The enzyme that eats scar tissue

Anyone who’s undergone ORIF surgery, as I have, knows the resulting scar tissue causes pain and is a huge obstacle in regaining full range of motion. Conventional means of breaking up scar tissue actually result in the formation of new scar tissue. 

But there’s an effective solution that’s not well known outside of Europe and that is the enzyme serrapeptase. And after testing it myself for 90 days, I’m ready to spread the word.

comparing left and right ankles after orif surgery
The left ankle is slightly larger after ORIF surgery

What is serrapeptase

Serrapeptase (also known as serratiopeptidase) is an enzyme that comes from bacteria produced by the silkworm. It’s what helps the silkworm dissolve its cocoon. As a proteolytic enzyme, it breaks down protein into smaller pieces that can be digested and removed from the body.

Uses for serrapeptase

Serrapeptase reduces inflammation, swelling and pain after surgery. 

It can eat dead tissue, blood clots, cysts and arterial plaque. 

It breaks up biofilm produced by harmful bacteria and fungus, thereby making antibiotics more effective. 

It thins mucus, promotes normal mucus levels and is used to treat chronic respiratory diseases.

Use with caution

First of all, you need to choose a supplement that is enteric coated to survive stomach acid. The one I got is from iSerra which is maximum strength and time released.

iserra serrapeptase

Also, serrapeptase must be taken on an empty stomach with a full glass of water, at least an hour before eating first thing in the morning or two hours between meals.

Because of its blood thinning properties, it should not be taken with blood thinners, aspirin, NSAIDs, garlic, turmeric and fish oil. If you have any concerns, check with your doctor first.

My experience taking serrapeptase

During the last four years since ORIF surgery, I’ve worked really hard to recover full range of motion. I came to realize that scar tissue was impeding my progress despite my efforts to break it up mechanically. 

The problems I had were ankle impingement and the feeling of tight bands pulling internally while flexing my foot. It also caused twinges and occasional pain in certain positions.

So I got 90 capsules and chose to take only one a day first thing in the morning. (It can be taken up to three times a day.) I cut down on fish oil and stopped taking turmeric. I don’t take any type of medication.

After three days I noticed the blood thinning properties when a small wound produced more bleeding than normal.

After one month I woke up one day with nausea and nearly threw up three times. I believe this was a Herxheimer reaction from fungus die-off. (I took a little charcoal for the next three days and had no more symptoms.)

Near the end of the 90 days, the ankle impingement was gone. The sensation of tight bands while flexing also went away.

comparing left and right ankles after orif surgery
Four years after ORIF surgery on left ankle

It’s been nearly three weeks since the pills ran out and my dorsiflexion has definitely improved. In a separate article I will be describing the exercises that are helping me get to the finish line.

I do still feel one tight point at the inner side of the ankle joint during dorsiflexion. If it doesn’t improve in the next month or so, I may go back on serrapeptase for another 90 days. However, I don’t intend to take it continually.

Additional reading

Although serrapeptase has been widely used in Europe and Asia for decades, there have not been a lot of clinical studies done. But here are some articles that may be of interest.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2257960

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16757752

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5790697/

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/serrapeptase#crds

Keto diet results year 2 | keto after 60

Two years have passed since I started the keto diet and intermittent fasting (IF) as a woman over 60. So what new things have I learned between year one and year two?

Be sure to read about year one here.

Not only did I lose a bit more weight, I learned some important keto diet tweaks that I’m revealing in this article. You will also see before and after photos from the first and second year. And I am posting pics of a full day of keto eating.

Keto weight loss results

Okay I’m going to start with the good stuff because most people are looking to lose weight.

In May of 2017 I started IF without dieting and lost no weight. In June of 2017 I started the keto diet (with IF) and that’s when things began to happen.

My starting weight was 150 and by June of 2018 it was 130. (I’m 5′4½᳓.) So I lost 20 lbs in one year.

I went from a size 12 to a size 6.

one year on keto, keto after 60

During the second year I was mostly in maintenance but then decided to lose a few more pounds. So I lost five more pounds and went from a size 6 to a size 4!

two years on keto, keto over 60

I’m happy with these results and I’ve gone back to maintenance.

Electrolytes are important

Sodium, potassium and magnesium are even more important on a keto diet because they are easily flushed out of our bodies.

I had been getting muscle spasms in my toes/foot once in a while at night. Eventually I realized it was only happening after dancing on Saturday night. I tend not to drink very much water when I’m out and after several hours of dancing I became dehydrated. And that caused me to lose more electrolytes which then caused the spasms.

So I got this electrolyte supplement that I only take Saturday night before I go to bed. Problem solved! I haven’t had any more spasms since then.

Lyteshow electrolyte supplement
Lyteshow electrolyte supplement

And I got some NoSalt as a potassium supplement. I use it along with sea salt when salting my food. (I get enough magnesium from vitamins.)

NoSalt as a potassium supplement
NoSalt as a potassium supplement

I also learned that the keto flu I experienced when I started keto could have been eliminated by having more sodium. Now if I start to feel a bit sluggish I reach for the salt shaker and consume about ¼ teaspoon of sea salt. Other people make something called solé water with pink himalayan salt, but I’d rather just put the salt in my mouth.

Experimenting with keto macros

The difference between keto and a low carb diet is the amount of carbs you can eat. To be keto, carbs are limited to 20 grams a day. Then you can play with your protein and fat macros to achieve the results you want.

Much of the time my carbs are around 10 grams per day.

Keto is touted as a high fat diet. But you don’t need to consume excessive amounts of fat if you’re trying to lose weight. Fat is a limit not a goal. It’s more important to get the protein in first and top it off with fat. You should have at least 50 grams of fat if you’re losing weight and more if you’re trying to maintain.

During my second year of keto I ate fewer and fewer vegetables, and sometimes none at all. The reason for this is I had noticed some “adverse effects” from certain vegetables. However, I do try to eat a small amount of homemade sauerkraut for the probiotic benefits.

