An Odd but Fruitful Fourth

Saturday was the Fourth of July. As Wikipedia puts it, the Fourth is a day, “commemorating the Declaration of Independence of the United States, on July 4, 1776.” As I’m sure most of you know, it is a national holiday.

For Clif and Me, it was the oddest Fourth of July we have ever had. Usually, we host a gathering of family and friends on our patio, and Clif makes his legendary grilled bread. But thanks to Covid-19, no family and friends this year and no grilled bread.

Unfortunately, for the past ten years, the weather has been beastly on the Fourth, very hot and very humid. This year, of course, the weather was absolutely perfect—sunny but not too hot and low humidity.

At around 2:00, Clif and I took to the patio and had grilled Beyond Burgers, a tasty vegetarian substitute for hamburgers. The weather was so fine that we stayed on the patio for the rest of the afternoon.

We talked at great length about food, and how we can eat better to enhance our health. Ever since the pandemic started, both Clif and I have been aware that not only are we at risk because of age but also because of health issues. Clif has type 2 diabetes, and I am overweight.

I have been working diligently at losing weight and am having success. I’ve also been riding my exercise bike five mornings a week, and I’m happy to report that my creaky knees are not as creaky.

On the Fourth, Clif decided it was time to get serious  about controlling his carbohydrate (carb) intake. A friend of ours who has struggled with type 2 diabetes for years is now facing the prospect of going on dialysis. Sobering, to say the least. And this really made Clif think about his own health, not just in this time of Covid-19 but afterward as well.

For the past year and a half, Clif and I have been vegetarians. This might be coming to an end as we add chicken and fish to our diet as we change to a low-carb regimen.  But strangely enough, being vegetarian has given us the courage and confidence to tackle low-carb eating. Giving up meat was not easy for us, but we did it,  and we radically changed the way we eat. Because of this, we know we can change the way we eat again.

Now, Clif is a computer guy, a geek, if you will. Because Clif couldn’t find an online tool for keeping track of carbs that worked the way he thought it should, his response was to create his own carb data base on his computer. The data base allows him to create his own list with net carb numbers and serving size. This makes it easy for Clif to keep track of his daily carb intake. He is aiming for 50 to 60 carbs a day, and yesterday Clif was able to do this and still have beer and nuts on the patio.

So onward, ho, to a new way of eating. One, we hope, that leads to better health.





56 thoughts on “An Odd but Fruitful Fourth”

  1. Well done both. It is tough. I have lost some weight during lockdown, but it has been a hard slog. I eat just within an 8 hour time period, I have a just two meals with a tiny snack in between and I try to do exercise. If I deviate from that at all, I put on weight again. Not easy.
    Sending you both waves of support.

  2. Glad you had a nice weekend, and it was the same here, just the two of us. 50-60 carbs – I wish you luck and hope it works out for you. We were out doing errands and stopped at an ice cream shop so I probably ate half of those carbs in one snack. I have a family member who has Type 1 and counts carbs so I know first hand how challenging it is. You’ll need a food scale too if you don’t have one because it will help in weighing portions.

  3. You both have plenty of self-discipline, and that’s a very good trait. Good luck to you and Clif with your dietary and exercise modifications. Hi, Laurie. Bye till next time.

  4. Good luck on this endeavor! We have tried meatless and also low carb. We hope to get back to a moderation in all things. Don’t know how it will go.

  5. I’ve heard so many people talk about that extra five or ten pounds that magically appeared during the lockdown. I added a few myself, and need to get them off pronto. Oddly, summer is the hardest time for me to lose weight because of the heat — the hiking and such that’s such a pleasure at other times of the year is dreadful in our heat.

    I know you’ll both do well, though. And in truth, success does breed success. Even five pounds gone can be felt, and that helps to sustain the motivation.

