Everywhere you look there is a new diet, a new detox, a new program, pill, fad that is supposed to make it all better and ‘fix’ you and your intake and your body. What gets me is that in our frenetic search for something, we have lost sight of the fact that our body is truly an amazing ecosystem, capable of righting itself from the occasional overdose of eggnog or movie popcorn. It’s also capable of righting itself when you skip meals or restrict too hard – hello binge.

What we should really do is give it a varied and balanced diet – with ALL food groups – and get out of its way.

What gets most people in trouble is second-guessing their particular ecosystem and futzing with the numbers. “Oh, I ate too much at that meeting or that family meal or for my birthday, so I’m going to drink nothing but lemon water today or take some laxatives to rush it through, etc.” Instead of just getting back to fueling with their regular program the very next meal.

I have diabetes. You ask any Joe Shmoe on the street what diabetics should or shouldn’t eat & you’ll likely hear that carbs/sugar are BAD for us. Sure – too much of a good thing is bad, but SOME is still essential. Yes, I said sugar is essential, even to diabetics. SOME. Don’t translate that into ‘Eat a dozen donuts a day’. Because, for one that’s not balanced no matter who you are & for two it’s not just the sugar. Look at the much maligned donut. Yes – it has flour. Yes, sugar. However – it also has fat.

First off – nutrition. Figure out your #’s – IIFYM Calculator. For me, I should have 60 grams of fat per day. Let’s say I do even meals, no snacks, so my breakfast can be 20 grams of fat. — It should be 20 grams of fat, or as close to it as makes no difference. Unless I’m shaving 5 grams or so from breakfast and lunch to have a little extra at dinner because we are eating at a restaurant or it’s Christmas dinner, then it should be 20. You need fat. 20 grams isn’t a ton. It’s not too little. It’s just right.

Yes, typing that I realized that Goldilocks would be proud.

Let’s look at my favorite breakfast pastry/donut of all time – the apple fritter. Pardon me while I wipe the drool from my mouth.

I’m not talking one of those paltry, puny, doughy, not-cooked in the middle, can hold it with two fingers kind of apple fritters. I’m talking oh, you wanted to see your dinner plate under this thing? dark, crispy on the edges, soft, apple-y, OMG I must have one now!!


Let’s just assume for a moment that I eat a Starbuck’s-sized one and skip the coffee. That’s 420 calories, 20 grams of fat, 59 grams of carbs, and a puny 5 grams of protein. Just for one Starbuck’s apple fritter. My tummy has a sad.

Two things would happen with this scenario, however – 1. I’d totally have more than one (or a second breakfast) because they are yummy as hell & one wouldn’t fill me up or keep me full for long & 2. I need coffee & I won’t have coffee without at least half & half, so there’s more fat grams, etc.

FYI, my #’s from IIFYM – if I am sedentary: 1802 calories, 158 g carbs, 153 g protein, 61 g fat; If I exercise 3 days per week: 2456 calories, 322 g carbs, 153 g protein, 61 g fat. I ran the #’s on my sedentary intake (for when my back is such that I can’t exercise) – my ratios are 35%/34%/31% for carb, protein, and fat calories. An apple fritter doesn’t fit the bill.

Does that mean I can never have one? No. I’d end it all if that were the case. Just kidding, but I’d be a very sad, very cranky me – as evidenced during all my previous dieting attempts where I eliminated food groups.

What I would consider doing now is making an apple fritter part of a more balanced breakfast. Probably cut it in half or fourths. Have a poached egg with spinach, roasted red peppers, caramelized onions, a few crumbles of of chorizo, a sprinkling of an extra sharp cheddar or gouda. No – it’s not the experience of gorging on apple fritters, but it’s also not the drawbacks of that, either, plus with a balanced meal I can have more nutrition, more flavor experiences so my palate is satisfied, etc. Or, I would just gorge on my apple fritter(s) until the next time. If I’m getting consistent access, I’m usually happy with every 6 months or so.

Something we should all consider is the Goldilocks thing – not too much, not too little. We shouldn’t be afraid of incorporating fat into our diet, but we should also moderate that properly. & we do need the vitamins and minerals that are provided by a more varied macronutrient intake. I’m not saying that once a year or whatever is unacceptable – totally go for it. Have all the apple fritters, have the pumpkin pie when it’s time, enjoy some Halloween or Valentine’s candy, eat that cake and ice cream on your birthday. But, special occasions aside, we need to live balanced.

