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-   -   Totally Confused and Desperate! (http://www.lowcarbfriends.com/bbs/eat-fat-get-thin/804275-totally-confused-desperate.html)

joanv 05-16-2013 07:49 PM

Totally Confused and Desperate!
Hello, I am humbled by the number of people on this forum who have been losing weight and figuring out all the numbers.

I am desperate to lose weight! I am going on 64 years old, have bad arthritis, one new hip and the other needs to be done quite soon. Exercise is very difficult as not only do I have arthritis but used to have two dislocated hips, now after my op a year ago I just have one dislocated hip!

I am now 222 lbs and I am 5 feet 7ins. I have been 270 pounds at my heaviest some years ago but I have been yo-yoi-ing between 235 and 200 lbs for so long. I just can't crack it. When I had my op done last July I weighed 198 lbs, but that was after a year on very strong drugs that destroyed my appetite. I was 210 at the beginning of this March, 230 at the beginning of this April...now I'm 222 lbs. For the last three weeks, I have been wavering between 225 and 220 but mostly 222, 223, 221 etc. I am totally stuck. I must be doing something wrong, but what? The way of working out the figures I find totally baffling and the more panicky I get about my hip and my weight that is affecting it, the more I get a mind block about working the numbers out :(

I have the late Barry Groves' book and I've read it countless times. It's the way of eating that I like and always have, I like eating rich creamy buttery and fatty food, I don't eat cake, bread, biscuits, sweets or chocolate because I'm one of those weird people who doesn't like them! Nor do I eat processed food and packaged, I eat plenty of fresh vegetables, I watch the starchy ones, don't eat potatoes, fries, etc. But despite doing all that I have got into this ridiculous situation where I am just not getting the weight down!

Please can anyone advise me? I have a fairly sedentary lifestyle, busy round the house, always up and down from my chair, but life's a bit of an effort to be honest because I am forcing my poor hip to deal with heaving all this weight around all the time. I am really getting desperate about all this, because it's seriously affecting my chances of a successful operation and I also am scared of my 'new hip' suffering.

Sorry for this long post, but please can anyone help me understand how to work out percentages and figures and where I might be going wrong? I am very grateful for anyone's help!

Thank you so much!

ravenrose 05-16-2013 08:52 PM

I read on About Low Carb recently that very few people ever lose more than 5-20% of their highest weight long term. This is no matter what sort of eating plan they adopt, including surgery.

The fact is, you are very successful, and as you point out, it takes a LOT just to keep it there without even losing more. Unfortunately this is the more normal reality, especially as we get older.

Read "How Much Weight Loss Can We Expect?" on there for more information. It isn't happy stuff, but it lets you know what's going on and it's perfectly normal. Good luck! *hug*

CarolynF 05-17-2013 07:19 AM

Hi Joan,

First of all, the older we get, the less food we can eat. True, true, true. I'm 63 and I have learned this.

Barry in his book originally said to eat 2,000 calories and for way many of us, it didn't
work and one lady gained 17 pounds in a month doing that. So, I would cut back to
1500 calories..(Carbs count the most, calories are second in line).

You are sedentary, so that does cut you back a bit, too. It is best to use an on-line
program to keep track of foods if you aren't familiar with percentages, etc..

If I were you, I wouldn't eat more than 30 carbs a day or 20 to start with..Protein should
be around 70-90 grams and don't sweat the amount of fat. But, fat adds lots of calories and we should be prudent, but not consumed with the amount of fat. That is, to say,
keeping it within your 1500 calorie budget.

I started taking metformin from my doctor and this helped a lot in weight loss for me.
I did have metabolic syndrome, and was diagnosed with that, so it is not a "diabetes"

I think if you cut down on your amount of food..Even too many veggies can "add up" in the carb department, cut down on the fats, and get your protein in the 70-90 gram
range, you will start losing..

It is hard once we get over 60, but it can be done, but you have to be vigilant..:)

Patience 05-17-2013 07:38 AM

I am about the same age, too, and it is hard. Wished I had taken this bit of wisdom to heart earlier. Nonetheless in 7 weeks I am down a pant size and almost no aching in my hips anymore. I'd say just commit positively to low carb (if that is you plan, it sure is the one I would recommend). Good advice to keep the carbs quite low (sounds you pretty much do this) and eat enough not to get hungry. The calorie counting time may come, but I think is is good to give your body some help adjusting and be generous (not too much of course), with the fats. My new discovery this time around in coconut oil and it's doing something positive for me. Do you incorporate this into your life?

p.s. It can be good to post your menus too, as you will get quality feedback from people with varied experience. Also, ask for and give support. Find a thread or two that you like, make some friends, and they will be there for you. Remember that you have wisdom to share, too, so feel free to offer advice as well as give it.

