Just Start your Diet, Will Ya?!? – Day 13

Day 13 – Wednesday, January 6, 2016 – Wt: 267.4 Blood Glucose 108 – 72.4 pounds to go – 6.2 lbs. lost – Ketosis ?

I woke before the alarm and was able to get up – that a big improvement over yesterday, though I didn’t think I’m ready to take on the world just yet. I functioned OK, felt well and was in good spirits despite having to do an immensely tedious job that required a lot of concentration while also being long and boring.

Being able to do it seems proof my brain is functioning fine.

The operant feeling for the day was an unusual lack of hunger. Unusual because carbs late at night usually make me hungry the next day. Possibly because I ate only a small amount yesterday? Though it was pasta and garlic bread, there’s a good chance the whole thing was under 50 grams of net carbs since it was a small portion.

There was also no stomach discomfort even though I had my coffee and cream in the AM.

I ate a cup of chili at about 5pm. A cup is small, but it does the job these days. I’ve also noticed the unnoticed: the McDonald’s that used to be a regular stop on the way home doesn’t seem to even get a thought these days. That’s a big win.

I had an evil idea – or at least one of those ideas that gets you into trouble. When I go home I was 265.4 and in ketosis – and thought that I might have just ONE drink of vodka before eating. Nothing wrong with one – right? Well, it turned into two, which again is not necessarily a big deal – alcohol is not a carb, a protein, nor a fat – it’s in its own category. You CAN drink on a low carb diet but it will slow weight loss.

I think the vodka (on the rocks with lemon juice, BTW) was more of an issue in messing up my food choices. Cheese, mayo, and lettuce? That was fine. The leftover tuna salad? Fine, if I skipped the bread I had it on. And the tortellini? No excuse there, but the excuse I gave was ‘just a little bit’.

Let’s be honest: my diet still sucks but it sucks less than it did compared to before I started. I’m getting better but there’s room for improvement. All this needs to be balanced with a way to sustain sanity: would I have given up and made NO progress if I had been more strict?

I feel quite sane at this point – so maybe half-assed is all the ass I can put into the game for now and I must be patient, persistent and forgiving to myself as I bumble my way toward my goal.

That sounds a lot like me.

 

Just Start your Diet, Will Ya?!? – Day 12

Day 12 – Tuesday, January 5, 2016 – Wt: 267.4 Blood Glucose ? – 72.4 pounds to go – 6.2 lbs. lost – Ketosis ?

Kind of a lost day.

All I did was sleep. I couldn’t drink coffee and my stomach was doing loop-de-loops. I drove my kids to school, hoping I would feel good enough that when I got home I could shower and get to work.

Uh-uh.

I came home, went straight to bed and slept almost 8 hours straight. Then I fell back to sleep and slept until 7:30.

I really wasn’t hungry, but I was dehydrated and had a lot of water. The kids had tortellini with garlic bread. I had a small bowl of that with some of the bread. That was the only thing I ate and drank for the whole day.

I then went back to bed around 9:30 and had no problem falling asleep.

 

Just Start your Diet, Will Ya?!? – Day 11

Day 11 – Monday, January 4, 2016 – Wt: 269.4 – Blood Glucose  97 –  4.2 Lbs. lost – 74.4 pounds to go – in Ketosis

I try to console myself about the fact that I must return to work today with the thought that, unlike other times at home with a fridge steps away, I not only resisted grazing on whatever I could find, but in fact, got into ketosis for most of that time as well as saw my blood glucose go down into the normal range. Yes – there was New Year’s – and that was another success – it didn’t derail the diet.

With my focus more on the ketones and blood glucose I am much calmer. With the weight secondary I am not frustrated – nor should I. My goal was 2 Lbs./week and that looks to be on track – so what’s there to be frustrated about?

I’ll even put this out there: even if I don’t lose the weight I’d like, I’m in a better place psychologically and physically than I was prior. My energy is up (a little), my apathy is down (let’s see how work goes, though), my mind feels clearer – and I’ve consumed no junk food since before Xmas – with New Year’s a brief exception.

