Sunday, January 15, 2017

Further Data, Thoughts and Update On Weight Loss

Since my last post on weight loss and how fat is burned, I have learned some additional things and found some additional resources, so I thought I'd share some of that here. (Plus I'm going to ramble on and on, you know me.)

I've started drinking a glass of filtered water with a tablespoon of good apple cider vinegar every morning.  Here's a YouTube done by Dr. Josh Axe about how good it is for you.  It's not expensive so what have you got to lose?  But get the good stuff that comes in a glass bottle.  Walmart has it.
Here's another:
and be sure to watch this one, which is about drug interactions with vinegar:

I made this small change in my diet about a month ago.  I also started being better about taking vitamins.  Dr. Jeff has been nagging me about taking Ocuvite with Lutein for my eyes.  So, OK, I got some of those.  And a bottle of Centrum Silver.  And since Dr. Oz said that the thing that puts out inflammation in the body is fish oil, I started at the same time taking two enteric capsules of that a day.  Those are almost gone and CVS had a "buy one, get one free" sale on their brand of MegaReds that have Astaxanthin in it.  Don't ask me how to pronounce it.  This is krill oil, Dr. Mercola says it's more effective than fish oil.  Apparently the Astaxanthin component gives it a longer shelf life.  Prior to making these changes, I had noticed that I was finding an awful lot of hair in my hairbrush every day.  I used to have very thick hair, which was a good thing because my hair is also very fine.  Anyway, that's what every beautician I've ever gone to has told me.  One time, LOL, I got an appointment with a new girl and I was wearing a long, rather straight cut at the time.  I went in there after having washed my hair and the girl just started running her fingers through my almost-dry hair and saying things like, "Oh, this feeeeels sooooo good!"  I was in fact starting to feel a little creepy and get a little scared.  But then she invited the others to come and feel my hair and they did and then somehow it just got funny and we all laughed till I had to get up and go pee.  But anyway, when I start losing hair, it's a scary thing because if it thins out, I start to be able to see my scalp!!  During the last couple of weeks, I've noticed I'm not losing hair anymore.  Well, maybe it's the vitamins.  Maybe it's the vinegar.  Or maybe it was just my time to shed, and it's over now.  I don't know.  But I feel like those were healthy choices for me to make.  It won't be hard to make them a part of my life.  And it keeps Dr. Jeff from being hacked off at me so what the hell. 

It is my strong belief that if you want to change your life, you start with little changes.  As each change becomes second-nature to you, you add another. 

Of course many of you know that during January, Dr. Mehmet Oz has been interviewing different people on their methods of fat loss and better health and he has had some interesting people on.  On the last post I mentioned Tim Tebow, whom he had on one day during the first week of January.  When I watch Dr. Oz's show, I have to remind myself that what he is doing is offering us resources for further research.  Sometimes, after I've looked into some of the ideas he presents, I decide they are just not for me and the way I live my life.  Other times, it leads me to other ideas as I research it.  On any given day, he might be featuring someone who completely contradicts what was said by someone he interviewed the day before, so it's hard to know exactly where it is Dr. Oz stands.  I've thought about this a lot, and what stands out is that we're all different, so something that works for some of us might not work for others.  I fully believe that God put everything that we need to be healthy, on this earth.  The problem is that over the generations, many of us have migrated away from it.  There's also the possibility that people of one ethnic group might require certain things for good health that others don't, and we have intermixed so much that we don't even really know WHO we are or WHERE we're from. 

Whether it is one's heritage or a physical issue such as losing weight, or anything, really, where there are several options available, I think it's important to consider thoughtfully whatever is presented, with an open mind.  I'm always griping about how I think no one cares about people who are prone to overweight and yeah, I still think there are people and corporations who take advantage of us and our plight and do us more damage than good.  But if you look around, there are many things about obesity that are being learned, and I, for one, have just been floored at some of the things they are finding out. 

