Simple and Healthy 5 – Newcastle Take 2

Post number 5. Recently, I decided that I was tired of living with diabetes and willing to give the Newcastle diet another try.  My weight had crept back up to about 140 pounds since my last attempt and I was determined to lose even more weight then last time if that is what it took to get better blood sugar results.

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Simple and Healthy 4 – Newcastle Research

Post number 4. After a few years of trying to keep my diabetes in control by being careful about what I ate, I still felt like I was still on the road to deteriorating health, albeit a slower road.  Was there a better solution yet to be found?

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Simple and Healthy 3 – Diet Changes

This is post number three. So now that I was diabetic I decided to cut out pretty much the only thing left, which was carbohydrates.  My wife calls me an extremist and I do tend towards extremes. If a little is good, I tend to think a lot might be better. That, however, is not how things usually work in the real world.  But being somewhat extrem, I cut out all bread, pasta, and starchy vegetables. I love bread and pasta so this was not my happiest decision, but knowing that I was facing a life of sickness spurred me on to cut out all the carbs and eat huge bowls of vegetables and salads

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Simple and Healthy 2- Diabetes Discovery

This is post number 2 on this topic. In my last post, I told you I have type 2 diabetes.  I found this out because I worked at a company where there was lots of food everywhere and I started to lose weight.  I was biking part of the way to work so I thought: “This is great! My metabolism must be ramping up and that is why I am losing weight!”  Wrong. Apparently losing weight is one of the symptoms of diabetes. The sugar from the blood is not getting to the cells so the body turns to fat stores for energy.  When I went to the doctor he checked my blood labs and it showed I was a full-blown diabetic.

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Family Digital De-Vices

It has been a while since I wrote on managing our digital screens but I recently saw an article that has some good advice. You can read the whole thing here. The main idea is that our relationship with ourselves and others often suffers becuase we are too focused on digital devices. These things are designed to commandeer our attention all the time unless we deliberately plan our escape. Seven tips are suggested on how to moderate the way we are impacted by our digital devices.

Tip 1. When we are with people, put the phone away and be present with that person. Look them in the eyes and really listen to what they are saying. When you do this you are building a meaningful relationship that social media can’t duplicate.

Tip 2. If you need to talk to someone do not send a text message. OK so texting is really efficient for many things, but when you want to connect with people in a meaningful way, do it face-to-face or at least in a live phone conversation.

Tip 3. Don’t give your kids digital devices before they have developed good in-person social skills. In order to know how to do Tip 1, people need to practice listening, making eye contact and being aware of the people around them. That is best learned before they have strapped on a 24 x 7 distraction.

Tip 4. Make rules about when phones will be put away so that family members can interact without interruption.

Tip 5. Don’t get sucked into endlessly online games, posts, and chats. Leave your phone at home and take a walk with someone and talk with them while you enjoy the sites, sounds, and smells around you. Set aside a few days once in a while to take a longer break from social media.

Tip 6. Don’t be a slave to your phone by responding immediately to every call and text it sends your way. When you are with family and friends think twice before you jump to answer that text message or phone call. Unless it really is urgent, you can get back to them later.

Tip 7. Have digital-free zones. The dining table in our house is a digital-free zone where we eat and talk without phones, TVs, and computers.

These seven tips can help restore your spiritual, physical, and mental health. Love yourself a little and fill your own emotional bucket and then take some in-person time with others to listen, serve, work, and play. Getting away from the digital world once in a while makes for simple and easy living.

Simple and Healthy 1

The best way to have a simple life is to just be healthy.   We can avoid a lot of expense and trouble if can stay out of the doctor’s office and off of medications.  Of course, we can’t always choose to be healthy. we may be born with or genetically predisposed to disease or ailments that are beyond our control.

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Furnace Stay On, Please

I was having problems with a furnace. It would come on for about 90 seconds and turn off. And no, the room definitely was not at all too warm already. Fortunately, I have people who know about such things and for the cost of nothing but a little time, it got fixed.

I took off the two furnace doors. There is a door switch on one of the doors that prevents the furnace from running when it is off. But I want it to run with the doors off. How else can I see what is going on? So I tape it down with some electrical tape because that is all I have at the moment.

To trick the furnace into turning on, I put a wire between terminals marked W(white wire) and R(red wire) which tells the furnace to bring the heat. I see the small induction fan turn on, the burners turn on, then the big blower fan turns on, and then it all shuts off.

There is a light blinking 3 red flashes on the controller board. There is a code cheat sheet on the back of one of the furnace doors. This tells me that 3 reds mean that the pressure switch is stuck open.

My experienced friend tells me there is a rubber hose between the induction motor and pressure switch and to remove the hose from the black switch side and blow into it with my mouth. No can do, it is plugged up.

Now he has me remove the other end of the hose and I can see that the metal port that the rubber tube connects to is full of white chalky stuff. I use a piece of wire to clean it out (it is ok if it falls inside. The induction fan blades are behind this port).

I put the hose back on and now the heater comes on and keeps on running just the way it should. This quick little fix saved me from having to call a repair guy and then wait in the cold for the said repair guy to show up. Plus, it probably saved me over $100.

An easy life is one full of good family and friends. It is extra nice when these wonderful people know stuff and you can help and support each other. Thanks, my friend!

Let it Snow, Blower Fixed

Today I fixed a snowblower for a neighbor. It had been broken for 3 years and wouldn’t start. This is a common issue with small engine equipment like lawn mowers and such. When you leave the gas setting in the gas tank during the offseason it goes bad and often clogs up the carburetor. Most people don’t realize that gasoline has a pretty short shelf life which is only about 3 months. Certainly 9 months of sitting around it is usually a problem that complicates life.

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$300 repair for $1.47

I park my 1994 Nissan truck on an incline, pull the hand lever that sets the parking brake, and the brake cable snaps. The hand brake now moves in and out with no tension on it and there is a grinding sound when I try to drive the truck. Luckily I am at home so I jack up the truck and have a look. The cable attached to the hand lever inside the truck attaches to another lever under the truck. With no tension on the cable, this lever under the truck is now rubbing on the drive shaft, hence the grinding noise.

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Happiness is a Service Vacation

I recently took my boys on a service vacation. We set out to serve some of our family and friends by loading up our van with tools and going on a 10 day 2000 mile road trip. We stayed for a few days at 3 different homes to do odd jobs for free. Well I did have two hungry growing boys with me so maybe not totally free.

What kinds of stuff did we do? It would be hard to list everything. All in all, we performed around 100 small jobs at three different homes.

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