Monday, June 3, 2019

New Puppy, New Life!

New Puppy, New Life!

Gosh, I look back at the last blog posting I did and wonder where the time has gone and why it's been so long since then.  Obviously a LOT has happened since that time (yes, my uncle's killer/drunk driver was sent away for murder, so that helps with closure) AND we moved back to mainland USA AND we got a puppy!!

Kuromi is a black goldendoodle.  She was the last of her litter and my sister-in-law figured it was time for me to have someone to love again.  She was right!!  Kuromi has brought light back to my life... frustration, too.  I mean, if you have never had a puppy you just do not realize (or remember as in my case) HOW  MUCH  WORK a puppy is!!  But, did ya look at that FACE!!??

We decided to do puppy school for not only socializing her with other dogs, but with other people, too.  Kuromi loves people SO MUCH she explodes when someone comes up to her!  Her trainer put it this way: The person is like when you shake a can of coke... shake as they walk toward her, then it opens as soon as they get to her!"  Needless to say, I learned real fast how to stick up for my baby girl and let people know we're not ready for petting.  So, if you haven't ever asked if you can pet a dog before touching it?  Please do!  I also have no problems pulling another fiesty dog off of mine at a dog park.  I noticed that we always pull our dog away... what if your dog is the one on the ground and the other is on her?  That's Kuromi... the one on her back on the ground allowing the other dog to bite at her neck. *sigh* So, YES, I'll pull the other dog off her and let her take a break.  What should you do in this instance?  Don't be afraid to stick up for your dog and pull the other off him/her!!  If their owner has an issue with you touching their dog, silently point out the rules prohibiting aggressive dogs in the park.  (all parks have rules)

Shameless plugs for puppy rearing items (note: I do not get anything for plugging any of these!):

Kissable Canines - dog training in Springfield VA

Calming Signals - great information on how dogs calm each other and themselves

Puglife Harness - for a harness that I use to attach her seatbelt to and to walk her.  I'm sure there are less expensive ones or similar ones that you can find.  This is just what I use and I feel safe with her in the car with her seatbelt plugged into it.

Carseat Cover and Seatbelt - This is the one I bought.  It's just a touch too big for the backseat of my car, but fits the truck perfect!  It came with two "seatbelt" which are a strap that clicks into the seatbelt plug and hooks onto her harness.  She is able to stand and turn around with it on.  We have done two long trips (one to Florida and one to NC) with her using this system and she's very comfortable... I'm comfortable, too, as she's safe!

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Groundhog Day

Groundhog Day = REbirth Day

2015 with my Uncle John (L) and Dad (R)
Groundhog day has special meaning to my family as it is my Uncle John's birthday.  Well, now, it is his death day, too.  He was killed by a drunk driver last year on his 84th birthday.  However, I refuse to let that define this day... it is now his REbirth day.  I prefer to think of his rebirth into Heaven.  That could go into a whole conversation about what happens after death, but the reality is... this isn't the forum for that.  

I just miss you, Uncle John. 

Social Media and Online Parties

I had my first online Beautycounter Social last night!  I was so nervous... but, now that it's over... I ask WHY?  Why was I nervous?  I think that when a person has gone through many changes in her life to live a cleaner, healthier lifestyle, she (ok, me!) starts to worry no one will take her seriously anymore.  However, I decided to put myself out there and start helping others to live a cleaner, safer, life.  

Was the online party a success?  Well.... I got one order.  From my Daughter-in-law.  BUT... it was a learning experience for me AND those who did "attend".  Will more orders come in?  That remains to be seen.  I will be bringing samples of shampoo/conditioner sets to a friend next week.  

What defines a "success" anyways?  Webster defines success as "a favorable or desired outcome".  

But, WHO determines if the outcome was favorable or desired?  ME!  Yep... little ole me!  I have to admit that before the party, I set my desired outcome to be 2 orders.  Well, so far I have one.  So I revised my determination of whether the party was a success on the fact that I DID MY FIRST ONLINE PARTY!  So, there.  I pushed out of my comfort zone and did it.  I also had fun during the party.  So... success?  Yep.  I'm gonna count this as a favorable outcome.  

Now, this blog was started back in 2011 when I was doing all the research I needed to see how to change my diet and why the Paleo and Primal approaches were important for overall health.  So, the next few blogs will deal with how changing what goes on our body can be just as big of a deal as what goes into our body.   Hope you'll join me!!  

Friday, January 5, 2018

Good-Bye 2017, Welcome 2018!!

Wow was 2017 quite the year for us!! 

