“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.

Jazz (ercise) Hands!


fire escape
1926 Fire Escape

So. Asthma. Got that anvil dropped on my chest about 4 years ago. Out of nowhere. From running 5K races to not being able to power walk a block without having to stop to try to catch my breath, in a mild panic at the sound of-not wheezing, mind you- the gurgling in my lungs. My usual at-school workout 25-30 trips up and down the fire escape (pictured), doing curls/flys on every step with 5 pound weights? Became a one-up, one-down, do some stationary curls for a minute or two (hoping that people would just think  I was doing interval training and hoping that sweat was a good camouflage for tears of frustration) before repeating the whole thing a few times. The worst were the nights, when I’d be dreaming that I was drowning, only to wake up and find out that I was. I spent quite a few nights trying to sleep upright to combat that particular terror.

So. Diabetes. Got that jab to the pancreas about 6 months ago (July 30, 2015 to be exact). It was also deduced that I’d been hosting the blood sugar monster for several years without diagnosis or treatment. With medication and a very low carb way of eating, I’m learning to keep the blood sugar in check. Of course, the other necessary ingredient in treatment is exercise. Refer to above paragraph to see how that was going for me.

So I climbed the fire escape. Up and down, catching breath in between each trip, still trying hard to look like an ultra-cool interval athlete. Ha. Freakishly strong arm and leg muscles, but cardiovascular strengthening? Nope.

Suddenly, a salvation of sorts:

Continue reading

This is me, 2016.


                                 peace cat.jpg

I am planning to post on a regular basis this year (though I’ve been posting pretty regularly every 4-6 months; let me amend this to: I plan to post on a regular, more frequent basis this year). While there still may be a lack of rhyme/reason to post themes, there will be several areas about which I’ll want to write, get your opinions, or ask for your advice:

  • Education. The political side, or the classroom side. I teach Elementary age children of poverty, and have for my entire 32-year career. I am currently serving as the Music Teacher and Gifted Ed teacher at my school.
  • Philosophy/Politics. I am a left-leaning, born-too-late-to-be-a-real-hippie liberal, so my posts will reflect that.
  • I’m going to share more about some chronic health issues that have hit me like a sledgehammer over the last few years-Diabetes (the newest) and Asthma being the two that have hit me hardest. I will share how I’m dealing, and probably ask for a lot of advice (with the DISCLAIMER! I am not a doctor, and I know that you are not, so anything we share with each other will NOT be construed for, or be intended to replace, advice from actual medical professionals). Neither one of this conditions is actually under control, so you may hear a tinge of frustration as I write about them.
  • Cats. Of course.

And my kid. Of course.

So the 2016 Journey begins. Hope you’ll hang with me and maybe we’ll have some great discussions and learn some good stuff on the way.

Peace, friends, and Happy New Year!