Diet Fail 2019 – Day 6: Sadly I’m in the Wrong Multiverse and Poems About Donuts

I think I made it to that zone where hunger can be managed with only a smidgen of willpower and cravings don’t grab you by the hand and lead you to the fridge to find that perfect ‘something’ you didn’t know you want.

Running errands with my younger daughter, we found our way to a McDonald’s where she – an athlete in fine shape – ordered a Big Mac and fries.

McDonald’s is *my* temple of cheap comfort food! To walk in there and not order anything was an insult to the congregants.

The fact that I didn’t care that much makes me a heretic to my tribe. There’s was only a small voice in my head that whined: ‘this isn’t fair’. I know that – we should live in a world where I could gorge on fast food pizza, burgers, and sub sandwiches, wash it down with beer, and find improvements in health and weight loss ensue.

If we do indeed live in a multiverse – a theory by some physicists that apparently live in states where marijuana is legal – that there are an infinite number of universes with different properties and an infinite number of ourselves, then there must be one where ‘fast food is health food’.

This ain’t it.

And *of course* the missus brought home donuts – the plain type without frosting – my favorite – and my daughter commented on how heavy and greasy they were.

The Homer Simpson in me sighed but in the grand scheme of things it just didn’t register all that much.

I *did* go out to get a few things to add to my food list and there was an actual vegetable, believe-it-or-not: romaine lettuce. I also bought turkey breast, among other things.

I’m starting to formulate a plan for less chaotic eating – I think some people call it ‘meal planning’, but that’s the future.

Except for coffee with cream, I had eaten nothing all day and it was only at 5pm that I had my only meal of the day. I rarely buy turkey breast and it was an impulse buy. I had some older but still serviceable romaine lettuce – about 1.5 hearts. I split this in 3rds, split the turkey in 3rds, smeared the turkey with avocado mayo, then wrapped the turkey on the outside of the lettuce and ate these rollups.

One thing I’ve always found in keto is the structural integrity of foods can be tough to navigate. That is the genius of sliced-bread: you can put nearly anything between 2 slices and you’ve not only got food, but an edible container in which to convey said foodstuff into your pie hole without bothersome accoutrements like plates and forks.

I found this quite good. I must have been hankering for green veggies and this hit the spot.

It also ended up being my only meal of the day. While later on in the evening I toyed with the idea of eating more, the hunger did not overcome the disinclination to get out of bed so I went to sleep instead.

Being the only meal of the day, it was relatively easy to tally my intake to an accuracy of probably +/- 20%

I use the Cronometer app and this is the breakdown it gave me:

Calories: 1176
Protein: 66 grams
Net Carbs: 19 grams
Fat: 89 grams

These numbers aren’t bad, but they are not ideal. I’m OK with that because it’s the behavior that surround this eating that are more important right now than getting deep into a macro fetish.

I’m indifferent to the donuts that sit 10 feet away from me. They do not sing a siren song that tells me that, warmed slightly in the microwave, they would be *ideal* with a big glass of milk.

It’s not like when I wrote a poem about a donut.

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Diet Fail 2019 – Day 5: What I’m Eating and How I Smell

So another day has passed and I’m still at it. Whoo!

Ketones measured by the meter are at 1.0 in the AM. They usually climb to their highest by late afternoon. My Blood glucose was 116 – down by 10 points from yesterday morn.

I’m not really enjoying it though. I had been going great guns at keto during the summer. I lost about 20 lbs., but then I took a new job that I really like, but it is all-consuming. There’s just so much interesting work to do! Even given it has been a good experience, there was an upsurge in stress and this (mostly) was dealt with through food. Bad food. I find nothing can calm the soul better than 2 slices of pepperoni pizza from a local place that knows how to make pizza – not this Domino’s crap or the other chain faux pizza. Adding bread back into my diet also stimulated the dopamine I craved to battle jangly nerves. I’m not a sweets person – my problem is burgers, sandwiches, and pizza. There was also red wine mixed in there as well.

The problem with this way of eating for me is that I become ravenous. I am hungry even when uncomfortably full. There’s biochemical reasons for this – a bunch of ’em – but I won’t go there now. At present, all that needs to be known is when I eat like I want to, the weight piles on, my appetite goes through the roof, and I am one fat, sluggish, cloudy-headed dork.

That sucks. You only live once and for me, the evidence is clear: I can’t eat as I’d like because I’d like to eat crap every meal, every day. I also don’t have a well-developed ability for ‘moderation’, which many do and they helpfully try recommending it – but it is not in my DNA.

