Thursday, November 26, 2015

Thanksgiving 2015, Thankful for Food Sobriety, Family, Coastal Views, Whole Foods Brisket, and Glucose Monitoring

Carlsbad Cliffs, Low tide
 Waking up for my 5th food sober Thanksgiving.

If you are abstaining from sugars and grains today or if you are simply following your food template or food plan, please know I stand with you in the choice to remain in your plan and/or food sober living.

I wouldn't have it any other way.

Please check out other Thanksgiving strategies on Dr. Berkeley's blog

I'm Thankful for my

1. Family
2. Cats, who have extra Tortitude today
3. Health, which is an on going maintenanence
4. NSNG, LCHF, Ketosis,Wahl's protocol (modified) food template with normal glucose readings.

Brisket, Whole Foods
5. Coastal Walks
6. Employment in the field of science.
7. Ability to shop at Whole Foods for smoked brisket
8. Mindfulness and observations to not eat Turkey so I don't wind up in Urgent care later today. ;)
9. For Coastal gardens and tide pool wildlife and good weather year round.
10. My support buddies and bloggers, weight, Paleo, exercise MFP and Fitbit buddies, NSNG-ers.
11. The wisdom to n=1 my health
12. Wisdom to remain food sober, no matter what.

Happy US Thanksgiving and safe travels to you all.

D Street Stairs, Encinitas, CA all paths lead to the ocean.

Coastal Gardens still in bloom

Green Sea Anemones, T

Carlsbad Cliffs, Low Tide
Paleo Tortoiseshell Police have located Vegetarian Chili and beans ( for Jr. Family Member)

Keto snack for the WIN! Coconut Butter and black coffee

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Watching Dr. Timothy Noakes in South Africa and hoping for awareness and effective tools for obesity and type 2 diabetes

I'm following the Dr. Timothy Noakes hearings in South Africa with interest.

I applaud Dr. Noakes for speaking up and speaking out. His website has more information. I'm a big fan of Dr. Noakes.

From 1971- 2011 I was either obese, normal weight but fighting overweight and binge eating like a champ.

Once I lost the weight, I switched to a Lower Carb, Higher Natural Fat, Paleo-ish, No Sugar No Grains approach.

By doing so, I turned off my genetic coding for the extra ghrelin and my many obesity FTO Genes. I still  have the obesity and overeating genetics, however that switch is OFF.

FTO obesity genes, double homozygous, yet no longer obese (my 23nMe report)
Extra ghrelin geneotype, no longer having binge urges, LCHF for the win and normal hormone response
It's not my fault that I have these genetics, however it is my responsibility to find tools like LCHF that help me minimize my obesity and type 2 diabetes risks. I'm worth it. We are all worth using effective tools to take care of ourselves and live in the least amount of pain and medication possible.

For me, eating adequate fat from real, natural foods and minimizing high process carbohydrates has been a real life saver.

 Here's how LCHF works for me:

1. No longer obese
2. No longer fighting most binge urges
3. Have stable blood glucose
4. Have much lower visceral fat
5. Have high energy levels
6. I have good, acne free skin
7. I have very little joint pain
8. I can slide on the same pair of size 6 jeans for the past 3.75 years
9. I have adequate good cholesterol so I can have good over all hormone functions
10. I feel 29 instead of 49.

Here's what didn't work for me in the past. AKA- high carbs, lower fat. All things that were told I had to do to to be "healthy". All these things were backwards, wrong, and quite harmful.

1.  I was obese, eat more whole grains the guidelines said
2. I had binge urges 20-30 per day. Eat all things in moderation but count points WW said.
3. I had super high and getting higher blood glucose, nearly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, Eat lots of whole grains and fruit said the ADA.
4. I had very harmful, disease producing visceral fat, So many people told me this is what happens in menopause!!!?? It's "normal" Whut??
5.  I sat around after meals sleepy and numbed out from even high natural carbs. I sat ALOT.
6.  I had deep cystic acne. It was claimed that diet and food has nothing to do with it.
7. I had so much joint pain I took 300-400 ibuprofens a year and felt like I was 80 years old
8. I had 4-5 different sized jeans because I could not stop binge eating. I spent a fortune on buying clothes to fit my yo-yo eating habits.

9. I had low cholesterol but carried 70 extra pounds on my 5'1" frame. But hey, low cholesterol the normal cholesterol ranges said!
10. I felt 70-80 when I was in my early 40's and thought that I had to accept it as becoming middle age.

What benefits have you seen on LCHF? If you are on twitter, you can see the activity by using the tags  and 

It's my hope that more effective tools are offered up so that more people can give their given gifts to their families, their communities and most importantly themselves. We are all worth that. Bravo Dr. Timothy Noakes.