This morning, for example, as I wrote the previous paragraphs, I was reminded that I had some interest in genomic testing that is offered by "23 And Me".  Ancestry has been doing DNA testing for several years now but I don't think it offers all the same information as 23 And Me does.  I've done a little research on this and it seems like most people think they get more for their money with 23 And Me.  Ancestry will provide all the services 23 And Me does, but some of them are in "add-ons" that cost extra, and you might get additional stuff for that extra money, such as a year's membership and access to all their stored information such as census and other people's family tree data and so on.  This might be the better value if you want to also do some genealogy research.

I've had membership to Ancestry before and I've done years and years of research so I already have a great deal of information collected from their records.  The last time I had membership, I became very frustrated with the lack of accuracy in other people's records.  So many people just linking themselves to anyone else's data that they can find, capturing pictures submitted by someone else, who got them from someone else, and somewhere along the way some of them got mis-identified.  This sort of thing just develops a life of it's own, where people start thinking it's accurate because they see it in so many places.  And that's just nearly impossible to stamp out once it starts growing. 

But there would be several possible advantages to having genomic testing done.  It might fill in some blanks in my research.  Those of you that have read my post about my research on who my grandmother's father REALLY was, know that the information I have is handed down and there's recorded information that makes it look like what I was told was true (and why would anyone make that sort of thing up...), but there are some unanswered questions involved.  If DNA testing found a connection to people descended from this man's known descendants, that would be all the proof I'd need, one way or another.  Even the information about what countries my ancestors came from might provide a clue, as the man in question had an Irish surname.  I admit, I'm really curious.

I am the mother of an adopted adult child whose "sperm donor", a man who denied parentage before and after this child's birth, now finds himself in old age and without any family members who will have anything to do with him, due to some bad behavior and poor choices in his past.  So he has made an attempt in recent years to "bond" with my son.  My son is a good man, a Christian, and so he has been torn as to whether he wants to get involved or not, because, mostly we just all wish this man was "a better man", if you know what I mean, and his motives are suspect, seeing as how my son has told me that all this man wants to talk about is me, and the things he has said to my son about me have not been very flattering or accurate.  I think he's trying to make himself look like "the better parental choice".  But my son knows me very well, and he is comfortable with being able to ask me anything and he knows that I will be as honest with him as I know how to be.  Plus he has his own memories and all of his half-siblings on his biological mother's side are older than him and some of them have told him their memories.  Allowing him, early on, to catch this man in a lie without my being involved in it.  His half-siblings love me and I love them as I loved their mother when she was alive.  Some people who are adopted have a need to know where they come from, and I certainly can understand that.  So I would love for my son to have proof, one way or another, of whether he carries this man's DNA, if he wants it.  This man is my blood relative, so if my son turns out to be related to some of the same people I am, then that is the only pathway.  And no, my son does not look anything like this man or me or any member of our family.  He looks very much like his biological mother and his half-sibs.  He has been my son since he was five months old and is now "on the back-side of 40".  You'd think if there was any glimmer of a similarity to me or my family, I would've seen it by now. 

I look too much like my dad's side of the family for there to be any doubt.  Now that I'm older, I look in the mirror and see my mother.  My new driver's license picture looks like HER mother.  Hubs is the same way.  Sometimes, I can see his dad in his face.  In his body type and the way he walks.  Other times, I see his mother.  And I think, for most of us, this is true.  And yeah, I do hope my son is not biologically related to me.  My family carries genes for bi-polar and depression.

I understand, also, that certain cancer treatment centers are doing genomic analysis on their patients because it gives them clues as to how best to fight their cancer.  If that's possible then there might be many other types of genetic information available that could be shared with our doctors so that they could help us have better health, in general.  23AndMe reveals traits and what diseases you might carry, from what I understand from some YouTube videos I've watched.  And they both allow you to download your raw data, which might save a lot of time if you needed medical treatment that required that information later on.

On the other hand, there are those who fear that genomic testing is merely a ruse for the government to collect our DNA information.  I can't think why this would be useful to our government, but if it is, it's kind of rude to expect us to pay for it, wouldn't you think?  Although I understand the cost HAS gone down dramatically from what it was at first.  So I'm still trying to decide whether I want to do it, and whether I should do it through Ancestry or 23AndMe.  I talked to my son, and he told me he probably won't be interested in it because he doesn't really feel like he needs to know.  But I would still like to have my information "out there" so that if he ever changed his mind, he could still do it. 

