Blood Glucose Update

Well, my fasting blood sugar stopped its fabulous downward trend.  Here’s where we are now:

It’s still solidly under the threshold of full-blown diabetes, but I was hoping it would be trending down toward the 90s and 80s by now.  Well, I’ll continue tracking it.  Maybe when I enter the magical land of Leptin Sensitivity my fasting blood sugar will also drop.  Stay back, Type-II, stay back!

Had an interesting experience yesterday.  I felt hungry earlier than usual before lunch – only about 5 hours after eating.  I decided to go ahead and eat lunch, but noticed I had forgotten part of my lunch at home.  I was at work, so I was just out of luck.  I ate lunch – at 11:15AM, fully expecting to be starving by, say, 4 or 5PM, while I was supposed to work till 6:00.  Lo and behold, I made it comfortably through the entire day and actually didn’t eat dinner till about 7:00PM – almost 8 hours later!  I love not having to worry about being hungry.

Kids and Leptin Resistance

I learned something really interesting from Dr. Kruse’ talk at the Paleo Summit today.  He said he believed that video games could contribute to the problem of childhood obesity in that video games (lots of lights, flashing, high-key imagery) when played after sunset, can disrupt kids’ circadian rhythms and lead to leptin resistance.  Hm.  Currently our 2-year old watches her favorite Pooh movie before bed every night.  Maybe that’s why she wakes during the night and at times doesn’t sleep very soundly.  I think this may lead to an N=1 experiment!

Uh oh…she’s about to wake up now.  Time to go.

Leptin Rx: Week 3, Day 6

I am really excited that today is the first day of the Paleo Summit.  It’s a series of online presentations – 2 presenters per day for 8 days. It really inspires me that Sean Croxton would put this together and make it available to everyone for FREE.  Love that.

My sister has recently had a health scare.  On Friday she had half of her thyroid removed. They think it’s probably not cancer – more likely Hashimoto’s Disease.  What little I’ve read about this suggests it could be related to eating according to the US FOOD PYRAMID.  You know, all those…um…healthy whole grains??  Next time I see my family (probably next month) I plan on bombarding them with scientific literature about what’s REALLY healthy.  Screw you, USDA.

Oh..and me…?  I’m doing fine.  Just staying the course for now.  6-8 weeks is no quick fix, let me tell you. But I suppose it is quick compared to the years it took to damage my metabolism.  And hell…what else am I going to do?  Eating this way still isn’t exactly easy…but  I have energy all day long to work and play with my daughter.  I still get socially exhausted (introvert that I am) after talking to people all day, but I have the physical stamina to keep going and going.  That’s pretty cool.

Cool Website

I heard Nora Gedgaudas on the Livin La Vida Low Carb podcast yesterday.  I think it was taped a long time ago, but I’m just now going through the podcast archives.  I was really impressed with her and just now went to her website.  I love this page in particular.  She explains biologically why you crave caffeine or sweets, why you feel tired after a carbohydrate/fat meal, and lots more.  I’ll be adding this link to my sidebar.  I’m sure her book is amazing too.

I bought grass-fed beef today for the first time, at the local farmers market. It’s more expensive than Walmart beef, of course, but hopefully more nutritious.  I’m not sure I fully understand the whole Omega 3 thing. If plant-based omega 3 fatty acids are primarily ALAs (as opposed to the more nutritious and highly sought-after DHAs and EPAs), then how come grass-fed beef is so great?  Aren’t their omega 3’s likely to be ALAs?  That’s something I’ll have to research.  All I know is Dr. K. recommends grass-fed beef and says if your meat wasn’t raised eating grass it takes longer for your body to become leptin sensitive.  I’m not sure why.  Another thing to research.  Answers to come.

Leptin Rx: Week 3, Day 5

The Good:

  • My sleep is regular and satisfying and I wake up refreshed these days.  I’m basically sleeping 10PM – 6AM.  Some days I have to get up an hour earlier and I make up for it the next night by going to bed earlier.
  • Meals are satisfying.  You would think eating meat and veggies would get old, but I’m usually ready to eat by the time a meal rolls around, so it always tastes good.

The Bad:

  • I was trying to work around an appointment last night and ate dinner too early.  Plus I didn’t eat enough.  So I had to eat more later in the evening.  I’ve been good about sticking to 3 meals and no snacks, and it was just poor planning that resulted in an extra small meal.  I didn’t eat things that were off plan…just the timing was off plan.  But Dr. K. says timing is the most important part.  Anyway, I’ll have to plan better.
  • I totally lied when I said I wasn’t going to weigh myself anymore.  Well, is it a lie if I meant it at the time but then didn’t follow through?  No, I think that’s not a lie…that’s cheating.  Whatever –  It’s bad!  Anyway, I have continued weighing myself.  I may as well give up though…the scale is stuck at 187 for now.

That brings me to another point.  How messed up is my metabolism that I can eat as few carbohydrates as I’m currently eating and not lose weight?  I’m eating less than 20 grams a day (making this a ketogenic diet) and I’ve been at/around 187 since 10 days ago.  I remind myself that the purpose of the Leptin Rx is not to lose weight – it’s to retrain my brain so that it becomes leptin sensitive again.  And once I’m leptin sensitive, weight loss will ostensibly be easy.  Well, this I’ve got to see!