Jan 2017:  A quick rundown is that my son moved from Hawaii to Virginia Beach, VA right before Christmas 2016... so, that means no son for New Years! 

Feb 2017:  My dearest uncle, Uncle John (Dad's second oldest brother), died very unexpectedly in a car accident on his 84th birthday at the beginning of February.  I still tear up thinking about losing him.  How blessed we feel having him visit May 2016!  Unfortunately, a few weeks later, my husband's aunt, Aunt C.C., passed soon after being diagnosed with ovarian cancer.  She was quite the wonderful lady and we count ourselves blessed for having her visit us November 2016.

Mar 2017:  Our sweet Buddy, an 11 year old standard poodle, succumbed and died from a cardiomyopathy on our 6th anniversary of the Great Japan Earthquake/Tsunami... March 11th.  By this point we were reeling... then we decided to move back to Northern VA with Hubby's job.  Hard decision, but based on our losses, we felt it was the right time to be closer to family.  Our house was put up for sale mid-month and sold in 3 days!!  OVER asking price. 

April and May 2017:  Went by in a blur between me having to say sad good-byes to my work family - Ohana, and my favorite patients, to us packing up our last military-paid move (yes, you get one last one after retirement!), cleaning our house to prepare for closing day, and us actually flying off island on 19 May.  I think I vaguely remember our oldest coming to visit for a few days in there somewhere... Our first destination was to Hubby's parents' house in the panhandle of Florida... just in time for the HOT and MUGGY weather! 

June 2017:  While in Florida, we helped our oldest son and his amazing wife move 2 hours west in the panhandle in his first Air Force move.  While there, I had the opportunity to spend time with one of my dearest friends, a chiropractor with whom I worked when I did my reserves.  She truly has a bit of my heart... Back to the move of my oldest:  first time Home owners!!!  This meant they could truly do anything they wanted!  First was to clean this cute home and I got on my hands and knees to chip in. 

July 2017:  Journeyed to Virginia to receive our household goods.  We slept in the basement for about a month prior to getting our furniture.  Hubby had a great idea: put two twin air mattresses (the tall kind) next to each other and make a king-sized bed.  Truly genius!! 

August 2017:  Family visits complete with helping my parents move 6 hours west in North Carolina!  Also meant we got the player piano I've always wanted as their new house is considerably smaller than their old one as it has no basement. 

September 2017:  Visited my youngest in Virginia Beach and met up with an old friend... yes, probably the longest friend I have!!  We met back in 8th grade and kept finding each other over the years.  Fortunately, we were there to help my youngest move into a new apartment.  (seriously!  Another move!!)  It also allowed me to spend my birthday with my friend, my son, and my nephew's family. 

October 2017:  The birth of a grand-niece!!  Though I already have a grand-nephew, he was born the same month we moved to Japan.  So... it is very special to get to live so close! 

November 2017:  My husband's family descended on us for Thanksgiving... at the end of that visit, we had a small pin-on ceremony for my oldest as he promoted in the Air Force, then I took off with my parents to finally meet my Grand-niece.  I cried as I watched my parents hold their first ever Grand-daughter... yes, great grand-daughter, and it was beautiful! 

December 2017:  My family descended on us for Christmas... I'm here to say, my marriage survived... but we will NEVER host Thanksgiving then Christmas in the same year again!! 

So, our year went from heartbreak to family... and I'm so glad to have a little time to myself now.  (my next blog will tell ya what's next for me!!) 

Happy New Year, everyone!! 

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Ketogenic Diet and life events

So... how did lent go on the ketogenic diet?  GREAT!

I lost 10 lbs in 40 days.  Then, it was Easter and CANDY!!!!  and WINE!!! (yes, I gave up wine, too)

Then... on the day after Easter, I fell during my morning run (during the walking portion of the Couch to 5K, I was on Week 2 Day 1) and broke one ankle and sprained the other pretty badly.  Crutches and a boot.
Yes, I fell and punctured my dorsal artery! 

Hubby got me home and put ice on!

Right side looked WAY worse than left

Deciding whether to go to ER

I was trying to figure out how to get myself back to work... and my sweet girl was trying to love on me...

So sad her mommy is hurting.

... two more days later, my sweet girl, Cheyenne, went downhill FAST and was suffering, so we had to do the unthinkable and put her to sleep.  it was horrible and I find myself just sitting down and doing the ugly cry when I notice it's 7:30 and I'm "supposed" to be giving her insulin shot, or it's 5pm and her dinner time... or just sitting watching TV and not have her come nuzzle me... or making dinner and notice there's no girl to step over...