All good stuff, and I’d like to think, a great start to the year.

Then the wheels came off.

What I ate

I had made some low carb chili awhile back and thawed some out. One cup was my lunch. Of course, before this was my coffee and cream at home as well as black coffee at work. I was feeling weird all day – probably the ketones – as it was woozy with a slight headache.

Around 2:30 I had an energy drink as I was battling a fatigue unlike that of a big carb-filled lunch that just makes you incredibly sleepy but more a heaviness without tiredness. I didn’t notice any mental fatigue – I seemed sharp and in a good mood, really, for a first day back at work.

As the day went on I felt weirder and weirder. I also had a rather large headache, though I took nothing for it. I felt it might just be the adjustment to ketones. I also felt that same craving for something bad which seemed to accompany each time I seemed to really start to crank out the ketones.

This time I gave into the craving. I stopped on the way home at Trader Joe’s, got a bottle of vodka, and had a drink when I got home. Then another. I felt fine. A little vodka isn’t even going to ruin my diet all that much – it’s not like it was a piece of cheesecake.

The third one was not such a good idea. I have noticed this before: drinking during ketosis can turn you into a lightweight – after the third drink, which I didn’t finish, I began to feel sick.

I had checked my ketones when I got home and the strip was quite dark. I seemed to be producing a lot of them.

I was eating tuna salad and pork rinds – and had been feeling nauseous even before I got out of work. It got a lot worse. At this point I thought that some carbs might make me feel a little better – I can pick up the diet tomorrow – but in my addle-pated state I grabbed the first thing I could find – the kid’s leftover pizza. This *did* make me feel a bit better – for the moment.

Then I had a slice of cheesecake.

I went to sleep figuring I’d get back on course tomorrow, but instead I felt awfully sick. I awoke and almost a 1/2 dozen Tums couldn’t contain the pain and discomfort. I actually had 2 bid glasses of milk and this did settle my stomach. I went back to bed but drifted in and out of sleep. When it was time to get up I felt in no way able to get up. My head ached. It seemed more the continuation of the headache from the afternoon before rather than a hangover. Every muscle in my body ached. Was I coming down with the flu?

I doubted it. I believe it was some toxic combo of ketones, vodka, and crappy carbs that did me in. I could deal with that better than a case of the flu.

And maybe the vodka was a lesson learned. I needed to have it to show myself it makes me sick as a dog. It will probably hold less allure in the future after this.

Just Start your Diet, Will Ya?!? – Day 10

Day 10 – Sunday, January 3, 2016 – Wt: 268.2 – Blood Glucose  105 –  5.4 Lbs. lost – 78.6 pounds to go – no Ketosis

I woke at 3:30am – most likely because the TV was blaring and the cover had been pulled off me. The temperatures in the Northeast have been warm to the point of breaking records – Xmas  eve it was 72 degrees, for example – but now the temperatures are what you’d expect for January and the noise and the cold awoke me.

What might be uncharacteristic was me getting up after I turned the TV off. Normally I wouldn’t have the oomph to do much more than to crawl back to bed. Anomaly or diet? I can’t be sure, though waking early (though not *this* early) was one of the hoped-for side effects of my 2016 diet.

As I mentioned in one of my previous posts, I wanted more from this diet than just to lose weight – I wanted to feel younger than I felt in 2014. It’s early in the game and I have been on vacation, which is a sort of artificial life, so it is hard to draw any hard conclusions. I DO think I am a little less apathetic.

It might just be the vacation time, though – let’s see if this holds when fully back in the rat race again.

Usually my Tums consumption goes down. This time? Not so much. Again – perhaps the holiday played a part in this and I’m still recovering.

My body is telling me: go back to sleep, fool – and this is after a big mug of coffee. OK – you win this one.

I woke again at 9:30.

