Keto for Life

Almost two months ago I started the keto diet. When I first thought about going “keto” I thought it would be very restrictive. That is actually not the case though. Instead, several of the foods that I was unable to eat due to a perceived dairy intolerance or the food being high in fat I can now eat.

I have to admit, though, the first two weeks were awful. I literally felt horrible. It turned out that that I had what they call keto flu. Keto flu comes from starting a diet that consists of very few carbohydrates. I also had a feeling of missing out on desserts and other foods that my family was eating.

Once I got the hang of the keto diet, I started slimming down. I am still not friends with the scale as it does not always show weight loss even when I feel lighter/trimmer. I do have to say, though, that I feel healthier, don’t feel bloated and most days have more energy.

Sometimes my challenge is finding a variety of foods to eat or not being able to eat all of what I cook for my family, e.g., not eating rice. I have learned to like pork rinds and, of course, bacon cheesy eggs. Most days I don’t miss eating loads of carbs. I just have to remember how I feel when I eat them to keep me from sabotaging myself.

The best part of keto is heavy whipping cream in my coffee. Yum!!! Adding fat into my diet is pretty easy to do, though I don’t go as extreme as I could because I simply will not eat fatty meats.

For me, the key to the keto diet is to listen to what your body needs when it comes to protein and fat and stay hydrated.

 

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Springtime in the South

It is springtime in south Texas and plants have been blooming for a couple of months now. I have had the gardening bug since January and was excited when I could finally start tending to my plants and working to get them to grow better.

I recently wanted to find a way to recycle my coffee grounds instead of throwing them away so I read up on what to do with them. I found that many acid-loving plants grow well with coffee grounds sprinkled on their soil. I started with my azalea bush. It loved the acid infusion. I then added a little coffee grounds to my roses and they began to perk up (no pun intended). The most miraculous change was when I put coffee grounds on my poinsettia plants. They went from looking puny to looking very healthy. I decided to sprinkle a little coffee grounds on all of my plants. They seem to truly enjoy it.

We have done a lot of cleaning up in our yard with picking up branches, cutting back bushes, raking leaves, etc. To some, it sounds like a lot of work, but yard work is one of my favorite types of exercise. There is a lot of satisfaction to be had from planting and tending to a well-kept yard.

I recently discovered that we have two jasmine plants growing on trellises on the side of our house. The smell is heavenly and I truly love training the vines to grow through the trellis. I did have to clear out some poison oak but managed not to get any on me thanks to using gloves and being very careful.

The funniest experience this spring was when I was pulling on a vine attached to this tree trying to get it to come down. I pulled and pulled and pulled and it wouldn’t let go. I did this several times. The last time I pulled, though, the vine released and I fell flat on my butt. I popped up quickly and started dancing so no one would notice what happened. Unfortunately, the vine I was pulling on was poison oak. Even though I had gloves on, I got the dust and oils from the poison oak on my skin. I ended up having to get a steroid shot to relieve the itch.

The moral of the story is that yard work can be fun, but you have to be careful with what you handle. You also have to be careful how hard you pull on a vine and make sure you don’t lose your balance.

Walking on Sunshine

My oldest daughter and I were taking a walk through our neighborhood a couple of weeks ago on the first sunny day after a long bout of gray and rainy days. We started off to take our normal route, but like my youngest daughter, I was attracted by a dog and decided to change our direction. That change in direction, I believe, changed our entire walk.

What started with one person walking their dog, turned into two people walking their dogs. Then we met a couple of friendly loose dogs that followed us a couple of houses down. Next, we saw a family outside enjoying the sunshine and their three dogs, plus a stray came to greet us.

Our walk became more interesting when the stray dog decided to join us in our walk. As we wound through our neighborhood, my daughter started adding up the dogs we were seeing. It became a game to listen for and look for more dogs as we walked. In a few cases, dogs would escape their yards to come to check out the stray dog that was with us. Just when we thought the dog had decided to stop off somewhere, she would come running back to us determined to follow us on our journey.

During our journey, we discovered our neighborhood has lots of chickens, has some goats, donkeys, ducks and LOTS of dogs. At the end of an hour walk, and we didn’t even cover the entire neighborhood, we counted 45 dogs. Of course, we could only count those dogs that were outside. We had no idea how many more dogs in the neighborhood that lived inside.

