Monday, February 2, 2015


I mean posts.

We are the grandparents of a two month old girl called Ava-Jane. We arrived at her home, ostensibly to help her Mum during the last couple of weeks of pregnancy but she beat us to it. We were able to hang around for 5 weeks as the new parents learned to live with a new-born. Mother and baby needed a little extra care at first as the mother had an emergency Caesarian Section. I'm so glad we were able to be there. It's not often possible for grandparents to participate in the moment by moment growth of their first grandchild.

Last year was extremely stress-filled. I know there was a lot going on but that doesn't go all the way to explaining my absence which ultimately meant my weight gain became semi-permanent. I remain about half-way through my weight loss program. I regained about 9kg or close to 20 lbs above my lowest weight from around September 2013

Nothing much has changed but I did learn a lot about sleep. I am not a good sleeper and often only get 3 hours good sleep. anything more than 6 hours is a really good night. That's not healthy so it's something I continue to focus on. Two things help. Not drinking coffee after mid-day, turning off computer before 8 pm and getting a respectable amount of exercise in. Al these things challenge me.

My food is generally consistent although I have not kept to my 'wheat free' status in spite of almost always experiencing some negatives in well-being when I do eat the stuff. I had a big wake up call a few weeks ago when I ate toast for breakfast and lunch. Later in the afternoon I developed severe stomach pain. The only time I've had anything worse was when I thoughtlessly took Nurofen, (Ibuprofen), to relieve a headache when I was fasting.

A few days ago I decided to make February 1st my Day of Resolution.

This is my 2nd day and so far so good. I even managed to shed 700 gm which is about 1.5 lbs so proving to myself I can still do this.

A frustrating complication has been computer problems. I am now using this very old Compaq to write on as my Toshiba keyboard does not work. It's a clumsy system as the best results come from writing here, saving and adding photos from my Toshiba. Editing is best done on the Compaq. I've been using the Toshiba for several years and it's been an exercise in patience, (read lots of bad words), getting my links and settings to work. I try to keep things simple but Google does not seem to allow that unless you give away all sense of privacy.

The one thing that I have changed is my relationship with Mum's house which is in a Family Trust and for sale. Last year a good sale fell through when the buyer discovered it had not had sign off from the building inspector when completed in 2000. We are still in the process of completing the required work to satisfy Council. Since I have all our retirement money tied up in this property we cannot move on to the next stage of our lives and I am stuck living in a village far from where I want to be.

Financial and relationship problems are difficult. I finally came to my senses and we are trying to live within our means ..... not easy when I often have a negative income after paying bills. We are living very simply. I have withdrawn myself from active interest in the beach house. I do only what is necessary and reply to related emails only to let people know I read them if they are important. I do not read emails from certain people after 5 pm as I discovered I was getting upset and worried about the content all night. I have also limited my contact with the people who cause me the most grief.

Life is too short to be upset by what other people think and do.

My health goals are fairly simple.

Good sleep pattern.
Regularly exercise
Eat well and lose weight.
Quilt at home and meet with the group regularly.
Laugh a lot once more.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

