Wednesday, 30 July 2014

The Battle is Bloody!

The last week has been a battle for my health. I've said I knew the real battle was about to begin, but I hoped it would be an easy enemy to defeat. But...

I followed the guidelines of 'Unprocessed Food' for two weeks, not 100% but close. There are a few areas I struggle with. I'm not convinced that dairy is bad for me, or beef. However I've had very little of either, except I have used some butter, as I also believe fat is good. 

But whilst my weight has been reasonably well behaved, my blood sugar levels have been rising alarmingly, peaking at first reading in the morning of 9.1 on Monday. They were rising last week and I was very disappointed. My great friend and head of my health cheering squad suggested I restrict my fruit and other carb intake. I didn't react well to that suggestion. I love fruit. 

And I was very frustrated. I had eaten only two meals with meat in two weeks. For a girl who was raised on a cattle property, it goes against all my life belief. The only carbohydrate I had eaten was on the good list of carbs, eg Spelt flour (one table spoon in two weeks!). On two occasions I ate sweets that were prepared with all clean ingredients. The results were disastrous, blood sugar wise. I had eaten out twice, both times at the Paleo restaurant with meals that were clean. 

I fought, kicking and screaming, for about three days as I watched my blood sugar leave the normal range behind. It has been very discouraging. 

Something changed on the weekend. Maybe the battle was won in my mind. But here is my determination!
I will have two days a weeks of minimum food, that is Chia seeds with lemon for breakfast, juice for lunch and light vege soup for dinner. I did that on Monday. Yesterday was a tough, stressful day for me, which is always a dangerous place for a diabetic and one who turns to food for comfort. I made the biggest salad ever seen and took that and three left over Pecan and Ricotta patties to the beach and ate my way through it. I was so full that I couldn't have eaten another thing if I tried! Last night Steve took me out for dinner, an activity we have indulged in for years. I ordered Grilled Salmon on Asian Salad, with horseradish sauce on the side. I didn't touch the sauce, but the rest was wonderful. And two hours later my blood sugar was great. Thanks Preece's restaurant at Redcliffe.

This morning my blood sugar was 6.9. It's nearly back. Yay. The major decision is no carbs. Not even the clean ones. None. I will reassess that decision when everything is stable again. Weight wise, the scales went to 79.9 on Monday. There is no way I'm going to let it show me an 80 again! Yesterday it was back to 78.9. That's only 0.6 higher than when my digestive system was empty, so I'm happy with that. 
And I have walked three days out of the last four. My sore hips have been doused in fish oil and are behaving much better! Today I had a larger breakfast as pictured. I'll see how my sugar reacts. I also had some Chia seeds in water and lemon juice so I'm feeling full, which helps.

I have added a couple of bad pics. One is with my new toy that arrived in the mail yesterday. It makes spaghetti out of zucchini or other vegetables. Pretty amazing I thought. (Excuse the tired face!)
A friend took the other in church on Sunday. Those who have known me will see a big body difference, even though the photo is blurry. 

Keep cheering for me. I will win this battle and regain full health. 

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Lifestyle Change is happening

One week into Life style Change.

It is wonderful to be eating - but not as wonderful as being 9 kilos lighter!
It is wonderful to be eating, but that enjoyment is enhanced by not eating for thirty days! My taste buds are sharper, food is different and somehow more enjoyable.

But before I talk too much about food, I want to focus on the benefits of the program I have been following. I feel better - much better in myself. I'm sleeping well, and that of itself makes a big difference.

My stomach is flatter than its been for years! Yay!

My energy levels are higher. When I sit the dust annoys me and I do something about it. Before I wasn't even noticing such things as doing anything was too hard. I have sat in a chair for an hour waiting for the energy to get up and do the next little job. Yesterday morning I did three loads of washing, made a cheese cake and cleaned up the kitchen. Then I swept and washed all the floors and was ready to go shopping by ten. This may be normal to you and used to be normal for me, but not since Diabetes took charge, and especially not since I've been on medication. It has been difficult to do the basics.

My interest level is better. Cooking is interesting, not a chore.

My sense of humor has returned, along with the energy to hold great conversations with interesting people.

Has all this happened just because I've changed what I put in my mouth? Can that be? This is a big learning. Why do we pop two little Panadol and expect a headache to go, and yet we eat slabs of sugary products and complain when we feel sluggish. We connect the medical results to what goes in our mouth, and yet don't connect our food consumption with bodily responses. So I've adopted a new guideline.

  1. Does this food taste good?
  2. Is this food good for my body?
  3. Does this food move me toward optimum health?
If there aren't three yeses, then I am determined to reject it. 
Last night the graduates from our arm of the Diabetic Lifestyle Change met for a meal together. It was a wonderful evening. Everyone is excited and pleased. We ate a four course meal prepared by Jo Pratt. The food was prepared from fresh unprocessed food and it was scrumptious. I'm sorry I didn't think of taking photos until they served the cake. (These recipes are available on the Diabetic Health Clinic website.) I can assure you they were moist very tasty and they didn't trigger high blood sugar readings. Many of us struggled to enjoy them as such foods have caused guilt feelings for so long that we have nearly forgotten to enjoy good food!

We were all presented with certificates of Achievement. It feels good to have pushed on past the struggles and to have earned the award. That's me on the left and Steve on the right being rewarded for supporting me all the way. Peter and Jo Pratt are in the middle. It seems appropriate. I could never have made it without Peter and Jo's coaching, support and passion and Steve's quiet encouragement and confidence in me.

After such a feast last night, I felt like juice this morning and really enjoyed the freshness and simplicity. There is one important difference though. This was a meal of choice and I celebrated with a couple of tasty extras!