Home Sweet Home

It’s been three weeks since we moved into our new home. We moved in the day after Christmas and I must say, what a Christmas present! We moved in the rain … again. The last time we moved was during Tropical Storm Bill and everything had to be shrink-wrapped. Not fun for unpacking. This time it more or less just misted or sprinkled so it wasn’t as bad.

It didn’t take us too long to get settled because my husband and I are both the type to get boxes unpacked as quickly as possible. It was nice reuniting with our stuff that had been boxed up for a few months. We have done some purging and could probably stand to purge a little more.

The next thing to do is to start hanging pictures on the walls. This will be done very methodically so as to make minimal holes in the wall. At this point, the only thing on the walls are my husband’s animal heads. They had to go up first because our home has lower ceilings than our last home and is arranged differently so he had to find out where they would fit.

I love the layout of our home because it’s a sectioned-off open concept. Sounds weird, but each room has doorways (without doors). This makes decorating easier because each room can have it’s own design without intruding on the design of the next room.

Needless to say, we love our new home and our new neighborhood. We even discovered an abandoned plantation-style home just a few doors down. I look forward to seeing what, if anything, happens with it.

The Reason for the Season

It’s Christmas time again and we will be celebrating another Christmas in our RV. Last year, it was due to Hurricane Harvey and the fact that our house had flooded and was being remodeled. This year it is because we sold our house and had three weeks between the sale of our house and purchase of a new house. Though we had hoped and prayed that we would be in our new house for Christmas, circumstances are not making that possible.

Last year, we had decorated the RV for Christmas because we knew we were spending Christmas in the RV and wanted our “home” to look festive for the holidays. We even bought a tabletop Norfolk pine with decorations to complete the look. We still have the Norfolk pine; it fared well this year and I managed to keep it alive. Now to get some mini decorations to fancy it up and we will have ourselves a Christmas tree.

Because of the temporary nature of our stay in the RV this time, it hasn’t quite seemed like Christmas because we don’t have any decorations up or even a tree. However, this calls us to remember what Christmas is all about. It’s about a baby born in a manger who came to save us from our sins. I am looking forward to the Christmas Eve service at our church and the Bible readings that detail Jesus’ birth. I am also looking forward to our Christmas morning tradition where my husband reads the account of Jesus’ birth from the book of Luke in the Bible.

This year my focus is being drawn to the true reason for the season. The Christmas lights and decorations are nice and do make the holidays more festive, but without the baby in a manger it would just be another holiday.

Following My Dream to Write

Recently, God has put it on my heart to write. It first started when I began this blog. Though blogging is fulfilling part of my dream, it has always been my dream to write and get paid for it. When I graduated high school, I thought about becoming a journalist. I don’t remember why I didn’t pursue becoming a journalist at the time, but God has laid that dream back in my lap and is calling me to pursue it at this time. I have taken a leap of faith and am working towards getting paid for my writing. It will be a side job to my full-time job, but it will still bring in some income and help fulfill my dream of writing. Maybe one day I might even write a book!

Living in the In-Between

For the past month (or so) we had packed (and packed and packed and packed) until the time finally came for us to move out of our home into our 35 foot travel trailer. Yep! We living large in our RV. Again.  This time it is temporary though. We know the end date for getting out of tight quarters so it makes each day less stressful. That’s not to say the first few days were crazy stressful. We had meltdowns of epic proportions (I’m not proud to say I was included as a participant.) We had drama over what was where. We had lots of frustrations over too much stuff in too little space.

Yet, here we are, three days after closing on the sale of our home, and we are settling into more of a routine and it’s just been a week in the RV. We’ve been living in it for one week and have cleared a lot of the excess stuff into the hidden storage in the RV. We’ve also fallen back into the routine that living eight months in the RV will give you. The only difference this time is that we have added a cat, Buddy, to the mix this time. I have to say though, as crazy as it can be trying to keep him out of the dinner area while we are eating, he is very entertaining otherwise and very loving when needed. Buddy has become our therapy cat and he does an excellent job of destressing us as needed.

We have two more weeks in the RV and then we move into our next house, just in time for Christmas. I had to prayers surrounding this move – one was that we would not have to live in the RV and one was that we would be in the house for Christmas. God has his reasons for having us in the RV again. I’m just glad that we will be in our house for Christmas.

For I know that plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)