Back on the Wagon – Day 1

Shortly after my last post in June, I completely crashed. I have several mental illnesses and succumbed to such a deep depression, that I had to be hospitalized and re-medicated (I’d gone for nearly 2 years un-medicated). I spent 10 days in the psych ward and they didn’t care that I was on a low-carb diet. I was told to eat what I was given or not eat at all, and by not eating at all, I would be put into isolation and on suicide watch. Needless to say, after two days of barely eating anything because most of the food was high in carbs, I ate what I was given. Once again, I’ve gone nearly two months one a semi-lchf diet. Today I’ve rededicated myself to the LCHF diet.

Here are the whys of it all:

  1. My bs readings have again been off the wall – low 400s most days. Today, I managed to lower my bs by 145 points by sticking to LCHF without taking any insulin
  2. The edema in my feet has been out of control. Today, for the first time all summer, I’ve had no puffy feet.
  3. The neuropathy pain has just gotten worse. Today has been my first pain-free day all summer.
  4. I’ve felt more mentally alert today. Not even my medication has over-secreted brain fog.

Today has actually been a no carb, no protein day. I’ve only had two cups of BPC with unsweetened almond milk, coconut oil and Kerrygold butter. I have to stay away from the stevia. Although it doesn’t increase my bs on its own, it does make me crave carbs. There are too many sweets and bread in the house thanks to Dad and brother, so I cannot allow anything to cause cravings.

It sucks to go through all of the “low carb” symptoms again though. The dizziness and the lethargy. I’ve got my electrolytes though, so that has helped tremendously. I also received a late evening energy boost from the fat. Hence, why I am able to sit here and write these notes.

Tomorrow, I will eat a salad with egg for my dinner meal, but only BPC before that. I want to see what happens when I add some veggies and protein back into my diet. If it goes ok, I will continue that route. If not, I will probably do the fat fast for a few more days.

 

Update on My LCHF WOE

It has been a LONG time since I have updated this blog. The biggest reason is that I fell off the wagon for many months. Christmas broke me completely. Yes, it has been that long. Not only did my family make tons of sugary, starchy treats, but extended family and friends contributed to the mix as they came visiting. It all became too much for me with all that sugar and starch in the house and I succumbed to the Carb Collective.

I tried to get back on the WOE in January, but only half-managed. By April, it was clear that I had totally blown it. The little bit of weight that I had initially lost (11 lbs) hadn’t come back, but I was at a clear standstill. May came and went and saw my blood glucose levels completely out of control. Some days the levels soared into the 400s. I only take my basal insulin these days (slow acting) and metformin and not the fast acting insulin because too much insulin actually makes me crave carbs, and we are not talking the good for me carbs like veggies either.

So beginning yesterday, I have rededicated myself to the LCHF WOE. I have made tweaks to the diet for me because of my blood glucose levels. Here is how I am eating now:

  1. lots of raw leafy green vegetables (up to 5-6 cups per day) – a variety of lettuces, cabbages, spinach, kale, and dandelion greens (picked straight from my yard!) – I make a huge bowl of these chopped and eat a salad a couple of times a day
  2. Other raw veggies (about 1/2-1 cup per day) – cucumber, red/green/yellow/orange peppers, yellow squash, zucchini, tomatoes (less than 1/4 cup per day), onions (about 1 tbsp chopped), mushrooms – I cut these up into a huge bowl and add a mixture to my greens salad
  3. 3-6 ozs of protein per meal – eggs, tuna, trout, salmon, bacon, pork chops, small amounts of beef, and dark meat chicken
  4. I still eat some cooked vegetables like asparagus, broccoli, brussel sprouts and cauliflower, but I am limiting those to about 1/2 cup at a meal once or twice a week.
  5. I am getting my fats from HWC in my coffee, MCT oil (I use this for a salad dressing with ACV), coconut oil (for frying and sauteing), fatty meats and small amounts of grass-fed butter.

So far I am eating a lot of salads with protein added. I do plan to eat some soups later on this summer as the vegetables start coming in from the garden. The biggest change that I have made is eating more raw veggies and only a moderate amount of protein (too much spikes my bs levels). I am keeping the fats still fairly high, but not consuming as much dairy as before – just the HWC in my coffee and the small amounts of grass-fed butter.

