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Maureen Atsali

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since Feb 06, 2015
Western Kenya
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Recent posts by Maureen Atsali

Again, I don't have scientific data, only personal experience - I am a diabetic, and protein has had no impact on my blood sugar readings, unless I am still combining it with carb foods.  I think the point is that you can't know how your body will adapt until you've tried it, and the perpetual fear keeps people from trying.  My reading online indicates that once you stop overloading with carbs, in most cases diabetes is reversed or "cured".  (I am a big fan of the writings of Dr. Jason Fung, but can't post a link with this phone. He is not a zero carb guy, he is an intermittent fasting and lchf guy, but the info is relevant.). I can't speak with authority on anything because my diet bounces with availability.  I'll spend a few days zero carb, a couple weeks lchf, fast a couple days, and then get hungry enough that I go back to carbs from the garden.

A concern I have had is this: I have no gall bladder. Thus I question my body's ability to extract the nutrition it needs from a lchf or zero carb diet.  But rather than say, I can't do it because I have no gall bladder, I'd rather do it and see for myself...and so far, I haven't keeled over from malnutrition, and I still feel my best when I eat the least carb.
1 week ago
I wanted to add a comment about gout.  I have it, although rarely these days.  In my case it does NOT appear to be triggered by meat eating, but rather by uncontrolled fluctuations in blood sugar.
2 weeks ago
I haven't been able to watch the videos yet, but I am very much interested in this topic.  I am not exaggerating when I say I have tried every diet in an attempt to lose weight and improve my health.  I did lose about 125lbs six or seven years ago, but my health remains very poor, and I'm still looking for the dietary fix - as I strongly believe "let thy food be thy medicine.". Living as I do in remote, rural Africa, and being poor---I don't always have a choice about what to eat.  Yesterday it was eat cassavas or go hungry.  (And today, incidentally, I feel awful.). I am however aiming for LCHF and I  finding that the closer I get to NO carbs, the better I feel.  I also reached a point where eating vegetables felt completely repulsive.  Totally unappetising.  That was new, because I've always LIKED vegetables.  I face two problems right now, the first being financial viability.  I don't have my animal production up to the point that I can live off them without buying from outside.  Secondly is my husband and his culture - which view meat-eating as a priveledge and luxory of the rich.  Thus he has accused me of " wasting money ", being selfish and overindulgent and other unpleasant things - without understanding that my motivation is to FEEL better and stop being sick and sad.  Hopefully I'll get a good connection and be able to view your videos - and keep this thread going, I want to follow your progress.
2 weeks ago
Was that truly a silky, or a frizzled feathered hen of some other breed?  Frizzle feather is a genetic defect which can appear, or be bred into any type of chicken.  I love frizzle feathered chickens, just because they ARE so funny.  (I purposely bred for the defective gene, which is a little tricky as it requires a dominant gene with a recessive marker.). So while true silkies are a tiny breed with blue meat... you can get a frizzle feathered chicken of any size - I had a HUGE curly rooster.  Frizzle feathers tend to have brittle feathers and start to look pretty ratty after awhile.  And if you are in a cold climate, those tattered feathers may effect the hens ability to keep the eggs at a steady temp.

The problem i had here is that locals are superstitious of the frizzled chickens.  They are associated with witchcraft.  So it was very hard to sell my curly chickens.  I stopped purposely breeding them, but am always happy when the odd one still turns up.

Naked-neck chickens are also common here - again maybe it has to do with the climate.  Usually they have a little tuft of feathers on top, like a little hat.  I think they are kind of cute.  And yes I have seen naked-neck frizzled chickens. They look pretty a pathetic "I just escaped the electric chair AND the guillotine" sort of way.  Bummer I have no pictures.
3 weeks ago
Oh, why did I say turkeys? Is there anything uglier than turkeys with all their ugly warts and waddles?  Or more tedious than all those feathers?  I think I need to expand my challenge to other animals!
3 weeks ago
Raven, your fiber arts are AMAZING.  I wish you could come to Africa to teach me. 

