Results … Month #11

I don’t have a result for this month yet because I can’t get to my scale. I’m writing this from my hospital bed!

My book wasn’t on the used books rack! Might have to sneak back in & donate!

Instead of writing up this month’s results, I’m worried about how my upcoming surgery will impact my weight-loss strategies. My superstitious Celtic nature prevents me from talking about the surgery now (in case I hex things!) but I will cover it later. Along with whatever new challenges that it might impose on my diet. But please, God, let me still be able to eat lots of fat. And hot & spicy stuff!

The dietary component of this week’s post is about the food provided by, what I believe is our best medical facility on the east coast. I’ve been in the Halifax Infirmary, part of the QE II medical complex in downtown Halifax, all week. Up until a few days ago, they fed me salty water in a bag. They they finally served me breakfast. They shouldn’t have bothered!

A low-fat yogurt, with added sugar. A lighter-than-air bread roll, that might as well be sugar. Accompanied by an industrial seed oil margarine. A refined grain cereal, ‘nuf said. And to wash it all down with? A wan-looking 1% milk. Who drinks this stuff!?! Even baby cows would be repulsed!

Now I have spotted better leftovers down the hall so, after a little chat with my favourite catering services person, I’m hoping things will fatten up for me going forward! 😁

Meantime, you can’t help but wonder how menu planning advances happen in the medical world. Most of the folk working here know all about keto, low-carb, whole food, paleo, and so on. And I see them sneaking off to their break room with real food under their arm! Okay, a big chocolate chocolate chip muffin is a bit dubious. But if you’re gonna be bad, then be really bad. One day they’ll rise up & help us powerless patients get some real food too. I can only hope it’s before my next visit!

Talking of the people, they’re something special here. I’m sure everyone says that about their favourite local hospitals. But I think these guys have pushed the curve far to the right. I am almost ready to bawl my eyes out witnessing the patience, the perseverance, and pure kindness so many of these good folk bring to their job. And for the people who depend on them. Broken and distressed, as we patients can sometimes find ourselves.

Thanks a bunch, all you guys at the 4.2 & downstairs, I truly luv y’all. Even those cruel few who take just a little too much pleasure in taking my “vitals” at 4 in the morning!

But I hope the next time I see any of you again is in a pub. And when that happens, the beer’s on me!

How to Make Skinny People Fat

How to Make Skinny People Fat

Haggis & Chips

Comfort Food! Aaahhh!!!

You have no idea how difficult my life can be sometimes. I have a lot of expertise in how to get fat. I’m lucky enough to share my life with someone who doesn’t get fat. Wait a minute, let me rephrase that: I am lucky enough to share my life with someone who is even luckier, not because she’s get to share her life with me, but simply because she doesn’t get fat! Indeed, every now & again, she’ll come to me & say something totally & utterly excruciating, like …

“I’m down a few pounds & I don’t think it suits me, what should I eat?”, with that look of total innocence on her face.

Is she just trying to torment me or what!?!

But of course, ever dutiful when called upon, I will immediately try to help her out. Yesterday, & I’m still in my flu-season-comfort-food mindset, I thought I’d marry my own desire for comfort food with her desire to add a few pounds. I’d just have to eat a bit less of whatever pound-padding creation I concocted.

It’s no surprise that our favourite comfort foods come from our younger years, but choices were limited. We were busy yesterday & didn’t have time to hit the grocery store, so the cupboards were pretty bare. There was a decent selection of healthy choices but that wasn’t what either of us was looking for. I unearthed a can of haggis and, wonder of wonders, a can of baked beans! There are always frozen fries in the freezer so that was it: the complete fattening meal. A can of fatty meaty bits, loaded with oats to soak up & disguise the sheer volume of fat. A can of potentially healthy beans that are swimming in a sugary tomato sauce. And spuds so finely slivered so as to maximise the grease-attracting surface area of a veggie that might otherwise be healthy.

Now I must admit to enjoying my combo platter of sugar, fat & starch. Unfortunately, the Skinny One wasn’t enjoying hers. She’s not a big fan of haggis. The beans weren’t like the ones she had as a child. And there were too many fries on the plate. OMG!!!