So here I am doing keto. There’s worse ways to go through one’s life, I suppose, but it still sucks. I am also not a big fan of trying to make concoctions to simulate high-carb foods. If I hit the lottery and could hire a personal chef, then perhaps it would be an option, but I’m not someone who looks forward to cooking so my meals tend to be simple and austere.

My meals don’t follow a schedule as I eat when hungry and our family does not adhere to formal mealtimes. I eat when hungry and, at least at present, don’t measure things. Right now I’m just starting to dial-in the foods I need to eat and the quantities. Baby steps.

So what have I been eating to get into ketosis fast? My first goto was an old trick: deli roast beef wrapped around a third of a stick of butter. This is pretty radical, but when I do this early on, I very quickly go into ketosis. I also notice that cravings go away in 72-hours – at least the physical aspect. the psychological aspect still remains. I still miss cigarettes every day and I stopped last decade.

This is making me a bit mopey.

Have you noticed yet that I’m not the most motivational of diet blogs? Where’s that cheery, peppy, positive vibe, dude? Sorry – you ain’t gonna find it here – at least now.

Other things I’ve allowed myself is tuna salad made with avocado mayo that costs a king’s ransom. I ate it on pork rinds. Pork rinds are NOT a particularly quality food as I’ve read the proteins are damaged and can’t really count toward your necessary protein intake, but they do have a cracker crunch available nowhere else in the keto universe – at least not without some kitchen magic or costly store-bought substitutes. You can get a big’ol bag of the stuff at Walmart for two bucks.

I’ve also eaten hot dogs wrapped in a slice of cheese with mustard. I’ve eaten the magic yogurt with inulin that I make myself. I also oven cooked chicken thighs with oil and seasonings and ate this with melted provolone cheese as well as topped with cream cheese. I’ve also made burgers and had them on a slice of cheese without ketchup. Not doing ketchup really sucks. There’s stupid-expensive ‘Primal Kitchen’ ketchup I simply don’t have the heart nor budget to buy. As part of my diet I also try to eliminate all artificial sweeteners – again, I got my reasons but don’t feel like explaining now.

I allow myself small amounts of real sugar as I will eat Ghiradelli 92% Dark Chocolate as my only sweet. Think of it as a palate cleanser more than anything as I will only have a few squares at most in the evening.

For drinks, I am fond of coffee with cream – perhaps too much as I can drink a pot, a Trader Joe’s Turmeric and Ginger Tea that can soothe a stomach that just drank a pot of coffee, and Trader Joe’s seltzer.

This isn’t sustainable. There was no mention of vegetables and I *am* fond of them. Some people believe they are good for you, too. I need to cook more and plan more. hopefully that will start next week as I let the ketones do their appetite killing work and my brain fog lifts. I mean , last night I actually found myself motivated to tackle a few projects I’ve been putting off. I resisted the urge, but *did* find myself tackling some tasks rather than avoiding them.

By the second day, my Tums addiction disappeared as my chronic indigestion went away. That always happens, too.

I also noticed that it was late in the afternoon when I asked myself: did I eat today?

Forgetting to eat is one effect of my body running on ketones

This is the magic of ketogenic living for me.

Not so magical is the stench I give off the first few days. Day 2 and 3 I smelled pretty ripe. This has been a standard side effect of going into ketosis for me (which I have done a hundred times since 2003). It lasts a few days, I do not know the reason why, but it does subside. I’m much less odoriferous now.

TMI? Remember – I’m not asking you to read this…

Diet Fail 2019 – Day 4: My Supplement Stack

Hello, weary traveler of the Web!

Perhaps you are looking for a quality resource for ketogenic diet information and thought you’d take a look around?

Boy, are you in the wrong place!

I’m more of a ketogenic ‘performance artist’ as is evidenced by 500+ posts since 2007.

Still fat, by the way.

I *did* lose weight on a keto diet and kept a lot of it off for nearly a decade, but for some unknown reason, having my appendix removed in 2013 caused the weight to pile back on and I’ve never been able to get back to that 200 lb. weight that, while still a bit hefty, was OK.

I’m at 264lb. right now and would like to get rid of the ’64’ part of the above number.

I went on Atkins in 2003 and in 2 years went from 260 to 180. That was 16 years ago. I was keto before the term ‘keto’ was coined.

I’m way the fuck older, but given my success that first time, have perhaps deluded myself that keto is the only way to go. I’ve never bothered to try any other diet since.

