Keto – 1 Month Review

About a week and a half ago – 3 weeks into eating a LCHF diet – I added high intensity interval training (HIIT), as often as time permits, which isn’t much – I think I’ve had 4 sessions since I started.  I do 30 seconds of running uphill (5.5 mph, 6% incline), and then 4 minutes of slow walking (2 mph, 0 incline).  Repeat 4 more times.  So really I’m doing only about 5 minutes of hard work per week.  Since I started this I’ve lost 5 pounds and my fasting blood sugar has dropped from around 114, where it’s been stuck for 3 weeks, to about 102.  Post-prandial blood sugar (at 2 hours) is usually in the 80s.

I’m sleeping better, I have more energy, my mood is better than when I was eating carbs every day.

My usual diet:

  • Breakfast: eggs (1 whole egg plus 2 egg yolks cooked in coconut oil) and 1/2 of an avocado.  Sometimes a couple ounces of meat if I’m particularly hungry, but I notice ketones drop quickly if I eat too much protein.
  • Snack (because I can’t make it the 6 hours till lunch without one): bulletproof coffee (16 oz coffee with 2 Tbs unsalted grassfed butter and 2 Tbs MCT oil.  Yes, I’m using the actual, authentic mycotoxin-free upgraded coffee from Mr. Bulletproof himself).
  • Lunch: 1/2 avocado, 1-2 Tbs. homemade mayo, about 4 oz of chicken/fish/steak, a bunch of kalamata olives.
  • Snack – whatever coffee is still in my thermos, maybe some macadamia nuts
  • Dinner – a small-medium portion of whatever my family eats – last night it was cod cooked in butter.  I have been avoiding the veggies to see if it makes a difference one way or the other.

I’m hungriest in the morning, and have been eating till I’m not hungry anymore.  I might experiment with getting rid of that last egg white, and see if that reduces hunger by reducing impact on insulin levels.

Current supplements:

Medications:

  • Hydrochlorothiazide – 25mg/day (for hypertension)
  • Methyldopa – 250mg 3x/day (for hypertension)

I quit taking the Metformin.  It made my breasts stupid big and really sore and after 3 weeks it just wasn’t going away.  I figured I could manage without it eating Keto anyway.  So it’s gone.  Now, a couple weeks later, my bras still don’t quite fit.  Hot flashes are starting to come back as hormone levels return to baseline.

Marriage update:  Things are on cruise control.  It’s a real pain in the ass to split up.  For now, we’re just getting through the day to day, no movements in that direction.  He doesn’t want to split up and I’m not sure my life would be better if we did.  We get along well so it’s not painful.  Not the marriage I thought I had, but many things in my life are wonderful, so this is fine for now.

A request was made for my extremely easy homemade mayo recipe.  I have to admit it’s not MINE, exactly, because I got it from here.  I did tweak it a little so I’ll share the recipe as I make it:

Coconut Oil Mayonnaise

Equipment:

  • 1 glass jar with a mouth wide enough to accommodate a stick blender. I’ve used Vlasic dill pickle jars and 16-oz wide mouth Mason jars.  Both are great.
  • A stick blender (I use this one).

Ingredients:

  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup of fractionated coconut oil (the kind that is liquid).  I use Carrington Farms, which is available at Walmart.
  • 1 Tbs lemon juice (more if you like it a little more sour)
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Instructions:

  • Put everything in the jar.
  • Get the stick blender and put it in the jar, resting it on the bottom of the jar.
  • Hold on to the jar.  (<– Once I didn’t do this and the jar spun right off the counter onto the floor.  A serious waste of good ingredients).
  • Turn on the blender for 20-30 seconds, moving it up and down a little to incorporate all of the liquid into the emulsified mayo.
  • Done!  Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.

Some info about fractionated coconut oil is here.  Apparently it is liquid at room temperature because the long-chain fatty acids are removed, along with some of the health benefits of coconut oil.  I made the mistake of trying this recipe with regular (melted) coconut oil once and found myself with an unacceptably solid final product.  The fractionated oil works well for this recipe, and still has the health benefits associated with MCT oil, without the PUFAs found in other liquid oils.

I’ve tried this recipe with other oils.  Olive oil (“extra light”) tasted good but even good olive oil is 12% PUFA.  The same is true for avocado oil, though I never tried that one.  I tried it once with regular olive oil (not the “extra light”), and it tasted way too strong.  I tried making it in a bowl once, rather than in a glass jar…it didn’t emulsify.  It needs to be in the narrower container to come together.  I already mentioned my foibles with using regular coconut oil and letting the jar spin out of control….Ok, I guess that’s it. The recipe and instructions above has never let me down.

