“You’re Going to DIE Eating This!”


Scene: Last night, Chipotle Mexican Grill, where I tend to stop on Fridays for carry out.
Me: Minding my biz, ordering my bowl, “No rice, no beans, extra cheese, sides of sour cream and guac.”
Person in line behind me: “You’re going to DIE eating this! Sour cream AND Guacamole AND extra cheese?”
Me: “I’ve lost 40 pounds eating like this.”
Person (stranger, mind you): “That’s a lot of fat!”
Line server: “She eats her all the time and she’s losing weight!”
Person: (crickets)

I do eat a non-keto meal every so often, but everything else in the above  meme? True for me. Also:

  • My Type 2 Diabetes is now in remission.
  • a1C: 5.4
  • 40 pounds: gone.
  • My go-to restaurants for meals I can eat and lose weight: Chipotle (with sour cream AND guacamole AND extra cheese, mean girl), Porkie’s in Apopka, 4Rivers.
  • Cholesterol: 195
  • Triglycerides “perfect” -in the words of my endocrinologist.

You get the drift.
My brain is clearer, my memory is sharper. There are studies that show that ketones are excellent for brain health and even significantly improve symptoms of dementia. In my case I hope to prevent it by eating this way. I am not a doctor. If this is a concern for you, here’s a podcast that breaks it down:

2 Keto Dudes-the one about Dementia

Actually, this podcast is an excellent source for Keto information. If you are curious I’d recommend you start with episode one and work your way through.

2 Keto Dudes Episode 1

Fat is not your enemy. I do not even worry about how much fat is in the food. Results of that non-worry-refer above.

Nope, I’m not pencil-slim. I’m on several meds, four of which have weight gain as a main side-effect. I’m planning to be healthy enough to rid myself of most of these meds by retirement. My current plan is to allow the way I fuel my body to aid in not just the getting healthy part, and not needing the meds, but with continued weight loss. I did see myself recently on our school’s video camera, and for the first time since I was probably 14, was not upset by how I looked (though that may have to do more with my hard-fought battle for some kind of healthy self-esteem than my actual size, lol).

For me, exercise is also vital. Fortunately I love to move. But for me, it’s not just vital for weight loss, it’s just necessary for brain/body/emotional well-being. That said, during the six weeks that I couldn’t workout much because of a bunch of leg vein procedures, I did gain 15 pounds, so yeah, there’s that. If you are in Orlando, come with me to Jazzercise Mills 50. You will have the best time and meet some remarkable and inspiring souls. Then they will become your friends and your life will be better for it.

Why write all this? Because I’ve had several friends ask about the Keto way of fueling the body. Because I’ve had several others (including complete strangers at Chipotle, wtf?) who have advised that I was doing something unhealthy (may I again send your eyeballs to results at top of post). Because when I was first diagnosed with Type 2, I was given the diet by my GP from the American Diabetes Association that recommended as many as 300 carbs a day, most of which are supposed to come from grains. I followed it diligently for a long time, during which I gained 60 pounds, lived in Brain Fog, moved like a (non-cute) sloth, and watched my blood-work become more horrendous with every check. I cried in the Doc’s office, to which he responded, “Well, Diabetes is a progressive disease; keep up this diet and exercise, and I’ll prescribe a higher Metformin dose.”

No. Just no. Nix on the “progressive disease” part.

Time to hit the research, and hit it hard. Time to get out of the ADA brochures and recommended diets and find alternative information that was not conspiracy/hearsay/friend-of-a-friend based, but had science (in which I believe, fyi) and studies (published in reputable sources, rather than on “What Doctors DON’T Want You to Know!” blogs) to back up the science.

Found it. All roads led to a Ketogenic way of eating. I found the above-mentioned podcast to which I’ve been listening for three years now. I like this one because they publish links to the science/research in their show notes, and they have a huge and terrific forum where people can share their experiences and support each other. And they’re fun.

If you’re still reading, you’re either very polite, care about me, are a Keto person, or have not much else to do at the moment. It does make me sad that those who stopped reading two sentences in are most likely those who think I’m going to die eating Low-carb, High-fat. Confirmation bias is a thing.

Sometimes education and research and yes, facts + evidence, trump confirmation bias.

(also, staying kind with your words and staying in your “I-didn’t-ask-for-your-mean-comment” lane at Chipotle, or in the Staff Room, or your niece’s dinner table, or the grocery checkout? Those are just the right things to do.)

Peace and Low Carb, friends.

Standardized Tests Are Not Objective Measures of Anything


If you teach a kid, birthed a kid, are a kid, used to be a kid, or are planning to rely on today’s kids to whip this planet and its inhabitants back into shape, please read every word of this. And then tell everyone you know to read every word of this. Thank you, Steven Singer.