While she went off to boil an egg, to accompany the single slice of Jarlsberg cheese she placed on a small plate, I finished off her leftovers. Only about 90% of the original meal! I know, I’m weak. What can I say. Other than I enjoyed her’s too.

After that amazing little keto-friendly “dinner” she had prepared for herself, she then went to prepare dessert. It was some kind of upside-down pineapple cake. With ice cream.

“Would you like one too?”, she inquired. More of that innocence in play!!!

I should have pulled the battery out of the scale last night, but I didn’t. So this morning: I’m up, she’s not. And we might have to go through this exercise all over again today. Aaarrrrghhhh!

Good thing we’re all out of haggis & baked beans! 🙂

Crazy Keto Contrarian Day

Crazy Keto Contrarian DaySourdough Bread

You’re going to love this one. Wait ’til you hear what I did yesterday!

In my typical hardly-scientific way, I thought I’d try something way off the charts.

Despite eating a good low-carb regimen for the past three or four days, my mood wasn’t great when I woke up yesterday. However, it picked up as the morning progressed. A lot. And I decided to do something a little crazy!

Lunch: Two sandwiches that included 4 slices of heavily buttered sourdough bread, 4 slices of Jarlsberg cheese, topped with real sauerkraut and a squirt of Dijon mustard. Oh, I had the heel with a big splodge of butter too!

Dinner: A curried fried rice with red kidney beans. Lots of oil in the pan to brown the garlic and onion, before adding the rice and beans. Added a cup of cream at the end for a little more lubrication. I ate ‘til I was stuffed and even had leftovers that I had to stick in the fridge.

Dessert: Totally shameless cherry ice cream with 5 squares of Caramel Sea-Salt dark chocolate.

I know, know! What on earth was I thinking? I was thinking to challenge how much my body had changed over the course of the past two & a half months. Was my blood sugar control any better? Despite my reservations about the impact the bread might have on my mood, would it be okay to do the bread thing every now & again?

Today … I only went up 0.4 lbs!

That’s great on a number of counts, and here’s why …

  • It is a pre-bowel movement (sorry!) weight.
  • I woke up really early this morning, so I weighed in two hours sooner than is usual.
  • And I pigged out on tons of pretty bad carbs (from a low-carb or keto viewpoint) yesterday.

What can I say, bread isn’t depressing me today!

I was monitoring my blood sugar throughout the exercise too. From morning to lunch time yesterday, I was low-normal (fours & low fives) courtesy of the lower carb days leading into this. My peak after lunch hit 6.9 mmol/L (124 mg/dL). My post dinner and dessert peak was 7.8 mmol/L (140 mg/dL). My overnight (I woke up at 3:00am) and very early morning readings were 6.9 mmol/L (124 mg/dL) or lower. The overnight & early morning numbers were still green on the app log but they are higher than I prefer. And they are not numbers that I would want to see on a regular basis. But since this is only likely to happen very rarely, it’s a great result.

I’ve seen weight loss on potato days before. Now, I think I could achieve weight loss on rice, or even bread, days too. Might have to skip that 1600 calorie dessert though! I know day by day measurements are pretty meaningless in the great scheme of things. But it is nice to know that I can go a little wild every now & again. Without paying the psychological price that a big jump on the glucose meter, or on the bathroom scale, brings.

The bottom line is that my diet seems to have improved my ability to handle sugar & starch. I’m not “cured” in the sense that I can go back to eating the way I used to. Not without consequence. And certainly not every day. But it looks like I may have brought still more flexibility back into my diet & my life. And that’s a good thing.

Now what crazy things can I do today!?!

Fasting is Easy … NOT!

Fasting is Easy … NOT!

Dew Drops

Today’s Diet is … Dewdrops!

Intermittent fasting is a big deal these days. The real beauty of fasting is that it can be blended with whatever your favourite dietary strategy is. There may be advantages to blending it with, for example, a low-carb or keto regimen. As opposed to eating junk food on eating days! The other great thing about fasting is that it requires no careful meal planning. And it costs less to boot.

