30 days of clean eating – day 10

Good morning! Today was pretty solid (ish). I had to go to work but my son was in a GREAT mood, so we played for a while before we left the house. That always elevates my mood. No workout today – I had to make a stop before work and I didn’t have time. No worries, though, because I had roofers coming over to check on the leaking, and I spent four hours running around, cleaning the house, moving beds, and mowing the lawn. I was a sweaty mess, but it was a great to get my lungs working and feeling physically tired at bedtime.

Coffee, 24 oz, 1 tbsp butter, 1.5 tbsp coconut oil, 2tbsp cream

Cheddar burger, Hyvee 6oz
Low carb wrap
1/4 cup shredded cheese
1 roma tomato
1 tbsp mayo
1 oz mocha almonds

Porkchop, 8 oz
Ranch dressing, 2 tbsp
Peanut butter, 4 tbsp
Refried beans, 1/2 cup
Cream, 2 tbsp

Calories: 2051
Fat: 162
Carbs: 59
Fiber: 19
Protein: 108

Something that I have noticed over the years of doing keto as a way of eating is that my threshold for sweating is a lot lower, particularly when it’s humid. Less physical activity causes my body to get hot much more quickly, and I’ve often found myself waking up drenched in sweat in the middle of the night (which was terrifying because I used to be borderline obsessed with my health, so I always thought it meant I had cancer). It’s definitely something that I find more and more common when I’m in ketosis, and especially when I’m just starting on a lifting routine – I will be drenched in sweat within 10 minutes. It normalizes after a while, but then my body seems primed for the rest of the day to sweat easily, and I’ve always gotten hot quickly anyway (a trait I’ve passed onto my son and daughter, apparently). It’s something to consider that if you’re getting hot and flushed easily, it’s very possible it’s the ketosis, and though I’m not 100% on the mechanism that causes this, I feel like it’s something worth studying a bit and making a full blog post for the topic.

Today I stayed under for calories, for I think the first time since this whole thing started, so that’s awesome! I didn’t get my protein goals again, did better on fiber, and probably should make it a point to eat some more salad this weekend, as my energy has been dipping and I need magnesium and potassium probably pretty badly.


30 days of clean eating – day 11

Today was rushed – starting to sense a pattern? Believe it or not, we’ve actually gotten better about house maintenance and getting ready in the morning/at night. Establishing routines has helped a lot, and for me, making dinner and lunch the night before makes it much more likely I’ll stay on track with keto and not just resort to eating at McDonald’s or throwing a pizza in the oven, or something similarly unappealing. Relatively soon, we are transitioning back to a fully vegetarian diet as a family, so I will be posting meals on here, with pictures and everything, like a real boy! There’s not a lot out there about doing low carb while maintaining a vegetarian diet, so I think that I can help people in similar situations out. That’s the goal, anyway.

Butter coffee, 24 oz coffee, 1.5 tbsp coconut oil, 1 tbsp butter, 2 tbsp cream

Porkchop, 8 oz
Butter, 1 tbsp
Cauliflower mash, 1.5 cups

Taquito (for shame)
Hyvee cheddar burger, 6oz
Root beer float (heavy cream) 2 tbsp
Mayo 1tbsp
Ranch 1tbsp
Roasted cauliflower about 1.5 cups
Peanut butter, 4 tbsp

Calories: 2146
Fat: 175
Carbs: 53
Fiber: 8
Protein: 100

Not sure if it’s the total exhaustion of carbs or the weather (humid, rainy, allergy-aggravating) but I was dead tired tonight. I barely had the energy to finish the dishes and get the house cleaned up in a very minor fashion. I know I only sleep about 4.5-6 hours a night (and 6 is pretty rare), but I was extra mega tired today.

This brings a bit of attention to making sure my electrolytes are being maintained and paid proper attention. Making sure you get a decent amount of magnesium, potassium, and sodium daily can really make the physical and mental difference when you’re transitioning into and maintaining ketosis, in terms of energy and mental clarity. A lot of people supplement, and that’s fine, but you can get most/all of what you need from whole food sources.

