My Low Carb Update……

An update on my article titled “Low Carbs is so simple they said, Eat it – you’ll like it they said – Enough Already!” written on May 30th of this year (2017) – almost 4 months ago! hard to believe it has been that long.

Not that anyone cares really but I have to say a few words about what I went through to get to this point. Being brutally honest here – I started out at 308 POUNDS!!!!!!! – I am now down to 245 pounds and the way I figure it, I am about half way there. I look back and think of how hard it was in the beginning to adapt to this lifestyle change. And let me tell you – it really was a lifestyle change. The first three weeks were the hardest but after that is wasn’t all that bad.

The very first thing I had to do was to purge my pantry and refrigerator of all of the High Carb foods that were in there. Now keep in mind, I have 2 kids still at home along with my wife (who has never needed to diet in her whole life – 94 pounds when we first met – Sheesh). You wouldn’t believe the foods that were High Carb. After the great purge, I went from sliced breads to Low Carb Tortilla wraps (because I loved my sammiches) ! Now with that being said – I also cut out high sugars and my favorite Sweet Tea. I switched to Crystal Light Sweet Tea which is really good and satisfied my need. I cut out potato chips and went to Carolina Country Snacks – Pork Skins zero Carbs and topped with Pimento Cheese Spread is the perfect snack for me! I also went from mashed potatoes to mashed cauliflower with cheese. It’s really good with salt and pepper. Absolutely zero Soft Drinks – the amount of carbs in those are through the roof!

I have still been doing Thrive for my energy level and feel great most of the time. As most of you already know, I have knee and ankle issues and so I take some heavy painkillers for that through pain management but overall, I feel pretty good. After all this time, my cravings are way under control and I even resist and refuse certain snacks and meals. Sure – I cheat every once in a while (I’m not trying to kill myself) but I do allow a bite of this and that every so often. It keeps my body and mind confused! I still stay between 30 and 50 carbs per day which keeps me right there at Ketosis and the state of constantly burning my own fats.

Now I am sure that this last leg of my journey is going to be a little harder but I now feel that I have the mental and physical faculties that are needed to make it happen. Although I now have to work on some toning exercises because of the loose saggy skin, I have no doubt that I can do this. Another product plug is for “Premier Protein” from Sams’ Club it has 30 grams of protein with only 4 grams of carbs and fills you up for a lunchtime meal.

For all of you Non- Believers  – THIS IS REAL! This really works – at least for me it has. I know that if I can do this – you can do this. You just have to make your mind up to do it. Even if it’s just a little change – you will be surprised at the difference it can make.

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“Life” happens when you are making plans!!!!!

“Life” happens when you are making plans!!!!!

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Let’s face it – we all have plans for the future – whether it be the immediate future or the long-term goals that we so dream about. Marriage, children, buying and or building a home, buying a car, you get my drift. Anyway, just when you start dreaming of what you want to do – “Life” steps in and changes are made. Just look at the current weather situation in Florida. We are planning a vacation to the Keys in the near future but what if it would have been this weekend or next weekend? Monies would have been paid, time taken off of work, “plans” made all for what? Just to be rearranged, cancelled, or even lost. The fact remains that yes we make plans but plans are made to be changed. Just because you get pitched a curve ball doesn’t mean that your life is over or that it is the worst thing in the world. Think about all of those people in the Caribbean that were planning on – well – tomorrow! Their tomorrow will never come and their families will be asking themselves “what could I have done different”?

I have a very dear friend that, on and off over the years, we have kept in contact with each other and from the very first day that I met Mike Holland, I knew there was something different about him. Something strange! Strange in a good way though – the type of strange that you don’t see any more in this day and age. I was working as a Rent-a-Cop – a Security Officer at a local Mall in Henderson. This was all before I went to the Police Academy in 1990 to become a real Police Officer. I had been working there for over a year and was tasked with training all of the new hires and getting them acclimated to their surroundings. Mike Holland was hired on and he and I were assigned onto a shift together. Over the course of the next few weeks, he and I worked together and I learned a lot about him. For one, he built and worked on computers and from what I remember; he was quite brilliant at it too. Secondly, he had a religious upbringing and was very family oriented. Mike was an avid firearms nut and had a sense of self-sufficiency about him. He and his father later opened a towing business in the Lickskillet Community and ran that for some time.