I recently looked at my fat intake. Like – for reals and honestly. How much was I actually getting. How much was I actually supposed to be getting. In all the years I put food into a tracking website or app, I never was honest about how much fat I added to things. I found a record from a month ago and I can guarantee it’s not 100% accurate, but even that stated I was exceeding my dietary fat guidelines by over 100 grams. At 9 calories per gram, that’s a whopping 900+ calories I overate in just fat. My other #’s were pretty good, so I figured if I could just eliminate that excess dietary fat, I’d be doing my health and waistline a huge favor.

I also did some research because one of the first things that started happening was my blood sugars started dropping too low again. I had to adjust my insulin dosage. Two reasons – 1. High fat meals alter blood sugar peak times and when you’re taking insulin that has it’s own peak time scientifically formulated to cover the peak time of a balanced meal, you are skirting the danger zone of erratic blood sugar control. Source. & 2. High fat meals increase insulin resistance of muscles and the liver & cause the liver to excrete more sugar than normal. Source. Source.

All those months with no clue why my blood sugar control went out the window, why I regained 80 pounds, etc. All those years of avoiding sugar and carbs and replacing it with fat and not doing myself as big a favor as I thought I was.

I’m also on the prowl for evidence of what high dietary fat intake might do in terms of kidney health, since I’ve seen a huge change in that arena as well. — If you’ve got science on this, comment and let me know!

So – the science of what nutrients – micro and macro – our body needs is pretty solid. We’ve misinterpreted a lot of it, the media doesn’t help, people like Food Babe don’t help. Fearmongering doesn’t solve anything. It doesn’t make you smarter or healthier, just scared and inert.

I suggest seeing a medical doctor for a physical on a regular basis. Ask to see a dietitian to discuss your particular needs. Look at what you are truly eating – are you eating out a lot? Are you adding a lot of fat or high-fat items to your cooking? Do you know how much you add, for reals? Are you getting a good 80% of your intake in a mindful way, i.e. – are you mentally calculating the balance of carbs, protein, and fat – while recognizing that fat is over twice the caloric impact of protein or carbs – as well as considering the vitamin- and mineral-density of your intake.

A lot of things count towards fat. Nuts, the obvious fats like olive oil & butter, fried foods, avocado, olives, meats, dairy (especially the full-fat kind, but I still recommend using full-fat in most instances because they just taste better – find the strongest flavor options available & add other things like spices/herbs/cooking techniques like grilling/caramelizing to punch up the flavor so it’s more satisfying to your palate & more bang for your buck). If you’re coming at this from needing to add, then go up incrementally. If you drink skim milk, try 1%. Give it a month and try 2%. Find your tolerance and balance with calorie intake. If you’re coming at this from needing to reduce, then go down incrementally. Find your bottom line. If you can’t afford the fat grams/calories of heavy cream in your coffee, try half & half. After a month or so, try whole milk, unless, like me, you know that whole milk in coffee is worse than black coffee. ;) Small changes you are still happy with will seem less triggering for disordered eating. You won’t feel quite the guilt over 1% as opposed to jumping to heavy cream. You also won’t feel as restricted to half & half as jumping to skim milk. Small changes over time to your 80% will find you more balanced and your body better able to do it’s jobs.

Restaurant and pre-packaged foods will generally have less-than-balanced proportions, so work on your own to balance them. If you’ve got a nice, juicy, bacon-cheeseburger & fries on your plate, have a salad, too – but you can skip the dressing this once because you are getting plenty of fat with the burger & the fries. Maybe moderate your burger choice (skip the mayo, cheese, or bacon) if you really adore a particular dressing flavor, but keep in mind that a tablespoon of fat is about 100 calories and about 15 grams of fat – a little goes a long way.

What else can you do?

Well – save fat where you can. Poach your eggs so you can add that avocado you want. Have lots of raw or steamed veggies with your meals. Yes – the nutrients in them are fat-soluble, so as long as somewhere else in your meal is an adequate quantity of fat your body will be able to absorb those nutrients during the digestion process. You don’t NEED extra on everything. Most foods contain at least some of more than one macronutrient. Eggs have all three, for example.

I ran the #’s on a breakfast – one english muffin with two large poached eggs, 4 ounces of lox, and 3 slices of avocado. Gives 455 calories, 20.2 grams of fat, 28.9 grams carbs, and 39 grams protein. Not bad. No ‘added’ fat like butter or cream cheese, but enough to get the job done physiologically, thanks to contributions from each food included. You certainly could reduce that to a slice or two of avocado & have that schmear or a pat of butter on the english muffin halves. Different kind of fat profile, but do what makes you happiest. Find your balance.

Realizing that most of what you’re eating – even if it’s ‘whole foods’, still contains fat even without you adding any is important. Even a dry english muffin contains a gram of fat as well as 5.1 grams of protein. Get into a food-tracking website or app and start crunching #’s. Do you need to bump protein a lot, lower or raise fat intake, increase your veggie or fruit or grains, etc. When you really see the #’s, you might be surprised. I know I was.

