All posts by Jack

Weight, Weight, Don’t tell me.

As part of my diet plan, I have been food diarying daily and tracking weight weekly. I have made it through the holiday season but gained a pound along the way… But I’m glad I let the carbs back into the diet.

I have found the food diary helps a lot to keep me focused on the quantity, and quality, of food and drink I am imbibing.

Great Sand Dunes, CO

A letter to my rep

Dear Mr. Lamborn,

I have been hearing disturbing rumors that Congress is looking to get rid of my health care plan. I would not appreciate that. I need affordable health care to survive in this world. And by affordable, I mean a plan that provides me health care for less than 20% of my income. (10% would be optimal)

I understand one of your compatriots implemented a pretty good health care plan in Massachusetts a few years ago. Romneycare, I think it was called. Maybe you should try rolling this out on a national level if you aren’t satisfied with the current Affordable Care plan.

I would also remind you of the Preface of the Constitution that you just read and swore to defend; one of the purposes of this country is to promote the general Welfare. I think a federal healthcare insurance plan would go a long way towards that promotion.

And, consider adding dental to the overall plan. I think that good dental health is important to good overall health.


Jack Heneghan

How much does a cup weigh?

This looks like an interesting site.

A cup of carrots does weigh different than a cup of apples which is a different weight than a cup of bacon. I am finding that using the weight of an ingredient is much more specific than ‘cups’.

I have a scale and I am not afraid to use it!

information warfare

Jim Wright makes a lot of sense of a muddled field.

(I wonder how this will present itself when it is copied to the other platforms I share to?)

And here are some weapons for the war –

Unclear on concept

I and looking at a recipe for some bread I plan to bake and I see the following times noted:

crusty bread
Prep time 
Cook time 
Total time 
No Knead Dutch Oven Crusty Bread – no kneading required, 4 simple ingredients, baked in a Dutch Oven! The result is simple perfection, hands down the best bread you’ll ever eat!
What they fail to take into account is the 12-18 hours needed to let the dough set up after mixing in the flour, salt, yeast, and water. You are not going to have a delicious loaf of bread in 50 minutes!

90 days

I have been on this no/low carb diet for about 90 days now and have lost about 30 pounds. My goals are to get down to at least 200 pounds (another 11 to go) and to get down to a 40 waist. I don’t seem to be losing the waist inches as quickly as I am the weight, so I may need to get into the 190’s to get to size.

The question I am facing is when to start moving back to a carb diet. Should I start now, keeping to the  < 2000 calorie diet, or should I wait until I hit 200 pounds before bringing back the carbs. I have to say that as much as I miss the carbs, I am getting tired of the fat and protein more.

I think I will go to a 50% carb, 25% fat, 25% protein diet when I do resume.  (Currently, I am 8% , 65%, 27%.) Just not sure when to do it. Anyone have any thoughts?

Progress is being made

It’s been a little over 7 weeks since I started a ketogenic diet. I am doing fine and, after losing 20 pounds, I am halfway to my goal.  All I have to avoid is Halloween, Thanksgiving, and December! If I can drop another 20 pounds in seven weeks then the New Year will be wide open. But, I expect the rate I lose per week will start to slow down so I will be happy to drop another 20 pounds in 12 weeks or so.

The hardest part of the diet has been finding the right balance of fat and protein in my meals. I am trying to keep below 2000 calories total per day, split between 40 grams of net carbs, 144 grams of fat, 135 grams of protein, and 0 grams of alcohol.

Two problems I have found are sodium levels and potassium levels. The recommended daily sodium level is 2300 mg and I find I am easily coming in above that daily and often 2-3 times that daily. And high sodium levels are tied to high blood pressure. On the other hand, with potassium – associated with lowering blood pressure, among other healthy affects – I have to guess what the levels are. Food processors don’t note the potassium levels on their packaging and I often have to navigate the inter-webs to get an idea of what the potassium levels are. I am using the MyFitnessPal app to track my food and they do allow me to edit the nutrient section of the foods to add potassium but I don’t know for sure how close I am coming to the actual totals. Fortunately, food labels will be changing in the next two years and potassium will be included on the label. The recommended daily potassium intake to 3500 mg per day. a lot of the foods I am eating, meats and cheeses, are high in potassium but I don’t hit the 3500 level very often. Maybe I am reaching it in reality but I don’t have the numbers to back it up.

