Trial & Error

Well, this whole keep the sugar low, don’t eat the wrong carbohydrates is an adventure. This week seemed to be my week of roller coaster sugar levels. I’m learning what I can definitely eat and what I cannot. I have to admit that some of the things which I should be able to eat according to the dieticians, diabetic lists, etc have caused my sugar to spike.

What I have learnt is that gluten free products cause my sugar to spike, even if the ingredients list say there is no sugar and it’s “gluten-free.” Gluten free…what a complete misleading statement. Even though it’s gluten free, it will have rice flour, spelt, rye, etc and many of those ingredients are on the Real Meal Revolution (RMR) red/no touchy lists. Every single time I have tried something, up goes the sugar. It does cause some frustration on my part but I just shrug my shoulders and go back to the RMR lists. Every time I have a tad of the suggested non-gluten things, after I eat them, I want to sleep. Go figure.

Today, I was adhering to the lists and once again, my sugar levels were back to where they were (under 8 mmol/L). The 5.5 mmol/L seems to be elusive but once again, it is dependent on whether or not I choose to stick with the LCHF lists. I am more than convinced that there is so much validity to Tim Noakes research and findings on the benefits of the LCHF way of life.

I don’t have much else to say except if you are a newbie diabetic like me, hang in there. I am. We had steak and salad today for lunch. Tonight, I’ll have a green smoothie. It’s so yum.I’m enjoying this lifestyle. I feel great. I just have to remember to not experiment so much…hahaha.

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A new way of living

Change be a coming…

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You may ask what is going on…Well, literally three 1/2 weeks ago, I had a “wonderful” kidney infection. My husband was overseas in India with our 3rd son. I had to play telephone tag but he gave me the go ahead to go to the hospital. I had self-diagnosed but the pain intensity decided to kick me in the butt so I went to the ER at the local hospital. Much to my surprise, the waiting room was empty. I quickly filled in the necessary paperwork, waited all of 3 minutes, walked with the nurse, had my vitals taken and given the obligatory urine sample and as soon as all that was done, the doctor popped his head in the door and called me to his office.

I am all for quickness. He asked questions. I answered. He did a quick exam and concurred with my diagnosis of a kidney infection but he was concerned about the sugar levels in my urine. I was whisked to another room and they did a quick finger prick to check my blood sugar levels and it was a whopping 15!! I’m not a doctor but I know that isn’t the greatest number on the planet with regards to one’s sugar levels.

The doctor then decided that Monday morning, i would have a fasting blood test and a screening of my blood for the past three months. The miracle of modern medicine techniques.

Monday morning arrived and I woke my daughter up to get ready for school, whisked her to her bus stop and then hoofed it to the hospital once again. I waited a few minutes and then the kind nurse took my blood. I would receive the results later in the day. The whole day basically flew by and I was in the local Woolworths with my daughter buying groceries. The phone rang, I answered and I hear the Dr say, “From now, you must consider yourself diabetic. Your levels were 14 today. That’s still very high. You must see a dietician soon and I am prescribing you Glucophage. Please see your doctor at a later stage and a dietician.” Well, okay then.

I wasn’t surprised. I had a pretty good idea the night before, that my diagnosis from the doctor would be diabetes. I have Type 2. It can be reversed. We had been doing the intermittent fast (4:3) for the past month so switching to the Banting/Keto/LCHF way of life would not be a huge stretch at all.

For me, the next steps were 1) buying a blood glucose monitor and all the accoutrements necessary and the Glucophage tablets 2) immediately researching the effects of T2 with the LCHF way of life 3) changing my lifestyle, eating habits 4) making sure I see the positive and be informed.

What has changed in the past three weeks? Well, my blood sugar levels have dropped drastically. It is no longer over ten. It fluctuates between 6.3 and 8.6. I am aiming for the ever elusive 5.5 but I know it will take time for my body to adjust. I take one Glucophage tablet every night with dinner. I am not drinking water like a camel preparing to go into the desert. I check my blood sugar three times a day, keep a food journal and I have downloaded a sugar monitor app onto my phone where I log everything. I eat to stay healthy, steer clear of the wrong carbohydrates, read what I can about diabetes, do more research….and as an added benefit, I have lost centimeters (this is not my goal, just a by-product) on my body.

