Paid Off the Mortgage!

I paid off my 15 year mortgage on my townhouse last month – a couple years early!! It feels so great.

I remember about 6 years ago feeling super trapped by debt in a job I hated. Then I found a job with a great company, paid off my $26K in credit card debt and my car payment using Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover method, and now the mortgage is paid off too. Last summer I was able to remodel my bathroom using cash!

I still need to scrimp now to remodel the rest of my condo with cash, but what a difference from a few years ago! I just found out I need to spend $2K more in dental work inlays on 2 more teeth (ugh – Celiac life) but at least I don’t have to put that on a card anymore. Now when some unexpected expense comes up I don’t get stressed out trying to figure out how I will pay for it.

The secret was really downsizing my life and simplifying. It’s provided me with much more security now and for my future.

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Updated Capsule Wardrobe for 2018

Now that my health is improving, I’m starting to notice that I’ve gotten a bit lax as a Minimalist in the past couple of years and not enforcing the “one in, one out” rule as strictly when I buy new things. I was starting to notice some clutter.

I watched the movie Minimalism yesterday on Netflix and it motivated me to recommit to decluttering.

I revamped my capsule wardrobe template last night to match my current needs now. Then I took the leftovers to Goodwill this morning.

My closet looks so much better and now it’s super easy to get dressed when I can see every item individually again. It’s still on the large side for a true Minimalist capsule, but this is for all 4 seasons (in California).

2 slacks – black, gray

2 skirts – Black, gray/khaki

3 dresses -1 sleeveless black, and 1 each seasonal

1 pair jeans

7 blouses or sweaters (short sleeve)

7 T-shirts or polos

3 cardigans – black, gray, cream

Knit blazer

1 cocktail dress

1 sequined top


Yoga pants/jacket





Khaki shorts

Trench coat

Wool pea coat

Black heels

Black flats

Black booties

Gold flats

Tennis shoes


Tevas (for beach)

Black bag

Ivory bag

Formal evening clutch

Black clutch (more casual)

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Fasting Update

For anyone new to water fasting, I can tell you to hang in there –  it gets easier with experience!

I started my water fasting while very inflamed, hypoglycemic with adrenal fatigue,  about 1-1/2 years ago.  At first it was a struggle just to skip breakfast.  I had hot flashes, dehydration, detox symptoms, insomnia, major salt cravings etc.

After a year it was easy to skip breakfast and I worked up to 24, then 48 hours.  I had some minor refeeding issues but added supplements and broke my fasts more carefully and continued.

My last long fast was 4 days, now I am on my third day of a fast and it’s been almost effortless.  Minor occassional hunger but really nothing.  My health and my ability to metabolize fat must be improving.

I’d still like to do a 10 day fast at some point to get rid of my benign tumors, but I’m definitely moving in the right direction.

This time I’m just taking one teaspoon of Himalayan pink salt in water and a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in water also (separately), instead of the electrolite supplement and that’s working  fine.  I was going to push for 5 days, but I think I’ll stick with 2-4 day fasts for a bit and then extend again.  I’m very encouraged that I hardly had  any detox symptoms at all this time.

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3-Day Fast Complete!

Just completed my first 3 day water fast and I am on day 4 now.  

I think I’m starting to get into ketosis but not quite there yet.  Down 7 lbs but mostly water.

I used some additional supplements that helped me get farther this time so wanted to explain, also more info on refeeding.

This is what I’m taking daily – most say 0 cal but those actually add up to 10 calories when I put them into the Lose-It calculator.   Total of 31 cal/day, you need to stay below 50 calories to maintain a water fast.  It would be be better to take nothing but I’m at high risk for refeeding syndrome:

  • Magnesium, natural calm – 1-2 tsp (up to 325 mg)
  • Jigsaw electrolyte – 1 pouch
  • All remaining vitamins are EZ Melts sublingual brand: Multivitamin, 2 tablets
  • B12 – 5,000 mcg
  • B6 – 50 mg
  • B1 – 100 mg
  • One scoop Perfect Keto Base (exogenous ketones)
  • 2 cups black coffee
  • 1 oz pacific chicken broth
  • 1/2 tsp pink Himalayan sea salt

The B12 has helped with energy and the exogenous ketones help with fat conversion.  Hopefully by tomorrow I can remove both B12 & ketones & the coffee once I am in full ketosis and more energetic.  I feel much better today but not quite there yet.