She just couldn't hide her pain and suffering anymore...
Needless to say... gaining back 4 lbs was kinda understandable.

So, to end those two horrible weeks, I am going to join KetoDiet's 60 day challenge.

I succumbed and made measurements and took my weight, but have to take "before" pictures.  I've found that doing the photos and taking measurements make it all "REAL".

Will you join me?  I promise to be better at posting recipes I've found and updates, good research I've found, etc.  Promise!!!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Bullet proof Coffee

Good Morning!! 

My Beatles mug from the Skylarks.

 Bullet proof Coffee.  The only way to drink it when trying to avoid dairy and sugar.  Well, not completely avoid dairy.  You see, it has KerryGold butter in it :)  OK... I used what I had on hand and have to admit to not having the quality coffee or oil he used.  However, I remember a few years back... before he trademarked the coffee name and started selling his own brands... the recipe was with coconut oil and MCT (which I MUST go out and buy).  Granted, smart guy that he is, he went out and made it more bullet proof and now sells all ingredients required.  But, when must use what's on hand, one uses organic coconut oil and KerryGold butter.  :)  It's nummy!!

Why start out with coffee with so much fat?  It "breaks my fast" with fat and jump starts my day toward burning ketones.

This morning, I'm heading over to the Vitamin Shoppe to get the recommended morning supplements  that I don't already have(via Maria and Keto-Adapted book) and to refill those I do and already take.  I already took my 1500mg L-glutamine, Beef Liver (yes, grass-fed), Raw B-complex, Ashwaganda, Transitions, 1000mg L-lysine and 44mg Zinc.  (yep, I put in some links... some, so you know what they are and others so you know where you can buy them)

Before I eat my "frambled eggs" (even before it was a craze with a cute name, I've love to crack 2-4 eggs directly into a hot frying pan and let them set slightly, then mix them around.  I love the flavors that aren't completely scrambled together!), I'll take my probiotics.  

Exercise.  Not today.  Probably not this week.  Well, I'll preface that with saying... Yes, I'll still do my hip and arm exercises with my patients.

So.... after writing this... I ended up getting sick to my stomach for the rest of the day.  Ate the chicken bone broth I had in my crock pot and only that... Needless to say, first day on the Keto-Adapted diet didn't go well.  Feeling somewhat better on day two.  Did not take any supplements "just in case" and am only having chicken bone broth again today.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Ketogenic Diet

Cheers!!  Last glass of wine for a month!

Wow!  It's been a LONG while since my last post.  I fell into the "same old... same old" pattern that I see other bloggers fall into once their (and mine) lifestyle becomes commonplace.  What??  Yes.  I got to the point where it was no longer fun, exciting, and/or new to photograph my food and share online.  People stopped remembering me as a fat girl and I became complacent in my "normalcy".  However, jump forward 5 years from my big life changing sickness (remember?  Gallbladder = undiagnosed celiac??) and here I am, back up within 20 lbs of my all-time-highest weight.  Ugh.

So, last winter, my hip started really bothering me more and more.  I went to the doctor and specialists and no one offered anything other than "stop running/walking" and "why won't you get surgery??... Just fix it already!"  Um... no.  Until hip surgeries have better longterm outcomes, I think I'll stay where I am.

I noticed that it's easier for me to gain the weight back if I'm not active.  So, the hubby bought me a Garmin VivoFit for Christmas (2014) and it got put to use!  Nope, didn't make my goal steps every single day, but continued to run 2-3 times a week for most months in 2015.  However, the weight still slowly crept up.  It's amazing to look back at the year and see the horrible steady incline of my weight creeping back on.  Weekly, it wasn't so bad unless I was getting close to or going over a milestone number... you know, starting a new "decade" (going up to the next "0" number) and it really got bad starting in September.

What is going on?  well, increased hot flashes and... ehem... female "issues" started taking up a LOT of my time and... oh, yeah.  I got "let go" at my job in July after returning from reserves and got a new job in September.  You'll notice the two jumps in weight gain in July and the largest one in October to now.  Hmmmmm.

Yep.  There MUST be a food connection.  At the start of 2016 I thought "THAT'S IT!!!  I'm stopping all 'gluten free' goodies, no more potatoes, no more rice!!" and that helped (as you see by the dip).  BUT, there's gotta be more to it than just returning to my 100% Paleo/Primal ways as the weight isn't just dropping off like it did back in 2011.