My stats for today are a little off. When I woke at 3:30 I was in ketosis. At 9:30 I wasn’t. I also took my meds so my fasting glucose might be lower than it would be if I had not gotten up.

What I ate

It wasn’t until 1:30 that I had cheese and mayo on iceberg lettuce again. I swear – I could live on this stuff. What I really want to do is crack open some of my recipes here – or maybe go spelunking around the Internet for some new recipes – but the house – long-neglected – needs cleaning so I put in a few hours of that before my stomach was uncomfortable. Not necessarily hungry, mind you – I had only given it coffee and cream since 3am – and the last real food was 15-16 hours ago. It wanted to digest something other than itself, so I fed it and it gurgled happily – and I enjoyed my cheese, mayo & lettuce as well.

Toward evening I made this creamed spinach recipe – I actually spitballed it, but came out pretty good. It left noo room ofr more food, that’s for sure.

I made pasta fr the kids  when they came back from their activities. They also brought a baguette with them. I didn’t notice *either*.

This is what I love about a ketogenic diet: once you’re in the groove you don’t have to fight against cravings for foods you have a deep psychological attachment for – it does that for you. In any other circumstance – I would have eaten some of both.

 

 

Recipe – The Cream Spinach Fat Bomb

Quick and easy to make – and quite good.

I’d better be right about fat being harmless though or I might be in a body bag after this one.

Ingredients:

  • 2 boxes frozen chopped spinach
  • 1 stick salted butter
  • 1/2 box of cream cheese
  • parm cheese (the stuff in the cardboard can)

Directions

Thaw the spinach in the microwave for 10 minutes. It will leak so place the boxes on a plate to catch the leakage.

Once thawed, let stand for 15 minutes at least – it will be too hot to handle the next step.

Now that it’s cooled, use a strainer to squeeze out as much of the excess liquid as possible – but don’t kill yourself over this – good enough is good enough

In a microwave-safe bowl, toss in the spinach, along with a stick of butter and the cream cheese. After about 4 minutes the butter and cream cheese should easily mix into the spinach without fuss and to my surprise got absorbed into the spinach. There were no puddles of butter as I feared.

The taste was good but a little lacking. A healthy sprinkle of the canned parm cheese made it perfect.

It *looked* like ordinary creamed spinach – but we know better. This innocent-looking creamed spinach was a Cheesecake Factory-style Fat Bomb made to look ‘lite’ and ‘healthy’. It was one of those menu items where you’d go: “Oh – I don’t know *how* they can make creamed spinach so tasty!”

Just for the heck of it I ran the numbers for the whole thing in my LoseIt! iPhone App:

  • Calories: 1,408 (1,200 of these calories come from fat)
  • Fat: 135g (81%)
  • Carbs: 37g (10%)
  • Protein: 33g (9%)

I would say that realistically this serves 4 – which means I ate 4 servings in one sitting.

Me and my body need to have a little ‘sit down’ to talk about ‘portion control’ – ya think?

This would be a splendid recipe for a pot luck – and you can look ’em in the eye and say it’s ‘diet’ – though change the subject if they start asking questions about the recipe. Based on the crowd at the New Year’s party I went to, this would have been gone in a flash.

Need I say it? This is safe for a ketogenic diet. In fact, it is *so* safe you might want to dial it back a notch – though this is ideal for people doing a ‘fat fast’ (though you don’t eat as much as I did). It is also vegetarian as long as they are the type that do dairy – there’s so many variants it’s hard to keep track.

Just Start your Diet, Will Ya?!? – Day 9

Day 9 – Saturday, January 2, 2016 – Wt: 269.8 – Blood Glucose 124 – 3.8 Lbs. lost – 74.8 pounds to go – no Ketosis

I think the above numbers answer the questions asked by well-meaning folks: “Can’t you cheat just a little?” “Do you really need to be on such a severe diet?”

A…no, I really can’t. Um, yeah – I think I do.