On a more serious note, for any Celiacs out there like me, apparently fasting carries a very high risk of Refeeding Syndrome for Celiacs and others with malabsorption issues after 5 days.  

I have had re-feeding problems after only  1 or 2 days of fasting.  Both times involved fast food burger, shake & fries.  First time I ate the whole thing & threw up for 4 days.  Next time I ate the burger wrapped in lettuce, about 15 fries, 5 sips of shake and about 15 small jellybeans.  I didn’t throw up but had unpleasant electrolyte issues the whole next morning.  Note:  in neither case was this my first meal.  It was several hours later.

I found a student nurse’s presentation on You Tube that breaks down the risk factors for refeeding and I am high risk, so I will follow her suggestions for refeeding high risk patients after fasting.

They advise only 10 calories max per kg of body weight  for the first two days (about 5 cal/pound).  Then gradually increase calories for the next 5 days.  I know from experience the food should be lowfat, mostly fruits & veggies.  No wine, dessert, or  junk food.  Apparently even after the first 7 days you can STILL get refeeding complications up to 2 weeks after that.  So basically stay away from junk food for 3 weeks after a fast of  longer than 5 days if you are Celiac.  

Also that you tube video recommended the same supplements I’m already taking so I’ll continue them for 3 weeks after the fast. (Most people wouldn’t need as high a dose as I’m taking, the video recommended a daily multivitamin, B complex and B1 Thiamine along with an electrolyte supplement).

My plan is to continue until Friday this week (9 days total) and break my fast Friday night, but if I don’t feel well I’ll end it sooner.  

Every time I fast the circulation & sensation continues to improve in my feet.  I never thought they could recover to this degree.  Pretty exciting!

**DISCLAIMER –  I am not a doctor, I am just recounting my own N=1 experience here, and you should consult your own doctor before attempting a water fast, especially if you have health issues or are on medication.**

UPDATE:  Well I made it to the end of day 4 but my ears are plugged up and ringing, my chest is tight and my breathing is a little congested.  Also developing a headache.   It’s probably fine but I’m going to break my fast with an Atkins shake.  My previous fast was 62 hours so I still beat that record with 96 hours!

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My Third 48-hour Fast

I have done a couple 36 hour fasts since my last post.  Today I completed my third 48 hour fast and I am much better adapted.  I could just eat normal food, although not much, about 1/2 cup of food to start.  Not the usual re-feeding issues with electrolytes though.

I did supplement with EZ Melts Multivitamin, B1, P5P (B6), B12.  I also took Natural Calm Magnesium and a Jigsaw electrolyte both days. And one watered down black coffee. And water…….

Earlier this week I tried  a dose of exogenous ketones again and didn’t get sick at all so I think my body is finally fat adapting.  Only down 7 lbs but my biceps are getting harder even though I’m not working out.  So hopefully rebuilding a little muscle.

I found a new food delivery company Model Meals – they are Whole 30- compliant Paleo.  Making my life so much easier!!

I’m now doing 19/5 intermittent fasting daily as of this past week – when not doing a water fast.  So only eating dinner, in a 4-5 hour window.  That and cleaner eating has really helped me with the water fasting.  Every time I do a water fast my feet get noticeably better! Much more sensation and less inflammation.

I was reading online that coffee on a fast can stress your heart so I cut from two to one and added water but I feel nauseous if I cut it out completely. Baby steps!

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My Second Two-Day Fast

Just finished my second two-day fast.  It went great!  This time I started on Friday.  I did work about 3 hours today but my job is super demanding  and a regular 12 hour workday, conference calls etc was too much on Day 2 last time.

Last time (2 weeks ago) I needed a LOT of electrolyte supplement.  This time I took my EZ Melts multivitamin & B1 daily and I needed 1/4 less electrolytes.  The first day I drank a 1.8 liter bottle of bubbly Smartwater, the 2nd day I didn’t and I noticed a difference.  I also put a big bottle of Evian by my bed.  Both contain electrolytes but taste better than the jigsaw mix which is kind of like Gatorade lemon lime flavor.  I still had about a 1/2 dose of the jigsaw supplement over two days also.  Had about 1/3 teaspoon of pink sea salt daily too.  I just put a little right in my mouth, not in water.

I broke my fast with an Atkins vanilla shake and 2 slices of cucumber.

