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.

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Coffee

I just have to take a moment and talk about coffee.

I didn’t drink much coffee for a long time, even though I love the smell, the taste, and the energy boost it gives me.  I avoided it because it made me really hungry.  I never knew why….until I heard Ray Peat say that it can cause hypoglycemia if not taken with sugar…and of course if you’re going to be eating sugar it’s a good idea to add some cream to slow down the absorption a bit.  My whole adult life I’ve been drinking black coffee (I was just that kind of person – too cool for cream and sugar, I guess) and then getting hungry.

Now that I’ve learned how to enjoy coffee without being super hungry, I have a whole ritual around it. I have a small coffee maker with a pot that holds 24oz. Every morning I take a heaping tablespoon of Dunkin’ Donuts grounds and make a sort-of weak automatic drip coffee – not too overpowering.  I pour the entire 24oz of coffee into this massive mug, add 2 tablespoons of raw honey (a little more sometimes), 1 tablespoon of heavy whipping cream, and 1/2 teaspoon plus one pinch of kosher salt (bigger granules than iodized salt).  It comes out tasting like salted caramel.  I sip on it all morning.  Here’s the nutritional breakdown:

  • Calories: 187
  • Protein: 1.3g
  • Fat: 5.7g
  • Carbs: 35g

Nutrients (% of recommended daily intake), according to Cronometer:

  • B1: 9%
  • B2: 52%
  • B5: 37%
  • Vitamin A: 9%
  • Magnesium: 7%
  • Manganese: 11%
  • Potassium: 8%

…plus a few other trace nutrients.  Don’t let anyone tell you coffee isn’t good for you.

Now, I could make this MUCH more nutritious by substituting 8oz of milk for some of the coffee or adding gelatin to it (for protein).  I’ve tried it many ways, but the above recipe is my favorite.

Yeah.  It pretty much makes me feel like a rock star.

CW – Week 1 in Review

Well, I’ve been following Conventional Wisdom – “eat less and exercise more” for 1 week now.  Let’s review my progress.

Weight

  • Starting weight: 203 lbs.
  • Today’s weight:  200.4 lbs.
  • Weight change this week: – 2.6 lbs
  • Overall weight change: – 2.6 lbs

Analysis:  I’m not impressed by this.  The first 3 pounds or so always comes off easily – I think it’s water weight.

I was aiming for 1500 net calories per day (after exercise is factored in).  According to my Lose It app, on which I track calories/nutrients, this week I ate at total of 1425 calories over that.  So even if I would have been perfect in my calorie intake, 1425 calories represents less than half a pound of body fat (if you believe the calories in/calories out theory of fat gain/loss).  So best case scenario I would have been down another half pound.

As far as macronutrient breakdown, I’m really just eating whatever I want (but no gluten/wheat).  I have not been making much of an effort to eat more produce, so that’s something I’ll be working on this week.  Here’s the macronutrient breakdown for the past week:

  • Fat calories – 57% (751g)
  • Carb calories – 28% (827g)
  • Protein calories – 34% (1008g)

Ok, so I guess this isn’t exactly conventional wisdom, which says a low-fat diet is recommended for losing weight.  Maybe I should try a low-fat diet for a week and see how that goes?  For now I’m going to do another week just eating what I want to see if it’s possible to lose weight eating lower-calorie and fairly high fat.

Blood Sugar

Ok, but now here’s some good news.  Check out my fasting blood glucose this week (the far right side of the graph):

bg

Fasting blood glucose (average) during the week prior to starting bicycling/no boozing and then during the past week:

Before (avg): 118

After (avg): 105

Hm…on average, that’s a 13 point drop in fasting blood sugar in 1 week of exercising and not drinking alcohol.  Pretty cool!  Even if it doesn’t result in weight loss it seems important to exercise for blood sugar management.  I don’t know if all types of exercise will have this effect.  Yoga didn’t (see “DDP Yoga” on graph).

And interestingly…eating NO carbs (or only like 2% of calories from carb) didn’t result in this kind of improvement in blood sugar (see period of “Nutritional Ketosis” on graph).  This suggests that something OTHER than macronutrient intake has a dramatic effect on blood sugar and/or insulin levels.

Things I’m learning:

1. Eating carbs prevents hypoglycemia.  I had all but given up drinking coffee (which I love) and turned to caffeine pills because of the hypoglycemia that followed coffee drinking.  I learned from Ray Peat that adding sugar/carbs to coffee (and meals, for that matter) prevents that blood sugar drop (which my mind interprets as hunger).  It works!  If I put sugar in my coffee I don’t get ravenously hungry after drinking coffee.  How nice.  And as you can see (graph, above) my blood sugar is not suffering from this sugar-in-coffee experiment.  Maybe sugar in small amounts isn’t the devil after all.

That being said…

2. I feel better if I DON’T have a lot of carbs for breakfast.  I can eat a 500 calorie breakfast of all protein/fat and I feel satisfied for 4-5 hours. If I eat carbs I get hungry within 2 hours.

2.  Juicing isn’t my problem.  I have been continuing to drink vegetable and fruit juice over the past week and my fasting blood sugar has been dropping.  Either fresh-squeezed juice doesn’t affect blood sugar much or exercise reverses a LOT of problems.

3. I don’t need to kill myself with exercise to get benefit.  I’m riding on flat terrain and not pushing myself very hard at all.  10 mph on a bicycle isn’t very fast.  For 30 minutes or so.

4.  I need to prepare more if I expect to eat more veggies.  Still laziness prevails. If I don’t have vegetables washed and cut and ready to eat I just won’t eat them.  I’ll work on that this week.  I think this is why I’ve been eating more overall calories than planned – I’m not filling up on produce as planned.