There’s a few reasons why. I won’t be exhaustive, but put out a few things that draw me to this approach:

I don’t need that much willpower. Ketones in your body are an appetite suppressant. By day 2 doing this I was in ketosis and my hunger calmed. I still get hungry, but not ravenous. Carbs make me hungry even while I’m eating them – I’m thinking about what I’ll eat next even before I’m finished eating what I got. If I can get through the first few days it becomes way easier.

I can either prevent diabetes or manage it with fewer (or no) meds. Even the American Diabetes Association says this now, with a kind of ‘oops, I pooped my pants’ look on their faces after years of saying it’s dangerous and doesn’t work.

I like the way my brain operates on ketones. This is a weird one to explain. Believe it or not, people actually pay me to think (I’m still amazed at that fact). I have years of proof that when my body is in ketosis and a good part of my brain is using ketone bodies for fuel instead of glucose, I think clearer. I’m calmer and more motivated. I gotta keep those paychecks comin’!

I can lose weight if I apply myself. I can easily stay fat eating keto. I need a calorie deficit to lose weight. The appetite suppressant effects of the diet make it easier. The brain effects make me stick to it even when the scale does not move.

So with that brief intro, I’m going to segue into my supplement stack. I don’t feel like going into the ‘why’ at this moment, but I just set up my supplements for the next 30 days and thought I’d document it.

Now I’m gonna warn you: don’t do what I do! This is not a recommendation. I don’t give advice. I don’t have the background to give advice. In fact, this could be VERY BAD advice for some people. Fish oil is a blood thinner. If you are already taking blood-thinning meds you could trigger a Hemorrhagic stroke! Iodine can be bad for people with certain diseases of the thyroid. Those Brazil nuts? I take them for the selenium in them. The stuff has a very narrow window where it’s healthy – too little is no good, but too much over time can lead to selenosis, which can cause hair loss, nail loss, nausea, irritability, fatigue and some nerve damage.

And the potassium?

potassium levels can rise to high levels, leading to dangerous heart rhythm problems and even cardiac arrest. Because of this potential danger, the FDA limits over-the-counter potassium supplements (including multivitamin-mineral pills) to less than 100 milligrams (mg).

I’m taking 10 times that amount.

So remember: I am a Stunt Dieter. Do Not try This as Home!

Supplement Dose Amount Active dose Cost/Day
Magnesium Malate 1250mg 3 450mg $0.19
Vitamin K2 MK7 Version 200mg 2 200mg $0.33
Costco Vitamin D3 6000IU 3 6000IU $0.07
Iodine 300mcg 2 300mcg $0.05
Probiotic n/a 1 n/a $1.24
Carlson’s The Very Finest Fish Oil 2tsp 2 3200mg $1.26
B12 Sublingual 5000mcg 1 5000mcg $0.07
Mature Multi 1 pill 1 n/a $0.03
Brazil Nuts 1 nut 1 68-91mg $0.05
Potassium Citrate 1/2 tsp n/a 1000mg $0.05

The total for the above daily dose: $3.34 US.

Until next time.

Instant Pot L. Reuteri Yogurt – The Exact Instructions

(Note: this post contains links to products I used. I DO NOT make any money off these links. Buy ’em – don’t buy ’em – I don’t care.)

UPDATED 08/13/19 with a few more tips.

The big first tip: It’s really easy to make once you get the hang of it! I make it sound awful but when you take the time to get it right the first time, it’s easy after that.

I have read Dr. William Davis’ Undoctored and decided to finally take the plunge and go the full monte. In a nutshell, he recommends a ketogenic-ish diet and specific supplementation so it’s not far from my usual attempt. It’s a ‘clean keto’ where grains are prohibited as well as artificial stuff. I think it is well thought out and I like how he presents it: as a cardiologist, he sticks to science and where he prescribes a certain course of action that might not be accepted science, he notes that his approach is experimental and as new information comes in he will refine his approach.

That’s the kind of scientific thinking I like to see. I don’t take is as he’s pushing snake oil as much as he’s saying: “Try this. It might work for you and it’s unlikely to harm you. Let me know your results and I’ll continue to refine my protocol.”

Alas, it is a fussy diet in that the doc states it must be followed in full to get the synergistic benefits – doing it only halfway gets you far less than half the benefits.

One of the trickier aspects – at least to me – is you have to make what I call his ‘magic yogurt’. Even Dr. Davis refers to this as ‘wacky’ in one of his videos. I’d even say it sounds ‘quacky’ given all the benefits he attributes to it (you can read them here). I have no idea if the stuff actually does anything or if Dr. Davis is full of shit, but I don’t think so – at least I believe *he* sincerely believes it helps – and I’m up for a new experiment.