You might be interested in this.  It's called "The Nine Months That Made You".  It's here:

It's about a doctor, David Barker, who claims that low birth weight is related to insulin resistance, osteoporosis, heart disease and other diseases in later life.  The Barker Theory.  It seems that babies with low birth weights have as much adiposal fat (brown fat) as babies with higher birth weights.  They have less white fat, though.  During a study that was done in India, they started calling these low birth-weight babies "thin-fat babies". 

I would be remiss if I didn't mention that I had a comment on my last weight-loss post recommending a book called "The Secret Life Of Fat" by Sylvia Tara.  I went on Amazon to read the reviews and noticed there are other resources offered in the "what others who viewed this item also looked at" category.  All this led me to more curiosity about white fat / brown fat and how they work, so after I read a review where the person said he was working on "activating his brown fat", I wondered how the hell you do that.  So I went on YouTube and did a search on "how to activate brown fat".  That led to some interesting choices.  I'll leave that up to you to research, but I would caution those who might latch onto the idea of going out in the cold and exercising in order to activate their brown fat to keep in mind that when your body gets TOO cold you can go into hypothermia and especially if you're in poor health or older than 65 or so you're more sensitive to it.  There have been instances of people dying from heart attacks and such if they are within the ages that are referred to as "elderly", and simply trying to live with less warmth in their homes, such as when they can't afford to pay a high heating bill, etc.  I don't like to be cold and I get cold quite easily.  Once I'm cold, it's really hard for me to warm up.  So I think I'm best being careful about doing things such as going out for walks in freezing weather or taking cold showers, etc. I am led to the opinion that I was pretty much on the right track in not eating processed foods AKA "empty calories", and now I may have set myself back by tinkering with Tim Tebow's methods, which I mentioned on the last weight-loss post I published.  

Tim Tebow's methods don't do anything good for me because a) he's a guy, and we all know they lose weight better, faster and more efficiently than we do.  It's because women have to carry the fetus and so they have a lot more stuff going on to protect them and their fetus or lack of one.  This is why women who run every day have more trouble conceiving.  Their bodies think they're being chased by predators.  It's pretty much a waste of time for nature to allow a woman that's being chased to make a baby.  The process will slow the woman down and make her easier to catch.  Plus, you don't want to be bringing a baby into that kind of situation.  All that said, you'd think once we go through menopause, there wouldn't be the need for all those bells and whistles and maybe we could lose weight easier.  But, NOOOOOO.  It gets even worse.  What the hell???  Maybe it's because predators will like us better if we're fat, thus catching us and sparing the women of child-bearing age.  That's just my guess so let's don't get paranoid or anything.

......And b) Tim Tebow spends a lot of time doing "fitness training".  So he's able to burn off all that extra fat he's consuming in order to open the gates to the stored fat.  Yes, I could throw myself into that.  I have before.  But now, as then, I wouldn't be able to do that as a way of life.  I remember how I used to dread going to the gym.  I'd sigh and say, "I'll just put one foot in front of the other, and I'll get through it one more time".  You know, I'm not sure it's worth it to do things that'll help me live longer if I hate every moment that I'm doing them.  I tried to get addicted to the gym.  But it didn't happen.  Plus there was that sleazy guy that came to the workout center sometimes, in an overcoat, and he'd position himself where he could watch the women while they worked out.  ~~ shiver ~~ 

So now I have almost come full circle about how best to get myself off this plateau I'm on.  And yes, I did end up eating more one day (though not intentionally), which they say sometimes will reset things, and I paid the price in a hung-over feeling the next day and a bad case of bloat.  I gained a pound that I've been keeping off since July, overnight.  It's back down now, but not into "new territory pounds" and I still feel kind of draggy. 

One of the YouTubes about vinegar was done by Dr. Eric Berg, and he explained why it works so well that I was just really impressed, so I went to his YouTube channel.  Lots of information there.