Is it any wonder that something like a fast food meal, or a restaurant meal, or a plate-sized apple fritter is overdoing it in the dietary fat department (possibly carbs/protein, too – just depends on your ecosystems needs) and lending itself to the raging obesity & diabetes epidemics in our society? Infrequent indulgences are not a problem – one meal does not cause that much damage, so enjoy your holidays and special occasions — but chronic imbalance will change how efficiently your body runs. Enjoy the times when excess is appropriate, but make sure your 80% is balanced and healthy. No more detoxes and restricting and guilt, either – ok. Those are just as harmful to the system as chronic excess intakes. Balance. It really is key. Goldilocks was a smart girl for a klepto.

Junk food

Fat ass

People of Walmart

Fair Trade

Toxic chemical additive



Eating “Clean”

Food Rules

Should Shouldn’t

F*ck ALL the labels!!

No, seriously – what have labels ever gotten us besides divisiveness, angst, and guilt. Saint/sinner, white/black, gay/straight, fat/hottie, slut/prude, junk food/healthy food, nerd/jock, .. need I go on?

We label ourselves and others into excruciating corners. We put restrictions and demands on ourselves and others that are impossible to live with and still be happy.

Food is food. All bodies are good bodies. All races are human. All things are chemicals. All people are beautiful – inside; the outside is window dressing (and a shit-ton of us are more CGI than reality these days). Stop the f*cking judging!

You know what I used to do when I was low-carb Paleo? I’d judge the f*ck out of other people. He/She should be Paleo, it would fix (insert judgy flaw here). OMG, I can’t believe they are putting that in their shopping cart, don’t they know it’s (insert judgy food rule/assumption/non-science-based BS here).

You know what I do now that I eat all the non-labeled foods? I eat. all. the. non-labeled. foods. Eyes on your own plate/life/body. I went through my life and threw out all the food rules, should’s & shouldn’t’s, labels, judginess – OK – I will admit, this took a LONG year to get to this point & I still catch myself from time to time with a label or two, but I’m much better at putting the brakes on that sh!t now. I kept my eyes on my OWN body/plate/life and let all the restrictions go. I learned (still learning, thank you Halloween! Can’t wait for Turkey Day!! & OMG, did you know candy canes are out already!! SQUEE!!!) what I LOVE to eat & what really doesn’t lift my skirt. I learned that I do not have any compelling physiological reason to avoid someone else’s labeled food – unless I do.

You know what I avoid? Cantaloupe. Because once I had an allergy test & the doc put exclamation points around the ‘don’t eat this’ & that’s one I’m not even slightly interested in testing boundaries on. Cuz, ew. Cantaloupe. The only way I’d eat that sh!t as a kid was under a massive pile of vanilla ice cream. Cuz, ice cream. MMMMMMMMMMM

I ate all the things I’d restricted for so long. All the carbs. All the sugars. All the grains. Fruit, OMFG I missed fruit. I ate and I ate and I learned. I learned how to eat. All the f*ck over again, thank you labels and food rules and societal pressure to conform to an assinine body standard. Just F*CK you ‘society’.

Just F*CK you. Your labels have NOTHING to do with a healthy body. Nothing. What you label is everything that is NOT a healthy body. & I’m so done with you. To the point I actually found myself angered that some county passed a soda tax last night. F*CK you, too. Penalties on woo. How about a fine on everyone who’s ever used a racial slur?! How about we stop celebritizing people who hate and kill and violate other people and how about we stop vilifying the victims?! How about we science before we do stupid sh!t like boycott food companies or go out and kill innocent creatures just doing innocent things that have no real impact on YOUR life. How about we science before we completely eliminate a food group. How about we science before we make life-alterting decisions cuz there are no take-backs.

How about we pull back to our own self & get our own sh!t straight and while we’re at it – NEVER start feeling we can tell every other human how they should live their lives.

Oh, wait – that’s what I just did. ;)

I never thought I would come back here.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been tempted to nuke LessofMimi from orbit because I’m not even the same person, on the same journey, but, that would be disingenuous to the person that I have become on this journey. What I’ve gone through. How I’ve changed. Someone else is on that journey right now & you know, that whole starfish thing.

So. I hope you are all well. Happy? Full? Sore from a workout?

