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Run Down Batteries Without Breakfast

Monday, March 18, 2013

Still not used to the daylights saving time switch, I got up late this morning. I hurriedly threw on a pot of coffee brewing, but still went out the door with frazzled fuzzy hair, no makeup and no breakfast. I sipped my coffee through the drizzling rain on the drive to campus, but I was dragging. Being a regular coffee drinker, I doubt caffeine has a stimulating effect on me anymore anyway.

During my first class at 8am, I copied notes like a zombie as I was not trying to process the information. I was transcribing, but not learning. We had a few in class exercises, and I stared at the problems like they were written in an alien language. I just wanted to crawl back in a warm bed for another hour. I contemplated skipping my next class.

I didn't really feel hungry. Not the way I used to know hunger. There wasn't a growling tummy, or overpowering fixation to eat something. I just felt like a pink Energizer bunny, beating the drum more slowly as my batteries died down. Ultimately, I think this is why calorie in-calorie out didn't work for me; if I ate fewer calories, my metabolism just shut down to operate on fewer calories. I seem to be a high efficiency, economy model rather than a calorie guzzler.

I dragged myself into the campus convenience store to find something to eat. I frowned at the options available: several varieties of potato or corn chips, candy bars, muffins, donuts, and breakfast bars. There was a ham and cheese croissant, but it was an oversized croissant. Even healthy snacks such as nuts were coated in sugar when reading the ingredient list. The only options left were beef jerky and a tuna salad kit with crackers. I didn't particularly enjoy the thought of chewing on leathery, dry jerky, so I opted for the tuna salad kit.

Popping open the can and using the provided spoon to scoop the tuna onto crackers didn't exactly make my mouth water. I was reminded of the movie "District 9" where the Department of Alien Affairs officer becomes a 'prawn', and is appalled to be eating cat food. The aliens loved cat food, but the human turned alien was less than thrilled. I wanted my own healthy, delicious breakfast, which I could have had if I woke up on time.

Even though my late 'breakfast' was less than brunch review worthy, it had the desired effect. I immediately felt revitalized, something my coffee failed to do. I made it to class more awake and alert. Perhaps my professor was dragging from daylights savings and lack of breakfast, too, because he ended class 10 minutes early.

This afternoon I'll be busy preparing my breakfasts in advance for this week: pastry-less quiches and hard boiled eggs. I need to roll out of bed earlier so this doesn't happen again, but if I had any eggs peeled and ready to eat this morning, I could have just popped one in my mouth.

Are you a regular breakfast eater? Do you find your energy drags without breakfast, too?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BTVMADS 3/20/2013 8:16PM

    At this point, I can't skip ANY meal or snack without feeling drowsy, light-headed, and sluggish. I haven't gone a day without breakfast in YEARS, not since before college, so I honestly can't even imagine how I would manage to get through a morning without a high-quality meal. I would sooner be late for work than miss out on breakfast.

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VHALKYRIE 3/19/2013 3:51PM

    Ronna: Cravings for sweet would be dangerous in your line of work!

Comment edited on: 3/19/2013 3:52:38 PM

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THINRONNA 3/19/2013 3:43PM

    I have to eat breakfast or I won't make it. It is a boring breakfast of muesli with dried fruit and skim milk but it does the trick. Sometimes I have yogurt too once I get to work.

I find that if I don't eat breakfast it is harder for me to fend of the cravings for sweets once I get my hands in it.

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KAYOTIC 3/19/2013 10:04AM

    Love my breakfast! Usually some home made granola (1/4 cup) with a cup of plain kefir and berries.

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GETSTRONGRRR 3/18/2013 9:10PM

    It's only since I went low carb last summer that I have begun emphasizing breakfast. I'll usually have 2 eggs in the morning before heading out the door. On some mornings, when SWMBO has bought a big 3 lb bag of shrimp, I'll have 5 or 6 of them for breakfast....decadent yes, but they're ridiculously cheap here in Ft Walton Beach!

At work I keep a few cans of tuna and some nuts (almonds & pecans) to eat in case I get so rushed in the AM that I can't eat at home.

Good luck!