I also tried upping my fat intake, sometimes as much as 84 percent. And I have to say I felt really good with that much fat.

But was I getting enough protein?

two years on keto, keto over 60

Protein, the underrated macro

I practice lazy keto which means I don’t track my macros every day. Once in a while I do it just to see where I’m at. (However, I do always keep a mental note of how many carbs I eat.)

Because of the IF, I was only eating two meals a day. I felt really satisfied but didn’t think the 50 grams of protein per day, suggested by conventional wisdom and online macro calculators, was enough. Almost everybody says not to worry about it but I still did.

I didn’t want to look like so many older people I’ve seen with droopy, flaccid skin that hangs off of their bones. Every time I see that I think to myself, that person isn’t getting enough protein.

After a lot of digging I found this amazing YouTube channel, Keto Chaos, who’s done extensive research and explains the protein situation very well.

An explanation of protein synthesis

And I learned a new word: sarcopenia, the loss of muscle tissue in older adults. Aha! That explains the flaccid skin!

The secret to getting enough protein

Basically, the older we get, the harder it is for our bodies to utilize protein. That means we need to eat more of it.

But there’s a trick to it. You have to eat 30 grams at a time for protein synthesis to occur. And it takes three to four hours to complete the process before eating again.

There is some debate as to whether eating more than 30 grams in one sitting will do you any good.

I’ve been experimenting with three 30 gram protein meals a day during my eight hour eating window.

It was hard going from 50 to 90 grams. To make it a little easier, one of my meals often consists of whey protein. It’s pretty tasty in my iced coffee.

I’m working my way up to consuming more protein. I think 100 to 120 grams would be preferable.

To make things easier, I got this sleek little food scale to measure my protein.

digital food scale
digital food scale

What I eat in a day

Here are some pics of one full day of keto meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Breakfast: bacon, egg, salsa, queso fresco
Breakfast: bacon, egg, salsa, queso fresco
Lunch: keto protein coffee
Lunch: keto whey protein coffee
Lunch: 2T peanut butter
Lunch: 2T peanut butter
Dinner: Shredded pot roast, green beans, sauerkraut
Dinner: Shredded pot roast, green beans, sauerkraut, Malden sea salt flakes
Dessert: five chocolate almonds
Dessert: five chocolate almonds

Keto cheat days

As I did in year one, I have one cheat day a week. I feel like it makes the diet more sustainable and has given me metabolic flexibility. That means my body can run on glucose that day and the next day it switches back to burning ketones.

I know this because of how I feel the next day. Some people feel crappy but I usually feel normal, like I can delay my eating if I want to.

Will I stay on keto?

This way of eating has been so effective and almost effortless for maintaining my weight so I intend to keep going.

I also intend to keep experimenting with macros and cycling between keto and low carb. Limiting carbs will always be necessary for me.

And I never get tired of bacon!

More information

Protein and older adults

How much protein can the body use in a single meal for muscle building?

Older adults, double your protein intake for better health. I’m with them up to the point where they start recommending plant sources of protein. Humans need meat!

Dyeing my silver hair lavender with Arctic Fox girls night

I’ve dyed my hair lavender many times but have never used this shade from Arctic Fox. I thought it would be fun to see if girls night was the perfect lavender straight out of the bottle.

arctic fox girls night hair dye
Arctic Fox girls night

My silver hair before

natural silver hair
My natural silver hair (with a little pink underneath)

I applied the dye all over my hair and used almost the entire 4 ounce bottle. I left it on for 30 minutes before washing it out.

My new lavender hair

I thought it turned out perfect—not too blue, not too pink, not too intense—just right.

silver hair dyed lavender
The perfect shade of lavender
lavender hair
Another look at my new lavender hair

The only downside is, being this soft of a color it only lasted one week. Sometimes that can be a good thing if you’re in a mood to change the color again, which is exactly what I did.

But I went out and ordered a large bottle for the next time I get the urge for lavender hair.

Please enjoy this short video of me trying Arctic Fox girls night.

For more info and to see all the hair colors, please visit Arctic Fox Hair Color.

Is Jeffree Star’s magic star concealer good for mature skin?

I’ve been wanting some Jeffree Star makeup and when I saw he had a new concealer out, I just had to get it! When I found out my local Morphe store had my shade, C8, in stock I rushed right down there and got me one.

Before going on, can we just have a moment of awe for the magic wand packaging? I adore stars and crystals and the color pink. And this is a work of art!

jeffree star magic star concealer c8
Magic star concealer, C8

Anyway, $22 is a splurge for me. I don’t buy high-end makeup. The closest thing I’ve had is the IT cosmetics bye bye undereye concealer. And I have to say that one didn’t impress me much.

Recently I’ve been using Maybelline instant age rewind concealer in the shade neutralizer with good results, and by that I mean it doesn’t crack on me. It also doesn’t cover as well as I would like.

I wanted to see if the JS concealer has better coverage as well as being crease proof. To test this out I wore JS on one eye and Maybelline on the other eye.

Note: I did not purchase the setting powder because I never put powder under my eyes. It just ends up looking dry and cracked. This test is for the concealer alone.

Product details and comparison

Color: The neutralizer is a bit darker than C8 which is for light to medium skin with olive undertones.

maybelline instant age rewind compared to jeffree star magic star concealer
Instant age rewind (neutralizer) and magic star (C8)

Volume: Comparing the amount in each product, the age rewind is 6 ml and magic star is 3.5 ml.

Ingredients: Chemically they share many of the same ingredients when it comes to silicones. They have different anti aging ingredients (two each) which show up at the end of the ingredient list.

Magic star may contain mica, an ingredient with light reflecting properties that makes you look younger.

Wear test: Jeffree Star magic star concealer vs. Maybelline instant age rewind

I applied a minimal amount to each eye, trying to keep it confined to the tear trough area, then blended it with my finger. Magic star went on smoother.

magic star concealer wand
Beware: magic star concealer wand holds a lot of product

I also applied it on the nasal labial fold, an area I usually skip because makeup tends to break apart and crack, making it look even worse. However, for this experiment I wanted to see how it performed.