One of his videos is about how Insulin Resistance happens.  It seems, if I have this right, that the liver and the pancreas are the "middlemen" for the handling of sugar and other carbs.  The pancreas works while you are eating and the liver works when you aren't.  If you overwhelm either or both, they just up and quit.  So it's important to keep your liver and pancreas in good shape.  And what does that?  Probiotics. 

I find it strange that most of the doctors that know a lot about alternative healthcare are chiropractors, or in some field other than MD.  I wonder why that is.  Maybe it has to do with the fact that their licenses do not allow them to write prescriptions and so they are not tied to the drug industry.  So they search for other answers to problems.  We all know, don't we, that many of the maladies that give us the most trouble are the symptoms of something else.  Doctors treat the symptoms and not the underlying cause.  Inflammation is one of those problems that creates a wide array of symptoms, such as insulin resistance, arthritis and even dry eye.  One of the big causes of inflammation in the body is stress.  The fact that stress is hard on your body is not new information to me.  They were saying that at work in the 1980's.  But how is it possible to eliminate stress from your life??  All that stress causes your body to make a certain hormone and that is what Cortisol is.  They were pushing the use of meditation and that's all well and good, but when you open your eyes and quit saying "Ohmmmm", your damned problems, and the people that drive you nuts, are still there.

I remember the 1980's well.  Hubs and I were both working 40 hours a week.  We had young teenagers at home.  I was trying to go to college at night so that I could get a better job and be able to afford to send my teenagers to college when it came time.  My job during the day was very busy and demanding.  My parents were still alive and they thought they were being neglected and put on a big guilt trip if they didn't see me Every. Single. Weekend.  And Hubs and I weren't getting along very well because we were stressed out by all of the above.  To say that my back was against the wall would be an understatement.  It's not like you can just pack a bag, jump in the car and drive off from that, but don't think I didn't think about it.  A LOT.  If your life has ended up like that, what can you do?  No matter what it is, everything's dumped in your lap.  And when you can't make everything OK again, it's because you're a bad (daughter / wife / mother / employee / student -- take your pick).  So the stress causes your body to make a hormone called Cortisol and everything you eat gets stored as fat.  Then you get even more stressed because your whole family thinks you're a glutton.

I remember the first time I heard about Cortisol and Insulin Resistance, it was a woman in a commercial for a product called "Relacor".  I just rolled my eyes and said, "What NEXT?"  Well, I shouldn't have done that, because it seems that Cortisol and Insulin Resistance are real things.  Not sure about the "Relacor", though.

So I go to Google and ask, "How to Stop Making Cortisol".  Some of the things I find are, drink tea, not coffee.  Laugh more.  Smile more.  Have friendships.  Avoid people that drive you nuts or drag you down.  Sleep well.  Eliminate processed foods.  Reduce consumption of sugar.  Dance, do Zumba, learn Tai Chi, anything that involves movement of the body that you enjoy.  Other advice was to do things to build up your liver and improve the fauna and flora in your gut, which involves probiotics. 

Dr. Oz had a show about probiotics recently, which reminded me that I have Kefir grains stored in my freezer.  I got the little jar out and looked at the date on the lid, it was 2010.  So I was not sure they would revive.  I heated about a cup of whole milk to kill any unwanted bacteria that might be in it and dropped the frozen Kefir grains into it after it cooled.  That was three days ago, and I think everything's OK.  It smells like buttermilk and has thickened just fine. 

Of course if you can't get Kefir grains you can buy yogurt made with live cultures and Dr. Oz is careful to specify Greek yogurt but I find he gets a little too specific sometimes.  I don't know why any yogurt wouldn't be ok as long as it says on the package it's made with live cultures.  Sauerkraut is probiotic but it's so salty.  Anything that's fermented, it seems, is good.  No mention is ever made of buttermilk or cottage cheese.  And they don't mention alcoholic beverages, either.

Dr. Oz had some of the audience try several kinds of food that were made with probiotics added.  One, in particular, was a chocolate bar.  Dr. Oz liked that best and so did the people from his audience.  They have them on Amazon here
and the reviews are pretty good. 

Lots of people recommend drinking Kombucha tea.  Here's something by Dr. Axe:

I still have Kombucha mother in a jar in the pantry, it has been there for years.  I guess it's time to make some tea and see if I can revive it, as well.

