Mail! My Low Carb Diet from 14 Years Ago.

I got a message from my friend, Java, asking about a diet I was put on by a dietitian years ago. Here is what she asked:

I know you cut carbs severely at one point. I need information on cutting carbs, or foods that are low carbs, or just anything you can let me know [about the diet].

Let’s start with why I was on the diet in the first place. It was because I was having health issues and was gaining weight like crazy and none of the weight would budge. The dietitian felt a lower carb diet would help my health as well as my weight. This plan was tailored to me specifically.

I just wanted to share my favorite dinner again!

The LowER Carb Plan

The plan from the start was not an Atkins Diet or any other fad diet. It was simply limiting and counting certain carbs while not counting others at all. She specifically told me NOT to do the Atkins Diet since it wasn’t healthy.

Her “rules” for my diet were this… There was no category of “eat all you want”. It was all in moderation with the understanding that there would be days I wanted to eat a shit ton of junk food. She also stressed that this diet was a guideline and to use common sense. I wasn’t doing this because of diabetes or anything like that. So your mileage may vary.

The guidelines (as best as I can remember)

  • Protein includes peanut butter, cashew butter, almond butter, meat, eggs, cheese, beans (with limits), chick peas, and a few other things (I can’t remember all of them). I was to eat a healthy amount per day.
    • I think, specifically for me and my weight at the time, that amount was 4-6 ounces.
    • No counting carbs unless it was breaded.
    • Cheese counts as a fat too.
    • If I remember correctly (and I probably don’t) beans were 1/2 cup cooked a day because they cause bloating or something like that.
  • Dairy or calcium. I liked this dietitian because she acknowledged that calcium was not just found in dairy. She encouraged me to eat dark, leafy greens for calcium and save the milk stuffs as a treat, including yogurt. Dairy also included cottage cheese but not regular cheese (I can’t remember why)
    • I was allowed two half cup servings a day.
    • I counted carbs if it was yogurt containing sugar, chocolate milk, or other flavored milk.
    • I DID NOT count carbs if it was not the ones listed above in the counting carbs section.
  • Fruit. This was fresh fruit! Not fruit in a can or in a cup from the store that is loaded with syrup or sugar. She did allow frozen fruit as long as it was just frozen fruit.
    • I was allowed four servings a day.
    • I counted HALF the carbs of each serving up to the four servings. After that, I counted all the carbs. I think I started counting 1.5X the carbs to make myself behave.
  • Vegetables. This was any vegetable EXCEPT peas, corn, and cooked carrots. Her rule of thumb was “if you can put it in a salad, it counts. Cheesecake salad is not allowed.” The serving suggestion was 6 servings but she said if I was exceptionally hungry that day, she’d rather see me eating more veggies or fruit instead of chips and bread.
    • For any vegetable (minus the exceptions), count no carbs.
    • For cooked carrots, you count half the carbs. (unless you cook them with sugar, then count all the carbs)
    • For corn and peas, those are considered grains. Count all the carbs.
  • Fat. Use sparingly. But if you suck at the “sparingly” part, only 4-6 servings a day. 4 “bad” fats and 6 if it’s “good” fats, like avocado (which also counts as a fruit). Oils, butter, and mayo counts as a “bad” fat (as does salad dressing) 1 serving of fat was 1 TBSP oil OR 1 serving of cheese.
    • Count any carbs for fats.
    • Cheese also counts as a fat. If you have cheese, count it as a protein AND a fat.
  • Grains, desserts, and anything else. Six servings. Try not to go over. Stick to whole grains as much as possible. Avoid corn (I can’t remember why)
    • No matter what it was, the carbs were determined by my weight loss and health. I can’t remember the exact reasons.
      • up to 30 COUNTED carbs a day – I remember that was to kick-start the diet off. Only counting the carbs she said to count and writing everything else down as 0 carbs. It was also for about a half week at a time if I started gaining weight or if I plateaued hard.
      • 30-50 carbs a day – when I was doing well and the weight was coming off. Good for going out to eat also or going to a friends cook out. She also encouraged picking one day a week so it wasn’t so limiting. It wasn’t a “cheat day”, it was a “relaxed day”.
      • 50-70 – was my limit goal. That was for special holidays ONLY. Like, pick one day a month and “splurge” (mine was the 25th).  This was it.
      • Up to 100 – This was for that one really horrible period day, the day you find out someone died, the day you want to stress eat… you get ONE day in 30 days to stress eat/ comfort eat.
        • So if it’s January 31 and you pigged out up to 100 carbs, no pigging out February 1 just because it’s a new month.
        • If you stress ate on the 15th of the month, you don’t do it again until the 15th of next month (or later).
    • With this group, you can eat whatever you want! Just do it in moderation.