So today wasn’t that good in terms of diet. I stayed under my emergency threshold of 50 carbs, but barely. It’s a good exercise in recognizing insidious, hidden carbs/calories of the little bit here and there: a dollop of mayo, a tablespoon of peanut butter, a bite of cheese. This all adds up and is often the last refuge of stubborn fat, before people realize all the little bites that they’re not paying attention to or tracking when they’ve stalled on weight loss.

I didn’t make my protein goal today, either. Grumble, grumble.
On the plus side, I have an actual blog post that’s not this that I’m working on, so that will be fun!

30 days of clean eating – day 9

Alright! I was supposed to weigh in yesterday, but I didn’t, so I did today. Here are my stats:

Weight: 262.6
16.5Chest: 48.5

I only took these measurements because I didn’t have time to get the rest this morning. In any case, they are an improvement over my baseline. As of 7/6/15 I was:

Weight: 270

Not a drastic change, but good for one week of barely-compliant eating. I realize the weight drop is probably due to water being flushed when I spent all my glycogen, but I do appear to have lost some fat. I’m hoping that being far more compliant this week, along with introducing some exercise, will cause better losses later down the line. I also recognize that weight lifting this week can, after the hiatus I’ve had, cause water retention and swelling, and I expect these things to affect my measurements and weigh-in next time. Since I’ll be doing a 2 week induction, I won’t measure or weigh again until 7/28/15.

Breakfast:Butter coffee – 24 oz coffee, 1 tbsp butter, 1.5 tbsp coconut oil, 2 tbsp cream

2 cups spinach
1 roma tomato
1 cup tuna salad (tuna, mayo, dill relish)
12 green olives
1/4 cup blue cheese
3 tbsp bacon crumbles
2 hardboiled eggs

Hard salami x 3Shredded cheese 1 cup
2 tbsp cream
4 tbsp peanut butter


Fast start: 9:30 pm

Today was peculiar – my son was not wanting to go to bed, so we played WAY later than we should have, which, by the time it was my dinner time, I just wasn’t really that hungry. I melted cheese on some salami and ate that with some peanut butter for desert. One thing I’ve noticed is that I can easily go until 1 or 2 on just my butter coffee. As soon as I actually START exercising, I should see some pretty good weight loss (hopefully).

One nice thing about this way of eating is that the lowness of the carbs, coupled with the steadily high amount of protein, means very little muscle loss, and on the days you exceed calories, if you’re lifting weights or exercising in general, the excess calories, again in theory, should be used for muscle synthesis. This means you could technically lose fat while gaining muscle. There’s a LOT more to it than that, and I will make probably several blog posts just about the theory behind gaining muscle while in ketosis, but that’s the basic thought process.

30 days of clean eating – day 8 (introduction of … induction?)

Today I decided to get more serious. Having proved to myself that I could avoid binging and carbing up on a weekend, this shouldn’t be difficult, but it means a drastic drop in carbs and a new found strictness, which might be more irritating than actually methodologically difficult. In addition to cutting carbs and trying to restrain my caloric intake, I will be adding exercise. Read this, if nothing else, because this is pretty crucial:

On any diet, simultaneously restricting calories while starting an exercise program is not a good idea in any scenario unless you’re a seasoned cutter/bulker, like a professional weight lifter.

Why am I doing it like this? 2 reasons: 1 is that I won’t be doing a ton of exercise, at least not at first, and that particular exercise will be walking and lifting, and 2, I’m cutting my calories down under my BMR, nothing significantly more strict that that. Since I began this process, I have been consistently 1000 calories over my target of roughly 2,600/day. That’s not cool. I need a better framework within which to work, and so a good keto macro calculator is probably what the doctor ordered:
http://keto-calculator.ankerl.com/ is the calculator I used. These are the macros it’s giving me for a 20% caloric deficit, and “fast weight loss with moderate difficulty”. Yeah, bring it on, robot.