Weight is stable. Blood sugars are good. I'll report again next week. Thanks for your support. You have kept me honest.

Monday, 14 July 2014

Taste Sensations and Inadequate Underwear.

The fast is over. I did it. Thirty days of only vegetable juice. I'm pleased I've done it but I'm not in a hurry to repeat the exercise.

So I must be careful what I eat as I don't want to see the enemy Diabetes or Carb Monster get a foot hold in my life again. So far I have followed the recommended guidelines for the two days I have eaten. This has saved me from any pain or discomfort.

Day one. Juice for Breakfast and dinner. Steamed vegetables for lunch. Check. I really enjoyed the vegetables but to be able to sit with Steve and eat together was the highlight for me. (You can see I added eggs to Steve's) As for taste, the clear winner in flavour was the four tiny cherry tomatoes we picked from a wild bush in our backyard. They were a flavour explosion!

Day two. Juice for Breakfast and dinner. Vegetable soup for lunch. I chopped eight different vegetables of varying colours and taste and simmered them in water. I added parsley and oregano from my garden and some salt and pepper for flavour and ate three bowls. It warmed my belly and comforted my soul.

Meanwhile I've lost another half a kilo since I last reported. My weight loss has now become obvious, both to others and myself. I blink when I walk past a mirror. Who is that stranger in my house? And what has happened to my clothes? This morning I went for an early morning walk, wearing my old track suit. It doesn't get many airings in Queensland winters and I'll admit its been in my cupboard for a long time. However, it is hanging off me as it is a size 20. This morning as I left the house something was wrong with my attire. My clothes weren't as comfortable as usual. I wiggled my butt, trying to get things to fall into place. It got worse.

I then realised it was my nickers blowing in the wind. Usually tucked under jeans, I'd missed the fact they are too large. It just may be time to shop! (I decided to spare you pictorial evidence!) One day soon, I may even post an 'after' photo, but I'm hoping to lose more weight first.


Friday, 11 July 2014

One goal met and other coming tomorrow!

Day 28 & 29

One day to go! So close. Yet the closer I get the more I become aware that the battle isn't yet won. At the moment I'm desperate to grab a banana from the bowl every time I walk past, so I know my old snacking habits need a severe talking to!

Apparently it takes ninety days to make a new habit. Thirty days down and sixty to go! I'm glad there is a fixed menu for the next ten days. As I prefer more flexibility, I have never followed diets with fixed menus. This is where I get into trouble I suspect. But on this occasion I will follow it and try all the new foods I've never tasted before, like Chia seeds. I've never cooked with many of the ingredients either, so it will be an adventure. I'm hoping that my great desire for beef stew can wait a little longer!

Yesterday was a red letter day. I dropped a kilo on the scales! Yay. For the previous ten days my weight has been fiddling round, up and down, always trending down but oh, so slow. Now I can tell you that I have lost 10% of my body weight, 8.5 kilos. I was very excited to see that goal reached. I am lighter now that I have been for thirty years. Nearly time to buy cheap jeans to get me through the next month as more weight disappears.

I'm looking forward my first meal on Sunday. Intending to have pumpkin, cauliflower, asparagus, broccoli for starters. I'll report on Monday. After that I'll continue to blog twice a week to record my continuing journey.

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Is the finishing line a mirage?

Day 26 & 27

How can six days be so long? Until now I followed the fast, only looking at one day at a time. This week I could see the finish line so my focus changed to there. Now it seems like a mirage. So close and yet so far.

And it's not the finish. It is a marker on the way. Day 31 I still have two juices and one meal. Day 32 is similar.  However I am determined to follow the recommendations. I have an opportunity  and support to attain improved health. I must grasp it for all it's worth!

It is difficult to remember what I felt like before I started. This week I've put in full busy days. Even two weeks ago I couldn't have done that. I kept returning to my chair and looking for a nap. I'm sleeping soundly every night.  My sugars are steady in the normal range. The combined effect is strength to last the day. This is exciting. Things get done. Life happens. I like it.

Keep cheering for me. My legs may be aching but I will finish the race. Here's to the future.

Monday, 7 July 2014

Self Discipline has never been my strong point!

Day 24 & 25

Self Discipline! Not my favourite occupation. Not my favourite subject!

Fortunately I've had back stocks of the product that I haven't utilized over the past sixty years! I'm drawing on that source heavily right now. Yesterday Steve and I had lunch at a little coffee shop just north of Glasshouse. He had quiche and Salad. I drank a green juice I had made in the morning. His lunch was amazing. Mine was difficult to drink as I had added too much shallot. It was offset by a cup of 'Sunshine' herbal tea, freshly made by a local lady. That was a treat.

Last night as Steve ate a reheated lamb curry, frozen BF (Before Fast), I struggled with my warmed tomato juice. I'd even added olive oil, lemon and pepper for extra flavour. It was gross. I tipped it down the sink and pondered going to bed on water. I also pondered eating!

After procrastinating for a while, I rang my second conscience. (She lives up the coast.) and chatted to her whilst boiling a bunch of vegetables. The broth was wonderful. The veges went in the bin. Was it a waste? No, it was a good investment as I survived another difficult moment. In the light of day I have decided that tomato juice doesn't keep well. I'd juiced them that morning. Tonight I will pull out the machine and have fresh juice .

But I was talking about self discipline. As I discussed in blog on Day 8, Pushing toward Change, one can't make a change without a big enough vision of the benefits. This morning I watched the day dawn. In a way I'm watching my new life dawn. The fast has given me great benefits, but mostly it has made way for a Life Style Change. That change begins on Sunday.

