High Carb Low Fat – Day 8

Fasting blood sugar this morning: 117.  Nice to be below 120 again.  I’m not sure why but I have assigned 120 some sort of significance in my mind…I guess I was “prediabetic” for years and my blood sugars fluctuated between 100 and 120 – so when my fasting blood sugar is under 120 now it feels like I undid some damage.  I’m sure this is magical thinking.

Weight has been stable for the last 5 days at exactly 207.5.  I don’t know why, but since I started following the recommendations of Ray Peat my weight is exactly the same every day unless I eat starches…no ups and downs because of fluid retention.  Maybe it’s because I eat gobs of salt now and my body feels no need to retain water anymore.

Thermoregulation is still off.  Not as many hot flashes today, but still having them.  I wonder if it’s completely unrelated to niacinamide.  Maybe I’m in menopause!  All of a sudden!

Here are my macros today:

crono

Too much protein, but I just felt like eating meat today.  So I did…but it messed up my carb:protein ratio.  Fat % was good today at 21%, calcium-phosphorus ratio was shy of 1:1 by about 200mg calcium.  Overall, pretty good day.

So now, to avoid unwanted additives, I’m using bulk aspirin powder and niacinamide powder 3x a day.  I’m not sure how other people do this without feeling burdened by it…I mean, do they bring their little milligram scale to work with them and measure out their teeny tiny quantities of bulk supplements on their lunch break?  Definitely not as convenient as tablets.  Well, I came up with my own method so I only have to measure and dose once, first thing in the morning, and I can pair it with other nutritious food.  First, I get coffee brewing.  While I’m doing that I get out my little milligram scale and 3 pint-sized jars.  My coffee maker makes 24 ounces of coffee (it’s little). (Note: I make weak coffee so in my nutritional breakdown, above, I only record 12 ounces, even though I drink 24 ounces of coffee). 

Ok, so I get a bowl out.  I pour all 24 oz of coffee into the bowl, and add 3 tablespoons of honey and a heaping 1/2 teaspoon of salt to the coffee, and stir until dissolved.  Then I fill each of the jars half way with the coffee mixture. Then I measure out my aspirin and niacinamide and add them to each of the 3 jars, as well as a drop of Vitamin K2.  So now each jar contains 8oz of coffee, 1T honey, 1/6 t. salt, 100mg aspirin powder, 100mg niacinamide powder and 1mg K2.  Then I fill each jar up with skim milk.  Finally I put lids on each jar and shake them up.  Done!  Then I drink one in the morning, one at noon, and one around dinner time.  I do shake them again before drinking because the supplements don’t dissolve fully. They taste like sweet-salty coffee flavored milk.  It’s really good if you like sweet/salty combination foods.

So that’s my solution to the pain-in-the-ass bulk supplement situation!  I’m going to be bummed if it turns out I shouldn’t be pairing aspirin or niacinamide with coffee or milk for some reason.  I’d get over it though, so definitely tell me if that’s the case.

High Carb Low Fat – Day 7

Fasting blood sugar this morning: 125.  Heading in the right direction.

Hot flashes – almost gone.  Had 1 early this morning, and one about 5 minutes ago.  I completely skipped the niacinamide today in order for my body to stop doing whatever weird thing it was doing. I was feeling achy yesterday and today, as well as fatigued and a little irritable earlier today – around 7:00PM all of that stuff went away.  I’m wondering if the problem may not have been the niacinamide itself but some extra ingredient in the tablet. I did go ahead and buy pure niacinamide powder and received that in the mail yesterday…but over the past week I’ve been taking these tablets because I already had them. The ingredient list on the bottle states that it also contains “cellulose, stearic acid, silica, and magnesium stearate.”  I’m suspicious because niacinamide has a very short half-life, like it can be measured in minutes (about 45).  250mg was not a particularly big dose, even 3x a day.  I just don’t think the niacinamide itself would have continued to be problematic all the way into today.  Oh well…I’ll be increasing slowly to see if the hot flashes and other symptoms return. Starting tomorrow I’ll be using pure niacinamide powder – no weird ingredients.

