Dot to Trot

My world is expanding as my butt is shrinking!

Kicking Caffeine To The Curb…Seriously This Time!

morning turkeyJPG

My Saturday morning project .

While most people like to sleep in a little Sunday mornings I’m up at 5:00 am. Why? Turkey. Yep, I’m roasting a 22-pound bird this morning. Tomorrow I start on the real cooking: LCHF versions of curry turkey, turkey pot pies and a turkey & bacon casserole.

While I enjoyed some coffee this morning, I am bright-eyed and bushy-tailed without the black nectar of the gods.  It’s looking like my new-found energy isn’t a fluke.

Part of this new energy is a serious effort at cutting back on my caffeine intake. I tried giving coffee up cold turkey, but the headache that hit me was insane.

Giving Up Coffee…For Real This Time
Okay, I’ve written about attempts to give up coffee before, but this time I’m seeing tangible benefits. As my coffee intake goes down so does my anxiety and stress levels.  Read more…

Gumbo!

Here is a low carb attempt at gumbo that turned out pretty tasty.  I’ve made LCHF approved gumbo before, but this is the first time I made it with roux. For those of you from New Orleans, please forgive me. I didn’t use wheat. Instead I combined coconut and almond flour with butter.

Still it came out tasty.  The husband was able to try some before I added the shrimp and he loved it.

New Boost Of Energy

vitamins

Changing up my supplements has helped to boost my energy level and greatly reduce my menopause symptoms.

Besides mixing up my workout routine, over the last month I started changing up my supplements. Between mood swings, hot flashes, insomnia and fatigue something had to give. For now I gave up the generic multivitamin. I just wasn’t sure what a one-size-fits-all approach was doing for me.

That doesn’t mean the multivitamin is gone forever. I’m just waiting until I go in for some hormone testing next month. At that point, the doctor I’m seeing for menopause will make some suggestions on my supplements and exercise routine based on actual data. What a concept! Read more…

Grilled Thai Steak Salad

I’ve been caught up in a whirlwind of chores, home repairs and working out that blogging has taken a back seat (unfortunately).  But the good news is that my energy level is up. I don’t know if it’s due to changes in my supplements, the mindfulness is kicking in, my increased workout schedule or a combo of the three.

Just a couple of big projects to wrap up and then regularly scheduled blogging and cooking videos can commence.  Whew!

Anyway, here is a great way to start your day:  Grilled Thai Steak Salad.

Yep, that’s right. A salad for breakfast.

Meditation Explained

Ugh! I never knew it was so stressful trying to destress.  I downloaded an app to help me with practicing mindfulness (a.k.a. meditation). The app – Insight Timer — is good, but I’m spending a lot of time searching for “guided” sessions to help me release anxiety and with sleep.

I think the skeptic in me has a hard time buying into the concept of fighting stress by just “being in the moment” and focusing on my “breath.”  So I’m not giving the recordings a fair shot.

With all my frustration with mindfulness, I turned to the only source I could think of to help me let go of my resistance to meditation: Ultra Spiritualist JP Sears.

I met with a new doctor last week (I’ll post about that meeting tomorrow) and she suggested a few recordings to check out. Of course I didn’t…until now. With my insomnia, I just don’t have the energy to be overly critical anymore. So this morning I’m checking out the doc’s recommendations. Hopefully the search ends soon and I can start relaxing and sleeping again.

Thinking About Eating Before A Workout? Think Again

An interesting article in the New York Times about the potential benefits of fasting before exercising. I know a lot of bodybuilders and athletes play with timing their meals and workouts. And scientists like Jeff Volek have studied ketogenic diets and athletic performance. Well a new study looks at us regular folks and how when we eat may play a role in lowering insulin levels.

Gee, I wonder where I heard that before?

Anyway, it’s nice that science is starting to put to the test the “benefits” of fasting.

Perfecting The Butter Burger

butter burger 2

My second attempt at perfecting the Butter Burger. I’m closer with this one.

I’m finally feeling a heck of a lot better after being in bed for the last 6 days. I got hit with a nasty cold. I made the mistake of thinking I bounced back pretty quickly on Sunday. I felt great and it was a beautiful day. So after walking the dogs, grocery shopping and a few errands, rather than resting I decided to do some grilling for lunch.

