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.

Breakfast:
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.

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

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

Macros:
Calories: 3566
Fat: 242
Carbs: 54
Fiber: 17
Protein:
180

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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.

Macros:
Calories: 4059 (eep!)
Fat:317
Carbs:
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.

Breakfast:
1.5 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp butter
24 oz coffee

Lunch:
2 sausage patties
3 oz cheese
1 morningstar farms griller

Dinner:
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!
Macros:
Calories:
3062
Fat:
247
Carbs:
92
Fiber:
31
Protein:
136

30 days of clean eating – day 3

Day 3 – this is the hump day (for a lot of reasons, being that it’s Wednesday…ok for two reasons, I guess). Anyway, this is the 3 day hump of addictive processes. Usually if you can get over this third day, you will experience diminished cravings, and I know that today the only thing I really am craving is a diet cherry Pepsi, which I know will taste like chemical swill, but I think it’s latent low blood sugar calling. No exercise, but again, no sleep – baby girl was up until 1, and I was up until 2. Got up at 6, and still sick, went to work. Feel, honestly, pretty good, which is a surprise, but a pleasant one.

Breakfast:
1.5 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp butter
24 oz coffee

Lunch:
2 cups spinach
2 roma tomatoes
4 tbsp sunflower seeds
4 tbsp bacon crumbles
1/2 cup tuna salad (tuna, dill relish, mayo)
1 (final) bratwurst burger
3 oz colby cheese

Dinner:
1 1/2 cups shredded cheese2 low carb wraps
4 tbsp ranch
2 tbsp guacamole
3 fat bombs

Macros:
Calories:
2751
Fat:
262
Carbs:
60
Fiber:
20
Protein:
127

Fast began: 9:00 pm

Lack of sleep is beginning to catch up with me, I believe. I was ravenous when I came home from work, and so today my calorie intake spiked again, though my carb levels were reasonable. I obviously want them lower, but these numbers are a vast improvement over the previous few months.
Still rocking 4 hours a night, and still sick, (probably very related to not sleeping), so no exercise yet. I know, I know, but perhaps this will give me a good idea of how much I can lose this first week with no real strictness and no exercise. After this first week’s adjustment, I will reconfigure my macros, and start an exercise program this coming Monday. This will help me set parameters for the remainder of these 30 days, without adding to this first week’s irritations and adaptations.

30 days of clean eating – day 2

This morning was a blur – woke up to a sleepy son and a sick daughter, and I apparently have a cold. Oh well, soldiering forward.

One thing I noticed today, with the cold and probably from the lack of sleep (more lack than normal, about 4.5 hours) was that I was crazy hungry this morning. My butter coffee lasted for me until about 12:30, and then I ate lunch, as the stomach pain was just a bit over the top. Because of the late start to my fast last night, I was planning on not eating until 1:30, so I lost about an hour of fast. I doubt it will make a huge difference, but it’s disappointing.

I still haven’t (day 2, so…)incorporated a real exercise routine into my life yet. I have a standing desk at work, and that definitely helps, and I try to do squats and calf raises while I’m there working, but I need something concrete, and I have something fleshed out, I just need to implement the program. I think tomorrow, assuming everything is normalish at the house, will be a starting point.

Having lifted weights since high school, I always will emphasize the importance of muscle tone and development. Resting muscle increases basal metabolic rate, and weighted exercise improves blood pressure and posture, and truthfully, muscle just looks good and healthy. I’m not necessarily talking about being a hulked-out swool guy or gal, but if that’s your thing, then that’s sweet. The good news, particularly for women who would be weight lifting, is that significant muscle gains, in terms of mass, are difficult to do, even for men, and for women it takes a large caloric surplus and dedicated training. You only really have to gain confidence, health, and a better calorie-burning furnace from working out with weights.

Fast broken: 12:30 pm

Breakfast:
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp coconut oil
24 oz coffee

Lunch:
2 bratwurst burgers (Hyvee)
5 oz cheddar
small spinach salad with tomatoes, red onion, and ranch dressing

Dinner:
1 bratwurst burger (Hyvee)
3 strips bacon3 fat bombs
1 low carb wrap
2 tbsp ranch dressing

Macros:
Calories: 2416
Fat: 211
Carbs: 54
Fiber: 15
Protein
: 86
Fast began @ 9:30