Macros and nutrition today:

crononutrients

I really felt like I needed more fat today, so I did have a little more than I’m shooting for these days.  Fat was 27% of calories.  Calcium to phosphorus ratio wasn’t awesome today – I was about 600mg of calcium short of a 1:1 ratio.  Carb to protein ratio was not quite 2:1 – I was short about 30g of carbohydrate.  I could probably just go drink some juice…but that’s getting silly.

Liver for dinner tonight.  I have to say, soaking liver in milk makes it so much better.  I got out of the habit of doing that for a while and liver was starting to really bother me – the smell, the taste, plus sometimes I’d feel nauseated after eating it.  Then a few weeks ago I started soaking it in milk for a few hours while it thawed in the refrigerator, and then rinsing the liver before cooking it.  No more icky smell and the taste is milder.  Today I actually ate it raw.  Just easier that way sometimes.  Washed it down with a cold glass of milk.

Till tomorrow.

Update: I woke up at 12:30AM hungry, so I added 1/2 cup of orange juice and 1oz cheese to the above totals. It might make sense for me to post these the following day, to ensure all food consumed is accounted for.  But really….by the next day I don’t want to think about what I ate yesterday.

High Carb Low Fat – Day 6

Fasting blood sugar this morning: 135.

Well, hm…

This morning I had a message waiting for me from a friend who read yesterdays blog post, in which I commented that I was having hot flashes since increasing my thrice-daily dose of niacinamide from 100mg to 250mg.  She informed me that niacinamide shouldn’t cause a “flushing” response and that what I was experiencing was likely a stress response.  Niacinamide inhibits the release of free fatty acids from the cells, allowing the body to gradually detoxify itself of stored polyunsaturated fats. Ray Peat says this is a good thing.  Well, if there are fewer fatty acids released into the bloodstream, you need enough fuel in the form of food (specifically, sugar) or the body turns on stress hormones (adrenaline and cortisol) to break down proteins/muscle for fuel.  In other words, if you’re going to take large doses of niacinamide, you better be eating a lot of sugar – and you probably need to be able to store it well to be used throughout the day.  I guess my 2:1 ratio of carbs to protein wasn’t enough.

This explains my still-high fasting blood sugar, despite eating low fat for 5 days now.  Stress hormones are turning on and staying high overnight because my body is out of fuel.

Well, I got this information this morning, and set about to eat lots and lots of sugar today to see if I could turn off the hot-flash stress response.  But today, despite eating 100 grams of sugar more than usual, I continued to have the hot flashes.  So maybe my body isn’t storing glucose effectively yet.  Maybe my current physiological state can’t handle that much niacinamide without invoking a stress response.  So tomorrow it’s back to 100mg 3x a day.  I felt fine on that dose.  I predict my fasting blood sugar will be under 120 again within 2 days.

Here were my macros today:

crono

And my nutrient breakdown:

nutrients

The nutrients look a whole lot like they did yesterday.  Actually, that’s how they look just about every day.  Almost enough folate and potassium, short on manganese, and everything else looking good.  I checked into sources of manganese – looks like spinach is a good source.  Other than that, there’s nuts, fish, and a bunch of other things that are high in PUFAs.  I’ll make spinach tomorrow.

High Carb Low Fat – Day 5

Fasting blood sugar this morning was 128 – not as low as I’d like to see.  Maybe 55g of fat a day (my average the last few days) is too much to make a difference with blood sugar?  Last time I attempted to reduce fasting blood sugar by cutting fat (with success) I was averaging a little lower – like 48g.  That’s not a big difference…hard to say. Without eating starches it’s difficult to keep fat low.  I have to eat frequently because the stuff I’m eating just seems to burn up quickly, leaving me hungry otherwise.  All in the name of science.  I’ll just continue for now.