Calories: 2137
Fat: 160
Carbs: 25
Protein: 150

This amount of protein should spare muscle destruction during a caloric deficit, and this ratio should keep me pretty sated, hunger-wise, during the day. So I’m only about 400 calories under what my basal metabolic rate is, and that’s really nothing, plus I entered my activity level as “sedentary”. I have a desk job, but I have a standing desk, which adds a decent amount of caloric expenditure over sitting all day, and my nights are usually me chasing a toddler or going on walks, so I am above baseline, but I’d rather be safe in assuming my energy expenditure.
Protip: If you want to calculate your BMR in a quick and dirty fashion, just take your weight and multiply it by 10 for women, and 12 for men. That’s the traditional way, but I think 10 is probably best for everyone. You’d rather underestimate your BMR than overestimate and try and find out later why you weren’t losing weight based on calories that were above the mark. That said, there’s another method to my madness.

It is proposed by popular low carb diets, that you can magically lose weight by eating low carb, even if you’re eating above maintenance calories (the amount of calories needed to maintain your current weight). There’s a lot of science here, particularly regarding hormones like insulin, and there’s people on both sides of the fence. On one hand, losing weight faster than the math suggests you’re breaking the law of conservation of matter – somehow you’re burning more than you should based on all the math that says otherwise, you magicwizard person, you. On the other hand, since fat storage is largely a mechanism of excessive blood sugar and insulin shuttling it into fat cells when it can’t be used (that’s a VERY watered down version of the whole of it), then without the presence of high levels of insulin and sugar, it’s possible that the body simply doesn’t have anything to store.
There is of course a third possibility (probably several more, but I’m concerned with this one) – that you’re losing more weight on low carb because, despite the fact that you feel like you’re eating a ton of rich food, your appetite is significantly less than what it used to be, and your perception of food intake hasn’t matched the reality of a blunted desire for food. In addition, without massive blood sugar swings, you’re not running around trying to sate growling hunger all the time.

Butter coffee – 24oz coffee, 1 tbsp butter, 2 tbsp coconut oit

2 oz kielbasa
1 cup sauerkraut
2 ounces tuna salad (tuna, mayo, dill relish)
1 hardboiled egg
1 oz sharp cheddar

3 scrambled eggs
1/2 cup shredded colby
4 slices hard salami
2 tbsp sour cream
2 tbsp cream (for rootbeer float)

Calories: 2503
Fat: 238
Carbs: 19
Fiber: 0

Hmmm – well, we were under carbs, so that’s good, and a bit under protein, and a bit over fat. Just a caloric excess, but again, far better than the standard American diet, and still improving from previous. I didn’t do any exercise today, as we’re having roofing issues and, well, I really don’t have a great excuse. This is the thing – it’s really easy to invent a reason to not exercise, but I was pretty consistently at least doing squats at my desk at work, and I haven’t done that in a while. Stress eats at you and encapsulates you in a blanket of “meh”, and you start to realize that you’re not doing things that help your stress, and that compounds everything. I WILL make time for this stuff tomorrow, at least some lifting, to get my mind focused. Food is decent, exercise is bad, and both need monitored and improved upon.

30 days of clean eating – day 6

This morning, we were SUPPOSED to have breakfast with a friend, but we’ve been having a leak in the upstairs bathroom, so some roofers were going to come by this morning. Naturally, since it’s monsoon season here in the midwest (forever apparently) it rained, so we ended up going to brunch. My energy level has been pretty consistently high, which is good. Still tired, but feeling better in regards to the sickness I’ve been dealing with, though still chest-congested and coughing. The other aspects of it, however, are great.

Anyway, breakfast sounded good, but we went to Denny’s, and they had a prime rib cobb salad that looked amazing, and man, it was. 10/10, would order again. My son ate yogurt and bananas, and my daughter ate my friend’s shirt. Can’t FORCE keto on them, I guess. Dunno how many carbs there are in cotton.