So, the take away from this day is better. I ate less in general, and dropped my carbs significantly. Had a SUPER fussy daugher-daddy cuddle fest so mom could get some sleep, so I had a few 9:15 fat bombs. Could have been worse, that’s for sure.
Today, despite my worsening cold, I feel pretty good. Energy is high and focus is pretty solid. This is compared to the last time I went into keto and felt like death warmed over for days into the start. I think making sure that I get enough micronutrients, particularly electrolytes, and particularly sodium, helps heaps. Those bratwurst burgers were on sale for a $1 each, so I bought in bulk, and they’re pretty salty, so my sodium is in check.
This is probably NOT an optimum food spread – I’m missing a lot of healthy foods – but for right now, it’s what works with what I’m trying to do in terms of breaking a sugar addiction and cutting carbs. I will gradually add in and speak on healthier foods that reach across the spectrum of healthy eating lifestyles – vegetarian, paleo/primal, and low carb.

Cheers!

30 days of clean eating – Day 1

I have always (always being since I really started to learn about nutrition science, anyway) been a fan of ketosis to lose fat quickly and easily. It’s effective, has a myriad of health benefits, and is pretty easy to follow, to be honest. That said, having 2 kids and a full-time job has made things considerably more difficult to keep track of and stay on target.

Because of this, I have decided to do a reset, and I’m going to blog daily about it. The information I gain will of course be anecdotal, but coupled with sound science and instruction, will form the basis of the information I present outwardly, and will hopefully help other people struggling with sugar addiction and obesity.

So hopping right in, here’s day 1:

Weight 270 lbs
32 % bodyfat
Measurements:

Neck: 17
Chest: 49.5
Waist: 51.5
Hips: 44
Thigh: 27.5
Calf: 19.5
Bicep: 14

I have a serious addiction to sugar, but also a binge-eating disorder, secondary to depression and anxiety. When I get stressed, I tend to binge eat to the point of feeling sick, and it’s a problem particularly not only for the loss of control, but also because I have no purgative compulsion, so I gain weight quickly in a period of binge eating. My goals during these first 30 days are to:

  • Reset my interactions with food, and knock the sugar addiction
  • Get into ketosis as much as possible (I am not restricting fruit or beans)
  • Establish an exercise routine
  • Counter and suppress my binge eating episodes as they creep up

This is plenty to work on at once, so I don’t want to throw in strict ketosis (20 g of carbs or less a day) as it can be counter-productive to binge-resistance, like a stretched rubber band. I’m also not pushing a set exercise schedule, just that I want to exercise, as much as possible. The point of these first 30 days is to establish a regaining of control over my life. My goal, at this weight and my height, would be about 190-200 pounds, before I start weight lifting again to regain muscle. That’s about 70-80 pounds of fat to lose, and I want emphasize fat here – we’re not trying to lose weight, as weight is comprised of muscle, water, fat, and there’s only one of those that’s really extraneous.

Part of my weight loss protocol here is to employ intermittent fasting. That is, I will stop eating altogether after 8 or 9 (babies, hard to determine when everyone is going to be asleep) and then not eat again until 12 or 1 the next day. This forces the body to use stored fat for energy. Eating purely fat during this period appears to prevent a breaking of the fasted state, so butter coffee, as described below, is a good way to sustain focus and energy during this period.

Today looks like this so far:

Breakfast:
24 oz of coffee
1 tbsp virgin coconut oil
1 tbsp butter

This concoction is commonly referred to as “butter coffee” but it’s essentially a very high fat drink that sustains energy without breaking a fast.

Lunch:
3 cups Spaghetti Squash Lasagna
3 oz sharp cheddar cheese
2 oz greek olives

Dinner:

3 slices of hard salami

bratwurst burger

6 slices bacon

1 cup squash lasagna

1 peach
1/4 cup cream
3 peanut butter fudge fat bombs

Macros and totals:

Calories: 3184
Fat:
255

Protein: 144
Carbohydrate: 96
Fiber: 20

Fast begin: 9:30 pm

Day 1 in the books. My goal on My Fitness Pal is 1800 calories, a big drop from my BMR of around 2600 calories a day. Fully keto-adapted, 1800 is probably going to be easy, but lack of sleep and hunger caused me to eat and eat. Though, I must say, this was not a binge. I know the loss of control and the feeling associated with a binge (not to mention I ate more or less within my parameters, and didn’t have a carb party). Carbs were higher than I wanted, but still lower than I expected. Because of baby stuff, my fasting period started about a half-hour later than I would have liked as well.