As I was not all that bad yesterday, I can only guess that there was a bit of a delay in the impact of New Year’s festivities, otherwise it is hard to explain the blood glucose number.

Also – if I was to tell people my doctor put me on a therapy that knocked up to 35 points off my fasting blood glucose in less than a week and has side effects of diminishing hunger as well as weight loss, though it comes with side effects that don’t allow me alcohol nor much in the way of  carbs, would they bat an eye – especially if a pill was involved?

Probably not.

Actually, I think this is how every gimmicky infomercial diet works. Spin a carnival wheel and pick a substance – maybe something exotic. Put it in a bottle, call it ‘Fat Slasher’ or something like that, then instruct the rubes to take one pill a day and follow the meal plan enclosed with the pills.

The pill could be filled with sawdust – it’s not doing anything – it’s the meal plan – but that pill allows us to confuse cause and effect and make the hucksters peddling it wealthy.

What I ate

It should go without mentioning that I had coffee and cream not long after I woke. And a bit more early afternoon. I also had my psyllium, and around 2:30 I had 2 slices of American cheese and a single hot Italian sausage, cooked in it’s grease, and topped with the canned parm cheese.

Mid-afternoon I began to feel tired but not tired, a little cranky, and began having cravings for anything on my ‘prohibited items’ list. The cravings did not discriminate but jumped from item to item – all would be fine. I had the luxury to do so and went to bed, though I really did not sleep, but instead lie there with my eyes closed. They were bothering me and I had a slight headache.

I finally got up around 6:30 and I tested – yep – ketones.

I suppose it’s not unreasonable to think that since I had a massive craving just before first going into ketosis on day 3 (I think) that there might be some physiological effect that rises up to a psychological one during the transition from the body fueling itself from glucose to one fueled by ketones. Let’s face it: glucose is the body’s first choice. For a lot of people, it might be the better choice.

Then there’s those of us who believe that the backup fuel system – ketosis – is a better choice for whatever our reasons: diabetes control, weight loss, epilepsy, etc., and we don’t give our bodies what they prefer. It doesn’t mean it’s necessarily bad for them, but they still protest. Sometimes your body doesn’t know better – look at autoimmune diseases, for example, where the body attacks itself. Allergies are another example.

It is important to ‘listen to your body’, but that doesn’t mean you listen to EVERYTHING.

Sometimes your body is just being dumb.

I do realize that this conclusion brings with it great personal responsibility. *I* might be the dumb one in this – or any situation where I am ignoring what my body says.

But my body was telling me to go out and get some vodka – I can be reasonably sure in this instance I was NOT ignoring some deep wisdom – except perhaps: “I’ll get him drunk and THEN he’ll eat carbs.”

Instead, I ended up cooking some stuffed pork chops – all seasoned and stuffed from Trader Joe’s – and had a portion without the stuffing. After that I had maybe 5-6 slices of cheese in a wrapper of iceberg lettuce with mayo. Iceberg is much better at mimicking the utility of the missing bread by acting as a means to hold the thing.

I finished up with dessert – about 1/2 a 4 oz. container of cream fraise, then went to bed and read for a while. I remember looking at the time right before sleep  – 11:30pm.

 

 

 

A List of Low Carb Ketogenic Foods I’ve Eaten – Day 8

If you’ve been following along so far you’ll have noticed that for the most part I don’t eat ‘meals’ the way normal humans do. I eat when I’m hungry, and, more times than not, improvise. The following are the foods I ate in this past week – not including the foods that are not part of the plan. Part of my point in doing this is to start a list of acceptable foods as well as expand on it. For example: there’s no fish here.

I should update this periodically as a reference for myself when my mind goes blank and I ask myself: what am I going to eat?

