About My Journey

It’s so Easy to Fall! A Story of Low Carb Backsliding!

Most of us know what I am talking about…

Having great results on a diet or lifestyle change, losing weight, feeling fabulous ONLY to test the line too many times and actually cross it to find you gained weight back!  Backsliding.  Or seeing your blood sugar numbers rise. The problem is in thinking that a few “cheats” on food won’t affect you in the long term, but when you start stringing cheats together, you start sliding back into old, bad habits of unhealthy eating!  Self-control is lost.

Why is this important?

I tell this to encourage others and to acknowledge that this Low Carb lifestyle isn’t easy.  Except for the superhuman, we all backslide.  ESPECIALLY when we LOVE food!  The thing to remember is that a Low Carb lifestyle is necessary for our health! 

I saw first hand what diabetes and metabolic syndrome did to my mother.  If she knew then what I know now about Low Carb eating… it would have changed her life.  She might still be with us. The information simply wasn’t out there then.  I lost count at over 40 mini-strokes.   Each one took a small piece of her away from us.  That is potentially my future staring at me if I don’t get back on the bandwagon.   And face it, there is a higher potential for strokes if you are diabetic OR metabolic… and more so if you have both!   I am not about to leave my family caring for someone  WHO DIDN’T TRY HARD ENOUGH.  It was hard and heartbreaking caring for my mother.  I can’t imagine my husband having to endure my caregiving simply because I gave up to eat what I wanted!  I can’t imagine a more selfish act on my part!  I have the knowledge and information.  I simply have to apply it!   I simply need some self-control!

Let me give you a little backstory:

  • I weighed myself on the scale this morning.  I was horrified to see I had gained weight!  How much is irrelevant, but it wasn’t a small amount.
  • I checked my blood sugar this morning.  I was horrified to see that my sugar was up.  It had been doing so well with Low Carb eating that it was below 100 every morning (with oral diabetic medication).  Now it was well up over that.  It had been climbing upward over the past several days, but this morning’s number was the wake up call!
  • I had decided that I would cheat ONE day 4 times a year.  That way I had something to look forward to every quarter.   Sounded reasonable.  It worked for 8 months!   

The realization.

The problem came when I had an accident and was housebound for several weeks.  In pain.  In self-pity.  In boredom.  I QUIT watching the carbs as close.  I quit writing down my numbers (which in itself is kinda a pain, and I somehow thought I could keep the numbers in my head well enough now that I had the lifestyle down. Note to self: I can’t do it in my head!)  I started drinking more diet drinks… a lot more.  I started eating more nuts.  I started eating more Low Carb breads and crackers. I started experimenting with the recipes here on this site and taste tested a bit too much.  I started eating larger portions.  I started to reason with myself that the broccoli cheddar soup I craved really didn’t have as many carbs if it was just cheddar cheese and broccoli.  (The truth is, flour or cornstarch is used to thicken the soup and therein lies the carbs!)  I started to reason that way with most foods I did not cook myself.

LIFE HAPPENS!  We all have issues in our life that will alter our food habits.  Accident.  Illness. Depression.  Stress.  Loss.  Lifestyle changes.  Parties.  Celebrations.  Even medications can alter your weight, for better or worse, and blood sugar. YOU NAME IT!  It can throw off your game plan! 

Too, because life happened or a lack of self control… you might have an unwillingness to acknowledge that you have crossed the line you proverbially drew in the sand concerning your Low Carb counts.  I definitely did that too.

The thing is… from everything that I have written on this blog… I KNOW Low Carb Living WORKS!  You lose weight.  Your sugar lowers.  You feel great.  You have more energy.  I also noted the added benefit of less aches and pains!  Why WOULDN’T I not live Low Carb all the time if it that did all of that? The answer is…. Life Happens AND I love food!!!!   And… I would throw in that I am only human.  I pride myself on being strong, but I can be pretty weak when I see or smell my favorite foods.  I lack self-control at times. But… as long as it is only SOME times instead of ALL times or MOST times… I will prevail!   And… for my own health’s sake… I HAVE to prevail!

Here’s what I am going to do about my backslide!