Mike later joined the Marine Corps and served his tour of duty with them and learned many valuable lessons and skills which he transitioned into his civilian life when he got out. I am proud of and thankful to him for serving our country and doing his part for “our” freedom. Now Mike had this “thing” about him – he carried himself as “just a dumb ole country boy”  NC Redneck and never tried living above his means. Always treating others with respect but if you ever crossed him or done him wrong, you would definitely know about it – he has always been a straight shooter. You see, Mike is very intelligent and very well-educated but he interacts with people on their level. He was able to speak to the average person so that they would understand exactly what he was saying and he had a way of explaining himself to where you could understand it.

Mike married his high school sweetheart Kim and they had 4 beautiful children together. Since the beginning, he has always been the spiritual leader of their home and they have always, and I do mean always, helped out others in need. Since day one, he has lived his life to serve God and his fellow-man. After the military, Mike has held many jobs, some at the same time, but he has always worked in serving people in some form or fashion. From being a Law Enforcement Officer, a Licensed Private Detective, a Pastor, a counselor, a chicken farmer and countless other jobs,

Mike has learned a thing or two about people and he tries every day to teach you about what it means to be a servant of God. He truly lives what he preaches and leads by example. No – he is not perfect and he will be the first one to say it but at the same time, he knows what it takes to be highly favored by God. We have all been exposed to the “Instruction Manual” – Gods Holy Word – at some point in our lives – he just happens to follow it to the best of his ability.

Mike and his wife Kim are always taking in people in need of shelter, heck he even volunteers his services to the homeless shelters and other places in the area. He has taught his family how to be self-sufficient, growing their own gardens, raising their own chickens and farm animals; he is even a licensed beekeeper and harvests his own honey. His children help him in every task required and he does his very best to teach them what it means to help others. peoplehelpingpeople

Now I have given you a good example of what Mike and his family do on a daily basis but what I need to explain to you is what he does aside from all of that. Mike is always going around to the elderly and making sure they have what they need to survive, he constructed a food truck to feed the homeless and hungry, he has cut and donated firewood to those who needed heat in the winter, he has Pastored to the lost in the prisons and he has traveled out of state to help others – all at his own expense. Just this past week in the wake of the Texas flooding – he, along with his family and friends, drove a caravan of supplies out there to donate his time, money and supplies to those in need. All to what end? Not for the fame or fortune but for the Glory that God himself will reward him with. Salvation and that leading others to God is the way that it was meant to be. You see Mike believes in the Bibles’ teachings not as a suggestion, but as a commandment from God. A requirement and guide on how we are to treat one another.

Holy Bible on wooden table.

Now to ask you this – is your life worth more than anyone else’s? Is how you live your life now able to help anyone other than yourself? What about those who were planning on but never got the chance to see their tomorrow? What if that was your Mother or your brother? What could you have done different? What will God think of you now?

God gives a good chuckle when you are making plans. After all – He has the final say-so in these matters!

If you get the chance – check out Mike Holland’s efforts and life at giftedfaithful.org

You just might be glad you did!

White Lake, N.C. Full On Fun……..

White Lake, NC Full On Fun

The Lake

Ok so here I am on the third day of my vacation starting to write about our adventure with Christine (our appropriately named camper)… White Lake North Carolina Baby!!!! We have been here since Saturday and have finally got the camper all set up and unpacked. Only had to enlist the help of my next door camp neighbor three times.  Well, actually he just happened to be right there when all of the failures happened.  Jason, his Wife and two daughters are really down to earth honest people with such great attitudes. The kind of neighbors that one could only hope for.  More on them later.

So let me back up a bit – during the course of the last week and a half we have been at home trying to complete our “to-do” list of all of the little things that were wrong or just needed service to our camper. If you own a camper, you know that there is always something to do on it or in it.  One of those things was that we had to replace our 14 foot awning fabric. After spending a day working that out we finally had a brand spanking new Awning installed and working properly. I was so proud!!!