Another general problem has been calculating carbs. I am trying to limit my total carb intake to 40 grams net. Included in the overall carb number is dietary fiber and sugar. Dietary fiber is not absorbed into the body and will just pass through the system. So, dietary fiber doesn’t add to the calorie total and should be subtracted from the carb total. My food tracker doesn’t allow this automatically.

My main meat is pork. Between bacon (low sodium), pork chops, pork roasts, and pork sausages, I get a lot of fat and protein, and a lot of sodium and potassium(I think). I have also added salmon, cod, and tuna to my diet.  I usually have a salad with cucumbers, celery, tomatoes, spinach, lettuce, and Parmesan cheese, with an oil and vinegar dressing. Broccoli and cauliflower are good vegetables. When I  am dining out, a nice rib-eye steak (8 oz) will do. I have also found problems with getting the nutrient lists for some restaurants which again leads to the google search for ‘what am I eating?’

I have found a number of low-carb recipes to try.  I just made a Cabbage and Sausage dish that was very tasty. A Cauliflower and Ground Beef Hash worked very well. A Cabbage and Beef Stir Fry turned out well, too.

Unfortunately, Elaine is on a low-sodium diet and our food choices do not overlap very often so I have to be careful on the quantity of food I make at one time. Tasty as some dishes are, six days of leftovers can be a bit too much.

Hmmm. Maybe I should try to make a Cole Slaw as a salad. That would be a low carb, high fiber, high potassium, high fat (with mayonnaise), and low sodium food. Just don’t add sugar.


The Colorado Ballot

I have some interesting choices to make regarding the Colorado ballot this year.

Amendment 69 is to set up universal health for Colorado residents. While I support the concept, the wording of the amendment is such that there isn’t a lot a flexibility setting things up and tweaking parts to make it workable. So I will have to vote NO this time around. I think it would be better to set up a referendum to order the State legislature to implement a universal health care program so the details could be addressed properly.

Amendment 71 is an amendment to amend the amendment process in Colorado. It currently requires 5% of the number of voters who voted for the Secretary of State in the sate of Colorado to get an amendment on the ballot. This would change that to require at least 2% of the voters in each State legislative district to get an amendment on the ballot. I can see in principle that this helps distribute the amendment process across the state and stops the larger urban areas from dominating the amendment process, but, to require all 35 districts to sign up to get the amendment on the ballot seems too restrictive. I would approve if 2/3 of the districts were on board with an amendment, 100% seems a bit unrealistic.

And there are two propositions to set up party primaries that are open to unaffiliated voters. This doesn’t seem right. Colorado political parties currently use caucuses to select their slates.  You have to be a registered member of the party to caucus with them. And the parties are supposed to pay for the caucuses themselves. The primaries are for the parties to select their slates under the auspices of state and county funding. Why do you want to allow people who are not affiliated with the party to be involved with the selection of the party’s candidates? And why should the state be funding the activities of private organizations? Proposition 107 covers the presidential primary. Proposition 108 is for non-presidential primaries and  does allow the party to opt-out of the open primary.

Some choices to make. All the other amendments and propositions look good – Minimum Wage hikes, Tobacco taxes, Medical aid-in-dying.

In Colorado we have 22 parties vying for the presidency on the ballot and another 6 that are registered write-ins. So there are a lot of choices. The annoying part of all those parties running for President, though, is that very few to none are putting up candidates for any other offices at the local, state, or federal level.  (The Senate race has 7 candidates/1 write-in, and the District 5 Representative race has 3 candidates/1 write-in.) You have to dig deep to find those write-ins.

Tomorrow I vote.