Oh and speaking of PUFA…check this out.  Michael Eades, a long-time leader in the low-carb community seems to be turning his attention away from blaming sugar and towards the evils of PUFA.  Very interesting.  And score one for Ray Peat.

Better

I stopped all supplements except for a few that I feel are important and which I’m pretty sure are not causing problems.  The ones I’m still taking:

  • Progesterone (Progest E)
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin K

The one’s I’ve stopped taking, for now:

  • Aspirin
  • Niacinamide
  • Magnesium Glycinate
  • L-Theanine
  • B vitamins (was recently experimenting with B1 and B2)
  • Thyroid (was recently experimenting with T3 and T3/T4)

Last night I slept 8 solid hours for the first time in a long time.  Also blood in stools is gone.

Still have heartburn at stupid times, like after eating anything at all…but I notice a couple of raw carrots stop it.

I have no idea what to eat anymore.  I’ve about given up on feeling happy.  I just don’t want to have a stroke or heart attack and be a burden to my family.  Seriously, these are the thoughts I have.

Plan of Attack

I’m very much back on track now…inspired by my last set of not-so-hot labs.

My short term goals are as follows:

Maintain a higher-carb, lower-fat diet in order to reverse my type 2 diabetes and reverse my abysmal lipid panel.  Rationale:

  • Lower fat to address high blood sugar (<20% of total calories, or in the neighborhood of 40-50g/day).  My dabbling in low-fat eating in the past month or two suggests that Ray Peat may be on to something when he talks about the Randle Cycle.  He says glucose oxidation is impaired by a high fat diet and/or fatty acids in the blood stream.
  • Higher carb in order to reduce stress hormones (namely, cortisol) (>250g carbohydrate) – Nearly all in the form of simple sugars – no starches, as those make me depressed, with the goal of eating at least a 2:1 carbohydrate:protein ratio.
  • High calcium intake (nonfat dairy, most likely), low phosphate intake (less meat).  I’m going to shoot for a 1:1 calcium:phosphate ratio.
  • I’m not going to make any effort to restrict calories.  That’s stressful and no fun.

Change my supplement routine to include the following:

  • Aspirin 100mg 3x/day
  • Niacinamide 100mg 3x/day
  • Vitamin K2 1mg 3x/day
  • Cynoplus (T3/T4 combo) increased from 1/4 tab daily to 1/4 tab 2x a day.  I may increase further in a few weeks, but that’s it for now.

The aspirin reduces inflammation.  Niacinamide inhibits the release of free fatty acids into the blood, and vitamin k2 ensures that blood clots normally despite the aspirin, and that calcium goes into the bones rather than the soft tissues.  Cynomel provides thyroid hormone that I don’t seem to be making enough of (evidence: total cholesterol of almost 300).  I’ll continue to take Vit D (5000 IU), Vitamin A (2500 IU), and Magnesium Glycinate.

Knowing that I have a tendency toward poor planning and then eating whatever’s available, I’m going to create some accountability for myself with this blog.  I’m going to post a screenshot of what I enter into Cronometer every day.  Here’s today:

Crono1

This will make it difficult for me to rationalize eating things that don’t support my goals.  Also it’ll force me to take a critical look at what I’m eating each day so I can learn from it and do better.  Today, still too much meat…instead of chicken breast I should have had more dairy or something with gelatin in it.  At the time I just wanted to stop feeling hungry – a big dose of meat does that well.  Time to learn new strategies.

Macro % today:

  • Protein: 30.9%
  • Carbs: 50.4%
  • Fat: 18.6%

More to report tomorrow.

Weird Stuff

Just a quick update while the toddler is watching Curious George…

CT last night was 50 deg F for 32 minutes…could have stayed in longer but I didn’t…mostly because I didn’t know what to expect as far as core temp after-drop.  I took my temperature with a digital oral thermometer before, during, and after CT.  Temps were as follows:

  • Before CT:  97.2
  • During CT (just before the end): 98.0
  • 5 minutes after CT: 97.5
  • 10 minutes after CT: 96.5

Temps over the following 10 minutes or so got down to 95.1, and then started climbing back up.  I felt pretty good afterward.  Did not shiver in the water at all, but did for about 10 minutes afterward.  Then I felt air-conditioned till I went to bed.  Not warm and comfy, but not exactly chilled.  Just like the AC was on a little too high.