You can do this. Try to commit positively!

joanv 05-18-2013 06:27 AM

Hello RavenRose, CarolynF and Bella

I appreciate the time you took to answer, and thank you for all your help and advice. I'm realising that it's partly an age thing, and of course I've not helped myself by yoyo dieting for most of my life. I have had quite long 'slim' periods in my life, but equally I've had long 'fat' periods in greater proportion. Not helped by having a large family when I gained large amounts of weight while pregnant. So here I am now, and I'm so grateful to you for helping. Carolyn, your help with the figures and advising what proportion I should try for with carbs, protein and fat. I'll follow your advice. And Bella - I did actually buy another bottle of organic coconut oil to start using it on Monday once I've had a chance to figure it all out and plan properly so I don't stall before I start. I've been reading up about coconut oil - it sounds very interesting and the one I have bought tastes very mild. I must also put my menu into ****** or one of the other similar calculators.

To let you know what I am eating -my menu yesterday was 3 scrambled eggs with a cup or so of mushrooms fried in oil for breakfast (which was late, nearer lunch). Then mid afternoon I had a diet protein cookie (which I'd been trying for lunch, but don't have any more and won't buy either), which is 10 protein and 3g carb. In the evening I had a cup of lettuce, a medium sized tomato, 6 black olives and about five tiny bell peppers stuffed with cream cheese packaged in oil. I poured that oil over the salad. During the course of the day I had three mugs of white coffee, two were decaff instant and had a tablespoonful of cream in each. One was regular coffe in a cafe, just a mug of latte. I also had a couple of cups of green tea and a cup of decaff black coffee.

Today I had very similar for breakfast but without the diet cookie, but for dinner tonight I got in late after helping my daughter and there wasn't much to have, so I had a serving of fried mushrooms in oil, with one egg mixed in and stirred around. I have also had a cafe coffee, and a cup of decaff with i tablespoonful of cream.

I would say that yesterday's menu is pretty representative of what I've been having of late, as it's been so hot, maybe I have a small portion of tinned tuna in olive oil, but now it's cooler I am having a small serving of poached salmon with a cup of broccoli and a cup of cauliflower, or I may have a small piece of steak or a pork chop, with broccoli and cauliflower.

I'd be very grateful for your comments about it, if you happen to have a chace, Kindest regards and thank you!

CarolynF 05-18-2013 07:03 AM


Protein at every meal is important, of course. Make sure you are getting at lest 70 grams a day, which is about 10 ounces or a bit more a day. So, divide that up between meals and snacks, if you have them.

Water is another important element to weight loss, too..Make sure you drink enough water. Tea can be counted as water, as long as it is brewed (leaves/bag).

Coconut oil is great sub for other oils, but too many people add too much to their daily allotment and find themselves gaining weight because of the extra calories.

At our age, it is a battle every day. It is a good battle, but we can't let our guard down.
Once in a while, if there is a cheat, then get right back on a strict plan for the next few days until the weight is lost.

You can do it..:)

Patience 05-18-2013 09:48 AM

I agree with Carolyn about too much CO. I fell into fat bomb heaven, but that is history. Now I just use the CO in my coffee in the morning and sometimes in the afternoon. I am using it instead of the half and half I used to swear by. I like it, sometimes I add some butter. Its my take on what is known as bullet proof coffee. It keep my hunger at bay for some time. I've found that I can get by with one or at the most two eggs, and sometimes just a piece of meat of some sort to start the day. That way I get to save my egg/s for later in the day. I love eggs.

Your diet looks pretty good to me. I wonder about the amounts of oil you are using, do you measure? (I am a fine one to talk because I need to start doing this myself). Also the latte you had, depending on how it as prepared can be carbic and caloric.