It sounds so easy, doesn’t it? Nothing but good.

Why, then, do I find it so difficult most times?

I am a really big fan of fasting. I just don’t do it very well. There are many ideas out there as to what constitutes a fast. Some define it as a water only fast. Others think juice fasting is fine. Then there are those that say you can eat very modestly, like four, five or six hundred calories a day, depending on the diet, & the sex of the dieter. One of the latest is a fast mimicking diet that allows a very modest intake of some very specific prepackaged foods that trick the body into behaving as though it were not getting any food. The idea behind this is to have something nourishing to eat, while still promoting autophagy (cellular regeneration) for health. Sounds pretty good.

Fasting is also varyingly defined by duration. You can fast for one complete wake cycle, or you can do one meal a day for a twenty-something-hour fast. Some just skip breakfast & call it a 16 hour fast. Some love the alternate day fasting approach. There are longer fasts that run for days, or even weeks. These are typically only for those that are healthy & under medical supervision. One guy, in Scotland, fasted for 382 days & lost 276 lbs. I’m not touching that kind of challenge but it is pretty incredible. Fasts of short duration seem to be given a blessing for most healthy people but I don’t worry about it too much since I mostly can’t even make it through a full day anyway!

For no real reason that I can justify, I think a fast should be for one full wake cycle. And since I typically don’t eat breakfast, it would be a 40 hour fast if I make it to lunch the next day. In my case, aside from water, I allow myself coffee with heavy cream (35% fat). Should I ever feel a little off or light-headed, I may pop a few olives or a pickle for the salts. Mostly I fail my one day fasts & I find myself eating dinner in the evening. When that happens … I congratulate myself for completing a 22 hour fast!

While I like rules in many parts of my life, I’m not a big fan of dietary rules. My sloppy approach to dieting & weight loss has transferred to my half-hearted efforts at fasting.

Today, I’m going to try doing it correctly. I just had my first two coffees of the day … & both were without cream! Today, I am trying for one real, full wake cycle, fast!

Wish me luck!

 

THINK Yourself Thin … Maybe?

THINK Yourself Thin … Maybe?

Winery

Couple of guys thinking themselves thin at Mission Hill Winery, in BC. Looks like it’s working! 🙂

Yesterday’s post on the Glycemic Index, the Glycemic Load Index, and the Insulin & Satiety Indices triggered a few questions. I wasn’t suggesting that any particular index was the right way to build a weight-loss diet. Nor was I saying that the indices were worthless for doing that. I was trying to explain the confusion went through, leading up to my decision to eat potatoes as part of my diet. The potato was a good example of that decision making process when measured against the four indices we talked about.

Despite the amount of science behind many of the diets out there, there still isn’t enough information to create one, clear, simple, diverse & satisfying diet that will work for everyone. No matter the diet we choose to follow, we will all tinker with it. We’ll add a little of this & a touch more of that, to suit our own taste. I think that’s okay. The greater the variety, the better the chances that we’ll stick with it.

To simplify yesterday’s thought process. The Glycemic Index, the Glycemic Load Index and the Insulin Index ALL suggest that I shouldn’t eat potatoes. The Satiety Index suggested otherwise so I tried it periodically, sometimes for 2 or 3 days at a time, over several weeks. It worked on most attempts, I ate potatoes, felt very satisfied, & I lost weight. That’s a good result but it’s not the end of the confusion.

Imagine being on a very low-carb keto diet. With this, I’m trying to stay in ketosis by reducing the carbs. Some keto regimens recommend carb days periodically but still require longer periods of very low-carb eating. While I totally believe in the weight loss potential of the keto regimens, I just don’t want to eat that way all the time. I think it works. But that doesn’t mean I have to like it. And it’s okay to experiment with alternatives. It probably won’t be a ketogenic diet any more but if we lose the weight, do we really care?

Sometimes, I think Grandma maybe had it right … everything in moderation.

EXCEPT those things that we know do us damage. And we should probably eat more of the stuff that doesn’t. Even if it isn’t keto-friendly!

PS … Wine is an essential component of a healthy diet too, isn’t it!?!