  • Start writing my carb counts again!
  • PORTION CONTROL!  Sometimes it is not what you eat, but how much you eat!  
  • Drop my diet drinks back down to one each morning until I can quit altogether.  Water drops, tea and my beloved Pellagrino are my go to drinks!  I’ve also grown fond of various LaCroix waters.  As I’ve noted before, the more diet drinks I seem to drink… the more ravenous I become.  It is a pattern that I’ve inadvertently tested at least a dozen times now.  There is a definite correlation I see.  I’m not the only one, if online searches indicate anything.
  • Stop eating nuts during weight loss and only later add nuts if it works into proper carb counts.  Lots of fats along with added carbs.  They are a handy snack.  Too handy.
  • Stop eating breads and crackers during weight loss and only later if it works into proper carb counts.  
  • I will still keep my 4x per year cheat dates if they are in moderation.  Those dates are motivating for me as long as I don’t extend it to more.  Even once a month is too much… for me.  Every season a cheat date seems about right.
  • Exercise more!  Even if it is calisthenics, using bands or walking… get moving!

I start TODAY!

I hope this encourages you to just think about the consequences in your life of unhealthy eating and get on… or back on… the bandwagon with me!


Please follow and like us:
Follow by Email


Visit Us



Cheating on Low Carb

I’ll say it out loud… “I cheated on my diet during the holidays.”  (Or maybe I just typed that out loud.)

It is tough being restricted from food you love and especially so at the holidays!  I’ll be the first to admit that I declared Thanksgiving to Christmas a “don’t hold me to the weight loss carb counts” period in my house.  What I meant is that I was going to be in the 30-35 Net Carb range and not worry about the 18-22 Net Carb range I need for weight loss.  I was mostly good, but I did gain 4 pounds!  I definitely went over 35 Net Carbs. I really don’t want to admit that to anyone and especially myself, but there you have it!  The good news is that my sugar stayed mostly in check and it wasn’t that I went crazy and ate things with regular flour, sugar or potatoes (etc.)  I still didn’t eat those.

It was the VOLUME of things I ate that caused a slight weight gain.  Also on my path to weight gain was the amount of nuts I ate!   I put some of those nut recipes on the website.  I just couldn’t stop eating multiple handfuls of them when ordinarily a palm full is all I should have eaten.  Too, they are full of fats.  I also ate larger than usual portions of berries with whipped toppings or low carb cake or cake with berries and whipped toppings.  All of them not horribly bad for someone with diabetes and metabolic syndrome, but the AMOUNT I ate is!   Too, I just didn’t restrict portions on anything!  I ate at odd times.  I didn’t eat snacks between meals to stop hunger and keep me from wanting double at meal times. I was definitely out of my routine of eating.

Now I’ve gone backwards and instead of having lost 20 pounds, I’m back to having lost 15 pounds.  That still sounds good but I have to cover ground I already covered.  On the flip side… it did let me feel like I could enjoy holiday foods for a little while, even if low carb altered.  I don’t think any medical professional would tell me this is a good thing, but mentally, it was a good thing. I am now ready to jump back on the wagon and aim for another 15 to 20 pound weight loss round.  I am equally mentally satisfied by the food I ate and disgusted by the weight I allowed myself to gain back.  Those are both equal motivators.

Now the problem with this low carb lifestyle of eating is that if you totally go back to eating high fats with high sugars… you WILL gain weight and possibly more.  I speak from experience. Once in my 30’s and once in my 40’s I tried a diet change like this without the commitment to my overall health (and the dire consequences if I don’t have that commitment) and both times I lost 15 pounds and gained back 20 when I blew it!  I KNOW what happens when you don’t commit and I’m again seeing it for this short period of time.  Yes, I am still on the positive side of the change, but I don’t ever want to go back to the negative side!

So take heart if you found yourself in the same boat as me.   

We can all get the direction corrected and still get to our proper destination: a healthy low carb lifestyle!  I am not about to let diabetes or metabolic syndrome win much less let my body take the punishment for what my taste buds and brain do not want to control!  It is a war, but one that we can all win one battle at time, even if we lose a few.  If I can do this… you can do this!

I wish you all a healthy and happy new year!

Please follow and like us:
Follow by Email


Visit Us



The Thing About Will Power

self-confidence-2121159_960_720I’ve never really had will power that I can remember.  Oh maybe it bubbled under the surface.  I prayed that I had some somewhere.

I had some definite issues requiring will power!

  1. I don’t like to exercise.
  2. I can’t say “no” to cookies, cakes, doughnuts, fritters, Mrs. See’s Candies or anything almond flavored!

I wasn’t sure I had will power.  I certainly hadn’t had it up to now or I wouldn’t be in the mess I found myself in: Overweight, Diabetic, High Blood Pressure, High Cholesterol, Fatty Liver, High Triglycerides!