HELP FROM Jonny Bowden

  1. With a Smear”. This is one of my favorite snacks, period. I take some hearts of celery and fill in the groove with some organic almond butter or peanut butter. This snack really travels well in tuperware, and makes a terrific pre-workout snack. Why? The celery has fiber and nutrients (including calcium and vitamin A) and a ridiculously low 6 calories per medium stalk. The nut butter has protein and fat. The overall calories are low and this really fills you up without slowing you down. Great for “slow-release” energy.
  2. The Double A”: An apple with almonds. The apple is the perfect food for a snack especially if coupled with some fat and or protein (i.e. string cheese). It’s sugar load is very moderate, it contains valuable pectin fiber which slows the entrance of that sugar into the bloodstream, and it’s a nutritional powerhouse containing vitamins and minerals and antioxidants. Try combining it with about a dozen almonds, which adds some fat and protein, further slows the entrance of the sugar into the bloodstream for sustained energy, and keeps hunger away.
  3. “Whey to go”: Whey protein is my favorite kind of protein powder. Not only is it extremely high quality, bioavailable protein, but it supports the immune system by providing the body with the building blocks for glutathione, arguably the body’s most important antioxidant. And studies indicate that whey protein may boost weight-loss efforts. According to one French study, consuming whey before exercise supports fat burning and may help with gaining or maintaining lean body mass. I suggest a whey protein shake made with either water alone or with frozen berries. The berries add fiber, nutrients, some extra carbohydrates, and make for a more delicious drink.
  4. “Berry Cheesy”: Here’s a little tidbit of info for you that you might enjoy: In my book, “The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth” I asked 16 of the best known experts in the country to contribute their personal “top ten” list of favorite healthy foods. Berries- especially blueberries- made the list of more experts than any other food. Berries are loaded with phytonutrients, antioxidants and fiber, and are low in sugar. Mix a bowl of berries with a piece of string cheese for the perfect pre-workout snack. The string cheese has 8 grams of protein, some fat to keep hunger at bay, and only about 80 calories. Plus it’s an excellent source of calcium.
  5. “TG/ Too Good”: The initials of this snack stand for turkey and grapes. It’s a perfectly matched trifecta of protein, carbs and low-calories to take the edge off your hunger. Four small slices of deli packaged turkey contain only 87 calories but give you more than 14 grams of protein, plus some of the cancer-fighting mineral selenium to boot. A cup of grapes adds some carbs to the mix together with all the health-giving phytochemicals grapes are known for. Suggestion: Go for fresh turkey whenever possible as the packaged kind is high in sodium and nitrates, and go for red or purple grapes as they have a higher antioxidant content.
By keeping blood sugar even, and insulin levels in the ideal “zone”, you’ll be turning your body from a fat storage machine into one that eats fat for breakfast.

Friday, August 15, 2014


This morning I weighed 10 kg or 22.5 pounds more than last September. Most of that gain has been in the last three months as I stressed over selling my mother's beach front house. Many days I felt as though I was in the middle of a nightmare. Hurt feelings abound.

In the end a potential sale fell through. Now we have some remedial work to get a Council Certificate of Compliance .... something which should have been done as soon as the building was completed back in 2000. Naturally this is not quite straightforward and again we are dealing with multiple opinions about how to go through the process of getting the items, mostly minor, ticked off to the satisfaction of the council inspector. I want to opt out of this process but realistically there is no way I can do this. Sometimes it's a pain to be needed.

In the meantime we have been to Christchurch for two weeks with our son and his wife. We are delighted, over the moon ecstatic, because they are having our first grandchild. Well, second really, the first one died at nine weeks gestation. It's great news and we look forward to a safe birth somewhere around New Year.

I'm still trying to get my head around my food/health thing. Yesterday was our first day home and somehow I only had one coffee instead of the 6-8 I had been creeping up to. That meant I drank a lot more water in the form of a tea infusion. My weight dropped by around 2 kg/4.5 pounds in one day. Just shows how bloated I had become.

Today I'll be coffee free. I also would like to be sugar free but I'm about to have coconut porridge and somehow it needs a little sweetener. Maybe I'll try some stevia before I resort to sugar. We are only home for a week before we go house sitting for friends but that's only for a week this time. I hope to have established my eating/health plan sufficiently to get me through that week.

I finished a gift quilt recently and am starting another for my sister. She had her 70th birthday early this year. I reckon I can get it finished before Christmas.

That's about it for now. See you soon.

Sunday, June 22, 2014


I hope you enjoy it. It was a fun thing to do.

Click here to listen.

 I tuned in with great trepidation. Would I sound like an idiot? Would the sound quality be acceptable in my ears? Would I be so nervous that I used my 'posh,' more English sounding voice? Would the Bells Palsy, which has affected my vocal chords, make me sound like a quavery old lady?

All my fears were for naught. 

John and I have just listened and agree that it went well. I thank Jimmy Moore and 
Dietitian Cassie for making it so easy. I lost nearly all my nervousness. This was my first time using Skype so pretty special for me. Chalk up another technology learning curve.

The shocker is, as always, seeing my photo on the Livin La Vi
da blog.. Even after 2.5 years with Bells Palsy my face dismays me.