5.  Nobody has all the answers for everybody.   Everyone is different.  What works for one person doesn’t work for another.  I was listening to Jimmy Moore‘s podcasts yesterday on a long road trip.  Jimmy insists that people just need to give up the carbs and their blood sugars will drop.  Hm…then how come he takes Glycosolve for his blood sugar?  I actually really love and appreciate Jimmy Moore, and he’s usually the first to say you have to find what works for you. However, among the low-carb community there seems to be this idea that this strategy will work the same way for everyone.  Low-carb clearly wasn’t enough for me.  He interviewed Sarah Fragoso on one of the podcasts I listened to yesterday…and she stated that people with a high CRP (C-Reactive Protein) pretty much always have some massive health problem like rheumatoid arthritis or cancer.  I sure hope she’s wrong.  Anyway, bottom line is you DO have to find what works for you.  Give up looking for a guru.  Experiment.

Ok, that’s enough reflecting for one week.  I’m going to continue this plan for now and see where it gets me.

Learning the Hard Way

Had CB #15 on Saturday.  It was 61 deg F going in, 63 when I came out after 30 minutes, with skin temps of 64.  It felt cold…started shivering at about 20-25 minutes.  It’s not as much fun when I shiver in the water.  It wasn’t too bad warming up afterwards though – took an hour total, I think.  I think this is the first time I’ve actually shivered in the water…I have shivered after the tub a few times.

So we got our ice problems solved, I think.  Bought a freezer on Craigs List for $100 – David drove about an hour and a half each way to get it, and then brought it home and cleaned it up for me.  Love that man.  Anyway, it’s big enough to hold lots of gallons of water.  I figure I’ll freeze 5 or 6 gallons and put them in the tub in the morning – then it’ll be nice and cold when I get home from work.  It’s time to get the tub down to 50 deg.  At the price of bagged ice, this thing will pay for itself in 25 days.  Plus I can use it to store meat that I buy in bulk and hopefully pay less for it per pound.

Yesterday I felt like crap.  I tried to follow the Dave Asprey Bulletproof Coffee plan – nothing but coffee in the morning. I even have Dave’s Upgraded Coffee beans to give it a real test.  Drank 2 big mugs of the stuff, with lots of butter and coconut oil in it…and I was hungry an hour later.  Didn’t bother waiting till lunch…I just ate, because I wasn’t about to be hungry for 5 or 6 hours.  Even after eating I felt like eating more.  I ate a bunch of stupid junk like an entire 86% chocolate bar (like 3 oz) and some french fries.  I have no interest in eating a bunch of crap normally anymore…this experience really supports the power of the BAB.  Back on track this morning – 9oz of pastured pork and mushrooms sauteed in ghee.  Ah…I feel much better.  No more coffee for breakfast.  I don’t care what’s in it.

I’ve gotten sloppy lately by eating dairy (cheese – a few oz a week) and regular butter, as well as onions and other nightshades on occasion.  I need to stop that.  I felt sick to my stomach yesterday.  Just meat and veggies for a while.  I think I’ll even cut out the recreational coconut oil/cream for a little while.

Dr. K says that when you’re Leptin Sensitive it doesn’t matter how many calories you eat because your body will get rid of the excess through heat.  It does matter how many calories you eat when you’re Leptin Resistant, however, as the body isn’t that efficient.  Colder water, fewer overall calories.  These are my immediate goals for now.  I have a lot of damage to undo, and I believe these to be the right way to do it.

CT, Coffee, and Mood

Face dunking last night was an improvement over the previous time – I used ice packs to get the temp of the water lower (around 50 deg F), and also used a nose plug – much more comfortable than focusing all my energy on not inhaling water.  Apparently face dunking is supposed to trigger the Mammalian Dive Reflex which makes it easier over time to hold your breath under water.  I’m thinking about using a snorkel next time, and I’m thinking this would be fine because really…who cares if I can hold my breath under water for very long?  I’m not swimming the English Channel or anything.  Anyway, I’m still kind of enjoying the cold face experience…actually kind of looking forward to it.  It does get a little painful at the lower temps, but I figure that’s what has to happen for change to occur.

There’s not a lot of information on Kruse’s site regarding how many times to dunk or how often.  I’m getting that the idea is just to initiate chronic exposure over time.  I’m considering what my next step will be.  Our bathtub is pretty shallow…I like the idea of soaking better than the idea of cold showers.  I don’t know.  I’m not in any huge hurry.  I’ll probably take it slow and start with cool baths in a week or so.

NASA scientist Ray Cronise, in some of his comments over at Freetheanimal, says that you can cold adapt and get health benefits even in an 80 degree swimming pool, and that the more extreme cold temps aren’t necessary.  I’m going to look into the pool temperature at our local indoor pool.  Might be a way to get the ball rolling anyway.

Coffee.  No more coffee for me.  I had some coffee this morning that I suspect is pretty high quality. I got it at the local farmer’s market – it’s from a high altitude single-grower in Honduras, wet processed, and machine dried – just like Mr. Asprey’s famous stuff. Anyway, after drinking it (at the tail-end of my BAB) I just felt hungry.  I still feel hungry, 2 hours later.  It’s been 2.5 hours since I ate like 800 calories, and now I’m hungry.  I’d rather just take my happy little caffeine pill as I’ve been for the last 2 months, and call it a day.  Why the hell would coffee infused with butter and coconut oil make me hungry?  Whatever, body.

Mood.  I’m not enjoying my life much right now.  It’s feeling like a big fat drag.  Nothing feels fun.  It’s all just a bunch of crap that I have to do.  I want to feel happier.  I’m not sure if it’s my life circumstances or my low-grade long-standing depression that makes me feel this way.  I hope it’s the latter…that’s possible to change with CT.  The former is harder to change.