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Thursday April 26th, 2001, 2000

I can't believe it.  I got on the scale this morning and found I am down about 12 pounds over the past 13 days.  Yesterday I noticed that I am feeling much more relaxed than I have for a long time.  The past few nights my sinuses aren't plugged, even if I have been outside working with bees (I'm a bit allergic to something about them, but not the sting).  Why, I am not exactly sure. There could be a number of factors at play here.  

  • For one thing, I decided Saturday two weeks ago to try to avoid foods that I suspect or know cause me reactions.  
  • I also decided to take a complete break from drinking alcoholic beverages for a while to see what happens.  Apparently some people are allergic to alcohol itself.
  • The days are much longer now than in the dead of winter, and that always makes people here in Alberta get more active, since the long hours of bright sunlight inspire more activity. Increased activity reduces weight.
  • At my recent annual check-up on the 19th, my doctor recommended the Zone diet, and I have been playing around with it.

A year ago, at my annual check-up, my doctor gave me the same old lecture about losing weight.  I told him I liked the idea and had been working at it, but that I wasn't going to make myself and others miserable by starving myself in hopes of losing weight.  The cure would be worse than the problem, and besides, I already don't really eat all that much.  I also told him that I was eating what most people think is a varied and healthy diet with little or no sweets or junk food.

I told him that he is naturally skinny and didn't have a clue about the problems that cause people to be overweight.  It is not a lack of willpower.  I also told him that there is little real proof that losing weight extends life, since the studies that claim to do so can generally only compare fat people to thin people and if they are different in that obvious a way, they are likely different in others.   I told him that if I did starve myself that I would be a skinny fat person and still nor a naturally thin person.  In fact, recent studies have shown that carrying some extra weight is healthier than starving to lose it.  So there!  

This year he was ready for me.  I like to imagine I stimulated him to think and get a solution.   I read some of one of Dr Sears' books and the Zone idea seems eminently sensible.   Basically Dr Sears, the author of the diet recommends a balanced diet with a certain fixed ratio of carbohydrates to protein to fat at every meal or snack, and avoidance of anything more than small amounts of some specific fast-acting carbohydrate foods -- like potatoes and breads.   I reduced the carbohydrates in my diet somewhat and immediately felt better.  Somehow I had gotten the idea that carbs are healthier than proteins and fats and have gotten into the habit of consuming  a lot of cereals and tubers in the belief that they would render me thinner and healthy.  Rather, they made me bloated and uncomfortable -- and I did not realise it. 

When I returned from San Diego back in January, I had noticed a weight loss of about eight pounds from my maximum.  It was sufficiently quick that it had alarmed me.  When I am on the road, I tend to eat burgers and tacos and burritos, since they are cheap, fast and light instead of what most people think of as healthy food.   After returning home for a while, my weight went back up.  I was relieved that I did not have some sudden wasting disease, but puzzled and curious.

The extra weight I have been carrying does not look to me like fat and has puzzled me for a long time, since my face, arms, legs, back, etc are not fat.  there is just this lump on my front.  From the quick loss I am experiencing, it must be largely water, since it is impossible to lose that much fat in such a short time.  I hope the reduction continues.

Recent experience seems to show that pretty well everything I thought I knew about food and nutrition is -- if not wrong -- incomplete.  Ellen (who is thin) says that she can tell by how she feels after she eats something what is right and what is wrong for her.  I am realizing now the truth in the saying "One man's meat is another man's poison".  I've never paid much attention to feedback from my body.  I'm going to have to start.

Back to Beekeeping: Les and I went out to unwrap a yard today.  It was one that had received all the odds and ends last fall.  As expected, we lost 18 out of 44 there.  I suppose that is not too bad, assuming that there are much better yards out here.  The hives are all heavy and the queens are laying well now.

Today: A mix of sun and cloud. 30 percent chance of afternoon showers. Wind increasing to southwest 20 gusting 40 km/h. High 22.
Tonight: Mainly cloudy. 30 percent chance of evening showers. Wind southwest 20. Low 7.
Normals for the period: Low zero. High 14.

Friday April 27th, 2001, 2000

May is finally just about here. The grass is turning green and we are experiencing warmer days and nights-- finally. After years of being first off the mark (after Barry Termeer) in the spring, this year we have forced ourselves to wait until May to molest our bees. We fed three truckloads of syrup last fall and that has paid off in reduced worrying and hives that are not starving.