I have begun to exercise. My eyesight is clearer already. I am not so tired all the time. I can already begin to identify what causes my blood sugar to spike so I make a note in my food journal (pen & paper/”old school” baby) and I steer clear of that. I am happy. I really am happy. I now understand why I was also so tired and sleepy. I understand why my vision seemed kind of hazy even though I had a new prescription for my glasses. I have a new lease on life. I am determined. I am focused. I am not fearful or scared. I have taken charge and understand that I cannot use excuses for the bad things I eat and why I eat it. I choose to live and not to live to eat.

This is a new journey. It’s a lifelong journey to eating healthily and living…. Here’s to a new life!

Where’s January?

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Man alive, I don’t know about you but January has just about come and gone and where has it gone? Since school started for my daughter, it seems like I tried to blink and the rest of the month has gone by! I did NOT give time permission to do that at all. It gives me a sneaking suspicion that this entire year is going to flash by in an instant.

With my daughter being a newbie at her all girls’ high school, there are so many events in which she must attend. It does build amazing school spirit but it completely and utterly destroys my scheduling attempts for the day or week. It means that she misses out on her ballet lessons for 2 weeks in a row. It means driving up and down to Paarl which is about a 35 minute drive from the house on the Interstate, and one is normally stuck in peak hour traffic. It’s just “Murphy’s Law” and I’m still trying to find “Murphy” so I can shoot them in the foot!!

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My husband and son’s trip to India ended before it really started (it felt that way) and packing is my ongoing nightmare. I don’t mind packing. I love sorting through and getting rid of unnecessary items but shove that in between the normal daily things, work, making sure I’m the “taxi” that runs back and forth to get my daughter,  unexpected events, etc….you get my drift.

I’m not stressed. It’s a rather peculiar little adventure at the moment. After the 15th of February, we will have moved to our new house in an Estate. Then it’s packing things out and then resorting to give again.  I want to get to the place where every item has it’s own place and anything that doesn’t go to the holiday house either goes in the trash or is given away. Life is life. I love it.

It’s time for breakfast and coffee so I’m going to get going! Until later…Ciao!

Buh-bye for now

unnamed Well, at the end of last year, we put in an application for me to do a makeup artist course here in the Cape Town area. Unfortunately, it didn’t pan out BUT once I got out of my very short-lived “pity party” which lasted about a minute, I realized that it wasn’t a bad thing.

There are decisions that one makes that may have consequences later (yes, I’m learning that one at the moment) and it’s never too late for and old dog to learn new things. I want to grow and mature, even at my age. If you think that you know it all and have it all together, ummm, then just wait for the tumble….

Instead, I will concentrate on voice and hope to put a solo vocal concert sometime this year. I’m very very excited!! Now, it’s finding the right venue, ironing out what songs to sing, the story of the concert, musicians (it’s going to be an acoustic thing and I have people lined up already who are AWESOME). It’s all very daunting but music is something that I love and that love hasn’t faded with the years.

I’m excited for what this year holds. It’s taking a huge step of faith but here we go. I’ll write about this stuff on and off throughout the year. You all get to journey with me. All those voice lessons need to be put on display but I have to admit that something inside of me just catches alight when I am singing. The opportunity to choose songs or write them, tell the story and draw your audience in with you…it’s magic!

Here’s to this new year!

A Banting we will go….

banting-diet_1600xWell, it’s Day 4 of a lifetime for me and Banting (Keto). I thought it would very hard to just switch over cold turkey but I have been pleasantly surprised. Thankfully, I was doing intermittent fasting at the request of our 2nd son who graduated from Stellenbosch University as a Scientist. Yup, he has a Bachelor’s of Science. My hubby and I picked up a tiny bit of weight  while we were in America for two months. Man, I forgot how BIG the food portions are. Peter and I could share one portion and we would be full.

It hasn’t been a huge jump to go back to Banting. I do like the occasional piece of cake but I am really picky with what type of desserts I eat. I have always preferred savory. The thing that will be hard to “give up” is POPCORN! popcorn

I have always love it. I don’t like sugary popcorn. Just the normal popcorn popped in coconut oil with melted butter or just salt. I will give it up because eventually, I will be able to add just a tiny bit as a treat. Whether that will be in months or years…doesn’t matter. I’m Banting to be a healthier me.