I was going to have to find some will power somewhere or I am going to have a medical issue laden rest of my life!  None of those issues have positive outcomes on your body!

Where to start?


Firsts of all, I hate to sweat.  Some people like it.  I don’t unless I am in a sauna, and even then I don’t really like it!

  • I discovered that I like swimming, but hate the drive to the pool and the chlorine on my skin.  When I went with my sister to water aerobics, I watched pounds fall off and felt the best I ever felt in my life!  That is one option. Best of all… you don’t really sweat when you are swimming!  You do want to rinse off.  I hate pool showers and have driven home wet.  Not a good option in the winter!  I’ll wear Crocs to and from the pool and actually wear the Crocs in the shower!
  • I could go to a gym.  I prefer going to places that caters to the normal bodies or women.  Not a bad choice, but I don’t like the drive (again) and I definitely don’t like paying to get my butt to move!  And again, I hate to sweat that much and then get into my car all sweaty for the drive home because I hate gym showers.  Gyms are very good for some people, just not for me.
  • I can walk or ride a bike as it is easy exercise. I hate to do it alone (but will) and it is definitely much better if you a have a friend or spouse to do it with.  If you aren’t frightened of your immediate environment (people, dogs, etc.), walking or biking is a good way to go! When I lived in a large city, city walking kept me fit or I went to a park and walked.  We currently live in an area where the walking and bike trails are spectacular.  You get scenery.  You get to wave at people or even have some nice chats about life. You can crank up a Walkman (errr… an Ipod or Iphone or something!) and have tunes as you go!  You can hop in a car and go somewhere to walk or ride near or far for variety and scenery.  Just start a little bit at a time and you will find yourself, as I did, going further and further.  Don’t be discouraged if you can’t do much at first.  It will build!
  • I could use home exercise equipment.  If you don’t like your neighborhood or hate going out of the house or being social while you exercise.. and have the money, home equipment can be a good option for you.  It is good for solo exercising. There are treadmills, StairMasters,  bicycles, stair steppers, rowers, weight machines, etc.  A multitude of options.  I have a 20 year old recumbent bicycle and decided that I would watch some of my favorite TV shows while I rode.  It works!  I also have an old HealthRider.  I like it because my arms, legs and abs get a good workout.  I could only go 2 minutes when I first started and have built up time the longer I have used it!  There is still a little sweat involved but at least I’m near my shower and a fresh change of clothes.
There are lots of options.  Choose the one or two that work for you… and just go for it!  Just get moving!!!!

Eating Right

I thought this one was going to kill me if the exercise didn’t.  I mentioned before that my family has “genetically superior taste buds!”  (We have always told that to everyone! I’m not really sure there is such a thing, but we have rolled with that for over 40 years now!) I LOVE FOOD!

What I discovered was that finding alternatives or substitutes for the things I love has gotten me over wanting the things I was missing!

The challenge really was on!

I exchanged food items I had for food items I required. I found substitutes!   You can see more about this on the pages “Out with the Bad Food in with the Good” and “Getting Your Head Around Low Carb Alternatives“.   I’ll keep adding to those pages as I find things!

As for will power out with friends and families or at someone else’s house?  Well that has taken every bit of my ability to say no that I ever thought I had.   I won’t lie.  IT HAS BEEN HARD!!!!

It is one thing to remove all your temptations.  It is quite another when you are face to face with them.

I had my sister request that I bring her one of my favorite items in the world… almond flavored cake from my favorite bakery.    I had to tell her “do you know how difficult it is for me to actually walk in there much less drive with it in the car with me for three hours?  I can’t do it!  I’ll eat it before it gets there!”   She got it.  I didn’t go and get it.  She didn’t need it anyway… she just was having a weak moment.

I love movie popcorn at the movies.  Not in the usual sense. I LOVE IT!!!!  IT is hard going to a movie and not having popcorn.   I buy a drink there, but now I take Atkins chocolate covered almonds and nuts with me to get through smelling it, wanting it.  Having SOMETHING to munch on while there definitely lessened the overload on my olfactory senses.

You can read my other posts on eating out for what to do at your favorite restaurants (too many to list here, but go to the sitemap to find options).  But I have to tell you, it is not easy going into a Bojangles when you smell those amazing biscuits in the air!  It took me a while to work up the courage to go there.