Wow. My last blog post was over a year ago. A lot has happened. We moved to a big rental house from our tiny Fing apartment. That change alone was epic for our whole family. I healed from my herniated lumbar disc. So much that I helped us move, and two other families. Although moving was one of the best things we’ve done, it hasn’t been without it’s challenges. We had my Aunt and her Malamute move in with us for several months – necessitating a more flexible living arrangement and re-arrangmenet after she moved out. It felt weird, because we’d only been here two weeks before she moved in, so it didn’t even really feel like home for us, yet. It’s been 8 months now, and I think we’re finally feeling comfortable here.

Physical challenges weren’t limited to my back. I had major issues with my knees – found out I have arthritis in both, and no cartilage behind the kneecap in my left knee. More PT and non-impact exercise. Then I found out I’ve had Diastasis Rectus since my first pregnancy. I stopped going to the gym after that. I need PT to help with that, but we’ve had some family members worse off for several months, so I had to put my tummy on the back burner. The gym break was good for my knees, though. I also started adding gelatin to our baked goods & I think that helped, too.

I’ve had ups and downs with my blood sugars. Some scary lows – 50’s, and some scary highs – near 300 again. I’ve changed primary docs twice since we moved. The first because she left me in an exam room for an hour and the second because she didn’t take me seriously with potentially deadly symptoms – I had a muscle spasm in my right calf (same leg that went numb to thigh w/ herniated lumbar disc) that lasted 3 hours, then just stayed seized for 18+ hours, bruising & other symptoms of a blood clot. Tests were iffy and she chose not to play it safe & the stress of her ignoring me was enough to make more issues with my blood pressure and sugars. I got a new doc when I realized I needed a new prescription for insulin & he really rocked my world. Apparently, I’d been testing and injecting my insulin at all the wrong times. I went from blood sugar roller coaster, almost constantly raining sweat, not feeling safe to drive anywhere for weeks, to more myself and feeling the urge to exercise again within days of correcting that error. I was also able to correct my dosages of insulin & I have a sick plan now. I don’t understand how I could have spent so many years as a diabetic with none of this figured out. *sigh* Oh, well – it’s better now.

In response to some of the multitude of roadblocks, getting the DR fixed and getting to the gym, and all of us needing to move more, & wanting to cut through some of the excuses, I ordered an indoor rower. It’s supposed to be delivered today.  From my CrossFit days there are two things I still miss – burpees and the Erg. I still don’t trust my body with burpees, but I think the rower will work. I even bought new workout gear to celebrate. ;)

As to my food. My relationship with it continues to improve. I was still gaining weight back when I posted last. I ended up settling at 300 pounds (total 80 pounds regain from my 106 pounds lost acheivement), and have maintained that since we moved in March. The most I do now is count carbs so I know how much insulin to inject. I recently consulted with a diabetic nutrition professional and it’s she who helped me nail down the plans for if I get sick, how to adjust insulin and food for when I exercise, etc. We are still learning what foods we really like, what’s just not lifting my skirt, and how it all fits into our lives. It’s like being a kid again. Halloween was particularly fun because it was the first time in 16 years (probably my whole life, really) that I was able to explore candy, find my favorites, and eat those without internal dialog or guilt. It was great. It’s great seeing how the kids are progressing, too. Intuitive, moderate eating works. We screw with that message and it sets us up for an adversarial relationship with food, with ourselves, with the world. My Mom and I have had many discussions about how my verging on orthorexic talk about food was hurting our relationship, and how happy she is to see me have a healthier relationship with food, eating, my body, emotions, etc.

Recovery is a powerful thing. I can’t promise anything with regards to this blog, other than 100% me when I do post. There is a ton of science, amazing people I’ve met on this journey, and recovery tools that I feel compelled to share. My voice is a drop in the bucket, but I hope the ripples spread. We need to take back our power with food, with our self-image. The world is a scary place for people who aren’t on solid footing within themselves. The messages are pervasive and poisonous. But, we can stem the tide. We can take back our power. We can break down those barriers. We can kick ass and take name. We can make peace with all the food. We can learn the science and reject the woo. We can live in balance.


I left this blog laying fallow somewhere around the end of May. I was trying to bring blood sugar spiking under control, address adrenal fatigue, and other health issues. I could have posted during that time, but there are days I feel I would have had to post several times to deal with how many direction changes occurred. It was hard keeping up and I lived it.

I’ll try to sum it up: It sucked.

Ok – seriously, though. In the last several months I have tried nearly every kind of diet adjustment it’s possible to make, and none of them seemed to work – for my blood sugars nor my weight. Then, I discovered I had been testing with a bad batch of test strips, and my blood sugars were actually almost normal! Months of frustration for nothing. I even did a sugar challenge at one point and I’m happy to say that I still produce Insulin and my body still responds to it. My liver definitely was problematic, though – spitting out sugar at perceived lows, so I’ve gone away from low-carb which has helped. I’ve addressed much of the digestion issues, but I’m on a supplement hiatus to get some distance from substances that could be giving false results to tests we’re trying to iron out.

