Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Consider Day 2 in the books!

I was up at 5:30 this morning and actually had some decent energy. My breakfast consisted of another Solgar brand probiotic, a pint of water and teaspoon of coconut oil. Coconut oil is rich in Medium Chain Triglycerides, or MCTs, which are easily digested and absorbed, requiring no metabolic energy. MCTs are an amazing way to energize the body and brain, especially when utilizing a ketogenic diet for health benefits.

Yesterday I only took in about 25-30 grams of carbohydrates. I really did not intend on going this low carb with this diet, but I feel great and haven't had the desire for more carb food or food in general so far. I intend on getting back to the 100 gram carb range tomorrow as I don't want to suppress my carb intake as much as I want to make sure I'm getting the right kind of carbs for both my blood sugar and insulin response as well as for my digestion (See note below)

I ended up intermittent fasting again today with the exception of the coconut oil in the morning. I don't suggest doing this two days in a row for most as it can be stressful. Especially for someone who isn't accustomed to fasting in the first place.

I broke my fast at 7:00 pm with some croc pot chicken breast on the bone, a cucumber and celery juice and some steamed broccoli and carrots. Nom nom nom... it tasted great and I feel pretty great right now too.

Note: If you have digestion issues of any kind and/or skin issues consider reading Breaking The Vicious Cycle by Elaine Gottschall. This is the book that outlines the Specific Carbohydrate Diet  which holds much of the logic that has helped me with my digestion issues and subsequently my health issues in general. 

However, the diet I'm adhering to right now is similar, but much more targeted and not entirely in line with SCD. It's possible that I may violate an SCD rule here and there. One of the things I'm avoiding that's allowed on SCD is fruit and fruit juices. I want to keep my blood sugar from spiking too much during this experiment. However, the reason I'm sticking to only cooked or freshly juiced veggies is to avoid fiber intake as much as I can. As SCD will teach you, fiber can be very counterproductive to someone with digestive issues. It's very bulky and can cause physical strain (think inflammation) on an already damaged gut. It will also feed gut flora, which is not a bad thing if you have a healthy balance of flora in your intestines, but this generally not the case in anyone with digestion issues. If some of the 'bad' guys is already overtaking your flora balance then fiber will just feed it more. The idea behind SCD is to starve out the flora and replenish it with the safest and strains of probiotics that have the most proven benefits.

Effects I've noticed today:

1. Itchy nose persists!

I wrote about how my nose was a little itchy on the inside yesterday. Well it was the same today. However, it was only in the early morning. The itchiness comes and goes, but I fully expect it to subside completely or at least become very much a rarity. Again, I attribute this effect to die off more than anything else.

2. Minimal congestion

I woke up mildly congested. This is another effect I'm familiar with when on a low carb diet. I attribute this effect to die off as well. It passed completely by 7:00 am.

3. More increased focus and energy

I felt even more focused and energetic than I did yesterday. Once the congestion passed I felt great all day and was able to get tons of work done and stay focused on the tasks at hand. I can't wait to see how my brain is functioning on day 21!

4. Very mild and short lived nausea

I noticed the smallest bit of nausea this around 8:30 am. It passed very quickly and I don't know if I would attribute it to the meat and veggie diet or if it was more of a result of what I ate Monday night making its way out of me. I'll report if I run into any more of this. It was very, very minimal.

5. Jaw popping on TMJ side

I noticed that the left side of my jaw became a little irritated, so to speak, and I was able to crack it easily. I've had TMJ my whole adult life and sometimes it gets aggravated. I'm not sure what that means. Hopefully it's something indicating improvements of the TMJ, but I have no idea. Could be completely unrelated for all I know, but I can say that my TMJ is usually affected by the way I had been eating around that time. But who knows...?

6. I smell

Yup. I stink. That's something that comes with going into ketosis. This is where your body starts burning ketones as the primary energy source instead of glucose. Some in the Paleo and Primal nutrition world call this "switching to fat burning instead of carb burning". There are a lot of benefits to a ketogenic diet as I have mentioned before. It can be great for insulin resistance and diabetes for instance. However, when you first kick on the ketone burning... you're gonna smell a little bit. Once I get my carb intake back to normal I should be back to smelling like roses like I usually do.

7. Minor diarrhea 

It was quick and minimal. I think most would avoid this if they weren't fasting and eating such low carbs when breaking the fast. No more of that for me.

So far most of the effects other than increased focus and energy have come in the early morning and subsided by mid morning at the latest. I should mention that I really believe a lot of these effects have been brought on by intermittent fasting and hitting ketosis and not really from the meat and veggies only thing. I'm really excited to see what tomorrow brings and can't wait to report back to you!

Thanks for reading! Comment below if you have any questions or input!


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Hey there!

Day 1 is almost complete! Nothing groundbreaking to report at this time as far as I’m concerned though. I usually try to stick to a diet like this anyway, only I never make it for too long. It’s an exciting day for me because of the commitment.

I started the day with an intermittent fast. I did this more out of laziness than anything else. I discovered the benefits of intermittent fasting a few years ago and will very often not prepare lunch for the workday the night before because I have so many other things I want to spend that time doing and because I know that I can easily get through a day without eating and actually reap some benefits from it so long as it’s not an everyday thing.