I have become fascinated by coconut oil.  How is it that an oil can do all these marvelous things?  It’s touted as anti bacterial, anti viral, anti aging, great for energy, metabolism, weight loss…the list goes on.  So I did my own research.  Fortunately a lot of great peer-reviewed articles on this subject are aggregated at the Coconut Research Center. Here’s what some of the science says:

Regarding metabolic syndrome:

Experimental studies demonstrate that dietary MCFAs/MCTs suppress fat deposition through enhanced thermogenesis and fat oxidation in animal and human subjects. Additionally, several reports suggest that MCFAs/MCTs offer the therapeutic advantage of preserving insulin sensitivity in animal models and patients with type 2 diabetes.

Here’s another study that compared women (N=40) with “abdominal obesity” – half the women supplemented with soybean oil and half with coconut oil (30mL/day).  All women were instructed to eat a reduced calorie diet and walk 50 minutes a day.  At the end of the study both groups had lost weight, but only the group given coconut oil had increased HDL cholesterol and decreased waist circumference.  The soybean oil group had increased total cholesterol and decreased HDL cholesterol.  Their conclusion:

It appears that dietetic supplementation with coconut oil does not cause dyslipidemia and seems to promote a reduction in abdominal obesity.

So coconut oil does not result in poor lab work and it does reduce abdominal fat. Well that’s good.  Because that’s what I need.

Leptin Rx: Week 3, Day 4

Not a whole lot to report right now…I’ve now been doing this long enough at this point that it feels like a habit.  Snacking is no longer something I consider.  I go to bed when I’m tired, instead of trying to stay up and maximize my post-work-and-child-recreation-period.  I eat meat and veggies, and that’s about it.  I drink water.  And that’s it.  Not much variety.

I do continue to notice and be fairly astounded by the fact that “emotional eating” has disappeared for me.  Yesterday I got annoyed at someone.  I would have normally reached for a snack.  It didn’t occur to me.  I stand by my hypothesis that all these years I thought I was eating for emotional reasons, I was actually just EATING.  I have been in a state of semi-starvation for so long, from yo yo dieting and managing my weight through calorie restriction, that when stress would hit it was as if a big wind knocked me “face down in the food” as Dr. Eades would say.  I wasn’t eating so much to soothe myself or comfort myself or because food was my best buddy.  I was just hungry and who the hell wants to be hungry AND pissed off/anxious/sad/whatever.  It was just too much to handle, so I would give in and eat.  Now that I’m not hungry I have no interest in eating outside of meal times.

Very interesting stuff.

Leptin Rx: Week 3, Day 2

I still feel a little “off”.  Until 2 days ago, it really seemed like my body was regulating itself and becoming very predictable.  I would get tired at 9:30 and get up around 6, eat at predictable times, and my moods varied little from baseline.  The last two days, however, not so much.  I haven’t been getting tired at 9:30 or 10:00.  I’ve been forcing myself to go to bed anyway, but I’m not really tired, and I stay awake in bed for a while.  I’ve been hungry at odd times…like an hour and a half after dinner last night.  And I ate at least 50 grams of protein at dinner.  I know I don’t have to, but I did because that’s what it took to satisfy me.  I had a horrible mood swing yesterday…not unlike my normal horrible mood swings that I get now and then, but certainly no better…and it took me a while to snap out of it.  And I had not much energy yesterday either…I’ve been a burning torch of energy lately…and yesterday I felt like…well, my normal tired self.

I don’t know if this is a normal part of the process or if I’ve started doing something wrong.  I’m going to keep going…I seriously have never had so much hope that I could actually look and feel better than I have since I learned about the Leptin Rx.  I’m going to see this through no matter what.

In the interest of figuring out what might have me off track, here’s a list of my “transgressions” over the past week.  Maybe one of them is causing things to be off:

1.  I drank alcohol on Friday – 2 glasses of wine before/with dinner.

2.  I ate an almost-sugar-free cookie yesterday.  I’m avoiding everything that tastes sweet right now and I did eat one of the cookies I made for David.  It had about 6 grams of carbohydrate, and I did have it with a meal so the blood sugar reaction was muted by lots of protein and fat, but still…it’s off my plan.

3.  I’ve been eating some dairy.  I’ve had a piece of cheese every other day or so.  It’s not that I need it or even particularly miss it…it’s just in the way sometimes!  Like, it’s sitting there on my hamburger all innocently…and rather than push it out of the way I just eat it.  I’ll stop this.

4.  I’ve had some tomatoes.  Dr. K. says no nightshades unless you have a spectacular HDL cholesterol.  I don’t.  No more salsa, or tomatoes on salads.  I haven’t purposely put tomatoes on salads, but I haven’t avoided them if they’re sitting on there.  Like the cheese!  I’ll stop this too.  Geez, me…seeing this list growing I’m realizing what a cheater I am!

I think that’s about it.  I’ll try to resolve these dietary dalliances and see where it leaves me.

I’m also not weighing myself any more.  I was reading on Dr. Kruse’ blog last night that the reason you shouldn’t weigh yourself is because it can raise cortisol levels and actually slow your weight loss.  Well that makes sense.  Get on the scale, get disappointed (which is predictable, as weight fluctuates), stress about it just a little all day (why why why??? I’m doing everything right!!!), cortisol goes up and blocks fat burning.  Love it!  So no more weighing.  Well…I suppose I’ll weigh once a week.  Let’s say Tuesday mornings.  I’ll chant and be mindful once a week to manage the stress.