Coming Soon: Free Book

Coming Soon: Free Book
Planning to give away a book or two!

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Goodbye 2013 - your time has flown by

Life is like a roll of toilet paper; the closer you get to the end the faster it goes!

I've always liked that saying.  It is the way it feels the older I get the faster time rolls by.  I've made it through another year and feeling like it was a good and successful year. This Fat Fast is working so far I am down three pounds and feeling much better.  (That feeling could be psychosomatic but I'll take it). 

2013 is going out with a big bang as it is the coldest day of the year.  I am so tired of the cold.  The snow is pretty too bad that it comes with snow.  Actually one day last week was in the high twenties or low thirties and I was outside without a coat shoveling.  It is the below zero with wind that gets difficult for me to handle. 

Enough of the whining! Be safe tonight if you go out to celebrate the New Year. 

Have a Happy and Prosperous New Year! God Bless You!

Monday, December 30, 2013

So how did the first day go?

I can honestly say that I have only eaten 800 calories when I started writing this and I am not hungry.  The bad part is that I woke up today with a headache.  By lunchtime, it had reached head splitting and shortly after that it reached migraine.  Now would it have reached the migraine level if I weren't making such a large dietary change?  I will never know that.

I do know from past history that when I am eating low carb and not drinking diet coke that I have fewer headaches.  I haven't had a diet coke in over a week.  As the headache grew more through the day it could have been a side effect of the dietary change and my body started going through carb withdrawals if there is such a thing.

Photo by Trisha Field
Fat Fast Scramble
Breakfast started good.  I used my  stone wave cooker to prepare breakfast. One egg, two teaspoons butter, one tablespoon finely chopped ham and 1/8 cup cheddar cheese (NOT low-fat cheddar).

Photo by Trisha Field
Cheese burger with avocado
 Lunch was made in the stone wave cooker too.  Two ounces of hamburger 80% lean, 1/8 cup shredded cheddar cheese and a few slices of avocado.

Photo by Trisha Field
Cocoa-coconut butter & peanut butter
When the headache was getting worse, I wondered if it had to do with lack of food. So I started eating the "fat bomb" as they call it.  But if you have ever had a migraine, you know that you can be nauseated then add two it something so strange as this fat bomb.  I only ate about a third of it before I lay down for a short rest.  When I got up, I ate about a tablespoon of peanut butter because I knew I was going to be short of calories if I didn't.  (The fat bomb was 1 tablespoon each of coconut butter and peanut butter with 1 teaspoon dark cocoa powder, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 5-6 drops of liquid stevia.)
Cell photo by Trisha
Egg and Cheese Lace Soup
  Supper went better.  I made an old favorite.  I only had fat free chicken broth at home so I used that with 2 teaspoons of butter added.  I brought that to a boil, added 1 whipped egg.  When I put it into the bowl, I sprinkled the fattening shredded cheddar cheese.  Again 1/8 cup was all that was needed.

Photo by Trisha Field
Egg and bacon

At 10 PM I am forcing my 5th feeding.  I am not hungry but I know that I need to make the 1000 calories for the day.  One egg and I crumbled the bacon that I crisped the day before and stored with it's grease. Again, I made it in the stone wave cooker.

This morning my sugar started at a weekly high of 178 and just before the final feeding, it had dropped to 136.  Still on the high side of where doctors would like to see it but coming down to within reason.  Just out of curiosity, I stepped on the scale before my last feeding and I was down a pound.

Don't worry, I won't be giving you daily updates.  But I thought you might be interested in seeing some of the recipes.  Any my headache is gone! Hopefully it stays that way.

A dietary test

I have been doing some research trying to find out why my body fights weight loss any time that I try to lose weight.  I keep food journals every time that I am on a diet.  I've tried balanced low calorie (1200-1500 cal) diets with exercise.  I've tried low fat diets and low carb diets.  Everything is about the same.  I can drop about 20 pounds and I level out. 

