Learning Mac and Balancing Diet

hqdefaultI haven’t been to much fun lately as I have been spending a lot of time learning to work with my Macbook Pro. There is a steep learning curve when switching over from PC, but I have found and excellent learning website called pcclassesonline.com. Not only is it free but it also provides links to other important software I need to download. So today is the first day that I am writing a post from my new Mac and I am enjoying it. I will have to get used to the keyboard as it is a lot smaller than the PC laptop’s full keyboard. I am working with a 13 inch screen versus the 17 inch screen on the PC and I actually like it. I have both systems side by side and I can see that when I finally decide to sell the PC laptop I will be using less desk space and that does make me happy.

I am still having problems making the transition between quicken and mint, but it is coming along and I do like the idea that I can make changes to my accounts from any computer anywhere in the world.

It appears that my body weight did go up slightly but this is only natural as I have been sitting at a computer all day yesterday. I did get an excellent workout in however and managed to wait until 12:00 PM to eat. And most importantly I didn’t eat one cookie, but I did have 2 slices of bread in which I created a BLT. Dinner last night was a half of a grass fed beef burger, 1 corn on the cob and fresh salad from the garden. So the only two errors I made were the bread and corn and both are probably responsible for the fact that my morning glucose is still over 100.

Blood Sugar- 116, Weight- 176.4

Distance- 2.58
Time- 39:15
Calories- 313.2

Posted in Simple Living, Type II Diabetes, Food, Health, Body Building, Life, Paleo, Primal, Walking, Minimalist, Intermittent Fasting, MAC | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Young learn from the Old, The Old learn from the Young

OldMan&BoysmallI remember when I was a young man it was often said to me that I can learn great things by talking with people who are older than me. Between the experience and knowledge from older folk I could attain information that would help me find answers to the questions I seek. I did this most of my younger life and tried using each lesson I learned to steer my way through life.

Now that I am an older person myself and have gained great knowledge and experience in life I find myself talking with younger people. I thought that my knowledge and experience could help them in their journey through life. What I am finding out is that I am learning a great deal from them also.

As humans we all seek out to learn about the things that interest us the most and it doesn’t matter what age we are, we all have something to share and something to learn from either the young or the old. Never put off the opportunity to have a conversation with someone just because you think that they have nothing to offer, or because you believe they may be outdated. Life is always changing for all of us and which each new challenge we learn.


lost-star-6And yet almost another successful day of intermittent fasting has passed by me. As I look at my body weight I see that once again it has dropped which means that in just 10 days I have dropped a total of 6 lbs. I did screw up once again with a couple of cookies yesterday afternoon and I have to learn to get my head wrapped around the fact that eating sugar drives up the level of glucose in my blood and reverses all of the efforts I am putting into this and changing the results that I am looking for.

At the rate I am going and with a little extra effort placed on my eating habits I believe that I can lose an additional 10 lbs in the next 20 days. This will bring me down to 165 lbs and put into my dress pants comfortably just in time for Joey’s wedding.

I am feeling strong and sharp this morning and that is a good thing because it is Bowflex Day! I will be doing shoulders and back and will be working at max weight and take just one set to it’s limit. I know that I said I would be doing just 10 reps per set, but this just isn’t working for me. I feel that if I really want to control my blood sugar that I have to create a demand for my muscles to pull that sugar from my blood.

Blood Sugar- 118, Weight- 175.6

Shoulder Press- 310- 17
Front Raises- 90- 13
Side Raises- 90- 10
Shrugs- 310- 20
Pulldowns- 310- 20
Rows- 310- 20
Reverse Flys- 120- 15

Posted in Simple Living, Type II Diabetes, Fitness, Food, Health, Body Building, Life, Paleo, Primal, Walking, Minimalist, Intermittent Fasting | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Cookies and The First Day of Working with MAC

Cookie-Monster-608x497So those damn cookies that I ate in the afternoon yesterday took a tole on my blood sugar this morning and I am kicking myself in the ass for it. I didn’t work out yesterday and there was absolutely no need to eat them, but there they stood on the counter at work staring me in the face. I turned away several times knowing that I was not hungry but it didn’t take long for the cookie monster in me to come and screaming “Cookie”. Other than this the fasting went well and all other meals were healthy and eaten in proportion. Lunch was pork and broccoli and dinner was steak, peppers, tomatoes and a half of a small baked potato. I am sure that without the cookies the potato wouldn’t haven’t taken me into sugar overload. Even with this my weight dropped slightly letting me know that the fast is working, but I wonder if it would have dropped that much more if I hadn’t eaten those damn cookies.