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When it comes to standardized tests, most people are blinded by science.

Or at least the appearance of science.

Because there is little about these assessments that is scientific, factual or unbiased.

And that has real world implications when it comes to education policy.

First of all, the federal government requires that all public school children take these assessments in 3-8th grade and once in high school. Second, many states require teachers be evaluated by their students’ test scores.

Why?

It seems to come down to three main reasons:

1) Comparability
2) Accountability
3) Objectivity

COMPARABILITY

First, there is a strong desire to compare students and student groups, one with the other.

We look at learning like athletics. Who has shown the most success, and thereby is better than everyone else?

This is true for students in a single class, students in a single grade, an…

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On Not Being a Reader…Yet


We’ve got to stop stomping on the feelings of worthiness within our youngest kids. They’ll read when it’s time.

These are not my words, but they could be.

Pernille Ripp

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She tells me she doesn’t want to go to first grade.  That she no longer wants to be a first grader.

This child who loves school.

This child who loves her teachers.

This child who has been beaming since the day she realized that after kindergarten came first grade, another year to learn, another year to grow.

And yet, here she is, declaring that for her school is no longer where she wants to be.  So I ask, what changed?  Why not?  And she gets a little quiet, sinks a little bit into my body, snuggles up as if the secret is hard to carry and tells me quietly, “I don’t know how to read…”

Because in her mind, all first graders know how to read.  Because in her mind all first graders know how to look at a book and automatically unlock all of its secrets just like that. …

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Pass the Compassion, please…


(when your whole country is a trigger, it’s hard to dodge the bullets)

Well, happy Thanksgiving, all!

(DISCLAIMER!  By ‘you’ I don’t mean YOU -unless the ‘you’ fits. This is how I write-for me, “one this” or “one that” is cumbersome and too formal for most of my topics.)

I have a bit of advice for you as you prepare to sit down with family and friends and instead of speaking your gratitude, would rather expound on the ubiquitous, never-ending stream of sexual abuse/assault/harassment stories that abound in our nation right now:

Don’t, unless you’re going to speak with non-judgment and compassion.

Seriously, don’t. Unless you’re willing to open your mind and heart and listen? Willing to have the uncomfortable and honest discussion? Willing to stop victim-blaming? Willing to prioritize empathy over your need to dominate the conversation/be “right” in an argument, or, for some, validate your own previous behavior? Nah, today, especially, is not the day.

Why?

(DISCLAIMER again: I’m not espousing that the topic shouldn’t be discussed, ever. On the contrary-honest and fearless exchanges on this subject, had they not been avoided, could have saved countless {and I do meant countless, having seen all of the “me, too” hashtags} girls and boys from life-altering trauma. Talk about it. LISTEN about it. LEARN about it. Early and often, please.)

Because tensions are high. Because in some families, confrontation is the deal during family get-togethers. Because copious amounts of alcohol. People get really stupid when they drink, while still perceiving themselves and their behavior as perfectly rational, and of course, ‘right.’ Because one person’s victim conspiracy theory comment is another’s trigger. Yep. I said it. The “T” word. Because, to use another term at which some people  now scoff, family should be your “safe place.” Whether it be a thoughtless comment, or a relentless victim-blaming  tirade, you could really be stabbing somebody in the heart.

Because, if you’re in a large group situation, no matter what your political leanings (and I still don’t get how sexual abuse became a partisan topic), chances are very good that one or more of these are the case:

