Wednesday, May 18, 2016

not just me fasting this time

Okay, i know i've neglected this journal horribly over the last month.  All i can say is, i've both been exceptionally busy having a good time, and the victim of some bad internet service.  It's not that i didn't WRITE, i just didn't post.  I have quite a few observations jotted down, but by the time i had a good opportunity to publish, the right moment seemed past.

We're back home, but going to be taking off AGAIN after the first of next month.  Dropping off the dog and bird in Texas again, we'll make a quick flying visit to relatives in Arizona before returning to TX, then flying off to Florida to visit the Disney and Universal parks with the grandchildren (and their parents).  J has never been to the former at all, and i went to the original California site, half a century ago.  Things have changed significantly since then (today's understatement).

This last "outing," though, hit J's waistline pretty hard.  I stayed more-or-less level, but i STARTED that adventure with more subcutaneous fat than i can bear seeing in photos.  :-P  So despite the last half of our vacation including 50 miles walked and 344 flights of stairs (including the equivalent in hill-climbing), SOMEBODY (okay, both of us) really wanted to lose some weight before the next trip....

J joked, not for the first time, about simply NOT EATING to accomplish his goal.  I took up the subject, and told him that if he does it right, fasting can be very effective  He knows i sometimes fast briefly, in recovering from a feast or because i don't feel particularly good for whatever reason.  He decided to give it a try.

The day after his birthday, which we celebrated low-carbily, we had our morning coffee as usual, and toward mid-day took off in the rain to buy some more plants for the garden.  By the time we got home we were no longer hungry, so San Pellegrino was our "cocktail" of the afternoon.  The evening passed in reading, word games and a long hot soak in the bathtub for me.  We turned in around the usual time -- no fasting-insomnia with either of us -- and i woke up refreshed after only about six hours of sleep.

The absolutely BEST thing about being in ketosis, for me, is how clear my head is.  All of my adult life, i'd wake with horrible brain-fog ... until i discovered Atkins.  It was so extreme that i noticed at the time, after about the third day, that ... whoa, this is how "normal" people feel when they wake up! It was a revelation.  A favorite writer once observed that we accept as inevitable anything we're used to -- when it comes to diet and other "paleo" practices, this is definitely profound.  We accept the symptoms of aging as unavoidable, when "our brains on ketones," our knees without gluten, and our gut without problematic plants tell us that there IS something we can do about it.

J got on the scale this morning to observe that he was down four pounds.  Even though it's almost all water, nevertheless one feels so much better when one's cells are not bursting with superfluous liquids.  He feels very up for continuing.  I gave him the next instructions -- that losing water this fast can result in malaise which can be remedied with the use of broth to resupply electrolytes.  I don't know how long i'll continue with the regimen;   I'm not as overweight as my husband is.  But fasting together is even easier than being LCHF together.  No meals to make or to clean up after, no shopping to do (we have plenty of allowed liquids) -- i'll be enjoying this period, as long as it lasts.

...And now to finish my coffee and started figuring out where to put the plants we bought yesterday....  While we were gone, it rained about half the time, and my garden hasn't been thriving -- the seedling tomatoes and peppers are hanging in there, but panting for more sunshine.  The zucchini are larger, but in the same boat.  The leeks are doing okay, but i fear for the scallions.  On the other hand, the herbs look very happy, and i think i might harvest some chard to put in the broth, some time this week.

We bought hosta and colei and some other shade-lovers to plant under some of the trees;  we got some more mature tomatoes to add to the previous plantings;  we got some flowers, too, to add more color.  When we break our fasts, i anticipate meals of gazpacho and white wine, and of mezes and retsina (J fell in love with tzatziki in Athens), or sushi and sparkling saki out among the day-lillies and iris.  ...Which reminds me, i still need to get some snapdragons, foxgloves, and other old-fashioned cottagey flowers....  :-D

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

they're BAAAACK!

More correctly, WE'RE back.  We're in Houston again after a grueling day of travel, the day before yesterday, from Athens.

It was a wonderful vacation.  We had never been to the Mediterranean before, and we enjoyed it immensely, despite the quick-and-dirty way we visited the ports.  From Barcelona we went to Marseilles, Villefranche (should have been Monte Carlo but the sea was too choppy), Livorno, Civitavecchia (Rome), Sorrento, Zakynthos, Crete, and Athens.  We were intrigued with Spain, loved France, enjoyed Italy, and positively adored Greece.  :-D

Despite walking about 50 miles over the last two weeks, and climbing fitbit's equivalent of 344 flights of stairs, i came away with perceptibly more fat than when i started, though my clothes still fit.  It could have been worse -- my husband added more than i did.

I wore a hat during most of our shore trips, and used zinc-based sunscreen where i'm most likely to sunburn.  Despite this, i got a nice little base-tan, which i will cultivate this summer.  I feel that the naturally-garnered vitamin D was very good for me -- i think it buffered some side-effects of the increased amount of "bad carbs" and wine i consumed.

...Cuz i have to confess, i did allow myself more than usual.  Not as high as the officially-recommended carb intake, of course, but decidedly more than i'm accustomed to.  There were repercussions -- knee pain, mostly, and extra fatigue as a result of not having any days off between strenuous outings.

But it was a trade-off i willingly made.  Eating local specialties in the places they were "born" was a deep pleasure.  Sitting in a taverna, drinking the local wine, and sharing a platter of mezes, a stone's-throw from an ancient Roman marketplace has got to be one of the richest delights a history-buff and food-lover can enjoy.  Coming back stateside and picking up supper at the kind of restaurant to be found in an airport was a sad business.

Food is supposed to fuel and rebuild us;  it's an "extra" that it can be such a pleasure.  As i've said more than once, i stay good most of the time so that i can let the stops out every once in awhile.  On our last big evening out, i not only ate most of the risotto that came with my duck breast and foie gras (which followed tuna tartare), i had dessert too -- a variation on a theme by tiramisu.  ;-)  I don't regret a bite of it.