81srYqMfYBL._SY606_I had time yesterday to start playing with my new Macbook Pro although I ran into a problem already I am still happy overall with the ease of use of the Mac. Setting things up was pretty easy as I already had an Icloud account with my Iphone and setting up email was a breeze. I ran into problems when I purchased Quicken for Mac at a cost of 74.99. I figured that I could just migrate my accounts from my Quicken files on my PC right into the Mac. It didn’t work out that way as I nothing matched and numbers were totally off. I ended up setting it up manually with all of my accounts which went smooth until I tried to set up my Trowe Price investment accounts. No matter what I did after several tries worked. It couldn’t connect. So I googled it and found out that Trowe Price would not pay Intuit the fee amount to make the connection on Mac. I really don’t understand this because it works fine on Intuit’s PC version of Quicken. So I ended up setting up everything in Mint. The funny thing is that Mint is also Intuit, but it worked just fine. Mint is free and if I would have done my homework I could have saved $75.00. Oh well, lessons to be learned.Mintcom

Blood Sugar- 129, Weight- 176.2

Distance- 2.32
Time- 35:06
Calories- 268.2

Posted in Body Building, debt, Finances, Fitness, Food, Health, Intermittent Fasting, Life, MAC, Minimalist, Paleo, Primal, Simple Living, Type II Diabetes, Walking | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Another Successful Day and a New Mac Laptop

And yet another good morning with both my blood sugar and weight down. I woke up with a terrible headache this morning that seems to be driven by tightness in my sinuses. Usually I feel this way in the Autumn but it is only late August. I noticed that many of the plants in the garden are giving way to the looks of an end of a season of growth and living here in the Pacific Northwest corner of America does have a slightly different growing pattern than that on the East Coast. I have decided that I am not going to attempt to workout with a headache this morning.

Yesterday’s fast went well as I made it once again all the way to noon before I ate. I ate a yogurt the 20 minutes later baked chicken breast with squash. I didn’t have much of a hunger after lunch and other than eating an Uber bar I made it all the way to dinner. Dinner was a little pork and broccoli. I slept for 7 hours and here I sit getting ready to start another day in the life of Billy Brennan.

macbook_pro_13inch_35440710_11I was going to start a new post about a high level purchase that I made but instead I think I will just get it out of me in this one. Yes folks, I broke down and purchased a Macbook Pro. I have been wanting to switch over to Mac for years and have avoided it because of the price tag. Six months ago I almost made the purchase but made a promise to myself that I would wait 6 months and if I still feel the same way I would buy a Mac. Tuesday marked the six month wait and I still felt the same desire to make the switch from PC to Mac so I did it. It arrived through Federal Express yesterday at work and it is still sitting in the box waiting for me to set it up. So I will be spending several weeks learning all there is to learn about this new tool and the different software I will be using.

So I am a minimalist and typically I don’t make large purchases like this without some type of justification. Usually I am happy with what I have and very thankful for it, so what was it that pushed me in this direction? The one thing is my desire to be an author and much of the research that I have done shows a corresponding connection between a writer and his/her tool, their Mac. Also my total saving thus so far since I quit smoking is a little over $6000.00 and is sitting in my savings account. I always considered that my reward for quitting smoking was the added security I added to my emergency fund, but I believe that just in the last 6 months the savings I yielded from quitting paid for the new computer. I own only the things that I actually use each day or absolutely love as I have gotten rid of everything else in my life that I consider clutter and one of the things that I use most frequently is my computer. Between blogging and managing my money my computer has become the most useful tool I own in navigating my life. Why shouldn’t I own the best tool money can buy if it serves me at this capacity? So anyway, there may be some upcoming posts on my new adventures with my Macbook Pro.

Blood Sugar- 105, Weight- 176.4

Posted in Body Building, debt, Finances, Fitness, Food, Gardening, Health, Intermittent Fasting, Life, Minimalist, Nature, Oregon, Paleo, Primal, Quit Smoking, Simple Living, Type II Diabetes, Walking | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 30 Comments

Kohl’s and The Tricks they Play

556751_10151492359628874_1593234450_nLast week I had one of those experiences that make you shake your head and just say “What the Fuck”? I have a Kohls account that I don’t use very often, but I did last month and received a bill in the mail in which I quickly paid. I sent a check out for the full balance which was just 63.28 and noticed that after two and half weeks the check hadn’t been cashed yet. On the last day the payment was due I called Kohls and ended up paying the bill over the phone. The woman asked me first for a credit card number and after I gave it to her she explained that there would be a 10.00 fee for using it. I told her to hold on and gave her a debit card number instead and she explained that Kohl’s doesn’t accept debit cards. Finally I told her that I would simply stop by Kohl’s and pay the bill with cash. She said wait a minute, there is another way. If you give me your bank account number and routing number I can do a direct draft. So I did. I then explained to her that the check was sent out over two weeks ago and they should have received it. I said maybe the the US Postal Service is having problems so when you do receive the check please contact me. She agreed and made a note on my account. I thought this was all over, but long behold they received the check, or found it and ended up processing it anyway. So I ended up paying this bill twice and now have a credit on my account. So now I am forced to return to Kohl’s to purchase more of their overprices crap.

