New Page Added on LCHF

I’ve just added a new page (can be found at the top of this blog) called:

LCHF Websites and Youtube Channels

It is chuck full of great websites and Youtube channels dedicated to the LCHF WOE. You can find advice, scientific information, success stories, recipes, and general advice on nutrition here. Enjoy!

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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 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.

LCHF Week One: Health Observations (August 27 — September 2, 2015)

Here is a list of observations I have made on my health since beginning the LCHF WOE on Aug. 27th:

  1. My glucose levels have come down drastically. Morning fasting numbers range from 80-115. Before each meals, my numbers have not been above 135 and are usually around 115. Two hours after meals, my numbers have been as low as 98, but never higher than 135. Before bedtime, no higher than 130 and often as low as 80. Before this, my numbers ranged from 175 at the lowest to as high as in the 300s.
  2. I have been averaging about 2 meals a day (breakfast and dinner) with maybe a snack before bedtime, if needed. I stay full for up to 6+ hours now.
  3. I have had no cravings for sweets or breads (my main weakness).
  4. Before this WOE, I had episodes of severe constipation. Eliminations came about 2-3 times a WEEK. Now I have eliminations on average of 2 times per DAY.
  5. Allergies have reduced. Less frequent sneezing fits, itchy eyes, and sinus headaches.
  6. I now sleep on average of 6 hours per day and usually in 3 hour implements. Three hours between the hours of (10/11 pm to 1/2 am and 11 am/12 pm to 2/3 pm). I have more energy.
  7. My mood is elevated (suffer from depression and anxiety), I am less fatigued during the day, very little brain fog, and clearer focus.
  8. My night vision has greatly improved and my overall eyesight is sharper.
  9. Very little acid reflux unless I eat too many acidic foods like tomato sauce.
  10. My hair is shinier, my skin is smoother, my nails are growing better and not brittle, my joints are looser, very little swelling in my ankles and feet, and the pain is minimal from the neuropathy in my feet.

How This Journey Began — My Story

When I was 35 (back 14 yrs ago), I weighed 307 lbs and was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. Here is me at 307 lbs.

at307lbs

All the doctor told me was to take these pills (metformin and glipizide) and cut out sugar and processed sugary foods. I struggled over a period of 6 years to lose 60 lbs on various diets — Vegetarian, Lower Carb/Low Fat, Weight Watchers, and a few I made up myself. The results was a slow weight loss and increasingly high blood glucose levels. In 2005, I was put on two insulins, Levimer (slow acting) and Novalog (fast acting). Even being on metformin and these insulins, I struggled to keep my blood glucose levels down and kept gaining weight from the increases in insulin. My overall cholesterol was high and I was gradually feeling the effects of neuropathy in both of my feet. Needless to say, I was a mess.

Before I get to how I came around to the LCHF diet, let me tell you about my own experiences with dietitians and nutritionists. The current  ADA standard guidelines are 45 gm of carbs per meal for women and 60 gm for men. It is suggested that you eat 3 meals per day plus up to two snacks per day (15 gm for women, up to 25 for men). I was told to eat low fat and lean proteins. I could chose from whole grains, non-starchy vegetables, fruits in moderation, low fat dairy, and of course lean mean meats like chicken and fish, to go easy on beef and pork, not to eat too many eggs, and use oils like olive oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil, canola oil and margarine, definitely no butter and as little animal fat as possible. Saturated fats was a no-no. Mono and Poly fats were the way to go.

The effects of this diet were devastating! Not only did my blood glucose levels stay high (175-300 on average), but my cholesterol continued to climb, my hair became brittle and began falling out, my skin was ultra dry, I began having severe joint pain and the pain in my feet from neuropathy was excruciating!

Just a note: I did not overindulge in cakes, cookies, candy, pies, white breads, potatoes, rice, pasta, etc. I ate a few of those, according to the guidelines, in moderation. I was told that if I wanted a sweet, to save my carbs for such things. If I wanted rice, switch to brown —¬† I did so. If I wanted pasta, switch to whole wheat — I did so. If I wanted potatoes, eat sweet potatoes — I did so. If I wanted bread, switch to whole grains — I did so. As long as I stuck to the 45 for meals and the 15 for snacks, I would be okay. I was NOT okay! And I have NOT been okay for the last 14 years eating this way.

On August the 27th of this year, I decided to make a drastic lifestyle change in hopes of saving what’s left a good life for myself. I began doing some extensive research into Low Carb eating. I’ve known for a while that eating fewer carbs helped my blood glucose levels. I’d already begun to cut back on carbs, eating on average of 50-75 gms per day, as opposed to the 150-165 gms as recommended by the dietitians and nutritionists. I was still doing the low fat and lean meats. I stayed hungry all the time and craved carbs like crazy! This led me to further research and lo and behold I came up with the solution: High Fats! But not just any kinds of fats — coconut oil, olive oil, butter, avocados, and animal fats (I will discuss fats further in another post). I also learned that when you lower your carbs, you must add fat! My carbs are now 20 gm per DAY or lower. I’ve continued to eat the leaner meats, in moderation.

The results have been amazing! My blood glucose is in the “normal” ranges now (80-140) at any time during the day and as of today (9/2/15), I’ve only been on this WOE for 7 days! I will be making a post later about my observations from the first 7 days of this diet, so stay tuned for that. I have no idea how this is affecting my cholesterol, my A1c or if I have lost any weight. I will be seeing my PCP on Oct. 1st and will post my lab results then.

I do recognize that the LCHF WOE is NOT a fad diet. I will have to eat this way for the remainder of my life if I want to maintain healthy weight and glucose levels. I am in this for the long haul.

Note of Caution: It is not recommended that Type 1 diabetics eat a LCHF diet due to possible low blood sugar readings.

Not a Diet, a Way of Living

I am beginning this blog as a way of chronicling a new way of livng (WOL). For me, the Low Carb/High Fat (LCHF) way of eating (WOE) is not a diet. It is a completely lifestyle change.

FYI: this new WOE is not for everyone. I do not pretend to be an expert, doctor, nutritionist or other, and I will not force this WOE on anyone else. This is for me and me alone. If you find my posts, articles, etc. interesting, PLEASE do your own research. All of our bodies are different and some do well on LCHF, others do not.

More information is available under ABOUT and soon I will give my own story of how I came about this WOL.

~Ravyne Hawke~