LCHF and happy for the health benefits

Sunday, November 15, 2015

You know why I baked at the holidays? So I could eat in secret, not too much of a shocker, I know!

Ghost of Christmas past 2009
I used to bake at the holidays so I could eat both the ingredients and so I could eat the baked products.

I used to eat in secret and think no one would notice.

It's not too much of a shocker. And yes, people noticed.

I had so many excuses of why I needed to bake. Traditions, kids functions, wanting to fit in socially.

Being 70 pounds overweight and being both acutely and chronically ill was not a secret. I used old habits. I distributed my baked goods to others that were acute and chronically ill. Those were not my greatest times. I apologize to those who I hurt with my own habits. Breaking free from those habits was hard, but not undo-able.

Good news, once I changed my habits I could stop them and replace holiday baking and eating with better habits. Habits that no did not involve food but did involve eating real whole nutrient dense foods and time with family and friends.

Ghost of Christmas present, 2014
Here are some of the awesome new habits I've developed since I stopped holiday baking. Remember, I live in So. Cal coastal, so I'm outdoors more often in the winter. Hey, If I lived in Indiana, I'd replace water sports with cross country skiing and snow activities.

Here's what is working:

1. Outdoor hiking
2. Beach walks
3. Photo outings in places like Balboa park
4. Taking the kids to outdoor ice skating on Coronado Island
5. Holiday caroling
6. Holiday hand bell performances
7. Work projects for the less for the less fortunate
8. Religious traditions
9. Paddle sports with family
10. Harbor walks with family
11. Movie watching with family

 Here is what didn't work in the past

1. Planning to bake Christmas Cookies
2. Buying big bags of Christmas candies in bulk
3. Attending cookie exchanges and making low point WW recipes. What WAS I thinking here? ??
4. Eating the cookie toppings
5. Eating the raw cookie dough, not caring if I got salmonella. (this one hurts to think about )
6. Eating the cookies.
7. Bagging cookies into tiny zip lock bags that were "low" points. DON'T answer #3 & #7, painful!!
8. Offering to bake for kids events.
9. Signing up on potlucks to bring the dessert and expecting to lose weight.
10. Distribute sugar stuff to people fighting their own chronic and acute diseases.

It's never too late to change your holiday baking and buying habits. I'm off to make sure I've got some clothes for my coastal walks. Safe travels and I'm glad I don't eat in secret any more.  Here's to banishing the ghosts of Christmas past!

What are your favorite holiday non-food activities? GO!
Coastal Walk on Oceanside Pier with coffee from the Succulent Cafe!

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Refuse to Regain videos for the holidays from Dr. Berkeley, MD, 5th year of no holiday baking

Hello All,
Carlsbad Cliffs coastal beach walk

I'm a huge fan of Dr. Berkelely, MD, the author of Refuse to Regain. This holiday season, Dr. Berkeley is sharing videos about weight related topics.

I hope that if you are visiting my page, that you will go over to Dr. Berkeley's Facebook page and view her videos and think about the topics she is presenting.

I am so thankful to be on Weight Maintenance Island by using both Dr. Berkeley's book, the support group over at Half Size Me Community, and the principles of LCHF, Paleo, modified Wahls Paleo Plus and modified Auto-Immune Protocol and NSNG.

A food template that is optimized to keep myself from my 40 years of prior obesity, support, continued learning. All key steps.

I hope you'll visit Dr. Berkeley's Facebook page and make any needed changes to your holiday habits that will result in outcomes for both you and your families.

I gave up holiday cookie baking for time with my family and friends during beach walks, kayaking, coffee shop visits, stops at fun places like Hotel Del Coronado, local lagoons and coastal walks, and service projects.

It's been 5 years since I gave up holiday baking. I don't miss the effects on my mind or body from the excess sugar. The physical pain of being 70 pounds overweight. The mental pain of weight gain. The financial pain of buying larger sizes of clothes due to the weight gain.

My friends and family are certainly not suffering from any cookie or sugar deficiencies. Why would I want to contribute to that environment for myself, but also for them?  There are many non-food ways to connect.

Here's to keeping your food and health habits during a time of excess. Jan 1, 2016 will arrive before we know it. I know I'll be staying on my food and health template during this holiday season. I hope more will join me this year.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

3 years, 9 months in long term weight maintenance- holding steady

 Starting weight 187.4 lbs
Current Weight: 119.8 lbs
Goal weight ranges
(113-117) and/or (119-121)
Time in weight maintenance: 3 years, 9 months
Age 49
Height: 5'1"
Menopause: 2 years
Auto-Immune Hashimotos: 1997
Food Addict in recovery: May 2011
Current food template: LCHF/ modified Wahl's Paleo Plus/modified AIP protocol

Another month! I traveled successfully, monitored my glucose a little bit more often and survived some interesting feelings around Halloween.

