Progress — May 3, 2016

Progress

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So far, so good. I’m official down 11 pounds in a month.I’m pretty tall, so my goal is to reach 170. I’ve been on a roll. Every Saturday, I plan out my meals down to the almond. Sunday, I do the grocery shopping. Somehow I’ve even lowered my grocery expenditure. I spend, on average $100/week to feed 2 adults and a toddler.

I have been trying out different exercises. I just found a 30 day yoga program I started last Friday. I can see the changes in my body, and feel the muscle slowly building.

To top it off, as of yesterday, I am off of my insulin. My blood sugar was 80 without taking any! I am still on 1000 mg of Glucophage BID, but that is minor in comparison to where I was a month ago. Three weeks ago my A1C was 13. Two  weeks ago it was already down to 10. I see my endocrinologist again tomorrow to evaluate where he thinks I stand.

My cholesterol was high three weeks ago. My PCP wants me to start medication for it, but I am still nursing my son and can’t take it unless I stop, (and he will throw one big fit if he even thinks I am considering that). I want to give my body another month, recheck it to see if my cholesterol improves like I have read it should when eating Keto-style.

Now for the bad news. 😦

Saturday I was carrying my son downstairs. Three steps down, the board popped up and the carpet (which was attached to each stair individually) just pulled right up along with it. Apparently the town-home owners felt one nail was enough to secure the step. I pulled my  son to my chest and held him as safely as I could and let my body take the brunt of the fall — fifteen stairs all the way down on my back. I had to call my husband home from work and go to the hospital. I am still bumped and bruised; not to mention, I hurt like crazy. Thank goodness my son was just fine the way I protected him!

Anyway… the point is… no more 30-day yoga until I am feeling a LOT better. I can barely move enough to take care of my son during the day. My husband has been wonderful picking up cooking duties for me. I may look into some arm exercises with easy 2 lb. weights in the next day or two if the doctor thinks it won’t irritate my situation.

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The Challenge of Rain — April 19, 2016

The Challenge of Rain

Yesterday brought tons of rain, wind, and tornados to my area. With roads flooded everywhere, trees uprooted, and our power out, I was left with a quandary. How can I cook? I simply couldn’t prepare meals that met my new dietary requirements.

My husband, son, and I loaded up and began searching for a place to eat. Everywhere that I knew could serve food on my menu was closed. We even went into one restaurant and ordered drinks before we were told how limited the menu was, and guess what! It was limited to a carbfest, so we had to pay for our drinks and continue the search.

However, before we came to that decision, my husband asked several times if I wanted to just cheat on my diet for one day because of the circumstances. I seriously thought about it and almost gave in. After some wavering, I decided to explain how I can’t cheat on a diet, when I’m not on one. This is, as I have said before, a lifestyle change. Furthermore, as I begin week three, I didn’t want my ketones to go away and start all over.

Luckily we found a fast food burger joint where I could just order a bacon avocado cheeseburger with no bun. It was a little high on the calorie side, of course, but I was able to justify it by cutting back in other places throughout the day.

As we sat in the living room with all of the doors and windows open for light, the power came back on just before dinner time. I was able to cook Keto friendly Swedish meatballs. I cut my serving down and dropped the side dish, so all and all I hit below my numbers by some miracle. In truth, the real miracle was passing another test where I could so easily have strayed from my path.

Who Needs Support? Everyone! — April 15, 2016

Who Needs Support? Everyone!

After one strong week and my doctor’s approval of the lifestyle changes I have made, I was ready to throw myself into week two. I spent the weekend sifting threw keto recipes and doing all of the calculations for week two. The grocery store trip was an adventure yet again. I needed items I had never used before such as xanthan gum, fish sauce, some sort of garlic paste, and ground chicken. To my surprise, even the employees assisting me didn’t know where some of the items were, so it took a while.

When I began this change in my life, I told myself, “If my husband won’t eat what I cook, he will just have to make something for himself.” That being said, I have tried to select recipes he might at least try. However, for week two, I apparently made poor choices. He had no problem with the inside out burger, he just put his together on bread like normal. On Tuesday I had leftovers planned, so he made himself a chicken and rice dish. Wednesday I made shrimp and cauliflower curry that he wouldn’t even try. Thursday I made a slow cooker pulled chicken that was superb. We both enjoyed it very much.