At the moment I can see, on the horizon, the promise  of a life without Diabetes. This vision keeps my self discipline kicking in. The important change is only just starting. My choices from here on will determine my future. This morning I chose to start the day worshiping the Creator of the beautiful world I live in. It sets the tone for my day. How I choose to re-begin eating, will train my body for the future.

I'm thankful for Peter Pratt and his program and the stream of support and encouragement that inspires us to keep on pushing forward. I'm thankful for all of you who have taken the time to read and cheer me on. I know where I'm heading. This is Steve's lunch today. It has thirteen different whole foods in it and a little bit of cheese. As I packed it, I realised I'm packing for him the food I want so badly! It is coming. I get a salad on Monday!

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Is It Worth all the Effort? Time to Assess.

Day 22 & 23

Yes! Only a week to go following stage one of this crazy adventure. This morning I even found myself wondering if I'd go longer. I slapped myself around the head a little and sanity has returned. The thought was triggered by nasty scales! I've only dropped 0.2 kilos since Monday which seems unreasonable to me, considering my calorie count. Meanwhile my fellow class mates post stories of great losses. I'm excited for them and celebrate their victories, reminding myself that 8.6% of my body has disappeared. 5.5 cms have vanished from around my waist and 1.5 cms from my neck in 23 days. All that is exciting, but it pales in the light of Blood sugar readings that haven't risen above 5.5 since last Sunday. This is indeed miraculous and I'm very thankful.

Today, for the first time, I made an effort to control the colours of my juice for the day. I though you'd like to see the results. Another first today was to add an orange to the carrot and celery for breakfast instead of an apple or pear. The result tasted just like orange juice. It was yummy. The green one I had for lunch wasn't as good, so I added the juice of a lime which improved it vastly. We are given recipes to follow, but I'm a maverick! I have never followed instructions for cooking anything except cakes.So I have used the suggestions to give me ideas and then gone ahead with my own imagination. I do try and record really nice ones!

This time next week I'll be planning my first meal. The recommended menu is lightly steamed vegetables. What would you choose? I can tell you it won't be carrot!

For two days I've been trying to deal with a constantly running nose. Was it a cold, or was it my body cleansing my sinus, which I'm sure needs every effort it can throw their way! Today, it hasn't run at all. I've gone from forty tissues a day to one. How exciting to fear a cold and know you've avoided it. Yay! I do have a cold sore starting on my lip. Maybe they are being healed as well!

My hips were very sore again last night, but I think the problem is I forget to take my fish oil tablets. When I do they are much better. However, the pain didn't wake me until I'd had six hours solid sleep. That is a great improvement on my previous sleeping habits. Last night I took some pain killer and went back to sleep for another two hours. Today I've been fresh to write. 5,700 words done. It's a great beginning.

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Throwing out the Old and Beginning the New

Day 20 & 21.

At the close of today I have fasted for three weeks. I am both amazed and impressed. From tomorrow I'm breaking new ground. Once I attempted a forty day fast for spiritual reasons and gave up at 21 days. With little advice, I only drank store bought fruit juices, so I was very glad to consume something else!

This morning I sorted through my jeans to see how many are still looking decent. I know some of my group are already in new clothes, but having only lost 6.7 kilos, my tighter clothes are still okay. In a flurry of action, I cleaned out all my drawers and discarded a mountain of excess. There were still size 20 clothes from before I lost weight last time. It was liberating to free my space of so much rubbish, making way for the new that will come in the spring. I'm hoping to get through winter without buying anything, unless I find bargains in the sales!

On Tuesday I started writing my next book. I planned to spend this juicing time praying and writing, but have been slow off the mark. The book now has 1,541 words down, only 85,000 to go! Other things have been pulling at my time the last couple of days and little more has happened, but the count will be over 10,000 by the time this fast is done!

This week I learned more ugly truths about myself. Beating the Carb Monster is not enough. I have a few other monsters to defeat, for example, Stress Eating, Comfort Food and Chew to Think. Today I became stressed due to restricted time pressure. I managed to achieve the task and headed home, exhausted. Any other time a cappuccino or one of the 'healthier' chocolate bars in the supermarket would have been in order.  But today I grabbed the couple of items I needed from the shops and limped home! I allowed myself the juice of one orange, mixed with lots of water (or it tastes too sweet), and lay in my chair in the sun to drink it. Warmth, orange and a chat to a good friend restored my equilibrium. Maybe in a week even those enemies to my health will be defeated!

Meanwhile I'm convincing myself that my sinus are clearing - at least I hope that explains why my nose is running like a tap! Wish me luck for two more days - then I only have a week to go!

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

fate stepped in to rescue me from this crazy adventure

Day 18 & 19

Fate stepped in to rescue me! It offered the perfect excuse to quit, eat real food and walk away from this crazy adventure.

My juicer broke. It is hard to grieve for it! The machine was really annoying me. It demands constant cleaning, groans and moans and makes a terrific racket. The amount of waste it produces is obscene and I'm always carting its mess outside. All I did was offer it pumpkin, to see if it liked it. I love pumpkin and I was cooking a big pot of vegetable soup for the family.

Not only did that machine scream its protest, but it spun around in a tantrum, making it hard to grab the switch to silence it. By then it was emitting a nasty smell. I ignored its antics and continued with the soup, but later when I tried to juice my evening meal, it refused to work.

There it was. My perfect excuse. I had no juice and no juicer. I had soup in the pot, an obvious solution to my hunger. Hot, thick, flavorsome soup. How tempting! In my head, I composed my explanation of my actions  to you, my cheer squad.