1. Travel: I was on a business trip with a little bit of fun added in one day before work started. I packed foods like coconut butter, individual packets, an avocado, and some individually boxed coconut milk that is shelf stable.  I also brought some decaf coffee and coconut oil.

I had a partial kitchen in my room so I enjoyed coffee with coconut milk and/or a little coconut oil. This kept me from being hungry between bigger meals with the group.  

I also put a premium on walking in the hotel and during the time off the work duties. 

2. Glucose monitoring: Yes, this is a must. I have finally gotten to the point where extra protein does cause my 2 hour post meal glucose to be a little higher than I'd like.

 Mid to upper 90's when I usually run high 80's or below 2 hours post. And that was after a 45 minute brisk evening walk!!! I can see why my HA1c runs higher on some years blood work. 

Walking brings it down, but still. I'm embracing the moderate protein approach from a modified Wahls Paleo Plus protocol. This seems to give me well fitting clothes and good glucose values. Win-Win

3.Halloween, yeah, I had some weird feelings. I was tired, hungry, and had been exposed to a big plate of frosted cupcakes unexpectedly brought into my car.  Thankfully, I got home, got some "on food template food", turned off the lights and took a nap. No sugar was dumped on the neighborhood kids and I got my mind straightened around. 

Whew!  Recognizing that something is wrong and taking on only planned food is key to me not binge eating and keeping in weight weight maintenance. It's not the first time I've had issues with wafting cupcake frosting smells. 

It's amazing I can be in weight maintenance so long and still get triggered. Very important to be tough and make tough choices. I wish I could bottle toughness and sell it on Amazon. ;)  

The good thing is, we all have it on the inside of us. The answer was always inside of me, I just needed to get out of my own way.

Here's what's working

1. Travel: taking coconut and avocado based snacks so I can stay in ketosis and the items are very stable. 

2. Glucose monitoring and eating a moderate amount of protein. Tracking on My Fitness Pal.

3.  Identifying food triggers and taking immediate action on stress relief on what the real issue is (being tired or just regular hungry)

Here's what didn't work in the past:
1. Using travel to eat all kinds of junky snacks- 'Hey, I'm on vacation, someone else is paying, I'll walk this off, everybody indulges in the flavors of the region" All excuses to binge eat junk food. 

2. Not tracking my food. I had no idea how foods effected my blood glucose. My poor body. That obesity was there to protect my eyes, kidneys, and liver by storing the extra glucose in fat. Sigh. Live and learn.

3. Trying to count WW points for mini- candy bars. I loved that stupid chart that my WW leader brought out, now I can "fit it into my points allowance". No, No, 1000x NOPES. That triggered my binge urges and kept me on the sugar "hooch" until January of the next year. I loved that chart, but I don't miss it now that I've lived and learned. 

That's it. I bought an Instant Pot with my "Points' from my employers wellness program. I've been making great, fast, batch cooking meals- on my food template.  I hope to blog more this month. Time will tell. 

Hope everyone made it through Halloween without triggering themselves. Onward.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Does knowing your genetic risks for obesity help or does it hinder? part 1 of several- It wasn't my fault

Karen age 7, many obesity genetic risks
I read this article from Dr. Sharma's website

My answer to the question: Can information on the genetic nature of obesity reduce perceived weight discrimination and increase the willingness to eat healthier?

Part 1 of several topics from my past, and present.

My answer: YES to the knowing my genetic risks.  I'll leave the perceived discrimination for another time.

Willingness to eat a low inflammatory food template: Even before I got my 23nMe genetic results, I had refined how to NOT have the obesity pheotype (aka have obesity) while still having the obesity genotype.  Paleo-ish, low carb, higher natural , NSNG- no sugars no grains, template for weight maintenance. That's my personal food approach to my personal obesity risks. I didn't need my genetic report to get that far. I experimented around and found those food templates.

What my genetic risk report gave me: I was able to heal up from some of the worst mental pain from being an obese kid in the 70's and 80's.