My challenge, however, is in what my husband is eating. For example, I cooked him Red Lobster style shrimp scampi when I had the curry. That’s no big deal because I could also eat that, and actually plan to work out the numbers and have it in the future. He also made himself a salad, which I am always proud of. The problem, though, came with his final request. Red Lobster now sells their Cheddar Bay Biscuit mix, and we have about 5 boxes of it in the pantry. He wanted them to complete his experience. How was I going to keep the strength to cook and NOT eat one of my favorite foods? Somehow I managed, but it wasn’t easy. I kept finding myself eyeballing the biscuits which were within my reach and breathing them in deeply. To make it worse, my husband was ripping off pieces and giving them to our toddler to eat also. As I write this, there are still left over biscuits in the fridge, but at least they aren’t pipping hot with their exquisite aroma assaulting my nose.

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Furthermore, I made him Suddenly Salad twice. If you are not familiar with that product, it is a delicious pasta salad. So he has had rice, pasta, bread for his burger, and biscuits while I sit across from him and can’t join in. Even on the pulled chicken day I though, “Mmmm this would be great topping a potato.”

So far my willpower is staying strong, but for how long without my husband’s support? For now, I will take the support my scale is offering. Day 10 and down 7.4 lbs!

Benefits of a ketogenic diet — April 11, 2016

Benefits of a ketogenic diet

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So far most of my posts have followed my journey for the first week of my new ketogenic lifestyle which I began to improve my health for my son. With uncontrolled diabetes despite the array of medications I am on, I felt it was time to take my health into my own hands. However, for anyone else he was considering this "diet", I want to share the ways my life has changed in only a week.

1. More energy
2. Easier to focus
3. Losing weight fast (over 6 lbs)
4. Feel cleaner (This is hard for me to explain, but it's like the insides of my body have been thoroughly washed for the first time.)
5. Lower blood sugar levels (from 500 to 150 without any medication changes)
6. Sleep better (I have had insomnia for over 15 years.)
7. Vision improvement (I haven't worn my glasses for 3 days.)
8. Always feel full

The transition went significantly smoother than I expected. Despite having type 2 diabetes, I had an addiction to soda and would drink at least 4 cans a day. (As a side note for people who believe the cost of healthier foods is too much, when you cut out things like soda, you'd be surprised how much money you save in a year. Consider: 4 cans x 7 days = 28 x 52.2 weeks 1461.6 ÷ 12 cans a pack = 121.8 packs x APPROX $3.50 a pack (if you are lucky) = $426.30!)

I did get the "Keto flu" for one day on day 3. I had intense headaches, but that was all.

Because I am diabetic, I decided to get Ketostix to monitor the level of ketones in my body. As expected, there were none at first, but by day 3, they were already showing up.

If you are looking for a healthier way of life but have struggled with diets, talk to your doctor about giving this a try. It doesn't leave you hungry like low fat diets which is a huge step towards success in and of itself. Furthermore, there are so many delicious recipes online that you won't find yourself missing your favorite foods as much as you expect.

If you too are new to the ketogenic lifestyle, let me know how it is going for you. I am excited to share this experience with others, so we can succeed together!

A Bridge for Baby —

A Bridge for Baby

On day 5, most of my menu included leftovers. With my mother- in-law and niece visiting, I didn’t want to spend all day in the kitchen. After their visit, she called my husband and raved about the food. I’m not sure it was that delicious, but I’m glad she liked it. I did throw together a crock pot meal for dinner before they arrived, so dinner would be ready shortly after they left.

The menu:
Breakfast: Keto coffee, cream cheese pancakes, bacon

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Snack: Beef and cheese stick
Lunch: Egg salad on Romaine leaves and cauliflower salad
Snack: Raw almonds
Dinner: Cuban style pot roast on a bed of Romaine topped with salsa and cheddar cheese
Dessert: Vanilla latte cookie x2

The pot roast salad was insanely good! Even my husband loved it – although he left out the salad part and ate a side of leftover cauliflower gratin instead.