I have a really awesome friend that loves baking and making me things when I visit.  She sweetly has tried to adapt the recipes with Almond Flour instead of the higher carbohydrate Wheat Flour so that I can enjoy them still.  The same for my mother-in-law.  She has taken up the challenge to adapt recipes so that I (and my husband who has lost 22 pounds with me!) can eat them!

But still… at a fair… in the mall… at a party… anywhere… you are going to run into things you love and are going to want them.  DON’T!!!!  You can do this!  Understand what you can and cannot eat and go fill up on what you can eat.

Not to embarass anyone… but if I do get too much inquisition or puzzled looks over my new eating habits… I do proclaim “diabetic” or “low carb diet” and usually get a nod of understanding.  Proclaiming “metabolic syndrome” gets you no where, by the way!  It is a reason for this blog… no one seems to understand what it is!

NONE OF THIS IS EASY!!!  But I will tell you this… the will will give you the power!!!  I promise you that!

The more I say no to foods that are bad for me… or exercise to strengthens my body… the easier it gets.  You just have to start somewhere.  Hopefully I have given you inspiration to get started.

Please follow and like us:
Follow by Email


Visit Us



Three Months "in" Update


Well… it has been three months since my healthcare provider gave me the jarring news that I was looking at a poor outcome if I didn’t make some changes in my eating habits.

I was diagnosed with Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome.

I was told I would be eating 30 Net Carbs the rest of my life and 20 Net Carbs until I got down to a good target weight.

The goals:

  • Keep me off insulin for as long as possible
  • Lessen the fat in my liver
  • Lessen the triglycerides in my blood
  • Get my cholesterol back into normal ranges
  • Lose weight to assist my high blood pressure

I didn’t really know how long losing at least 25 pounds (and ideally 35 to 40 pounds) would take.  I’ve tried to lose weight before and failed, but now I had purpose because someone (my healthcare provider) was up front with me about the realities and outcomes of my health.

I didn’t know if I had the will power to do some of the things required of me.  Chiefly, completely change the way I eat, what I eat and when I eat.  It required some adjustment as I’ve outlined before.

What I have discovered is:

  • I’m stronger than I realized
  • None of this is easy
  • Commiserating with others is helpful
  • It’s working!
I draw my blood glucose every morning and the numbers are below 100 for the first times in… well… a very long time.  I have watched clothes that used to fit tightly now swallow me and see my blood pressure normalize.
Now granted, I do take medications, but I am hopeful I can lower and eventually eliminate some medications.  Baby steps!!  The healthier eating and weight loss I claim for myself!

I do have to give credit to my husband.  He has been amazing and decided to also do this with me and he has only slightly elevated blood glucose numbers.  He has dropped 24 pounds and is truly interested in the food, our health and this blog.   He has encouraged me.

I contrast this with one of my sister’s husband who will bring home cakes, pies, cookies, doughnuts and fritters because he knows my sister loves them and he wants to please her.  He has not quite grasped that it is killing her and she has no will power when they are around.

My husband and my sister’s husband are the two extremes.  Most people will find themselves somewhere on the spectrum between the two.

I’m proud of what I have done in 3 months time.  Taking it slow.  Taking it at a pace I could tolerate!  Getting foods around me that I can or like to eat in place of “goodies”.   Having a tiny bit of will power.

I hope that I can inspire others to do the same.  Even if it is only ONE person!  IT IS WORKING!

Please follow and like us:
Follow by Email


Visit Us



A Lifestyle Choice. Low Carbs Forever!


The Backstory

I have to admit it was a shock when my diabetic specialist informed me… in the nicest way… that my life was going to have to change or I was looking at insulin and potential complications.

She DID ask me what I was looking for?  I asked her what she meant.  She said “do you want to keep eating like you are eating and me treat you accordingly or do you want to keep your pancreas working as long as possible and me treat you?”  She added, “this means weight loss and a lifestyle change.  I’d like to keep you around as long as possible for you and your husband!”

I’d been dancing around the DIABETES label for a while now.  I knew first hand in caring for my mother with diabetes what a diminished pancreas could do to a person. I had quit counting after around 40 mini-strokes that accompanied her 4 moderate strokes.  I suspect the number was in the 70’s. Each taking a piece of her away from herself… and from me.

I knew what other complications were possible.  I was already seeing my sisters start to have issues from diabetes like nerve pain in their feet. I really didn’t want any of that… if I could DO SOMETHING to help ward it off for a few more years… or forever if I get lucky and the metabolic stars align.