The Foods

Meat

  1. Eggs (Eggs are NOT dairy – they are embryonic meat – got it?)
  2. Hot Italian Sausages – from the supermarket. This is in ‘mystery meat’ category – God Know what’s in it
  3. Liverwurst – a nitrate free version
  4. Rib roast – my wife made this. I need to learn to make this myself
  5. Thumann’s hot dogs – I LUV that nitrate flavor.
  6. Roast duck – uncommon. I won’t be eating much of this
  7. Deli roast beef
  8. Pork rinds – a very strange sort of meat – but meat regardless

Dairy

  1. Heavy cream – usually high-quality grass-fed stuff I pay an arm and a leg for
  2. Butter – Same deal as the heavy cream – I try to buy the best
  3. Sour cream
  4. Cream cheese
  5. American cheese – I bought actual real cheese – Andrew & Everett – with a website this bad, their cheese must be good
  6. Cream Fraise – think of a yogurt except it’s 100% fat and 800 calories per container. Pure cultured cream
  7. Parm cheese – the dry stuff in the can

Vegetables 

  1. Onions
  2. Tomatoes
  3. Garlic
  4. Brussels sprouts
  5. Romaine lettuce
  6. Cauliflower

Other Food

  1. Extra virgin olive oil (I hope – there is a lot of counterfeit olive oil out there)
  2. Mayonnaise – The Whole Foods brand is the only one made with cold-pressed canola oil. I’d rather make my own out of olive oil but I’ve had mixed results – sometimes it comes out good, sometimes not. Cold-pressed Canola probably sucks less than any other seed oil, so I use it.
  3. Salt – I use sea salt. No iodine added. I’m waiting for my goiter
  4. Lea & Perrins Steak Sauce
  5. Mustard
  6. Coffee
  7. EZ-Sweetz – pure liquid sucralose. Those packets actually have about 0.6 grams of carbs in them
  8. Lemon juice
  9. Rock Star energy drink

Non-Food Items I stuck in my mouth

  1. Lotrel – blood pressure medication
  2. Metformin – controls blood glucose. Recommended by the ADA for the treatment of pre-diabetes – and I don’t have diabetes though both my siblings had it way before my age and both my parents had it
  3. Align – a probiotic magic potion that I am experimenting with. Does it do anything except line the pockets of the hucksters that created it? Ya got me
  4. Psyllium – a seed husk you mix with water and drink real quick before it turns to slime. It’s a fiber supplement and also a prebiotic – supposedly it’s probiotic food. I used it daily in my first go at low carb so I’m using it again. I buy the organic, coarse flakes at Whole Foods. So if you want to bitch about my diet, don’t bitch about the lack of fiber.
  5. Tums – as needed. I needed a lot when gobbling carbs. The need for them is subsiding

Just Start your Diet, Will Ya?!? – Day 7

Day 7 – Friday, January 1, 2016 – Wt: 269.0 Blood Glucose 96 – 4.6 Lbs. Lost – 74.0 pounds to go – In Ketosis

Happy New Year to you – and may happiness, health, and prosperity for you and your families come with this new year.

And for the specific readers of these sorts of blogs, may you reach your weight loss goals, safely, and with serenity.

Me – I achieved my week 1 goals:

  1. Got into ketosis
  2. Lost more than the 2 pounds per week I’m aiming for
  3. Got under 270
  4. Got under the 75 pound mark of weight I need to lose

The fact that I was in ketosis this morning is interesting. Probably leftover ketones from the day before. I’ll probably clear those out today, then back on the diet today and they’ll be back in a day or two. My big win is I proved to myself I still can do this – and it’s not that hard.

I woke up late and was hungry after having my coffee with heavy cream. Not supised – eating carbs makes me hungry. It is a simple, reliable cause and effect. We still had some of that wonderful beef from the other day slowly transforming from leftover to chemistry experiment in the fridge so I thought I’d abort the process and have that.

My God, was it fatty. The fat was soft, with an excellent texture. I recall long ago being grossed out by eating chunks of pure fat, but an extreme low carb diet is an acquired taste like oysters, or frog legs, or sashimi, or anchovies, or an almost nameless amount of other foods that never touch the lips of ‘picky eaters’.