How has this affected my BS readings? Well, on May 30th my BS (at its highest) was 404. Yep, that was before I rededicated myself and the last bad carb I ate was a chocolate cookie. Today, after eating the raw salads for a couple of days, my BS reading was 179.

I am not aiming to lose weight this time around. If it happens, then I will celebrate. I grew too frustrated before when the weight didn’t come off as it was for everyone else and that is why I went off of the diet.  My main goal now is just to keep my blood sugar levels down.

LCHF Week 14 – Health Observations (Nov. 26 – Dec. 2)

It’s been 2 weeks since my last update. I fell off the wagon a bit (went out of ketosis) during the Thanksgiving weekend because I indulged in a small slice of chocolate pudding pie. It was bad. Caused my BGLs to go into the 300s and stayed high for about 5 days. I’ve learned my lesson well. And as a result, I’ve had to go back on insulin. *sighs* Oh well, we live and learn and this is a learning experience! Onward to the updates:

  1. I’ve decided to give up the BPCs. I love them, I really do, but I’ve decided to get my fats from real foods instead of just eating pure fat. So I am upping my intake of avocados and olives. I will still be using coconut oil and butter, but in my cooking only.
  2. I am keeping my protein at around 50 grams per day because too much keeps spiking insulin and increasing my BGLs. As a result, I have been eating less fish because it is so high in protein and lower in fat. The only exceptions are tuna, trout, salmon and sardines. However, I am limiting these to about 3 grams servings. I will be adding pork and beef back to my diet, but again at only 3 grams servings. Eggs are still my best friend and I eat 2-3 of these at a meal.
  3. I am avoiding the scale. It’s not that I am not losing weight, but I have learned that my weight shifts quite a bit. Some days I am down 2-3 lbs, other days back up again. This is a motivation-buster. Instead, I am measuring my waist. Down 4 inches! I read somewhere that each inch is about 5 lbs of weight loss, so yes, I am down 20 lbs. I was able to get back into some clothes that I haven’t worn in about 3-4 years and that is a motivation-enhancer!
  4. My energy levels are still high, my mood enhanced, my brain is sharper, my eyesight is great and especially the night vision, hair and skin still soft and shiny, pain in my body still greatly reduced… so all systems are a go!
  5. Constipation has not been an issue since I add psyllium husk to my diet. I plan to add chia seeds to my diet soon (with coconut milk, yum!) because of all of the great benefits I have read about them in regards to fiber.
  6. I am drinking much more water and green tea these days. Giving coffee a slight rest (still having 1-2 cups per day though).
  7. Sleep is still a bit of an issue for me. Some days I sleep well, others not so well. I have cut out all caffeine after 4 pm and this does seem to help some. Now if I can just get on a regular sleeping pattern. That is the hardest part.
  8. I am still having some issues with the neuropathy in my feet, but this does seem to be improving. I started taking my B-vitamins at night which seems to be helping.

Well, that about does it for this update. On a good end-note, one of my cousins came to visit recently and he said he could tell a definite change in my weight and overall health. Yay! A big score there.

 

LCHF Week 12 – Health Observations (Nov. 11 -18)

(Note: just a quick comment… WPs new format SUCKS!)

Okay, now that I got that out of my system, time to move on to what’s really important. I realized today that it has been 5 weeks since I last updated this blog about my weight loss and health on the LCHF WOE. It’s amazing how quickly the weeks pass by. During some of that time, I was experiencing computer problems and had to have my laptop put in the shop, but that is enough of the excuses. Truth is, I simply had little to report. So time for a little catch up:

