31 May 2009

drink to the beat

got water?

I know one of the many grey areas of dispute is the concept of water. How much? First they say eight 8 oz glasses. Then more. Then less. Do they mean well, or are they just mistaken liars?

Either way, you can't get around in a Texas summer without drinking a boat-load of water.

But I always forget, so I remind myself to drink by the numbers. An old Army trick! Thirsty or not, drink a little - a few sips, every so often.

My goal is to drink about 4 ounces or so every hour. That way, it's not too much all at once. It takes a day or two to get in the habit, but it does help.

I sometimes think that I am in ketosis (yay!) when I am probably just a little dehydrated (boo!)

Either way, it seems to be a good idea. Cheers!

30 May 2009

fast times

why call it a "fast" when it feels so "slow"?

These days I am trying to "slow my roll" (so to speak!) and not live in such a hurry.   On days that I practice my intermittent fasting, I found an old feeling has returned to my days.  Profound boredom!

Very long slow days.  Days that don't feel like time is passing at all.  

Days that were once filled with drive-thru meals, and cokes. Eating, shopping or cleaning up after eating.  And planning.  Always something...

Intermittent fasting has shown me that I had a much deeper food-centered life than I once thought.  I feel lonesome, like I just lost my best friend.  It's like a major project has reached completion.  Now what can I do with my time?  Does eating cover up this boredom?

Quick - dash off to work! Run to the store! Eat fast!  Fast food!   It's too much and not enough.

The intermittent water fasting is going just fine.  

I have had absolutely no physical hunger whatsoever!  Maybe a hunger for "something else."

Eating is something we all do, so in a way it connects us all.  And to voluntarily restrict my food intake, either by fasting or just cutting way back, I sometimes feel as though I  "left the fold."   There are so many ways to connect to people; food is just one.   Maybe food became an "idol" and the human connection became nothing but a means.  

Intermittent water fasting is not for everyone, but it is for me, at least for now.  Even on days when I don't do it perfectly, the results are still there. Even with the occasional bout of boredom and hunger.

29 May 2009

dude, where's my lunch?

what's up with that?

For two weeks now I have done a water fast a couple of days a week. It's not a strict, obedient thing- it's a mini vacation from food for just one meal. Or two.

I started the fast, so I can end it, anytime I feel the need. It's not a contest or even a goal.

If needed, I take a little coconut oil or even a sf beverage. Just a bite or two or something. Even the day I choose for a fast is flexible. If it doesn't work out, I might try again the next day. I take my cue from how I feel that day.

They call it intermittent fasting. But more and more, it's being refereed to as "intermittent feeding." I googled it, and millions of hits came up. It's more popular than I thought!

After a mini fast, I feel much better, and have more energy. And save time! I exercise more on days I fast. I sleep a lot better, too. And drink water, water, water!

Fasting for one meal is like a 400 calorie gift. It is meant to be a joy, not a weapon to use against myself. I find fasting to be effortless, even occasionally boring. Eating was probably something I did to cover up that internal dialogue that is always going on ...ego stuff, that is not nurturing or true. Fasting, for me, is a way to face the thoughts, and as brave as a blog, to dismiss them. Or at least challenge them.

While I was gaining weight, it would have been good advice for me to occasionally skip a meal, or at least cut down. Now that I am making an effort to lose weight, it's still a good idea to take an occasional "pass!"

The worst that could happen is that I'll be hungry, which isn't likely because I'm already in ketosis from Atkins! How ironic; I wouldn't let myself go hungry when I was gaining. Now that I'm quote-unquote dieting, it makes sense that I might experience hunger!

Fasting is not what I expected, or what I was told it would be like. I thought it would be unbearable, unthinkable and undo-able. But it's not. I even look forward to my fasting days. I treat myself a little better on those days.

28 May 2009

coconut oil

sharing is carin'

...as Barney says. So thank you for all your blogs and menu posts on the awesome-ness of coconut oil!

This is "preaching to the congregation" for those of us who know, but in case you don't....

Coconut oil contains medium chain triglycerides (mct.) These are technically a fat, so they don't call forth insulin. But the body uses mct's almost as it would use a carbohydrate since medium chain fatty acids don't require bile for digestion. But they are not a carb. The result is ultra fast energy! And weight loss, as some studies have shown.