A week today we'll be in Boston and driving to Rhode Island to see Jon and Sarah get married .  They were married a year ago and are doing it again on the 1st anniversary.  Why?  I'm not exactly sure.  

PollenLoad.jpg (36369 bytes)Pollen was coming in nicely today, as is shown at left.

Steven B. came to work today and will be with us for two months during transition. He went out and unwrapped a large yard and picked up dead-outs.  Bill came for another load and left in the evening.  All went well.  A small buyer from Coronation came by and took four hives.

We're noticing that the bees are now down into the bottom box and coming along nicely.  There does not seem to be a lot of difference in strength and survival between the hives that wintered as singles on top of supers and the ones that wintered as doubles and were doubles all along.  Some yards are virtually 100% alive and others have as much as 50% loss.  I blame it on the bees, and also I think there is some effect from the location.

In the pictures above, Steven is using a hive mover that was invented and perfected by Yves Garez (shown in the picture at upper left with a beekeeper friend, Thierry from  France) and which is sold by Alberta Honey Producers Co-op.   It clamps the hive tightly before lifting and allows easy moving of heavy hives in singles or doubles.  Yves doesn't get any royalty, or even credit for the design.

Today: Mainly sunny. Wind becoming southeast 20 km/h. High 24.
Tonight: Partly cloudy. 30 percent chance of evening showers. Wind becoming southwest 20. Low 6.
Normals for the period: Low zero. High 14.

Saturday April 28th, 2001, 2000

Specht.jpg (28901 bytes)Today we ran over to Eatonia, Saskatchewan to get some used hive lids we had purchased.   It was a good trip, but longer than we had expected.  Highway 44 is hell for a truck that is designed to carry loads, but which at the moment is running empty..  We got there in the evening and had a good visit with Neil & Janine Specht.  It was a truly wonderful visit.  I asked them if they had a pitchfork.  I wanted to photograph them as "American Gothic".  But here's what I got.

After we loaded the lids and tarped them down, I took a chance and drank a glass of homemade Zinfandel blush and sampled a fair part of Neil's whiskey collection -- and experienced no allergic reactions!  So, I guess that it is not the alcohol itself that is the problem, but rather the other components of the drink. Of course I don't know for sure, since food allergies are strange and don't necessarily pop up every time.  As for weight loss, I seem to be stuck down 10 pounds or so from my max.  I understand that it is not unusual to lose that much and get stuck.  Since I have not been too serious about following the Zone diet, but merely started moving in that direction, I am not surprised or displeased.  I do feel better than I have for quite a while after cutting down on the starches.

Today: Wind increasing to southwest 40 gusting to 60 km/h. Mainly cloudy. 40 percent chance of afternoon showers. High 20.
Tonight: Mainly cloudy. 40 percent chance of evening showers. Wind west 30 gusting to 50 km/h. Low 2.
Normals for the period: Low 0. High 14.

Sunday April 29th, 2001, 2000

We stayed the night at Spechts and left around ten Sunday morning, returning to Alberta by a route we had not taken before.  The 570 brought us back via Big Stone and Dorothy, and we got home in late afternoon.  

The weather was hot and very windy all the way both ways.  We saw no sign of rain in Alberta, but could see that there were areas in Saskatchewan that had benefited from showers overnight.  This has been a very dry winter and a dry spring.

Tonight: Mainly clear. Wind diminishing to west 20 km/h. Low 1.
Monday:  mix of sun and cloud. Wind west 30 gusting 50. High 15.

Monday April 30th, 2001, 2000

A big day at Keho this past weeekend.  I missed it.I delete a lot of email these days without opening it, so if I don't acknowledge you, please do not take it personally.  Just try again with a better subject line so I don't confuse your note with Spam.  I'm sorry.  I used to read everything, but it seems these days everyone wants me to go on a cruise or get into MLM.  

.We now have warm weather and enough warm days for the bees to brood up nicely.  I have now been wearing shorts for three days and we have the windows open all day and sometimes at night.

Today: Mainly sunny. Wind increasing to west 30 gusting 50 km/h. High 13.
Tonight: Partly cloudy. Wind west 20. Low zero.
Normals for the period: Low 1. High 14.

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