Although I have been a good exerciser in the past, for now I am not doing much structured exercise. But I am finding a bit of exercise is going a long way for me now. One thought I had for you is if you could do hand weights while sitting, say watching tv or whatever. You can expend a fair amount of energy and develop some muscle tone. That sounds like such an good idea, I think I am going to start following my own advice!

So I hope you are not so desparate today . . . you may be a bit more confused, but that's ok I think because you just need to do some sorting of our ideas to discover what will work for you. I think that's the journey most of us are on. :hugs:

joanv 05-19-2013 01:53 AM

Hi Carolyn and Bella, thank you again for the encouragement and extra advice. I'm feeling a lot more positive having had some backup from people who understand what it's like to be 60+ and overweight.

Oil - no, I don't measure, and yes I should! I did have a coffee this morning with CO and some butter, though not as much of either as it suggests in the full bullet proof coffee but it was delicious. I realise I must limit my intake though. I would have been one of those women who would have gained on 2000 calories a day! Way too much for me! I still haven't put my food into a calculator but I'll sit and do that tonight so I can see the problem for myself. As for exercise - I wish I could do the hand weights but sadly I can't (dislocating wrists and shoulders) which is annoying but never mind! Think the lack of exercise means that most people with my medical condition have trouble with weight but need desperately to keep it down nevertheless so it's an ongoing battle which I absolutely have to win, even if I end up never being able to relax. (Which I suspect will be the way it happens). But thank you, ladies, I really appreciate your help!

Patience 05-19-2013 06:47 AM

Good to hear that you a feeling better, Joan. I will make a pact to measure oils too, I am not going to overly restrict. but I'd like to have a record of how much I am using. I've been in denial since my restart, but now I am far enough in (7 weeks) that I am starting to think about measuring and counting. Just more knowledge, nothing to be afraid of (talking to myself here).

I am loving my BPC. I have not missed my half and half, even though there is some in the frig. I can easily record how much fat I am using. I am tending to make it with just CO, sometimes with butter and sometimes with HWC. I like to use m little frother to mix it up. THis morning I used 2 tablespoons of CO.

Have you considered the isometric type exericises where you tighten muscles?

CarolynF 05-19-2013 01:47 PM

Honestly, and this is the truth..You can certainly lose weight without exercise. That is, if you work the plan with no deviations. Dr. Taubes says this and I believe it. However, we should move as much as we can in order to keep limber and as fit as we can..

It will be great if you keep track of your calories/carbs. If your BP coffee has 300 calories, then that is a good portion of your breakfast..You might just need an egg to go with it..

Years ago, ladies were making Coconut Bark (nommie) and eating it thinking that was going to help them lose weight..They all gained because they didn't count it in their
total allotment..

joanv 05-20-2013 04:07 AM

Hi, yes I can do a few of the isometric exercises - they are the only ones that I can do, just have to take it easy with them. I have some set exercises I have to do each day, just don't feel that they burn many calories but at least they keep me ticking over! I think I just have to be totally committed to this way of eating if I'm going to get back to a reasonable weight for my hips and other joints. I've put my food into a calculator today inc what I shall be having for my nightcap, and the calories are lower than I'd like at this stage of the regime so it's going to need a bit of tweaking.
Fat = 85g; Carbs = 26g and Protein = 45g. Total calories 1037. My concern is that I didn't seem to eat too much at all so I'm a bit confused about keeping the proportions right. How do you manage to keep within the figures but not overdoing anything? I'm interested in what type of foods you would eat during a normal kind of day?

Patience 05-20-2013 06:14 AM

Since I have restarted, I am starting to believe what folks here are saying about the importance of exercise. Yes it is good for lots of reasons, but not the key to weight loss. So I think Carolyn is right that you might not need to worry about the isometrics burning calories. I have just started tracking yesterday, so I can't say much about proportions yet. I do agree with what Carolyn says about just a small amount of protein to go with the BPC in the morning. I've heard this from others and it is proving to be the case for me, too. I have some protein (one egg, or one piece of breakfast meat on the typical morning, sometimes more) and with the extra fat in the coffee it really takes care of my appetite. I am no longer ravenous at noon, in search of food. I have been having another cup in mid to late afternoon, sometimes with a small lc snack, and I've been finding that I really don't have much appetite in the evening. I even skipped my budgeted evening snack both evenings this weekend. This appetite supression is really a new thing for me, and what a nice trick (?) it is. Couldn't wait for my BPC this morning and two hours later I still have not had breakfast. I will before going to work, of course.