But no, I banished temptation to follow the Carb Monster and used a ladle to scoop out a cup of broth from the soup. I replaced the liquid with stock, added seasoning and fed the family. But let me hasten to say, that broth was the most wonderful thing I'd had for years. There was no added salt or flavour, but it bounced with warmth and taste.

This morning I rescued an old neglected juicer from my daughter-in-law's cupboard and coached it into action. It is the same brand as mine, but not as powerful. It complains much more than the one that threw a tantrum about eating pumpkin. I'm hoping the store will replace my cranky model tomorrow. Meanwhile I'm thankful that I've passed that place of temptation. I'd hate to give up now. I only have 11 days to go.

My weight plummeted by 1.2 kilos on Sunday and bounced back 0.4 today. Its still a good result. Last night someone suggested I was looking ten years younger. I laughed. I think it may the newly tinted eyebrows and lashes. We'll see as the days go on.

My pain has eased. It is no longer keeping me awake, but the cold did last night. Queensland has decided to throw winter at us with a vengeance and we are neither used to it or prepared for it. I may even have to buy winter pyjamas! To add warmth to my office, today I  dug out the oil heater. (its been neglected nearly as long as the juicer!) The only others who are feeling this cold or my fellow juicers. It's a small price to pay for being off all medication!

Sunday, 29 June 2014

Boredom, Pain and a bright Future

Day 16 & 17

Seventeen days of only juice. Yesterday I was so sick of drinking the stuff. I felt as though I couldn't swallow another mouthful. Maybe the problem was I had an unexpected drive to the hospital to pick up a grandchild early Saturday morning. I got up and left at 5.30 am. The bottle of vegetable juice I had ready for such an occasion came in handy. So my first juice for the day was a commercial one. It had no added sugar or preservatives, but had a metallic taste. I had about 350 mls and couldn't go any further. The rest of the day I had several herbal teas, but any juice seemed unpalatable.

I didn't have anymore until 7.30 pm, and then only drank about 200 mls. I wanted real food, badly. Once again, I had about 50 mls of orange juice mixed  in water. It tastes like nectar now! I worried my  eating problem was larger than I thought. This wasn't the Carb Monster. He's been banished! I figured it was simply my long standing love of food.

This afternoon I returned to the Lifestyle Change Program, only to discover that everyone was feeling the same. Peter Pratt had a fancy name for the condition - Boredom! I feel better now and juice was tasty tonight, or has my attitude change? Besides, I can do this. There is only 14 days to go!

Cold! Yes, many of us are feeling the cold acutely. I guess it isn't surprising. We are taking off layers of fat and putting little fuel into our body.

And I'm struggling with pain. First it was the right knee, particularly in the muscles behind the knee. It is much better but the last few nights I've missed a lot of sleep because my hips are sore, too painful to lie on. I never could sleep on my back. Last night it was a little better, to my relief, but in the lecture this afternoon, both my knee caps were aching! This is trying, but I'm hoping it is the body bringing healing to my weakest parts and that is exciting. We'll see what happens in the next few days.

My fellow adventurer's results are inspiring. Many have lost 10% of their body weight and more. They look better, feel better and have dropped much of their medication. All this will be for nothing if we don't make a permanent lifestyle change. If we return to our old eating habits, guess what will also return?
Our weight and our diabetes.
So I'm determined to start looking at our new lifestyle. It is exciting really... but more about that next blog. Just like the picture on the right, a new day has begun. Yay!

Now it is bedtime. I'm hoping my hips let me sleep. They must be getting better as I haven't reached for pain killers tonight.

I'll be back on Tuesday to report on the next two days.

Friday, 27 June 2014

Half way. Can I make this marathon?

Day 14 & 15

I'm half way!  I've done it. Fifteen days of not eating solid food seems crazy but I'm feeling much better for it. I've been very encouraged by you all as you read and cheer for me from the sidelines. Every comment of support spurs me on. Fifteen days to go.

The accountability of reporting to a crowd of unseen witnesses is a strong motivator. It stops me cheating! Yesterday I needed that help as I sat beside the water at Redcliffe with a table of teenagers. They ate sandwiches and hot chips. I drank juice and peppermint tea. I think it was the most difficult time so far . It wasn't the chips I wanted as much as the cappuccino I usually buy from the waterfront store.  For the rest of the day I struggled to resist food. I went to the shops and bought good, truss tomatoes, throwing aside my 'most economical' approach. My dinner juice was nearly straight tomato, with a couple of carrots, followed by a small glass of orange juice. The flavours were wonderful, even if the texture was missing.

Today a wore the slacks I grabbed on sale last year for $5. They reinforced my achievement. Sorry I wasn't holding my beetroot juice in the picture. It would have added great colour! It is an easier day and I remember I only have to do one day at a time, so all is good. Meanwhile both blood sugar readings I've taken are below 5.5! It gives me hope for my future health.

The scales however have turned on me. They read 0.4 kilo more than two days ago. More! I tell my self weight fluctuates from day to day. Last week my weight did a similar thing, then, all of sudden, it dropped a kilo. Today I'm not as upset as I could be as I know it isn't my fault. It can't be anything I ate, as I'm not eating anything!

So I've chalked up another new learning. The scales aren't reporting on my behavior but a scientific fact. Say what you like scales, but you will have to show a lower reading soon and I refuse any accusation of blame from an inanimate machine.

This is Steve's lunch, made while  I prepared my juices for breakfast and lunch. It looked so yummy. This is the food I'm looking forward to! Only fifteen days to go and I can join him. Juicing for a couple more weeks can't be that bad. I've proved it is possible.