I come from Vermont - and I'm glad I don't have snow and ice anymore... But I am finding the the drought is just the same...everything gets brown, its too HOT to play outside, the dirt becomes a brick that you can't dig without a pickaxe, and I still end up with "cabin fever".

I said I was going to just be a spectator... But i have decided to challenge myself to start doing some pencil drawings of my turkeys - one a day.  Just to get myself drawing again... And because the boredom is killing me.

Better late than never, right?
3 weeks ago
I am late to see this challenge, which is probably okay.  I have had a headache since Christmas eve that I just can't shake...and I honestly can't think of any interesting challenges for myself.  We are in the hot and dry season now, so most of my garden projects have been put on hold until the next rain. I think I will join as a late coming spectator...and maybe get some ideas to try next time.  I look forward to watching your progress 😎
3 weeks ago
Great video Chris!  Is that really you by the way? Or a video of someone else? I love to put a face to a name. 

Anyway, you inspired me to go cut a stalk and give it a try.  Looks similar to eating a sugarcane.  Well...either our napier grass is different, or the stalks I cut were too old... Because there wasn't any eating!  They were tough and fibrous, worse than a sugar cane.  Certainly not something I could chew up and swallow like the guy in the video.  The flavor wasn't bad.  Not exactly sweet, but not unpleasant, rather like any other stem of grass I pick to chew on when I'm bored.  We are just coming into our dry season, so perhaps I ought to wait for the next rains and try out some fresh growth.  Otherwise, I'll leave the napier for the cow and the goats!

1 month ago
Dale, you crack me up!

If I could catch a chicken...

I will tell you that I had toyed with the idea of spreading some rat-poison laced ugali in my sukuma plants.  My fear was that my dogs would get into it before the neighbors chickens.

Keep in mind that my poultry also free ranges onto their side of the boundary as well.  The only difference is that they aren't growing anything that chickens like to eat, and they had already harvested their maize before i turned the turkeys loose.  When they planted their beans, they complained about my poultry ruining their beans.  I told them I will confine mine if you confine yours.  They did, so I penned up all my poultry and spent money on commercial feeds.  But as soon as their beans finished flowering, they turned theirs loose again.  😛 hmmm, wait till they see what a turkey can do.  No, that's my evil alter ego thinking aloud.  I hope we will have chainlink around our compound before the next planting season, so my poultry will not harass them. I would rather model respectful and ethical behavior than lower myself to their level.

They aren't likely to leave, as this is ancestral land passed down for countless generations.  And the kids from this family have been a hassle to other neighbors.  They get caught stealing and handed over to their parents, who do nothing.  (There are Like 10 or 12 kids there, I can't even keep track of them all.)
We just happen to be the closest, easiest target. (The grandmother will even cover for them.  They cut a tree on the boundary line (not allowed) and it fell on my cassavas.  When my husband called for the boy who cut the tree, the grandmother came instead and said she cut the tree!  I'm trying to picture granny hacking through a 10 inch trunk with a machete?! )

We have discussed hiring a night watchman - a masaii.  I think I even mentioned it awhile back in this thread.  If you hire one masaii here, they tend to bring their friends, so you get 3 or 4 guards for the price of one.  The husband and I decided at present that we don't really have enough assets to warrant a watchman, and would rather put that money towards much needed infrastructure.  But if and when we finish those projects, and we have more animals, a watchman will probably be in order...hopefully the watchman doesn't also steal!
1 month ago
Su Ba,
We eat the sweet potatoes leaves only once in awhile, and I usually mix the leaves of different I really can't say which type tastes better.  I usually try to pick the youngest, tender leaves, chop them into fine strips, and then stir fry with onions and tomatoes...or whatever other aromatics are available...garlic, sweet peppers, hot peppers.  I am not very creative - this is how I cook almost all my leafy greens. 
1 month ago