LCHF Week Five – Health Observations (Sept. 24 – 30, 2015)

Strange things have been happening this week, so I will dive straight in

  1. My fasting BGLs have been between 145-165 almost every morning. I have no idea what is causing this. I have been doing IF (Intermittent Fasting) from 12-16 hrs each day and I wonder if my body is just so insulin resistant that it has gone haywire trying to find something to burn for fuel since I am keeping my carbs below 20 grams each day. It is supposed to be going to the next best thing for fuel, fat, but is it actually burning proteins instead? I hope not. I need that for muscles.
  2. The good news is that after I eat, up to 2 hrs later, my BGLs have been coming down to 99-117. That is a good sign that my body is actually processing glucose correctly.
  3. The neuropathy in my feet has been insane this past week. I’ve been experiencing a lot of burning. Soaking in cool water and then applying some Aloe Burn relief gel has been helping some.
  4. No aches and pains this week. Which is a godsend.
  5. I don’t know what my weight is yet. I have lost 5 lbs on my last weigh-in which was 8 days ago. I go to see my GP tomorrow, so will have my numbers to report in then.
  6. I’ve been experiencing an overall heating sensation with my body. It doesn’t begin until I have that BPC in the morning with the coconut oil in it. I am wondering if it has anything to do with the coconut oil, or if I am experiencing hot flashes due to menopause. Either way, it is not really bothering me and I am not sweating a lot, just fell overly warm.
  7. I still cannot get over how soft my skin has gotten. I still have some dry spots, like on my legs, but my face, hands and arms are super soft and look so much younger than my 49 years.
  8. I’ve slept more this past week, averaging about 10 hrs of sleep per night. This has kept me from taking naps during the day. I don’t really miss the napping as my overall energy levels are still pretty high.
  9. I’ve cut back to just having BPC in the morning and then eating around 2-3 in the evening. I am staying full all day and haven’t felt the need to snack or even eat more than the 2 meals.
  10. I began taking some sea salt in the morning to help the dizziness and taking ACV (Apple Cider Vinegar) at night. Both of these seem to be helping me keep my body hydrated and blood sugar under control a bit.
  11. Overall, my mood has stayed high, I have more energy, my eye sight continues to do better especially at night, and I just feel better.

Some tools that I have been using along with this WOE are dietdoctor.com, watching videos by Dr. Jason Fung and Gary Taubes on Youtube, and sticking with my macros and caloric intake on FatSecret. So far, so good! I will post my test results tomorrow when I return from the doc.

LCHF Week Four – Health Observations (Sept. 17 – 23, 2015)

There’s not much to report this week, just a few things that have been different than the weeks before.

  1. I began having constipation issues about 6 days ago. I thought maybe it was the BPC because it was the only change I had made. I stopped drinking it for two days, but that still didn’t help. I drank it the next morning and BAM! Bowel movement. Still don’t know what caused it, but I am regular again.
  2. I am experiencing the aches in my hips again. I haven’t changed my diet that much, so I have no explanation for it.
  3. The neuropathy has worsened also. No explanation for it either.
  4. My BGL has been up and down like crazy. I was having some extreme lows, so I dropped the amount of Levimer and Novolog on my own. Keeping an eye on my BGLs to make sure they don’t go high again. Mornings seem to be the highest. Was told that maybe I am making cortisol in the night. Not the best thing for wanting to lose fat.
  5. Still eating 2 meals a day and doing the BPC early mornings. Still averaging around 1700 calories because of the high fat in the BPC (around 650 calories just for it). Not sure if that is slowing the weight loss, but I’ve only lost 5 lbs in a month.
  6. I am sleeping longer hours, but I am also taking the amitriptyline for the neuropathy and that makes me sleep. Getting around 8-12 hrs of sleep the past 4 days.
  7. I’ve had a few occasions of indigestion and even one acid reflux attack. Still better than what I was dealing with before beginning this WOE.
  8. My mood has remained high. No depression or even feeling low.

I do plan to add more walks to my regiment of weight lifting and tai chi. Cutting back on the number of eggs I eat a day from 3 to 2 in order to get my overall caloric intake down. I’d like to get to under 1500, but not sure that is feasible unless I just have the BPC and one meal per day. Fat is still the highest on my macros and I am managing to keep carb intake to under 20 still.

My biggest challenge this past week has been avoiding the donuts and cookies that my dad insists on keeping in the house in plain sight so that I see them constantly. Thankfully, my will power is holding out and I haven’t gone off plan.

I have added a sea salt and lemon drink to my morning routine. I haven’t had any dizzy spells since adding it. Still using reg table salt with iodine added to salt my foods so I don’t run low on iodine.

Overall, I think I am doing well still with this WOE. No cravings, despite the temptations.