There are things that going on in the world of money that seem to be so deceiving at times it really makes you wonder. How desperate are these large corporations that they have to try to create situations where they can take advantage of people to put them into a position where they pay late fee’s? How often does this happen and are other retail giants doing the same thing? If it weren’t for the fact that I watch my finances like a rocket scientist I may have missed this. I know that there are people who are so busy with their lives that they just assume that when they pay a bill it is all done.

And you wonder why I am a Minimalist?

Posted in debt, Finances, Life, Minimalist, Simple Living | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 35 Comments

The Benefits of Exercise for Type 2 Diabetes

The Benefits of Exercise for Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 Diabetes has reached epidemic proportions in our community, with the prevalence of diabetes increasing over 90% in the last 10 years in Boroondara alone.  This is staggering when you consider that 60% of Type 2 Diabetes cases can be prevented with lifestyle modifications.  In particular, exercise not only reduces the risk of developing diabetes, it also slows the progression of the disease and can decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease.  Therefore, physical activity should be prescribed to all people with Type 2 Diabetes to help improve their quality of life.

Benefits of exercise for those with Type 2 Diabetes

Greater metabolic control: improved glucose control and decreased insulin resistance
Our bodies rely on insulin to move sugar (glucose) from our blood stream into our muscles.  In people with Type 2 diabetes, the action of insulin is affected.  Exercise mediates this by promoting the movement of glucose into the blood stream through a pathway that is independent of insulin, therefore decreasing blood sugar levels.  The decrease in blood glucose levels has been associated with a reduction in the risk of diabetes-related complications (e.g., heart disease), with lifestyle modification being more effective than medication for these healthy changes.

An improved lipoprotein (fat) profile and weight loss
Weight loss and an increase in muscle mass are two very important benefits of exercise for those with Type 2 Diabetes.  A high amount of visceral fat (e.g., abdominal fat) is associated with an increased risk of heart disease and Type 2 Diabetes.  Decreasing abdominal fat also improves glucose control.  A combination of aerobic and strength training helps to maintain weight loss in the long term by increasing your lean muscle tissue.

Reduced risk of cardiovascular disease
Cardiovascular disease is extremely common in those with Type 2 Diabetes.  In fact, it accounts for over 50% of deaths in this population.  Cardiovascular disease can occur as a result of poor glucose control over a period of time, creating atherosclerosis and causing heart attacks.  Exercise is a powerful factor in reducing cardiovascular disease in all populations, and this is particularly the case in those with Type 2 Diabetes.  Exercise improves blood pressure and the function of the heart, as well as reducing abdominal fat.

Exercise considerations for those with Type 2 Diabetes

The risk of a cardiovascular event occurring in a person with Type 2 Diabetes during exercise is small, with the benefits of exercise far outweighing any risks.  However, the presence of artery disease does increase the risk of a cardiac event occurring.  Therefore, it is recommended that people with Type 2 Diabetes get a referral from their GP and undergo an appropriate stress test before commencing exercise, to determine if there are any artery issues.

Hypoglycaemia (low blood glucose levels) can occur during and after exercise in people with Type 2 Diabetes.  Before undertaking any exercise, we recommend that you are educated on the best way to fuel your body before and after each exercise session.  Working with an Exercise Physiologist will help you to understand how best to time and select your meals given your activity levels.  As your muscles will increase their uptake of glucose from the blood stream, it is important that you eat a substantial meal before exercise to ensure hypoglycaemia does not occur.  Your muscles will continue to remove glucose from the blood stream at an increased rate for up to 2 hours after the exercise session has finished, so it is imperative that something substantial is also eaten immediately after each session.  A readily-available supply of glucose should be kept close by at all times when exercising.

Exercise recommendations for people with Type 2 Diabetes

The greatest benefits of exercise for those with Type 2 Diabetes are gained when combining resistance training with aerobic training.  A combination of the two forms of exercise has been shown to not only improve metabolic control, but also to reduce cardiovascular disease risk.  Completing a combined program will also enhance the effect of exercise by providing other benefits such as weight loss, lean muscle tissue gains, strength gains, and increased cardiovascular fitness.

