Friday, August 29, 2014

Treasure trove...Friday finds...

"Faith goes up the stairs that love has built, and looks out the window which hope has opened." -Charles Spurgeon

 This past week has been anything but ordinary for me, because I have worked in my dear hubby's office while a new employee was getting trained.  As I was putting away patient chart's, I realized that these will soon be a thing of the past with the new electronic filing just around the corner.  That which will be no more, needs to be memorialized with a photo.  So I took one...with my iPhone.

Patient's charts...soon to be only a memory.

Could this soon be a picture of the past as well? keeps America running.  

I was so glad when I had the opportunity to get out my camera to take some photos.  It is therapy for me, and I definitely needed some therapy after working.  Oh the bliss, and joy when a camera is held in the hand...and up to the eye...and you hear the clicking of the shutter.  Ahhh.

I am taking a class from Kim Klassen called "Be Still 52."  Once a week, she shares thoughts, photos, encouragement, inspiration, and homework to help us sharpen our photographic skills, and bring some calm into our chaotic lives.  One of the assignments that had me stumped was to take photos that might tell a story, and maybe submit them to a magazine for publication.  I don't know about the magazine part, but I am up for story telling.  I was looking around my house to try to figure out something I could use that would tell an interesting story.  It is hard when I live a life that is pretty ordinary.  I remembered I had been given some silver flatware that had belonged to my grandmother.  So I went to the drawer where I kept it, and spied a small package labeled "iced teaspoons".  Hmmm. I hadn't remembered it.  I opened it, and was thrilled with my find.

Apparently, the spoons were given to my Uncle, and his wife as a wedding present from my Uncle's Dad, my grandfather...on my dad's side.  The note says:

"Pat and Bob...These spoons belonged to my grandmother and were passed down to my mother.  If I had had to look after them they would have been lost.  However my mother and your mother hung onto them.  May you live to eat strawberries stuffed with pineapple with them...Dad."

Now isn't that the most lovely note you have ever read?  I loved how he ended the note with such a wonderful thought...strawberries and pineapple.

If I figured out the note correctly, these spoons belonged to my great, great grandmother...which also means, they are very old.  I am so glad I have them.

any time I have things laid out for a photo shoot, my cat has to check things out.  

I love the detail work on the spoons.

Green in the spoons is the reflection of the trees over head.

lovely details.

Lovely engraving on the grandmother was Elizabeth, and Mary her daughter.  The green hue is a reflection of the trees overhead...I took these photos outside.

I used Kim Klassen's lightroom preset: kk_moody

kk_dark mood LR preset, by Kim Klassen

Now, let me introduce you to my grandfather, F. S. Norcross, Jr.  This is his college days picture...and he is in his football uniform.  Pitiful protection for sure.  He was a quarterback for the University of Michigan...if I remember right.

His nickname was Norky...

He looks kind of mean here...but he was not.  He was the nicest man around.  He was the one who taught me to throw a ball...not like a girl.  
The spoons reminded me of some pictures I had taken at my friend, Suzanne's, house...she has tons of fun antique things.  I thought it would be a good time to edit some of her spoons, and other treasures in her house.  Her house is full of fantastic things.  I could spend hours just looking.  It is such a delight!

Antique everything...spoons, plates, lace, yarn, and pots...

More old, harmonica, books, photos, and who know what the little bowl has in it.

A sweet bird nest...

Old tricycle tire...

lovely flowers, and I love the material underneath them.  So romantic looking.

A box of all sorts of goodies...

I basically spent the day taking pictures of found things...
My extra buttons...

There's even hidden treasure in the!
The best part of it all was being invited for tea at my friend, Marisha's.  Good company, good friends, good tea, and good's almost like being in heaven.

Marisha and me.    

My tea cup...

She is from Poland, and has the Polish pottery that is so beautiful all over her house.  Cause for more pictures.
I am linking up this post with Kim Klassen's Friday finds...go on over to take a peek at what others have found.

Happy Friday!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

My experience with the ketogenic diet...