This was the one part of the diet that I waited until now to try. I started the  diet 15 days ago and have been dialing in all the different parts. The yogurt is the last piece, I think.

To me, the instructions to make the stuff I found on the Internet were vague and a lot of people were spending a lot of time to fail at the attempt and throw out batch after batch. I did a lot of Google searches, came across recipes that didn’t provide me the details I wanted, and even did a chat with Instant Pot which yielded little help.

The problems with the instructions are that they try to cover too many different scenarios. I found it confusing (maybe I’m stupid).

This week I took the plunge and made the yogurt. I’m detailing here the EXACT steps I took for my own records and thought I’d share.

Continue reading “Instant Pot L. Reuteri Yogurt – The Exact Instructions”

Diet 2019: My 20lb. Fat Fast Challenge – Day 8

(Miss Day 0? – It’s here)

Day 8 – Monday, Feb. 25, 2019 – 8:20pm – 243.5 lbs.

Hold on to your socks, folks! Today – day 8(!) – might just be the first day where I actually reach my goal!

Black coffee, an Atkins shake, a Dunkin Donuts coffee with cream, 2 burgers on lettuce with 2 slices of goat cheese and sugar free ketchup.

Totals based on Cronometer:

Calories: 1112

Protein: 86 grams

Fat: 74 grams

Net Carbs: 9 grams

Maybe not as ‘fat-fasty’ as I would have liked but compared to the last 8 days (if I counted right) I swung for the fences today.

I have an hour or so left until bed – let’s see if I screw this one up.

About My Use of the Word ‘Fast’

So a bit about the word ‘fast’. No eating anything is technically a ‘fast’ – and I’m not going to do that. Now fasting has increasing evidence that it can be healthy, and least to my small brain, but I have no intention of doing any heroic water-only week-long fasts. Some people do these 4 times a year, or every other month.

My plan is to do about zero one-week fasts per year.

The maximum fast I’m targeting would be 24 hours – a one meal a day (or ‘OMAD’ to geeks in the know). This is as far as I’ll take it. I will shoot for a 16:8 fast (16 hours without eating and 2 meals 8 hours apart) or even a 18:6 or 20:4 fast). Ideally, I’ll try to split my calories evenly between the two.

I can do this without being insanely hungry, though I think my years of low carb make this easier. I’ve also been doing this a lot in the past year so I’m used to it – in fact, it is *eating* that makes me hungry more than anything else!

So that’s the time element of the fast. Then there’s the food element.

When I do break the fast the meal should be mostly fat – if I’m adhering to what I’ve set out to do.

It’s not the scale that interests me the most though, it’s the ketones.

I’m one of those people that some keto folks accuse of ‘chasing ketones’. Guilty as charged. I believe they make me feel better, think clearer, reduce my blood glucose more, and possibly have a number of neuroprotective and anti-cancer benefits.

The weight loss? It comes along for the ride.

Now – don’t believe my claims just because I said them. I’m not authority. Use Google and come to your own conclusions. I could cite a long list of articles that discuss some of these claims, but most people won’t read them and I don’t feel like it – but I also don’t want you to believe me just because I said it.

If I felt I had anything to prove, I would. I don’t, so if you choose to read along, again keep in mind this is for my accountability and your entertainment – nothing more.

Diet 2019: My 20lb. Fat Fast Challenge – Day 3

(Miss Day 0? – It’s here)

Day 3 – Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019 – 7:45pm – 242.0 lbs.

Despite the weight loss, I’ve done horrible.

The only thing I’ve done is maintained the 16-hour or more fast, and hae been taking my psyllium daily.

Black coffee in the AM, then at noon or so the psyllium. I have been having Trader Joe’s Ginger-Turmeric Tea in the early afternoon. It’s not only tasty but soothes a stomach that has had nothing but coffee in it for 12+ hours.

I know this is something not everyone could do without feeling awful – but I actually feel OK. I was hungry the first day but not really since.

The evenings have been crap. Wine and then whatever food was about. There was a birthday, Valentine’s Day, dining out, and leftovers.

My portions aren’t huge, so I would imagine I’ve been taking in a reasonable amount of calories and probably between 50-100 grams of carbs per day.

I am going to endeavor to get better though there *is* an especially high amount of chaos in my life at this time (what a drama queen).