How did it work?

It went amazingly well! I had weeks where I would have between 30 and 50 counting carbs a day and do great and lose weight. And other weeks where I plateaued. But I still felt so much better! I was very pleased with it.

She encouraged not using artificial sweetener. Drinking water and coffee (plain) were allowed. I felt like I wasn’t deprived of anything. I loved it!

So… what happened?

My husband found the Atkins diet. I didn’t want to do it at first but he was so enthusiastic about it and it worked so well for him. I decided to give it a try after a lot of pressuring from him. He wasn’t mean about it though. His reasoning seemed sound at the time. And I was curious what would happen if I tried Atkins diet instead of the sensible lowER carb diet.

A mini-stroke. That’s what happens. I had a mini-stroke. After that, I shunned all diets and secretly tried to just do the lowER carb diet but I was having panic attacks from the thought of another mini-stroke, or worse, a full on stroke.

Just FYI, it still works for him. It just didn’t work for me.

Today, I am counting calories because I have no appetite at all. I am thrilled to hit 1,000 a day. I do avoid grains still. It’s still my “treat” food.

Coming Next Week!

This is getting a touch long for a post. So next week I will add a few posts on low carb foods I loved. Snack attack ideas. Dessert ideas. And anything else I can think of that might help. I’ll link them down here when I get them done.




FAQ: Are You Okay? Why Are You Crying?

This frequently asked question is something I hear a lot. Like A LOT! I figured I would make a post on it and get it all off my chest for today.

Are you okay?

I will be fine. I am tough. I have been through a lot in my life. If I can survive that, I can survive anything. I always have good days. Just some of those days have moments.

I was going to put a meme here. But they are all so depressing! Holy crap! The quotes for this one are morbid.

Why are you crying?

Because I need to. It’s how I stay strong.

Because I am thinking about my hopeless future. Not trying to sound like Dotchi Downer… but I am being honest here. My future plans are bleak. I am planning on becoming homeless and living in my van. I am actually quite excited about this. Every one else, not so much.

Everyone else wants me to think positive and plan on living in a house or a mobile home or something… riiiiiight, cuz money grows on trees, guys! I kind of need to have a steady income to plan for a future doesn’t include me living in a van.

poor meme   Google Search

I mean, I can plan to live in a house all I want. As soon as I don’t have an income and can’t pay rent/mortgage, I will be evicted and will be homeless. Instead of going through all that, I will happily plan to live in my van.

I cry because I just need to feel it for a moment and get it out of my system so I can keep going every day. I mean, I can only pretend that everything is fine for so long.

I cry because I am in pain. Not just sometimes. All the time. Every minute of every day. It doesn’t go away. Ever. While I can hold back the tears most of the time, there are days when the pain is a little too much to handle any more.

pain meme funny   Google Search

I can’t live my life always high. I need to have hours each day where I can function normally and get things done. But I pay for it in severe pain. Even crocheting sends me into tears.

pain advice meme   Google Search

I have heard it all too.

“Exercise will help.” I can do light exercise. Beyond that, I would just hurt myself to the point I can’t move for days without bursting into tears from the pain.

“You should move to somewhere you can get a job.” I have applied for jobs all over the place for the last four years. Every week I search for jobs I can do. I send out applications. I send out resumes. Moving is not going to help me get a job when no one will hire me.

ND hahaha

“You should do something from home.” I am trying that. But I am finding that any crafts I make at home, I cannot sell for a price that will help me pay the bills. Here is an example: On a GOOD week, I can make four bags a week. In person, no one wants to pay over $25.

That’s $100 a week, IF I could continue making that many a week, I never had bad weeks, and I am able to sell every single bag I make. That covers rent. What am I supposed to do for electric? Internet (to sell some online for a little more)? And every medical bill that I simply can’t pay?

“You should apply for disability.” Been there. Done that. Have you actually tried that? No wonder so many people are homeless with disabilities. I paid into the system for years and I get NOTHING!

There are plenty of people I know who need it and do get it. But I also know people who cannot work and can’t get it. I have watched people become homeless in the process… which is where I am heading… because it’s impossible to get disability. And don’t get me started on the judge in my case!

And every other comment I keep hearing doesn’t really help either. You know what helps? Chocolate. And coffee. Or Chocolate coffee. I could live off those. Or, you know, hire me!