I felt it was a great privilege to be on the show. 

Thursday, June 19, 2014



A few months ago I did something bold, bold for me that is. I contacteDietitian Cassie to go on the podcast show Low Carb Conversations with Jimmy Moore and Friends. Link here. I was very surprised when I received a reply email inviting me to participate with dates in May. All I needed to do was open a Skype account with a username and get some headphones. I had to get help from my daughter to set up the SkyPe account ..... another bit of technology learned. Then Dietitian Cassie's team worked out the time change between Minnesota and New Zealand. I was too excited to sleep, finally falling asleep in the early hours of the morning. What with that, the daylight saving changes and my wonky arithmetic I missed my date by nearly two hours. I thought that was it until I received another mail suggesting dates in June. I think they were intrigued that anyone my age would be interested in being on the show. 

Today was the day. We set our alarms and I went to bed extra early. Last time I had been too excited to sleep. This time I woke at midnight but went back to sleep and woke again at 3.30 am. That was good enough for me as the alarms were set for 4 am. I had time to make coffee, keto coffee with coconut oil, coconut cream and real NZ thick cream. I then found some Southern Gospel singing I could join in with to wake up my voice. I was ready. Not long after 4 am came the messages through Skype to make sure I was here and ask a few questions. 

A few minutes before the scheduled recording time the call came through and sound checks were made. Apparently my headphones, which are new, messed things up so they had to be disconnected and I was good to go. It will be interesting to see how the sound is. I am very conscious of my speech these days. Bells Palsy has affected my ability to pronounce certain letters unless I hold my hand to my face in a particular way. It has also affected my vocal chords so that I often sound quavery, like a very old lady. I won't know how I soununtil this podcast is released on the website.

The other guest was Ben, a fitness trainer an paleo nutrition expert from Ireland. He has begun working with Alzheimers sufferers. I'like to know more about his work there.

Cassie and Jimmy make things so easy. It was like a chat with friends which is exactly how they describe it too. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. My nervousness even disappeared. Now I am looking forward to Jimmy Moore's visit to New Zealand even more than previously. I must make sure I can be there.

I'll post the link when the show comes up. 

Friday, May 30, 2014


As you can see I am not here today.

You can find me here

Thursday, May 29, 2014



I really am surprised that it's only 6 weeks since I last posted here. I put everything on hold to sew. It seems that I may have worked off the early burst of single minded passion. I'm still spending more time sewing than anything else but I'm beginning to wake up the other interests in my life.

My weight is slowly, ever so slowly, coming back down. Today I weigh in at 84.1 kg/185.5 lbs. This is still higher than the start of the year but I did see that number touch on 87 kg once or twice. My level of exercise or movement is almost ZERO. My sleep patterns are much better. The things which add more stress than I need continue and I have some really bad times when I need to consciously work at getting my emotions into a healthy, (bearable), state again.

We've had my mother's house on the market now for 18 months. It's two and a half years since Mum died and the house is in a Family Trust. My sister and I lent money, part of our inheritance from our father who died 40 years ago, to the Trust. We cannot realise this until the house is sold and of course there will also be some benefit from out mother's estate. Our future is on hold until this matter is settled. Currently we have our first offer under discussion. It's not at all what we think the property is worth and means we will have about $50,000 less to work with than we expected. That's a lot of money and means a complete mental adjustment. It also means we may lose the sale as we try to negotiate.
We have struggled with mortgage payments for the last 7 or so years. That was not in our plan. We also live in a small town that was not part of our plan. My sister and I are over the waiting to sort out our futures. Patience does not come readily to me. Sewing has been an unexpected God-send. I quietly sew, sometimes listening to podcasts or music or a decent programme on TV. My focus on mixing colours and patterns is a wonderfully creative distraction.
Until I can get my head around writing more often I will keep only one blog going. If you want to keep up with our life you can follow me here I will try to keep it up to date and fun to read.

As an aside..... my keyboard is acting up. Until I get it fixed the 'd' only works because I cut and paste and I must do a lot of proof reading because other letters sometimes stick. It all takes too much time that can be better spent sewing.