I decided to grow up on the spot and own it.  Dang it.  I’M A DIABETIC!

“Yes.  I want to lose weight and keep away from insulin as long as possible,” I finally found the will to say.

She informed me that I could only have 30 NET Carbs forever.  I didn’t really know what that meant but I’d look it up later.

She further informed me that I could really only have 20 NET Carbs to get my weight down at least 25 pounds if not more.  Then I could go back up to 30 NET Carbs.

I asked about sweet potatoes that I knew were allowable on low carb diets.  She nodded her head “no”.  What?  I could feel my lip quiver a bit. “What about brown rice,” I said.  Again she nodded “no”.  I knew pasta would be out, but rice???  This day officially turned horrible.  That was a lot to process. I LOVE rice!!!  I could do the Bubba Gump lineup for shrimp… but for rice instead.  Any way you can cook, bake, fry, boil, fricassee rice. All the cheese, vegetable and meat combinations with rice.  I loved it!  I could eat it every day.

She said I need to basically be on the Atkins 20 diet.  I knew kinda what that was when the fad first came out years ago.  I could Google it later!

She changed the oral medication I’d been taking.  Especially after there were now TV lawsuits about the medication I was on.  She also offered me a new injectable drug that could be beneficial in helping me achieve those goals and help my pancreas be more efficient in insulin production.  I wouldn’t want food with it and would probably lose weight. I said I’d consider it.

I went home a little depressed.  The sweet potato and rice issue hit me hard.  A lifestyle change.  What did this mean anyway???  I was having a hard time processing the news.

The Realization

It was a few days later, as I was trying to wrap my head around my appointment that I was granted access to the patient portal for my diabetic specialist.  They had drawn blood to get baselines and confirm diagnoses.  I WAS ANGRY AT WHAT I SAW!!!!

I was diagnosed with not only diabetes, but also something called Metabolic Syndrome.  I had high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high triglycerides and a fatty liver.  (I had known those from my doctor before, but was told as usual… “they’re a little high” so I never worried.  They were never given an actual NAME!)

I went and looked up Metabolic Syndrome online.  I was horrified and realized I was on the fast track to insulin resistance.   Both my sisters have the same diagnoses I have without the Metabolic Syndrome term diagnosis and have much worse numbers than I do.  One sister IS insulin resistant. The other is fast becoming insulin resistant.  Their glucose readings were truly alarming.

I WAS VERY ANGRY!  I WAS MOSTLY ANGRY AT MYSELF!  But only for those things in my control, like my sugar and carbohydrate consumption, my weight and my lack of exercise.  Not much I can do about my genetic predisposition for diabetes and high blood pressure. I knew those were possibly coming since I was teenager.  But the other things… I could have done something about! Like not let myself get into the shape I am in.

It was that moment right there that I knew I had to get serious.  This is bad. This is forever UNLESS I get actively involved in my own health management.

I called my diabetic specialist and told her to please hold off on the weekly injectable medication and that if I was truly going to change the way I eat that I was going to have to embrace it wholly.

I needed to take two weeks to get my head around what all this meant.  Then to please give me twelve weeks to be totally on 20 net carbs and if I failed THEN I’d try the injectable medication. So, in three months I was either going to be lighter and leaner with better glucose readings or I was going to be failed and in need of some additional medication.

The Challenge

During those first two weeks I started saying goodbye to my favorite foods.  It’s not a bad idea to say goodbye to foods you can never eat again.  I can attest that your blood glucose will suffer for it however.  But it did help me get my head in the game, so to speak.

I also started researching on what to do.  What was clear to me was that I needed to:

  • find out more about diabetes
  • find out what I could actually eat
  • find out what 20 to 30 net carbs actually meant
  • find low carb recipes that I could actually make
  • find low carb options when I eat out
  • find low carb alternatives for my favorite foods
  • find low carb alternatives for my favorite recipes
  • clear my refrigerator and pantry of high carbohydrate items
  • fill my refrigerator and pantry with low carbohydrate items
  • Start exercising

The Solution

To this end, I began this journey. These are my discoveries about low carb eating at home, in my surrounding communities and on travels.

I started this blog because it is always more fun to talk to and travel with friends and make new friends with those on your same road.

More Information

For further information please read:
Atkins – 20 Carb Diet
Mayo Clinic – Metabolic Syndrome

Another good guide can be found at Positive Health Wellness

Please follow and like us:
Follow by Email


Visit Us