I now enjoy a nibble or two (or three) of coconut oil every day. I even use it on my skin for a lotion. Love it!

27 May 2009

glucometer vs diet drinks

true 2 go

I bought a little glucometer yesterday . It was actually $10 at CVS. Plus you get a rebate! It contains everything: lancets, test strips. The machine itself is about as big as a watch. A really big watch. It is called the True 2 go, by CVS. There are 10 test strips included, and CVS sells 50 more strips for $35.

I am not diabetic, but I wanted to see for myself if artificial sweeteners actually raise my blood sugar levels. I performed a medical experiment on myself! (Did I mention that I am a Nurse?)

Before drinking a diet root beer (no caffeine, so if the blood sugar does go up, it won't be from caffeine) I took my blood sugar. It was 67 (that is a little low - but I wasn't sweaty or sick or dizzy - not any more than usual!)

I waited 30 minutes. I took my blood sugar again. It was actually 67 again. (no it wasn't the machine -- it was new and calibrated)

Today, I repeated the experiment, this time with Splenda. Before drinking a beverage made with Splenda, my fasting blood glucose was 74. Thirty minutes later the magic number was 70. How odd. I am the exception to every rule, it seems.

At least I've proven to myself that, for me, artificial sweeteners do not raise my blood sugar levels. And the idea that drinking them makes you hungry, so you'll be tempted to go off your diet, well that's just insane. It was kind of refreshing to have a little somethin'/somethin' !

Another great mystery of life, solved - at least for now.

And a shout-out to Jo for the idea of the glucometer!

22 May 2009

on the rebound

let's bounce!

I have started working out on rebounder - which is a mini trampoline. I bought a Cellerciser on ebay. I didn't want to get a toy. I use it all the time... It's great for days when it is raining, or too hot or cold to get in a quality walk/workout.

I think about lymph drainage or lymph massage, and how, if all those cells are breaking down in a state of ketosis/lyposis, it makes sense that the lymph system could use a little stimulation all it's own. They say that rebounding is great for lymphatics.

Sometimes I rebound when a commercial is on tv -- that could be 15 minutes or more per hour!

At first I could only rebound for a few minutes. I was sore! (Bio-Freeze to the rescue!) I am gradually working up to the recommended 15 minute work out. It's much much less jarring than running and faster than walking. Plus it really is fun.

Instead of dreading it, I actually look forward to it...So far!

19 May 2009

I skipped lunch and I didn't die!

a brand new day

I read blogs after I sit around thinking about things. Everything I think I just came up with - viola - someone else has already done it and blogged about it!

I sometimes miss a meal at work. I don't always add more food at the next meal. I mean, in theory I wouldn't have to!

Someone I knew intentionally skipped the occasional lunch at work, then donated the money that would have been spent on going out. Someone else I know skips lunch on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday to save on calories. (Plus a couple of bux!) It's like a mini, hidden society, right here in our midst!

Intermittent fasting is all over the Internet as a good way to miss a couple of calories. Most people think of it as a cleansing experience. Of course, it is not for people with blood sugar disturbances, etc, etc. Or for people who are not ready for the "down-side" of fasting. It can be a challenge.

I look at pictures of myself. I never thought that person would be me! Someone else, but not me. So I thought... what would it hurt? Would it really hurt my fat arse to miss one meal every now and then? Would I be hungry? Maybe a little inconvenienced? Frustrated? Would just the thought of missing one single meal send me so far over the edge of insanity that I would turn and destroy myself with donuts? Just because I want something, do I have to give it to myself every time?

Am I really so out of control (after missing a meal or even delaying a meal) that I must not see food, or look at a picture of food, or even think about food at all?

I skipped lunch yesterday and had an extra glass of water. I spent the time instead exercising! An extra 30 minute walk. I was already in ketosis from low-carbing, so I had no hunger at all!

It was more of an experiment than a goal. I did indeed skip lunch and I didn't die!

17 May 2009

cleaning out the closet

coming out of the closet

A PBS money show once had a caller who was told that if she had debt, she probably had a weight issue. Ten pounds for each $10k of debt.  And lots of junk in her closets at home. 

I wonder if this is universally true.  I wonder if keeping pounds is an equivalent of keeping junk in storage. Do they always go together? Or debt, financial or otherwise. Maybe a debt to the past. Or to ourselves.