The cookies were interesting as well. While they aren’t amazing, they aren’t bad either. I had a difficult time finding one of the recipe’s ingredients: erythritol. Erythritol is a sugar substitute. Eventually, I found out that the manufacturer’s website has a feature to find stores that carry the product. Unfortunately, the closest store was on the other side of town. After buying it, we found out that a health food store literally one block away carries it… Oh well. At least we know for next time.

Sadly, I got caught up in everything and missed my daily exercise. However, chasing a toddler is technically exercise in itself!

Totals: 1892 calories, 169 fat, 20.5 carbs, 92 protein

Day 6:

Ketostix 40
Weight 224.8
Exercise: 20 min. yoga
Menu:
Breakfast: 3 fried eggs, 2 slices bacon, and Keto coffee

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Lunch 1 c. Cauliflower salad and 4 sun-dried tomato and feta turkey balls
Snack: Beef and cheese sticks
Dinner: Cuban pot roast salad
Dessert: Vanilla latte cookie

Weekends seem to throw off my entire schedule! I didn’t realize I needed to eat until 2 pm and skipped right over my snack to lunch.

Totals: 1848 calories, 155 fat, 20.5 carbs, 95 protein

Day 7:

Weight: 224.2
Blood sugar: 120! Almost where I need to be and no med changes from almost 500!
Exercise: 30 min low impact aerobics

Menu:
Breakfast: Cream cheese pancakes, bacon, and Keto coffee
Snack: 2 string cheese
Lunch: Supersonic bacon double burger with mustard and no bun
Snack: 1/2 avocado with salt and pepper
Dinner: Bacon and mozzarella meatballs x3, 2 c. raw spinach with Italian dressing
Dessert: Vanilla latte cookie

This was the first time I had to eat out Keto style. It pushed my calories, fat, and protein slightly above my goals, but not too far. I tried to make up for it with extra effort exercising.

The bacon mozzarella meatballs were another hit with my husband. In fact, he claims to like them more than my pre-“diet” meatballs. Must be the bacon!

Totals: 2049 calories, 172 fat, 13 carbs, 107 protein

ONE WEEK DOWN! A lifetime to go. 😉

Day 8:

Weight: 223.2
Exercise: 20 min yoga

Menu:
Breakfast: Keto proof coffee
Lunch: Chili spaghetti squash casserole and cauliflower salad

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Snack: 1/2 avocado with salt and pepper
Dinner: Inside out burger and spinach salad
Dessert: 1 square Lindt 90% chocolate

I woke up late, so breakfast and the first snack kind of flew out the window, but I made sure to get the coffee in, so I could approach my daily fat needs.

Yoga was a fun adventure today. My son decided to use me as a bridge, so as I held my poses, I watched him crawl under me, around my legs, etc.

On an exciting note, after one week I am down a total of 6.4 lbs! Tomorrow I will see my doctor to discuss the progress and make sure these changes are safe for my health conditions.

I am not listing my totals here as the day is not yet over, and I may make some changes as necessary.

Not a Diet – A Lifestyle — April 8, 2016

Not a Diet – A Lifestyle

I must say things are going better than I expected. As of day four I lost another 0.4 lbs and today I am down another 1.8. I enjoy the food and never feel hungry. (I know you are sitting there doubting me right now, but the high fat content keeps me fuller longer than carbs ever could.) Also, I feel more energized than I thought possible. My husband isn’t a fan of some of the foods, but he is being a good sport and trying them…. followed by a bag of chips/popcorn/etc.

Day 4 Menu:

Breakfast: Cream cheese pancakes, bacon, and Keto coffee
Snack: 1/2 avocado with salt and pepper
Lunch: Chili spaghetti squash casserole
Snack: Beef and cheese sticks
Dinner: Cauliflower salad, feta and Turkey meatballs, and a spinach salad with SF Italian dressing
Dessert: None (Kind of helped myself to a double serving of the delicious cauliflower salad at dinner and pushed my carb numbers too high. Oops.)

