Wednesday Writing

I confess I have spent a couple of hours over a couple of days in a week thinking what words go well with days of the week, so I could use it to title posts on different days of the week and also those that would inspire me to think in terms of those titles and restrain  my writing within those categories. I must confess I have not been very successful- I have even searched on the net for rhyming words- what goes well with Wednesday- whines, worries- no- something positive – really have not come up with anything great so far, so it is Wednesday writing for now. I thought I would use Wednesdays to reblog inspirational blog posts or those that I resonated with,  in spirit.

First up, the keto diet is working- for my husband. His fasting blood sugar is down to 99 mg% this morning. He is so inspired he doesn’t want to see a carb in his life again, or so he says. I am skeptical though. All I have asked him is 21 days of his life to put him and his liver back on the bandwagon. It seems even medical people have got it wrong and him being a gastroenterologist and all. Though insulin is secreted by the pancreas, it is actually the effects it has on the liver, glycogen stores, carbohydrate intake and utilisation that determine how the liver functions. And the liver is what affects the way we use sugars or do not use them. It seems like our forefathers had got it all right when they talked of the four humors one of which was from the liver- gall.

And the other major thing that affects our carbohydrate metabolism is inflammation. I am still working on understanding this and will write more about this when I understand better. For now, I understand that the way you find out if you have inflammation is by measuring C- reactive protein. I could be wrong about this.

For all the metabolic diseases we aim to cure with this diet, it seems we might have got our hands around two of them at least- blood sugars and high blood pressure.

This week is entirely vegetables alternating with protein.

Yesterday, I made keto almond bread in a coffee mug ( microwave method). So delicious- was as good as a snack. I found a website that showed this recipe. Let me share it here. It is delicious. Husband and I refrained from trying this out as we are on vegetables and proteins only this week, though we did take a bite each and declared it great.

So for breakfast yesterday we had cauliflower pancake. That again was delicious.

It seems going no-carb is helping with the temper issues too. When we are small, our parents keep us from having too many sweets, as that makes us hyperactive, prone to temper tantrums and so on. It would seem we never grow out of them and that they were right in telling us to keep off sweets. Those days, there weren’t too many sweets at home too, so that helped. Now there is plenty of all those things but the restrictions remain- the only change is that there is no mom or dad to tell us – keep away from the sweet stuff !

 

 

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Thoughts for Tuesday

I have been wanting to share inspiration from the book I am reading now for a while. It is a book that is available in many book stores and many would have read it and been inspired by it over the decades since it was first written. It is ” How to win friends and influence people” by Dale Carnegie.

Yesterday at work, we had an issue. As we vet reports for our funding agency, we need to look through the report to see if things are done correctly. Technically we don’t or can’t understand the report so no one bothers to read it through those technical sections but we go through the personnel and expenditure to see if all of those sections are filled in. In the personnel section, they report all the researchers who worked on the project since the last report and account for their work. Some of our investigators, the people to whom the grant agency gave the money to conduct research, have a habit of bringing professors and academicians from universities from around the world, into positions like post docs, or research assistants or other such for a few months at a time. They are paid off the project in this capacity, though they contribute to the project as investigators.  Yesterday the grant agency found out that in some cases people were reported as investigators and the very same people were reported as post docs or research assistants in other reports- they questioned my supervisor about this discrepancy.

As I left office yesterday, my supervisor still hadn’t returned from her emergency meeting with the Research head because she needed to provide an answer to the grant agency and she feels her head is on the block now. Today we will all meet to see how to report to the grant agency in a way that does not jeopardize the fund and the project.

One of the first things  is to ask us who work as coordinators about why we didn’t look more carefully to see if people were in dual roles- one as investigator and the other as researcher. There might be some  passing the blame around during today’s meeting.

I have been reading this first chapter of the book and the first principle mentioned is “don’t criticize, condemn or complain”- all three words are applicable to me. I am trying to apply it during our meeting today. A person of true strong character is one who ” has the self-control enough to be forgiving”. Whining, complaining and condemning are easy to do. Self-control over words is the most difficult of things to do.

 

” I will speak no ill of no man and speak all the good I know of everybody”- the book quotes this from Benjamin Franklin.

” A great man shows his greatness by the way he treats little men”, the book quotes Carlyle.

” God himself does not propose to judge man till the end of days- why should you and I ?” Dr. Samuel Johnson

Gratitude

Today is an easy day to be grateful for. I woke up early, really early today – this is part of being low carb( 4th day). We wake up bright and early and can’t go back to sleep- there are no “rumblies” in the tummies; it is a happy state to be in.

