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!

 

No Fails with a Fast!

No Fails with a Fast!

Coffee

Imagine you’re on a ketogenic diet. You have just one little cookie. You feel like a failure, don’t you. You’ve hit reset. It’s just a big No-No. The ketones immediately run & hide. It’s over. The cycle is done for. Finished. Let’s start again next Monday.

The great thing with intermittent fasting is that it’s impossible to fail. There aren’t as many fasting programs out as there are diets but there’s enough variety that just about everyone can find one that suits. I embrace them all. Going for a 48 hour fast, but you decide to eat lunch the 2nd day? Congrats! You’ve just successfully completed a 42 hour fast instead. Enjoy your lunch!

Fasting, an ancient practice, is the new diet du jour. And there might be something to it. I’m trying to get my head around something more than a one day fast. My ideal one day fast is spending a total wake cycle without food. Though I do add a little heavy cream (35%) to my coffee, I limits my fluids to coffee, tea & water. Since I’m well practiced at not eating breakfast, I won’t have breakfast next morning either. That really turns my one day fast into a 42 hour fast. If I make it to dinner time, I’ve accomplished a 48 hour fast. Bonus points!

The worst case scenario is that you finish dinner at 7pm today. Then you have breakfast at 7am tomorrow. Congratulations again … you’ve completed a 12 hour fast. While doing this every day probably won’t contribute a lot to weight loss, at least we haven’t destroyed a diet “prescription” that we’ve given ourselves. There’s no feeling of having to binge for the rest of the week, while we wait for Monday to roll around before we begin again. You can always start the next fast right away, immediately following breakfast. Or you can go through to dinner time & start over then. The whole diet isn’t shot. There are no big regrets. And you haven’t lost the “rest of the week”. It’s still there to be taken advantage of. When you’re ready.

About the only thing that does mess with my head, while running my infrequent fasting routines, is the scale. I know, I know, we should only weight ourselves once a week. Forget that, I’m on the scale at least twice a day! And that can sometimes show unpredictable results. I don’t have a scale that is calibrated to a standard or anything but it seems pretty repeatable when I load up a heavy weight on it. It’s on a hard, even floor. I’ve even positioned it far away from the vent, so that heating & cooling draughts don’t influence the outcome. Despite that care & attention, it sometimes says that I didn’t lose any weight after a fast day. But then it surprises me with a loss a feast day. What is that about!?!

This is not a consistent thing. I’m really not sure why some fasts give me an immediate result, while others don’t. And why would a feast day, sometimes a pretty wicked one, give me a pleasant surprise?

I don’t know the answer &, frankly, I don’t care too much. I enjoy the pleasant surprises every now & again. The message is to not give up on your fasting regimen too soon. Let your scale play it’s little games & see if the results work this way for you.

The Last Word on Potatoes

The Last Word on Potatoes

Red Wine

It’s probably not the last word on potatoes. After all, we still have to address the health benefits of French fries! I’ll use the name of the day to more easily explain the sequence of what happened. On Wednesday evening, I carried on exploring the effects of potatoes on my blood sugar. This time, I managed to avoid my sugar-laden dessert. I knew that wasn’t going to be easy so I decided to have two full-sized spud dinners to combat the urge. We’re not talking seconds here, we’re talking two full dinner-sized portions. The first was leftovers from Tuesday, the potato & Brussels sprouts combo. The second was again made from boiled & cooled potatoes, pan fried in olive oil. Then drizzled with more olive oil because they just don’t bring any fat to the party. I added the usual chopped onion, herbs & seasonings. This one also got a shot of store-bought Jalapeño-Lime Aioli. Which I probably shouldn’t have done, but it’s just so good! And I also melted three slices of Jarlsberg cheese into each serving. While potatoes have some protein, the cheese adds more of that, along with some excellent texture & flavour. I was probably a little below my protein requirement on both days but not enough that I worried about it. And it’s only for a couple of days.

From Tuesday’s eating, it took ’til early afternoon Wednesday to get back down to 5.6 mmol/l (101 mg/dl). Remember that I had that sweet dessert on the Tuesday though. The numbers aren’t really all that bad but I’m used to being lower, and faster getting there, on low carb days. Was that difference in glucose decay caused by the sugar in the dessert? Or the fact that I had been low carb for the week prior & my body needed to readjust to handling the carb load again? Am I over producing insulin in reaction to that? And is that insulin just helping transport it out of my blood & into muscle for use? Or is it driving all the excess to my belly for storage as fat!

I don’t know. None of the readings were serious enough that I’m worried so I’ll just ignore it for now. Just before dinner on Wednesday, I was back in my happy zone, at 5.1 mmol/l (92 mg/dl). Pretty much immediately after the hour long feast, it hit 7.1 mmol/l (128 mg/dl). One hour later it was 7.2 (130 mg/dl) & it was back down to 6.3 mmol/l (113 mg/dl) at the two hour mark. By the three hour mark, it was down to 5.8 mmol/l (104 mg/dl). On Wednesday, with the potato binge only & no dessert, the glucose decay was much better, & faster. From a blood glucose perspective, I’m okay including the occasional potato binge.

From a weight loss perspective, the story doesn’t necessarily end there. Potatoes may trigger a greater insulin response than the blood glucose number would suggest. So does that mean that I’m getting fatter while I overindulge on them?

Not according to the scale on Thursday morning. Phew!

Think I’ll have to check the impact of wine & beer with that little glucose meter too! 🙂

More Spuds Please!

More Spuds Please!

Rabbit

Rabbit looks happy on a Plant-based Diet!

I’ve been doing this for years, no … decades, but the more I delve into the world of diet & weight loss, the more I think I’m just following Alice into some surreal place of delusion & horror. Pick any dietary regimen you like, say the ketogenic diets for our purposes here, and then do an internet search for something like the “benefits of keto diet”. That brings up about 6.9 million hits. Looking for the “dangers of keto diet” only brings back 353 thousand, or about 5% of the first lookup’s total. Now try something that most would think contrary to keto: search for the “benefits of plant based diet”. That kicks back 15.6 million results. Doing the opposite: “dangers of plant based diet” yields a list of 784 thousand items. Again about 5% against. I know, I know, I could have used an alternative word to “danger” but the point is that there is huge support for just about any semi-reasonable dietary philosophy out there. And a very similar push-back ratio to both, quiet different, programs.

Just for fun: “plant based vs keto diet” provided 3.5 million results, with most on the first couple of pages favouring the plant based diet.

Let try one more. A couple of searches on the benefits of fasting vs the dangers of fasting produced 463 million on the positive side, with 1.7 million on the danger side. Only 0.4% were negative.

Now this is awfully loose data so we can’t call it science, but it does suggest some questions …

  • Why is fasting, with that massive 463 million hits, that much more interesting to people?
  • And perhaps most importantly, is fasting better than the other diets because of that high interest AND that low negative response rate?

Now I’m not making my dietary decisions on these seagull-in-the-sky views of unexplored data but I think it’s tough to argue that there isn’t just a little lack of clarity out there. There’s a lot. Though regardless of the program, there seems to be a lot of optimism among supporters that it’s the right one. Could there be more than one right one?

Despite the enjoyment I get from reading about nutrition, diet & weight loss, sometimes, I think I’d rather just be thin & get on with my life! I have this horrible, teeth-grinding suspicion that the words of my grandmother will ring true one day & that I’ll then be preaching that old parable … everything in moderation! Though likely with one significant difference … the foods in my fridge & cupboards are not the same as were in hers back then.

And now I’m wondering why plant-based positives had almost two & a half times the number of keto!!! Oh Boy, here we go again! 🙂