It’s hard when you feel you have to ‘name’ what you do, when it seems like what you do changes meal by meal. In fact, I no longer identify with Paleo. It was easiest to describe my lifestyle as such for a time, but over the last couple of years it’s been harder to feel that really ‘fit’ me. I believe more in Weston A Price, though I won’t be ‘labeling’ myself that either. I’m not Paleo, I’m not doing low-carb, I’m not dieting.

I did say “Fuck It!” after I found out I was severely restricting myself to achieve better blood sugars when I didn’t need to. I spent some time eating things I’d not allowed myself. I’m feeling a bit more settled now, but I’ve been following Go Kaleo and learning how to Eat the Food and just eat intuitively – find what I like to eat, what treats me well, etc. I’m beyond caring about the scale. All I want is to heal my lumbar disc and MOVE. I want to fuel a life of my making and be happy.

This feels like an extension of my journey. I’ve spent YEARS trying to have a healthy relationship with food. It’s clear to me now that allowing any outside influence to determine what I deem healthy or otherwise isn’t very healthy in and of itself. I’m taking that power back for myself.

There have been a lot of changes in my life, and there are many more slated for the next year. I have no interest in keeping this blog up and running. I’m taking a different road. My kids and I are undertaking a fun new homeschooling-life-chapter and will be blogging about that elsewhere. I will leave you who read this with a deep, abiding, and sincere wish that you find peace. Love yourself in all ways. Fuel, movement, stress relief, etc. Whatever that means to you. My prayers go with you on that journey. Only YOU can decide where that takes you.

Much love.


Wow. What can I say – I was worried that hitting all the different aspect of my current health issues all at one time would be troublesome for addressing the adrenal fatigue. In addition, I was having food baby and GI distress every evening (figured it was GAPS die-off). Mentioned the issues to my Mom, and she let me try some of her digestive enzymes. Had an amazing dinner last night (first time my back has allowed me to travel to her home in 6 months!), and no food baby or GI distress afterwards. Score. So, adding digestive enzymes to my efforts.

Ok – so why is my mind blown? Well, OMG on the health issues, right? Every time I’ve ever attacked my blood sugars in the past, I’ve never concurrently addressed all these other health concerns – and I’ve *never* seen my fasting #’s recover like they are. After-meals, yes, for sure. But, the fasting has always been stubborn. Fasting was 133 for the doctor-run blood tests drawn on Wednesday of last week. I’ve seen 120-137 shortly after awakening the days after that. Yesterday was 111. This morning was 103. That’s what – 2-3 days of low-carb bringing my fasting down 30 points!?

Wow. Amazing! I really hope nothing else crops up, but I feel like I’ve addressed all the problems I’m aware of.

I heard from my doctor the day my results came in, as expected. She’s moved up the next round of tests for 3 months out, not 6. So – I’m hunkering down for doing all of this for those 3 months and see what happens. My feeling is that if I can do all of this, address the health issues, and not lose my hair like the last time I did very low-carb (I’m now taking biotin in addition to concentrating on nutrient density of my food choices) then I can see doing this longer-term. Maybe hit under 200 pounds for the first time since high school!? *SQUEE*

My last post left us all in a world where I was going to have back surgery to repair a herniated disc. Well… that got rescheduled with a new surgeon for various reasons, which necessitated a new consult.. and the new guy and I decided it was no longer in my best interests to go under the knife. Self-recovery time from a herniated disc is like 6-12 months, and I’m now in the 6th month. When we consulted with the first guy, and told them to put us on the schedule, it was a knife’s edge whether to go for it or not – I still had some loss of muscle tone in my right leg, numbness, pain – I’d laugh or turn funny and I’d suffer, I couldn’t go on any drive more than a half hour without paying for it for a week, and I really couldn’t exercise. Today is my would-have-been surgery date. Since I’m posting from my couch, and not my hospital bed, we can all assume, the above knife’s edge stuff has resolved. Don’t get me wrong – if I find myself re-injuring that herniated disc, I’ll be first in line w/ the surgeons. 4-6 week recovery time vs. 6+ months? Yeah – no contest. My goal is to make it the 12 months from when I really felt like I could skip surgery without re-injuring. Hopefully that will give the disc time to heal.

