Dot to Trot

My world is expanding as my butt is shrinking!

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!

“You Can’t Accomplish Anything Without The Possibility Of Failure”

An Awesome Documentary Got Me Questioning How Hard I’m Willing To Push Myself – Mentally, Physically & Emotionally – To Achieve What I Want.

This weekend I spent some time looking for upcoming local races, both 5 and 10Ks. I’m always way more consistent in training when I have a deadline I’m working towards. That’s when I came across the most amazing race I’ve never heard of – The Barkley Marathon.

I learned about it via a documentary that’s currently on Netflix – The Barkley Marathons: The Race That Eats Its Young. It is an amazing story that spotlights the quirky traditions and oddball personalities surrounding this race.

But what I loved most happened after watching the movie. More on that below. But first, What is the Barkley?

Read more…

Slow Roasted Pork Belly

OK, this video is way longer than my other ones. But the pork is absolutely delicious. While I make 2 slight modifications (1 due to lack of ingredients, the other to add more healthy fat), it isn’t my recipe. I recreated a Gordon Ramsay dish and I have to say the man knows his stuff!

One of the joys of cooking I’ve discovered is using new ingredients. This dish includes two: star anise (which looks like little ninja throwing star!) and cardamom pods. Awesome aromatics that I plan to use again!

Time For Some Mental Spring Cleaning

Last week was absolutely horrible. I started falling into an emotional funk at the beginning of the week. It just crescendoed into an all day meltdown on Thursday. How bad of a meltdown?

Yep…that bad. Read more…

Lemon Herb Chicken Casserole

This video is actually two recipes in one. The first is for my lemon herb chicken. The chicken comes out so tender, juicy and delicious. Normally I use chicken thighs with skin. But the second recipe — a creamy chicken casserole — calls for no skin.

The casserole recipe is from The Ketogenic Cookbook and is wonderful. You can use any leftover chicken for the dish, but my lemon herb chicken a nice flavor.

Both are tasty and easy to make.

Thyroid, Calories Or Vitamins: Which Is Causing My Ice Cold Hands, Feet?

HEALTH

Have cold hands and/or feet? Sometimes doctors overlook these symptoms as frivolous. But ignoring them could lead to bigger problems. Image courtesy of freedigitalphoto.net and Kromkrathog.

The game plan for the week was to start a 7-day fast on Sunday. It started off great but about 12 hours into the fast I started feeling cold all over. The next thing I knew my hands and feet were freezing. Now cold hands and feet are nothing new to me. But this wasn’t normal (not that cold hands and feet are normal). I’m talking ice-cold extremities. No amount of mittens or socks could warm me up.

So I started doing a little digging. Turns out there are a few options as to why this happens

A Sluggish Thyroid?
The butterfly shaped thyroid is a gland that sits above the collarbone in the front of our necks. It pumps out hormones that regulates our metabolic rate. If the thyroid starts slowing down your body temperature can drop, causing hypothyroidism (an over active thyroid is hyperthyroidism and another set of problems).

Too Little Calories?
On non-fasting days I’ve been eating between 1600-1800 calories a day…or at least that’s what My Fitness Pal claims. Of course I’ve railed against this app about inaccurate data before. However, going into a fast I’ve never felt hungry.

Low Red Blood Cell Count?
Too few red blood cells means anemia. I experienced anemia when I was obese and had month-long periods (Yikes!). But with the weight loss my red blood cell count has been normal…or at least that’s my assumption. However, when I had my surgery in June, the only problem I encountered was the very slow recovery of my red blood cells. In fact, I was kept in the hospital because of it. I remember my husband and mother commenting on how pale I looked. While lack iron can be the major cause of anemia, there are a few other micronutrients — vitamins B-12 and D — that can also trigger it.

Other micronutrient deficiencies  that can trigger cold extremities? Niacin (Vitamin B3) and magnesium.

I ended up calling off the fast for now. We ended up going out for dinner and I made sure I ate my full calories for the day. That helped to warm the hands and feet, but they were still a little cold.

I’ve got a month to go before visiting a doctor regarding my menopause symptoms. But the cold concerns me. A lot of thyroid symptoms are identical to menopause. In fact, most doctors mistake thyroid problems for menopause. And frankly, you can have both problems at the same time.

 

10K vs. 15K Steps? Does It Matter?

Saucony Hurricane ISO

Caution — Shoes are much, much more neon yellow than they appear! More steps a day just wear these puppies out sooner.

Here’s an interesting morning read about mail carriers in Glasgow, Scotland and heart health. Those who deliver the mail are far more heart healthy than their counter parts working a desk job. Why?  Glaswegian mail carriers deliver the mail by foot!  While The New York Times article is focused on whether we should target 15,000 steps a day vs. the current 10,000 step recommendation, I think they are missing another piece: strength.

If the Scots deliver the mail on foot, that means they are also doing a lot of weight training too. A mail bag loaded with bills, letters, flyers and Amazon boxes adds up in pounds/kilograms.

Yes walking is good for you. However, if most Americans can’t even get 10,000 steps in a day, what’s the point of upping the number of 15,000. Also the mail carriers in Scotland deliver by foot. That means they walk for nearly 8 hours a day, 5 days a week and get paid to do so. In the US, somewhere around 100 million employees are sitting at a desk.

Does your manager encourage you to get in a chunk of your 10,000 steps while you’re on the clock?

I’m curious if the study actually looked at their diet. If you had to walk every day for your paycheck wouldn’t you eat better too?  Again walking is healthy, but you can’t out walk a bad diet.

 

 

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