You mentioned nightcap. Be sure to add that into your calculator. Wine and beer can fuel carb craving (experience speaking here) so keep that in mind, too.

joanv 05-20-2013 07:01 PM

Hi Bella

Glad that you've started tracking too. I'm very slowly getting my head round it, but I'm finding that there are some bits and pieces of information spread throughout the threads, that make me doubt whether I'm quite doing this right yet but I guess the scales will tell! I am counting yesterday as a reasonable success for me, as this morning the scales showed a drop of 3 lbs to 219; it's only 1lb less than the 'swing' I've been getting over the last few weeks (223-220) but it's a move in the right direction and I'm hoping it's a sign that things are finally going to start shifting now that I've had all this great advice from you guys.

I notice your sig file doesn't mention your goal, not sure if that's because it's private, in which case I totally understand! Just wondered how far you are from your goal and how much success you are getting? I think this forum is wonderful and with support like this I am sure the likes that you and I, and Carolyn and everyone else here, can start seeing light at the end of the tunnel. Hope your day goes well, guys!

Patience 05-20-2013 07:25 PM

Yes, downward is good even if slow.
I just haven't gotten around to doing the goal stuff . . . I think it's because I've been in denial. I think I'll get to it before long. I don't know my exact weight . . . I know it's likely a lifetime high. But for now I am just checking for how my clothes fit and I started tracking what I am eating yesterday (and I am already behind!).

joanv 05-20-2013 11:46 PM

Oh dear, Bella, but I think you are probably right to be concerning yourself whether or not your clothes fit. I am one of those people who jump on the scales every day, but I envy you being able to resist. There's no harm in being in denial about your weight, the good thing is that you are here and doing something about it. Hope you have a good day with your tracking today!

PS, meant to say, when I mentioned a nightcap in my post yesterday, I didn't mean alcoholic, I meant my bedtime drink. I've got to be really strong where alcohol is concerned because I know with me even a glass brings everything to a screeching halt!

Hope you have a nice day!

maepowers 05-21-2013 12:14 AM

Hi Joanv,
I'm new to LCF here, also. Been a lurker and reader of the forum for a long time. You're right, a lot of great people here, always ready to help. Hi to Bella, Caro, Raven, good advice and kind words to Joan. Joah, I sometimes have arthritis in my lower back and knee, which of course affects the hip, so I can sympathize with you. As you get older, movement is good for you, slow and effective type. Have you done chair exercises. Look this up on Utube, there are a lot of ones that can help you. See what your doctor suggests too. I have also done Leslie Sansone's Walk Away the Pounds. Her walking is slow and many people of all ages benefit by it. Start slow, three times a week, it's only about 20 minutes and really builds your strength up. As far as your diet, it does look pretty good. Experiment with different things until you find what works for you; try not to stress over it and you will find your way. And of course ask questions to those here; lots of good advice already given your way. The best of luck to you and everyone here. ~MP~

Patience 05-22-2013 07:08 AM

Hi Joan, how are you doing today?
My prime directive in my WOE is first to drink no alcohol. Then diet (LC).
Moderate exercise is #3.
I come from a line of problem drinkers and I know alcohol does me no favors.
In 8 weeks I have had no achohol, and not much in the way of struggle. I think I've settled into a good way of eating, but I just need to remember to plan ahead and then focus on today. I'd like to exercise more but I am doing some.

I am still behind of tracking! Maybe with my three day weekend coming up and no social or work obligations I can catch up. I am trying to keep my diet simple for now so that the calculations are easier. :) I think it's a matter of making it a habit.

My avoidance of the scale is not by power of will. It's the power of denial and I pretty sure the scale needs batteries. How about that . . . I don't even know that it needs batteries. !!

Patience 05-24-2013 03:13 PM

Joan, I've missed updates from you. Howya doing?

ENDZONE 05-24-2013 03:43 PM

I didn't see anywhere in the posts above about the best exercise for someone in your condition: swimming! Check out the local Y for inexpensive water aerobic classes. They do the body good!

joanv 05-27-2013 09:30 PM

Hi Bella

Sorry for the silence, and thank you for checking up on me. I had big computer problems, but thankfully it's fixed and I am back online.