In case you want to hire me, here is what I can do/ cannot do:

This is not the complete list. I have to end the post eventually.

  • I can lift between 8 and 10 pounds… on a good day. Sometimes I can lift 12 pounds. It just depends on how many days I have to recover.
  • I can stand for about 30 minutes. Sometimes. Not always. But I am cool with bar stools also. And I have Lidoderm patches that help.
  • I can sit upright for about 20-30 minutes. Most of the time. Then I have to lay down for a while to calm the pain.
  • I can type. I don’t know my typing speed but most everyone I know is impressed with it. So it’s probably faster than normal.
  • I love blogging! I would blog more but I have been focusing on making things to sell and practicing other computer skills that might help me.
  • I love making memes! I use them because they make me smile and it’s easier than walking around looking for a good picture or searching through the billions of pictures I have on my computer for the right one.
  • I love photography! My camera is dying a slow death so I haven’t been taking a lot of pictures lately. But I LOVE photos!
  • I can crop, re-size, airbrush, and do other edits to photos. I am still learning some of the cooler things.

I can’t really do much most days. If I crochet, I can’t do anything else or it’s just too much.

job hunt meme   Google Search

I am better at computer work than I am at anything else if I have to be quite honest.

If you don’t hire me…

If you can’t hire me, that’s okay… I wouldn’t hire me for most jobs either. BUT, if you do hire me, I am going to throw myself into the work and do it as well as I can and try to do the best I can!

But if you aren’t going to hire me… Don’t tell me how to live my life either. I don’t need antidepressants. That’s just another bill I can’t afford. I don’t need to move because I already applied elsewhere. No one is hiring me.

If you aren’t going to hire me, please tell me so I can cry and move on to something else. Making me wait and figure it out myself is a waste of my time.

waste my time quotes   Google Search

If I am crying, I am firmly planted in reality that day. Sometimes I just need to face the cold, harsh reality of shitty life so I can go back to hoping and searching for a way to survive. Sometimes I just need to feel the pain so I can be optimistic again.

I am allowed to cry without being shot in the ass with a tranquilizer dart. Their called emotions. They are totally normal. I don’t need people telling me what to do, I need coffee, a bag of chocolate, a date with Netflix, and a good cry. It gives me a mental vacation. Sometimes, that is all I really need.

Some days, I need to relieve the emotional pain so I can live every day with the physical pain and still force myself to smile. You can add that to my list of talents.

fake a smile quotes   Google Search




50 Questions: What Are You Addicted To?

What are you addicted to, and why?

Coffee. That didn’t take long to think of. There isn’t anything else that I am addicted to. Just coffee.

coffee beans

Why? Because when I don’t drink it, I get horrible migraines. If I continue to avoid coffee, they do not go away. I went about a year or two without coffee and the migraines never went away. In fact, my doctor at the time told me to start drinking coffee to help alleviate the migraines. And it worked. I miss you Dr Morgan!

It also worked this year after I dropped a door on my head. I was leaking clear fluid out my nose and ear. The headache was indescribable. I really have never had a headache like that before. If I was forced to describe it, I would say it was like my brain felt dry and raw and like a pressure behind my eye. The dripping would start and it would get SO much worse.

Yes, I went to the doctor for it. No, they didn’t do anything about it.

Anyway, I started drinking strong coffee (and LOTS of it) and just like Google said, the headaches were a lot less. I could handle them.

Oh sure, I still get the clear water-like drips and it still runs down my throat. And when it does, I just fill up my coffee cup even more and drink coffee until my head isn’t pounding.

So… coffee. I am totally addicted to coffee. And for a good reason.

Asking Questions and Taking Photos

I was pondering the my50 list, AKA bucket list, and trying to decide what to put on there. Any ideas you have would be awesome. I already have some great ones and thanks for the ideas! I have the yarn to start the scarf and the material to make a dress. I am set on those goals. I feel like I forgot some. If you see one missing, let me know.

I also saw a list of questions on a blog yesterday and thought that would be something fun to do! Not all at once but just some time when I want to blog but have no idea what to blog about. I am adding it to my list!

I also saw that Fat Mum Slim has a photo a day challenge. I am adding “Do photo a day challenge for one month” to the list too. Maybe it will turn into something I do for myself each week. I don’t know. But it sounds fun and I love photography!

Now I am off to drink coffee with chocolate in it.

The Pain was Worth it!