I remember when I was in my thirties and using Richard Simon's Deal-a-meal program (similar to Weight Watchers point system.) I had hit a plateau for about a month when the people that I car-pooled with suggested stopping on the way home someplace for an ice-cream cone on a Friday afternoon.  I convinced them to stop at my favorite custard shop in Excelsior, Minnesota.  There is nothing better than Adele's Frozen Custard.

Overnight, I dropped five - YES 5 pounds.  And over the next couple weeks I continued to lose weight but smaller amounts.  I remember realizing that I had cut too much fat out of my diet.  But I forgot about that until this past week.

A specialist that I see has mentioned to me that I might be carb sensitive.  One way to check is to go for a short period of time with almost no carbs.  So here I am preparing for a Fat Fast which is five days of eating no carbs, 80% of my calories from fat and 20% of my calories from protein.

Photo by Trisha Field
Making Bacon Bits
 In preparation, I decided to portion my protein.  A portion of bacon will be two slices. The books I've read recommend that you cut it into small strips to cook it up.  Normally I drain off the fat but not this time.  I am putting the fat right in with the bacon.  Both will be added to a raw egg for creating an egg scramble.

Photo by Trisha Field
Bacon set aside with it's grease
It is difficult for me to get my head around the fact that I am supposed to get so much fat into my diet for this week.  I have been trained or should I say brain washed to remove as much fat as possible from my diet. One thing that the books recommend is incorporating coconut into the diet.  It is a high fat product.  I received instructions to take 4 cups (8 ounces) of unsweetened coconut flakes and put it into a food processor. This is the base for making coconut butter.

Photo by Trisha Field
4 Cups coconut flakes
 Turn on the food processor and walk away for 10 minutes. Come back and scrape down the sides then turn it on again for about 7 minutes.

Photo by Trisha Field
Turn on the food processor
 Pour into a container(s) for storage.  No need to refrigerate unless you plan on keeping it for more than three months.  I am not sure what I am going to do with this yet.  But looking at some of the recipes that I have so far.  I think I am going to need to find something to do with it.  Because I am short on the daily fat intake.  (I just carefully opened one of the containers of coconut butter and it has hardened like butter in a fridge - and it was sitting on the counter top. Hmmm.

Photo by Trisha Field
Coconut butter
I am excited to see how this works this week and how I feel.  If it turns out that I am carbohydrate sensitive, that is going to be a challenge as the USA is designed around a Carb heavy lifestyle.

Don't forget if you fail to plan then you plan to fail! Plan for success!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

May I borrow your sarong?

What is a sarong? The ones my sister and I own are silk painted fabrics that are about 44 inches by 66 inches.  They can be tied to create a shirt, jacket, skirt, dress, bathing suit cover up, or just a plain scarf.

Cell photo belongs to Trisha
Sarong as a jacket
(I tied the two corners on both ends to create arms for a jacket.) The sarongs come with a travel bag that the scarfs will fit into for easy travel.

Cell photo by Trisha Field
Sarong in travel bag
I asked my sister if I could borrow hers for my upcoming trip to Jamaica. The silks have a hand stitched hem around all four sides.  She uses her more than I do and some of the hem was coming out. Payment for usage was re-stitching the hem.

Cell photo by Trisha Field
Repairing the hem of the sarong
While I had needle and thread out, Duchess and Misty Blues toy smurf needed to go to the smurf-hospital twice for stitching.  The plastic beans fell out of his britches and his hat ripped. Our Dobie girls play hard!

Cell photo by Trisha Field
An injured Smurf
Cell Photo by Trisha Field
Feeling Smurfy again!

A time of reflection

This is the time of year for people to reflect on the previous year.  This is why I don't set New Years resolutions.  It has been statistically proven that many of the resolutions have failed by the end of January and the rest by the end of March. 

Instead, I work hard to improve my life all year long; whatever that may mean.  At the end of the year I look back at the positive things that I was able to accomplish during the year. 

