[I thought I might try a bit of an experiment. What if I just post what I write? It’s the editing that kills me – most of my stuff ends up on the cutting room floor, unpublished. Instead, I’m going to just post what I’ve dashed off. It’s a bit of a ramble, but let’s see if it leads anywhere interesting. It’s only a blog, you know.]
Monday, March 10, 2014 – 10am
I bought the butter and the roast beef – I went for the store-cooked on the off-chance that it might be less processed. Even something like roast beef frequently has monosodium glutamate added. They also had Kerry Gold Irish Swiss cheese and as it’s entirely possible that the Kerry Gold cheese was made from grass-fed cows I bought a pound on impulse.
I am in a very odd mood that I am challenged to explain. I’m neither happy nor sad. Somewhat ‘robotic’ is perhaps one description.
I did weigh myself before leaving the house – 228.8.
I wasn’t particularly hungry until mid afternoon when I had some of the roast beef with butter. Perhaps a 1/3rd stick with maybe 2-3 ounces of roast beef. I also had salt with it. I don’t add salt as a condiment normally, but I do with roast beef.
I didn’t try the swiss cheese until I got home. I had this with a leftover grass-fed hamburger and boy, was that good. I also had a glass of vanilla unsweetened almond milk while I cooked some grass-fed beef that needed to be cooked before it went bad. I also stopped at the Whole foods and bought 2 very fatty pork bellies. These will make for very ketosis-friendly meals – one I stored in the fridge, the other I froze.
Is it a placebo effect or do I already feel a little better? I think maybe it *isn’t* a placebo effect as I *have* been doing low carb for 10+ years.
Putting weight loss aside, I feel better mentally on a low carb diet. Not as indifferent – and it’s only a day.
Tuesday, March 11, 2014 – 225.8
I woke before the alarm and felt OK. It was a big contrast from the day before when my back was hurting so much that I had a hard time getting out of bed.
While my diet might seem extreme so far, there’s a reason for it beyond calories and carbs: by narrowing it down so I have a better chance of leaving out the potential that a myriad of food ingredients – natural and man-made – might cause undetectable problems. By undetectable I mean undetectable by doctors – not that there aren’t symptoms.
Low carb bread, for me, is a prime example. Despite the fact the label states 5 grams of net carbs per slice, it seems like more than a slice impacts my weight loss. The same amount of carbs from other sources would not impact me the same.
Atkins bars are another example. When I’ve used them, I’ve found more than one or two a day can cause a slowing or stalling of weight loss.
So here’s the quandary: there is something suspect in some foods that are low carb that impact me. Unless I were to have a battery of expensive and dubious medical tests, I can’t know what they are. So what if I ‘act as if’ these substances are in a lot of what I eat and limit my eating to a few very simple items and see what happens?
There’s no ‘believing’ involved here. I don’t know what these substances are and will probably never know, but by removing as many of them as possible I can test a simple hypothesis: are there substances in my food that affect my mood and weight loss?
Yesterday I consumed 7 items: roast beef, ground beef, swiss cheese, coffee, cream, almond milk and low carb ketchup. Aside from the last two, there’s no ingredient labels – these are minimally-processed foods.
The ingredients more than double when you add in the actual ingredients from the almond milk and low carb ketchup. Together they have about 17 different ingredients (a day of eating processed foods can run into the hundreds). I cannot know if any of these chemicals have an impact on me individually, and it will be damn tough to determine if they have a threshold level below which they are innocuous and above which they cause mischief.
What can be determined is very crude, and one is hard to measure. The first is my weight. A scale can be very accurate, but peoples’ weight varies from day to day based on how much water they retain. A low carb diet causes a rapid drop of water weight because the body needs water to handle carbs. Ditch the carbs and you ditch the water. But there are other body processes that occasionally need to store water and a daily weigh-in will sometimes show a weight gain when there actually was a fat loss – just because the human body is, well, unknowable on a chemical level.
Sure – researchers can do tests, produce papers, and make conclusions, but frequently their methods are suspect and their conclusions don’t match the data. You can’t know this unless you read all these papers, decipher the unnecessarily professorial language, analyze the data, then scrutinize their analytical methods to see if any monkey business went on to give them the numbers they were hoping for.
This whole topic could turn into a very big rant but I’ll stop here and cover the second item that I can measure, though this one is perceptual and even worse than the weight on the scale.
That is hunger.
I’ve already written about the different types of hunger: cellular (you are actually hungry), food-based (something you ate actually triggers hunger), and psychological (comfort food, social pressure, and scores of other things). I’ve spent a lot of time analyzing my own hunger and a real, honest-to-goodness symptom of what I’ll call a ‘false hunger’ is having food fantasies even though I know I have eaten an adequate amount.
I notice the difference. Hunger is still present, of course – it’s a natural and necessary reaction to not eating. It feels different, though – it’s of a different type – one that is easier to manage – at least right now.
3/11/14 – 7:30pm
My day consisted of a few tablespoons of cream in my morning coffee, then more coffee at work. Early afternoon I finally got hungry and I started to feel the familiar weirdness that I have come to associate with a ‘high’ because I know what it means.
I had brought 2 roast beef ‘sandwiches’ – a few slices of roast beef with maybe 2 tablespoons of butter, along with salt and pepper. I position the butter carefully, slide it into a sandwich bag and squish the butter with my palm. This leaves a relatively flat sandwich-like object – sans bread – that I can eat out of the bag. I had one of the two I brought. I had a bit more coffee late afternoon with some coconut oil and along with my slight headache – another good sign.
When I got home I tested for ketones. The test strip turned a dark red.
The ol’ roast beef and butter trick works again – within 36 hours I’m in ketosis.
The next things might seem outlandish or preposterous, but I promise you it is true: I weighed myself and was 221.6. I lost slightly more than 7 pounds in 36 hours.
No wonder I feel weird – can you imagine what a profound change this must be for a human body to alter a weight that quickly? Granted – I am a ‘special case’ – I’ve been doing this stuff for years. My body has a LOT of practice with running on ketones. Most assuredly it’s primarilt water weight, but my pants still enjoy the extra room and my wedding band goes on easier.
I throw in the low carb mix tape my body knows so well and it’s ready to party with little resistance.
I was hungry when I got home so I put a few ounces of roast beef and that awesome swiss cheese on a romaine lettuce leaf heart, slathered it in mayonnaise, and topped with pepper and another leaf. I had that with a cup of plain yogurt made from grass-fed milk.
This was adequate. I went to bed.
Wednesday, March 12, 2014 – 221.4
Woke a few minutes before the alarm. This is another curious side-effect I’ve noticed about ketogenic low carb: I seem to need less sleep and wake refreshed.
To be continued…maybe.