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Tuesday, 2 October 2018

Early Riser Sunrise - The Bluffs

The last few years, since living in Scarborough, it has not been as enticing to jump out of bed at 6:15 am on a Saturday or Sunday morning and split down to the lake shore for the sunrise. We used to just be able to whip out, throw track pants and a sweat top on and boot it down to the marina on foot in about 10 mins. That was because we lived in Whitby in an apartment, and were pretty much a 2 min drive to the Whitby waterfront. I do miss that. We used to go down for an hour or so, even in dead of winter under icy windy conditions, then come back and load my images onto the computer, warm up with coffee and watch the slide show. It was fun, it was addictive!

Living now about a 20 min drive from the shores of Lake Ontario, it is not so spontaneous, it's not so much a"omg look at the sky, let's go!" it's more of a "what is the weather supposed to be tomorrow, think there'll be a good sunset? wanna plan to get up and go down? what time do you think we should leave? I guess we have to set the alarm to be sure we get up right?"

Well, all that means that I've lost my drive, become lazy, although sunrises and morning atmosphere is my favorite light and feeling.

This past Saturday, I decided I'm getting up, I don't care, and we are just going to get dressed and head out. We do have to drive, as it's way south of us, the Bluffs, but the beach there gives a perfect sunrise viewing opportunity.

It did not fail to disappoint. There was even this cute seagull there, who hung near us pretty much the whole time, and almost came to my hand when I pretended to have food. I felt so bad lol! Sorry buddy :-( I think of him as Sully the seagull as he seemed so disappointed and sullen to realize we had not food for him.

Some photos from that morn.

Saturday, 22 September 2018

Real Men Drink Apple Cider Vinegar Straight!


So, it has come to my attention that drinking Vinegar is in! However, Some of us have been doing so since childhood ;-) though Not apple cider vinegar, just the regular old white vinegar, and like a true Vinegaroholic, swiggin' it right from the bottle! None of this diluting it in a glass of water stuff for us!

As a kid, I was always asked to help clear the table, which was fine, it actually was a Perfect opportunity to secretly tip that vinegar bottle up and into my mouth, the yummy vinegar pleasantly burning a warmth down my throat into my tummy lol!

Well, since this whole Keto thing has gone on a rampage, and actually, it Should as most of us since the 60s and 70s have had mainly processed Crap food to choose from and made for us, to eat, drinking Vinegar has become a Thing. Apple Cider vinegar to be more exact, is what is to be drunk.

My husband needs to put his vinegar in a ton of water. Me? no way, nuh uh, straight baby, love it! Right off the spoon, 3 or 4 spoonfulls since drinking from the bottle is Rude lol! But, boy it is Yummy! He freaks out, "how can you do that!" "Years of practice darling, years of practice!" Then I add; "real men drink it straight" lol!

To Skip to the Awesome Keto Info & Recipes Below, Just Scroll Past my Rambling to the Bottom of the Page!

To be a little more serious, but not techy and scientific, sorry, this whole thing actually began with me needing and wanting to lose the friggin' 27lbs I have put on since 2011 or so. My own fault, I knew it was, but still, it happened. I was living with a friend for a bit, after my split up of a 27 yr relationship. I stopped exercising, I was eating too much crap I was buying, eating too much shit at work, and also drinking a bit too much pinot grigio. I knew it was not the amount or stuff as a human body that I Should be indulging in, too much pre processed lunches and dinners, too much bread, pasta, wine, crap and carbs, I knew it but life trucked on.

When I got married to my now husband in 2014, I looked like Shit, I pretended I didn't, but I knew my body was crap, and my energy and health too. Though, we hike a Lot! I was also doing our condo gym and swimming, but to no avail. Plus,. all that stuff Interfered with my Creative Art time, which Comes First, before exercise time, Sorry! lol! That also contributes, sitting, sitting and eating, etc.

So, I began "intermittent fasting" this July 2018. Ok, I don't Like to call it Fasting as that is a bit too biblical for me, with my old Catholic school girl upbringing and nonsense, I like to call it "skipping breakfast". I used to never eat breakfast until 10:30 or so, and as a student, I didn't enjoy it so often skipped it, grabbing a bagel or patty at about 11am. As a pregnant 27 yr old working down town TO, I had to Not do that as I almost fainted on the subway one morning. So, breakfasts stayed after that.

