Sunday Morning Coffee Musings 5/20/18

Good Morning All!

Hey, I’d like to apologize for not being here for a few months. That health thing that happened to me? It took far longer than I realized to get back to “normal” for me. I finally got my thyroid working properly again (sort of) and got my blood sugar a bit better controlled. The other symptoms are finally easing up.

I had no idea how low my reserves were until this change in medication. I really had been running on fumes for months! So, first and foremost, Sassy Cook must take care of herself.

I had a friend recently ask me how to get her partner to start eating healthier. He’s got some pain issues which would be managed better if he would lose weight. Having recently read Health at Every Size by Linda Bacon, I am generally a little more skeptical about claims that X condition will be better managed with weight loss. Living with a person who is in chronic pain, and now being a person who has chronic pain, I can say that weight loss can help a few issues, mostly dealing with the load bearing supports and the joints in said supports (our legs, knees, ankles, and hips) and anything which allows you to move more freely and supports you better will also benefit your back. Mostly just loving your body and treating it better than before can help with that, too.

My thoughts are: If you love and accept yourself and your body just the way it is, you will stop punishing it with crap food. What constitutes crap food will vary from person to person. For myself, it’s refined sugar, grains, and sub-standard fare that is served at fast-food chain restaurants. When I eat these things because I am fat, and I am unhappy that I am fat, I am punishing myself for failing to be thin.

When I accept that I am fat, and it’s just the way my body is, and I move on from hating it to loving it and wanting it to have the best I can give it, I don’t eat that crap. Refined sugar and HFCS make me ill if I eat too much of it. Grains make my belly bloat horribly and affect my IBS and Diverticulosis. There are things in most fast food meats that cause me other digestive disturbances that it’s just not worth it for me to eat there.

How I choose to eat today is right for me, and may not be right for someone else, and it’s taken a LONG time to get there. However, it’s also difficult to alter the way one eats if one’s partner doesn’t follow the same path. At least, it is for me.

How does one get one’s partner to join up? You let them get to the decision in their own time, for their own reasons.

I went on a ketogenic diet in 2012. I have never regretted that decision, I went from a size 28 to a size 14 in a little under a year. My asthma medication was halved, my pre-diabetes disappeared, my blood pressure got better and my cholesterol dropped 100 points into a healthy range. I was taken off two HBP meds, a diabetes med, and a cholesterol med. At the same time, my husband was put on two blood pressure medications, was struggling with his blood sugar, and his triglycerides were outta the ballpark bad. I encouraged, cajoled, pleaded and threatened him with this diet change. Yeah, that works so well. He agreed to eat dinner without starch sides – and continued to buy snacks for himself, eating well into the night, loading himself with starches.

I eventually went off keto for a few years while I was dealing with a couple of health issues that were more likely to kill me than my weight in the short term, and I gained quite a bit back. Not as much size, thankfully, but my blood glucose crept up again, my blood pressure was rising, and my cholesterol was heading back to the nosebleed seats. I was “playing with my food” as one friend put it, and it was just too hard to say no to the sugar that I loved.

I knew I had to get back off the sugar, and I just didn’t have the willpower to start again. “It’s the holidays.” “It’s my birthday!” “It’s Valentine’s Day!”- all excuses to not limit my sugar intake.


“What did you say, babe?”, I asked my husband. He was sitting at his desk in our office, checking his morning blood glucose, as he has done every morning for the past year to monitor his diet-controlled diabetes.

“My fasting blood sugar is 241.”

If you don’t know anything about diabetes and blood sugar, this number means nothing. The healthy, average range for morning blood sugar after you have eaten nothing for 8 to 12 hours should be between 70 and 100. Over 100 but under 126 is pre-diabetic. Anything over that is Diabetic. 241 is not good.

“Sweetie, what did you *eat* yesterday?”

“I had a candy bar.”, he replied. “One with peanuts.” He paused.

“I need to stop doing that. We need to go back to keto eating. *I* need to get on that keto diet you were doing.”

I was ecstatic and troubled at the same time. One of the rules of the program I had been following was no sweeteners at all – including things GRAS such as Stevia. So that means no diet soda, especially no Diet Coke. Which is his lifeblood, and he has cut back on the quantity but he just can’t manage to ditch it completely. I had been looking at some other keto options, such as the Keto Reset diet by Mark Sisson. At least on that program, we were allowed to have nuts, stevia, and actually make desserts. With Chocolate! (which was my weakness.)

And this all proves something I have learned in the course of my life – the only thing that truly prompts someone to change is Pain – real or anticipated. I was tired of the pain of being sick all the time, so I changed my eating habits. Once the pain was gone, I reverted because I have a built-in forgetter, and I sometimes need to learn through hard experience. Now my husband has gotten to his pain threshold – he was getting to the point where he would not only be taking metformin, he was looking at having to take insulin. His fear of needles motivated him to make the change. Thankfully for both of us, the real pain was not as bad as the anticipated pain, and we have made a change.

This time I’m serious about it. I looked at all my cookbooks, and I noted how many of those were baking books for sweets and grains. I love baking. It’s my passion. It’s also been slowly killing me because I have no control over myself once I start eating sugar. Someday, maybe, I’ll be able to do some baking and pastry making without making myself sick. Until that day comes, I have to choose who stays in that bookcase, and who is going to go to a new home. I really don’t need that many books about cookies, after all.

So some of my collection is being dispersed. I’m convinced the more cookbooks I re-home, the lighter I will get.