Aimee Hall

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since Nov 12, 2018
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hugelkultur forest garden fungi trees books cooking food preservation writing
Melbourne, Australia
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Recent posts by Aimee Hall

I love seeing the updates in this thread! Thank you so much.

With time I have found that there is no "normal" to my fasts. Typically, I am always hungry, just always. Whether I am intermittent fasting, long juice fasting, water fasting, or eating what and when I want.

However, since for me it is always a constant struggle to deal with losing weight and managing my PCOS I have found that after a while of eating normally or intermittent fasting, I am just.... tired of food. Even food I know is terrific and normally love. So I go on an extended fast at that point.

My last extended fast was a low sugar vegetable juice fast (such as kale, cucumber, celery. Though I did add in up to a half of a beet root per 2L pitcher of juice because of how many nutrients they have) in which I drank coffee with almond milk one 16oz mug per day, various tea, lots and lots of water, and if I felt bad I would have a cup of bone broth. I also took select vitamins like iron because I am anaemic.

I started this fast on April 5th and started working my way off of the fast on April 17th. I lost 19.6lbs in that time and after completely ending the fast I put almost 9lbs back on within a few days and weight has been stable since then. I did come off of the fast earlier than intended because my kidneys were being sore and I have been unable to find a doctor in Australia to assist in monitoring my extended fasts and family members were very stressed because of genetic predisposition to kidney issues in my family.

Though a few things seem to be mostly consistent with my fasts, I am always able to work normally but I am more tired than normal. I tend to have very vivid dreams of my favourite foods and like someone else mentioned they will be huge mega versions (like an entire swimming pool sized lasagna), and I am ravenously hungry after about 8-12 hours without eating until I do eat. Even if the fasts go for months. Overall I find the just water fasts to be easier, very simple rules to follow, no question on if it is -allowed- or not but I tend to feel worse and get more dizzy and tired. And no matter how slowly I reintroduce foods, if it has been more than 5-6 days it upsets my digestive tract greatly.

I have spoken with a doctor though, who has suggested I try a very low energy diet of 500-600 calories a day comprised primarily of protein and non-starchy vegetables. The diet is intended to keep one in ketosis long term without losing as much muscle mass. The science behind it I have read does seem sound, though because I cannot help it, I have gotten the doctor to agree to allow me to put my own spin on it. Their diet has meal replacement shakes with ingredients I do not approve of such a artificial sweeteners, and they allow an unlimited amount of sugar-free jell-o (jelly to the Aussies out there) which I have also ruled out. Instead I will take an extra real food derived organic multi-vitamin. And I will be combining this with the intermittent fasting I am accustomed to, instead of having the 4-6 suggested mini meals per day. I plan to start Monday and will try to let you guys know how this works for me.

All of my blood tests were run, and my family has a very strong history of being morbidly obese, having high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, kidney failure, and many other health issues. While I do have PCOS and tend to always feel crappy because of injuries sustained when being hit by a car when I was 18, other than being slightly anaemic (despite being on a very high dose iron supplement), all my numbers other than weight all numbers are completely perfect.

A second job I picked up 8 months ago has been stressing me out significantly though, and I am up almost 70lbs from what had become my new normal because I have been stress eating like mad. Every time one of the patients I works with passes away, I cave and stress eat and this happens several times a week. If I do good, I eat nuts, if it is really bad and I had gotten way too attached, I go for something worse like a no refined sugar mug cake, or even something with processed sugar which is not like me. So, my biggest hope is that trying this new way of eating will get me out of this stress eating rut if nothing else.

Have any of you tried the very low energy diet (VLED)? What were your experiences?

I also want to thank the whole Permies community. It is one of the few places I feel free to actually be me without any reservation because everyone is just so accepting and open. You guys make my life better, even when I do not have time to post. You keep me inspired and thinking. Thank you all for that SO much!

3 weeks ago
Thank you very much for your continued interest.

As of the moment, the property is rented out until March I believe. I do not know if the current tenant intends to continue staying there or not. This is information that the rental company does not seem to share with me.

I will update here in a few months when I know if I will be looking for a new tenant or not. I do hope things are going well for everyone, and all are staying safe.
4 months ago
I also have gained weight during covid, I have been working around the clock just to try to pay the bills unfortunately. If I am lucky, I get 5-6 hours of sleep a night, but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel!

I am going to have to modify what I do, I want to do really well with the intermittent fasting but I have been feeling bad, and when I feel bad and get hungry enough I make absolutely terrible food choices. It is one of the reasons the longer fasts often work so well for me, because after you are on it enough you have to stick to it.

However, when I get on track, I find the cold brew coffee with milk (almond milk for me now as I am helping support a friend & housemate who is dairy intolerant, but loves dairy and is horribly tempted by even seeing it in the fridge.) doesn't seem to kick me out of a fasting state. And neither does tea without any sweetener added.

Though where I had cut out refined sugar entirely, it has creeped back into my diet. One of the places I work, regularly has ubereats deliver us "treats" to boost moral and they seem to very often be heavy on the sugar. I manage to pass most of them on to my housemates but sometimes we are expected to enjoy them in group video calls too.... Trying to politely decline has seemed to result in even more sweets being thrown my way. It is a bit understandable though, it is a high stress job and I think the "treats" and morning tea together is how everyone copes.