Here was my diet and macros today:

crono

Did ok…maybe too much white sugar rather than fruit…Carbs to protein was 2:1.  Calcium to phosphorus was a little short of 1:1 (1724mg to 2048mg).  I seem to consistently fall short 300mg.  Fat was 21.6% of total calories.  One question I seem to get a lot is how come I’m not eating more vegetables?  My answer to that is why would I?  I like veggies if they’re bathed in butter and cheese…otherwise not so much.  And nutritionally it’s not hard to get the nutrients in vegetables from other sources.  As an example, here is the nutritional breakdown of what I ate today:

nutrients

See all those orange bars that are completely filled up?  Those are nutrients that I have consumed enough of today.  Less than 5 grams of PUFA (usually I shoot for even less than that).  All amino acids.  I fell short with folate (only had 92%), iron (lower iron is a good thing), manganese (I’m not actually sure where you get manganese), and potassium (only 92%).  And to be fair, I am supplementing several of the fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, K, and E).  I’m not that worried about it though because I eat liver once a week and stock up on all of these things.  So…why eat veggies unless you really like them?  I guess they might fill me up a little…but fruit actually fills me up just as well and keeps my energy level high too.

It’s no accident that the foods I’m eating are high in nutrition. That’s why Ray Peat recommends them.  My diet is by no means a perfect Peat diet – he probably wouldn’t be in favor of chicken or ham (both animals are fed soy and corn and are therefore relatively high in PUFA) but I do eat the lowest fat organic versions of these items.  I’m not sure how he’d feel about the 3 Musketeers bar.  I was out flying kites with my daughter and that’s all there was to eat nearby.  Again with needing to plan better.  Still, could have been much worse.

I increased niacinamide to 250mg 3x a day yesterday, and since yesterday I’ve been having hot flashes.  I’m familiar with the feeling – I had them when I was taking fertility drugs to get pregnant, and again after quitting the Wiley Protocol, when my estrogen levels dropped.  I wonder if its having some effect on my estrogen?  Then again, this is niacin – even in the form that doesn’t cause a “flushing” reaction, I suppose it could be warming me up. I’ve been putting on and taking off my sweater about 10 times a day.  We’ll see if it continues.  It’s not completely unpleasant…just something I’m noticing.

Overall I feel great.

Update: I got hungry before bed and ate more after posting this.  I won’t be obsessive and update all of my new totals, but I will say my new carb:protein ratio is now a little better than 2:1, my calcium:phosphorous ratio is slightly improved, total calories is 2367, and 22% of calories came from fat.

High Carb Low Fat – Day 4

Well, it took a few days, but my fasting blood sugar was again down below 120 this morning.  The scale is down a few pounds too, but too soon to tell if that’s a trend – those pounds come back every time I eat starches and go away every time I stop.

You know, it’s really hard to eat low fat. I was so darn happy to be able to eat gobs of fat when following a Paleo diet, and then when following a Kruse diet, and then when following a Nutritional Ketosis diet, and then when just eating whatever the hell I wanted.  No wonder everyone hates that stupid food pyramid, with that teeny tiny box at the top with a teeny tiny stick of butter sitting in it.  Well, that and the fact that it doesn’t work because of all the poisons taking up the biggest section.  But I digress.

Here’s my stuff for today:

crono

Carb to protein ratio – 2:1

Calcium to Phosphorus ratio: almost 1:1 (1964mg cal to 2195mg phos)

Fat: 21.7% of calories today.

 

High Carb Low Fat – Day 3

Today’s Cronometer breakdown:

crono

Seems like I always eat within about 100 calories from day to day.  Ok…so how did I do?  Carb:Protein ratio was 2:1.  Calcium:Phosphorus ratio was almost 1:1 (about 200mg shy on the calcium end, 2219mg of calcium and 2448mg of phos.)  I could supplement to make up the difference there but last time I took a calcium supplement my stomach did lots of weird things for a couple hours.  Apparently calcium carbonate is hard to digest.  I may try it again sometime, but for now I’m trying to keep these guys in balance with food. Fat…a little too high…trying to stay under about 50g.  I think I’ll need to stop with the grass fed ground beef for a little while.

I’ve decided to up my niacinamide dose from 100mg 3x a day to 250mg 3x a day, and see how that goes.  Concerned parties who shall remain nameless made an excellent case for increasing the dose, including something along the lines of, “Your labs are pretty bad. You need more drugs.”  Anyway, more niacinamide. If I tolerate this increase well I may even increase further.  Why not?  My labs seem to indicate I’m at death’s door anyway.  May as well experiment!