Yesterday, I opened up an email from PaleoDork and in it was a link to a whole bunch of FREE stuff (only good for 5 more days... that's Feb 11th, so hurry!!)!  Now, I've been around the Paleo block a few times since 2011 and have most of the things in this free bundle.  However, every now and then, I stumble across someone or something that just "clicks" for me.  Yesterday and today, all my reading has been centered on Maria Emmerich's Keto-Adapted book that was included in the PaleoDork giveaway.
Buy here at

I'm in love.  Her writing really speaks to me.  I've never wanted to give up sugar completely.  I mean, I don't do sugar or anything processed already.  But, I'll add a splash of vanilla syrup to my coffee in the morning (oops) and honey to my greek yogurt or marinades.  I've also taken to eating more carb-laden veggies, starchy potatoes/sweet potatoes, and fruit, fruit, fruit!!  Organic apples, blueberries by the handfuls, organic strawberries, etc.  I mean, they're organic... so, that means they're OK, right?  I guess not.  At least, if my butt and thighs are anything to go by... NO!!!

So, I mentioned health issues... yes, in the last few months, the migraines are back with low-level headaches all the time, and the joint pain is incredible!  I've even developed such pain in my thumb joints that we're looking into rheumatoid arthritis... yes, I know, another autoimmune disease to add to the celiac. I had my thyroid looked at for multiple nodules, and my belly fat is expanding to increase my jean size.  I'm NOT happy.  No, seriously.  Not just unhappy at these changes, but depressed and in a bad mood a LOT.  My poor hubby.  He gets the brunt of it.  I try to keep my mouth shut, but when he asks and asks and asks what's wrong... well.  It's not a pretty picture.
Buy here at

What to do.  On the Keto-adapted website, there are ways to gain Maria's one-on-one assistance, but being true to myself and with great desire to continue my over-researching ways, I'm going to try this just using her books:  Keto-adapted and the Ketogenic Cookbook (it's coming via Amazon!!).  

I also have a book sitting on my shelf from a dear friend of mine, Erin Whitmer, that she wrote with another mom, Jeanne L. Reither, after struggling for a few years to heal her son from seizures; Fighting Back with Fat.    I also have been online friends with Jaime from  I love veggies, so never really gave too deep of thought to going truly low, low carb.  However, stuff that Maria wrote about in her book, Keto-Adapted, really smacked me in the face of realistic need for change.  I think I also like that she pushes the amino-acids I already take (L-glutamine and L-lysine) with some others that I don't, and teaches all about WHY they're important.  Needless to say, there are a bunch I'm needing to take in the morning that should assist in helping with carb cravings and headaches.  I'm excited to go to the vitamin shoppe (that's where I buy my stuff as it's local and convenient) and buy all the "new" stuff.

So, starting tomorrow... back on my journey to better health!!!  Join me??

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Candida = yeast

These days you can close your eyes while seated at a computer and somehow information on Candida, or yeast, infections... overgrowth... etc. will pop up on your screen.
I wish Candida was this cute!

WHY?  Well... perhaps it's the way of our Standard American Diet.  We've all experienced a small amount of yeast overgrowth when we've been on antibiotics.  Get an upset tummy or runny poop while on the antibiotic?  Yep.  Yeast.  Get a vaginal yeast infection while on an antibiotic?  Yep.  Yeast.

WHY?  Our bodies have a balance between the bacteria and yeast in our body.  ALL of our body.  Yep, up there AND in your mouth AND in your gut... everywhere.  Even our skin.  If we kill one half of that balance off (such as when we take antibiotics, we kill off both the good and bad bacteria), the other side wins.  What do I mean by wins?  Well, it gets to grow without bounds.  Think of the bacteria/yeast relationship like cops and robbers.  If there's less cops, there tends to be more robbers... right?  Well, I think you get what I'm saying.  With less or no bacteria, the yeast have free reign to grow and grow and grow.

So... how do we push down the yeast and get our bacteria back to "in balance"?  A few ways.  But first... you MUST replace the bacteria loss.  We've all heard of probiotics... this is the "good" bacteria.  We really only want to replace the bacteria with the good kind as that bad kind?... it's on everything and we expose ourselves without even trying.  The good kind help keep the bad kind in check... kinda like our yeast/bacteria balance... that's another story.  So... onwards...

9 Signs You Have Candida
I could retype all of that, but since Dr. Axe has such a beautiful infographic... why?  Instead, let's talk about how to help NOT get candida overgrowth from the get-go, or how to support a healthy system to get rid of it.  BTW, these are just my notes from reading copious amounts of articles, websites and watching slide shows online.  I noticed these 5 items creeping up again and again, so they're my "rules" now.


