Showing posts from January, 2018

Lab Updates

In preparation for Fasting February, I wanted to get a baseline for my electrolytes before the fasting starts.  So I scheduled a lab appointment at my doctor’s office.  The electrolytes all came out normal.  I also got my hbA1c check while I was there.  And the results are (drum roll please) 4.4%, the lowest A1C I’ve ever had recorded.  This is on the low end of normal.  Definitely not a diabetic range.  It’s nice to know that even though I’ve been struggling with weight loss and fasting for the last 8 weeks,
I’m still maintaining healthy blood glucose and have my diabetes under control.
For another improvement, my workouts have also been getting easier.  My first couple of strength training days left me feeling quite achy, so much so that it impaired my ability to walk normally.  However, my body has now become accustomed to the activity even as I have been increasing resistance.  My body measurements have also decreased.  Although I’m not sure if some of that may have been due to …

Should Everyone Be Keto

I’ve had some people ask me if everyone should follow a ketogenic diet.  I think when people ask that question they want a one-size-fits-all, cookie cutter answer to everyone’s dietary needs.  And based upon the interactions I’ve had with people in the keto community, there is way more variability with how people react to their diets than I ever would have guessed.  Some of this is food sensitivities, some may be related to gut biome, maybe some genetics or the amount of damage already done to your system.

So what I can say is that I believe I require a low-carb diet that lowers the
insulin response to my diet.  But I think that is largely necessary after eating far too many carbs for far too long.  I’m now metabolically deranged and I have to pay the price.  I know there are other people who can maintain a ketogenic state eating far more carbs than I could even dream of.  And from what I’ve seen it seems like most people could benefit from a lower carb diet, and I think everyone cou…

Fasting February

I’ve been stalled for almost two months now, bouncing between 260 and 270 pounds.  There are several reasons for this: I haven’t been getting great sleep, I’ve been sloppy about my eating windows, I only had 10 fasting days in December and this far into January, over the holidays I’ve been low carb, but not necessarily keto.  I’ve had ketone measurements below 1.0 and fasting blood sugars over 100 more regularly lately, both of which are warning signs that something is less than optimal.
So I’ve decided to undertake what I’m calling “Fasting February”.  What is Fasting February?  This is an initiative to improve my health.  It is NOT a “fast at all costs” program.  If at any point I think my body isn’t up to fasting, I will stop and eat.  So with that caveat, this is what it is.  My plan is to fast for 20 of the 28 days in February.  Most likely it will be on a 5 fasting days followed by two eating days type of schedule.
My goal is to change my set point to be somewhere in the 250s and…

Fat Fasting

There is a practice in the keto community known as “Fat Fasting”.  It is a little misleading because it isn’t really fasting at all, but instead restricting your diet to only high fat foods.  It would more accurately be described as eating a “fat-etarian” diet.
If keto is already a low-carb, high-fat diet, why would you need to “fat fast”?  Well, fat fasting help to accelerate changing your body to be a fat burner.  It also helps to increase appetite suppression, and deepen your ketosis.  And because it helps you become a fat burner, it also will help prepare you for actual fasting.  So it can be used to prepare for an actual fast.   Or if you have strayed of course a little too much recently in your diet, it will help to get you back on track.  Of course it will be far easier to fat fast if you are already keto-adapted.
So what is a fat fast? A fat fast consists of eating lots of fatty foods and trying to steer clear of nuts and dairy. So basically eating the following types of food…

Fantastic App for Managing Recipes

One of the best pieces of advice for people on the ketogenic diet is “just eat real food”.  Minimizing the amount of processed food you consume is surely one way of dramatically improving your health.  However, this means you will need to prepare and cook food more often.  You may also need to learn a whole new set of ketogenic friendly recipes.
This leads me to my favorite app that I have discovered in a long time, Paprika.   Paprika is a recipe manager, meal planner and grocery list all rolled up into one.  I mainly use the recipe manager portion of the app.  The great thing about it is if you go to a site that has a great recipe, you can tell the app to save that recipe from its built in browser and it will figure out the ingredients as well as the instructions.
You want to make a double batch, no problem Paprika will automatically scale the recipe for you.  No more forgetting to double the measurement of one of the ingredients.  You can cross off the ingredients as you add them, w…

Fasting - Movie Review

While traveling over the holidays my wife and I watch Fasting -the movie. It’s a documentary by Doug Orchard Films discussing the good and the bad points of fasting.  It features Jason Fung, MD of the Intensive Dietary Management clinic and follows the stories of several people’s journey trying to use fasting to improve their health.
I found the movie to be very informative and emphasized much of what I already knew.  Fasting is a powerful way to help improve your health if you have insulin resistance.  It is especially helpful with treating diabetes and for weight loss.  
However, it is also something to be treated with respect.  It made me understand why Dr. Fung and the IDM clinic always say if something feels off, stop your fast.   You may say to yourself, “Well, duh!”  I may have thought that too, but remember we humans are a stubborn bunch.  And we are capable of pushing ourselves beyond what is healthy or warranted quite easily.  So I think we should all take this advice to he…

My Keto Christmas (Part 2 of 2)

My last post discussed how I handled Christmas when others were guests at our house.  This post will discuss the second half of my holiday celebration when I traveled from Minnesota to Florida to spend some Christmas time with my mother. 
It can be challenging when traveling to follow any diet.  Fortunately, we really only had about 6 hours each way of travel, so we mainly opted to fast during the travel.  We ate a small breakfast before heading to the airport (normally we skip breakfast), then ate dinner after we arrived at our destination.  Because we are fat adapted, it is easy to go 6-8 hours without eating.  We did the same for the trip back home.   
One thing we were sure to bring was Truvia packets.  We have found that Truvia, an erythritol-stevia blend, seems to cause a low insulin response when compared to other artificial sweeteners.  So we use this in our coffee.  Strictly speaking, I believe we would be better off not using sweetener if possible, but Truvia is the lesser …

My Keto Christmas (Part 1 of 2)

Holidays can be a challenging time for people changing their diet.  Inevitably there are several holiday traditions centered around food, usually sweet sugar infested “carbage”.  So how can we cope?  Well I don’t know what will be the best course of action for you, but here’s how I coped over this Christmas season.  We celebrated our Christmas in two parts, first my wife’s family at our home, then traveling to my mother’s house in Florida.  This post will cover having family coming to visit us.

We had company coming to our house, my wife’s parents and her brother’s family.  That made for a total of six adults, three children and two dogs for the holidays.  Definitely a full house.  Since we were hosting, that put us in charge of the menu. Which made it easier for us to plan a keto Christmas and avoid any pitfalls.  Our goal was to have food that was good enough that no one would really miss all of the sugary treats that usually accompanied the holiday season.

For Christmas morning I d…