It should also be noted that whilst aerobic and resistance training will provide great benefits for diabetes control and cardiovascular disease risk, balance, stability, and postural strength are also key elements of any well-rounded training program.

Many people who haven’t exercised for a long period of time or lead a sedentary life can also experience musculoskeletal pain or injuries.  This particular population can be at an increased risk of injury when completing exercise, due to existing postural imbalances that are likely to cause musculoskeletal pain. Putting load through a body which is not properly conditioned can further exacerbate any existing imbalances and injuries, potentially decreasing an individual’s motivation and ability to complete an exercise program effectively and pain-free.  As there are already many barriers to exercise for people with Type 2 Diabetes, it is extremely important that a healthy musculoskeletal system is restored and then maintained.  Therefore, we believe it is important to include an element of corrective exercise in any program undertaken to improve diabetes and cardiovascular disease, to ensure that our clients can exercise safer for longer. At Inspire Fitness, we assess each individual and determine any musculoskeletal or postural issues that need to be addressed in their exercise program before progressing you further.


The continued growth of Type 2 Diabetes in our society is concerning, as the burden is placed not only on those with the disease, but also on the health care system.  Exercise has been unequivocally demonstrated to improve all aspects of Type 2 Diabetes, as well as being highly effective for preventing the onset of the disease.  There are some considerations that need to be taken into account before commencing an exercise program, and it is best to see your GP before commence an exercise program.  A combination of aerobic and resistance training has been found to be the most effective way to maintain good metabolic control and to improve many other important health markers in diabetes. Although a combined aerobic and resistance training program will improve Type 2 Diabetes and associated cardiovascular disease risk factors, it should be noted that corrective exercises are important in maintaining each individual’s longevity in exercise.

Related posts

  1. How Sugar Can Shrink Your Brain
  2. The Benefits Of Exercise For Diabetes
  3. Victoria’s Diabetes Epidemic: The Staggering Statistics

Please visit Inspire Fitness for Wellbeing to read the article and find other interesting articles that may help you in your journey to great health.

Posted in Body Building, Fitness, Food, Health, Type II Diabetes, Walking | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Intermittent Fasting, Weight Lifting and Type II Diabetes

With a week under my belt of working with an intermittent fasting diet and doing treadmill I can see the results in my reduced body weight. I have lost a total of 4 lbs. but am discouraged in the fact that my blood sugar is remaining so high. Today I am making the decision to bring weight lifting back into the mix two days per week. I will be doing a double session today by doing both my back and arms but will limit each exercise to just 10 slow reps for each set at maximum weight.

benefitstable2One of the keys to blood sugar management is doing things that activate the energy demand to muscle fibers. I must keep these exercises in my routine more than just 1 day per week. Overdoing it will certainly bring my blood sugar too low so I will be mindful to stick to just the 10 slow reps even though this chart above recommends 3 sets. (I will post a follow up article of the source of this chart)

Yesterdays fast was another success, but once again my lunch consisted of bad carbs as I had a taco salad. I also ate a turkey wrap latter in the afternoon that consisted of a shell that probably sent by blood sugar up. However, dinner was very healthy with backed chicken breast, squash and fresh garden tomatoes. I have to keep an eye on those bad carbs and start eating things like sweet potato’s when I feel the need for energy. I also made sure I ate about 3 tablespoons of sauerkraut and a yogurt and it seems so far that I don’t have any problems with IBS nor did I yesterday.

I know I must be driving everyone crazy with all of these changes that I keep making but understand that this whole thing is built around experimentation. Trying different things and learning what works best to develop a lifetime plan to stay healthy and fit and manage the effects of Type II Diabetes is what is going on here and as I learn my hopes are that others are learning also. My aim is to someday be in a position where I know that I will have a developed plan set out for each day of the week where I know that the efforts I make each day will maintain a daily blood sugar reading of between 70-90 and my body mass index is between 13-17. I should see my waist size down to between 28-30 and my body weight between 150-160. Once I get this all figured out my hopes are that I can teach it to help others. I still haven’t given up my dream of writing a book, but I have to make sure everything is working for me as I don’t want to send out any false messages.