"Any diet that skimps on natural fats is inherently unsatisfying, making it extremely difficult to sustain long term and almost certainly doomed to failure." -from the New Atkins for a New You, pg. 3

I have been doing a ketogenic diet for six weeks now, and Warren four weeks.  We are on this diet because  our lipids were not the greatest.  This way of eating has been demonstrated to improve lipid profiles.  In fact, this way of eating helps with all sorts of problems.  Here are conditions that it improves: ADHD, chronic headaches, migraines, cancer, depression, diabetes, epilepsy, parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease,  seizures, inflammatory conditions, intestinal problems, and weight loss.  Who wouldn't want to be on this diet since it helps with all these problems?   What is a ketogenic diet?  Many think it is a low-carb, high protein diet, but it is not.  It is low-carb, moderate protein, and high fat.
This is the nutritional break down of what I ate one day. I use an app called Myfitnesspal which free at the app store.  I think it is available for iPhone, and Android.  It tracks all your food, water, and exercise.  It is easy, fast, and you can see right away if what you have eaten is good, or bad.  On a ketotic diet, 70-80% of calories come from fat, 20-25% from protein, and  5-7% from carbs.  Note: if you eat too many proteins, your body converts that to glucose, and you do not go into ketosis. To determine how many proteins you need, multiply your body weight by 0.6.  That is how many grams you need per day.
For me, the hardest part was changing my mind set to eating so much fat...and then getting in enough fat.  I feel guilty for adding butter to my eggs, having full fat (lots of cream) sauces, having bacon, cream cheese, and cheeses.  Not to mention the ability to eat fatty meats (grass-fed beef though).  For years, we have had it pounded into our heads that low fat, and high carb is good for you.  We have been told, eating the USDA food pyramid will cut down on obesity, and heart disease.  Studies have shown the opposite: low fat-high-carb has made us more fat, and increased heart disease.  It is the low carb, high fat that has reduced obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.  It is paradoxical, but true.

The process of becoming "Keto adapted" takes about 2-6 weeks.  My first two weeks were miserable.  I had a headache, and felt pretty lousy.  It is called keto flu, but if you will persist, it goes away, and then you have incredible energy, and feel great.  I will not go into great detail here about the science of the ketogenic diet, but will give some links where you can find great information, recipes, testimonials, and how to incorporate the diet.  These are not in any particular order: (this is a good site on how to get started, and it has a macro calculator, so you can see how many fat, protein, carb grams, and calories you should have each day), (love the recipes here), (good recipes, and information),  Also, youTube has a lot of videos with very good information.  Look for Dr. Stephen Phinney, Dr. Jeff Volek, Dr. Peter Attia, or Dr. Eric Westmann.  If you like to read, here are some excellent resource books:

If you think you know all about the Atkins diet, think again.  This is by the same people who wrote  The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living (last book pictured).  It is easier to read, and understand than the art and science book.  This has sample diet plans, and recipes.  

I am still reading this book

and this book too.
This is very technical, but has a lot of studies, and research data.   It has recipes, and some sample meal plans.  

Here's a sampling of what I eat, and a few recipes to go along with the photos.

Breakfast, scrambled eggs with 1 tablespoon of butter, 1 slice of uncured natural bacon, zucchini sautéed in butter.

Lunch: Tuna steak with homemade mayonnaise, zucchini, green salad with homemade salad dressing (base is the home made mayonnaise) , and cauliflower mashed potatoes.
Cauliflower mashed potatoes:

1 head of cauliflower (cooked, and drained...I drain these for about 20 minutes, otherwise the "potatoes" are too runny)
1 cup cheddar cheese
4 TBS. sour cream
2 TBS. butter

After you have drained the cauliflower well, place in a food processor or blender, add other ingredients, salt and pepper to taste.  That's it.  They are very good.

This shake is better than what you get at Starbucks, and a lot cheaper.  To make it coffee flavored, add one teaspoon of your favorite instant coffee to the recipe.
 Breakfast: Chocolate-coconut shake
Chocolate-coconut shake:  Blend 4 ounces unsweetened almond milk, 2 tablespoons no sugar added coconut milk, 1 scoop unsweetened whey protein powder, 2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 packet of splenda, 3 ice cubes.  Blend until mixed and frothy.  Add whipped cream and cinnamon.