I am also glad I’m not having surgery for some other reasons. Starting with my discovery of magnesium deficiency that had been contributing to my back pain cycles, I’ve come to discover a veritable slew of other problems I can directly link to the 13 months of abject stress and pain starting when I went to Colorado to help my Dad with his last few weeks on Earth. Overlapping stressors – Dad dying, marital issues, my son broke his thigh, then my back became a huge roadblock. I had some blood tests for the hospital scheduled to perform the surgery – typing, etc, and the bruises from that were pretty big, and did not fade as expected. So, vitamin C is now part of my supplementation. I had to more than double the RDA to start seeing progress with those bruises. (Happily, though, blood tests I had done just a couple of days ago, the site never developed a bruise!)

Somewhere along the line, I start noticing a lot more symptoms. I’m gaining weight like it’s going out of style – but I haven’t changed my food. I’m crabby. Weepy. Stressed out reactions beyond what’s fitting for the situation. I delved deeper. Consult with nutritionalists, psychologists, get blood tests done – some routine, some for nutritional stuff. Ready?

I have adrenal fatigue. Magnesium and Vitamin C deficiency – that I know of. I have low-progesterone. & the icing on the cake? The Diabetes is back – thank goodness not bad enough to warrant insulin or anything. There are some other not-so-good things, my cholesterol is headed the wrong way. But, others are improving – my BP is now in the normal range w/ normal intake of meds, vs the pain/stress-driven 160/110+ stuff. My kidneys seem to be holding their own.

My A1C is still ok – 5.5. Up from the last test of 5.4, so not horrible. However, my fasting BG went from 105 to 133. Significant. Worrisome.

As I said, I really haven’t changed my eating. I’ve been going between the Paleo Keto stuff, w/ GAPS recipes, and mixing in some maintenance level w/ birthday celebrations. Nothing there to scream that my fasting should get so high so quickly, and with the A1C not having gone up proportionally, it says my after-meal numbers are still pretty much where they were.

So, I go down that research path – Dawn Phenomenon or Somogyi? DP is related to cortisol, hey, I’ve got Adrenal Fatigue, so maybe that’s it. It’s still pretty early days, but I’ve been testing my BG at home more, and it looks like all of them are going up, it was just too soon to see that on the A1C (3 month average). This would explain, in part, the weight regain.

Basically, I’m starting all over again. I’m not as sick as I was when my health was at it’s worst – I still feel good, but I know what will happen if I don’t nip this shit in the bud. I may not feel as sick in some ways – not all my health problems have returned, nor has all the weight I’d lost, but I’m aware of new and different issues now. But, who’s to say I didn’t have these issues at the time, too? Knowledge is a powerful thing.

I’m on a ton of supplements again. Today I get to start research/menu-planning on what I’m going to eat. Gonna stay Paleo, of course. But, need to lower the carbs. Anything my body will have trouble processing right now, needs to stop for a time. I was hoping to avoid that eventuality, with the adrenal fatigue, I didn’t want to stress myself further with a strict plan, and felt GAPS offered more healing options. I’ll just have to skip the carrots and taters in my stews for a while. lol. More greens and mushrooms.

I’m trying hard not to be angry at the people and events that contributed to my stress load from last year. That’s just wasted energy, really. Energy better put to use getting all this ‘fixed’ again. I did it once, I can do it again!

One has only to google Keto diet (or ketosis, ketogenic diet, etc) with or without the Paleo addition to learn more than enough of the purported benefits of the diets/lifestyles. Please, don’t make be drop a LMGTFY.

I have exactly four weeks until I have back surgery to repair a herniated disc in my low back. What I am hoping to accomplish with a Keto Paleo plan for the next month is reduced inflammation and slightly improved body composition.. I’d like to improve my chances of doing well during and after the surgery.

… I actually sat on this post overnight. I wanted to see how I did my first day, and even after a few years of having my *ass* out there for the world to see, it’s still nerve-wracking to be open like this.

So – I did pretty darn well on day one. Definitely needed to end my day w/ more fat, as I woke up with insane hunger pangs way too freaking early for my liking. I already feel better. It’s the mental block of the expanding universe. I may not be ‘shrinking’ yet, but I feel the vacuum of additional gains. (Can you tell I watched a show on Black Holes yesterday?)

We’re actually right at the one-year mark for the major life event that knocked me off my axis – taking care of my Dad in his final days fighting lung cancer. I look back now at everything that transpired then & the fallout from that, and I’m less ashamed that I’ve had a ‘set-back’ of sorts. What’s the saying – “fall down 7 times, get up 8″? Well, yeah – definitely. Took me a while, and I’m sure I’ll still have my moments, but I’m not giving up. Not permanently. I have about 100 pounds left to lose now, if you go by that measurement. I’m not sure where I care to settle, but I really crave being physically able and eating delicious fuel.

Keto/Paleo to get me to back surgery. Hopefully to recover more than I’ve been able to these last few years & get my *ass* moving again and well on my way to ‘ideal for me’ body composition & health markers.