Yesterday I had my last speech therapy appointment in K-town. It was my last one and I am quite pleased with it. I learned that I remember better by association. When she gave me a list of words, if I could associate them with me I could remember them. Although yesterday I missed three, I am chalking that up to the heat and Benadryl. Last week I got 10 out of 10.

The other activities for remembering, I sucked at. One was just looking at the picture and trying to remember details. Then she would ask me about things in the picture. It went something like this:

JM: What was the picture about?

ME: A kitchen.

JM: Good.

ME: *Smiling all proud*

JM: What shelf were the canisters on?

ME: Oh, the top shelf! (Because my brother has similar shelves and it reminded me of his kitchen.)

JM: What was in the canisters on the shelf.

ME: *thinks* Coffee. I remember that one. Uh, I am not sure what the other ones were. I just really want some coffee LOL.

JM: *giggles* Flour and sugar. That’s okay. Next question, where was the clock?

ME: Wait. There was a clock? Seriously? Where?

JM: Yes, it was on the stove.

ME: Oooooh. *feeling dumb or unobservant*

JM: That’s okay a lot of people miss that one.

Oh sure… thanks for lying to make me feel better. LOL just kidding, they probably do. She showed me the picture afterwards so I could see the things I missed. I did okay on it. The next one was a bakery. I did meh on that one (because how often do I go to a bakery?) The pool picture I did pretty awesome but I grew up around pools and man did that bring back memories. After that, she switched to association because I do so much better with that. Last week I remembered 10 out of 10 words.

She said I am actually at the higher functioning stuff which made me feel better about myself. I did one sheet where if there was a box around the word, you read the color of the word. If there was no box then just read the word. Man, that was hard!

[redGreen <— These would both be “red”. They had green and blue also.

So, I may be forgetful, but now I have some tools for me to practice to help me remember stuff. Some stuff I remember with no problem. If they are number related, then I remember it easily. What time did Dr N add that diagnosis? 0532 on 24 March 2015. What did I have for lunch that day? I have no idea.

At least with this and the grouping exercise, I can work on remembering things and I don’t feel like a complete failure.

As a side note: yes, I realize that some of you will be able to figure out where these places are. I am not writing them out as K-town, L-town, etc to hide anything from you. I am just doing that because I like the sound of it. Also, I am writing a book where I am basing the layout of the camps on the real towns of Kalispell and Libby. (See, not trying to hide). Since I write here and in the book about the same times each day, it’s easier for me to write K-town instead of Kalispell or the name of the town for the book (which starts with K for now). I found myself writing Kalispell in the book and vice versa when I tried to write on here and in the book. Besides, K-town and L-town just sound nice to me.

And the pain was totally worth it!

So, yesterday, I did have a ride (THANK YOU, R*!) from L-town to K-town at 3:30 in the morning. Then I slept a little on and off. When I got up, I found out that the vehicle was unavailable for dropping off at the appointment. I had looked up the bus system down there the night before so I had a mini-backup plan. V* ended up dropping me off for my appointment (THANK YOU V*!) and I decided to use that time to hunt down that diagnosis on my medical record.

Went to my appointment, walked to the hospital’s medical records, walked over to the HIT department, and then back to medical records with HIT. I have to say, those two ladies were so nice! Everyone was so nice yesterday, but the HIT ladies were so super nice and helpful. Everyone should be like that! Back to the story, so I explained what I was looking for and they found it, had a print out (which I now have) that links the diagnosis to Dr N.

I found it interesting that we had such an issue finding it in my chart that we could only link it back to MB (from 04/06); but he put it in my chart from “old records”. How did he see it and we had to have someone spend an entire day searching for it because it wasn’t obviously in the chart? It almost feels like it was hidden in the chart (doubt that was purposely). Which begs the question… how did MB find it? Or did he actually talk to Dr N about it? Because I have to records he would have seen and it is NOT in there. I had two other people helping me search for it.

Anyway, now I have that. I went to the bus shelter and waited for the bus to Whitefish (sorry, no cute name for that one, it’s not in the book yet… YET). It was so hot outside I was feeling sick and itching like crazy. I had my sleeves on though and I stayed in shade when possible… so it’s not like I was in the sun on purpose. But ugh, I feeling miserable for a bit. I did take Benadryl, which made it really difficult to function but made my day better. Note to self: next time take your umbrella!

