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.

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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.

Stevia Products

I have mentioned before that I cannot do most sugar substitutes. I cannot use aspartame because it makes me numb and gives me panic attacks if I consume too much. I cannot use sucralose because it give me migraines (fuck you, Pepsi for adding sucralose to your products! You bastards!).

I CAN use saccharine in limited amounts, but only the liquid drops. And I CAN use stevia, but again, only in the liquid drops. I CANNOT use the powdered versions period because they contain maltodextrin, which causes my blood sugar to rise. Maltodextrin is a SUGAR.

The one thing I really miss from my lifestyle before LCHF is French Vanilla creamer. I admit, I probably consumed the majority of my carbs per day from this very product (5 grams of carbs per 1 Tbsp Рno way I ever consumed just 1 Tbsp in a cup of coffee!). I love love love the flavor. I am an avid coffee drinker and love my flavored coffee. So, on this LCHF WOL, I have  had to search out alternatives.  What to do, what to do?

My alternative: HWC and flavored stevia (vanilla cream)!

Granted, it doesn’t taste nearly as good as the commercial product, but I am willing to make some sacrifices for this WOL.

SweetLeaf (the only stevia brand I trust) has a variety of flavored stevia liquid drops. Just do a search on Amazon. Admittedly, those little 4 oz. bottles are pricey (around $10 each), but they do last a while. The ones I am interested in are vanilla cream, chocolate, toffee, and rootbeer (wouldn’t be for my coffee though.. lol).

There is also a product called Stur (search for it on Amazon) that has flavored drops to add to your water. They are pricey though. They have an awesome tea with lemon and I really like the fruit punch and Garcina Cambogia varieties. Some grocers even carry it, but I couldn’t find it at my local Krogers.

Another alternative is Zevia. It is a carbonated soda with stevia added. They are not carb-free though. I see them available in my Krogers ads every week. However, my particular store does not carry them. Other Krogers might and you have to look in their health food section, not the regular soda section.

Thankfully, stevia is becoming more readily available. I just have to check labels though to make sure the stevia products I do buy do not have maltodextrin in them. This was a sad realization when I went in search of Protein powders with stevia. I think I may have found 2 products without the maltodextrin. The quantity was small and the price outrageous.

I am sure there are other stevia products on the market and I will definitely continue to seek them out. It’s all about the research, price and availability for me though.

Shopping Excursion (09-11-2015)

Yesterday, I went in search of LCHF appropriate foods at my local Walmart and Krogers. This was not nearly as easy as I thought it would be. I envy people who have Trader Joes and Whole Food stores readily available to them. I also long for the days when I was able to work, make a decent paycheck and could afford good quality foods every week. Sadly, this is no longer the case for me. I am on disability and have at most $350 to spend per MONTH on food I can eat. So for me, it really came down to choices, availability, and price.

Choices – I live in a small rural area. Walmart, Krogers and Foodlion are the closest grocers available to me without driving 45mins to an hour to get to a Whole Foods. The choices for organic, grass-fed, free-range and GMO-free foods are near impossible to find. I do admit that there are more and more organic foods being introduced in my area, but they are pricey (will go into that in a moment) and not as much variety.

Availability – As I alluded to above, there just isn’t that much “good for me” stuff available and what is available is in smaller amounts. At my local Krogers (where I do most of my shopping), I counted 5 available fresh organic vegetables – celery, avocados, squash, lettuce/spinach, and broccoli. That was it! In the freezer section, all they had was peas, carrots, and broccoli, in combo bags. Peas and carrots are not LCHF appropriate foods. There were no available grass-fed varieties of meats at Krogers, and only ground bison available at Walmart. There are free-range eggs available at both.

Price – Since I am on a very tight budget, and since there is such a limited availability and choices of organic, grass-fed, free-range, non-GMO foods, there is none of the price reductions you would see at Trader Joes and Whole Foods where they are able to get mass amounts to keep prices lower. When faced with the dilemma of buying 1 cartons of 18 ct. reg eggs @$3.39 each or 1 cartons of 12 ct. organic, free-range eggs @4.99 each, I am afraid I would have to go with reg eggs and just hope for the best. This problem also arose with meats, vegetables, and some dairies. There is just no way on my limited budget with limited availability that I can afford to eat organic, grass-fed, free-range, non-GMO foods.

Did I mention that I do not have the available transportation to get to a Whole Foods? Well, I don’t. No car of my own and no available alternate transportation (bus or train). So a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do.

My grocery cart:

At Walmart – 8 bags of regular pork rinds (bought them out), package of pork steaks (4 to a package), 2 large bags of vegetables (1 just broccoli, the other a Normandy mix), 2 family size bags of brussel sprouts, 1 bag of mixed mushrooms, 2 jars of Dukes mayonnaise, and a package of sausage patties (12 patties – only one I could find without added sugars). There were a few other non-food items tossed in, but I ended up spending about $90 at Walmart.

At Krogers – 3x3lb ground beef (75/25 fat), 5 packages of smoked sausages (on sale), a whole chicken, chicken thighs with skin (4 to a pack), ham steak, 4 packages of bacon, 3 cartons of 18 ct eggs, 2 quarts of HWC, 3 packs of butter (sorry, no grass-fed Kerrygold here), a variety of whole fat cheeses, 4 packages of cream cheese, 2 containers of whole fat sour cream, 10 cans of chunk light tuna, 3 lg cans of salmon, 2 cans of corned beef (no hash), 2 jars of coconut oil, 1 jar of alfredo sauce, 4 packs of frozen spinach (so I don’t waste the spinach!), 4 avocados, a bag of romaine lettuce (3 to a bag), a small head of cabbage, celery, some spices, and 3 bags of pork rinds (bought them out too). Total came to $213. That leaves me with just a little over $40 in case I need something desperately at the store later in the month.

Things I wanted, but could not afford/find, etc.:

  • steak – lots available, but the price was just too high
  • corned beef brisket – price was just too high
  • bone-in pork chops – price was too high
  • cauliflower – zero available as just cauliflower in the frozen section, available fresh looked like they were on their last legs
  • zucchini/squash – just not enough money left over for them
  • other spices – OMG! the prices on spices is outrageous!
  • grass-fed beef – none available

Well, so that was my excursion. It is very difficult to find “good” foods in my area. It is even harder to afford the few I did find. So I will just have to be satisfied with my frankenfoods and pray that I get enough real nutrition between what I eat and the supplements that I take.