I know what alcohol does to me too - stops me losing so I've given it up altogether as well. I admire you for your resolve. I'm sure you will eventually be spurred on to check whether the scales need new batteries, and can face your weight problem head on. Even if it is as bad as you thought - or worse - at least you will have faced it, know what you are up against, and maybe get some more determination to overcome it. It's hard to have to deal with the knowledge that you are the heaviest you have ever been but next week you could be a few pounds lighter! I wish I had a magic wand, but all I can do is to try to encourage you as others are doing for me.

I'll try to update my own post shortly, but I wanted to send answers to people who have taken the trouble to help me, rather than let my thanks get buried in all my own stuff!

joanv 05-27-2013 09:38 PM

Hi Maepowers, and welcome to our forum!

Thank you for the kind advice and suggestions - sorry I didn't reply sooner but as you may have seen in my reply to Bella, I have been off the air with computer problems for several days. All fixed now, thank Goodness!

Yes, I've seen some of the YouTube chair exercises - they are very good, and a few there that I do try to do, so it's really kind of you to help. I also do try to walk, but have to be very careful - have to use my daughter's treadmill as I can't do sustained walking in the street due to the risk of falling. I agree, walking is a great exercise! I hope your low carb WoE is working for you?

joanv 05-27-2013 09:51 PM

As for me and my weight - it's up and down, literally. I am finding I am getting stuck so often that it's very frustrating. Four weeks of varying between 15stone 10lbs and 16 stone 1lb (where did _that_ come from???) drove me to distraction. Then I came on this forum and started tracking my calorie/carb/protein intake which got me on a far better course even though there wasn't anything especially bad about my general diet before. I think it was the protein that was the problem, not carbs.

I dropped to 15stone 6lbs within a week of starting it, which I realise was due to cutting carbs and cutting protein - a few too many carbs before hand and definitely too much protein. So I upped the fat, reduced carbs and protein and it worked straight away. Oh yes, and I included coconut oil into my fat intake.

But now - I just don't know what's happening, or why! I am stuck yet again - 15stone 6lbs was temporary - since then I am 15.7 to 15.8 1/2, been there for days, just won't shift! I've not cheated in any way whatsoever, not even a mouthful.

I am SO hungry practically all the time. My calories are around 12-1300, and using an online tracker I'm having around 50g protein, about 20-22g carbs, and the rest is fat. I promise you this, I am being SO strict with myself. So what's going on? This morning I was so hungry when I had breakfast around 11am, had three average scrambled eggs which would normally last me till the evening but 1.15pm I was so starving that I could barely function; I looked in the fridge but there isn't anything in there that won't put me over my proportions so I had a cup of black coffee to try to kid my stomach into thinking it was full.

Just feel so darned miserable and fed up about this ridiculous plateauing every few pounds and just don't know how to fix it.

Endzone - thank you for the swimming suggestion - unfortunately although I used to be a very strong distance swimmer and love it (the only 'sport' I have ever been able to do) unfortunately I am unable to do it now, and due to the water aerobics being done in the warm water pool only, I can't join that class. Oh well! Thank you for the help, it was very kind of you! How is your day?

MerryKate 05-28-2013 12:01 AM

joanv, it sounds like your calories and protein are both too low, which will lead to hunger. If you're not eating enough, that will stall weight loss just as eating too much will. When you're hungry, listen to your body and eat something that's on your plan. You may need more food in the morning and less in the evening.

Try this simple calculator to give you a good idea of how much to eat for weight loss. This is a calculator someone here on low-carb friends put together to figure out the basics.

joanv 05-28-2013 03:04 AM

Hello and thank you for your advice. It is really kind of you to help me! I can see that you are doing brilliantly, well done! Hopefully I'll be able to follow your example. I'm interested that you think I am not eating enough.. that would certainly account for why I'm feeling so hungry all the time! Unfortunately I am not very clear on what I can eat, everything I add seems to mess up the figures so it's all very monotonous, but if I vary from it I don't seem to be able to make the figures add up! Thank you for sending me the calculator - I really appreciate your generosity! I don't actually have a clue what it means, unfortunately - I am not very good where numbers are concerned. I'll have to see if one of my daughters can fathom it out. Thank you anyway!

