A lazy woman’s experiment with the ketogenic diet

Last summer I did some intermittent fasting. I lost a few pounds and then plateaued. I found it difficult to maintain on a daily basis long-term. I dropped it after a couple of months and gained back the pounds I had lost.

For the past 5 weeks now, I’ve been following a ketogenic diet, and again, I’ve lost a few pounds. I haven’t lost muscle that I can tell: I’m still able to do as many repetitions of bodyweight exercises (squats, pushups) as before with about same amount of effort. I have an abundance of energy, which stays stable. I sleep well. I feel good!

I did a lot of online research about the ketogenic diet. Basically it is a high fat, moderate protein, very low carb diet. By consistently eating this way, your body makes the switch from burning glucose to burning fat for fuel. (That’s what ketosis is.) Once your body gets trained into ketosis, it affects your fat-burning ability for life. This can take anywhere from a couple of weeks to several months to occur.

The keto diet has a lot of other benefits as well. It helps with epilepsy, early Alzheimer’s and cognitive impairment, Parkinson’s, ADHD, MS, autism, and bipolar II. It lowers blood sugar and insulin, and some say it prevents and kills cancer cells (which may be due the lack of sugar/carbs). There are more claims based on personal experience. Although high in fat, it does not increase your risk for heart disease, and it’s said to prevent strokes.

Here are 14 takeaways from my experience so far (and if you have health issues, especially regarding blood sugar, please consult with your doctor before trying any of this): Continue reading

6 weeks of intermittent fasting by a woman

Six weeks ago, I started an intermittent fasting eating schedule. I wanted to lose some belly fat. From what I gleaned on the internet about intermittent fasting, when we go longer than usual without eating, our bodies burn fat for energy instead of the customary fuel source, glucose.

Feeling some hunger is also in line with the experience of most humans throughout history. They put on fat from feasting, and when food was scarce, they felt hungry and burned fat. Hunger was part of their lives, and the human body is designed for occasional fasting.

After reading about various configurations of going without food (some fast 1-2 days a week, some do 12-hour daily fasts, etc.), I decided to go with a 16-hour daily fast, 7 days a week. Breakfast is the easiest meal for me to skip. I do more physical work in the afternoons and need energy for that, and I enjoy unwinding with dinner. So from 8 pm until noon I would fast. A good chunk of that time, I would be asleep — a natural 8 hour fast. So really, I only had to abstain from eating the first few hours of each day.

Continue reading

Dear Texas Republican Senators and Representatives,

Are you playing doctor again? You know, practicing medicine without a license is against the law. Anyone could make a citizen’s arrest if you pass legislation shutting down 37 abortion clinics and otherwise restricting women’s rights to abortion.

Why, my vagina doesn’t even know you (stolen from a fabulous sign I saw at yesterday’s protest), and yet you want to get in my business! Shame.

The majority of Texas voters oppose this legislation. 

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists opposes this legislation. 

You don’t realize that your actions are revitalizing the Texas Democratic party and helping Texas turn blue even sooner than it would have.

Because you are idiots. You are afraid to not vote in a block, that’s how scared you are. You have made a very personal, private decision into a partisan political issue.

Guess what? TEXAS WOMEN VOTE. And we’re pissed. And if we don’t stop this legislation from being passed, we’ll see you at the Supreme Court.

Sincerely,

A Texas Women Who Just Got Deputized to Register Voters Because of You

P.S. Oh yeah, and one more thing (taken from this web page) shows how well thought out and reasoned this bill “to protect women’s health and safety” really is:

According to a resource witness from the Department of State Health Services in charge of licensing compliance for both abortion clinics and ambulatory surgical centers, abortion clinics are inspected far more often than are ASCs, meaning if HB 2 passes, abortion facilities, going forward, would face less oversight.

Indeed, DSHS Health Facility Licensing Manager Ellen Cooper said she is aware of no current issues with licensing requirements, serious complications, or deaths related to abortion clinics and providers that would have prompted the push to pass HB 2, the sweeping omnibus abortion regulations bill that would severely limit access to legal abortion in Texas.

Cooper’s testimony marks the first time that a state expert witness has been asked to testify before any committee in connection with the abortion regs measure that is now in its third iteration since the beginning of the year.

 

The gifts from telling the truth: a moving story

My friend Carol Waid, co-founder of the nonprofit Truth Be Told: Helping Women Behind and Beyond Bars, tells her story and the story of her work. Very, very moving. Click to read A Co-Founder’s Journey: Carol Waid’s Story.

I served as a board member for Truth Be Told for a couple of years when it was a new nonprofit. I used my writing and technology skills to start a newsletter and help them get organized to track supporters and receive donations so TBT could become stable — which they have!

I have attended several incredibly moving graduations and have gone into the prisons myself to teach writing and the three points of view to the women. I’ve also brought in dear friends who became facilitators. Maybe at some point, I will get to do that too.

Working with Truth Be Told is something I am so honored to have been able to do in this life. It is part of my heart.

Here’s an excerpt from Carol’s story:

I went to treatment some 13 years ago and in treatment I pretty much did the same kind of work that the facilitators guide the women to do, telling the TRUTH about our lives, through a process of using a lifeline to see your life.  I did not even know my own story, much less know how to talk about.  When I did a lifeline I was able to see the reasons I would try to take my own life at 15 and why I would choose the vehicle that I chose.  I began to see why I would choose a violent teenager to fall in love with and obsess over, even beyond his death.  I began to see how depression was in my fabric, and the fabric of my family.  I was shocked to discover that I had moved 32 times in my short 17 years of life and it began to make sense to me why I didn’t know what a friend was, or how to be a friend.

I also began to understand why I was scared to say my name and be seen.  What I didn’t know, for a very long time, and still struggle to accept, is that I am courageous and strong and compassionate and loving and smart and gentle and authentic, but I have to fight off what rules, which is fear and timidity and anger and depression and insecurity and the curse of believing I am nothing and not special.

In treatment I saw my life’s path before me, which gave me a map to work with all these years.  This is the work we do with the women who reside in prison, for many of them they are creating a map of their lives and they are discovering what has been the thread that was sewn into their fabric.  They are then given the tools to pull out threads that do not belong in their tapestry and to appreciate and respect the threads that remain and so beautifully they get to continue creating a new rows….  This work is crucial to healing.  Healing is what opens the door for living a blooming life.  A blooming life includes living in the “free” world and becoming a citizen that can help the world change for better.