope you are taking good care of yourselves. And please, please, please, if you are bitten by a tick, go to your nearest prime care or emergency room immediately. Do not wait out the weekend to do it. The sooner you treat this disease, the easier it is to beat it. Not beating it is not something you want to experience.

All my best, always,

JuJu

http://julieridl.wordpress.com

I ran into a friend/reader the other day, who reminded me that you can’t read my mind when I leave these pages blank. Sorry about that.

When last you looked in, I was rededicating myself to the lovely pool, and feeling good and rather full of myself over several silky blue laps in my new bathing suit. Also, I’d just been diagnosed with Lyme disease, and had started taking antibiotics to treat it.

And then I melted. I soon learned that when left unchecked for a few years, the bacteria that cause the infection we know as Lyme disease, can really dig into various tissues, and when they’ve done that, they don’t want to leave.

When we send in the big drugs to kill off that scum, a toxic response ensues, and a delicate girl like me can go from sick to wishing-I-wouldn’t-wake-up-again very quickly.

That sums up the past couple of months for me. I’ve been struggling to clear this nasty sludge from my system, injecting heavy antibiotics straight into my heart through a Picc line every day, and trying to put out flares of inflammation hop-scotching through my body while managing side effects from heavy antibiotic therapy that accompany the death and destruction of all your friendly bacteria.

All the while, slowly getting better. Big improvements in my brain. The horrible and constant headaches I called migraine were probably a form of encephalitis common among people infected by tick-borne bacteria for a long time. Those have diminished dramatically.

I’m thinking much more clearly. Lyme can rob you of language skills, both comprehending written and spoken language, and speaking — finding the right words. Other kinds of comprehension — decoding traffic lights and dashboard controls, for instance, can disappear with Lyme too. I didn’t talk about that much, because, because I was terrified, I guess. But now that I’m confidently reading, writing, and driving again, I’m coming out with it. And if you were the poor man driving the pickup behind me when I attempted to step on the clutch that I haven’t had in my car for 20 years or so, coming to a full fast breaking stop in the middle of the street a few months ago? I’m really sorry about that.

A Picc line, if you’re not familiar, is a flexible line in your upper arm, inserted into a vein, and run up into your vena cava. The other end is anchored to your arm with a bracing device and a couple of stitches, and then kept under sterile wraps for the weeks to months that you have it in place. It ends in a receptacle for the syringes or the IV infusion pumps used to deliver meds.

It does not allow swimming. Nor showering, really. Not at all. And I may be stuck with this thing until all of my symptoms subside. The symptoms still left are mainly painful joints, problems sleeping, a little trouble focusing, and balance problems. I’ve been falling down.

My struggle with fitness right now is finding something I can do that doesn’t hurt and trying very hard not to feel sorry for myself. That emotion almost always finds me face down at the bottom of a Ben & Jerry’s container. So my weight just creeps up and up.

But I’m coming around. Walking more. Trying out the elliptical machine (handrails are my friend!). I’m writing more (Did you see? We’ve launched middlesexmd.com!). And working with friends on a new writing project.

I’m interested in hearing from people with arthritis. What do you do with your sore joints? How do you give yourself enough exercise to stay fit and keep your metabolism humming? What can you tell me about how to work around or with balance problems? Give me hints. I’m all ears!

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