Monday, April 07, 2008

All my blogs are being neglected. It is time to change that. I guess it's just been too dark for too long; here we are in the first week of April and we finally have a day of sunshine. Who would have thought I need sunshine just to function?

What I did do was update my icandodinner website to bring it into the 21st century. There's still a lot more work to do: I've really just updated one week and I have at least eight normal menues. With those, and a veggie menu, and a low carb one in the making there is still a lot of work.

Plus I'm interested in using the internet to bring in some kind of online income. I'm not falling for those "Make $30,000 in a month" offers; if it were that easy everybody would be doing it. I've sold one article on Helium so far, but I need to put more work into that as well. Also I'm looking at Constant Content as an alternative, but that too needs planning and writing.

So just lately I haven't been taking too much of a look at the world around me. Just trying to sort myself out, really.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Mary, Mary quite contrary,
Where did your garden go???

Yep, allgone those tall light-blocking trees and prickly hedges. The problem is now, what to replace it with? It looks so bleak and bare.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Where have all the Big Brands gone?

I don't know if it's because I've moved, or if they've moved, but I never really see advertising anymore. Then again, I wonder how any advertisers would reach me.

1) I don't watch television. We have one now, and Paul puts it on occasionally.
2) I listen to ClassicFM radio in the mornings, through the Internet. However, the advertising is actually so bad it makes me want to turn the entire station off. There's certainly no brand-building there.
3) I hardly read magazines any more, and when I do, there's no brand-building advertising.
4) I don't read newspapers. I don't see them, I don't buy them and they're all in Dutch anyway so they're an effort and time-consuming to read.
5) Daily I get stuff pushed through the mailbox, which I just recycle with reading. This is all special offers anyway.
6) That leaves the internet, and Google ads. Outdoor advertising as I walk and bus. And the shops themselves. It's the only way to reach me. But no branding. Product, product, product.

Is branding dead?

Thursday, December 27, 2007

It's a month! Have you come back to find out how I'm doing on this anti-Heathrow Injection programme?

Well, it's been cold here. Snowing in fact. Temperatures outside below freezing, and I've had to go out in that weather, in clothes that aren't quite warm enough.

Plus it's the middle of winter. The days are at their shortest and darkest, and the nights are at their longest.

This is a surefire recipe for climate-induced weight gain.

Well, I'm 4 kilograms lighter, and my body fat has dropped one percentage point.

I'm not sure where the weight is going from. My face is noticeably thinner, and my belly feels flatter, but none of my clothes are loose yet, and even my E-cup bra is still well-filled. Patience. Patience.

Weight loss did slow when the weather turned so cold. Well, it stopped altogether. But it did remain constant.

So far so good.

I'm not taking the daytime dose of the metformin because it causes me to lose my appetite entirely. I just take it when I need to skip lunch because I'm busy. I think from today I'll try a half dose and start working up, same as I did with the bedtime dose.

The diet has been OK, though I can't eat nearly enough of the recommended volumes. I think she's put together quantities for a six foot seven Dutchman and not a five foot three me. You can read more about the diet here.

I'm thinking of starting a group or forum for Heathrow Injection sufferers so we can explore the mechanics of a solution in depth. I'll post a link when it's set up.

Friday, December 07, 2007

One week later, and two kilograms lighter after following my version of a low-carb diet with the metformin, I went to see the recommended dietician. Very friendly lady who had a similar ballooning problem when she returned to the Netherlands after spending several years in Central Africa.

The diet she has given me can be summarised as follows:

300 grams meat, chicken, fish, nuts, egg or cheese
800 grams mixed vegetables
500 grams mixed fruit
about 3 tablespoons oil.

All of that divided into three portions across one day.

She calls it a low-carb diet, but I had my doubts. So I fed it t into Mastercook, using chicken for the protein part, and what do I get?

1517 calories
69.6 grams fat
178.1 grams carb (39.6 grams fibre)
50.8 grams protein

Percentage wise:
40.6% fat
46.2% carbs
13.2% protein

Low-carb? Not! In fact, 178 grams of carb is worth nearly 9 slices of whole grain bread. Hmm.

Better description would be grain-free, starch -free, even high-fibre. But there are carbs a-plenty! Cut out some of that oil, and the percentage carb shoots up way high!

So far results have been less dramatic than during my first week on metformin. Not that I'm eating anywhere near that amount of fruit or vegetables; my stomach is the size of a fist, not a football.

We'll see how it goes. I'm blogging the diet elsewhere. If you want to follow the progress, leave a comment and I'll add a link.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Hello fellow sufferers of Heathrow Injection. I have good news and bad news for you.
The good news is, you are not imagining it. Heathrow Injection is just a fancy modern word for hibernation. When you cross all those lines of latitude and head up north to cold, dark England, a little switch in your body triggers and you go into hibernation.

Your metabolism slows down and your body starts conserving fat. Your energy levels decline.

I'm not making this up either. I'm just back from an endocrinologist who has a specific interest in the effects of climate on metabolism. And that's what he told me. In my case it's worse because I'm past the age of usefulness to the human race. (Yes, he said that too.)

The bad news though, is there nothing you can do about it. It's apparently genetic.

But just as you can't cure a cold, there seems to be some symptomatic treatment.
Reading between the lines, it seems that hibernation triggers insulin resistance.
Because he's sending me off to a dietician for a low carbohydrate diet, and giving me metformin, usually prescribed to diabetics. It helps reduce insulin levels in the blood.

Interesting that when I first started my metabolic typing diet, a low carb diet for a protein metabolism, I did very well on it. It did seem to wear off, though, probably the insulin resistance increased when I moved to a colder, darker country?

Unfortunately metformin has a potentially fatal interaction with alcohol, so I'll have to go dry for a while. I guess the detox will do me good.

He would have given something to boost the metabolism slightly except that my blood pressure seems to have shot through the roof. I'm used to being around 110/70 but he had me over 180! I rushed out and bought a blood pressure meter, and when I woke up it was quite normal at 129/86, but still high for me.

I see the dietician on Monday, but in the meantime I'll dust off my metabolic typing book, my Zone cookbook and my Glycemic Load cookbooks. I'm easing into the medicine, just took one tablet before bed last night, and will work up to the full dose, as suggested.

Come back in a month or so to find out how it's working!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Way to go, Bokke!

The Dutch hang flags on high days and holidays. Paul ordered flags and flagpoles (of course he would, he's interested in heraldry and stuff like that) so today is definitely a good excuse to use them for the first time.

Of course it's bad manners to hang just the South African flag here. That's why the Dutch one is out too.