Patience 05-28-2013 04:10 AM

Joan, I agree with MerryKate,
With a low carb/high fat diet, you don't have to be hungry all the time.
Don't eat past being full, but if you are hungry please eat.
If you are a coffee or tea drinker in the morning, add some HWC, CO or butter to it.
Or make some fatbombs, lots of recipes here.
Low carb is not about counting calories in the beginning. Seems you are cutting them too much right now.

joanv 05-29-2013 03:01 AM

Thank you, Bella. I love the way of eating, and like reading about everyone's experiences. I do find a lot of trouble understanding all the information about percentages etc though, and I'm not sure how everyone is managing to work it all out! I hope your diet is going well - how are you getting on?

cldade55 07-09-2013 06:30 AM

Eat Fat Get Thin
Oh I hear you about losing it and keeping it off as you get older.

My experience may be helpful. I am 58 and in maintenance. I lost 50 pounds 3 years ago and keep my weight in a 5 pound range. I am finding that I have to be more careful about the composition of my diet and my caloric intake at my lower weight and with increasing age.

My DDs age 24 and 18 have adopted a lower carb lifestyle in order to avoid the kind of metabolic problems I created for myself by consuming large portions of grain based foods and sugars and have lost 15 pounds each over the last 6 months.

As a family, we have challenged ourselves to eat 7 portions of fruit and vegetables a day 2-3 fruit and 4-5 vegetables. I have not given up my bacon and eggs breakfasts or sirloin cheeseburger dinners, just supplemented with larger portions of veggies drizzled with generous quantities of homemade salad dressing or butter. I have dropped 5 pounds down from the top of my weight range back to my goal weight in 3 weeks. I think it may be due to eating less cheese, yogurt and nuts because I am so full of veggies and their accompanying fats. It appears that these foods work best for me in moderation. I love cheese which I find is best limited to 1-2 ounces a day. I have nuts every day, great source of healthy oils and micronutrients but best limited to one ounce a day. Greek yogurt, yum, but I realize I should eat 2-3 ounces with fresh fruit or fresh salsa 3-4 times a week and not a whole 6 ounce container daily.

I love olive oil and homemade dressings. Recipe for perfect vinaigrette. Prep time 1-2 minutes. 3 T olive oil. 1 T of balsamic, red wine or white wine vinegar or 1T lemon juice. Add 1/2 teaspoon mustard (dijon is particularly good) or 1/2 teaspoon any dried herb, thyme, oregano, basil, rosemary, marjoram. Whip it up with a fork in a small bowl or shake it in a bottle until it emulsifies. Pour and enjoy.

I limit my artificial sweeteners to 1 diet soda per day with lunch and drink my coffee with half and half and no sweetener.

I have certain favorite higher carb foods which I did not eat in OWL: a glass of wine, a square of 70% dark chocolate, a half cup serving of potatoes, homemade chili with a small quantity of beans, homemade meatballs or Italian sausage with homemade sauce. If I eat foods from this group more than 2-3 times a week, I gain. Note that homemade is the key as I can control the use of sugar and bread crumbs.

looseal 10-29-2013 11:32 AM


Originally Posted by cldade55 (Post 16506057)
As a family, we have challenged ourselves to eat 7 portions of fruit and vegetables a day 2-3 fruit and 4-5 vegetables. I have not given up my bacon and eggs breakfasts or sirloin cheeseburger dinners, just supplemented with larger portions of veggies drizzled with generous quantities of homemade salad dressing or butter. I have dropped 5 pounds down from the top of my weight range back to my goal weight in 3 weeks. I think it may be due to eating less cheese, yogurt and nuts because I am so full of veggies and their accompanying fats. It appears that these foods work best for me in moderation. I love cheese which I find is best limited to 1-2 ounces a day. I have nuts every day, great source of healthy oils and micronutrients but best limited to one ounce a day. Greek yogurt, yum, but I realize I should eat 2-3 ounces with fresh fruit or fresh salsa 3-4 times a week and not a whole 6 ounce container daily.

I limit my artificial sweeteners to 1 diet soda per day with lunch and drink my coffee with half and half and no sweetener.


Yes, I realize I need to increase my veggie intake in a big way with plenty of good fats. I'm trying to eat HFLC but it is taking me a while to adjust my usual recipes to a 65/30/5 ratio.
I have been reducing my intake of splenda. Down to 1 packet instead of 2 in coffee mug. I intend on reducing it to zero.

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