I should drop in some personal facts here. I am 52, have always weighed around 127 - 133, was always a size 7/8, have a natural sort of more voluptuous figure 8 build (like Marilyn), had lowish blood pressure, was moderately healthy but not a fitness workout chick, do not and never have smoked, don't drink pop never have, eat little sweets, and weighed about 161.5 when I began the fasting in July. I am now around 151 and want to be more around the 135 range as long as that means I am healthier and slightly fit from activity and loss of dangerous excess body fat.

I began the fasting, skipping my breakfast, and I lost 4 lbs in about 13 days. I was happy, this was working. I had not yet really changed what I ate though, for dinner or lunches, though lunches every day I was bringing a good salad to work. I was also not turning down any crap that was offered at work, plus eating tons of breads, starches and therefore sugars too. I also had to cut the wine :-( Had to, as it is a huge culprit, not only for crap weight gain, but bad for the liver and skin, etc. So, minimal only.

My husband got in on the action, as I had corrupted him and the generally slim and fit man was getting an unhealthy gut. He is a person who goes all hog on stuff, a geek, a brainer (I actually would use the term Obsessive lol!), who gets into all the scientific and research stuff. So, he began making us Keto meals and desserts. Below you can see some of the photos and I'll post links to the 2 main Keto sites and people who he gets these recipes from. He also has been making his own spaghetti sauce and salad dressings for over a year, to get rid of the premade store bought ones with tons of Sugar in them. So, in a way, this is easier for me, as my husband is the cook, so my lazy food and cooking habits don't prevail.

I miss bread, I do, I miss pasta, I do, but the food he is making way tops that. He even has "bread" recipes that he makes, as I won't give up a bun on my burger, sorry! and the "breads" he makes are so gourmet and scrumptious, I forget they are Not bread lol! But, fries, no substitute for them :-( Bye fries, sorry :-( But, this brings me to vinegar! I can still enjoy the Vinegar, which was the best part and probably the Main reason why Fries and fried potato remained my favorite Food lol!

funny healthy wedding bouquet Kale flowers Keto Lifestyle
Be Trendy - Be Keto - Wedding bouquet from Loblaws $1.98!
I have to say, I love this whole change in eating and lifestyle. We are not super strict Keto, but we do stick closely to it most days of the week, It's not like a Diet in that I don't have huge mood swings and cravings or hunger in between meals. Carbs, too, are Not needed to sustain the human body, not needed for high intensity athletic pursuits nor body building, sadly, though Yummy as they Are, no, they aren't. How food has been made the last 1/2 century, has basically Inundated our diets with them though. And, you'll Love this! Fat is Good! No more low fat crap food. We even hike with having not had a meal in 18 hrs and the energy we feel is Unbelievable! We do 8 flights of stairs instead of the elevator in our building, we swim in our building pool. Nice thing is, I am now down 12 lbs and I have actually Decreased the amount of time trying to fit exercise in, which leaves More time for creative stuff like my painting and design stuff!!! Or, silly stuff like me here at left with a "Kale Keto Wedding Bouquet" courtesy of the Great Canadian Super Centre for only $1.98! That also leads to this point. Our Grocery Bill has decreased faster than my weight! It's down about $25 every week! No bread, no pasta, no snack bars, no oatmeal, no cereals, no desserts, no taco chips, no bagels, no potatoes, a lot of stuff nixed.

To Note: I had been having some stomach issues since February, still not sure what is causing them, and need to see my Dr. which is Important, but it is the main reason why my husband suggested the cider vinegar. As we age, we lose stomach acid, and this can cause issues for digestion and all kinds of painful side effects with lactic acid coming up, etc., Apple Cider vinegar helps build a healthy stomach acid balance in my stomach. Though, I do need to see my Dr. still, and not ignore this issue.

Keto is also not advisable in some circumstances like pregnancy, kids' diets, and other serious health issues, so it is always good to see your Dr. first before undertaking huge change in eating or lifestyle, if you do have diagnosed or serious health issues.