This is the protein powder I use.  I have included a link to it in the recipe above.  
This is one very good salad.
Lunch: Cobb Salad

Cobb salad: mixed lettuce leaves, avocado, tomatoes, hard boiled egg, cucumber, bacon, feta cheese, grilled chicken.  Top with sweet mustard dressing.
Homemade Sweet Mustard Dressing.
Sweet mustard dressing: 1/3 cup Dijon mustard, 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar, 1/4 cup sugar-free pancake syrup, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, 2/3 cup cold pressed extra-virgin olive oil.
Mix, and serve.

How about a pizza?  Warren loves his pizza.  I was thrilled when I found a recipe for a  low-carb pizza.  The crust will not be quite as crisp as a dough crust, but you will be surprised how tasty it is.  You will have to eat this pizza with a fork since the crust is soft.  I usually mince the whole cauliflower head, then make several pizza crusts, bake, then freeze them for later use.  I can usually get 6 individual pizzas from one head
Dinner: White sauce, smoked-turkey,  jalapeño pizza
White sauce smoked turkey and jalapeno pizza
Crust: 1 1/2 cups grated cauliflower (I use a food processor to chop the cauliflower...raw cauliflower)
           1 egg
           1/2 cup 3 cheese mexican blend, or mozzarella cheese.
Blend in food processor.  Pat out a circle (individual size... about 6 inches in diameter) on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Bake 400 degrees until browned...about 10-15 minutes.

Sauce: 2 tablespoons cream cheese, 1 tablespoon cream.  Mix, spread on top of cooked crust. Add toppings.

Toppings:  saute smoked turkey, onions, garlic, and sliced fresh, seeded jalapeño in a skillet until turkey is browned.  Sprinkle on top of sauce.

Add grated mozzarella cheese on top.  I, also, added a few bacon crumbles.  Bake 400 degrees until brown.

Pictured with the pizza is Calabacitas, which is a mexican squash dish with the corn left out, since corn is high in carbs.  To a sauce pan add about 2 tablespoons of olive oil, or butter.  Add 1 cubed zucchini, 1 cubed summer squash, 1/4 cubed onion, 1 minced garlic clove.  Saute until squash is soft. Add one small can of green chilies, and 1 cup of grated cheddar cheese.  Mix.  Serve.

Our favorite has snack, dessert, and sometimes breakfast is Lemon, or Lime cheesecake.  It is wonderful, and easy to make.

 In a mixer, mix 2-8 ounce packages + 1-3 1/2 oz. package of cream cheese with three eggs.  Mix until smooth.  It helps if your cream cheese is at room temperature.
cream cheese and the eggs.
 Add the zest, and juice of one lime, or if you prefer lemon, use lemon instead.
Adding the lime zest and juice.
 Add one cup of splenda, or stevia.  I like splenda better...stevia has a bitter taste to me.  Mix well.
Add 1 cup of splenda...
 Pour into a greased pie pan, or 8 inch cake pan.  Bake 45 minutes at 350 degrees, or until brown.
Pour into pie pan...
 Turn off oven, and open the oven door.  Leave the cheese cake in the oven to cool about 30-45 minutes.  Refrigerate and serve.
Baked, and cooling...Yummy!
We like to add whipped cream on top.  So, so good.
Later, I will post about a fat fast which I did, but this post is already very long.  So check back.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

rainy days...

Lately, we have had a lot of rainy days for us.  Yes, we need the rain.  I very seldom get to wear my rain boots out and about.  I mostly wear them when I work in the yard.  I was so happy to be able to wear them while I ran my errands.  Aren't they cute?  I have them on with my exercise capris.  Not the best fashion statement, but I do not care.  I like my boots.

I always get many comments when I wear these out and about town.
Here what the streets looked like...

Here what the trees look like...

Here's what my granddaughter looks like trying to catch the rain in her mouth.  Okay, I cheated on this next photo...I superimposed my granddaughter by the trees.  She actually was catching rain in her mouth, but it was at her home, not by these trees.

Here's the original photo.  Photoshop does amazing things.

Thank you, God for all the rain.  It is so refreshing.
© Rob's Blog