None, actually. I was completely fasted until 11, when we ate, though I started my fast late last night, and this was an early break to it, I still wasn’t really that hungry until I was presented with the notion of food. The BIGGER victory here is that, as is our weekend custom, we went to Dunkin’ Donuts (fiance loves the muffins, and the kid eats bagels and cream cheese like a little New Yorker), and I didn’t eat anything. I got my coffee with the intention of making butter coffee, but didn’t, and even when my son didn’t finish his bagel, I didn’t eat any. Not a bit, which is a big deal for me because “everything” bagels with cream cheese are like delicious crack from God. This was a great exercise in willpower, because since I broke my initial 5 month streak of low(ish) carb eating, I make an excuse EVERY saturday to carb up and then it ruins my induction, and then I eat garbage for days straight. I actually broke the cycle today, and I’m pretty happy about that fact.

Prime rib cobb salad w/ranch from Denny’s (this was amazing, by the way)
Half a burger, no bun

Keto pizza, topped with garlic butter, blue cheese crumbles, and sliced roma tomatoes
Small salad with spicy dressing, tomatoes, and shredded cheese

Calories: 3566
Fat: 242
Carbs: 54
Fiber: 17

30 days of clean eating – day 7

:Well, today was the end of the first week. I ate well (carb-wise) but I slipped back into old habits, as we were woefully unprepared for this weekend in terms of groceries or meal plans. Pretty gross but this week was still significantly better than pretty much every other this year. I didn’t binge, I had no carb-up meals, though I ate some foods I wouldn’t/shouldn’t have, and I actually ate reasonably healthy every day, with some outliers. Having restocked the kitchen, I am prepared to start tomorrow as an induction. That is, I will restrict my carbs to 25g or less as much as possible, and focus on eating only whole foods.

I proved that I could jump back on the horse and get things done, so tomorrow I will (try) to add in some exercise, something simple:

3-4×12 dumbbell chess press
3-4×8-10 dumbbell rows
100 bodyweight squats throughout the day

I will also weigh back in and take my measurements again.

I’ll also start blogging non-this related stuff, like actual keto information.

Calories: 4059 (eep!)
90Fiber: 21
Protein: 196

30 days of clean eating – day 4

Hmm, did I mention, or place a caveat anywhere, that this was an exercise and wouldn’t be perfect? I didn’t? This is that, then.

For some reason today, and I’m blaming the cold for this, I was exceptionally hungry. It’s pretty easy to eat outside of your goals if you’re eating a lot of fat, and I keep doing that.

That said, I found a delicious treat and I think you’ll enjoy it – keto rootbeer floats! Ok, be astounded, here’s the ancient recipe, passed down by elder keto monks from the days of yore:

12 oz diet rootbeer
2 tbsp heavy cream
Ice? I guess?

It’s really, really good, and honestly it’s very reminiscent of a float where the ice cream has melted. I will be posting some variations, with and without alcohol ;), in another blog post this weekend. That’s when the booze fairy will visit the house.

In terms of overall feeling, I felt great (aside from being sick) tonight. I played with my son and had a great deal of energy. I feel like I’m inadvertently supplying the necessary electrolytes to avoid keto flu, or perhaps I’m just not completely adapted to ketosis, though scientifically you need to only stay under 100 grams a day to enter ketosis, though it will take longer, and I’ve been more or less under 50, or very close to that point.
Grocery shopping this weekend will allow me to gather more very-low-carb foods and prepare a menu that’s more “under 50” friendly, which of course I will share.

1.5 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp butter
24 oz coffee

2 sausage patties
3 oz cheese
1 morningstar farms griller

3 cups vegetarian chili (Boca crumbles, black beans)
1/2 cups shredded colby cheese
4 fat bombs
6 tbsp heavy cream
16 oz diet rootbeer

That’s it! It’s amazing, and addictive. I highly suggest trying it yourself.
Anyway, so yeah, I ate a lot of calories yesterday. Sticking with it though, of course, heading into the weekend. We’ll see how that goes!