So, that’s the plan, man.

Fight the good food fight. :D

I guess, considering my state of ill-health and morbid obesity for nearly half my life, it could be considered no small miracle that I’ve only ever had surgery once (I am not counting when I had my wisdom teeth out, K). The kind where you get the warnings about anesthesia and you get to breathe the funny gas & count back from 100 but usually only make it to 92, then wake up confused as hell w/ cotton mouth & they start taking your vitals like every 4 hours so you can’t sleep.. ok, I digress. You get the point. I’ve had some outpatient procedures, but only one real surgery – to have my gallbladder out in 2004.

After much internal debate and dialog and conversing with everyone & their brother & flipping coins & stuff, I decided to let them schedule me when I finally got the call. I’ll be having spine surgery in late May. This is a big one, because we’re talking people literally getting on my nerves & if something goes very wrong, I could be getting some new wheels (flames, baby!) & needing to build upper body strength ASAP.

I will admit that one of the main reasons I never went for gastric bypass surgery when I was 330 pounds, was I didn’t want to be remembered for having died during that procedure. As much as I would hate to leave my kids, husband, family, friends, still – this legacy is soothing, rather than terrifying or embarrassing. I know I’m healthier now, too, than I was at 330. Odds are that I will come through with flying colors, feel better afterwards, and recover on a better path than all the not-doing-surgery back pain episodes have taken. As much as I love Paleo and CrossFit (with their emphasis on core stability which is crucial for my back) I just don’t know that I can go that route & recover to the extent I need to in order to have the quality of life I desire now. The list of what I can’t accomplish is still too long.

I think my biggest fear is voluntarily going back to painful & limited movement. Had I been able to do the surgery at the height of my latest painful episode, there would have been no question about feeling better afterwards. However, I’ve been feeling pretty good, considering how bad things got. Then, there’s that. Do I really want to put this surgery off & wait until I’m crippled by pain, muscle spasms, leg numbness & weakness again? Not so much. So, there it is. The workings of why I’m opting for surgery after all.

I’ve also been hamster-wheeling my food choices lately. There is a whiff of dissatisfaction with Paleo & ‘restrictive’ eating to be found on the Interwebs these days, & like a sore tooth, I’ve been poking it. Am I unhappy with my Paleo? No. I’m at peace with my food choices & what they’ve brought my health to. Am I unhappy with my circumstances preventing me from being CrossFit-level active – YES. My body composition has changed for the worse. My home has fallen to a level of dirty and disorganized that makes me sad and anxious.

As much as I would like to have all the good things back, my spine stands in my way. No puns intended.

I do not know what the future holds for my spine, for me, for all the relationships around me, for my home, for me staying Paleo through all this, getting back to cooking & keeping us Paleo, for activity or exercise or CrossFit-level stuff, or for the distant future w/ the natural spine fusion that’s in progress & could take decades more. I just don’t have the power to see how it will all turn out. I can only hope that this one choice will set us off on a good tangent. I’m hoping/praying that there is enough good to come out of this surgery to warrant the cost financially & in time lost recovering.

I’ve had a motto since my youth: Hope for the best, prepare for the worst, and enjoy the ride. Still applicable.

I promise to blog as soon as I’m able after the surgery so you know how I’m doing.


Day by day, as I sit waiting for a call to schedule my back surgery, I get better, stronger, in less pain, etc. The other day I felt stable enough to attempt some ‘moves’ and I was successful in a full squat – plus standing up unassisted, w/ both legs powering, and no scaling. Huge. Also did about 30 second plank hold. Now – when I did my first EVER plank, I couldn’t hold it for 30 seconds, so this, also – HUGE. So far, there have been no repercussions from those two moves. I did have to take a few stairs the last couple of days & was super mindful – noticed that I definitely have reduced strength/stability on my right side, but how much of that is because of the pinched nerves/permanent damage, and how much is just because I had almost no muscle firing in that leg for over a month? We’ll see. I have decided to – in a controlled environment – use a step stool for my right leg only to ‘even up the sides’ and see if the strength is regain-able. I will also increase my squats and planks on a daily basis. No burpees, just yet. lol

What to do about surgery?? Well, if I continue to subsist at this level, or even improve, I see no need to go under the knife. The surgeon said your body reabsorbs disc material, so if you can ‘fix’ the mis-alignment of the spine causing the herniation, then, with time – you should repair. Of course, optimal nutrition plays a role in repairing and lowering the inflammation to keep things bendy and pain-free. Use bone broths and trusted-source gelatins, offal – especially liver, sweet potatoes, greens, cod liver oil, magnesium (flakes/oil, epsom salt baths, supplements), etc. Rest. Stretching/foam rolling. Massage. etc. I’m really hoping to get to a point where I can do some yoga. Maybe Tai Chi. *ZEN*

I’m also interested in learning more about the physiology behind my recurring back problems. I learned this last time so much with regards to how to incorporate core stability in my daily life – not just CrossFit/exercise. I also learned that my left side was not engaging. My left glute was not attending the party & I’m often to be seen now w/ my hands on my tush as I walk to make sure I’m using both sides. lol. 