An hour later I had a cucumber/raspberry/watermelon/lime/coconut water shake (Daily Harvest).  Also a packet of Macadamia butter (about 1 oz).  Maybe the nut butter was too much fat but otherwise I’m doing ok.  

Seems to get easier every time I do it!  My feet are tingling it’s REALLY improving my circulation.

I was down about six pounds before I started this fast probably will lose another pound of fat from this one.  I lose more but regain it, probably some is water and some is muscle rebuilding.  Which is great, my muscle is really ravaged by Celiac disease.  

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My First 48-Hour Fast = Awesome!!!

Wow!!  I did my first 48 hour water fast this past  weekend and it was life-changing in a good way!  

I have been doing intermittent fasting for the past year, mostly just skipping breakfast and about once a month skipping lunch as well.  Recently I did a 36-hour fast with great success and then a 24-hour fast 2 days later.

This week I did 48 hours.  I wanted to do 72 but my family wanted me to pick them up at the airport so I broke my fast the night before.

I can already feel a huge improvement in my nerve sensation and circulation.  I had to cut back on thyroid meds because my energy is through the roof and I couldn’t sleep (3 days after the fast).  Now 5  days after the fast still feeling amazing energy.

My family is still in town so I’ll do another 36-hour fast this week after they leave, and then I plan to start doing 3 day fasts every weekend that is free.  I’ll start Thursday night 7 pm and fast until Sunday 7 pm and then just do smoothies and blended soups for an additional day.

Some cautions for anything thinking of trying this:  START SLOW.  I only skipped breakfast for the first year.  I then gradually did more.  Also please do lots of research online especially regarding refeeding and muscle wasting.  Apparently it’s not recommended for anyone with a BMI of 20 or less.  You also need to at least supplement with sea salts or other electrolytes.  And know what symptoms to watch out for to stop fasting and know how to introduce food back in. You should also talk to your doctor about health risks and your medication, and check out you tube /google for all the “fasting almost killed me” stories so you will recognize any danger signs (i.e., dark urine, vomiting, fainting etc).

Since I am Celiac and already have B1, B6 and B12 deficiencies (self-diagnosed) as well as electrolytes, this posed  a special challenge.  I drank mineral water and took 2 jigsaw electrolyte supplements in water, also 2 teaspoons of Natural Calm Magnesium in water AND about 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt PER DAY.  I still had low B1 and electrolytes after the fast.  I had a few Atkins shakes after the fast which really helped – they have lots of electrolytes.   I could tell my B1 was low because I get this weird pouch by my eye above the tear duct when B1 is low.  When not fasting I normally take 50-100 mcg of B1 per day.

In addition to B vitamins and electrolytes, if you are Celiac be super careful about “re-feeding.”  I keep reading that you can just have a snack like some nuts or an apple and then eat normally an hour later once the blood gets back to  your digestive system.  Um……NO.  That’s true for 24 hours or less.  In future I will only eat watermelon, smoothies or soup I have run through a blender the first 24 hours after a water fast.

I could barely get down 4 spoonfuls of soup at first.  Then I waited 15 minutes, had some more, waited 30 minutes and had a Quest bar and some pistachio nuts. MISTAKE – tummy cramps.  I was good the next day but had 1 more Quest bar each for breakfast & lunch and then for dinner a bunless burger, a few sips of vanilla shake and about 1/3 order of fries.  I think just the burger would have been ok but I should have chewed more and eaten much more slowly.  I was SO FULL.  Like Thanksgiving dinner full.  I kept it down though. At lunch I had also eaten watermelon and more veggie  soup which I tolerated just fine  (bone broth, zucchini and onion puréed in blender).

Next morning after the burger I felt like I had been hit by a truck.  Luckily I can work at home but I just wanted to lie down, I had a bunch of calls I had to do on the computer and felt super sick.  The Atkins shakes and more jigsaw /natural calm and EZ Melts Multivitamin and B1 helped.  I was fine by lunch.

So lesson learned about re-feeding.  Go slow!!!!  But now I feel AMAZING.  I’ve had chronic fatigue for a few years but now I have so much energy!!!

I will continue to be super careful but am excited to pursue this further!

UPDATE:  I decided to be conservative and stick with 36 hour fasts only for a few more weeks maybe 2-3x per week.  Then I’ll try a 48 to 72-ish hour fast again.  I think that therapeutically the longer fast shows better results than the shorter fasts  though.

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