This year I:
  • lost 10 pounds
  • started setting up my art studio
  • paid off my original house loan (My reconstruction loan should be paid off in about 20 months.)
  • My blood sugars are dropping and without medications.
  • I passed an audit with the church that I volunteer doing their books.
  • My second book was  published "The Man I Was" (it is also available on
I am just starting to reflect.  I don't know about you, but I would much rather look at the many positive things that are done than the few lofty dreams that one has on New Years Day which fall by the way side. 

Live life one day at a time and do the best that you can with that day.  Take time to Praise the Lord every day for each little blessing that comes your way.  And most of all focus on the good and positive things that you have done.  - Think about it "we only see the things that we are looking for!" 

Thursday, December 26, 2013

A special Christmas treat

Photo by Trisha Field
Christmas Treats
 Now isn't this something special?  I almost made haystacks and when I went to the family Christmas my brother brought haystacks.

Photo by Trisha Field
Haystacks are incredibly simple but puttsy.  Ingredients are a bag of large marshmallows, a bag of caramels, a small box of Rice Crispies. Melt the caramels according to the instructions on the bag. Put some Rice Crispies in a large bowl. Remove the caramels from the heat, roll marshmallows through the melted caramel and through the Rice Crispies.  Next time you want a Rice Crispy bar, try making these.

Photo by Trisha Field
Time to tease Natalie
 Rolling through photos of years past for Natalie, most of the ones I had taken of her and her husband were sitting in front of plates of food.  So I couldn't resist taking a picture of her cuddling a plate of cookies.  Truth be told, she was placing them on the dessert/munchies table.

Photo by Trisha Field
Good conversation around the table
 The best part of Christmas is catching up with relatives that we rarely see.  We chat around the dinner table.  None of us eat as much as we used to eat.

Photo by Trisha Field
Between multiple rooms...
 Then we move to the wide open kitchen, dining room, living room, and family room.  No gifts are exchanged we have gathered here on Christmas day only to spend a wonderful day with family.  After all, that is the most special Christmas treat!

Photo by Trisha Field
...the conversation continues.
Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Luke 2:1-21

New International Version (NIV)

The Birth of Jesus

Luke 2 1In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while[a] Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register.
So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.
And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
    and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
21 On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise the child, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he was conceived.

So much to do so little time

About 5 months ago, I literally dumped my spare furniture and arts and crafts supplies upstairs.  For Christmas, I had off from Friday afternoon through Wednesday.  Yes, there was plenty of traveling and spending time with family during that time.  But I managed to carve out a little organization time upstairs in the art studio.

Photo by Trisha Field
Relaxation area
 There is a small relaxation area where I have my knitting and cross-stich. Finding the time to relax there might be a challenge.

Photo by Trisha Field
Craft book storage
 Along one side, I have two book shelves that contain craft magazines.  There still needs to be some organization that needs to be done but it is making progress.

Photo by Trisha Field
Music and sewing area
 The messy desk will eventually be transformed into a sewing table and music area. 

Photo by Trisha Field
Creative Memories Storage
 I started some organization in the other room.  At least at this point card tables can be set up in both of the main rooms.  There is hope that some of the boxes of memorabilia will eventually get sorted through.

Photo by Trisha Field
Still more work needs to be done
And yes, there are a lot more boxes still waiting to be sorted.  That will happen in time.  But I don't want it to become something that adds stress to my life.  Every time that I make it upstairs, I will make progress or make use of the new area.  After all spending time with my creative side is just as important as having a place to be creative.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Nutritional Ketosis

When I was at the specialist that I go to for my heavy metal levels, I shared with him that I had good success lowering my blood sugars and losing a few pounds.  Once again, I repeated (like I do with almost every doctor recently) that for year I was diagnosed as hypoglycemic.  My blood sugars would drop so low, especially over night, that my liver would create sugar to sustain my body.  This has happened frequently enough that my A1c became elevated.

My specialist told me about some books.  The first one is the Carbsmart Press "Fat Fast Cookbook" with 50 easy recipes to jump start weight loss by Dana Carpender, Amy Dugan, and Rebecca Latham. The book starts out explaining the Fat Fast, why it is done, some cautions and things that people commonly do wrong with a low carb diet.  It is an excellent book and I would recommend reading it if you are considering a low carb diet.