Oh well, not awful but not spectacular. Tomorrow is day 2, and one step closer to the fat loss I desire. One interesting trick will be going vegetarian, as I am planning on doing. Well, pescatarian – fish is too healthy to avoid, unfortunately.

Can vegetarians do low carb and succeed?

This is a little explored topic when it comes to keto I believe. Most people who do low carb are so excited about “bacon everything!” that you don’t really hear much about doing this without shoveling meat into your mouth with abandon. Can it be done? Sure, of course, but can it be as satisfying as nigh-unlimited meat and seafood? Well, absolutely!

Truthfully, a large amount of the keto comfort foods that I see posted all over the internet are usually vegetarian. Any keto pancakes, muffins, quiches, egg poppers, etc – they’re almost all without meats or fish, and I think there’s a fairly simple reason for this. Most people know how to cook meat; it’s not difficult (in the broadest sense), but creating new and exciting versions of carby staples takes some creativity and technical knowledge. There are some amazing recipes out there that call for psyllium husk – that’s right, unflavored fiber powder. It adds a chewy, binding component to dishes like pizza that help make it more like the “real deal”, but I don’t think in a million years I would have considered that as something I’d think to try out.

The easiest low carb vegetarian meal I can think of would be a huge salad, covered in a high-fat dressing (there’s a lot of oil-based dressings that utilize the healthy fats found in olive oil or avocado oil). I’ll link a few that I love personally below, and you can start there. Salad is great because it’s a great way to get a ton of nutrition and a lot of filling fiber. As a vegetarian, you may struggle with protein here, but you can always add hardboiled eggs and use spinach as your base.

I guess, along those lines, perhaps a look at vegetarian sources of protein would be good. Remember, getting at least 50g a day, but closer to 100 (more if you’re active) will help prevent muscle loss during weight loss. We want to lose fat not weight. Weight means water, muscle, and fat. We need those first two things.

Spinach – 1g per cup (raw, so a cup is voluminous and not a ton of spinach)

Hemp seeds/”hearts” – 3g per tablespoon

Walnuts – 5g per 1/4 cup

Egg, large – 6g each

Peanut butter – 7g per 2 tablespoons

Almonds – 8g per 1/4 cup

Chia Seeds – 8g per 1 tablespoon

Tofu – 21g per cup

Greek yogurt, 2% – 23g per cup (with about 9-10g carbs. The protein and fat included with greek yogurt will help blunt the insulin spike, but I find yogurt is probably best in 1/2 cup amounts, or on a workout day. 9g of carbs isn’t a ton but it might mess up your macros, particularly in the beginning of a low carb diet when you should be sticking at no greater than 25g/day)

Cottage cheese, 4% – 24g per cup (same deal with cottage cheese as with greek yogurt)

 

This is obviously not an extensive list but it’s a good group of staples to keep on hand. I like to mix 1/4 cup walnuts with 1 cup cottage cheese and hit it a few times with some hot sauce. It’s a quick, easy meal that’s full of healthy fat and protein, with a negligible amount of carbs. Cheese in general is a good source of protein, but it’s best to get blocks of cheese (which are often cheaper anyway) and grate it yourself. There’s a bit of added carbohydrate in the anti-caking agent they use to package the shredded cheese (usually potato starch). It adds 1 or 2 carbs per serving of cheese, which can really stack up.

There are a myriad of meat-alternatives out there as well – Boca, Gardein, etc – that make burgers, “chicken”, meatballs, and these are decent sources of protein also, but you need to be careful. I find most of the veggie burgers are fine – lots of fiber and low carbs, since it’s basically ground vegetables with some texture added. A lot of the “chicken” alternatives are breaded, so probably a no-go, and in general, it all tastes pretty good. I can’t say it replaces real beef, but it’s good as its own thing, which is fantastic. Since there may be wheat added to these, you need to gauge if they stall you and cut them out accordingly. I’ve never had issue, but it’s possible that I could have lost weight faster if they were out of my diet, but the convenience factor makes it hard to give up. Plus my son loves them, so we always have them on hand.

In any case, I will have a lot of vegetarian keto recipes posting here, so keep an eye out. There’s always room for improvisation, and if you see a recipe that would be good without the meat, try it. Sub in mushrooms (you can cook mushrooms in butter for a fairly decent amount of time and they get chewy and delicious), or veggie “meat”, or tofu (in sparing amounts) and give it a whirl. You can only fail, and that means you’ve learned. Lord knows I’ve “learned” a lot on this diet.