28 Down

28 Down

dubw9s6psfyfb8hxm5wjfq.jpgWell, I can’t believe there was not more interest in the last post. Anywho, I’m down 28 pounds as of today! That’s another 18 pounds since the last time I reported. But it is definitely not because of medication now. I did it on purpose.

Intermittent fasting has been helping a lot. I am still doing the ketogenic diet for the most part. I have found that if I deviate from that with higher carbs or add sugar to my diet, I don’t feel so well. I don’t know if this happens because of fasting or not.

I have been fasting for 20 hours and eating during a 4-hour window. Sometimes if I eat too many carbs or add sugars during that time, the next fast is more difficult. And sometimes it is just difficult. Most of the time though, the fast is fine. I don’t feel hungry and I have plenty of energy.

Why is this not the same as calorie restriction? The way I understand it calorie restriction means to restrict calories at every meal, eating less all day. Eating in this way the body releases insulin every time you eat. However, insulin is a hormone that tells the body to store energy. So restricting calories doesn’t work after a while because it signals the brain that there is a lack of food and the body adjusts by using fewer calories for energy. The result is that the insulin being release all day is storing everything you eat in your fat cells.

With fasting, the longer time without food lowers the levels of insulin in your body after it has done its work of dealing with your blood glucose levels. Once the glucose is gone and insulin levels are back where they belong, the body can then begin to use your fat stores as energy. That’s the way the body is supposed to work. There is very little hunger being felt during this time.

During the fast, I have to be careful not to do anything that will signal the brain to release insulin. The book (Delay, Don’t Deny) refers to it as clean fasting. Water and black coffee are your only beverages. You can’t use diet sodas or anything with artificial sweeteners. When something sweet touches your taste buds, whether it has calories or not, triggers the brain to release insulin in response. Artificial sweeteners trick the brain into thinking that calories are being consumed. This ruins your fast because of the presence of insulin in the blood. This stops the process of fat being used for energy. Then, of course, you get hungry and eat at the wrong time.

Sometimes this happens. So, I just have a meal and then begin a new fast. And sometimes I only fast for 16 hours leaving myself an 8-hour window of eating time. Sixteen hours is plenty of time for the body to clear itself of blood glucose and lower insulin levels and burn some fat for energy. However, being a type 2 diabetic, I want to give my body more time without higher levels of insulin. Apparently, lowering levels of insulin give the body a chance to reverse insulin resistance by giving the receptors a break from the bombardment of insulin release.

So, I am very excited. I am losing weight. I feel better. I’m pretty sure my inflammation is decreasing. I have less back pain; less pain in general. And in general, I feel pretty damned good. Unless I eat too many carbs or sugar. I suspect that will change once my body is able to heal itself a bit more.

Report on my Dad

Report on my Dad

daddyI am back home in South Carolina now. For the past two weeks, I had been in Texas visiting my Father, who has been ill. I went there because when I heard about his condition it scared me. I lost my mom in 2013 and I never had the chance to tell her how much she meant to me. I wasn’t about to miss that chance with my dad.

I was there to assess what his health actually was. It was not as dire as it could have been, or as bad as my imagined scenario. And now that he is getting the proper help he will be even better. I left him in good hands with my brother and two sisters and his nieces and nephews; all of whom care about and love him very much.

achalasiaHis issue was related to not being able to eat. His diagnosis is a condition called, Achalasia.

Achalasia is a rare disorder of the esophagus, the tube that carries food from the throat to the stomach. It is characterized by enlargement of the esophagus, impaired ability to push food down toward the stomach (peristalsis), and failure of the ring-shaped muscle at the bottom of the esophagus, the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), to relax. It is the contraction and relaxation of the sphincter that moves food through the tube (http://www.webmd.com/heartburn-gerd/achalasia).

For the past two weeks my dad has been on a clear liquids diet; chicken and beef broth, protein shakes, juice, and water. He is very tired of it. He has lost a lot of weight. He is being scheduled for surgery to improve the condition. The goal is to dilate the ring-shaped muscle at the bottom of the esophagus, or lower esophageal sphincter (LES), which will hopefully enable him to eat more solid food again.

Coughing Man - ArrowsNow I was adopted, and I don’t think this condition is one that is hereditary. I think anyone can get it. I have already had problems with a hiatal hernia and GERD. I have taken medications for years to reduce acid reflux. I now control it by not over eating, and not eating certain types of foods. You’re probably thinking I avoid spicy foods, but you’d be wrong. It is high carb foods that are the real problem. My digestive system does not appreciate high carb foods. I get gassy, painful digestive movements, and the worst smelling waste possible in a human. Whereas, when I eat high-fat carb and high fat diet digestion is very easy, less gassy, and therefore painless, and waste is not so smelly.