Some Useful Keto & Health Links:

• What is Intermittent Fasting and How to I Start
• Intermittent Fasting & Women
• Dr. Berg, a Healthy Lifestyle Guide
Adapt your life, in simple language and concepts, with Dr. Westman
• Health benefits of apple cider vinegar

Keto Recipe Sites We Like:

Great recipes by a cool married couple, on the Keto Connect site
• A heavy metal dude who bangs out the most amazing Keto recipes

Me After & Before

Where I have noticed the weight loss the most, is not the scale, but in my hips, waist, cheek bones, thighs, and my clothes are a size too big now. I still have a ways to go, though skinny is not my goal. Being me again, but healthier and stronger, is my goal. I want to be around as long as possible, for my kids, my hubby, my friends, and my Art!

still 17 lbs to go, and some strength exercise to begin again

Some Foods my Husband has Prepared:

romaine lettuce & turkey slice wrap with asiago cheese,
ham is more Keto than turkey though

chocolate mug cake, cream cheese icing & cinnamon

chocolate peanut butter fat bombs

hamburger with coconut flour & cheese flat biscuit

avocado, veggies & coconut flour biscuits
with cream cheese

pork sausage in almond flour and cheese puffs

coconut flour cheese egg biscuit burger

ground pork, spices and garlic meatballs

cauliflower crust pepperoni and onion pizza

crispy chicken thighs and veggies

Sunday, 2 September 2018

Spending Some Holiday Time Painting

After having neglected my latest painting for a couple months, I got back to it with some time off this weekend. Have made some progress, still a ways to go. I spent some time blocking in the background further, working on some of the highlights that hit the wall and ground, and some little spots on the curb and here and there in the legs and face.

One thing I love to rely on, but can never fully plan for, as a working technique is ending up with a really useful colour that works successfully on an area it was not intentionally mixed for. Then, recognizing that I have such a colour on my brush, and that before I'm out of the mix, to know when and where to use it in another area.

An example of just such an instance is if I mix a really nice warm green ochre grey neutral, say for a soft highlight on a wall or object, but then realize hey, this is a perfect neutral for some of the shadows in the legs and arms, or to blend hard edges in the face, etc. The trick though is to realize I have such a colour on my brush, and that I am done with it where I mixed it for, and then to not go nuts with it in other areas but to lightly dry brush it in where it is effective in accomplishing something in another area. It is a technique, although a bit of a spontaneous yet controlled one, that I've just built up over time and practice, and I always get so excited when it rears its head while I'm painting :-)

Next weekend, I should be able to get a few more hours in on this piece. It is a painting of my son from when he was about 9 or 10, with his skateboard, in Ajax, Ontario.

Lots of Monarch Caterpillars

It's the Labour Day long weekend, hard to believe that summer zipped by that fast yet again. There are still nice temperatures out there, and lots to see. It's raptor migration season beginning, and the Monarch butterflies are on their 4th stage of their life cycle, this 4th generation that will be born soon, will be the one that heads to Mexico.

We saw Monarch butterflies mating a couple weeks ago, and on our recent walk at Tommy Thompson this weekend, we saw quite a lot of the little results munching milkweed leaves, the Monarch caterpillars. There were other types of caterpillars there, one we saw a lot of, the Milkweed Tussock Moth's caterpillar, which are quite the sight, with their spiky orange black and white hairy selves. Lucky I did Not give in to my impulse to touch its hairy spiky fur as apparently it has an irritant or poison that can burn and sting lol! There was a Tiger Moth orange fuzzy caterpillar, and a Hickory Tussock Moth, another poisonous caterpillar.

The Monarch caterpillars were plentiful, we did not spot any chrysalis' but we saw at least 25 Monarch caterpillars, all over milkweed. Some were small, some were huge. We also saw one Polyphemus Moth caterpillar, which looked to be beginning to build it's cocoon, but hard to know for sure. They are huge green caterpillars.

The gold finches were going nuts on the thistle seeds, there was a juvenile cormorant swimming near the bridge, a kingfisher hovering over the marsh area, and 2 families of Trumpeter swans with juvenile swans with them. A couple egrets flew by and we spotted one in the marsh. Terns are still around.

Tommy Thompson is great for a good long walk with very little incline changes. Our main intention to go there for our weekend nature hike/walk was for the possible Monarch chrysalis sightings, and maybe a bald eagle fly by high above and way far away. We did not hold out much hope of the odds being in our favour, but we were pleasantly thrilled and surprised both those hopeful sightings were Almost met!

We didn't see a chrysalis, but we Did see plenty of Monarchs, their caterpillars, and lots of other interesting caterpillars. Yes, we did get to see a bald eagle, but not a far away fly by, we saw a juvenile perched in a tree. John spotted his tail and back from a bit away. As we rounded the trees he was in, there he was, a bald eagle, looking around, sitting shaded in the leaves of the tree. At one point he looked over towards me and seemed to stare into my eyes. We stood and looked at him for a bit, then we continued on. We felt very very lucky to get to see him and hope he is fine, as he'll most likely be on his way by now, to where he was headed.