Here’s my list :

  1. Diet : Thankful for husband who has kept the diet for 3.5 days in a row. For a person who cannot live by routines and set schedules, he has been doing it. Now he is accepting of the diet and the changes. His sugar levels have come within normal range and he has stopped his medications. Since he is a doctor, he monitors his sugar and BP readings through the day.
  2. Weight: For my weight which hasn’t gone up but remained steady. I am following the low carb diet myself with my husband and together we are doing it.
  3. For closeness: Cooking food from scratch, going back to natural foods, cooking fresh together, calling each other to check if food was eaten on time- has brought about an intimacy which was lacking for so long. I am happy.
  4. For water : Even though it is hot, we have running water and some to spare for the garden.
  5. For the Thai children: who were all rescued and are doing well.
  6. For people who look out for animals and birds and trees and living things weaker than themselves – so grateful.
  7. For grandmothers: I am grateful I had my grandmother living until my 44th year. For her love, care, good food, fun times, memories of climbing buses together, prayer meetings attended.
  8. For the lady who helps with cooking
  9. For the job that allows me freedom.

Slow Sunday

It is a slow Sunday again. I am up at 2 am probably because of my diet which makes me very active, very early.

Carbohydrate intolerance and insulin resistance- two words commonly thrown around these days. Research seems to show that almost all of the metabolic diseases are attributable to insulin resistance probably stemming from deposition of fat in the liver and cycles of highs and lows through years of consuming more sugars/starches than necessary. High blood pressure, edema around ankles, blood sugars, gout, fatty liver, gall stones, insulin resistance are all supposedly related to this.

Last week, my husband had high blood sugars( post prandial above 200 mg/dL),which led to a minor panic situation here. He agreed to go zero carb too to see if that would help . So starting two days back, the two of us are on the low carb diet. Day 1 was tough as it involved 24 hour fast. For most of us who have never fasted, completely giving up food is unthinkable. It was the same for him. I have done it before, so I fasted with him. Probably because I have more to lose than him and probably because I have done it before, it was a lot easier for me than him. At hour 18, he almost gave up as he was seeing stars, had a headache and felt horrible. At this time, he broke his fast and indulged in some cheese and olives. Then he continued for the rest of the 6 hours and called it an almost 24- hour fast.

Day 2 was four meals of only vegetables. This was a difficult proposition- most of our bodies are conditioned to automatically reach out for sugars and something starchy throughout the day. Fruits, even healthy ones, were out. The better half confessed that he had been snacking through the day even while at work When food is found all around you, what does one do when he is hungry ? Eat. And that is what he had been doing.

Day 2 helped him and me realize that though he often said, he hadn’t eaten anything since our hearty breakfast, in actuality he was eating sugars. Day 2 cleared successfully for both him and me.

Day 3- today we can add protein back to the diet. For two meals, lets see how it goes.

Gratitude

Monday is the day set apart for being grateful. Honestly this morning I am not finding many things to be grateful about but let me try. Let me see what makes me grouchy first this morning.

  1. Grateful for the Air Conditioning in the house for without it and the power supply we would not be able to live in arid conditions. Thank you.
  2. For family that has returned safe after more than a week of busy travel and activity.
  3. For the Thai boys who got rescued last night from the cave and for the remaining 8 boys who are still alive.
  4. For the cool wind that brought cooler weather in some parts of the world and did not bring harm.
  5. Oh, now that I am counting, there seem to be so many. For a friend who is busy at work but still writing and I know she is well somewhere.
  6. For the guts to face up to someone I needed to forgive.
  7. For sleep and hunger that plague me through the day. There are many people who do not feel these basic instincts of life. I am often not grateful for my hunger for food and cravings for crunchy stuff. I am grateful that I seem to have gotten over my sugar cravings.
  8. For a sister who works hard at work and at home with her children and her ill health. She has been looking after my husband and children every time they visited her city over the past two months.
  9. For the woman at the visa counter because she set me off on an alternate path of life, one that I never thought I would be going on this July. For new times and new experiences.
  10. For a spare car that in spite of my car being silent and still in the garage works well and takes me in comfort to work.
  11. For the chapel service that went well last night – that elder daughter sang in the choir for- it was her first experience singing in a choir and for appreciation. For the younger daughter who was kept safe through weeks of travel back and forth to the home country and the church service she attended here yesterday.
  12. For peaceful times at home and the cats outside. For peaceful neighbors who live their lives quietly. For a neighbour girl who put on 5 kilos of weight after a battle with extreme starvation. It made me happy to see her almost like her old self yesterday. I hope she gains her body image back- is that the correct way of putting it ?
  13. For the monthly times for both my girls. I have come to appreciate this with their lives as they have often missed these cycles in their lives but this year, seems to have brought regularity in their rhythms.
  14. For the change in mood from when I started this post, that I don’t want to write what was bothering me at the beginning of this writing.

Thank you for this day and for the challenges this day will bring.