So on our arrival at Camp Clearwater – we pulled into the Camp and registered this past Saturday with me, my Wife, our middle son Ozzy, our daughter Ivy and my two great nieces Krystal and Kelly. We pulled into the site and began un-hooking and getting everything set-up.  This Campsite is only temporary for the night as we will have to move the next day. (The joys of checking in early). We checked in before 11am anyways so at least we could enjoy the day – spend the night and then move the camper by 11am that next day. Totally worth it if you have ever been here – you’ll know what I mean. Our camper is a 28 footer but it will sleep 6 and maybe one more if we throw them onto the floor with the two dogs. So anyways, we get all set up, get the AC on, fans going, fridge cooling down and then the circuit pops.  Ok, so yeah maybe a power surge but we reset the breakers and kept on getting’. After getting things set up and settled – we got in our car and drove over to the Arcade and Pavilion area just to check out what might be going on up there. During the 15 minutes that we were away from the campsite, there came a true southern “Gully Washer” I mean a torrential downpour of heavy rain and some gusts of wind. We were standing out under the pavilion watching the rain when I looked at my Wife and said – Well – I guess we just lost our new awning…….

Once back at the campsite, we saw our new awning fabric bellowing and brimming full of about 20 gallons of water. My son and I quickly went about trying to empty it all out before it just completely ripped it off the side of the camper. After draining it, we let it all the way down and discovered that once back up; we fared pretty well with minimal damage and actually still functions properly. A few tightened screws and sealant and all is good again.

Our Campesite

(awning is now lowered slightly on one end to allow any rain to run off and not build up with water) (Oh and Thanks again Jason! lol)

The night was great – we settled in a little early, watched a little television after dinner and went on to sleep. The kids giggled for quite some time but eventually fell fast asleep. The next day we moved our camper two sites down where we are to remain for the rest of the week. We called the Golf Cart Rental Place and had a Cart delivered right to our campsite courtesy of Coaches Golf Carts. We were in the process of just starting our day when all of a sudden our circuit breakers pop again. This time, it was more serious. Our neighbor and his wife were out under the canopy when they heard the Pop from over at the Power Tower where all of our services were plugged in to. After another 30 minutes of re-wiring the plug on our power cord we were back up and running. Another rescue from our hero campsite neighbor …… Thanks Jason!

A little while later our Neighbor spotted an issue with our stabilizer hitch and offered his assistance to correct it. We spent the next 20 minutes re-mounting my stabilizer bars and adjusting the rear hitch – looks good now and should pull even better. Once again ……Thanks Jason!!  By this time you would think I would have gotten his telephone number and just about be ready to expect a bill from him. LOL I offered him some money but all he wanted was a handshake and a smile. Which I graciously paid in full!

Under the Canopy

So now by Tuesday evening sitting out at the picnic table writing and cooking baked potatoes and pork chops on the grill, everything is working properly as far as I can tell, aside from the little issues that had popped up from the first three failures. Our neighbors are due to pull out tomorrow but as a great surprise to us have decided to stay through next weekend – which works out beautifully since we have gotten close with them and really enjoy their company – truly great people! Come to find out, Jason and his wife have been together since they began liking each other when he was 13 years old. After High School, they got married and had two wonderful daughters (Hannah and Marybeth) which by the way are here camping and playing with our daughter and great nieces having a better time than the big kids!!! Jason and Elizabeth own their own trucking and excavation company and seem to be really blessed. They also have a Wedding / Catering side business that has been quite successful as well.

Two weeks ago, our daughter was in a Sand Volleyball Tournament here at White Lake – (that’s how we found this place) and we met a beautiful person named Kaley Michelle who works at the Ice Cream Shop down the street. Kaley is a 19-year-old student who works here at the campgrounds during the summer. Her parents have a permanent site here in the camp and during the school year she is studying Chemistry away at college. We met up again with Kaylee on this trip and have had a great time talking and getting to know her a little better and just hanging out. She is a very sweet down to earth young lady who actually has her head and heart in the right place – looking to the future instead of the moment.

So I can say that – for this vacation here at White Lake, North Carolina we have had a wonderful time full of memory making experiences and new friends and acquaintances.  There is so much more to tell and share but this is enough for now. I will attempt to post pictures and maybe a video as well. God Bless and do yourself a favor – Go Camping and Experience Life a Little!!!!!

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Low carb is so simple they said, Eat it – you’ll like it they said – Enough Already!

Low carb is so simple they said,
Eat it – you’ll like it they said,
Don’t knock it till you try it they said,
Yada Yada Yada – Enough Already!

try it

Ok so my title needed a little work but it got your attention!

Before you give up on reading this post – please let me say this!  The most important thing in my life (other than God) is spending time with my family and being able to interact with them and enjoy life with them on a daily basis. If you love your family as much as I love mine then you should really think about your health!!!