Maybelline was on my left side and Jeffree Star was on my right. I applied it at 1:30 pm and then went on about my day.

magic star on right eye, instant age rewind on left eye
Magic star on right eye is brighter than instant age rewind
Concealer swatch: (L) instant age rewind, (R) magic star
Concealer swatch: (L) instant age rewind, (R) magic star
magic star blended out has better coverage
Concealers blended out. Magic star covers the vein better.

During the day I kept looking in the 10x mirror to see what was happening but tried not to touch either side.

Final thoughts

The Jeffree Star eye was brighter right from the start because the color was lighter and it did appear to be reflecting light. There was better coverage as well. A little goes a loooong way and I could have applied even less.

after wearing magic star concealer for 8 hours
After eight hours of wear

After eight hours of wear, there was no creasing under the eye. There was a tiny bit of breaking up along the smile line though. I’d like to try that area again using less.

My verdict

Magic star concealer has my seal of approval for mature skin! It glides on silky smooth, has great coverage, resists creasing and gives the illusion of younger looking skin.

I would definitely purchase again.

close up after 8 hours wear
After eight hours, no settling into lines
Please check out my video review!

Where to find Jeffree Star magic star concealer

DIY silver hair toner

Ever since I began transitioning to my natural silver hair, I’ve been on a mission to banish the yellow tones from my hair. And while there are many products you can find for this purpose, I love to keep things simple and save money at the same time. So I experimented and came up with an easy toner recipe for me and all you thrifty silver-haired sirens out there.

Make your own silver toning conditioner

All you need are two simple ingredients to make the perfect toner to keep your gray and silver hair bright—cheap white hair conditioner and semipermanent dye.

Suave conditioner and Arctic Fox transylvania dye

Suave conditioner and Arctic Fox transylvania dye

I use Suave coconut conditioner from Walmart (about $2) and Arctic Fox transylvania semipermanent dye ($13 to $18). I recommend getting the 4 ounce size because it will literally last for years using the small amount required for this recipe.

DIY toner recipe for silver hair

Take one cup of conditioner.

white conditioner

One cup conditioner

Add ¼ teaspoon Arctic Fox transylvania dye.

1/4 tsp Arctic Fox transylvania dye

1/4 tsp Arctic Fox transylvania dye

Stir into the conditioner and mix well.

Stir dye into conditioner

Stir dye into conditioner

After mixing, the conditioner looks like a medium shade of indigo blue.

Blue toning conditioner for silver hair

Blue toning conditioner for silver hair

Transfer the toner to a pump bottle for easy use.

Store conditioner in a pump bottle

Store conditioner in a pump bottle

The great thing about this mixture is that it brightens hair without leaving a blue cast. But if you would rather be left with a subtle blue shade in your hair, simply double the amount of dye, using ½ teaspoon instead of ¼ teaspoon.

How to use toning conditioner

Use the toner on your hair once or twice a week.

After I wash my hair in the shower, I squeeze out excess water and apply about a tablespoon all over my hair.

toning conditioner

One tablespoon toning conditioner per treatment

Then I comb through my hair with a wide-tooth comb, pin my hair up and continue on with my shower, rinsing my hair at the end.

Perfectly toned silver hair

toned silver hair

My silver hair after using DIY toner

And this is lovely result, silver hair without any yellow or blue tones.

I hope you will give this DIY toner a try on your own silver tresses.

The gray hair tag: Answering 10 questions about my gray hair

Right now there’s a tag going around on social media for those of us in the gray hair community to answer questions about our transition to gray hair.

Now more than ever, gray hair is a choice. It’s just as valid as all the other colors. It doesn’t mean that someone is old, not relevant or has stopped caring about her appearance. Nothing could be further from the truth.

We gray hair pioneers are trying to change that outdated perception. That’s why I decided to participate in this tag. I hope that my answers to these ten questions may help you with your own transition to gray hair.

1. How old were you when you started going gray?

I was 16. I remember being at school, looking in the bathroom mirror and I saw one or two gleaming silver strands in my medium brown hair. I was shocked!

By my late 30s, my hair was at least fifty percent gray and the rest of the color was a faded reddish brown which did absolutely nothing for me. That’s when I started regularly dyeing it dark brown.

2. How old were you when you decided to transition?

Shortly after my 60th birthday. I had always wanted to go blonde and I thought, “What am I waiting for.” I was also going through a traumatic time recovering from a broken ankle and I was ready for a new me.

3. Did you go to your hairdresser to help with the transition or did you just go “cold turkey?” What did your hairdresser do to help if you went to one?

You really only have three choices when transitioning to gray hair. You can cut it all off, you can let it grow out, or you can bleach it.

I chose bleaching and went to the hairdresser to get all the dark color removed from my hair. That is the fastest and most expensive option.

4. What was the reaction of your friends and family?

I didn’t go directly to gray hair. It was blonde for a few months. The people who knew me only as a brunette didn’t seem to like it, but only a couple of people said anything to me. My sister-in-law said it made me look old. Other people (casual acquaintances and strangers) liked it a lot.

As my natural silver hair grew out, I started experimenting with temporary pastel colors. I didn’t get any further comments from my friends and family. However, I have gotten many compliments from strangers on my new look.

5. Favorite thing about being gray?

I just love the color silver! I like being able to add colorful accents to my hair. I had never really experimented with my hair color before and it’s really fun.

6. Least favorite thing about being gray?

There is one minor thing and that is having to tone out yellowness, although it’s fairly hassle free the way I do it.

The only other thing that bothers me is that there’s no word for people with silver hair. There’s blonde, brunette, redhead, but no term for those of us with gray hair.

7. Do you receive a lot of criticism for your gray hair? If so, how do you deal?

Fortunately, I get no criticism for my gray hair. Truly the only things I get are compliments on my ombre. And if somebody did have something negative to say, it wouldn’t mean anything to me because I no longer care about what people think. I love it and that’s all that matters.