Weight Loss and the LCHF WOE

I’ve heard so many people complaining that they aren’t seeing drastic weight loss in the first or second week of eating LC. What many fail to see or understand is that what one will normally lose first on this WOE is WATER. Everyone’s body is different. Some people retain lots of water and therefore will have a drastic weight loss the first couple of weeks. Other people, like myself, who do not retain much water, will have a drastically lower weight loss. But that is a GOOD thing… that means what we have lost, be it 2-5 lbs the first few weeks is actually FAT. And well, isn’t that what the LCHF diet is designed to do? Yes! It is!

I will take a fat loss over a water loss any day!

Another thing… people obsessing over their scales. THROW IT AWAY or lock it up somewhere… weighing in every day will only discourage you. Your body is adjusting to this WOE and some days you will lose, other days you may even gain. So weighing in every day will not be an accurate account of overall weight loss. Once a month is the better way to go. Also, be more concerned with how your clothes feel/fit. That is a true measurement of weight loss!

Articles from the WWW: Intermittent Fasting

Here is a good article on Intermittent Fasting (IF) by Dr. Mercola:

Two Meals a Day Is Ideal, But Which Two Is Up to You

He suggests eating breakfast and then a late lunch or early dinner as an ideal IF. He also suggests not eating 3 hrs before bedtime. I think this could work well for anyone who, like me, is insulin resistant. I know that when I only eat twice a day, I feel better, have more energy and my BGLs don’t spike.

He also says that calorie restrictive diets are not good for one’s health, nor are low fat diets. I have to agree with him on both of those. I generally eat between 1500-1700 calories per day and although I am losing weight slowly, I am losing and most of my diet is good fats and moderate amounts of meat/fish/eggs. In the past 5 days, my carbs have been less than 15 grams per day.

Blood Glucose Levels & Medication

I think I need to start cutting back on my insulin, especially during the day.

Currently, I take 46 units of Levimer twice a day and 20 units plus a sliding scale of Novolog 2-3 times per day. Most of the time that runs around 18-22 units at the most.

I am going to cut the Levimer back to 40 units per day and take the Novolog down to 15 units plus the sliding scale and see what that does for a couple of days. If my numbers begin to get high again, I will go back to what the doc prescribed.

I am noticing though that my BGL is higher in the morning before I eat, between 125 and 150. Someone said I was probably making cortisol during the night, which I don’t want as it will add to fat. So I may start eating some protein before bedtime.

Currently, I am still only eating two meals a day… around 6-8 am for breakfast and then around 4-5 pm for dinner. My BGL seem to be okay during the day, never going higher than 165, but have been as low as 75.

I’d love to know what my BGLs would be if I didn’t take any insulin during the day, but I am a bit scared to try that. I just wish I would normal out.

Strange Observations #7

Dreams – I’ve been having lots of food related dreams since beginning this WOE. The one that woke me up this morning was particularly disturbing, mainly because it involved my mother in an odd capacity and because it brought up something I did in my teens (binge and purge).

I am in the upstairs bathroom of the family home. On a shelf beside the toilet are rows of doughnuts and snack cakes. I notice them, but before I reach for any, there is a knock on the door. It is my mother asking me to wet two towels and give them to her. We have a brief conversation where she tells me she is going to the dentist and what her BGL reading was that morning. I happily say that mine was 98. She goes downstairs and I return to the shelf in the bathroom. I reach for a chocolate covered doughnut and not just eat it, but devour it. Then a Little Debby’s cinnamon roll, again devouring it. And another doughnut and another… then I remember that I am on this LCHF WOE and what a single wheat wrap had done to me and I panic. I lean over the toilet and begin purging. I awaken from the dream in a panic… having a literal panic attack. I am shaking and jittery… and my BGL is down to 74. Weird.

LCHF Week Three – Health Observations (Sept 10 – 16, 2015)

Wow, it is hard to believe that I’ve been on LCHF for three weeks now. It has been a lot easier than I thought.

I did make one critical mistake this past week. I was at a friend’s house who is also on a Low Carb diet (she is not on a LCHF diet though and is not diabetic) and she was fixing lunch. She used a low carb wheat wrap, added some beef strips, avocado, and pepper jack cheese. The whole “sandwich” was under 5 grams of carbs. I should have been okay with my under 20 carb limit. Right? Technically, yes. However, I have come to understand one vital thing about myself: I am INSULIN RESISTANT. Yes, I am diabetic, but it is not just that… I am insulin resistant AND cannot handle grains, sugar, and starches AT ALL. Not just in limited amounts that keep me under my macros… but as in, never ever able to consume them again.

Here is what happened as a result of that 4 grams wheat wrap:

  • prior to that wrap (since beginning this WOE), my BGL was 70-95 at morning fasting and didn’t go any higher than 135, two hours after a meal. After that wrap, my morning fasting has been running from 115-135, and has gone as high as 170 two hours after meal. My BGL will simply NOT go any lower. I am still eating the same as I did the first two weeks, not making hardly any changes. I have cut back on my carb intake some, but that is it. Protein and Fats have remained consistent.
  • I’ve had allergy issues: runny nose, sinus headache, and sneezing
  • I’ve had a few pain issues in my hips again. Nothing serious and definitely not as painful as before beginning this WOE, but it is still there.
  • I am not having as frequent bowel movements as before

It has been 5 days since I ate that wrap. I have no idea how long it will take my body to eliminate the effects. I never would have thought grains, and specifically wheat, had that effect on my health. Now that I am aware, I am avoiding it at all cost. I hope these conditions will reverse themselves soon.