So I started my second attempt at a butter burger. My first didn’t go as well as I hoped. You are supposed to put a pat of butter in the middle of your ground beef before it hits the grill. Well I found that it just melts out and the burger isn’t any more juicy for it. Read more…

‘Foreign Diets’ Are Dieticians’ Unicorns

An interesting read was making the rounds this weekend in the twitterverse. It was a perfect take down of the latest variation of the Mediterranean diet. According to this version, the people of the Mediterranean don’t eat red meat or butter so neither should you. Wow!

Just one tiny problem. The article’s writer, Joanna Blythman, is an investigative food journalist and someone who has actually traveled around the Mediterranean. She’s learned about their most popular foods. Turns out, dishes aren’t so free of red meat and butter. You can read the article yourself.

diet myths

Sorry, but there isn’t a mythical foreign diet. The best way to get healthy and stay that way is to eat real food and avoid processed foods (a.k.a., fake food) rather than healthy fats.

Adventures In Medical Indifference

holistic-medicine

When it comes to cancer causing menopause, traditional doctors are lacking in care.

Apparently deciding to see an endocrinologist to help balance my hormones is easier than actually getting an appointment with one. Turns out the two hormone doctors my physician referred me to feel I’m not worthy of their time.

 

When I called to schedule an appointment, the receptionist pretty much blew me off before I could give specifics as to why I needed to see one of the two doctors I was referred to. She didn’t need to hear that I my very high estrogen (a hormone) levels caused my cancer or that I was insulin resistant (an other hormone problem). Once I said “menopause” I was told to “just go see your gynecologist” because “it’s just menopause.”

I ended up calling 3 other endocrinologists and pretty much got the same result. However, during one of these calls I was asked, in a somewhat hopeful tone, if I was a diabetic. When that didn’t pan out as hoped, the voice on the other end of the phone told me to see a gynecologist.

So I did contact couple of gynecologist offices. They were up for pelvic exams (I already get 4 of those a year via my oncologists!) or hormone treatments – a big no-no for me.

Sigh.

Enter Functional & Integrative Medicine
This week I visit a doctor with a functional and integrated (F&I) medical group that treats menopause. I’m curious about this visit. While the idea of integrated and functional medicine is appealing, I also know marketing speak when I see it (“we don’t just treat the disease, we treat the whole patient”).

So what is functional & integrative medicine? Well the best that I can figure is that both rely on conventional western medicine (testing, labs, medications, etc.) but integrative doctors include alternative treatments like vitamins, minerals, acupuncture, or stress reduction techniques. Functional medicine tends to stress nutritional therapy.

And I’ve read lots of articles online about the traditional medical community hating on F&I community. “Quackery” is the main word I see when talking about F&I.

Certainly when it comes to nutrition, western medicine has it’s own “quackery” to own up to.

Traditional doctors still embrace the standard American diet (high carb, low-fat) despite following its introduction the obesity and diabetes epidemic began. They believe exercise makes us thin, and many pretty much reject my embrace of the ketogenic diet to drop 150 pounds. Hmmm…

There are aspects of F&I that I’m very skeptical of, like HeartMath or detoxing (the kidney & liver do that just fine!). But unlike traditional medical practitioners, I’m not skeptical about essential oils, eliminating foods from the diet, herbal medicines, supplements or mindfulness. I never considered any of these things as alternatives to treat my cancer. But my own experience tells me they have a place in helping me become a healthier person.

The bottom line is that traditional medicine is driving me to integrated & functional medicine. But hey,  “it’s just menopause.”

Time For Some Saucy Meatloaf

I was never a big fan of meatloaf. Just too dry for my liking. Whenever my family had it, I’d secretly wish we’d just had burgers. Because Dad’s burgers were awesomely juicy.  I always had to have a large beverage on hand with any meatloaf to try to choke it down. Ugh!

Well those days are gone. Just adding some of my tomato sauce to the mix did the trick. It smells and tastes like lasagna without the carb-loaded noodles!

I made this one for mom. She pretty much devoured it.

Enjoy!

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