Category Archives: General

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 –

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.


Visiting National Parks

I’ve added a link on the Travelogue sidebar to show the National Parks I’ve visited over the years. I still have a lot to get to.

(I don’t think that the park in American Samoa will be gotten to.)

Oh Good

I see that a new nutritional label will include Potassium. I think that will be very helpful. Needs to be implemented by 2018.

I am concerned that I am coming in at 1000 mg a day below the recommended 3500 mg of daily Potassium, even while eating high-potassium meats.

What do I want in a Republic?

What is a Republic?

A Republic is a representative democracy where citizens elect representatives to pass legislation to govern the nation, establishing the rules of law. The people are the sovereign and their representatives should represent the people. In the great experiment of the United States, over the centuries, we have begun to drift from the original representative democracy to where the representatives more represent corporations and moneyed interests.

In the United States we also elect a President to execute the laws passed by our representatives. The President is NOT a representative of the people.

I submit some suggestions to improve the Republic.

1) Each Representative will represent no more than 100,000 citizens. The current constitution sets a lower limit of 30,000 citizens per representative, but no upper limit.

2) There will be 6 Senators elected from each state. Each Senatorial election will select the top three vote-getters on the ballot to be a Senator from that state, with 1/3 of the Senate being replaced every two years.

3) No Congress critter may serve consecutive terms in the same office, i.e. Representative or Senator. (If someone wanted to be a professional pol, they could go on a run of Rep, Sen, Rep, Sen, Rep, and serve 18 consecutive years in Congress.)

4) Federal Judicial appointments are not for life but will end after 20 years on the bench or when the Justice turns 70 years of age or by impeachment.

5) Every 24 years, the citizens will vote on whether to retain the current Constitution. A majority vote will retain the current Constitution. A Constitutional Convention will be called in the event of a failure to retain.

6) The Electoral College will be disbanded. The President and Vice-President will be elected by citizens in a direct election.


This was inspired by an episode of The Thomas Jefferson Hour.

Tracking Nutrients

I have started this Low-carb diet and am using a food journal to keep track of my daily intake. My goal is to stay under 40 net carbs a day; under 2000 calories per day. That give me about 1800 calories to be made up with fat and protein (and alcohol but I am avoiding the temptation). So far so good.

One of the other nutrients I am interested in tracking is my potassium intake. But it is very hard to find the nutrient data for potassium, starting with the actual amount of potassium an adult is supposed to ingest each day. 4700 mg seems to be the recommended amount, but I also see references to 3500 mg as a recommended level on food labeling so I am a bit confused. I know there is a lot of potassium floating around in meats and vegetables, so I should be getting lots, but how much? Either way, I have a hard time finding the potassium level in the food I am eating since it is not a required nutrient on the US food labels.

I have been taking a potassium supplement because I sometimes get cramps from exertion. At the time I started this I didn’t realize the recommended daily allowance is 3500 mg and the recommended daily intake is 4700 mg  – wait, the recommended daily intake hasn’t been established for potassium. The supplement is 99 mg – 3% of RDA – what sort of supplement is that? And then I found out that high potassium levels contribute to lowering high blood pressure! which I have! I definitely want a better handle on potassium in my diet.  From what I have been able to extrapolate so far, I seem to be consuming between 1000 and 2000 mg of potassium daily. No wonder I get muscle spasms.

Open Request to Food Providers: Even if you are not required to put the Potassium level on the food label itself, could you, at least, put it on your website? Along with all the other micro-nutrients that are needed in a complete diet, e.g. magnesium, manganese, molybdenum, phosphorus…

It would be greatly appreciated. Also on the web page, put in the numbers for the entire container, not just for per serving. If I am using a 1 lb package of Italian Sausage in a recipe, I don’t need a breakdown of the individual servings, especially if they are “about 2.5 per package”. I am using the entire package, give me the package totals.

Well, back to burrowing into nutrition details. Maybe I shall uncover some more Potassium sources.


Where to go.

I have, in the past year or so, been using Facebook as my main commenting tool. As the recent takedown of Jim Wright’s 9-11 posting demonstrated, Facebook is not a reliable place to post and share information, especially if some trolls get upset. So I will try to use my blog site < exemplia gratia > to originate my commentary and cross-post it to Facebook and Live Journal. Oh, I have a Google+ page as well.  I will make replies to the Facebook comments in Facebook, but it makes sense that if I want to make a comment that I should originate it in a place where I have some control.

Also, in my never-ending quest  to find a way to make the strike-through character a ‘/’ instead of ‘-‘, I have found an answer. Libre Office lets you change the strike-through character! Now to see if it can be copied out –