  • Someone at the table has experienced molestation, an assault, or harassment, and you just weren’t chosen to be in on the story, or that someone hasn’t chosen to speak yet.
  • If someone at the table has been molested, it’s very possible that the perp is at the table too, passing you the mashed potatoes.
  • The victim (who will be referred to as ‘survivor’ from this point) is already tied in knots at the notion of sitting at this table (whether perp is present or not) and trying to act normal.
  • The survivor has been emotionally shredded for weeks now, as there has been nothing else discussed on talk shows, in kitchens, or in the news-the topics of sexual assault and pedophilia are inescapable. While there is so much good in women and men coming forward and speaking their truth, the consequence for survivors is the daily or hourly re-living of events that slice and dice more keenly than whatever you’re using to julienne the veggies for your feast.
  • The survivor across the table is so tired, and just wants to enjoy a few hours of peace and fellowship with her family before the next news story about the latest accusation comes out and fuels the cycle of brain-fry/heartbreak.
  • Your aunt/sister/mother/cousin/brother has spent weeks/months/years/decades wondering: what her life could have been like without the disaster; what greatness she might have achieved without the anchor of (unearned) shame weighing her to the floor; what it might have felt like to enjoy her thin-ness when she was; why being pretty was a crime or being an ounce overweight was the ruination of a woman; how faithful he could have been had the church not been a place of horror; what self-esteem feels like; what good could have been done with the tens of thousands spent on therapy and meds; what ‘normal’ is; trying not to cry when his friends talk about ideal childhoods. Wondering why people say, ‘such a long time ago, just get over it!’ when apparently it’s only the survivor’s club who knows that getting over “it” doesn’t happen.  “It”  became part of what molded her into the person she is.  It’s one of many aspects, to be sure, but those who lived through it have permanent scars, and those scars are burning right now. You could douse the flames just a little if you choose:
  • When you bloviate about party plants, what the governor thinks, what Jane Curtin signed, the “He totally denies it!” proclamation, or the more local “what was she wearing?” “was she drunk?” analysis, the person who just passed the green bean casserole uses every ounce of self-control she had not to bean you with it. His mind is short-circuiting and he’s making the healthy promise to himself to never attend a family function ever again, for his own sanity’s sake.
  • If Drunk Uncle begins a rant, be the one to exclaim, “New Subject!” if that’s the best you can do. Better yet, first tell him he’s wrong, then change the subject. Your table mates will (silently, most likely) thank you. The survivor(s) at the table will take a breath and smile a little, knowing s/he has a champion in you.

Think:

  • Trying to function unscathed for the last few weeks-trying to avoid teeth-grinding, sudden tears, nightmares, or flashbacks? Nearly impossible. The survivors need major consideration and compassion right now. Just because you haven’t heard about it doesn’t mean that your sister, cousin, mother, aunt, or grandparent-isn’t holding it together by a thread.
  • As in the meme above, if you would prefer a probable pedophile to a Democrat in Alabama, might be a good idea to keep that gem of a notion to yourself, no matter whose company you’re enjoying. It also might be a good idea for some introspection, but I digress.
  • These overindulgence-fueled conversations can make a survivor, for a few moments, anyway, forget about how steel-strong he really is and how relentlessly courageous she is at her core.  It puts a survivor back to a place he or she has chosen to transcend; this place may fit your comfort zone because it’s the world you recognize, but for so many, there’s no comfort in that particular familiar.
  • As ever, as always, kindness matters. It matters more than political bent, more than your desire to score verbal points over your nephew, more than your ego or your biases.

Choose kindness today. So many people, survivors or not, will be Thankful for it.

Peace, friends,

Compassion, friends.

Courage, “club.”

*New comment below; it’s a must-read! Thanks, Lisa King.

Visit:

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Dear Men, This Is Why We’re Tired


This post. Read.

Drifting Through

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Emotional labor is unseen. It’s the energy women spend managing other’s feelings and emotions, making people comfortable, or living up to society’s expectations… the barrage of expectations we feel from the time we’re told to be nice and polite while boys are told not to cry. It’s a thing. It’s also a weight carried by some femmes and some men, especially if they’re the main caregiver in the family.

But this is not about that kind of emotional labor.

When I read Cara Delevigne’s account of her harassment at the hands of Harvey Weinstein, I felt every word. When I heard the recording of Ambra Battilana Gutierrez pleading with Harvey Weinstein to let her leave, I felt it in my bones.

In the words these women bravely shared with us, I heard everything they felt. The fear. The confusion. The disbelief. The shame. All of those feelings are a cocktail…

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It’s my Party, and I’ll post if I want to!


“Well, I SAW it online, so…”

This post is borne of the “furious-typing-Kermit-the-Frog” moment I had last night, aimed at someone I love, and is also my reaction to a whole passel of re-posted and inaccurate posts that hit my newsfeed this morning that are drivel passed off as actual news.

Read first for context:   https://goo.gl/oUvJh5

Repeat after me, 3 times:

“These memes, unverified stories, and mislabeled/doctored photos are hurtful, incite anger, perpetuate prejudice and spread lies.

These memes, unverified stories, and mislabeled/doctored photos are hurtful, incite anger, perpetuate prejudice and spread lies.

These memes, unverified stories, and mislabeled/doctored photos are hurtful, incite anger, perpetuate prejudice and spread lies.”

I will admit to posting a few unverified stories over the years. Not many, but it has happened. When called out, I have apologized and deleted the post.

It doesn’t matter to me what party or agenda the BS meme or ‘story’ supports-if it’s inaccurate or unkind, it’s inaccurate or unkind.

A couple of hints: if the source (hint: the word “source:______” is located at the bottom of the post, or if you’re forwarding an article you can tell whether the article is from a verifiable news source/show or simply a blog/opinion show) is an email from Drunk Uncle with a million forward arrows and has multicolored flashing ALL CAPS, or if the post has any version of:

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