  1. I’ve lost 19.5 lbs and 3 inches off of my waist.
  2. I’ve had to eliminate the following from my diet because they increase insulin and cause higher BGLs: all dairy (except butter and HWC) and stevia (the last of anything sweet I will ever have, sadly).
  3. I am still keeping carbs under 20 grams most days, but occasionally they do go up to around 25 grams without adverse issues. The overage is usually due to eating an extra 1/2 an avocado a day though and not because I’ve added anything starchy or sugary to my diet.
  4. I have cut my protein intake way back. I was averaging around 70-80 grams of protein per day and now I try to keep protein at or slightly under 50 grams a day. I’ve come to realize that protein also causes insulin to rise as well as my BGLs. That whole protein breaking down into glucose thing.
  5. I have increased my fat intake from around 95-100 grams per day to around 120-130 grams per day.
  6. My macros look more like 80% fat, 15% protein, 5% carbs now.
  7. I am still tracking my foods on FatSecret.com every day.
  8. I still follow an Intermittent Fasting schedule on most days (usually a 16:8 or 24 hr) with periods of Full Fat Fasting (FFF) days (where I consume only BPC and water for several days), and I have attempted 2 longer term fasts, both ending only after 36 hrs of non-eating. I hope to change that soon as I do want to eventually do a 7-10 day extended fast.
  9. I am still struggling with high BGLs; however, I am still off of the insulin and do not plan on going back on it. I cannot understand why doctors give T2D insulin when their bodies are riddled with insulin and THAT is the issue. They should instead be teaching diabetics how to resolve insulin resistance instead. But, that is for another day’s rant. I am hoping that the current removal of stevia will help correct this issue.
  10. I was having issues with constipation, but since adding the 2-3 days of FFF to my schedule, those days are in the past.
  11. Energy levels are still great (unless my BGLs are extremely high). Skin, hair, nails, etc. are still doing well. Night vision is amazing and day vision is okay so long as BGLs aren’t too high. Sleep is going well and I am usually getting between 7-9 hrs of sleep per day.
  12. I’ve added weight training, Qi Gong stretches, and short walks to my exercise routine. So far, so good.

Well, that about wraps things up. This has been a constant learning experience for me and I know there is still so much more for me to learn. Every day is a new challenge and I am just rolling with it. I have no plans of ceasing, although there are days that I do get a bit discouraged. Mostly because of my BGLs though.

LCHF Week Seven – Health Observations (Oct. 8 – 14, 2015)

I’m a bit late in posting this, but there aren’t too many things to report this week.

  1. I’ve lost 14 lbs and 2 inches off of my waist so far.
  2. I’m struggling with finding a good balance of carbs and proteins because my BGLs are all over the place. A good example of this is three days ago, I ate a hamburger patty and my BGL spiked 20 points, but yesterday, I ate some cabbage and meatballs with rice and tomato sauce and my BGL only spiked 10 points and then came back down easily. I’ve been doing extreme low carb, like under 5 grams each day for about 5 days with BGL spikes and yesterday I had 27 grams with not much of a spike. I don’t know what the hell is going on.
  3. I’ve quit caffeine (coffee and tea) because I noticed it was spiking my BGLs and preventing me from sleeping very well. Sleep has improved as a result, but man do I miss coffee!
  4. I will be attempting another long fast because it did help lower my BGLs and I had a significant weight loss because of the last one. Will be buying some bone broth from Amazon (only place I can find it) and will be using it this time. Will probably begin the fast around Wed of next week and aiming for 5 days this time.
  5. All other things are consistent: very few aches (just upper back), hair and nails are doing well, skin still soft, blood pressure still doing well, neuropathy in feet still improving, eyesight doing well, especially night vision, mood is good and my mind is clear.
  6. Constipation has been a mild issue this past week. Went 4 days without a BM, then the next evening, whoosh! Will be buying some Milk of Magnesium in case this happens again. I just feel so horribly bloated if I do not have a BM every day or every other day.
  7. Per Dr. Fung’s advice, I will be adding some fiber to my diet. Going to use psyllium husks and see how that works for me.
  8. I am still off of insulin. My BGLs are ranging from 135-219 at the highest. Averaging 155-165 for fasting morning numbers. I am trying to let this play out without resorting to the insulin. Hoping as I continue to lose weight, the BGLs will come down.

Well, that’s all for this week. Onward to week 8!

LCHF Week Six – Health Observations (Oct. 1 – 7, 2015)