Totals: 1674 calories, 144 fat, 21.5 carbs, 78 protein, and 105 oz. water

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As I was eating breakfast this morning, I was thinking that this certainly doesn’t seem like a diet breakfast. Then I realized…. It’s not! I am not on a diet. I have accepted a new lifestyle.

I also tried my first session of yoga at home. I didn’t face plant, so I call that a success. I rather enjoyed the activity and hope I improve over time. It made my body feel both energized and relaxed simultaneously.

Today I invited my mother-in-law for lunch and to let my son have a play date with his little cousin. She joined me for a keto inspired lunch and enjoyed it quite a bit. She has been eating gluten free for a while now, so it wasn’t a huge leap out of her comfort zone.

As of the morning of day 5:

Blood sugar 205
Weight: 225.4 (down 4.2 lbs.)
Ketone level: moderate

No More Waiting — April 7, 2016

No More Waiting

As a type 2 diabetic with  hypothyroidism and multiple sclerosis, I have put off taking care of my health far too long. Watching my son grow, I have realized that I must make a lifestyle change if there is any hope of being the mom he deserves. After much research, four days ago, I began that change with a keto plan.

As of Monday, April 4, 2016 I had a blood sugar level approximating 500, and I weighed 229.6 lbs. My Ketostix results showed no ketones in my body.

The menu:

Breakfast: Keto coffee and sausage and spinach frittata
Snack: 1/2 avocado with salt and pepper
Lunch: Egg salad and bacon lettuce wraps
Snack: 24 raw almonds
Dinner: 6 oz. rotisserie chicken, cauliflower gratin, and romaine lettuce with Caesar dressing.
Dessert: 1 square Lindt 90% chocolate

Totals: 1750.5 calories, 145.5 fat, 12.5 carbs, 86.5 protein, 80 oz. water.

I calculated my needs at 1994 calories, 169 fat, 20 carbs, 98 protein, and 100+ oz. water, so I didn’t get too far off on the first day.

I normally don’t care much for eggs, so the frittata isn’t my favorite food, but it was ok. I hated the super dark chocolate, so that item was dropped from my repertoire immediately.

On day 2, I added exercise to my regime. We spent 2 hours walking at the zoo. This also meant I had to prepare my first portable meal. I made a chicken salad from the leftover rotisserie chicken.

The menu:

Breakfast: Sausage and spinach frittata and Keto coffee
Snack: Celery with almond butter
Lunch: Romaine, rotisserie, and Caesar dressing salad
Snack: 1/2 avocado with salt and pepper
Dinner: Italian sausage link and cooked broccoli with butter and Parmesan cheese
Snack: Beef and cheese sticks

Totals: 1824 calories, 146 fat, 16.5 carbs, 87 protein, and 80 oz. water.

I definitely needed to work on my water intake, and the detox Keto headaches were pounding.

By day 3, I had trace amounts of ketones in my body already! Furthermore, I was down 2 lbs. I decided to alternate aerobic exercise with yoga as is recommended for my blood type, AB-. So Wednesday was aerobic. I managed about 12 minutes. Not great, but it’s a start.

The menu:

Breakfast: Three fried eggs, two slices of bacon, and Keto coffee
Snack: 2 string cheese
Lunch: Italian sausage link and cauliflower gratin
Snack: Beef and cheese sticks
Dinner: Cheesy chili spaghetti squash casserole and raw baby spinach with SF (sugar free) ranch dressing
Snack: 1/2 avocado with salt and pepper

Totals: 1807 calories, 149 fat, 17 carbs, 94 protein, and 96 oz. water.

This was my first experience with spaghetti squash, and I was pleasantly surprised. The casserole was insanely delicious! I had a really difficult time finding SF ranch dressing, but it is out there. I may consider making my own in the future, however.

So here I am on day 4. Another .4 lbs down, and a moderate amount of ketones are now registering in my body. My blood sugar is running around 200 with no changes to medication! My energy is vastly improved. I find myself wanting to do household chores just to expend this extra energy. Fingers crossed that I maintain the strength to continue with this new lifestyle, so I can be here for my son as long as possible!