It smells and looks OK, too.  I think I only had one SCOBY (Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast), maybe two, when I put it away and forgot about it.  Probably a good thing to get it out and see if I can revive it and find people to share the extras with, then if I decide not to make more Kombucha maybe I can just store it away again.  I had a terrible time finding a source when I was trying to get my first SCOBY.  They say you can buy a bottle of unflavored Kombucha at a health food store, and store the bottle away, and that it will develop it's own SCOBY after some time has passed.

There are at least ten SCOBYs in this jar.  Maybe even twenty because the ones up top are thin.  Yikes.  I looked for advice about how best to use all those extra SCOBYs, and guess what, they are edible, though most people found them not very appetizing.  Some people were slicing them and adding to salads.  Others were slicing and dehydrating them and rolling them in honey and chopped nuts and they said their kids were eating them up.  Some suggested cutting the scoby in small pieces and adding a little bit to each smoothie they made.  But the thought occurs, why couldn't you make a chocolate bar?  Chop it up, add walnuts, shredded coconut, maybe some flaxseed meal, and then dip in dark semi-sweet chocolate??  Not sure about the dehydration thing.  Seems like the heat might kill all that good bacteria.

If you are interested in learning more about Kombucha, you might watch Jon Kohler on this YouTube where he goes to a Kombucha factory.

Well, that's about it for this time.  I hope this hasn't been so disorganized and wonky that it's hard to follow.  My brain's kind of in overload today.  Our ice storm is over, warmer weather on it's way.  No problems here.  Didn't even lose power this time.  Praise God and PSO.  Hugs xoxoxo


  1. FYI, this is Monday morning and I just sliced one of my extra SCOBYs (thinly) to see how I would feel about eating one. It felt like raw chicken breast does if you try to slice that, and so I was pretty apprehensive that when I tried to eat a slice, it would make me gag. Well, I did eat a little piece, and like they say, it does just have the same taste as Kombucha does, slightly tangy with "fruity" notes. I think if I mixed some in with a small bowl of canned peaches, I would not notice. Well, maybe that's not right... I'd notice but I wouldn't mind. I have found all kinds of information on the Internet about how you can dehydrate your SCOBY once it's been sliced, to make it more appetizing texturally. Some have even gone an extra step and made a powder out of the dried SCOBY slices. But I don't think I'll do either. I put my SCOBY slices back into the Kombucha liquid and I will not refrigerate it as per the advice here.

    According to these people, and I do believe they know what they're talking about, SCOBYs can "go to sleep" and then the bacterial count goes way low and allows mold to grow. Maybe not in the first batch, but usually in the second. So I will not know whether my SCOBYs have made it through their longer-than-recommended stay in a "SCOBY hotel" in my dark pantry until I've made a couple of batches. And for sure, I will not pass along any of the extras to others till I know they're good. Now I'm wondering if the same holds true for the Kefir grains I had "sleeping" in the freezer. Only time will tell.

  2. Your posts are always such a help.
    I use vinegar (Braggs) in a lot of my cooking. To add tang, if that makes sense. What we eat is so critical to how we feel.
    Great Reading!

    1. Thank you Fiona, I'm glad to hear that my posts are a help to you. Having an audience motivates me to organize my thoughts and that helps me to think more clearly. So it's a win-win. My German side of the family loved their sweet and sour, and we were in the habit of adding cider vinegar to our bowl of beans or chili. Mom made a "Wilted Lettuce Dressing" that was just vinegar and bacon fat. We even poured vinegar, diluted with water, over our hair after a shampoo and rinse. It eliminated static electricity. Rub it on restless legs -- its minerals deliver through the skin. So many uses for vinegar. One of those YouTubes by Dr. Berg talked about a spoon of vinegar in water to treat acid indigestion and other stomach problems. In fact, my dad mentioned trouble he was having with an ulcer to a man who lived near us, but in the country, when I was young. This man told him to stop by every day for a couple of weeks on his way home from work and said he would cure his ulcer. Well, Dad did, and he swore this man cured his ulcer. He told me he gave him something in a spoon and it tasted like vinegar. Probably WAS....


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