This morning I woke up with an awful headache.  I don’t get headaches.  In the last 3 days I’ve started taking 3 supplements (Magnesium L-Threonate, DIM, and Calcium D-Glucarate).  I’m wondering if one of them is responsible, or if it was just an effect of toxin dumping from CT.  I’m going to stop taking all three, and then add them back in one at a time, with a week between.  Another weird thing happened today.  I got about 7.5 or 8 hours of sleep and got up this morning when my daughter did.  Had my BAB, and then was SOOOO TIRED.  I fell asleep for another 4 hours.  I felt like I had been drugged.  I just couldn’t keep my eyes open.  I’ve never had that happen before…not that level of fatigue after a decent nights sleep.  Thankfully my husband was here to take over babycare, because I was worthless.  I got up at 12:30PM, finally, and felt great for the rest of the day.  WTH?

I will say this.  If CT at 50 deg is going to have that kind of effect on me, I’m not going to be able to do it very often.  I get that it’s clearing out nasty things from my body and all, but I don’t have the luxury of time to just sleep all morning, on a regular basis.  I’m really hoping it was just a weird one-time thing.

Numbers

CT last night was 30 minutes submerged at 57 deg F.   The 1-liter bottles were left in for 1.5 hours this time instead of 1 hour.  They still didn’t melt completely though, leaving the water in the bottles colder than the tub water, so again I poured the water into the tub.  It was 64 deg to start, then down to 59 just from the bottles filled with ice, and then down to 57 with the cold water poured from the bottles.  I had a hat and wool gloves on throughout, and my hands worked fine at the end, so I think that really helped preserve core body temp.  I suppose I could actually take my temps before and after.  Maybe today.

I notice the best BAB for me is 8-9 oz. of wild-caught salmon and pastured eggs fried in coconut oil.  I always feel great after I eat this in the morning.  I need to find a good recipe for salmon though.  Currently I’m baking it at 425 deg for 12 minutes, which works really well…but it’s bland.  I wonder how to season salmon so it’s delicious?  You know, minus everything that tastes great in the nightshade family…so no peppers, cayenne, onions, as well as no dairy.  I’ll have to do some recipe research.

Started taking DIM and Calcium D-Glucarate today to address problems with estrogen dumping from CT.  Yesterday I was feeling a little hormonal.  Not terrible, but there were a couple times I got angry at people and was lacking my usual ability to refrain from saying anything.  I wasn’t yelling at anyone, but when hormones are high I simply can’t say nothing at all.  That’s where I was yesterday.  On the hormonal 1-10 scale (yes, I’m using 1-10 now…1-3 simply wasn’t adequate…) I was a 5.  A bit weepy and a bit pissed off.  So a 5.

I’m really liking using Cronometer to calculate the nutrients in my diet.  It’s got lots of cool graphs and other visuals so you can see exactly where you’re falling short.  I’m going to go there now to enter my breakfast.

Results for just breakfast today:

  • Calories: 778..8
  • Protein: 75.4grams
  • Carbs: 4.1g
  • fat: 50g

I love data.

Plans

Heading home tomorrow morning.  I know how things fell apart while I was traveling.

No BAB.

They did have a breakfast buffet here at the hotel, but it was comprised of reconstituted eggs and some poor-quality salty nitrate-laden meat, as well as many other things I wouldn’t even consider eating (fruit, yogurt, bread, etc.).  I ate what I could, and tried to eat a lot in the mornings, but it just didn’t taste good…and it didn’t feel good.  I felt tired and depressed every morning after eating breakfast.  I wonder if there was some kind of wheat or corn in those reconstituted eggs…

Anyway, I’m really looking forward to getting back to my regular routine.  With a few changes.

  • Progesterone Cream: I’ve decided to continue with the progesterone cream for the rest of this menstrual cycle.  At that point I would normally stop using it for a week anyway.  I’m just not going to start it up again.  I want to let my body find its natural baseline (or whatever baseline it’s at with CT and Leptin Rx).
  • Medical Attention:  I’m in the process of identifying a doctor that can help me with what I’m certain are hormonal problems.
  • CT:  I’m going to find a way to do 50 degree baths.  The first thing I’m going to do when I get home is take all of the food out of our freezer and move it to the fridge.  We’re going to be using the freezer now for freezing ice.  I don’t buy in bulk so I don’t really need to use the freezer much.  I may have to shop more, but that’s ok.  I’m going to start by getting as many 1-liter bottles of water into the freezer at once as I can, and see how much they’ll cool down the tub.  Baths will continue at 5-6 times a week, as I was doing before I left on this trip.
  • Supplements:  I’m going to start using DIM, Calcium D-Glucarate, and Mangensium Threonate.  The first two are to help control the messed up estrogen dump I’ve been experiencing when I use the colder water, and the Mag is to address inflamation and do other good things I can’t remember at the moment.
  • Diet: I’m going to be focusing on following a strict ketogenic Paleo diet.  Very few carbs.  No dairy.  No nightshades.
  • Exercise: It’s time to start lifting.

Have to go for now…others waiting to use the hotel’s ‘puter.