8. What is your favorite compliment that you have received about your hair?

I really do get a lot of compliments on my hair that I never got when it was brunette. But a few months ago I was at a club waiting for the music to start.

Where I was sitting a light was shining down on me, making my hair look so silver white. At that particular time the ombre had faded away and I wasn’t wearing my hair extensions, so it was just my hair in all its glory. A man came up to me from across the room and said, “I just love your hair!”

9. What is your biggest piece of advice to anyone looking to start the process?

Just know that it’s going to be an emotional time. Thinking about things like, am I old, is this going to make me look old, will I be accepted, etc. And then having to adjust the colors of your wardrobe and makeup; everything has to change. There’s a lot to deal with.

I also think going to a hairdresser to help with the transition is the best idea. If I had it to do over again I probably would have done heavy foils instead of overall bleaching. It might have been less damaging and would have been more gradual and an easier adjustment.

If you really want to go gray, just do it. Don’t let anyone hold you back.

10. Who is your gray hair idol?

There are three ladies on YouTube that I’m drawn to.

Maryam Remias is the one who inspired me with her ombre hair. I loved the way it looked on her and she gave me the courage to try it for myself.

I also like Monique Parent. She does so many things with her hair, including trying hairpieces and temporary colors to change things up.

And I admire Victoria Marie who has the most striking silver hair and who’s making a documentary, Gray is the new blonde.

These inspirational, vibrant women are redefining what it means to be gray.

Where are you at in your gray hair journey? Please feel free to share your story below.

DECODED: Sanford Bennett face exercises

Are you here looking for info on how to do Sanford Bennett’s face exercises? Good, because that’s what you’re going to find in this article.

I felt the need to put this guide together after trying to find the very same information on the internet. However, the only things that came up were websites where people have created their own facial exercises “inspired by” Sanford Bennett’s face exercises. Upon closer examination, these exercises bear no resemblance to the ones he wrote about in his two books, Exercising in bed (published in 1907) and Old age—its cause and prevention (published in 1912).

I went on to read both of these books which were fascinating but also a bit hard to follow. Especially the second book which felt like wandering around in a maze. The exercises are not grouped together and the pictures are not near the explanations. Not only that, a lot of the information is repetitive.

So I’ve done my best to decode these facial exercises by grouping the explanations and pictures together. Some of the explanations are verbatim and others are summarized. They will be in order starting from the top of the face and working down to the neck. I have also added my own comments and suggestions as needed.

Sanford Bennett

Sanford Bennett (1841 to 1926) called himself “the man who grew young at seventy” and his before and after pictures seem to back that up. I believe he was a visionary and I encourage you to learn more about him by reading his books (linked at the end of this article).

Sanford Bennett before and after

Sanford Bennett before and after

He developed his face exercises based on a pamphlet that was used by Ninon de L’Enclos (1620 to 1705). She was known as the woman who never grew old. Here’s her portrait at age 70.

Ninon de L'Enclos age 70

Ninon de L’Enclos, the woman who never grew old

General directions

  • All these exercises are meant to be done lying down.
  • Don’t be too vigorous with friction and massage because you might chafe the skin and/or make the muscles sore.
  • Two methods for facial rejuvenation are discussed: facial massage and rubbing out wrinkles. I believe the facial massage is meant to be done dry, while rubbing out wrinkles is meant to be done using a little oil or skin cream for lubrication. Therefore I think it makes more sense to do the facial massage first, followed by rubbing out wrinkles.
  • The exercises should be performed once a day. Bennett said his full body and face exercise routine took about an hour. Just doing the face exercises should take a lot less time.

Facial massage

The skin, like any piece of leather, is improved by friction using dry palms and fingers. It will remove fine lines and wrinkles.

You may temporarily create new lines because vigorous massage may rapidly remove underlying fat deposits. New fat will form again quickly and the face will resume its former condition with some slight improvement also.

Facial massage is performed by contracting the muscles while massaging with the hands in place on the skin.

Bennett also claims that friction with dry palms and fingers will whiten the throat and brighten the sides and bridge of the nose.

Here are diagrams of the facial muscles that will be worked.

facial muscles

Exercising the temples

Firm rubbing of the temple muscles with the palm of the hand will develop the sunken muscles. Frequent friction towards the corner of the eyes will smooth the temples and remove crows feet. Do this for several minutes.

Alternate this process by striking rapidly with the tips of the fingers. This percussion action carries blood to the part being treated and will help promote the growth of tissue.

In time the shrunken muscles will be increased, even to the plumpness of youth, and the crows feet will disappear.

Sanford Bennett temple exercise

Sanford Bennett temple exercise

Exercising the cheeks

The first book contained two cheek exercises. During the five years between the first and second book, Bennett devised simpler and more effective cheek exercises. Those are the ones I’m presenting here.

If you would like to read about the original cheek exercises, please refer to page 217 of Exercising in bed (linked at the end).

Cheeks (first exercise)
Contract or bunch up the cheek muscles. Press your palm firmly on the cheek and rub firmly, deliberately and well towards the temples or corners of the eyes.

Start with 10 to 15 movements and increase as you see fit. You can do one side at a time or both sides at once.

This exercise strengthens the large circular muscle around the eye and will prevent sagginess. It will also develop the cheek muscles which will make the hollows disappear.

Sanford Bennett cheek exercise

Sanford Bennett cheek exercise

Cheeks (second exercise)
Draw up both corners of the mouth in the position of an exaggerated smile. This will bunch up the supporting muscles on the upper part of the cheekbones immediately below the corners of the eyes.

Now drop the chin to its utmost extent. This will place further tension on the cheek supporting muscles. In this position, open and close the jaws and steadily rub with the palms of the hands.

This will enlarge the muscles, giving support to the overlying skin and tissue which will give the cheeks the rounded appearance of youth. Over time there will also be an increase in color and a more youthful appearance.

No further instructions were given so I’m suggesting opening and closing the jaws 10 to 15 times.

Exercising the mouth

This works the circular muscle surrounding the mouth to prevent or correct drooping and sagging. Insert your little fingers into your mouth and alternately pull and relax.

While not stated, the mouth should be tensed during the exercise.

Duration is not specified so I’m assuming you start with 10 to 15 reps and work up as you see fit.

Sanford Bennett mouth exercise

Sanford Bennett mouth exercise

Exercising the chin

Rest the chin on the palm of your hands and contract the muscles (set the teeth firmly). Press firmly and rub the underlying muscles vigorously. This is the same method described for the muscles surrounding the eye but requiring more pressure.

The position of the hands should be continually shifted for the most rapid muscle growth.

Duration is not specified so I’m suggesting remaining in each position for about 10 seconds.

Sanford Bennett chin exercise

Sanford Bennett chin exercise

Exercising the jaws

Deep massage with the heel of the hands along the edge of the jawbone (with the teeth firmly set) will result in a rounder, more youthful appearance.

No further instructions are given but I think it’s implied that your hands should be repositioned until the entire jawbone is massaged.

Duration is not specified so I’m suggesting remaining in each position for about 10 seconds.

Sanford Bennett jaw exercise

Sanford Bennett jaw exercise

Exercising the throat

Three exercises are shown for the throat/neck area.

Throat (first exercise)
Lie on your side with your head on a pillow. Place your thumb on the throat under the chin (or at about the center of the muscle which extends from the adam’s apple to the chin). If you lie on your right side, use your right thumb, and vice versa.

Bring the head forward, chin to chest, then back again, while keeping pressure with the thumb. Start with 10 reps and work up to 50.

Repeat on the other side.

Sanford Bennett throat exercise 1

Sanford Bennett throat exercise 1

Throat (second exercise)

Lie on your side with your head on a pillow. Turn the chin as far as possible toward the upper shoulder. This will contract the sides of the neck. Drop your head back on the pillow and relax. Start with 5 reps and work up to 50 or more.

Repeat on the other side.

Sanford Bennett throat exercise 2

Sanford Bennett throat exercise 2

Throat (third exercise)

Lie on your back with a pillow under the shoulders for greater stretch.

Throw the head back as far as possible and bring it forward toward the chest. Begin with 5 reps and work up to 100.

Helps to reduce a double chin and is also good for the abdominals.

Sanford Bennett throat exercise 3

Sanford Bennett throat exercise 3

Exercising the neck

For developing and strengthening the neck, lie on your back with a pillow under your head. Clasp the back of your head with your hands.

Raise your head off the pillow then press it backwards while using resistance from your arms. Start with 5 reps and work up to 25.

Sanford Bennett neck exercise

Sanford Bennett neck exercise

Rubbing out wrinkles

In commencing the friction treatment and to keep the skin in place while you rub, stretch the skin with the first and second fingers of one hand and rub with the other, or the palm of the hand.

The points needing the most attention will be the corners of the eyes, mouth, temples and immediately in front of the ears. To prevent chafing some lubricant (oil or face cream) must be applied at the points you’re rubbing.

To tighten wrinkles, after using friction, spread raw egg white over the wrinkles with a shaving brush. Let sit to dry for five minutes. As it dries, the skin tightens up. Rinse off with pure, warm water.

Egg white is a powerful astringent that should remain on the skin for a short time as it may cause the skin to shrivel. Therefore, this method should be used with caution.

The frequency for the egg white treatment is not stated so I’m suggesting it only be done once or twice a week.

Afterwards wash the face with soap, dry off and apply a thin layer of vaseline. Rub in and wipe off the excess, which will leave the skin soft, smooth and not shiny.

I believe this step is optional.

For more information

Exercising in bed

Old age—its cause and prevention

I welcome your questions, comments and suggestions. I would love to hear about your experience with Sanford Bennett face exercises.

Tips for dyeing and maintaining lavender hair

It’s hard to imagine a happier and more flattering color than lavender. And when that color is on your hair, people are going to notice. So if you’re ready to jazz up your look, and you don’t mind receiving lots of compliments from just about everyone, give it a try.

But you should know a few things going in. The dyeing process is messy. Color can go on uneven. And the biggest downside to lavender hair is the fact that it fades fast. I mean really fast.

Having spent the last two years experimenting with lavender on my hair, I’ve learned a thing or two about dyeing it and keeping the color for as long as possible. To summarize, my tips are:

Keep it clean
Keep it even
Keep it longer

Supplies needed

Before you get started, you’ll need:

Mixing bowl and applicator brush
Wide-tooth comb
Gloves
Mirror
Claw clip
Hair dye (semipermanent)
White conditioner (optional, for diluting stronger colors)

Hair dyeing supplies for lavender hair

Hair dyeing supplies for lavender hair

Dyeing and maintaining lavender hair

Keep it clean

When I say keep it clean, I’m not talking about your hair although that should be clean too. I’m talking about the bathroom because nobody mentions what a mess purple or lavender hair dye can make. Even though you try to cover every surface, you’ll be finding purple spots everywhere, and they’re hard to remove.

So if you don’t want your bathroom looking like a splatter art project, I suggest dyeing your hair inside the shower. Dye seems to come off easier in there and the mess is contained. Most spots will come off with rubbing alcohol. Lay a cloth down on the shower floor and you’ll have even less to clean up.

Shower set up to dye hair

Shower set up to dye hair

Keep it even

Splotchiness is a problem when dyeing your hair lavender or purple. The darker the dye, the more careful you have to be with application.

The brand of dye you use makes a big difference too. Arctic Fox is by far the easiest semipermanent dye to work with. Girls Night (a pinky lavender) and Periwinkle (a bluish lavender) are good color choices.

Arctic Fox Girls Night semipermanent dye

Arctic Fox Girls Night semipermanent dye

On the other hand, Manic Panic Ultraviolet is for me the prettiest shade of lavender when diluted with conditioner. Unfortunately, it goes on so splotchy and uneven and fades so fast, that it’s just not worth the hassle.

When dyeing your hair, start with dry, clean hair. Treat small sections at a time, about an inch wide. Try to spread the dye out evenly from the root to the ends. Rub it in with your fingers then go through it with the comb.

arctic fox girls night

Getting ready to dye my hair

After all the hair is done, gather it on your head and clip it in place. A half hour later you can wash it off.

I’ve found it does no good to leave the dye on for extended periods of time like some people recommend. I’ve tried it and have even washed it with cold water and I can say that those things made no difference in the staying power.

In fact, every day the hair fades even if you only wash it once a week. (Obviously it will fade faster the more you wash it.) I only wash mine once or twice a week.

Keep it longer

Lavender hair will only last one to two weeks depending on how deep the color was to begin with. If you don’t mind starting off with purple hair (Arctic Fox Purple Rain), you might even get three weeks out of it.

I’ve found the most effective way to extend the length of time between applications is to deposit dye every time you wash your hair. My favorite method is to use lavender conditioner after washing my hair. This allows me to go four to six weeks before dyeing again.

Girls Night and Periwinkle can be used straight out of the bottle as a conditioner. But if you’re using a purple dye, it should be diluted with white conditioner to a pale shade. With more intense colors you run the risk of getting a big purple blob on the back of your head.

To test for the right color, touch the dye with your finger and wipe it off. If it leaves more than a slight hint of lavender, you need to add more conditioner.

lavender conditioner comparison

lavender conditioner

The right amount of color for lavender conditioner

What I do in the shower is wash my hair first, squeeze out excess water and apply tinted conditioner with the applicator brush. I do this without looking in a mirror. Next I comb through the hair then pin it to my head with the hair clip. All these things live in my shower in a handy acrylic basket stuck to the wall.

hair supplies basket

Shower basket holding my hair supplies

If I end up with extra conditioner, I save it in an empty pump bottle for next time.

Then I continue on with my shower, rinsing my hair out as the very last step. So the hair is usually tinted and conditioned for about ten minutes at that point.

Some people say purple shampoo is good for maintaining lavender hair but I disagree. I experimented with purple shampoos and found that they’re only good for toning blonde or silver hair. To try and get more color payoff you need to saturate dry hair with the shampoo and leave it on for a while. In my opinion, this is a waste of money and time so I stick with the conditioner method.

So now you’re ready to rock your lavender locks!

Toning my Zala hair extensions silver

One thing I love is to go dancing, with my long, flowing locks moving with me to the music. I love LONG hair! And I used to have really long hair before bleaching the life out of it.

No problem—Zala hair to the rescue! They have the most beautiful, silky human hair extensions at a really good price. Although they have a lot of different colors, they didn’t have a silver that matched my hair. So I got 20 inch clip-in extensions in the color #60 ice queen platinum blonde. They’re 100% remy human hair and you get five pieces, 120 grams.

zala hair package

So long they barely fit in the photo

Oh my, these are gorgeous and thick! Most of the time I only wear two of the larger wefts.

But back to the toning.

Before wearing them, I needed to get them closer to my natural color and keep them as light as possible.

I just happened to have Adore Creative Dye in platinum for toning my own hair so I decided to use that on the extensions.

adore platinum hair dye

How to tone Zala hair extensions

First I did a test on a 2 inch weft using the dye full strength. I just brushed it on the hair, making sure it was fully saturated. Twenty minutes later I rinsed it out. (Be sure to use gloves when using dye!)

The color was a very pale blue which was not what I was going for. Here it is compared to the original color.

zala hair toned and untoned

Left is untoned, right is toned platinum full strength dye

Next, I diluted the dye with white conditioner, about a half and half mixture, and tested another 2 inch weft. Perfection!

Half Adore dye, half conditioner

Half Adore dye, half conditioner

So here you can see the different tones side by side. On the left is the original ice queen color. In the middle is the hair toned with the half and half mixture. And on the right is the hair toned using the undiluted color.

hair swatches

Left=ice queen, middle=toned with diluted dye, right=toned with full strength dye

Storing your hair extensions

And here’s a little tip for storing your Zala hair extensions. They sell something for that but I just DIY’ed it using things I already had.

A pants hanger covered by a plastic bag works just as well. Cost: zero dollars. I store them hanging in the closet, ready for the next dance party!

hanger for storing hair extensions

hanger for storing hair extensions

Wearing my Zala hair extensions

Here are some before and after shots. Even though there’s a little pink color on my ends, Zala hair blends in well.

Front, before and after extensions

no extensions

Before

wearing extensions

After

Back, before and after extensions

no extensions

Before

wearing extensions

After

Curled hair before and after extensions

And here it is with curled hair.

Curled hair before

Curled hair before extensions

Curled hair after

Curled hair after extensions

Ready to party!

Wearing high heels after a broken ankle

Can I wear heels after a broken ankle? This was one of the questions on my mind during my broken ankle rehab after a trimalleolar fracture.

Wanting to walk in high heels is not a matter of vanity. It’s the desire to be made whole again and is an important milestone on the path to full recovery.

The answer to that question is yes. But it requires training, just like learning to walk again required training. Because the ankle will wobble and the foot will hurt from bearing weight at different angles. And you’re going to be limping again, not a cute look in high heels.

The secret to walking in high heels post accident

A bit before the second anniversary of the accident that occurred in September 2015, I decided it was high time to get back into my heels. I had already gotten used to wearing stable shoes with higher heels such as my flat boots with 1 inch heels and my cowboy boots with 3 inch heels. But it’s a whole other thing trying to walk in skinny-heeled shoes that I wore prior to the accident.

The first time I put them on I felt like I was teetering on top of a very tall ladder. Actual height: 3½ inches. Of course my right foot was fine but the left one was hanging on for dear life. Once again it was like my left foot was a separate entity from the rest of my body.

Taking that first step was crazy for a few reasons:

It hurt
I had to hang on to the wall
I was limping

So what did I do? I got out my secret weapon…the crutch that helped me learn to walk without limping. Yes friends, I was walking around the house using a crutch wearing high heels. But you know what, it worked!

Soon the crutch was back in the closet and I was able to wear my tallest, skinniest pre-accident heels out in public. This triumphant moment happened on October 27, 2017!

High heel training program after a broken ankle

Below is an outline of the training program I created for myself to transition into high heels, followed by detailed explanations:

  • Out with the old shoes
  • In with the new shoes
  • Sit, stand, walk around the house
  • Don’t limp!
  • Walk around the yard
  • Take them for a test drive

Out with the old shoes

I decided to get rid of all my platform shoes. I love platform shoes and I had some really cute ones but I’ve always known they were unstable. They rock and it’s easy to fall off of them (hence, the broken ankle).

I even got rid of my wedge shoes because that solid bottom sole also feels a bit unstable compared to shoes with a separate heel and more flexible sole.

That left me with a few slides and sandals of varying heights and heel widths.

My high heels from lowest to tallest

My high heels from lowest to tallest

In with the new shoes

I got a few pairs of block-heeled and chunkier-heeled shoes. Fortunately, they’re in style once more but I’ve always thought they were cute.

I recommend getting shoes with varying heel heights (1½, 2, 2½, 3, 3½ inches). My maximum is 3½ inches. Training involves working your way up from the lowest to the highest, and from chunky to skinny heels.

Stability and proper fit are important. Pumps, boots and shoes with straps are the most stable.

Make sure the soles aren’t slippery. If they are, scuff them up with a little sandpaper because the last thing we want is to fall again.

high heels

Sit, stand, walk around the house

Begin high heel training with the shortest, chunkiest heels and progress to the skinniest, tallest ones.

Slip on a pair and spend some time just sitting with them on, about ten minutes or so. Then stand up in them. That’s not going to feel too great but you need to get used to them gradually. Take a few steps if you can. Stop and try it again the next day but increase the walking time.

My house has carpet and tile, and I worked up to taking a few laps around the house, getting used to walking on different surfaces. I would try to go ten laps.

Don’t limp!

Before beginning high heel training, you should already be walking limp-free. If not, you can refer to these articles for tips on walking without a limp: Broken ankle recovery and Magic shoes.

I can’t emphasize enough the importance of walking correctly. As I said earlier, I needed to rely on a crutch while I was learning to walk properly in high heels. The crutch goes on your good side to support your bad foot during a step.

The goal is to have a measured gait, taking the same amount of time with each step.

When I mastered walking around the house properly without a crutch, I moved on to the next challenge, walking in the backyard.

Walk around the yard

Now it’s time to strut your stuff outside. My backyard is mostly concrete and I would do about ten laps around the yard in my heels. I did this for a few days before I felt ready to move on to the next undertaking, going out in public.

Wearing my high heels

Wearing my high heels in the real world after a broken ankle

Take them for a test drive

After you’ve got walking in the backyard down pat, it’s time to wear your high heels out in real life. Go on a short errand or over to a friend’s house, some place where there’s minimum walking. Bring a pair of flats or your magic shoes in case your feet poop out on you.

Gradually you can go for longer trips, maybe even try a little dancing. Keep backup shoes on hand until you no longer need them.

i can wear my high heels again

Congratulations! You have now graduated to wearing high heels with confidence!

Intermittent fasting and keto after 60

Today I want to share my experience with intermittent fasting (IF) and the ketogenic diet I’ve been doing for the last six months. My main goal in trying both of these was to lose weight, which I have done and continue to do.

The great thing about this way of eating is that there’s a lot of flexibility. So there’s no “right” way to do it. That’s good but also bad because it can be confusing when you’re just starting out. Hopefully my experiences will clear up some of the confusion.

I’m going to talk about how much I’ve lost, the foods I eat, how much exercise I’ve done, how I’ve felt, and the benefits besides weight loss that keep me motivated to continue. I will also list some resources at the end where you can go to get more extensive info on both IF and keto.

You may find this especially helpful if you’re a mature woman who’s having a hard time maintaining and/or losing weight.

Intermittent fasting

Let me start by saying I’m 62, post menopausal and living without a gallbladder. (That hasn’t been a problem for me on this high fat keto diet although it can be for some.) I’ve lost 18 pounds in the last six months and am still losing about half a pound per week.

Prior to that I had been dieting for a few months and had been on a plateau for about a month when I discovered IF.

I was really resistant to the idea at first because it sounded potentially unhealthy. But when I learned it’s a good way to keep insulin levels down, and therefore lose weight, I decided to give it a try.

Without going into too much detail, IF has been described as an eating window. You only eat during a certain period of the day which can be anything from 12 hours to four hours. Another way to look at it is skipping breakfast or not eating anything after dinner.

I do the 16:8 method which means I fast for 16 hours and eat during the other eight hours. I like to eat soon after getting up in the morning and then eight hours later I stop.

There are days I choose to fast longer or shorter. I’ve gone as long as 21 hours fasting or as little as 12 hours. I intentionally vary the schedule to keep my body guessing and to have a normal social life.

In the beginning I was confused. Do I eat three meals a day or just two? I started with three meals a day but felt too full so I cut back to two.

Then I was worried I wasn’t eating enough. And because some people claim you can eat any type of food you want, I started eating chips and cookies. Well that was a mistake and I put on a couple of pounds.

Around that time (about three weeks in) I discovered the keto diet.

keto after pic

Wearing size 6 jeans Xmas 2017

Keto and keeping it simple

The keto diet is a low carb high fat diet, or LCHF, generally defined as 60% fat, 35% protein, 5% carbs. This forces your body to use fat (ketones) for fuel rather than sugar (glucose) from a standard high carb diet.

Most people say you need to keep track of your macros and recommend recording your meals in MyFitnessPal.

I did this for maybe one day. I don’t like tracking macros, counting calories, adding up points, etc. I’d rather learn to eat intuitively.

The most important thing to remember is to keep net carbs at or below 20 grams. And if you’re trying to lose weight, eat a little less fat so your body will burn stored fat.

I keep a mental note of my carb count which is pretty easy because my meals are simple and repetitive. If I want a special treat, I work it into my daily carb allowance.

How do you know if you’re in ketosis

Ketosis is when your body has made the switch from burning sugar to burning fat. It can take a few weeks to adapt and it’s different for everyone.

A lot of people will test their ketones and blood sugar and generally obsess over whether or not they’re in ketosis. Once again, this is not for me. I just go by how I feel and since I’m losing weight, I know I’m on the right track.

I did have the “keto flu” for what seemed like forever. In real time it was three or four weeks. How did I know I had the keto flu? Well I just generally felt like crap. I was so lethargic and tired I could do almost nothing but lay around. And my symptoms were exacerbated by a summer heatwave.

Then I learned that keto flu could be remedied by taking electrolytes, specifically sodium. I started sipping on some homemade bone broth and began to feel better within about three days.

Eventually I became quite energetic as is typical on a keto diet. Increased energy and the fact that I can go long hours if need be without food tells me that I’m in ketosis. Another sign is keto breath which I do notice from time to time.

Foods I enjoy and what I eat on a typical day

I like buying high quality food and cooking most of my meals from scratch. I buy grass fed beef, organic free range chicken and organic eggs. This is not mandatory on a keto diet, it’s just my preference.

I try to stay away from artificial sweeteners but every now and then will have a Zevia diet soda.

I also have no interest in keto versions of high carb foods like pancakes, cakes and cookies. The only thing I make once in a while is coconut flour muffins. But it’s perfectly fine to eat keto treats occasionally if it helps keep you on the diet.

The foods I like to eat most often are eggs, bacon, beef, butter, cheese, half and half, peanut butter and sour cream. Sometimes I also eat avocados, almonds, chicken thighs and mayo.

My usual breakfast is one egg and two pieces of bacon. Lately my favorite concoction is what I’m calling a cheesy jalapeno egg with sour cream.

Cheesy jalapeno egg and bacon

Cheesy jalapeno egg and bacon

I don’t usually have lunch but if I’m hungry I may have a bite of peanut butter or pork rinds. And for a tasty treat, I mix half an avocado with a couple of tablespoons of sour cream, salt, pepper and cayenne pepper. I either eat it with pork rinds or homemade cheese chips. Yum!

For dinner it’s often ground beef with vegetables. Sometimes I make my own version of “crack slaw” (without sweetener or sugar). Once in a while I’ll have steak or chicken with sauteed vegetables or my homemade sauerkraut. And last week I had taco salad with ground beef, cheese, lettuce, olives, salsa, tomatoes and sour cream.

Taco salad

Taco salad

For dessert I like to have exactly five chocolate covered almonds from Trader Joe’s. I work it into my macros. It keeps me from feeling deprived and doesn’t trigger any carb cravings. Now ice cream or chocolate chip cookies would be another story.

TJ's choc covered almonds

Daily treat: chocolate almonds

As for bulletproof coffee, it’s not for me and maybe not for you if you’re trying to lose weight. I make my own cold brewed coffee that I either drink black or with half and half and no sweetener.

To supplement or not to supplement

I’ve been taking a variety of supplements for the last few years and will keep taking them because I notice a difference. Some people believe you should get all your nutrients from food. That would be ideal but I’m not sure it’s really possible. However, I’ve been able to cut down with no ill effects which is saving me money.

Exercise

For the first four months I did the T-Tapp barefoot basic plus workout five days a week. Then I took a couple of months off and recently started doing T-Tapp three days a week, and a kettlebell express workout two days a week. I still lost weight when I was not exercising.

I keep a file of my exercise schedule with weekly measurements and monthly weigh-ins. It gives me encouragement and perspective on how far I’ve gone.

Strategies for living an IF and keto lifestyle

Everyone has to decide how strict to be with the diet. Are you going to cheat, carb up or bring your own foods to non keto gatherings.

My goal is to have a normal life that includes celebrating holidays, special occasions or going out on Saturday night.

After two months on keto I incorporated “cheating” into my lifestyle. It’s also part of my strategy to avoid a plateau. So far it’s working.

Saturday is my free day from keto and IF because I like going out on Saturday night. I reserve that day for eating things I might be wanting such as bread, pizza or dessert. And I almost always make organic popcorn.

That is not to say I go hog wild because I don’t. I try to keep the net carbs under 75 grams.

Sometimes I’ll switch my cheat day for a night out with friends or celebrating a holiday. I just got through Thanksgiving and Christmas this year by doing that.

For those holidays I ended up having one meal that day. I ate mostly meat and green veg with very small servings of everything else including dessert. I was really stuffed and fasted for 21 hours afterwards.

The key is to enjoy yourself for that one day and go right back to keto the next day. No guilt.

Benefits of IF and keto aside from weight loss

The very first thing I noticed on day two of IF was how much better my foot felt. For those of you who don’t know, two years ago I suffered a severe ankle injury, breaking all the bones in my left ankle. My goal is 100% recovery, currently around 98%.

Anyway, after making this observation I did more research to see if there’s a connection between IF and joint pain relief. Turns out it’s something called autophagy, a process the body uses to rid itself of cellular debris. Autophagy reduces inflammation and boosts the immune system. This alone makes me want to keep doing IF.

Watch this short video for more information:

Some of the other benefits have been curing a persistent toenail fungus, saving money on food and supplements, experiencing sustained energy throughout the day, and generally feeling strong.

Recommended resources for more information on IF and keto

Recipe ideas and general information on keto: Keto Connect on YouTube
A doctor’s perspective on keto and intermittent fasting: Dr Eric Berg on YouTube
IF and keto wonderfully explained in plain terms: Butter Bob Briggs on YouTube