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Not my Fault, but my Responsibility

Day 12 & 13

Today, I'm pleased to be on this juicing adventure. I'm feeling good, except for aching joints, especially hips. My knee seems to be recovering well so I'm hoping the hips will feel better soon. I'm missing my early morning walks and am really looking forward to returning to my hill.

My stomach has stopped its constant whinging for real food. It is only in last couple of days that I've been free of the demand. Last night I made Mexican dinner for nine and it was much easier than last week, I spent a fair while browning mince and chicken with out feeling as though I must have some. This morning as I thought about it, I realized Peter Pratt is right. I can't remember how Mexican food tastes. But I can remember what cheese tastes like. I asked someone else to grate it to stop the temptation to pop a sliver in my mouth!

According to my scales I have lost 5 kilos! 7.9% of my body weight has disappeared. Some of the group have lost 10% and more. My aim is to lose 20% eventually. I'm really looking forward to new clothes. I do have one pair of fabulous pants in the cupboard. I picked them up on sale six months ago and put them away until I lost a couple of kilos! They fit now, which is both fabulous and disastrous. I probably won't get a lot of wear out of them!

The biggest realisation in the last few days is how difficult it is to keep blood sugar stable when you are a diabetic. I've been blaming myself for years for sugar levels. As it is a lifestyle disease, I felt I caused it. Therefore it's my fault when my readings go up and my fault cause I haven't lost more weight. ( I have lost over twenty kilos since first diagnosed.)

My reading last night was 5.2 . Awesome! this is an all time low.This morning when I got up it was 8. I hadn't eaten between tests. It wasn't my fault. Two hours after breakfast it was 6.4. By the time I got to have my lunch juice, it was back to 7.1. There is no logic at all. I am looking forward to it stabilizing, but meanwhile I have released myself from guilt.

A few weeks back, at the Diabetic Health Clinic, we saw a movie of a doctor speaking. He said weight could be the consequence of the disease, rather what has always been assumed - the disease being caused by the weight. the problem is a consequence of our national diet. Some get diabetes...some don't. Many who have been diagnosed aren't overweight.

So I no longer own the blame, but I do own the fight! There is a way to stop the rot, literally, and regain health. I am on the path and I must choose to stay on it. At the end of this adventure, there will be a new way of eating in this household. Steve is already starting to embrace it. We are excited.

Monday, 23 June 2014

Solving the riddle of yuk juices!

Day 10 & 11

Today has been a good day.

Yesterday was a tough day. It should've been great as we attended our weekly meeting with the Diabetic Health Clinic and listened to all the amazing results achieved by the group. Many are looking healthier in the face, some have lost unbelievable amounts of weigh, many well over ten kilos. Most are off all medication, even those who have been injecting insulin. It was great to celebrate our achievements together.

So why was it a tough day? I guess I was a little jealous of some of the weight losses. I have lost 3.7 kilos, but it seems small in the face of many. But the real reason it was a tough day was the juice. It didn't matter what I put in the machine, it tasted awful. Last night I finally got it!


I have had carrot in every juice. I like them and when I first started I bought a 20kg bag of the biggest, juiciest carrots you have even seen. Last week, when they ran out, I went to buy another bag. As they were much cheaper than the first bag, I assumed they were juicing carrots. I dragged them home crowing over my savings. Last night I grabbed a carrot out of the big bag in my pantry and my finger sunk into it. Yuk! I threw it in the bid and went to investigate. In the middle of the bag was this fermenting, bubbling, foaming, revolting mess.

Being a little slow to catch on, I carefully selected sound carrots from the edge and made my favourite tomato juice, determined to drink a juice I enjoyed. I added a little olive oil, salt and pepper and warmed it in the microwave in a soup mug. With my feet up, I settled down to enjoy it. Wrong! It too was foul. Finally I understood! I've been juicing old, off carrots. I emptied the glass down the sink, drank 80 mls of orange juice and went to bed.

So the offending vegetables are in the bin. I've had two lots of juice today without carrot and they've been a great improvement. This episode forced me to make my first 'Green Delight' juice, following a recipe.  Not having enough silver beet, I added some cabbage, straight from our vegetable garden. This was the first juice I've enjoyed in days.

I guess I'm still learning to be selective about what I put in my mouth!

Good news! Blood sugar readings have been in the normal range for last two days. How wonderful! I know I'm on the road to better health.

PS. This is the ninth blog in a series. The others can be read by clicking on the links at the left.

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Why am I doing this madness?

Day 9

Anyone who thinks drinking only juice is easy, I'm here to tell you it isn't! Yes, it that sort of day. My stomach, expanded previously by generous portions of amazing food, is feeling empty, very empty. The juices all taste either blah or bland.

Yesterday morning's juice ended up splattered all over our pavers, mixed with assorted-shaped slithers of glass. I was thankful I  had already drunk about 500 mls and I hadn't chosen my crystal glass . The drink I concocted last night tasted foul, so I stopped about 300 mls short of the 750 mls I usually drink. I went to bed after drinking one juiced orange. Maybe that is the cause of so much grief today.

I was called for Grandma duty this morning and picked up Miss 6 from the netball courts to take her to a party at Hungry Jack's. Twice they gave me cups of boiling water so I could make herbal tea. I loved the fact I could access ice to cool them down. I didn't want their food, but I really wanted the food at home - cheese, bananas, a pear, or coffee!

My juice at lunch time was....well juice. I'm over it!

I must return to the WHY. (See yesterday's blog) Why am I doing this? Some think I'm mad, others disagree but many are cheering and supporting me. That's great but it's not enough. Why would I do such madness? To control diatetes? Yes, but that isn't enough to make me continue. A raw tomato with salt and pepper wouldn't harm my blood sugar. Not would a mountain of coleslaw and grated cheese. So there has to be a bigger why.