High Carb Low Fat (HCLF) – Day 2

My stats for today:

crono2

Did better today keeping meat consumption (and thus phosphorous) low.  Calcium:Phosphorous ratio today was just under 1:1 (2095mg cal, 2161mg phos).  Had almost a 3:1 carb to protein ratio – that’s a first for me.  I’m struggling a little to eat enough sugar – I just don’t gravitate toward it the way I do to salt and meat.  I realize that marshmallows aren’t ideal food, given that white sugar contains no nutrients other than, well, sugar for energy.  It’s an easy food to take with me when I go out though, and it’s a nice combo of carbohydrates and gelatin with almost no fat.  Fat was a little higher than ideal today at 23% of total calories consumed, but still pretty low.

Plan of Attack

I’m very much back on track now…inspired by my last set of not-so-hot labs.

My short term goals are as follows:

Maintain a higher-carb, lower-fat diet in order to reverse my type 2 diabetes and reverse my abysmal lipid panel.  Rationale:

  • Lower fat to address high blood sugar (<20% of total calories, or in the neighborhood of 40-50g/day).  My dabbling in low-fat eating in the past month or two suggests that Ray Peat may be on to something when he talks about the Randle Cycle.  He says glucose oxidation is impaired by a high fat diet and/or fatty acids in the blood stream.
  • Higher carb in order to reduce stress hormones (namely, cortisol) (>250g carbohydrate) – Nearly all in the form of simple sugars – no starches, as those make me depressed, with the goal of eating at least a 2:1 carbohydrate:protein ratio.
  • High calcium intake (nonfat dairy, most likely), low phosphate intake (less meat).  I’m going to shoot for a 1:1 calcium:phosphate ratio.
  • I’m not going to make any effort to restrict calories.  That’s stressful and no fun.

Change my supplement routine to include the following:

  • Aspirin 100mg 3x/day
  • Niacinamide 100mg 3x/day
  • Vitamin K2 1mg 3x/day
  • Cynoplus (T3/T4 combo) increased from 1/4 tab daily to 1/4 tab 2x a day.  I may increase further in a few weeks, but that’s it for now.

The aspirin reduces inflammation.  Niacinamide inhibits the release of free fatty acids into the blood, and vitamin k2 ensures that blood clots normally despite the aspirin, and that calcium goes into the bones rather than the soft tissues.  Cynomel provides thyroid hormone that I don’t seem to be making enough of (evidence: total cholesterol of almost 300).  I’ll continue to take Vit D (5000 IU), Vitamin A (2500 IU), and Magnesium Glycinate.

Knowing that I have a tendency toward poor planning and then eating whatever’s available, I’m going to create some accountability for myself with this blog.  I’m going to post a screenshot of what I enter into Cronometer every day.  Here’s today:

Crono1

This will make it difficult for me to rationalize eating things that don’t support my goals.  Also it’ll force me to take a critical look at what I’m eating each day so I can learn from it and do better.  Today, still too much meat…instead of chicken breast I should have had more dairy or something with gelatin in it.  At the time I just wanted to stop feeling hungry – a big dose of meat does that well.  Time to learn new strategies.

Macro % today:

  • Protein: 30.9%
  • Carbs: 50.4%
  • Fat: 18.6%

More to report tomorrow.

Getting Back on Track…and New Labs

I was wrong…my HSLFDE was not resumed…It’s still paused.  I’ve been having a hard time getting back on track.  One day of bad planning and I’m eating crap food from a restaurant…then visiting people and eating their crap food…then another day of bad planning….you get the idea.  I’m still tracking what I eat so it’ll all be data for my experiment, but I do want to get back on track with the intervention portion of the experiment – I think I’ve got a pretty solid baseline at this point, from which to measure.

It looks like in 16 days a movie will be hitting theaters called Fed Up: “…the film the food industry doesn’t want you to see.”  Hm…well, that has potential, right?  But then I scroll down and see there’s a “Fed Up Challenge” – can you be “sugar free for 10 days”?  Like that’s the ticket to awesome health.  Yeah, I can be sugar free for 6 months.  You know what that gets me?  High cortisol, high BUN/Creatinine, high TSH, low energy, low mood, low interest in interacting with my child….shall I go on?  So yeah, great…more anti-sugar propaganda.  Makes me even more determined to stick to a low-fat Peat-inspired diet for a while, so I have some N=1 data to point to when this movie starts making waves.

