Antibiotics save lives – use them wisely

After feeling so much better just 48 hours after starting on antibiotics for my sudden tonsillitis I feel so angry about the misuse of antibiotics in livestock farming, which makes antibiotics less effective for humans. I was just reading this summary here:

Reading the quotes from pork producing interests I’m just glad this isn’t left solely in the hands of the “free market.”

I also can’t believe people eat poultry, pork, or beef after reading more on this.

Quarterly blood tests update – great results – read more!

Quarterly blood tests update – WFPB eating – Normal blood sugar with lots of carbs and fruits –  Cholesterol fantastic – Losing weight – Doctor amazed. Details below!

My blood test results are in, 35 weeks after recommitting to WFPB (Whole Food Plant Based) and following Dr. Greger’s guidelines in “How Not To Die.”

Note: My only exception to Greger’s Daily Dozen is I have been avoiding nuts because, like many people, I find that they do, in fact, impact on weight loss. See Chef AJ for example. She’s very supportive. 

In general, I stick with lower calorie density foods, including satisfying carbs like potatoes, sweet potatoes, and brown rice. Potatoes in particular are very filling and low in calorie density. 

And I eat lots of veggies, legumes, and have multiple fruits every day. In other words, I eat lots of carbs. Carbs do not impact negatively on blood sugar or weight. 

I avoid animal products, oils and other added fats (completely), added sugar (as much as is practical), added salt (as much as is practical), and also stay away from highly processed high calorie density foods, like breads. I don’t obsess about tiny amounts of animal products though, like bonito extract in miso soup at a restaurant. I’m trying to make this easy and sustainable. I will very rarely have some sushi with a friend. And while I go for brown rice when possible, I will eat white rice if that’s all that’s available.

I also log my food and exercise calories in MyFitnessPal, and keep within 1800 net calories per day (food calories minus exercise calories). There is no feeling of deprivation. If I’m hungry I’ll eat something, like a fruit, or edamame (great snack). 

Here are the results. Normal ranges are in parentheses. 

Total cholesterol (120-219)

  • Jun 8 – 136
  • Mar 19 – 133
  • Dec 20 – 124

HDL (35-80)

  • Jun 8 – 34
  • Mar 19 – 38
  • Dec 20 – 36

LDL bad cholesterol (70-139)

  • Jun 8 – 73
  • Mar 19 – 72
  • Dec 20 – 67

Triglycerides (30-150)  

  • Jun 8 – 129
  • Mar 19 – 114
  • Dec 20 – 100

While well within the normal range I’m sort of curious why it is going up over time. Normal fluctuations?

HbA1c (4.7-6.2)

  • Jun 8 – 5.5 (wow)
  • Mar 19 – 5.9
  • Dec 20 – 6.5

Previous quarterly values were 8.2, and 10.8. This value does not fluctuate over the short term. It’s a 2-3 month average. So it’s definitely staying in normal range at last.

All my blood values are basically in normal range. 

Weight loss is also going well, though slowly. Since September when I recommitted to WFPB my weight is down 19.2 kg = 42 lb.

My total weight loss following WFPB is down 36.8 kg = 81 lb since my peak back in 2012. 

My MyFitnessPal Streak Day is 2580 as of today. Daily logging in MFP has been a great sanity check and prevented me from having a complete rebound when I fell off the wagon in the past. 

The nutritionist, who I also met, now agrees that I am fine eating at least three fruits a day, which went against her original guidelines for people with high blood sugar. She agrees with me that blood sugar naturally comes down with weight loss, regardless of what you eat. At least in my case. I really do think that’s true. It’s always been my experience in the past. And she finally agrees that I’m getting enough protein. 🙂

My doctor continues to be amazed and says he’s never seen anything like it. While he’s taking a conservative approach, he is reducing my blood sugar medication as of today. Last time he wanted to wait a year before making changes. Since he’s my doctor, I will stick with his advice for now. 

I do not do intermittent fasting. It’s not necessary and I’m not interested in that.

My mantra if I ever feel tempted by anything I know is bad is, “Stay the course.” But you know what? I haven’t been tempted by anything bad at all lately. I was even good on my recent trip to Boston and St. Louis. 

My daily exercise is down because of an accident I had last month where I ended up in the hospital for 8 days. My strength hasn’t fully recovered. But I’m doing more and more walking each day and rebuilding my strength.


112 iPhone XS’s = one house. And the update lifetime of a new iPhone.

I was thinking about my iPhone X today, the upcoming iOS 13, and how much these devices cost, as well as their lifetimes.

My partner recently bought a new iPhone XS directly from Apple here in Japan. It has 256 GB of storage and he also went for AppleCare Plus.

In February, we both also bought our nice, little house here in Tokyo.

While comparing apples and oranges, it is curious to note that the cost of our house is equivalent to just 112 iPhone XS iPhones. I’m thinking of a small stack of iPhone X boxes, 10 wide and 11 high. That would easily fit on my computer desk, next to my MBP. It seems weird to think that such a small number of iPhones has the price value of our 3 story house.

While I’m waxing philosophical, I was also looking at the upgrade lifetime of new iPhones. iOS 13 will drop support for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. They were released in 2014. That means the iOS upgrade lifetime of an iPhone is just 5 years. On the other hand, my MBP (late 2013 retina) can still be upgraded this fall to the new macOS Catalina. Even 2012 MacBook Pro’s can. So the upgrade lifetime of a Mac is 7 years. Is the difference for marketing reasons, or are there technical reasons why it’s not possible to upgrade an iPhone 6 to iOS 13?

Of course I realize that an iPhone 6 doesn’t suddenly become useless just because it can’t run iOS 13. But iPhones are expensive. If they cost $1,000+ new and can only be upgraded for 5 years, that’s $200/year upgrade life. Better than Androids of course. But still, it makes me wonder at how materialistic I’ve gotten. Or we have all gotten.

I rarely feel like upgrading my computer. I think most people are that way. Yet we seem to always want to upgrade our iPhones. I have done so regularly every 2 years at least since they first became available in Japan.

My conclusions? None really. But I do feel like maybe it makes sense to use iPhones as long as computers, and maybe it isn’t necessary to upgrade so often, as long as the battery is kept in good shape. But then, there are those regular camera improvements…

You light up my life

Monta and I were just sitting here listing to “You Light Up My Life.” He seems to like it. It apparently was also popular in Japan, with the title 恋するデビ (Koi suru Debby – Debby in Love).

It can’t be wrong….
… if it feels so right.