In the last few weeks at the Lifestyle Change Program, we have been encouraged to write down our motivation ready for such times as this. I gave it a lot of thought but never actually wrote anything down. Today I need such a list so here goes...

  • I want my strength back. The combination of diabetes and medication has reduced my capacity, physically and mentally. S
  • I want to be able to travel anywhere at any time, to speak all over the world. T
  • I want to make sure no hidden enemy is attacking my eyesight, the nerves in my fingers and toes or my brain. E
  • I want to write eight more books and when they are published be able to run and not grow weary.E
  • I want fullness of life. L
  • I want to feel ten years younger. Y

STEELY. This is my vision. I feel better for having written it. It will strengthen me.

What is your focus? Do you have a compelling why big enough to make you change your lifestyle? Or will you succumb to the pressure, as I did, and take it is easier?

PS I just created this poster to go on my wall. What do you think?

Friday, 20 June 2014

Pushing toward change.

Day 8

To see full story, read blog on the left, 'The Adventure Begins.'

I'm losing weight. Yay! I'm 3.4 kilos lighter! The scales have been very slow to encourage me, but this morning they were kinder. I wonder what tomorrow will bring?

Today it has been easier to handle food. I have a house full of unexpected guests. They arrived on day 2. I informed them I wasn't cooking but they we're welcome to help themselves, which they have. This morning I made grilled cheese on toast for them. The little pieces of cheese I'd usually pop in my mouth were the greatest problem, but I resisted.  I don't feel as hungry, so that helps.

My food triggers are becoming obvious. Every time I come home I want to eat. When I go to bed at night I start looking for something. A banana or apple would be so nice. Or even a whole tomato or two! Social interaction begins coffee cravings, but it is more a normalcy than a driving force. Somehow the lemon grass tea which I had this afternoon just doesn't seem the same!

Yesterday, my friend was tasting some of my juices and pronounced them revolting.

"I thought I'd try it, but how can you drink it?"

"I have a big WHY."

I'll explain my answer by sharing with you the formula for change.

"D x V + FS > R"

Let me expand this truth. Dissatisfaction x Vision plus taking the First Step to change lifestyle must be greater than all resistance to change.  I have had a lot of resistance to diet change because of my friendship with the Carb Monster. However Diabetes has caused me much dissatisfaction. Peter Pratt from the Diabetes Health Clinic has built such a vision of a better alternative that it has been easy to push aside the resistance as I've taken the first steps this last week.

I'm excited about the possibility of my health continuing to improve and will give this adventure all I've got.

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Can I turn a week into ten days?

Day 7

As I write there is only a few more hours before I can say I haven't eaten for a week! Am I missing food? Yes! It is especially evident when someone heats food at work, or makes hot chocolate in the kitchen. Yet it is much easier to eat nothing, knowing I'm loaded with good nutrition, than it is to eat less, or follow diets. I feel like a smoker who knows that haven't smoked for a week, but knows they still want to. The Carb Monster may be defeated, but it is still lurking in the shadows and will pounce again if I give it a chance. So may goal isn't yet reached. I want to get to the place where Carbs and I don't get on, where I don't want to hang out with it ever again.

And so I will continue. Peter Pratt tells me that by day ten my taste buds will be forget what food tastes like. I'm not sure I believe him so I'll push on and let you know.

Meanwhile I find I'm over carrots! I have used them as the base of most of my juices, so I guess it is time to explore further. I picked up three kilos of cheap Roma tomatoes this afternoon. They have refilled my glass bowl, but I'd love to stick my teeth into one!

The exciting news is this morning's blood sugar reading was in the normal range, 6.4! I have never tested myself and seen a reading that low in ten years of diabetes. And this is without the help of any medication. Yahoo!

Am I feeling better? I'm still waking with headaches, but the body is still detoxing so expect it will stop soon. My knee is okay if I don't put any pressure on it. My energy levels are improving slowly.

So what's the assessment after a week? The results are definitely
worth the effort, so raise your glass with me and drink to good health and a lifestyle change.

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Little victories and the Hill that Pained me.

Day 6 Of Lifestyle Change Adventure

I woke feeling a little better, maybe a lot better than when I went to bed. The Carb Monster was savage yesterday afternoon and evening and I was relieved when the family left early and I could retreat to bed! However I managed to host a birthday party and join them at the table with my spiced-up tomato juice which I drank from a fine china cup and saucer.

Whilst assembling the lasagna, I talked to my friend who is supporting two of us through this adventure. This helped me notice when I licked my fingers, after getting Ricotta cheese on them. I ran to the sink and washed my mouth out. Extreme maybe, but I am very determined to see this lifestyle change succeed. The conversation also stopped me from eating the stray piece of grated cheese or scraping our the frying pan to get the last of the sauce on my finger. I also asked others to help to clean the kitchen. These are strategies for success as Peter, our coach, would call them.

This morning, I went for the first walk for a couple of weeks. I love to walk early enough to watch the sun send its first rays of light over the world. It reminds me God begins everyday fresh and new. Enthused, I left my normal concrete path and tramped across the open paddock. The ground is rough. It still has the ridges and troughs from when it was a farm and grew pineapples. I was about a kilometre from home when my right knee started to complain, loudly. It took an hour to get home, as I rested about every hundred metres on strategically place green boxes that belong to the electricity company.  

All this is good news. Last Sunday I learned that one of the advantages of drinking only juice is the release of micro-nutrients into the system to bring healing to old injuries. I hurt this knee about five years ago, so I'm claiming this pain as a healing work.