I have to admit that my energy is higher and my noggin feels a bit clearer. I’m not even tempted by sweets, potato chips and the like.

Here’s to a healthy life and once this stupid kidney infection is clear (thank you Dr and antibiotics – which I don’t like, the antibiotics, the Doctor is fine)….I can get to exercising with our newly christened Scientist son.

Here’s to a new life and a healthy me!

PS: My family “gets” to eat the same because I am NOT cooking two different meals. Nope, not a chance!

New Beginnings

I can’t believe that 2018 has come and gone. Primary school has come to an end for our daughter. Our third son has finished his high school career. Our second son has graduated from Stellenbosch University with a BSc degree in Science. Peter and I finished 2018 with two months in America and with 2019 we are moving house again to a security estate with four bedrooms.

With the new year, it’s now adjusting to only one high school (Paarl Girls’ High) for our daughter. Yes, she is 1000% happy with her new school. I can see my confident bubbly daughter once again. Grade 6 & 7 were difficult years for her but she’s made it through and she’s at the right high school for her.

We are packing things and I’m trying to sort through things as we pack. That’s always fun. I’ve decided to do Banting once again but it’s with a vengeance. Yes, it’s more expensive but being healthy is my ultimate goal. Peter and our third son are in India at the moment. It was a bit of a shock for David but he’s loving the experience. They only have two weeks there and I’m sure he’ll be happy to be home and sleep in his own bed.

I have no idea what 2019 holds but I’m excited for this new year filled with adventures.

 

Old & New Adventure | Grade 8

After a tough year, I never thought we’d make it through 7th grade. Fourteen years through one school with four children is a very long time! Today we dropped off our daughter at her new high school (all girls’ school) for their 8th grade camp and orientation. She was so nervous about having to make new friends but luckily, we saw an “old friend” from Pre-K and Kindergarten. Then she saw other girls she knew and she was feeing a bit more secure. I have a feeling that when we pick her up Tuesday afternoon, we will pick up a tired but excited teenage daughter.

We’ve had many years already at the all Boys’ school in the same town with two of our sons and it’s refreshing for the family to have a daughter at the sister school. New adventures, new friends, and no boys! Here we go!

Montgomery, AL

We have finally arrived back in Montgomery after travelling through so many states. We enjoyed meeting so many people over the month of October. We had the opportunity to not only spend time with people but experience a vast array of many things. From Phoeneix to Albuequrque then on to Flagstaff, Sedona and on to Dallas, Shreveport then to Montgomery.

On our return journey from Dallas to Montgomery, we stopped by Shreveport, Louisiana to see my mom’s old house. I was hoping someone was home so I could see the interior but alas, no one was there. Instead, we saw Buddy, who lives next door. It was great seeing him and chatting. He said the people who bought my mom’s old house take really good care of the house and property. We decided to walk around the back of the house so I could see what had changed. The old barn in the back was down but some of the old sidewalk was still there. The boat shed was gone but the channel to Cross Lake was full again. They had also enclosed the back porch to extend the kitchen. I did cry. It was good to have closure as the last time I saw the house was when I was packing up mom’s things, deciding what to ship to South Africa and what to sell.

We also stopped by Bossier City to have breakfast with the Barretts. Lovely people and it was great to hear a great Louisiana accent once again. From here, we drove on to Montgomery, Alabama. It was a very good drive and even better to see Asher. Even Logan’s (Asher’s house mate) dog, Rocky was happy to see us.

We did shopping (of course), chatted with Asher, played with the dogs, went to see Bohemian Rhapsody which was a very good movie. The movie theaters are big and it’s great to get free refills on popcorn and drinks. South Africa could learn something here.

After a few days with Asher, we drove to Cumming, Georgia to visit Tim & Karen Dilbeck. It was fabulous chatting and hanging out with them. They live in a very old house that Tim’s dad moved from wherever it was to Cumming. It’s a beautiful old house but the company was better!

Since we’ve been back in Montgomery, we have spent the majority of our time with Asher and reconnecting with the people who were at Pike Road Baptist Church while we lived here. They haven’t changed and still are the most amazing people on the planet!

I’ll write more just before we leave for Cape Town which is literally in a matter of days!

Grand Canyon National Park

We woke up bright and early to make our way to Grand Canyon National Park. I was there when I was a little girl but I don’t remember a thing. Peter, on the other hand, has always wanted to go. I have to admit that it’s one of the places I wanted to see if we had the chance. Many people had told him that the first time you see it, it’s a “WOW” moment, then you round the corner and go, “Ah, that’s beautiful.” The third corner it’s “oh, that’s nice.”

It took us an hour and a half to drive from Flagstaff. We paid our $35 entry fee at the gate to enter. We then headed directly to the visitor’s center. Peter is smarter and he listened to the rangers tell people what would be the best viewpoints while I did the American thing and stood in line. We followed the advice that he heard and decided to first walk to Maher point. Our first reactions were of shock and awe from the vantage points at Maher point.

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Maher Point

From there, we took our first free shuttle to  the South Kaibab Trailhead then walked back to the visitor’s centre. From there, we drove to the Market Place to grab something to eat and fill our travel cups with ice. It was great to have a chance to cool down a bit and look at the various items for sale. We jumped back in the car and drove to Hopi House. What an incredible building. It was built by Mary Colter. She based the design on the surroundings of nature and the Hopi villages. She built the building from sandstone which gives the building its exquisite reddish hue.

She used broken pottery to create the corner fireplaces, baskets hung from wooden beams, necklaces and woodcarvings were hung in display. She even had low ceilings thatched with young saplings. She didn’t create a roof top entrance (thank goodness)! Some of the Hopi indians who helped build the building lived upstairs.

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We had so much fun investigating this house. From here, we decided to go on the Hermit Road trail. We walked from the Trailview Overlook and then to Hopi Point. The views were amazing and we took a shuttle to Mohave Point and waited there until sunset. My darling husband was naughty and sat in places that were giving me slight panic attacks and I eventually fussed at him in Afrikaans to let hinm know exactly how I felt. He, of course, was laughing his head off because he thought it was great fun.

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By the end of the day, we had walked 6.6 miles or 10.6 kilometers. We had an awesome day, awesome, awesome!

Now, we are in Albuquerque visiting Sam & Lucy Soleyn. They are the most amazing people. I’ll blog about that tonight.

Sedona

 

We decided that we would stay in Flagstaff for two nights at the Howard Johnson’s motel. It was basic and what we needed since we would be out for the majority of the time we had booked the motel w hich was two days. We decided that we would first go to Sedona and would look at red rock formations.

Off we went from Phoenix to Sedona. We had been here two days before with Ed and Becky and it’s such a quaint and unusual town. The new agers are trying to take over the town and go there for some vortex or nother. Yeah, we don’t give that much weight since we serve the God of all creation.

We drove through and arrived at the Visitor center to enquire as to what would be the best things to see. She kindly gave us directions and we jumped in the car to make our way to the various places. We went to an awesome place that is a arts and crafts village called Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village.

 I’m not sure how many places we went to first but I think it was only one. We then found a place where we could hike. I just have to add that the elevation of Flagstaff is a bit high.

We started hiking and it wasn’t too bad. Peter gave me the keys to the car in case I felt I should turn back and wait in the car. I arrived at the “plateau” area which had an incredible view but as I looked ahead, I realized that the ascent would be too difficult, not just the climb but the taxing it would inflict upon my asthma. I instead, decided to let Peter go on his merry way and I instead, headed back to thecar.

I must have been there for an hour or more and that was fine since I was reading books on my phone and also perusing the various information booklets on the area. Peter eventually got back to the car and he was beaming. He was so content and happy and declared that he was satiated and the rest of the day, was my time. Well, I immediately knew what I wanted to do.

We returned to Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village. We meandered around and looked at the breathtaking artwork, sculptures, prints, etc in the galleries and shops. I have been inspired to pick up my paintbrush again to actually work on the craft. I was of two minds because I wanted to go to Makeup Art School next year but we will see and wait on the Lord to reveal His plans and purposes.

If you ever get to come to Arizona, make a turn by Sedona. You won’t be disappointed.

At the end of the day, we headed back to Flagstaff and found a really cute place to eat. Yes, it was a Mexican restaurant and yes, the portions were ridiculous but we enjoyed the vibe and Peter got to watch the Baseball world series. We went back to our hotel with our bellys full and got ready for bed to rest for the next day.