Not as many observations this week, so I will get right to them

  1. I tried intermittent fasting and can easily do a 24 hr fast. Then I tried to do a longer fast and only managed 48 hrs. I think my body needs time to adjust to a longer fast and I wasn’t well-prepared for one either. Next time I plan to use bone broth during the fast. The benefits from the 48 hr fast were energy for up to 36 hrs in which I didn’t sleep much, my BGLs came down remarkably well and have so far remained steady. They are not as low as when I was taking insulin, but they aren’t bouncing all over the place either.
  2. I stopped taking insulin. Good bye to 150 units of insulin a day which really did little to balance out my BGLs. Instead creating spikes, dips and dives. I just take the Janumet twice a day now.
  3. I’ve discovered that the less protein I eat and the more fat, the calmer my feet are at night and I don’t get the racing heart effect at night. I was eating around 70+ grams of protein a day and I decreased it to around 60-65 grams. I’ve upped my fat from around 80-90 to around 100 grams. Some days I eat less than 1000 calories, other days as high as around 1600. I have no idea yet how this is affecting weight loss since I haven’t weighed in for two days. I do know the higher fat content has helped my feet though and that is a bonus for me even if I don’t lose weight very fast.
  4. Still maintaining the elevated mood, better skin, nails and hair, very little acid reflux (just the small amount last night with the HWC, may have to give it up along with the rest of the dairy that I just cannot seem to consume), night vision is awesome again, and have an overall feeling of well-being.
  5. Weight has come down from 5 lbs lost to now 11.5 lbs lost, as of 2 days ago.

Not much else to report. Still doing well and feeling a lot better. LCHF for life!

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.

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.

LCHF Week Two: Health Observations (Sept 3 – 9, 2015)

A list of health observations for week two of this WOE:

  1. My glucose levels have gone as high as 165 (before dinner) and as low as 74 (at morning fast) this week. So I am still not getting excellent control as I would like. I contribute this to the lessening amounts of coconut oil in my diet this week. Still taking the same amounts of both insulins and the Janumet. I still have 3 weeks before I see the doc, but if something doesn’t change, there is no way he will be reducing my meds.
  2. I’ve had a couple bouts of nearly 2 day insomnia attacks this week. Staying awake the first time for 46 hrs and 44 hrs the second time with only on average of about 4 hrs sleep in between. The past two days, however, I have been sleeping a bit more, around 5 hrs per day.
  3. Although the overall pain in my body has decreased (like in both hips and lower back), I am still having a few issues with the upper left side of my back just below the shoulder blade (long story about how THAT happened).
  4. A couple of days this week, I have actually felt hungry, like insatiably hungry! I contribute this to my attempt to stretch out the last bit of coconut oil that I have and therefore not consuming as much of it and more of butter. Butter does not seem to stave off my hunger like coconut oil does. I have managed to stay on plan though and when hungry, only eating protein. (Dad’s cookies have only barely tempted me once, and I smacked my hand and said, “They are poison!” and walked away)
  5. My skin is continuing to get smooth and I don’t have to even use as much lotion on my hands and feet now.
  6. I’ve noticed a bit of hair loss. I’ve been told that can happen on this WOE. Something about needing to up my protein levels to prevent that, I think. Must do more research on this. I’ve been completely bald from chemo and my hair is just now getting a nice length to it again, so I don’t want to lose it again.
  7. On a couple of occasions, I have actually felt like the nerves in my feet are trying to work correctly. There has been a reduction in numbness and tingling, but this feeling only lasted a few minutes and then they went numb again.
  8. I am still continuing to have daily (sometimes up to 3 per day) eliminations. Today has been only one. Again, I contribute this to less amounts of coconut oil. It has been wonderful to not be dealing with constipation.
  9. My mood has continued to stay elevated. I haven’t felt depressed, anxious, or out of sorts.
  10. Before I began eating this way, the connective tissue under both of my knees felt strange. Almost like they were hardening? I really don’t know how to explain it. After 2 weeks of LCHF though, they feel smooth and elastic again.
  11. I am getting anxious to know if I have lost any weight. October 1st seems so far away, which is when I will be getting weighed at the doc’s office. It does feel like I’ve lost some inches in my stomach. Before LCHF, my midsection felt hard, flabby but hard, if that makes any sense. Now it is soft, like doughy, and yes, still flabby. It is where I carry most of my weight.
  12. I’ve not had nearly as much swelling in my feet this past week. That is probably due to water weight loss, which I am told is the first to go on this WOE.
  13. I have become obsessed with the bones in both wrists and my collarbone. I can actually feel and see them now. Strange, I know, but it’s been so long since I have seen or felt either and I am strangely intrigued by this.
  14. I am hoping that with the lessening of overall pain in my joints and my feet from the neuropathy, that I will soon be able to get out and do some walking. I miss walking. It was my favorite means of exercise.