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VHALKYRIE 3/18/2013 8:45PM

    The protein and breakfast bars I've tried aren't very filling for me, unfortunately. For those of you who use them, are there any particular ones you like?

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DEB9021 3/18/2013 7:57PM

    If I skip breakfast, I don't just drag. My head buzzes and I might even get a headache or queasy. I do a short exercise session before eating on weekdays, and often lounge for a little on the weekends before I eat, but can't get anything thoughtful or productive done before breakfast. But I don't need a lot, and I keep easy stuff on hand because I have to get moving early. Usually I like oatmeal with fruit or English muffin with peanut butter, but I have yogurt or protein bars on hand for if I'm running late.

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CATLADY52 3/18/2013 5:22PM

    I've become a breakfast eater. While I was still working my breakfast consisted of two peach/raspberry bars every morning (like fig newtons but twice the size) and two cups of coffee. They got me started every day and I didn't feel starved at noon. Now it's greek yogurt with protein powder and fruit, 1 slice of whole wheat toast. Pretty boring but I function well on it.

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FITGIRL15 3/18/2013 4:22PM

    I never skip breakfast anymore!!

It's like setting up the whole day on the wrong foot! I actually get up 2 hours before I have to be at work!!!

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KICK-SS 3/18/2013 2:37PM

    I have to have breakfast too, I usually drink a protein shake with strawberries in it (using whey protein, almond milk and about 3/4 to 1 cup strawberries) That keeps me going until lunch time - with my walk in between. My lunch is probably my largest meal of the day, I eat a very light dinner at night.

I have to mention though, that when I get up - I do have to have two or three cups of coffee BEFORE breakfast or anything else!! emoticon

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ARCHIMEDESII 3/18/2013 1:09PM

    I don't know how some folks can skip breakfast. I have to eat breakfast or I would end up deteriorating through the morning. If I'm in a rush, I'll still grab something quick, then I'll eat more substantially once things have settled down.

Because my day starts really early, some mornings (like the Hobbits) I need a "second breakfast". ;)

emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 3/18/2013 1:09:36 PM

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I'm Motivated!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

A weird thing happened when I wrote yesterday's blog and said I wasn't motivated: I became motivated!

Yesterday my husband and I took a day trip up to Charleston. The weather was a gorgeous 76F with a cool sea breeze on the waterfront. We had gourmet burgers and a cocktail on a rooftop cafe with a beautiful view of the harbor.

Today I filled my raised bed garden with soil, and planted my salsa garden. I covered it with netting to protect it from birds and squirrels. I've discovered a new garden pest - neighbor cats! This morning I found the half eaten remnants of the catnip I planted for my cats. Some cat had a WILD party last night on our patio! I can't imagine how wired it must have been when it got home. I wonder if its owner got any sleep when the cat stumbled in stoned like a rock star!


Plants are waking up here in the south. My lettuce are already thriving, and I should be able to start enjoying them soon. I've started seeds for carrots and mini cucumbers. Little green sprouts from my asiatic lilies are popping up from their bulbs.

Maybe it was the smell of the sea or the warmth from the rays of sunshine, but somehow I felt invigorated. A little seed of motivation awakened somewhere in my soul. I wanted to run and jump and swim!

Summer is just around the corner. Wouldn't hurt to tone up a little bit, right?

Now that I don't have free access to a gym anymore, I have to tailor my 'workouts' to be almost pure body weight. I'll be digging up my Jillian Michael's vids, and I'll also do what I call a 'middle school PE' workout. Back when I was a kid, we were required to take physical education classes every school year. My school didn't have free weights or mechanical equipment. We did jumping jacks, jump rope, running in place, pushups, planking, bicycle kicks, and situps. I'll add a modern twist with a stability ball.

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

I really need my bike tuned up, but my schedule for this week is packed. If I can drop it off during the week, though, maybe I can get it back for the weekend!


This week I'll cycle on the low end of my carbs. I'll drop everything except protein and veg to get things rolling. Already got a good start on it today. Cheese and onion omelet this morning for breakfast, and an asian turkey salad for lunch. I'm making corned beef and cabbage tonight, and I have plans to make reubens in cabbage rolls tomorrow. Kinda like an Irish Spring Roll! Interesting fusion...I wonder if I could try wasabi in the place of horseradish - hmmm!

Ok, I'm ready!

How are you getting ready for summer?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MRS.CARLY 3/18/2013 8:57PM

    I'm ready for summer! I'm excited about pool time, kayaking, long jogs at our local hike and bike trail, and just more vitamin D!!

We Got this girl!

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FITGIRL15 3/18/2013 11:40AM

    Your garden sounds jus lovely! I remember how much I enjoyed tending to my flower beads when I had a home with a yard!

Life has a funny way of turning around sometimes!

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BILL60 3/18/2013 9:59AM

    You turned yourself around nicely. Way to go!!

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BERGBA7 3/18/2013 3:04AM

    As you read in my blog. I don't have access to a gym and am not missing it. I think one can do a lot of strength training at home with just some dumbbells, a ball, and your own weight. Great you are motivated and I wish you lots of fun jumping around at home.
emoticon emoticon

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THINRONNA 3/18/2013 2:20AM

    It is funny about those cats! I had the same thing happen once when I had a container garden while living in Chicago...I also managed to grow one big beautiful sunflower in a pot only to have a squirrel jump up onto the railing and pop the head right off my flower! Those animals!!!!

I am inspired by your motivation! I never had a gym and (not last year) but in years past have managed to get in really good shape using just my body. You go!

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WOUBBIE 3/17/2013 5:29PM

    Isn't it funny how that switch gets thrown? One day you're just not feeling it and the next something triggers your motivation all over again.

It's too early for any planting in Pittsburgh yet (though I'm sure lots of people have their little sprouts shoosting up out of the potting soil under the grow lights in their basements. By the way, "shoosting" is straight out of Green Acres. Loved Eva Gabor!)

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BEECHNUT13 3/17/2013 5:27PM

    I celebrated with a flight of stouts and a corned beef on rye... I am just not made for all that bread anymore. I feel like crap. After eating (bastardized) paleo, having a 'free' meal is a good reminder of why I eat (bastardized) paleo! Blargh!

To get ready for summer... well, I'm going to work on becoming strong, and eating well. I don't feel like I'm making any gains yet, but it's only been a couple weeks, so we'll see. I made good gains by dumping bread and sugar before.

I don't know how you give up fruit though - that would be so tough for me! I do have a sweet tooth.

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GOODGETNBETR 3/17/2013 4:00PM

    Way to motivate. Good luck with the tune up and gardening.

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Now And Beyond

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Over the holidays, I ate an increase of breads, cookies, cakes, and pies. Part of it was due to enjoying the holiday season, but it was also part of an experiment. I wanted to see how these things effected my weight.

It seemed like I was enjoying in 'moderation,' maybe one a day, but my weight made a slow creep upwards. I gained about 5lbs from November to January.

After the New Year, I eliminated all baked goods, and the weight came off. With the exception of the two month 'break,' I've been under 130lbs for approximately 1.5 years.

The temptation is to see whether I could lose even more weight. Could I go below 120? Maybe, but I probably won't. I'm not motivated enough to try. I'm happy enough with how I look and feel. My weight doesn't hinder or limit my activities anymore. My last physical came out perfect - normal blood pressure, cholesterol, fasting blood sugar, and triglycerides. These were all borderline when I was 140lbs.

I'll be 40 in a couple of years, and I know that my needs will change when I eventually get to peri-menopause and menopause. I'll have to learn a whole new set of rules.

It took me 10 years to figure out how to get where I am now. I'm hoping someone will figure out the next stage before I get there so I can ride their coattails.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CATLADY52 3/16/2013 6:17PM

    I'm still learning what works with my body & metabolism. It seems that balanced eating is just about right, but I'm not sure. I have to sit down and look at it carefully.

I'm glad you found out what works for your body at this time. emoticon emoticon

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HELEN_BRU 3/16/2013 1:29PM

    We never quit learning! I'm 78 and just learned a few tricks myself. That "just this one small bite" never worked for me.

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THINRONNA 3/16/2013 11:23AM

    Oh I think you are the one my friend who figures things out so we can ride on your coattails! Thank you for such great, insightful blogs. emoticon

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WOUBBIE 3/16/2013 10:47AM

    LOL! Probably won't be me! I'm still trying to figure out how to get myself to get a good night's sleep more than once a week!

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BLUEANGELLK 3/16/2013 10:21AM

    It sound like you have a great plan for maintenance! I can't wait to get there!

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KELPIE57 3/16/2013 10:09AM

    You have found your own way....well done !

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AKATHLEEN54 3/16/2013 9:41AM

    It sounds as though you are in a good place right now. If you are happy with your health numbers and feel overall good about yourself, that is probably a great place to stay as long as you are able to maintain. Coming from someone who has done this many times before it absolutely does get harder as you get older. If you can ingrain the habits in your brain that you have learned now it will be that much easier down the road.!!! emoticon

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GLUECIPHER 3/16/2013 9:37AM

    I was all good until I was 45. Then I hit the wall and everything had to change. I've been fighting that battle for a couple years now. I have learned something - its easier to do the younger you are.

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Why Low Carb Works Better for Some

Friday, March 15, 2013

Some people can eat breads, pastas, rice and potatoes without any negative effect. I envy the people who lost weight just counting calories (no matter the source) and exercising. For me, it wasn't enough.

While I was in Spain and France, I noted slim and healthy locals eating breads and pastries. In Korea, cups of rice were consumed with every meal. A person with no issue eating these foods might conclude these populations don't have weight issues with carbs, therefore there is no issue with carbs.

This is erroneous. These populations never gained excessive weight they had to lose in the first place.

From my personal anecdotal experience, eating a low to moderate amount of carbs in maintenance is not an issue. However, if I want to spur weight loss, then I need to cut it back.

I gained about 5lbs over the holidays eating breads, stuffing, and baked goods. To lose it, I stopped eating them. I ate only protein and veg.

Like many people, as a kid I could mostly eat whatever I wanted without too much thought about it. There was certainly a genetic factor, but what tipped me over the threshold was a period of metabolic abuse. I consumed excessive amounts of sugary sodas, margaritas, potato chips, french fries, hamburger buns, pastas, and desserts. Excessive amounts of sugar is toxic to cells. Insulin receptors become less sensitive, shut down or die. All cells become less sensitive as they age, but sugar overload accelerates it. Once you lose insulin sensitivity, it is gone forever. The damage is permanent.

The insulin receptors that go dormant can be revitalized with exercise and diet, but the damaged ones will never come back. If this gets bad enough, it eventually becomes pre-diabetes or diabetes.

The more insulin sensitivity you lose, the harder it is to lose weight and keep it off. This is a factor in why some people seem to have more or less problems with carbs than others. Some people will be able to resume eating a small amount of carbs after they reach their weight goals. Others have to eat lower amounts forever. It depends on the amount of cumulative damage.

I did enough damage that I cannot lose weight without cutting carbs, but I maintain ok. Personally, I cannot stay very low carb for a long period of time. There are drawbacks to a high carb diet that no one tells you about, and I'm not going to be one of those people who says there are none on low carb, either. Constipation and a potassium drop are two issues I get with long term low carb. I've found that carb cycling where I eat more amounts of sweet potatoes, rice, potatoes or fruit, then drop them off at intervals works best for me.

I will never again be able to eat as much pizza, burgers, soda or margaritas as I did in my 20s, but would I really want to? How much better off would I have been if I just ate unprocessed meats and veggies to begin with? Maybe I should have spent less time making fun of health nuts and joined them. I became one eventually anyway, and found I liked it.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BTVMADS 3/15/2013 8:41PM

    And of course, traditional diets in France and Korea do not include High Fructose Corn Syrup, 24-oz sodas, or huge handfuls of deep fried potato chips. It's not just a serving of carbohydrates that is at issue, it's the combination of high calorie, low nutrient carbs with lots of fats and salts that really destroys our metabolisms. You just don't see that kind of dietary combination outside of the modern, industrialized Western diet.

Simple truth: veggies are awesome. Animals are delicious. They both have been around for millenia and are long-standing members of normal food chains. Therefore, we should eat them. Grains and sugars.... not so much.