Got some lab results today.  Numbers are fun.
labs1
labs2labs3

Current labs are in RED.  If there’s a space with no result, that means I didn’t get that test done this time.  Money is always an issue with labs…I try to get just what I need to track progress.

A couple thoughts about these…Let’s start with the good stuff.  My BUN/Creatinine ratio is coming down.  It reached it’s peak of 34 when I was eating low carb and under a lot of stress.  It’s come down gradually and is just a little over the range now.  I’m not sure what this is about – I know BUN and Creatinine have to do with kidney function and can indicate dehydration.  I guess I drink more fluids now but don’t drink much water these days…too much to drink with actual nutritional value, like milk, juice, or coffee.  Or maybe the improvement is because I’m not eating as much meat as I used to?  Less work for the kidneys?  Anyway, nice to see improvement there. Calcium Dioxide is now 21 instead of 20…a very small improvement.  Maybe that’s from the addition of carbonated water to my diet?  I mix a few ounces with OJ in the morning – it’s so awesome that way.  I should really start bag breathing and get that CO2 level up. Thyroid function may be improving – TSH is down from last time.

OK, that’s it for the good stuff…now, seriously.  512 for triglycerides?  That’s kind of high.  Like 10 times higher than I want it.  Conventional wisdom says that high triglycerides are caused by eating too many carbohydrates.  Hm…maybe.  I asked the smarties on my Ray Peat Facebook page for input and got the following responses:

Niacinamide 3x a day. Too much cortisol. Coconut oil. get enough calcium and reduce phophates.

and

This was from a kmud interview, mar 2014 – “niacinamide inhibits the lipase enzyme which liberates the free fatty acid’s from the triglyceride stores in the tissue. aspirin also does this.”

These comments are from people I’ve come to trust, so I’ll give niacinamide a try again.  I stopped it because it didn’t seem to be making a difference in any way I could sense.  It would be worth it though to bring these numbers down.  Also, the  “too much cortisol” and “reduce phosphates” comments hit home – I still eat too much meat.  I need to embrace carbohydrates and stop eating so much meat.  Darn the carbophobia.  Right now my carbohydrate:protein ratio is about 1:1.  I need to pretty much double my carbs and cut my protein by 1/3 or so.

They couldn’t calculate my LDL cholesterol because my trigs were so high.  Can you believe that?  I’ve never heard of that.  I’m off the charts.

Looks like MCHC was a little low.  I don’t know what that means, but Google says I might be a little anemic.

That’s about it.  Please feel free to analyze and share your interpretations of these numbers.

Also please feel free to feel superior to me because my labs suck, and link to my blog from your blog and talk about how you’ve got it all figured out and about how much of a loser I am to be continuing on my current path.  Go ahead.  It’ll be fun for everyone!

Just kidding.

HCLFDE – Resumed

Ok, I took a couple days off from tracking everything, which was apparently all I needed, because now it’s fun again.  I’ve again started my High Carb Low Fat Diabetes Experiment.  I tried this before and was interrupted by a stomach bug which destabilized my system and added a confounding variable for about a week.  I stopped the experiment and now I’m ready to pick it up again.

After eating pretty much whatever I wanted for a week or so my fasting blood sugar was back up to 140 yesterday morning.  Yesterday I limited fat to 69.2g (28% of total calories) and today’s fasting blood sugar was 121.  Tomorrow I’m sure it’ll be below 120 again.  Will update with results.

On a side note: You know what’s really delicious?  1/2 cup of Nonfat Greek yogurt (I use Dannon Oikos brand because it doesn’t have a bunch of additives), 2T fructose powder (or sugar), and 1T cocoa powder.  It’s my new favorite thing.

Oh and HOLY SMOKES I feel so much better being off starches again.  It took about 3 days for my mood to completely recover back to where I’m smiling for no reason.  That stuff has a terrible effect on me.  More on that later.