They teach that by eating processed food or whole grains and beans we have trained our body to run on glucose rather than fat.  We need to change our eating habits so that our body starts creating the enzymes needed to burn fat for fuel instead of glucose.  I was doing well on a low carb diet when my primary doctor insisted that I go onto metformin.  That bad guidance aside, I am going to go back into a low carb diet then work into the schedule a monthly or possibly quarterly fat fast.

Photo by Trisha Field
Ingredients needed for Fat Fast
I am planning on eating normally until after Christmas day.  Then I will transition into my low carb menus again.  Next Monday, I will plan on doing 5 days of Fat Fast before going back to the low carb menus.  Depending on how it goes, I will plan out how often I do the Fat Fast.  A few of the fat fast menus called for using a food processor.  My first food processor was given to me around fifteen years ago by my brother and sister-in-law.  It was well used for all those years and gave out several months ago.  I purchased myself a new food processor as a Christmas present to me.
Photo by Trisha Field
Merry Christmas to me!
There are several side benefits to getting to the point of Nutritional Ketosis including, a healthier brain and reduced threat of cancer.  This is going to be an experiment for me.  As the writer of the book says, "everyone is different and will react differently so you need to perform your own experiments."

Sunday, December 22, 2013

A delicious supper

Dale got a wonderful deal on pork chops.  They were the thinner style. Dale said that was why no one bought them. But they were an odd cut and a little bit fatty. 

Cell Photo by Trisha
6 Pork chops browned
I had told Dale about a diet my doctor recommended refered to as a fat-fast because you eat 200 calories 5 times a day containing 80% fat, 20% protein, and very minnimal carbs. I wondered if he were getting ready? (More about that as I learn more.)

Cell Photo by Trisha
Add cream of mushroom soup

I added Blend*n's seasoning salt then fried the pork chops adding a little extra virgin olive oil, then I put half a can cream of mushroom soup in the bottom of the pan and thinned it with milk. I stacked the pork chops interlocked in a circle. Then I thinned and poured the rest of the soup over the top.

Cell Photo by Trisha
Fully cooked
I covered the cast iron skill with a lid and cooked it for another hour at 400 degrees. Then I made sweet potatoes and potatoes as a side.  It was delicious!

Cell Photo by Trisha
Baked pork chop with a side of sweet potatoes

Christmas in pieces

Photo by Trisha Field
Christmas Bells
As we get older, it gets more and more difficult to get the entire family together for a Christmas celebration.  My siblings all have children and grandchildren of their own.  This year we decided to take the 214 mile trip up to my father's place.  We were surprised how few homes we saw with outdoor decorations. 

Photo by Trisha Field
Christmas lights sparkling
Dale and I arrived late in the morning and exchanged presents right away because we knew that we would not be able to stay for long after my sister arrived.  They were planning on staying overnight and we were driving back that evening (a good four hour drive.)
Photo by Trisha Field
Home-made caramel topping, jam & wheat bread
When the rest of the family arrived, there were more gifts exchanged.
Photo by Trisha Field
Dad and Pat open gifts
Isaac is looking for someone to take him out fishing with his new rod and reel along with fishing tackle. 

Photo by Trisha Field
Fishing anyone?
 We nibbled on food all day long; cheese, meat, crackers, warm hamburger/cheese dip, cookies, caramels, chocolate covered cherries and other Christmas candies. We ended up leaving not long after they arrived. Even at that, it was almost 10:00 PM when we arrived home to two excited puppies that stayed back with Dale's brother.

Photo by Trisha Field
Christmas Cactus
I needed to share a special photo.  Pat's Christmas Cactus was in full bloom and absolutely gorgeous!  I didn't get this post done yesterday because of the full and long day with travel and spending time with family.  Maybe I will have a chance to share a second post with you today.

Friday, December 20, 2013

I found Santa Claus...