Blood Sugar- 122, Weight- 177.2

Bowflex – BACK & ARMS
Rows- 155/155- 10
Pulldowns- 155/155- 10
Reverse Flys- 60/60- 10
Curls- 100/100- 10
Hammer Curls- 80/80- 10
Tricep Pulldowns- 80/80- 10
Dips- 155/155- 10

Posted in Body Building, Fitness, Food, Health, Intermittent Fasting, Life, Paleo, Primal, Simple Living, Type II Diabetes | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Another day with IBS

PrintThe fast went well yesterday morning, but all it took was an hour later before I was suffering from IBS once again. I believe that I may breakdown soon and take advantage of whatever the best drug is on the market to help correct my gut bacteria. For now I will continue to try to eat mostly fresh vegetables and continue to try to avoid dairy. For lunch I ate a stuffed pepper that contained rice. I should have learned from the last time that rice makes my blood sugar rise, but the minimalist in my didn’t want to throw it out. I also ate cottage cheese with fresh cantaloupe. I am sure that this dairy product was the source of the Irritable Bowel problems. Dinner last night was taco’s and although I was eating grass fed beef and fresh veggies, I know that the taco shells added to the rise in blood sugar and the sour cream didn’t help.

I searched the web for ways of correcting IBS through diet and lifestyle changes and found a few but I want to conduct further research to set up a series of experiments with certain foods.

Today I am going to try to stick with a large salad and a fresh peach and yogurt for lunch and see what happens. I will be back on the treadmill this morning and will limit my time to just 30 minutes or 2 miles, which ever comes first.

Blood Sugar- 122, Weight- 177.6

Distance- 2.0 miles
Time- 32:38
Calories- 219.1

Posted in Body Building, Food, Health, Intermittent Fasting, Minimalist, Paleo, Primal, Simple Living, Type II Diabetes, vegan, Vegetarian, Walking | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 32 Comments

Primal BLT recipe


Now this is the BLT I should have eaten this weekend. I will plan for it next weekend.

Originally posted on Apex Predator Paleo:

Prep time: 15 minutes
Feeds: 1-2 people


  • 3 leaves of long leaf romaine lettuce (washed)
  • 1 package of organic nitrate free bacon           (paleo approved)
  • 2 ripe beefsteak tomatoes
  • 1 whole avocado 
  • 1 ripe lemon


  1. Start by cooking bacon in grass-fed butter or coconut oil. (I prefer mine well-done. cook yours to taste preference)
  2. Slice tomatoes, peel and slice avocado. Lay slices in cleanly washed romaine lettuce leaves. 
  3. After bacon is cooked lay 2 strips on top of tomato and avocado in each leaf of romaine lettuce. 
  4. Cut lemon and squeeze on top of bacon tomato avocado to taste. 
  5. Fold and enjoy!

There may be some left over bacon, tomato, or avocado, put in refrigerator and use for tomorrow’s primal meal.

View original

Posted in Simple Living | 8 Comments

Things like Pizza will Reverse the Effects of Intermittent Fasting

5431304634badCheese_PizzaMy intentions were to make yesterday my first workout day on the bowflex, but just couldn’t fit it in to my daily schedule. This is OK though, as I can go another week of practicing intermittent fasting before the weekend arrives. I will continue to walk every other day and keep my window to eat from 12:00 PM – 7:00 PM. I did eat some things yesterday that set my blood sugar back up and also caused my body weight to increase. Once again I ate a delicious Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato sandwich for lunch, or brunch (10:30 AM) and around 2:30 I ate 2 slices of pizza. Both of these foods contained a lot of carbs which my body decided to hold on to by processing them into fat because I didn’t work out and have the demand to turn them into energy.

In essence I restarted that fat storing mechanism in my body and will have to work hard towards getting things back on track. I woke late again this morning probably because I skipped dinner and my body was working hard at what it does when we eat too many carbs. It was storing all of that fat. This means that I will be going another day without an early morning workout and the downward cycle continues. I will be extra mindful today to keep moving and try to work towards getting back into a fat burning mode.

There is one more thing that I really screwed up at this weekend and that is water intake. During the week I always have my water container next to me and drink frequently. I have to learn to keep it with me at all times and start drinking water on the weekends the same way I do during the week.

I could be discouraged at these events that took place over the weekend, but instead I will learn from them and simply move on. Not one of us in this world is perfect and as long as we are all human we will make mistakes and sometimes we will do it on purpose. When it happens we have to just smile and get right back into our missions and keep on moving forward. In the end even if our mission is filled with holes the truth is that we are still on that mission and even a 75% success rate is better than none at all. When we compare this to people we know who spend hours upon hours sitting in front of a TV and munching down potato chips and ice cream and complain that they are not healthy, we are doing pretty good. We are the one’s who not only make things happen for ourselves, but also bring about positive changes in the world around us by simply being an example that we can take control of our own health.

Blood Sugar- 133, Weight- 177.6

Posted in Body Building, Fitness, Food, Health, Intermittent Fasting, Paleo, Primal, Simple Living, Type II Diabetes, Walking | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments