Category Archives: Sammitt says …

When “sorry” doesn’t cut it

When’s the last time you apologized to someone?

I don’t mean a hasty “Sorry,” like if you forgot to hold the door for the person behind you or were a few minutes late meeting friends for dinner. I’m talking full-on apology — the first step toward making amends for a wrong you’ve committed, be it purposeful or inadvertent.

I had to do one a couple of weeks ago, and man it was difficult to execute! Every time I tried, I caught myself scuttling my own efforts.

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Ismael Smith: The artist’s extraordinary life



(Photos via the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya.)

One of the temporary exhibits I walked through at the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya was dedicated to Ismael Smith, an illustrator and sculptor who began his career in Barcelona but died in an asylum in White Plains, NY, in the 1970s.

The biographical blurbs on the wall at “Ismael Smith: Beauty and Monsters” were so fascinating, I found myself snapping photos of the text just to make sure I remembered everything correctly. Ready to read about an extraordinary life?

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Languished in “Drafts”: Going to the opera


Every operatic diva.

I moved to Arizona to work for a weekly entertainment magazine, which is how I ended up seeing my first opera. And my second, and my third, and my fourth …

My attendance has waxed and waned over the years, but I’ve been regular enough that I’ve even seen some shows twice, with different casts and stagings. (Sometimes that’s not such a good thing: My first Carmen experience was so amazing, for example, that through no fault of its own the most recent show I went to was doomed to be a letdown in comparison.)

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Languished in “Drafts”: The micro/macro levels of a keto diet

When I was discouraged early on because of middling to no weight loss, Mr. Brooks suggested I shift the percentages of my macros to a more strict level: I’m now at 5% carbohydrates, 20% proteins and 75% fats. On a 1,600-calorie diet, that’s 20g of carbohydrates,  80g of protein and 133g of fat.

Probably the most difficult part for me is consuming so much fat in a day. In the morning when I make my protein shake, I’m now adding 3 tablespoons of oil to get the ratio closer to where it needs to be. Even then, some nights I’ll be so short on fats that I end up downing a spoonful or two of oil. (FWIW, Avocado oil is lightweight enough that it doesn’t feel like being punished with castor oil.)

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The keto diet is done! Vive le keto! (For other people)

The final tally for my keto experiment, BTW: I lost 10 pounds over two months.

I’m not sure why I expected to lose more — 10 pounds is a healthy amount, considering all I changed was my diet — but I did feel a little cheated in that regard. The eating plan was so strict! I can see how people who are trying to lose a lot of weight could fall victim to malaise, when the degree of results isn’t mirroring your perceived effort.

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Trying not to cheat-o on my keto

Roughly six weeks in to the ketogenic experiment, and I’m down about 9 pounds. If I could weigh myself now like I could a few months ago, I’d have a more accurate count, but for now that routine is off a little.

Having a food routine, meanwhile, has helped me stay on track.

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Keto diet, higher cholesterol


I’d been wondering about the ramifications of eating so much meat, cheese and fat on this keto diet, and this morning my bloodwork at the doctor revealed that my cholesterol levels have indeed increased — from a traditionally “low” reading to one that’s on the high side. (Not elevated enough for alarm or medication, but definitely an increase.)

The risk of eating like this over a long time, the doctor told me, is that cholesterol could build up in the arteries. (Which could lead to high blood pressure, clogged arteries or even a heart attack.) He didn’t demand I go off the diet immediately, but asked how long I planned to be on it, and said we’ll monitor the levels to be sure that they don’t steadily increase.

It’s been a month and a half, and I’m down about 9 pounds. On one hand, that’s pretty good … but on the other, I’ve also plateau’d and there’s been no significant weight loss over the past few weeks, and I thought this whole keto thing was supposed to lead to a more dramatic result.

As I told my friend tonight, all signs point to me having to just suck it up and do cardio. DAMMIT.