Train Station and Pictures

I sat at the Whitefish train station from 4:30 pm until the train got there. It was so neat listening to everyone talk about their travels. One couple has a rail pass and is hoping the trains and stopping every now and then for a day or two. I so want to do that! Another guy was going to see his girlfriend, who is pregnant. He was in K-town for a day. Another couple were going to visit Spokane for a fun weekend. There was a lady who was visiting her kids and was now leaving. Another guy works in one state but comes home every couple months. Then there was me. Had a doctor’s appointment. Needed a ride back home. I did walk to a health food store and grabbed some yogurt at one point.

The only thing I regret is that I forgot my camera! I snapped a few pictures on my phone though. They aren’t as great… but I will get to that later. Here are some pictures! Before you look at them, let me just say that I didn’t realize how bad my camera on my phone is until I actually took pictures with it. So sorry in advance.

Here is the train station outside area where we waited for the train.

Whitefish, Montana train station

Here is a BEAUTIFUL piano. I will have to get better pictures of it.

Elegant piano at Whitefish, Montana train station.
Elegant piano at Whitefish, Montana train station.

And this is the scales in the station. They don’t use these anymore, they are just there for museum awesomeness. Although, one lady did stand on them and let her boyfriend weigh her. She said she gained 20 pounds on this trip. LOL

Whitefish, Montana train station scale.
Whitefish, Montana train station scale.

Back to the train, It was running behind because of two medical emergencies and a drunken disorderly. We left about 11:23 and made it back to L-town at 1:16 in the morning. I was on the upper level (I asked for lower but it wasn’t on the ticket).

Between all the walking in K-town around the hospital, the bus ride, sleeping on a bench (the Benadryl kicked in), and riding a train… all while carrying my backpack… today my back is killing me! I probably won’t do much the rest of the day. I am resting so I don’t seriously hurt myself. That is where I got the post title from. It was a LONG day! It was tiring. The Benadryl kicked my ass. I am having horrible abdominal cramps and diarrhea from the heat (I know… TMI). I cried this morning from the pain… but I have marijuana! I can get through this!

And now… the worth it part…

Because of this nice reminder that I have a way to not be in agonizing pain, I realized I can do more than I could before. So, next week I have an appointment for a gastric emptying study on Wednesday. I am going to get a ride to the hospital, get the test done, throw up (because I will have to eat food), and then wait for the bus again. This time, I am going to Whitefish with umbrella and Benadryl, and I am taking my camera with me too and a folding chair too.

I am totally going to make a day out of taking pictures and chilling in the shade (assuming it isn’t too hot). If it gets too hot, I can always go wander through a store or museum. Then I can ride the train back to L-town again. Only this time I am bringing a rolling thingy to put my backpack on. That is too much for me to carry! Lesson learned. And I am bringing a folding chair because there were a few times I really needed to sit down but there wasn’t a good place to sit, or there wasn’t a place with a back rest … which I am sure didn’t help with the back pain.

And hopefully a folding chair will make it to where I don’t have to bring a rolling walker. I hate that thing and love it all at the same time. I haven’t needed to use it except when they had me stop marijuana for 10 days (and I lasted four). Before that, I stopped using it about two weeks into using marijuana. the swelling in my back had gone down and I could actually feel my legs better (which was good and bad LOL) and they stopped giving out on me. If I can avoid using it again, I totally will! I hated using it. It was embarrassing and I felt like less of a person.

Mentally, I feel so much better for being out yesterday and seeing people and getting to see places and I feel like I traveled (which I ABSOLUTELY miss the most!) If I had money, I would totally hop a train to somewhere and go explore and come back since I can’t drive anymore. But this makes getting out a lot more realistic and makes me feel less trapped. Trapped? No… stranded? no… there is a word. I can’t find it.

Update: HOMEBOUND! Thank you, Lakewolf! That is the word I was looking for!

One thing I will change though, I want a lower level seat! climbing stairs up is okay but slow. Going down them about kills my knees, especially after a day of walking around for any reason. I will still need a day (or two) to recover but this is so worth it. Just to get out and do something fun is what I needed.

I know this was long, but I feel so rejuvenated. I won’t be able to do this often but at least it is something to look forward to.

Positive Post: Free Coffee

I was trying to think of something positive to post today and I just thought of it. I was watching two ladies on Facebook. They are setting up a new café here in town. I saw the pictures and posted that I would have to come down and check it out when they are open. They said to come on down, they are open! So, I posted that I would have to find the money for a coffee and would walk down there to check it out. They said if I come down, they will buy me a coffee. I am going to pay this one forward one day! But for today’s positive post:

Free Coffee!

That’s one positive thing!