When I first encountered the problem of gerd/hiatal hernia I was in my 30’s. I ate a lot (I mean a lot) of high carb foods. I was literally stuffing myself beyond my stomach’s capacity. I also ate very fast. Maybe its a military thing. My father was in the military and also eats a lot (more than he should), and he eats very fast. I think the way we eat has a lot to do with digestive conditions we may develop later in life.

I am glad my father is getting the help he needs. I hope he will slow down and eat better foods. I have, and I feel 100% better when I really stick to low carb and high fat, or Keto. This is not where I was intending to go with this post. I guess it was on my mind more so since my dad’s recent stomach issues. Well I guess I will end this here.

Take care yourself and your digestive system. It is very important in the long run.

Discovering Miracle Noodle

Discovering Miracle Noodle

Miracle Noodles

I was turned on to a new product (new to me), called Miracle Noodle. Miracle Noodles are “translucent, gelatinous Japanese noodles, which are made from the konjac yam, are low in calories and carbohydrates and can be substituted in a variety of recipes that call for pasta” (Kate Bratskeir, Huffington Post). I don’t know if the “Miracle Noodle” brand is made the same way,  but, the idea is to be able to have something like pasta or rice without all the carbs. It is also known by another name, Shirataki Noodles.

I ordered mine from https://miraclenoodle.comSo far I have used the angel hair to make Spaghetti Aglio e Olio, one of my favorite Italian dishes. It is a dish of pasta with garlic and olive oil. You have probably had it at some time or another. The taste is the same. The difference is they feel different. The texture is different. There is sort of a crunchiness to them. Actually, they kind of “pop” when you chew them.

That’s it. That’s the only difference that I’ve noticed. They really do take on the flavor of whatever sauce or seasoning you use on them. The second sauce I used with the angel hair version was an Alfredo sauce. Outstanding! Well, it all depends on how good your sauce is. The noodle only contributes a vehicle to get it into your belly.

Shirataki Noodle Recipes

The great thing about the noodles is that somehow they have no calories, and are very low in carbs. So they are a great addition to any low carb diet. They are very filling and have quite a bit of fiber. There are also several recipes at miraclenoodle.com, and, another great resource for Shirataki Noodle recipes is,  PositiveHealthWellness

The package I ordered came with noodles that look like fettuccine, ziti, and even one to be used as rice and several others. Also, there were a couple of flavored kinds of pasta, like spinach and garlic herb.

If you are trying to make a low carb diet work, this product may be one that you can use. I think it will be a great help to me. I hope you find it useful as well.

The End of a Week of Trying Something New

The End of a Week of Trying Something New

Today is Saturday, March 19, 2016, the end of the first week of what I hope will be the final battle to get my health back before something worse comes to my body. I weighed myself this morning; 258 lbs. That’s 9 pounds since last Sunday.

I have been limiting the amounts and types of carbs I’m eating. Recently, I have come across some information that says grains  such as wheat, beans, lentils, and some seeds are not that great for human consumption. Yet the FDA says just the opposite. I don’t know how much of what I read is true, but this week has been a test of sorts.

It is more difficult than it sounds to go without grains, because, as I said,  it includes beans and lentils. I don’t eat a lot of beans, but, when I’m out of money they are usually my go to food. So is rice for that matter.

With more searching, I found out about a diet called, “the paleo” diet. Supposedly, it the way people ate in a period known as the “Paleolithic Era.”  This was before the age of agriculture and industrialization.

Essentially, it is a low carb diet, that cuts out all dairy and grains because of some of the adverse effects they can have on the body, especially wheat. This week I have done pretty well following the principles so far.  I have only gotten hungry shortly after a meal a few times, which is no big deal, because it is recommended that you simply eat (the right stuff of course) to satisfy your-self. I think a few times I might not have had enough calories on the plate to begin with. “Diet Mentality” as I refer to it is a habit to break as well. This diet is not about limiting or counting calories.

It is also similar to the Atkins Diet, causing the body to go into ketosis, which in turn is supposed to cause the body to burn stored fat. I learned that if your eat too few carbs, and they are not dense with nutrition, ketoacidosis can be the result. Essentially the body is starving itself. I don’t know about that, because that condition is usually associated with type 1 diabetes, but I’m not a doctor.

One of the articles I read claims that, “ketogenesis does not destroy muscle tissue, but instead is a process by which stored body fat is converted to ketones, a perfectly usable energy source for all body systems.” Low carb diets have been around for sometime. Even though the author of the diet may not tell you up-front, I think the goal is ketogenesis. I’m sure I’ll be okay as long as I continue to consume nutrient dense food.

So far I have been feeling okay; not hungry all the time. I am noticing some changes for the better in the way I feel. I’m looking forward to learning more about what I am doing. I have several books in line for reading.