So far today I'm not hungry, so I'm hopeful the worst is over. I've stopped all my medication and this morning my blood sugar was 7.7. I can only get better from here.

Here's to good health!

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Busy Hungry and a tad disappointed.

Day 4

The day was busy, so busy that I'm late in writing this blog.
It was a hard day. I felt hungry for most of it, in spite of large servings of good juices and four or five cups of herbal tea. Still the stomach complained. I'm blaming the Carb Monster, but I'm very sick of his company and can't wait to shut the door in his face.

I went shopping yesterday. A big mistake. There are coffee shops on every corner. Having been eating low carbs for a long time, it isn't the cakes that tempt me. My other addiction, Cappuccino Comfort, beckoned to me at every turn. I can't say I'll never have another, but I can decide not to have one at this moment. So I managed to resist and sip a full pot of peppermint tea while my granddaughter ate icecream!

My last port of call was Lawnton Country Markets and then home to wash and try to store a mountain of vegetables. Whilst doing that I comforted myself with a fruit juice drink. I used orange, lime and mint, mixed with ice and water. I so enjoyed it! It meant no fruit in the main dinner drink, but that was warm tomato so didn't need sweetening.

The big disappointment was my blood sugar figures. The before dinner reading was 11.3, up over three points from the last three days. I found that very discouraging! The next reading was down to 7.2. There doesn't seem to be any logic there!

* * * * *

Day 5

I woke with a thumping headache, but it was eased by panadol. I'm also feeling more joint pain and felt very old this morning! (Of course there may be some truth in that!)  However, the day has rushed on and I'm doing well. My stomach is still grumbling. This morning's daily email from The Life Style Change Program assures me this must be the tail end of cravings. I hope they are right!

Today's challenge is a family dinner. I'm serving Lasagne and salad. Fortunately my friend who is living here at the moment has made the meat sauce, tasted it, and adjusted the seasonings. The challenge as I assemble the layers is to avoid popping cheese into my mouth!

I have already prepared tomato juice with other vegetables to add flavour to drink as they eat. I will drink it warmed with added olive oil, salt and pepper. And I intend to use a fine china cup. Wish me luck.

Sugar reading was up this morning, and I've only lost 1.5 kilos. I may be disappointed but I'm very determined!

The picture shows the lastest in table decoration in my house. It will be empty in two more days!

(See Blog Achive on top left for more Blogs in 'The Adventure Begins Series')

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Day three closes

    Three days I've survived without carbs, without meat, without chewing.
It's not easy, especially when someone cooks toast and the smell wafts through the house, or when I can hear Steve chewing nuts, or when I walk past the fruit bowl and see a banana!
    However today was easier than yesterday, and this afternoon I've been encouraged as our group met for our weekly Lifestyle Change Program and listened to others who are on the same journey. Some have lost a lot of weight, others have seen dramatic drops in blood sugar levels. Some have been savagely attacked by the Carb Monster, but all are surviving and doing well. Peter Pratt, from Diabetic Health Clinic has told us many stories of people who have been successful in normalising blood sugar levels and regaining ten years of energy. We are inspired!

     Today's juices tasted better. Is that because I'm getting better at blending flavours, or is it that I'm adjusting. As I write I'm sipping a warm tomato juice (with added red onion, capsicum, parsley, celery, capsicum, lime, olive oil sat and pepper). Yum. Tonight I even made soup for the family.

    My blood sugar reading before my juice tonight was 6.5. That is the first reading in the 'normal' range that I have ever seen on my monitor in over ten years. Looking forward to tomorrow.

Saturday, 14 June 2014

The Adventure continues

Day 2 of my Adventure (See yesterdays blog for adventure details!)

The day has dull skies and its trying to rain. The brightest spot is the flowers Steve brought home from the office for me.

It's cool for Queensland and seems like soup weather to me. But I'm not being deceived. Whilst I may argue I want something warm to drink, I know it is really the Carb  Monster tricking me. I can drink as much herbal tea as I like so its not heat I'm after.

I had juice for breakfast, juice for lunch and there is juice prepared for dinner! It isn't as bad as it sounds as they are different flavours. Tonight I'm having juiced coleslaw with a touch of pineapple. I intend to add a little lemon and olive oil, salt and pepper.

Surprisingly I'm not often hungry, and if I am water usually satisfies. The worst part so far is the headaches and tiredness. I spent twelve hours in bed last night and then had to drag myself out of bed. Today the headache has been eased by a lovely friend who gave me a massage so all is well.

The best news is my blood sugar levels are dropping. I'm seeing figures I haven't seen for years and that is only after one day. I'll report more tomorrow.

Friday, 13 June 2014

The Adventure Begins

     "My name is Jo Wanmer and I'm addicted to....Carbohydrates."
     It started when, as a little girl, I sat at a farmhouse table and ate piles of white bread, smothered with Mum's homemade jams.
     Most of my life I've battled with this monster, without knowing its name. It hid under all sorts of names, such as overweight, chubby, hungry and so on. I fought it with various diets, eating patterns and will power, with some success as times, but it has never been defeated.
     About ten years ago the monster bought a friend to stay. Diabetes marched in without permission and sprawled through out my body. All my efforts to evict this demon, or to ignore it failed. It has been taking a toll on my body, but there was no way to boot out this unwelcome guest....until now.
    Seven weeks ago, after observing big changes in a friend's life, I joined the Diabetic Health Clinic. (  I've learned a lot about how the body works, how medication effects my body and the sickness  forced upon us by processed foods.
     Most importantly, I found a way to break my addiction to carbohydrates. I have listened to many, who have lost a lot of weight, no longer crave carbs and enjoy plenty of food. All great achievements, but the most exciting thing is they now have normal sugar levels and are off all medication. I have listened with growing hope and a new understanding.
     Enter my new best friend, my juicer. From today, for an extended period, I will be having a diet of juice, mostly vegetables with a little fruit . I'm expecting this to break the addiction to carbs, re-set my taste buds and lower my sugar levels to normal.
    I have done the preparation. All now required is 'Just Do It'!
    Day 1. I'm just finishing my second lot of juice for the day. My stomach is growling, telling me it is not enough. But I know it is lying as 750 mls is plenty. It fills the stomach but isn't satisfying the carbohydrate addiction. Well that is too bad. I'm going to starve the monster
to death. In a few days it will have no more hold on me.
I have been told sugar is as addictive as cocaine. It has been suggested we ask for support to help in the struggle. So I'm making myself accountable to you!  If you'd like to follow this adventure, you can do so at the left of the page. I will be reporting everyday.
I will not surrender. These squatters have been at my house too long. They must go.