...driving up to my Dad's place we went by Grand Casino, Mille Lacs.  Santa was hanging his nose over the edge of the casino's hotel.  He must have been looking for a chimney and couldn't find it.

Photo by Trisha Field
Help mama, Santa is hiding.
We decided to help Santa find his way down.  So we went inside.  We went to the elevator to ride up to the top floor so we could get out onto the roof.  And you would not believe what we saw!

Photo by Trisha Field
Santa (just look at the name tag)
Santa had made it off from the roof top, down the elevator and changed out of his Santa suit and into a guard uniform.  He was guarding the elevator to the hotel. 

That is my Grand Casino story!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

The Christmas Celebrations begin!

For some people Christmas parties begin almost immediately after Thanksgiving.  My first celebration was Wednesday morning 7 days before Christmas.  I received a bonus from my work! That is always a blessing. I was able to make the final payment on my original house loan! PIF!  :^)

Wednesday evening, Dale, his brother, the dogs and I headed down to my home town, Hutchinson.  We went out for supper when once again we got there a little bit early/just in time!  About twice a year we go to a Chinese buffet on the South side of town.  I've never seen anyone there that I know.  Tonight, I ran into a member from one of my old bowling teams.  Joyce and I had a short time to catch up. 

On the way home, we stopped by my Aunt and Uncles.  I know that Aunt Katie is not well enough to bake Christmas cookies. So I took a plate full of cookies with to leave with them. Aunt Katie always loves to see the dogs.  She gets a kick out of the doggies giving her kisses.

Photo by Trisha Field
by invitation: Duchess kisses Katie
 Duchess started barking as soon as she saw Bill and Katie's house.  She's been here before and she knows how much love she gets from Katie. She came straight in and found Katie who invited her up for kisses.

Photo by Trisha Field
Katie kisses Duchess
 Misty Blue wasn't so sure about meeting Katie.  A few times throughout the evening she snuck up behind Katie and gave her little puppy kisses by the ear.  It takes Misty meeting someone a few times before she totally warms up to them.

Photo by Trisha Field
Misty Blue meets Katie
 Part way through the evening, Misty found Grandpa Dale to make sure that she had not been left behind. She gave him puppy kisses and a hug then ran off to play some more. (Not before trying to eat a couple of decorations off from the tree.)

Photo by Trisha Field
Dale and Misty by the Christmas Tree
No visit with relatives is complete without a picture.  Out of nowhere Aunt Katie said, "Smile you're on Candid Camera!" Nothing candid about this camera.
Photo by Trisha Field
Smile you're on Candid Camera

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

No Christmas is complete without Peanut Butter Blossoms!

I made a full recipe for this because who doesn't like peanut butter blossoms?  I modified the recipe as normal.  I cut back on the sugar and added honey.  I also used some milk chocolate kisses and some dark chocolate kisses.

This is my grandmother Stella Field's recipe (for the most part)
Sift: 1 3/4 cup flour, 1 teaspoon soda & 1/2 teaspoon salt.  Okay, I have never done that sifting thing and these ingredients are always added at the end.

Photo by Trisha Field
Sugars & Crisco to cream with peanut butter
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup Crisco
1/2 cup honey

Photo by Trisha Field
Add the other liquids, baking soda & salt
Add: 1 egg
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

Photo by Trisha Field
mix the flour in well
 Don't forget the 1 3/4 cups of flour.  I thought it was too sticky so I added another 1/4 cup flour.

Photo by Trisha Field
Scoop 1 teaspoon balls of dough
 This is a definite splurge of sugar.  You need to roll the balls in a small bowl of sugar.

Photo by Trisha Field
peanut butter balls rolled in sugar
Bake them at 375 degrees for 10 minutes.  Remove and quickly top with chocolate kisses.  (I used both milk chocolate and dark chocolate.) As kids, mom used to buy brach's stars to top the cookies.
Photo by Trisha Field
Peanut-butter blossoms almost done.
 Press firmly until the cookie cracks. Return to the oven for 2-5 minutes until the chocolate melts.

Photo by Trisha Field
Yeah, try not to grab one while it cools!