Weight Loss #4

This morning I got up and (after Bible reading, of course) warmed up then made my best attempt at interval running. It’s actually moderately intensive jogging for 20 seconds then walking for a minute, but it really got my heart rate up and the sweat pouring! It’s hard to find time in the evenings to workout and run, so I really hope to make doing so in the mornings my usual thing.

I followed that up with a very refreshing cold shower, then drank my COLD water. Why do I make it a point to drink iced water early in the morning?

  • Introducing that cold water to my system in a fasted state and early means my body has to burn a few more calories to warm it up (and to warm me up).
  • It kicks off my daily hydration focus with a nice start. The routine is easy to remember and gets me hydrated before I have my black coffee, a diuretic.
  • It helps me feel full, making intermittent fasting much easier. My mind isn’t on my empty stomach, because it’s not really empty; I can focus on what I need to do instead of food.

In future posts, I’ll go into the whys of:

  • Walking 30 minutes to an hour a day
  • Eating one meal a day (OMAD, 23:1)
  • Making a conscious effort to stand as much as possible, rather than sitting

I’m down 15 pounds thus far!

Weight Loss #3

I had a cold, my wife had it too; my older daughter had bronchitis and a nasty fever, and my younger daughter had an ear infection. It was a rough few days with COVID tests for everybody.

I caved and took warm showers for three or four days, but I’m back on the cold shower train today.

Why cold showers? Cold therapy, such as one gets by taking a cold shower, has been shown to:

  • Decrease inflammation and soreness
  • Aid the immune system
  • Increase the metabolic rate
  • Help convert “white fat” to “brown fat,” a type of fat that is leaner and lowers levels of certain amino acids in the bloodstream that studies have linked to obesity, insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes

Plus–and I really don’t know any other way to say this–I just feel cleaner after a cold shower!

In future posts, I’ll go into the “whys” of:

  • Drinking a quart of iced water early in the morning
  • Walking 30 minutes to an hour a day
  • Eating one meal a day (OMAD, 23:1)
  • Making a conscious effort to stand as much as possible, rather than sitting

I’m down 12 pounds thus far!

Weight Loss #2

Here’s what my day looks like with the new lifestyle adaptations (note that I didn’t start all these at once):

  • Wake at 5:00 AM and read my Bible (Exodus and Luke right now)
  • Take a cold shower (!)
  • Drink a quart of iced water
  • Get myself and the kids ready for the day
  • Work, with a 30-minute walk on my lunch break
  • Family worship after work
  • Eat my one meal for the day (OMAD, 23:1) anywhere from 5:30-6:30
  • Take multivitamin caplet and sambucas immune booster pill
  • Walk for 30 minutes again
  • Hang out with the family, read, take care of things around the house, journal, etc. (basically here I try to really restrict screen time)
  • ALL THE WHILE I stand, walk, or pace as much as possible. I’ve been sitting way too much for years
  • Lie down and read from the Psalms or Proverbs (read through them every four months)
  • Asleep by 10:00 PM

I’m down 6.5 pounds thus far! In the next post, I’ll go into the “why” of some of my choices.

Weight Loss #1

I’ve never liked talking about my weight. It started creeping up in high school, jumped up in (my first round of) college, ballooned after I got married and started a VERY stressful job, and stabilized once I got serious about college and had my first daughter.

I even cut quite a bit of weight in 2016, put it back on, and cut again in 2017. In 2018, it started right back up. But instead of the downward trend of the yo-yo-ing, it kept going up.

And up.

Then the lockdown started. Working from home was not the best thing for my weight. I put on 20+ pounds to be the heaviest I’ve ever been. I felt bad, looked worse, and had to spend money on new clothes that are so big they could never look nice on me.

And so, I’ve started another weight loss journey in 2021. Really, it’s more a lifestyle change journey:

  • I want to be healthy for me wife.
  • I want to be healthy for my kids.
  • I want to be healthy for my homestead, to care for the home and land with which God has blessed me.
  • I want to be healthy for my church so my appearance doesn’t detract from the message of the Gospel and mission of the saints.

I’m DOWN 4.5 pounds thus far! In the next post, I’ll talk about some things I’m doing to make these changes for the better.

Ryan’s Sorghum Sweet Potato Pie

Over the course of about three years I perfected this pie. To my taste, it’s not too sweet, nor is any flavor overpowering. The sorghum gives it an earthy sweetness, the ginger some mild bite, and the bourbon vanilla extract plays a subtle yet important supporting role for the star, the sweet potatoes.

Poor pic of a great pie

Oddly, no other sweet potato pie recipe I’ve found calls for salt. It was the last thing I added to the recipe, and it absolutely ties all the flavors together perfectly. The ginger goes great with the graham cracker crust. When making fresh whipped cream, throw in some of that bourbon vanilla extract.

  • 2-3 sweet potatoes (1.25-1.5 lbs raw)
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sorghum (not molasses)
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (preferably homemade with bourbon)*
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 9″ graham cracker pie crust

Bake sweet potatoes at 425* for one hour. Turn off heat and let sweet potatoes remain in oven for 40-50 minutes until tender. Preheat oven to 350*. Remove sweet potato skins and place in large mixing bowl. Add butter and mix. Add sorghum, brown sugar, cream, eggs, bourbon vanilla extract, spices and salt. Mix until smooth. Pour filling into pie crust and bake at 350* for one hour. Let cool and fall. Serve warm with fresh whipped cream.

*If you don’t have bourbon vanilla extract, add 1/4 tsp bourbon with 3/4 tsp regular vanilla extract

How To Make Fermented Honey Garlic

This was one of my first ferments. I, my uncle, and neighbor keep bees, so there’s no shortage of raw honey here.

Why make it?

First of all, it’s crazy easy. Peel garlic. Pour honey. Put in a dark place. Turn it over/swirl it around every few days. Wait.

That’s it.

Another reason is that it increases the immune-boosting and medicinal properties of honey and garlic. Fermentation partially digests food for us, making more goodies bio-available.

It also tastes good. Use if for sauces, marinades, and glazes.

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How To Make Fermented Mustard

When I was a boy, I hated mustard. But like many things, my taste buds improved with age 🙂 Now I take every opportunity to eat it! I use it for:

  • Sandwiches, of course (ham and bologna especially)
  • Smoked brats and Polish sausage
  • Marinating chicken (with buttermilk, garlic, honey, soy sauce, etc.)
  • Topping butter crackers to eat with summer sausage or salami
  • Topping salmon patties
  • Homemade salad dressing
  • Coating pork shoulders and ribs to help BBQ rub stick
  • GIFTS!
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The finished product.

Mustard is not only tasty, but it’s good for you. So if you make your own, you can feel especially good about piling it on because it is fresh, cheap, and healthy!

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Fermentation 101

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Making sauerkraut.

Books upon books have been written about fermentation. This is by no means meant to be an exhaustive post on the subject; this is a basic overview of fermentation and the science/art (scart?) of fermenting.

I hope to lure you into the wonderful world of friendly bacteria and yeasts; let’s put these little microscopic critters to work!

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