  6. It’s great you’re doing this together Laurie and changing your diet gradually will make it easier to adapt and get used to a new way of enjoying healthy meals 💚

  7. Wishing you and Clif continuing success in your quest for health, Laurie! Healthy eating can taste wonderful, and exercise is good for body and soul. Stay well! 🙂

  8. Good for you getting on your exercise bike each day ( terrific success already to have less creaky knees 👏👏) …also well done Clif on creating his own data base …. I think you are much more likely to follow something you have created yourself… my brother did a similar thing when he needed to loss weight & it worked well. I’ve never eaten much fish, although it is so good for you generally…but I’ve decided to try some more interesting recipes. Good luck with it all.😁👌

  9. So glad that the day was a good one. Good luck with the low carb diet. The right diet and the right exercise can do wonders. I need to search out both myself…

  10. Good luck to you both in this new chapter of low-carb eating. Pre-diabetes made me switch to low-carb which I did for a number of years and reduced my blood sugar levels to below pre-diebatic threasholds.
    These days I eat a little more carb but still very little compared to most people. I eat loads of fibre which keeps the net carb figure down around the levels Cliff is aiming for. There are still many delicious things left to eat!

    1. Thanks so much for the encouragement. And how wonderful you were able to control pre-diabetes with with a low-carb diet. Are there any high-fiber foods you could suggest? Clif and I are still at the blunder stage on this new way of eating.

      1. Take a look at the fibre in veggies; not all veg but there are plenty which add up the fibre if you like veg! I avoid potatoes, rice and pasta and add more veg instead. Spinach is good! And some great fruits – berries especially and rhubarb, which are low carb. Cauliflower rice you’ve discovered – I blitz up a cauliflower for that as it’s cheaper than buying the packets. I also try to include chia seeds where I can. It’s surprising how a little fibre in a lot of things adds up – and keeps you feeling full too!

  11. You changed diet once and you will do it again. If you enjoy eating and cooking then it is just another challenge to find new recipes. I know of people who have used carb control to treat type 2 diabetes and are now clear of it. One substituted meat and fat for the carbs and yo-yoed his weight but those who filled up on veggies lost weight, felt better and fitter and thrived. And if you are slimmer exercise is easier and your joints are happier. A notable day is a good one to take stock and start a new regime – you will remember the anniversary and review it next year. Good luck and please let us know how you get on.

  12. “Underlying conditions” has taken on a new, ominous meaning in this pandemic, hasn’t it? Kudos to you for making changes to your diet–and good luck.

    1. Once it’s a little more polished, Clif will be happy to share it. Not sure if he’s going to market it, but he will make it available to any blogging friend who would like it.

  13. Well done both of you and good luck. I had a similar thought to Derrick. That’s the way good ideas start by filling a needs gap.

  14. Good luck with the new way. That burger looks really good! The 4th of July was very different this year, that’s for sure.

  15. Wonderful to read your creaky knees are feeling better and that you’re finding food choices you like to improve your health. Spending this much time at home has also changed our eating habits and the grocery list continues to change every week. Your July 4th lunch looked delicious and healthy and somehow I hope things can improve enough so you can see friends and family sometime soon.

    1. Very good to be able to go up the stairs in a normal way rather than one at a time, like a small child. I fear it will be quite a while before we get together with family and friends.

  16. I have actually put a few pounds on during lockdown. I blame this on my husband as he has been here permanently because he wasn’t able to do his France/U.K. commute. This means I’ve had to have ‘proper’ dinner every night rather than the bowl of porridge or scanty salad I would often have when alone. Also, my Pilates and Zumba classes have been unavailable and I’m too uninspired to do them on at home with a YouTube video. Also, I’ve been leaving the dog walking to husband. So, when he finally gets to fly over to the U.K. next week for an unspecified amount of time – I will be eating porridge for dinner and dog walking like a woman possessed, otherwise I’ll have to be making some new outfits and they may not be pretty.

  17. Good on you, Laurie and Clif. Changing our eating habits is never easy. As you demonstrate, it is very possible…and it does get easier over time. BTW – Clif may be able to market his computer carb program. Just sayin!

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