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.

 

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 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!

Strange Observations #8

Dairy – I’ve noticed lately that every time I eat dairy, even if it is high fat and low carb, my blood glucose level goes way up… like 20 pts higher than when I eat any other proteins.

I’ve come to the conclusion that I am so insulin resistant that I have to leave lactose alone too. It is a sugar after all and I am trying to quit sugars of all sorts. So lactose is out… with the exception of butter and heavy whipping cream because they are mostly fat, like 99% fat and 1% carb. IF my blood glucose level still goes up, I will cut the HWC first and if that still doesn’t help, I will also give up butter.

I will be so glad when my body starts functioning correctly again.

The Wonders (or not?) of Bullet-Proof Coffee

There is a sensation sweeping the LCHF world. It is called Bullet-Proof Coffee (BPC). Many sing its praises as a quick alternative to a full breakfast of eggs and meat, giving them energy, fullness for hours, aids in weight loss, and mental clarity. Some (like this ONE) discount it because it has little to no nutritional value and they don’t believe that consuming that much saturated fat is good for you.

Here is the premise of the coffee drink: 1 Tbsp of butter, 1 Tbsp of coconut oil, 2 cups of coffee, and LC sweetener of choice. Some even add HWC (I do).

Personally, I don’t see the problem. I AM on a high fat diet. I try to consume about 80-100 grams of fat per day. I KNOW I am not getting that much in the foods that I eat because my appetite has diminished and I only eat 2 meals per day with maybe a snack at night. So adding that extra oomph in a cup of coffee is a great way for me to get those added fat grams. I am also NOT worried about saturated fats because I have already seen what adding fat to my diet has done for my body in just the two weeks I’ve been on this WOE.

I do not use it as a substitute for a meal though. I consume one cup of this coffee in the morning with 3 eggs and a meat. Then I just use the HWC and stevia in cups of coffee that I drink the rest of the day.

I plan to continue doing this until I see the lab results for my cholesterol in October. If my numbers haven’t improved, then and only then, will I make changes.

Strange Observations #3

Sleep… when I was consuming a high carb diet, I slept constantly. Sometimes up to 12 hours per day. I led a mostly sedimentary lifestyle, so yeah, it’s no wonder the weight stayed on and I was tired all the time. Since I began this LCHF WOE, I have only been sleeping about 6 hours per day and usually only in 3 hour implements. The past week, I’ve been sleeping even less than that. The first couple of days I slept maybe 4 hours within a 48 time period. The next few days, 3.5 hours within a 44 hour time period. I was so in need of sleep night before last that I took a 100 mgs of Trazodone. Normally, that would have knocked me out for 8-12 hours. But, I only slept 3.5 hrs.

I explained my dilemma to my brother and he said, “Maybe the high carbs was causing the trazodone to give you that much sleep.” Hmmm, he may be right!

Don’t get me wrong, I am not going into sleep dep or anything like that, just a mild case of insomnia. I just really enjoy sleeping. I love dreaming. Hell, most of the time my dream world has seemed more real than this one. I did manage to get a nice 5 hrs sleep midday yesterday. It felt good, but sadly I don’t remember dreaming.

In further developments, I think I have solved my issue with Chicken. I have been eating skinless, boneless chicken tenders just sauteed in coconut oil with some garlic powder, pepper and salt. And I think the issue is that the chicken is not absorbing any of the coconut oil, or not very much of it, so it is staying a leaner meat. With just some cheese or a pat of butter on my vegetables, I was definitely not getting many grams of fat with my meal. So, I began making chicken salad instead, using a full fat mayonnaise and a full fat sour cream for the dressing and viola! I have not gotten sleepy after eating it! Yay me!

Now to make it through the next two days until payday when I get some really good foods in here to eat!

Onward and upward! Embracing Fat! Loving this WOL!

It’s All About the Fat, Baby!

Not all fats are created equal… I am sure you have heard that term before and it is true. The Low Fat craze nearly killed me, especially mixed with a lower carb diet. I am sure you have heard the debates about saturated fats being evil and the hype of all these vegetable oils being good for you. But just how true is all of it? Time for research!

The information I am about to share here is from my own research and observations. I subscribe to eat what you want, or as your doctor ordered, not as I say. Do your own research on all of this!

Let’s begin with the typical fats in most processed products: partially-hydrogenated, usually in the form of soy, hydrogenated, vegetable oils like corn, soy, safflower oil, canola oil and I am sure there are others. Most of these oils come from plants, which in itself should not be bad, right? However, they are ALL over processed and many turn to trans-fats.

Back before the 50s and 60s, the few fats found in processed foods were lard, coconut oil and palm oil. These did not have long shelf lives, unfortunately. Can’t have aisles and aisles of boxed food sitting around for months or years if the fats in them do not last a long time. Did you also know that the government was subsidizing soy and corn farms and had an excess storage of both? What to do with all that corn (we will discuss HFCS soon) and soy? hmmm… So they began using processed partial-hydrogenated oils like corn and soy, mostly. And then butter got a bad rap, so along came a host of margarine (vegetable oil based).

Side note: have you ever set out a bowl of butter and a bowl of margarine for a day or so and watched the gnats and flies’ reactions? They will attack butter, but stay away from margarine. Did you know that margarine has a similar chemical make-up to plastic? No kidding.. do the research!

Back to the history of fats/oils. So, lard, coconut oil and palm oil were outlawed, deemed evil and swept away from our shelves (mostly!).  Then in recent years, what did they discover? Those partially-hydrogenated oils had trans-fats in them that messed with cholesterol! So much for good science, eh? And yet, they are still found in almost all processed foods!

In the 90s, along came the Low Carb, Higher Fat diets of people like Atkins. Suddenly fat was good for you! But not just any fats – mostly saturated fats!

The common usable fats now for a LCHF diet are: coconut oil, olive oil, butter, lard, bacon grease, avocados, nut oils like walnut and macadamia, nuts (with the exception of too many cashews because of their high carb content and peanuts, which aren’t nuts but legumes – there will be a post on this later), full fat dairy products, and olive oil based (low carb) mayonnaise (think homemade).

What are NOT acceptable are: corn, soy, peanut, sunflower, safflower, canola oils and margarine. Also no low fat dairies.

Here are my personal preferences in the order that I use them the most: Coconut oil, butter, olive oil, avocados, full fat dairies, nuts (mostly almonds), and bacon grease. I tend to stay away from bacon grease and lard the most because FOR ME, they are just too heavy and tend to upset my stomach and make me nauseous.

So does saturated fats really hurt cholesterol levels? Think of it this way. Every cell in your body needs cholesterol. Your brain needs it the most to function, fire those synapses, regulate moods, think clearly, etc. Your joints need it to help keep those joints moving. What do you think the effects on our bodies has been in the last 50 years from the “medical attitude” toward cholesterol which is found in saturated fats like animal fat, coconut oil, and palm oil? Think about the diseases that have been steadily (sometimes rapidly) increasing. And then ask yourself just how evil is a High Fat diet of saturated fats. I will let you draw your own conclusions. I’ve already drawn mine. Do the research!