I have been eating “healty-ish” for about 3 months now. Along with doing Thrive which gives me my energy and drive and makes me feel like my metabolism has been recharged, I have really reduced my Carb intake or tried to on a daily basis. I have reached a point in my life where I seriously needed to do something to improve my health. My knees, back and ankles were all jacked up which caused me to get really really lazy.

Jokingly I would say “I came in the world fat, dumb and happy and that’s the way I’m going out”! Ok so maybe I have gotten a little older and a little wiser and that just isn’t my total view of life anymore. I want to enjoy this time here on earth because this world is not my home and we should all try to have fun and enjoy it while we are here.

Ever since I was little, I have loved food (a curse I have since passed onto my daughter – of all three of my children, she had to be the one).  Anyways, I can remember visiting my Grandma and as soon as we walked in the door, we all headed straight for the Refrigerator because Grandma always had something special in there for us. Mom was a great cook and she and my sister taught me how to cook at an early age. Fried Egg sandwiches were my favorite back then.

As I got older, I ventured into other venues and tried my hand at more gourmet styles and traditional recipes and I found what I loved more than anything and that was cooking. Cooking gave me a sense of worth and accomplishment, it gave me satisfaction and just plain made me feel good. So as you can see – my love of food runs deep. No wonder why I have always struggled to maintain……….  ( I make a mean Carolina Barbecue).

Fast forward to 2017 and up until three months ago, I had gotten really out of shape. I had seriously put on some much Un-wan-ted extra weight and I was just dragging both feet in the sand. I mean it was bad! Anyways, I had the chance to visit with my sister in person one day and I saw her for like the first time in 4 months and she was about half the size that she used to be. Now Brenda is about 5 years older than me and she was the one that I always listened to growing up. She was the “Big Sister” and looked out after us boys so we really didn’t have a choice in the matter – but whatever.  So I’m looking at my sister and I finally had to ask – how did you do it? How did you lose all that weight? Brenda looked at me and said – It was no big deal – I just switched to Low Carb. – Wait What?  YEAH RIGHT!

She said when eating low carb you eat until satisfied of the following whole natural foods:  meat, chicken, fish, eggs, full fat dairy (if tolerated), nuts, and all above ground veggies.  You can even add berries and low card RediWhip if you want a sweet treat.  Brenda had cut her Carb intake to below 50 carbs per day. Stay away from Bread, Pasta, Rice, Sugar, Soft Drinks and Root Vegetables.

So now I am on my third month of my Thrive/Low Carb routine and I have to say WOW – This Really Works for me! There is plenty of food for me to eat and I have lost a total of 35 pounds, and several inches from my waist. My feet, ankles and knees are not swollen as bad anymore and I don’t hurt all over like I used to. I can actually move around better. I have all the energy I need and I don’t have the urges to eat like I used to. I am still getting what my body need to maintain a healthy lifestyle and I can actually burn away unwanted pounds that I don’t want! Yay for me I know.

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But Now I have to add – what have you got to lose??? For me this is the real deal! This is the Truth! I am not trying to sell you anything, I am not trying to influence you politically or spiritually. I am simply saying that this worked for me and I urge you to just give it a try.

 Now I say –
Low carb is so simple
Eat it – you’ll like it
Don’t knock it till you try it

 

Here are some examples of what I eat now.

Low Carb Snacks and Foods:

Frozen Shrimp sautéed in butter and Garlic

Pork Skins with Pimento Cheese on top

Diced up Peaches with a dollop of flavored Cream Cheese and Rediwhip

Low Carb Tortilla roll ups (Ham, Cheese, Chicken Salad, etc.)

Pork Skins broken up as Croutons

Chef Salads.

Mashed Cauliflower with Cream Cheese mixed in.

Cottage Cheese with diced Onions – salt and pepper added

Broccoli and Cheese

Loaded Baked Cauliflower Casserole

Grilled Steak and Chicken

Lightly breaded Shrimp and Flounder

Peanut Butter Pork Skins

All Vegetables (except Root Veggies).

 

The trick for me is trying to stay between 30 and 50 carbs per day. Don’t be too strict on yourself, it’s ok to reward yourself every once in a while. Have fun with it.

 

Still don’t believe me – I am sure that my fellow Low Carber Carla over at https://barbellsnbites.com/2017/04/11/10-things-i-love-about-low-carb/ could possibly change your mind!!!!!  ( Sorry about the cheesy plug there Carla  – LOL).