Seriously.  Stop eating SO MUCH SUGAR!  Just take every prepackaged food you consume in one day and set the packages aside. Sit down and figure out "If I ate a normal serving for this package... I would consume X amount of sugar grams".  You don't need to measure or weigh what you ate... or cop to cheating and eating more of a specified serving.  Just write down what the sugar content of a single serving was.  Add all those single servings together.  How many grams of sugar did you consume at one meal?  One day?  One part of a meal?  It's eye opening.  We think that just because we don't see "sugar" in the label, it is sugar free.  Not so.  We also think because it's "sugarfree" it has no components of sugar (like carbs... remember, they're just long chains of sugar strung together for later use in your body).  Per the Daily Intake Guide, the average adult should only eat 90 grams of sugar per day.      I say again... 90 grams per day.  

So... say I went to Starbucks for a vanilla latte (click for the .pdf for their drink menu), here's what my run-down would be... just for a morning perk-me-up:
     Grande Vanilla Latte 2% milk = 35 grams sugar
     Venti Vanilla Latte 2% milk = 44 grams sugar

     (typically, I brew Starbucks Morning Joe at home and add just whipping cream = 0 grams sugar
       for a treat after my runs, I'll add a splash of Vanilla Syrup at 10 gr/Tbsp)  

So, after coffee only at Starbucks, "I" would have already consumed 1/2 my daily intake of sugar. 

Most people don't ONLY get a coffee for breakfast, though... so add in one of their special foods... say, I'm trying to "be good" and order a reduced-fat banana Chocolate chip coffee cake... I mean, it's low fat, right??  Yeah.  40 grams sugar.  == full daily sugar total already met at breakfast!!  
40 grams of sugar per serving!!

Anyhow.  SUGAR FEEDS YEAST AND BACTERIA IN OUR GUT.  That's the reason I got onto my tangent regarding daily sugar totals.  We eat WAY more sugar than our body needs for energy, and the excess feeds our yeast and bacteria.  

It's not just added sugars, either.  Your yeast/bacteria don't say "Hey, wait a minute!  That's natural sugar/maple syrup/ripe banana, NOT added sugar!"  It just knows a source of energy and consumes to keep itself alive and multiplying.  

So.  We try to be good and avoid prepackaged goods to avoid the added sugars.  THEN I say, "be careful of adding too many 'good' forms of sugar" too!!  But seriously.  IF you're worried about yeast or bacterial overgrowth... cut your added sugars.
When I get my out-of-control sugar cravings, that's when I know it's time for a 21-day Sugar Detox.  I've done the full program twice and done mini versions just to cut down.  LOVE that diet!!  (even if you THINK you're going to be OK on it, it's an eye-opener)  

Yeah... I LOVE Diane Sanfilippo, at Balanced Bites, on SO many levels.  Her books are amazing.  And, No.  I do not know her or get monetary compensation for mentioning her books or website.  I just refer a LOT of my patients, friends and relatives to her as her books are SO easy to navigate, read and remember.  


    Yep... you guessed it.  Grains are carbohydrates and carbohydrates break down into sugar once consumed.  See #1 for my sugar rant.  See the photo?  The only difference between the simple carbohydrate (sugar) and complex carbohydrate (things like grains) is how many of the molecules are linked together... excellent diagram.    

2. "Support your Spleen" 
    This is from the Chinese and from oriental, or Eastern, medicine.  Tried and true medicine that pushes us to eat healthier foods... foods that support body systems, such as the spleen.  So, what foods?  
  • squash, sweet potatoes, butternut, etc.
  • lentils and mung beans (slightly different profile than the legumes we tend to avoid in the Paleo/Primal diets)
  • drink Barley tea (I know from personal experience, I can't do Barley tea... supposed to not have the gluten in it, but it still messes with my stomach)

3.  "Support your Liver"
     - detox!  Not necessarily a huge week long detox involving drinking copious amounts of yucky tasting stuff... just probiotic carrying foods.
  • eat sour foods - kefir, sauerkraut, apple cider vinegar
  • probiotics PROBIOTICS!! 

4.  "Support your Intestines" 
    - eat bitter foods that help support decreasing inflammation
  • kale, arugula, romaine lettuce
  • cinnamon, ginger, turmeric

BONUS:  instead of buying anti-fungals for yeast infections you can see (like on your skin, toenails, tongue, etc.), try some natural alternatives:
  • oil of oregano (also an antibacterial)
  • grapeseed extract
  • garlic