You are doing good to keep working at it Julia! It is absolutely terrible what you are having to deal with, you would think they would be thankful for your help. =(

Your post has also reminded me to start working on it a bit harder, thank you.

Everyone is dealing with stress, and I need to try to remember to not let it also keep taking my health. I am glad your progress is going in the right direction again and I am thankful for the updates on the benefits of fasting.

Staying on top of new scientific understandings of health and healthy eating can be hard to do. You guys are awesome! Good luck, and please all try to stay safe!
6 months ago
That is awesome R Summer!

I do a lot of curry during the winter with whatever storage veg I have. Mine tends to be more of a red thai curry and since I grow my own lemon grass, galangal, kaffir lime, turnips, greens, etc.

Except for the coconut cream (which I get in bulk for $.99/ 400ml can) I rarely have to put anything in that I paid for.

I also like to save up all the little odd bits when I cut up chickens to freeze. I usually get about 100-150g of chicken slivers that didn't come off neatly while deboning it.

The deboned legs/thighs/breasts, and wings put 6 together get wrapped and frozen portioned out for meals.

After collecting all the slivers together in a bad in the freezer for a while (I usually buy 3-5 chickens when they go on sale for a really good price to process all at once) I thaw them and dice them really fine and use them for either chicken pot stickers or larb gai (Thai chicken salad) which is super easy to make.:

Simmer the finely minced chicken pieces (no bone, gristle, or skin.) in about 1 cup or so of fresh lemon juice (we never pay for lemons, trees are everywhere here.) per kilo of chicken, after about 15 minutes, dump in about an equal amount of onions to your chicken (I often do 2 times as much onion to chicken but that is really to stretch our budget.) and cook to almost desired tenderness/crunchiness then add minced ginger, fish sauce, red chili flakes to taste. Serve over rice or with crisp lettuce leaves. Topped with fresh basil. Because there is such a small amount of chicken in each very filling serving we find this a great way to make meals for less than a dollar a plate.

And one I do have priced is: (If I had to buy things at standard grocery store prices, which I rarely pay....)
Instant Pot Spicy Black Bean Soup (This makes 10 generous servings)

Olive oil 30ml: $.17
Medium onion, diced X2       320 g: $.32
Crushed garlic 25g: $.13
Chili powder 15g: $1.50
Ground cumin 7g: $.34
Dried oregano 7g: $.32
Salt 5g: $.02
Pepper 2g: $.05
Cayanne pepper ground 2g: $.23
veg stock cubes 3each: $.90
Dry black beans 500g: $3.05
4oz can hatch chile peppers, undrained 50g: $.68
Rice or bread to serve 800g: $1.28
=$8.99 ($.90/serve)

Sorry if I repeated previous ideas, been a while since I have read through this thread. The permies community is the best. Thanks guys!
9 months ago
I love the idea of putting it on wheels, however it presents a couple major problems. The biggest is that it will be top heavy by nature, and the clothes will act like sails while drying making it even more likely to tip if not properly anchored. You could make sure there is enough weight at the bottom to keep it from being top heavy with the clothes on it, but then it could get quite heavy. Though there are often cheap, heavy duty tires to deal with just that. You will also want to get wheels that would work well on whatever sort of ground it will be on and can lock so as to keep it from going all over the place.

I also agree with the air circulation being key. Good luck!

I mostly dry my clothes inside now because I am renting and the outside clothes line gets visited by birds so often it is pointless using it for anything but to collect free compost by putting plants underneath it. (I really could not deal with the frustration any longer of going to get my clean clothes and finding them all covered in bird droppings.)
10 months ago
Thank you! I had seen their page but not ordered from them yet. It is great to have more reputable suppliers to add to the list! =D
10 months ago
How is everyone's victory gardens going this season? Winter here, and I am itching to get growing more than salad/cooking greens. I had snow peas but something came in and ate every single one, and many of the broad beans too.... -_-
10 months ago
That is great Mike, and I do agree! I am accumulating mine slowly but carefully to stay under budget, I grow everything from seeds that I can, etc. My planters are self made wicking containers so they require practically no additional watering from me at the expense of being heavy. I do use the hand truck once I get them out and to firm ground but I am too lazy to move my fruit trees every 2-3 weeks to week around them. lol! I know I shouldn't be, there are just so many other things I would rather do than move 100 containers just to get rid of silly grass. -_-
11 months ago
Hello Kate! I hope your book is doing well, it is awesome.

Anyone who is thinking about buying this book, you really should. It never hurts to have more books in your cooking arsenal and if you are learning to cook with a woodstove, or are thinking about learning this is a book you all need.
11 months ago
My smallest pots are only 12" and work great for things like green onions, herbs, greens like sorrel, beets and the like (even Thai chilles seem to thrive in the small pots making what look like lovely tiny trees) which lets me get a lot more in. My taller pots are around 2 feet and obviously they do not have nearly as many issues but filling them with quality compost is pricey, and the planters themselves are not cheap. So I save the big ones for fruit trees mostly (But these are also so heavy after being filled they are difficult for me to move them around to get to the grass growing up -_-). Then my medium size (Between 15-18") gets most perennials (like okinawa/surinam spinach), tomatoes, peppers, etc.

Your planters look SO good. I will have to try some of these combos! I have been putting my basil in under my tomatoes and green onions tucked in everywhere there was the tiniest space. They are amazing! And something you can never have enough of. lol
1 year ago