Further health observations:

  1. I finally broke down and weighed myself on the 14th. I am down 3.5 lbs. *w00t* I don’t plan on getting weighed again until Oct. 1st when I visit my doctor.
  2. I’ve noticed some hair loss, but have been told this is common on the LCHF WOE. So I have added a Vitamin B supplement, especially Biotin, which I am told will help this issue.
  3. My blood pressure is staying down really well. This morning it was 117/70 without taking the lisonpril. My pulse rate is still a bit high though. Was 95 this morning. Not sure how to bring that down.
  4. I am sleeping a bit longer now. Averaging about 6 hours straight instead of broken into two 3-hour intervals.
  5. I’ve been averaging about 2 meals per day. I usually have a cup of BPC very early in the morning, around 4 am, and then have a decent sized breakfast around 8 or 9 am. I don’t eat again until around 5 or 6 pm. I have not had the urge or the hunger to snack.
  6. I can definitely tell now that my “wheat belly” has gone down some. It felt very hard before I began this WOE, and now it feels soft and not bloated at all.
  7. I was having some dizzy and light-headed spells. Learned that it was probably a lack of electrolytes. So I’ve been drinking pickle juice and sauerkraut juice. It works immediately!
  8. I am still enjoying smoother skin, shinier hair, and my nails are growing like crazy!
  9. My mind is focused, clear, and sharp.
  10. My eyesight continues to stay sharp, especially at night.

So those are my health observations this week. I still have a lot to work on, especially trying to add some exercise into my daily routine. I hope to feel well enough to begin walking again, as the neuropathy doesn’t seem to be as debilitating as it was before.

Battle of the Bowels on LCHF

I am on several Low Carb groups on Facebook and common questions are:

  1. I am constantly constipated. What can I do?
  2. I constantly have diarrhea. What can I do?

Let’s tackle constipation first. If you haven’t had a bowel movement in at least 2 days, you are probably feeling pretty miserable. I should know, before beginning this WOE, I could go 4-5 days without a bowel movement. It was quite painful! Now, since beginning this WOE, I generally have 1-2 bowel movements per day. Here are some tips:

  • consume more fats, specifically UNrefined coconut oil
  • take a magnesium supplement. I’ve been told Citrate works well
  • drink more water – I’ve read that a good goal is 1/2 your body weight in ounces.
  • be sure to eat at least 2 cups of green veggies a day –  you need the fiber!

Now for diarrhea. Once you begin this WOE, your body will need time to adjust to consuming fats and fewer carbs. So yes, you will have loose bowel movements for the first couple of weeks. However, if you continue to have loose to runny bowel movements after that, then you are simply consuming too much fat and not enough protein. Try decreasing your fat grams and upping your protein a bit. Nothing too drastic, just a few grams. If this still doesn’t help, increase it a bit more. Your body should adjust in a few days. If you still have chronic diarrhea, you may want to lower your water intake and cut back on your vegetables some. Over consumption of fats is usually the culprit though. If that STILL doesn’t work, time to see your doctor. There may be something else wrong besides your diet.

With constant diarrhea, please remember to drink lots of electrolytes! Pickle juice, sauerkraut juice, chicken or beef bullion, lemon water with sea salt, just to name a few.

Elecrolytes and LCHF

I noticed when I first began this WOE, that I would get light-headed, dizzy and occasionally nauseated and the occasional leg cramps. I thought it was because my carb intake was too low and had probably dropped my blood sugar too low. Nope! My blood sugar would be fine.

What I have discovered is that when you take carbs out of your diet, there is very little to hold salt and potassium in your body, and especially if you are more active. So you get dizzy, light-headed and nauseous. Also, you may have muscle cramps and charlie horses.

There are a few remedies for this.

  1. salt your food! at times, you may need to over-salt even
  2. drink one of the following: pickle juice, sauerkraut juice, chicken or beef broth, or a glass of water with some lemon and sea salt
  3.  take a potassium and magnesium supplement

With potassium supplements, I’ve read that it doesn’t really matter which kind you take because any of them will be absorbed into your intestines, but not to take more than 99 mgs as you will get some from your foods.

With magnesium, I have read that malate is the best form for cramping and relaxation. Citrate is best if you are having problems getting your bowels to move. So it is up to you which one you want to take for which purpose. I do know the citrate will also help some with the cramping and relaxation, but not as quickly. I’ve read that you can safely take up to 1200 mgs of magnesium, but I usually take around 1000 mgs before bed time.

Another note: iodine is also important… if you use a lot of sea salt, you may not be getting sufficient amounts of iodine. One sign of iodine deficiency is vertigo, where you feel constantly dizzy, like the world is spinning, and have balance issues. You can treat this with either iodize salt or an iodine supplement.