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Missing out on church

 It's Sunday morning. I'm not in church.
Promise of fruitfulness.
Instead I'm sitting in my car surrounded by netball players. Somewhere in this melee of short skirts, long legs, bright colour and braided hair is one face I recognise. I drove this beautiful girl to the court leaving home at 6.15 am this morning.  I am free to leave her here and drive to church.  But once an hour I can watch her fly across a court and grab a ball out of the air.  So I sit in my car waiting as my church worships without me.

     Does it matter that I'm not in church today, after all I'm one of the pastors? My senior pastor told me to have a great day. He's not concerned. Steve has taken another two granddaughters with him.  He may be challenged minding kids without me, but he's glad I'm here to cheer our girl on.

     Is God frowning because I'm not singing songs, hugging friends and listening to the Word preached? Not at all. I can worship Him anywhere. I'm surrounded by trees and every tree is an opportunity to worship my Creator. He loves His handiwork being admired.
Beauty silently serving us by making Oxygen!

     So why do I feel as though I'm missing out?

     I think it is about Lutchie. This morning she is coming to church. She's been away for several weeks as she has been nursing her husband. He passed away on Wednesday. I stood around his bed with the family and prayed, committing his body to the earth.  I shared her pain. They've lived together for a long time, thirty-seven years.  Whilst rejoicing over his entry to heaven she grieves over his departure. However she is pleased to be returning to worship this morning. Her mode of worship is dance. Although in her seventies, she often dances for forty minutes non stop. It is beautiful and grateful. Lutchie knows I wont be joining her this morning and she's fine with my decision.

     Gods happy. My family's happy. My church is fine. What is wrong with me?

Sun filter cools the air
     I'm missing out!

   Corporate worship is always good but today, when a woman in grief chooses to worship in spite of her pain, the Spirit of God will flood in. Extravagant love, expressed in a sacrifice of praise, always brings an extravagant presence of God.

     There is only one thing for me to do. I'll go and watch my girl play another game and then I'll walk among the trees and tell God what an awesome creator He is until He pours His presence into my heart in the midst of this net ball chaos.

    And I remember that my God is everywhere...and I'm so thankful.

Monday, 20 January 2014

I fell in love....whatever will I do?

I feel in love. It's been a long time since I've fallen so heavily, but this relationship has been making my heart pump for about two months.

It was unexpected. I didn't go looking for it. It just happened. My author friends write about such things, but I wan't looking for romance, or any of the complications that come with it.

Before anyone panics, let me assure you that Steve is tolerating the relationship and at the moment it isn't threatening our marriage. You see the object of my affection is my current WOP, work in progress. Yes, that's right. I've fallen in love with a book!

It took me several weeks to realise what had happened. But the evidence is too compelling to deny. After we spend three or four hours in intimate contact, my heart is racing, sometimes for two hours. When I meet friends for coffee, all I want to talk about is the book and its beloved characters. I have to stop myself raving on about how wonderful my new love is.

The final proof of this infatuation is the rose coloured glasses. In my eyes, my love is wonderful, beautiful, perfect in every way. At my age this is ridiculous. I should know better. If one of my grandchildren started raving on in such a manner about their new beau, I would be very nervous.

I took my self to task and demanded I reread the entire book and uncover all the blemishes. Then I must read it again. What a joy it has been. I spend hours a day changing a word here and there, ironing out every spot and wrinkle. And falling deeper in love as I discover new wonders and depths that I hadn't noticed before. Yes, I know. I created this book but little things seemed to have crept in and they are a delight to behold. This passion has become so bad that I don't want to go out. Interruptions annoy me, and I'm usually a people person.

Wow is me! What shall I do?

By biggest concern is that in my blindness, I will introduce my great love to my friends and acquaintances before it's ready. What if my family of readers see flaws that I've missed. What if they can't see the quiet beauty and the passionate heart. If they reject my book, we will both be embarrassed.

So, taking my heart in my hands, I asked one of my two early readers for constructive feedback.
Cautiously she agreed. 'I'm concerned about the time line.'
I went into defense mode. 'No, the time line is good. It's all charted. I've even worked out the seasons and the phases of the moon.'
'But, why did they take five months to...'
I changed the subject. 'What did you think of.....'

Ah, yes. It felt better to talk about the interesting scenes. After all, who worries about the inconsequential things like time?

This morning at 4.15 am, reality crashed through my sleep. It was as though someone stole the rose colored glasses. My beloved book isn't perfect. In fact it has several major flaws. These problems will require major surgery to fix. How disappointing. I thought it was perfect.

However, there is good news. I have spent all morning with my beloved WOP. My pulse is racing, my heart leaping.

Did I happen to tell you that I'm in love, in love with 'El Shaddai'.