I would imagine that an aggressive ketogenic low carb diet must be hell for these people. My only encouragement is that I was once a ‘picky eater’ and not at all interested in trying new foods. I grew up in the 70s in a middle class family that chose from a pretty narrow group of foods.

It was only in adulthood – and through sometimes closing my eyes while I ate something – that I learned that there are a world of tastes out there and if other people eat it and it doesn’t kill them, it’s worth trying at least. You might not like it – but then again you might love it.

Sashimi – just a slab of cold, raw fish – is a prime example for me. Up until my 30s, just the though would set off a gag reflex, but as I began to get more adventuresome by always keeping in mind: ‘millions of people eat this stuff every day’, I tried the stuff and it has become a favorite of mine.

A slab of extremely fresh raw tuna, with a little soy sauce and wasabi is a taste that I am glad I did not miss in this life.

I went from a picky eater to an explorer: I began to seek out the more esoteric items on the menu, and learned that I love some of them, are OK with others, and don’t like some things at all. I did not die nore even barf from this exercise, and became exposed to amazing foods from many different cultures.

Here’s an example of one I didn’t particularly like: chicken feet. They actually don’t taste bad, but there are so many little bones that it is a hassle. The Chinese are used to pulling bones from their mouth while they eat. This isn’t an American thing. I do it sometimes, and sometimes it’s worth it, but I’ve just never gotten used to it, so I could eat chicken feet, but just prefer not to.

If you are starting a ketogenic diet, if you are a picky eater you might want to consider a New Year’s resolution to be more adventurous. You don’t have to start with chicken feet – go out of your comfort zone slowly. You don’t have to like something immediately – sometimes it takes a few tries. If after a few tries you still hate the stuff, then it’s OK to hate it – just keep trying new things.

The more variety in your diet, the better the chance of success. You can’t eat scrambled eggs with bacon every day.

You have to also discard any notion of ‘eating light’. This might be real hard for a newbie. I was eating semi-vegetarian when I first went on low carb and I stopped after a week because the heavy, greasiness disgusted me – but went back on low carb after a day or two because I realized I felt like crap eating the way I used to after a week on low carb.

Ramble aside, the rest of the day was OK, but not perfect. I had an energy drink, y psyllium, and then had some dinner my wife had made. There was chicken and vegetables with scrambled eggs, and I had that. There wew also Chinese dumplings and i could not but help to have maybe a half-dozen.

I also had a plain yogurt with a few drops of EZ_Sweetz and 2 clementines.

Something wasn’t right, however. I felt real tired after this and went to bed – and then dealt with what I believe were the consequences of maybe eating too much before bed – coughing and choking and burning in my throat – GERD, I believe.

I also had an amazingly vivid dream though I will spare you the details as most people’s dreams are actually quite dull in the retelling.

 

Just Start your Diet, Will Ya?!? – Happy New Year – Day 6

Day 6 – Thursday, December 31, 2015 – Wt: 267.0 Blood Glucose 88 – 6.6 Lbs. Lost – 72.0 pounds to go – In Ketosis

I’ll be honest: I am so pleased with how well I am responding that I feel *something* has to go wrong.

I had to go to work this morning but they released us around 12:30. When I came home just for fun I weighed myself as well as checked my blood glucose.

Weight: 265.8

Blood Glucose: 77

Those are some impressive numbers. The weight of 265 is a milestone number for me. It was at 265 that I started low carb in 2003. So now I am at least no fatter than I was 15 years ago at my fattest. It’s not much of an achievement, but I’ll take what I can get.

The blood glucose at 88 in the morning before taking my meds? Unbelievable. I usually suffer from the ‘dawn effect’ where your blood sugar spikes as your body wakes, so a number that low is remarkable. Even more remarkable is the 77 when I came home at 2:30.