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THINRONNA 3/15/2013 4:29PM

    This is a wonderful blog! It is interesting for me because of the kids. I want them to enjoy food but eat it in a balanced way. It is a bit easier at this age because as a parent I have a lot of control but how to teach them to keep taking care of themselves once there are making their own choices...that is the thing! I never shy away from telling them what is healthy and why...or what ingredients are in what I am making. Patrick is determined to teach them to cook for themselves so they can cook once they leave our home. Liam even wonders now how he can tell if food is done....the interest seems like a good sign. I hope we succeed. It goes the same for smoking and drinking as well...and of course drug use. All these things we have potential to abuse in that young adult stage that can really mess things up for us later!

I really like this blog. emoticon

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ARCHIMEDESII 3/15/2013 3:49PM

    I've found that as I've gotten older, I do have to watch certain foods. I don't have problems with carbs like bread, pasta or rice. Yeah, I'm one of those folks. ;)

However, I've noticed my tummy does have a low tolerance of fried foods these days. I love fried dough (funnel cake), but it doesn't love me. Same with corn dogs. I love corn dogs. Whenever I go to a state fair, I want and have a corn dog. What happens that evening ? I get an upset tummy.

So, maybe I should be grateful my tummy is making me think twice about some of those less than healthy food choices I might occasionally make.

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KIKKI-G 3/15/2013 1:16PM

    I'm the exact same way and experience the same issues with a low carb diet. When I go low carb it also sets me up for a big fall of the wagon binge later.It also scares me to think that because of dumb food decisions when I was younger that I may have to "watch" my intake for the rest of my life.

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BEECHNUT13 3/15/2013 1:03PM

    As you've probably read on my blogs, I have a lot of trouble when it comes to grains. They're addictive - I can easily eat 2-3 bowls of cereal, even if it's not the sugar variety. It's the same thing with candy. I have a hard time putting it down. I get my carbs from fruits and veggies, and instead of white potatoes I eat sweet potatoes. This makes me feel much more satiated, and I think it has helped me control my eating without stressing about tracking. I do have pizza occasionally though, or there would be no reason for me to live anymore! ahahahha...

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HELEN_BRU 3/15/2013 12:04PM

    There is something out there that can help, and I will blog about it. Take heart, my friends!

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KICK-SS 3/15/2013 11:53AM

    Thanks for your insights... It all makes perfect sense to me. It's too bad that as we get older, we pay the price for our reckless habits when we were younger.

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GLUECIPHER 3/15/2013 11:34AM

    Ha ha! awesome blog. I am in the same position as you. spend less time mocking the health nuts, and join them.

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Box of Chocolate Week

Friday, March 15, 2013

This was a Box of Chocolate week - never knew what I was going to get. I think I got the vomit or earwax flavored one.

- Planned to work on my backyard garden project, and then got rear ended on Monday. Even though it was a 'fender bender', the total cost to repair was $585. Apparently my car has expensive paint. The other driver's insurance company paid for it in full, though.

- 'Zero Waste' March crashed and burned. I didn't process the leftover veggies from last week fast enough. I pickled some of the leftover snap peas, but the ones that didn't fit in my jar had to be thrown out. A handful of grapes didn't make it. Something went wrong with my batch of homemade yogurt, and I had to throw out the whole quart. No meat was thrown out. The drawer on my new fridge is doing an excellent job of keeping the temperature just above freezing. I have learned that most of my food waste comes from previous weeks, so maybe I'll spend more time on weekends clearing out old food before buying new food.

- Made a mistake attaching the landscape draining fabric to my raised bed garden. I accidentally attached it to the top instead of the bottom. DOH! One minute mistake, then an hour of pulling out staples and redoing it. Now there are holes in the top of the frame, but I'm not going to try to patch them. This is a temporary structure that is just meant to get me started this year, so I'm letting it go.

Today I think I'll stay indoors. emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

THINRONNA 3/15/2013 4:19PM

    Oh boy do I know about those kinds of weeks! I thought of you when sadly I had to throw out some ground meat this week...Patrick and I go so busy and I just could hardly see what I had in there and I lost it. :(

I hope things improve for you over the weekend and into next week---they gotta right? emoticon

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BEECHNUT13 3/15/2013 10:03AM

    "earwax flavored"


Yum city!

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