I like Atkins because he doesn't go into all the psychology of "how did this happen?" and all that. He mentions it, and it might be worth a mention.

The often quoted book  A Course In Miracles says that "The past is gone. It can touch me not."  Well, the past is gone. Yet it seems to be all around us, every minute of everyday, leaving a trail of evidence around like a bad boyfriend (or girlfriend) would leave dirty shoes and dirty plates all around the living room!  The Course also says "Forgive the past and let it go, for it is gone."

So I finally had the time and the energy to clean out the closet.  I "just did it!"   It took two days, and a couple of trips to Goodwill.  I didn't really focus on the reasons why.  I just got busy.

I gave away everything I hadn't used or knew I would never use.  I gave away all my carbs! I just changed my mind about all the things that once were important. And then cooked for myself a London Broil from Sam's Club. It was the best food I had ever eaten. 

Things take time. Cooking, cleaning, planning, organizing, working out. Maintaining it all once you finally get it. Sharing ideas and sorting out all the junk - especially the mental junk. 

14 May 2009

confessions of an oil eater

I read online (and in the Atkins book) about the Fat Fast.  Like the man said, 'what have you got to lose, except weight?' I could only endure 4 days instead of the suggested 5. But I did lose 3 pounds, which satisfied my ego and broke the plateau I was on. 

The Fat Fast was an Atkins concept based on the "Kekwick diet" that helped metabolically resistant people lose weight when nothing else would. 

The idea behind the Fat Fast is to eat only 1,000 calories a day. Up to 90% of the calories are to be from fat; the rest protein. The "meals" (which are not really meals at all) are divided into 5 little feedings of 200 calories each. Eat every 4 hours or so and don't let 6 hours go by without eating something.  An acceptable list of foods include butter, cream cheese, heavy cream, sour cream, a little tuna, deviled eggs made with extra mayo, even macadamia nuts. 

I measured out and set aside  5  of the little portions from the list of items. I  ate freely from the day's allotment as I desired;  a little more for this meal, a little less for that meal.   
Here's how it went for me:

Day One:  I was in a pure (albeit induced) state of joy. I felt better, thought more clearly, work was effortless, and I had no hunger whatsoever. My little testing strips were almost black! I drank over 3 liters of water that day, and got some walking in. I remember thinking that I hadn't felt so good for many years.
Day Two: The joy continues! Lots of exercising, bottles of water.  Again, no hunger at all!  (that alone was worth the price of admission!) 
Day Three:  A little groggy now, at times, and a feeling of just being  "so-so." I had severe leg cramps (potassium to the rescue!) And I'm tired of cream cheese!
Day Four:  The sugar-free honeymoon is over.  I finished out the day by adding in way too many macadamia nuts! Am I craving food, or variety?

 The next day I broke the fast completely by going back to a regular low-carb regime.  My clothes fit looser and I moved the scales 3 pounds. Scales lie. I know this. But....I tried it and it worked for me.

Now I know I can modify the fast anytime I need a little nudge. And I made friends with cream cheese again!

11 May 2009

getting started

Hey, LowCarb People!

I've been reading your blogs, and learning tons (thank you very much)!
Now I wish to contribute to our growing community of LowCarb bloggers.

However, like anything else worthwhile, it takes a little while.

Like weight loss, for example. It is taking me a very long while to make any progress at all.
No, I don't eat too many carbs -- I don't eat any!
No, I don't eat too many calories -- I measure, weigh, & document every single thing!
No, not too FEW calories -- (altho that makes no sense at all, actually)
No artificial sweeteners, no coffee, no medications.
Yes supplements, yes water, yes exercise.
Yes also support, happy motivation, realistic expectations, and peace and love!
No sleep-eating, yes quality sleep and room-darkening shades!
I'm "only" 48 but I am active.

There are so many contradicting ideas and opinions out there. If you step back and observe some of these low-carb bulletin boards, it can seem like total chaos. Who could believe such nonsense and yet be so smart? So misguided, so passionate.

Elsewhere, there are people who have real insight, even wisdom. Not just about eating carbs, but about "real life" things. People who encourage others and share in an refreshing, honest way.

Starting Atkins / low carb was NOT a weight loss diet for me , it was a lifestyle change. Well, not JUST a weight loss diet.
Still, it would be nice to see a little progess toward my "predetermined, worthwhile goals"!!