Hail and Welcome to Heathen Hearth; the show where we explore foodways inspired by the historic and ethnographic imagination. This month were doing an update on how I’m doing on the “Nordic Way Diet” for the month of February. At the start of February I went to Montreal to attend a Wardruna concert and attend a blót to Gefjon hosted by the Golden Birch Kindred. It was a fabulous weekend! But one of the things I found was that traveling and being a good guest made it difficult to keep to any kind of strict Nordic Way Diet. I know many people with various dietary restrictions – from gluten-free people, to people who can’t eat nightshades, too strict vegans, and even Paleo-eaters. This weekend leaned towards the vegan end of the spectrum. Obviously, what we learned from the lore, is that a good guest eats well and heartily, but not over-much. Many vegans tend to eat products that include modern wheat varieties and the diet is carbohydrate rich. At restaurants selections can be similarly limited, and salads out are often uninspiring. For the trip that we took to Montreal though – We did to go to some really great places. In fact, I was able to have gravad lax twice. Not just once, but twice! For those who are not familiar, ‘gravad lax’ is ‘grave salmon’. (That is a direct translation.) It is a type of Scandinavian cured salmon. Once I had it with eggs benedict. In this picture here, at a pre-concert meal, I had an amazing salad of cured salmon and beets with a little bit of fennel in it as well. It was it was great. I had quite a few gaps in food and calorie tracking this month. Not only was I traveling a bit, but I was also sick a few times during the month. Once was for a period of over four days. I was sick with massive sinus pain, headache, and vertigo. When I have these symptoms, I find that eating – especially carbs – can help me with nausea. Now, I know most people can’t eat when they feel like this. But I feel better if I eat little bit of something. At the end of it although, I know that I was able to keep to the Nordic Way Diet at least a third of the days in the month. Here are a few of my own creations that I had this month. From top left to bottom right: a honey and cider vinegar switchel flavored with tonic herbs; a beef stew made with rutabaga and carrots; broiled salmon, glazed with Korean barbecue sauce and tahini, served with a side of black rice; faux noodles made from carrot and cucumber strands, dressed in avocado and ume vinegar; sauerkraut with juniper and caraway — (Which I show how to make in another episode. There is a link down in the description again.) — tofu miso stew, with a Korean anchovy broth ,with garlic and wood ear fungus. I was ravenous at times this month. Actually, it was a bit harder to follow the diet. The blue lines are my daily calorie intake. The gray lines are increments of 1,000 calories, that I consumed. The red line is my daily calorie goal. As you can see, I ate more calories than I was aiming for about seven times during the month. And, that was only for the days I tracked properly! You can see one of the days I went completely insane. I went over my calorie goal, yet again that day, and I just threw it all away. Although I had some gaps in data, I figure ate about 1,650 calories on average per day over the month. On days I accurately tracked the things, my carb-to-protein ratio was 1.8 to 1. This is still within the Nordic Way Diet goal of less than 2 to 1. However, it was not as low a ratio this month, as it was last month. In December, I started out at 251 pounds. At the end of February I was 227 pounds. I have lost 24 pounds in total; of which, seven pounds were lost in February. My BMI has cracked the psychological barrier of 30. Maybe most importantly, my recent blood pressure checks have me in the normal range, and not in the pre-hypertension range. That is really great. Although I was sick during the month, my symptoms may have improved a little bit. My work situation stabilized this month, with me pushing my long commute less and doing some really fun work at [the office job] as well. Either, or both, could also relate to the improvements that I saw. I seem to have had less instances of brain fog and memory problems heading into the end of the month. All in all this month has not been that bad. There have been a few ups and downs, obviously. But, I am still basically on the diet. I have been feeling better and, also too, losing weight. So that is good. If you want to learn more about the diet, I have another video on it. But it is really this book – that is an excellent book – I recommend. It is “The Nordic Way Diet” book. It has a lot of nutritional information, and it has just a lot of inspirational recipes (and so on) in it. There is also a link down in the description, if you would like to purchase it. Hey, don’t forget! There is a prize contest going on right now. When I reached 500 subscribers, I wanted to do something as a “thank you” to everybody for subscribing to my channel. So I have got this contest going on where you can win a medieval cookbook, “Pleyn Delit”. It is an excellent cookbook. It should be in everybody’s collection. I am going to be drawing names from a raffle when I get to 777 subscribers. But there is still plenty of time to get into this prize contest. All you have got to do is sign someone up for this channel. So tell your friends and tell your family. Whoever that you think might be interested in this channel. Go to the episode that says “Prize Contest” and write their name down there. You will get a chance to win the book and so will the person that you recommend. I did this when we got 500 subscribers, and I am hoping to get to 777. We are already part way there! … But, the thing is … You know what happened this month? Yeah. … Yeah, that’s right. I reached … 666!!!!!! Yeah! Horns up! [*maniacal laughing*] Please follow me on your preferred social media platform. If you ever make dishes that were shown on one of the episodes of Heathen Hearth, please e-mail me images of your creations at [email protected] I would love to hear from you. I plan to put together a reel of all of the dishes people have made. I would really appreciate it if you subscribed to my channel. Just hit the Heathen Hearth logo at the top of the page and press on that bell icon to get the notifications. My original diet video is featured there at the top of the page. That other video is one I think you might like. Until next time, stay healthy!