So I did not ingest anything besides two probiotic capsules (Solgar brand probiotics) when I woke up and water until about 6 pm tonight. My dinner consisted of some grass fed ground beef, coconut oil, sea salt, pepper and a 1 lb bag of frozen broccoli, cauliflower and carrots. Now, this is indeed an EXTREMELY BORING DINNER for most, but it’s actually quite tasty and I’m able to easily look past the boring nature of the meal because it’s quick, easy and very healthy for me.

Some effects I’ve noticed so far (and tend to notice when I start eating this way)

1. Increase in energy and focus

Usually around the 14 hour point in fast I start to notice increased concentration and higher energy. By around the 24 hour point I'll usually notice some fatigue, but it's normally a very pleasant fatigue that I can easily ignore and continue on without it affecting me. I thoroughly enjoy the increased focus and energy. With a diet built around carb intake from cooked and juiced veggies I tend to have the same effects, but I'll avoid the fatigue so long as I take in enough carbs.

 2. Itchy Nose 

My nose began to get a little itchy on the inside around 8:30 am. I attribute this to a little die off of bacteria or fungi. The truth of the matter is that we all have bacteria, fungi, viruses, parasites and things of that nature just begging to take refuge in our bodies and a lot of the time their wildest dreams come true. However, most pathogens feed on carbohydrates (in particular sugars and starches) and so when adopting a new diet, like my Meat And Vegetable Diet you can effectively starve out lot of them. The itchys can result from toxins being released as pathogens die off (for example ammonia is generally released at this time) as well as from fat cells that are used for energy. And in fact, in some cases toxins like heavy metals, chemicals in the environment and plastic components (like Bisphenol A or BPA), go hand in hand with pathogens creating what are called biofilms. I’ll be posting more about this at later date.

 3. Cravings

I had some cravings for sugary foods around 9:30 am, but they passed within 10 minutes or so and I got right back to being very hungry. I’ve been eating moderately low carb; in between 75-150 grams of carbs most days of the week for quite some time now and have experimented with fasting a more than a few occasions. So I’m used to going through the morning and even the afternoon without eating and feeling ok. I tend to experience the same general symptoms within similar timeframes as I experienced today.

4. Increase in sensitivity of hearing 

This is something very specific to me because I already have an issue with my hearing going on. I damaged my hearing in April 2013 and have had a hypersensitivity to sound known as hyperacusis and tinnitus (constant ringing sound) ever since. Around 2:00 pm today I noticed my sensitivity to sound had become a little more intense. However, the conditions  has gotten tremendously better over the course of the past year and just happens to be easily influence by certain foods, exposure to sound, and blood pressure fluctuations from things like working out or stress. I consider this effect to be temporary and believe it will be back on track by tomorrow. In fact, part of the reason I committed to a 16 day meat and vegetable diet in the first place was to improve my hyperacusis, tinnitus and hearing loss in the first place.

Note: I will be starting a blog on hyperacusis, tinnitus and hearing loss in the near future for anyone interested in what has helped me overcome these issues.

Other than these effects I haven't noticed anything significant enough to mention. I feel good! I hope to sleep well tonight and continue strong tomorrow. It's so easy to say yes to an apple because let's face it... it's an apple. As the saying goes... "An apple a day keeps the carb restricted insanity away".

Ok! Time to gear up for tomorrow! Have a great night!


Monday, July 28, 2014

Meat And Vegetable Diet - My Experience

Hi! First off I have to say how happy I am that you're reading this! I've been focused on improving my health for quite some time now and have made tremendous improvements in the way I look, act, perform and feel both mentally and physically.

However, over the past year and a half I haven't been as consistent with my diet plan as I would like to be and have fallen back on some of my progress. I'll eat ideally for two to three days or so and then end up indulging in something I don't consider healthy for me even though I'm not really craving it. In fact I'm usually craving things like sugar and processed foods less than I was in the days previous to my indulgence, but I give in anyway. It's more of a "I earned this" mentality that drives it.

Anyway, I've decided to do a little experiment. I'm committing to 16 days of an all Meat And Vegetable Diet! And when I say vegetables I mean non-starchy vegetables. So that means no potatoes! I'll be sticking to things like broccoli, carrots,

I'll be taking in absolutely no refined sugar or sweeteners of any kind. I will even be putting the kibosh on fruit for this time period (don't get me wrong, fruit is a very healthy food if not overeaten). This will be similar to the 21 Day Sugar Detox diet in that I'll be excluding so much sugar from my diet and of course eliminating sweeteners. However, I'll be going a little more "extreme". (Note that I don't consider this all that extreme, but rather a very ideal diet for me). I'll be eating 4 general things throughout this time:

1. High quality meat (preferably only organic, grass fed/pastured) prepared in healthy ways (baking, pan frying without oil, crock pot etc) and gelatin (as another highly beneficial protein source)

2. Cooked and juiced vegetables only (No raw veggies. I have impaired digestion which is one the reason I am committing to this diet in the first place. It's very inline with the logic behind the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, or SCD, and the Gut And Psychology Syndrome diet or GAPS, which has served me quite well in the past.)

3. Herbs, Sea Salt, Pepper and some other spices

4. High quality fats (Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO), Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO))

I'll also be consuming plenty of filtered water and probably taking a few supplements here and there that I always take.

It all starts tomorrow, July 29th, 2014! I will be documenting my experience each day and hope to have encouraging news to report back to you! Check back for updates and photos periodically!

Wish me luck! I'll see you on the other side!