I feel like maybe, just maybe, I can close the door on this last, extremely painful episode & move on without surgery and with even more ammo in my fight for optimal life. As I look back on the last 13+ years of ‘weight loss journey’ I see all the different pieces that have come to me in order to make my success to date happen. All told, it’s too much to absorb in a short time frame, so I’m grateful that I had time to learn it all. 

Creating an optimal body composition, health profile, scale weight (if there is such a thing), and mind/body partnership is the journey – and it’s epically vast what all of that truly encompasses. We each battle our inner demons and external pressures. Some fight with hormonal imbalances or lifelong nutritional deficiencies or food allergies/intolerances. Food and food-like substances have become a huge battleground in our day. We fight for the bee, the cow, the carnivorous chicken, and the fish. We fight for us and our children and our grandchildren. 

We the people want to be optimal, even if we don’t know it – because our judgement is clouded by Cheetos dust. 

Fight the good fight. 

So, I had my surgery consult Tuesday. Spent the rest of that day sort of processing the emotions and thoughts it all stirred up. Wednesday, we’ll call “Fun with Migraines”.

I’m not an organized thinker, so bear w/ me.

1. My surgeon knows his shit. I learned so much – about my own situation as well as just general spine stuff. I wonder if you get college credits for that?

2. I am going to have a microdiscectomy sometime in the coming months – it’s all on the scheduler dude & finding me an opening.

3. The fact that I was bedridden a couple of days, and in such considerable pain for months (if not most of the last 3+ years) is much more understandable to me now.

4. I am in for an interesting time for the foreseeable future.

5. I have considerable power to determine how that future proceeds & how much suffering I experience.

So – my back is fucked up. That’s the technical term. Seriously. Basically, I have three discs in my lower back – L3-L4 through L5-S1 that are deteriorating. They are already desiccated. One of them is escaping it’s pen – a LOT. The other two are bulging. I have arthritis in those joints as well. The herniated disc, according to the surgeon is nearly 2 centimeters down the front of the vertebrae. A full on 80% of the material has escaped into my spinal canal and that’s what’s been pushing on the nerves in there, making my right leg numb and weak.

They can fix me – to some extent. We’re going to do a microdiscectomy, and remove all that wayward disc material. And, yes, my chiro is adamant that this is a good idea after reviewing my MRI and xrays.

According to my surgeon, the discs will continue to desiccate and deteriorate until those involved vertebrae perform their own natural fusion. Again – something my doctors and I agree on is that process is better off happening naturally, versus surgically.

So – I get over this hurdle with the herniated disc. Heal up. Keep Paleo for the rest of my life to keep inflammation in line and continue to lose weight to be kind to my spine. Exercise, especially core stability and leg strength, and I should be able to weather the rest of my back’s fusion process with limited intervention aside from maybe pain management, chiro, etc.

I’m ‘on the list’ for this surgery, but also on the standby list. The scheduling dude says it could be May before I get an opening, but it could be next week. Won’t know until I get the call. So, in order to be as ready as possible, I’m taking the pre-surgery recommendations and abstaining from alcohol, advil, aspirin, excedrine, etc. I could have tylenol, but my allergic reaction to the carnauba wax is pretty strong & it would have to be pretty bad for me to consider going there. Yesterday, the day of the migraine, I tried just Tramadol alone, but it really doesn’t seem to do much for the inflammation. Thankfully, I am seeing someone in the spine department to discuss pain management today. I was offered a steroid injection, but that doesn’t appear to be a good idea for my blood sugar or blood pressure control.

I’ve already spent hours researching what I can do to give myself the best chances & ways I can make it easier for my family to ‘cook’ and keep us all eating Paleo while I am unable to get up & cook for everyone. I’m giving myself an early birthday present and getting a pressure cooker this next week, so I can make tons of bone broth for during recovery. I’ve also asked my Mom to pick me up a ton of bacon and brats because my husband rocks at making brats, and bacon is the magic meat. I’ve also got an order pending for a few pounds of grass-fed beef liver. Between that and the gelatin in the bone broth and the magic meat, I’m predicting a speedy recovery. :)


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