It’s almost worrying, in fact. The blood sugar plunge, the weight loss, and the ketones leaving me with no appetite – I might have gone 24 hours without eating now – might be too much progress too fast.

I might need to persuade myself to eat something as I’m not all that hungry right now. This isn’t a sprint – it’s a marathon, and I need to pace myself or someone – me – might get hurt.

I was actually concerned about that 77 blood glucose number and while I had some steak, for lunch, I also had maybe 1 slice of the leftover kid’s frozen pizza and a few of these bite-sized mini tacos that were left over.

Then I took a nap.

I woke up before 6, catching up on a bit of sleep, at least, then headed over to our friends house for New Year’s. I decided I would drink wine but wasn’t all that hungry. I had white wine mostly, had a small amounts of the low carb main course (turkey, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, chopped spinach) as well as some escargot – snails – by themselves and in dough. When cheese came out I had some of that, and when dessert came out I had some of that also. I didn’t restrict myself but I didn’t gorge, either.

At midnight I took a sip of champagne and left the rest. We went home soon after 12. It seems everyone was tired or just not in the mood.

Whatever the damage is – it is – I’ll do what I’ve been doing since the beginning and be back to normal in a day or two. No big deal.

Just Start your Diet, Will Ya?!? – Day 5

Day 5 – Wednesday, December 30, 2015 – Wt: 269.8 Blood Glucose 95 – 74.8 pounds to go – in Ketosis

My favorite number here is not the weight, nor being in ketosis. My favorite number is the blood glucose – 95. This is before taking my medication. This was also my blood glucose more than 10 years ago when I had gotten down to 180 pounds after 2 years on a low carb diet.

It is also a 25-35 point drop from before I started this diet. It also puts me in the ‘normal’ range – before taking my meds.

This is why diabetics need to be careful on a low carb diet: the blood glucose drop from the diet can be so pronounced that their regular dose of diabetes medication is now too high and needs to be adjusted lower. If you are doing a low carb diet you should be checking your blood glucose and reporting any drastic lowering to your doctor so they can advise you about your medications.

I took my blood glucose a few more times during the day – at one point it was at 90 – not bad. If I was able to get it to be in the mid 80s even with the low dosage diabetes medication I’m taking, it would be a fucking miracle given my family history and siblings with severe diabetes that started in their 40s.

My Half-Assed Science Minute
[As always, remember that I am not qualified to write what I am about to write – it’s just my understanding – which might be quite flawed. If fact, if you are knowledgeable in the field and see an error, please let me know. There’s enough misinformation on the Internet spread my well-meaning (and not-so-well-meaning) dopes like me. You might want to read my disclaimer also.]

As I understand it, a spot-check of your blood glucose is a cheap and easy way to measure whether you are a type II diabetic, and if so, how much. Now, you need glucose in your bloodstream as some parts of your body will NOT run on ketones. You’d think that – hey – I’m not eating ANY sugar or carbs – where is it coming from?

Gluconeogenesis – that’s where. Your body will take protein and make enough glucose for you to function unless there’s something wrong with this mechanism in you.

What doesn’t get measured is insulin resistance. Typically, in someone like me, I eat crap food full of carbs, my body has WAY more carbs than it can deal with and they get poured into my bloodstream. While you need glucose, it is WAY too much of a good thing. Blood glucose is like you car’s gasoline – you need it to run the car, but you wouldn’t start pumping it all over the surface and over the seats. Putting the fire hazard aside, it is FUEL. Fuel is corrosive and would ruin your paint and interior.

Same thing with blood glucose. You want the amount your body needs – no more and no less – because extra can wreak havoc on your tiny blood vessels – like the ones in your eyes and fingers and toes. Untreated, it can lead to blindness amputations, organ failure – a whole bunch of great stuff. It might also be a major cause of dementia.

You body is pretty on top of this, however, and if it sees glucose levels go up it tells the pancreas to produce insulin. Insulin then persuades the cells to take up the glucose which is burned for fuel, stored (you can store a few days worth as glycogen in your muscles and liver), or converted into fat.

Simply put: insulin produces fat. In fact, some type I diabetics (people who don’t produce their own insulin) take their lives in their hands and intentionally NOT inject themselves with insulin when they should because they lose weight this way.

All of this is complicated by the poorly understood and increasingly common ‘insulin resistance’. I told you insulin makes your body get rid of the excess glucose by producing insulin that signals the cells to take it up.

Over years of a constant diet of Ho-Hos, gummy bears, beer, and pizza, this relentless carb-loading and resultant insulin-producing causes your body to stop responding to insulin as efficiently. Your body then produces MORE insulin, overworking your pancreas, which over time, makes the cells even less responsive to insulin and makes your pancreas pump out even more insulin.

At this point you are more or less metabolically damaged. Your blood glucose shoots up, your overworked pancreas is pumping out way more insulin than normal, and the insulin storing fat like crazy – even when the insulin can no longer regulate your blood glucose, it seems it’s still great at storing fat.

At this point you’ve broken a finely-tuned and complex mechanism that is meant to regulate the energy in your body – and now you’re fucked.

The good news (you mean after all that theres good news?!?) is that there are medications that can help – but some can make you fat. Another way – drumroll – is a low carb diet.

Now back to that blood glucose measurement. When I look at my number today – 95 – I have to ask myself: is that because my pancreas is chugging out so much insulin, combined with my elimination of most carbs, to get to that number? Or is my insulin resistance lessening and my body more responsive to insulin because I’ve stopped carb-loading?

I dunno. You’d have to measure your blood insulin to know that – and most doctors – for reasons I don’t know. stop at the blood glucose side of the equation. Your run-of-the-mill blood test has a fasting glucose test. When diabetes is suspected, the A1C test is requested. This is more than a simple snapshot like your fasting glucose and gives a 3-month average of your blood glucose.

While they tell you to fast in the morning before the blood test, for people with insulin resistance, that fasting glucose level could vary greatly depending on what you ate the night before. If you ate a quart of Haagen Daz the night before, the fasting in the morning isn’t enough time to correct things. The A1C is way more reliable.

As for me, I’d like to think that the 95 shows a combination of the reduction of insulin production and a gradual lessening of the insulin resistance. The hope is the lessening of the insulin will reduce fat storage – and the blood glucose level is just darn good for my overall health.

So while day 5 only shows a loss of around 3 pounds, there are other signs of improving health – and that’s the bigger picture of what I want to achieve in the new year: better overall health.

The New Year’s Dilemma

About mid-afternoon I got grumpy. I have to go to work tomorrow – and then a party. I was *so* enjoying my malingering. I usually experience this type of grumpiness Sunday afternoons – but I am also usually used to the work grind – I’m out of condition now.

And then I can’t just come home and recharge because we were invited to a party.

I also have a dilemma: to drink or not to drink at the party.

I’m not ‘party material’, not being one for mingling with strangers and small talk, and alcohol is a great social lubricant. Booze is also not carbs, but it’s own food category. It would not hurt me to have a few drinks – as long as they stay on the left side of midnight. If I mess up and bring it into 2016, I’ve screwed the pooch.

I did say I would give up alcohol for new years but started early. I don’t know what to do at present – I’ll have to think about it.

What I ate

I woke around 7:30 and had my usual coffee and cream. About 11:30am I had a few ounces of good quality roast beef and cream cheese with salt and pepper – that was *really* good.

It wasn’t until 7:30 that I grabbed a half tomato and 3 pieces of american cheese before running out to pick my wife up from the train.

Once I came home I had my psyllium with a glass of water. I had put it off from the afternoon.

Then I drank an energy drink, perhaps stupidly, as it was past 8pm when I finished and I want to get up at 5am tomorrow to go to work.

And that was it. I wan’t hungry anymore and went to bed – thought that dam energy drink kept me up past 1am.