It wasn't my fault: I was an obese kid for most of elementary school.  I was seven years old in the photo.Being obese anytime is tough. It was especially tough in the 70's and 80's. I was one of the only obese kids in my elementary at the time.
Special Note* I wasn't the only one. This is not a poor me post. Not tougher than the other kids had it. Everyone bullied one another for being "different".  Race, family income, being a different sexual orientation, religion, being obese, being super thin, short, tall. All differences were grounds in Central Indiana for getting the stuff kicked out of you physically and mentally on the playground. There was much worse bulling going on around me. We were all in the same boat as far as the culture of the time*

It wasn't my fault: I have the genetic risks for childhood obesity. I have many obesity risk genes. Double copies in some cases, single copies in other cases. Remember it's not single SNP sets but the combination of genetics, environment, combinations of genes and environment. ( I must say, NSNG for the WIN!!!, thank you Vinnie and Anna Vocino, for making no sugars and no grains popular. I can now be a cool kid. You have no idea how happy this makes me.)

More info on this FTO SNP, just one of many FTO risks I have.

More info on this extra Ghrelin/FTO SNP, I have no doubt that ghrelin plays a role

It wasn't my fault my genes expressed themselves. Sometimes you don't get the disease when you are high risk. Sometimes you do. I did. I had obesity starting from age 6 to 46. I had times where I wasn't obese, but I often battled binge urges.

It wasn't my parents fault. No one in my immediate family  had obesity in the 1970's and 80's in the younger generations. Maybe overweight from time to time. They tried their best. Nothing offered worked and in many cases, ineffective recommended tools did more harm than good.

It wasn't my fault: An elementary school kid is not going to have the mental capacity to navigate high risk obesity genetics. I would have depended on the root cause to be identified and then EFFECTIVE corrective and preventive measures.  The experts are there yet, even in 2015. Good thing I set up some n=1 self experiments and am not holding my breath!! ;)

Karen- moderating sugars, grains 2009, obesity genes expressed
It isn't my fault now: Until genetic risk factors for obesity, type 2 diabetes, extra ghrelin production (hunger hormone) and others get paired up with the right for you food templates for obesity, some of us are going to have obesity. Calories in and calories out are just not effective or comprehensive for many of us. It may be a partial fix. For many people with obesity risks- we are not weak willed people, we just don't have effective tools for our genotypes. It's not our fault.  

That being said, I take full responsibility for my health.

 There are many  food templates that seem to help. NSNG, LCHF, Paleo, Primal, Refuse to Regain strategies,Vegan & Vegetarian (yes, this works well for some, don't hate), Abstaining from certain foods  (OA and FA have a jump up on this strategy).  Even within an abstaining population, the types of food each person may need to give up vary widely with good reason- we have different genotypes and resulting phenotypes.

Karen 2015- have obesity genes without the obesity phenotype
Who knows what other inputs may effect obesity. Gut microbes, sleep, stress, auto-immune diseases? Multi input process

There's no one Answer, but because there are inexpensive genetic tests and some effective food templates that work with personal genetics, some will start to live without obesity even though we are hard coded genetically for it. It's a more than a bit tricky to find the right combo. It's an exciting time with personal genetics starting to emerge.

The answer was inside of me, I just had to get out my own way and match up the right food template. It was a lot of work, but very well worth it.

Part 2, I'll dive down into some "answers" I got when I was young into what was going to work when I was older.

Here's what's working

1. No Sugar No Grains, Paleo-ish, LCHF,  Wahl's Paleo Plus food template
2. Knowing, understanding, and accepting my genetic risks from my 23nMe genetic report.
3. Time to prioritize my NSNG, LCHF lifestyle- cooking, sleeping, stress reduction
4. Accepting what I can and cannot change and not carrying guilt and monkeys  around with me.

Here's what didn't work in the past

1. Moderating sugars and grains
2. Not knowing my hard coded genetic risks, comparing myself to genetic normies.
3. Not prioritizing time and habits that were effective
4. Failing to fully accept the effective food and lifestyle template. After my WW leaders drilling it into me that moderation WAS required, I failed to have the proper backbone to get the heck away from that environment. It's not the  fault of WW, but my fault for not breaking from ineffectiveness sooner.

Question for my readers: Has anyone else been helped from knowing their genetic risks? Has anyone changed their food template and made medical decisions to their success? Anyone else able to get ineffective monkey's off their back?

Saturday, October 10, 2015

3 years and 8 months in long term weight maintenance- staying steading in this plateau

 Starting weight 187.4 lbs
Current Weight: 120.2 lbs
Goal weight ranges
(113-117) and/or (119-121)
Time in weight maintenance: 3 years, 8 months
Age 49
Height: 5'1"
Menopause: 2 years
Auto-Immune Hashimotos: 1997
Food Addict in recovery: May 2011
Current food template: LCHF/ Wahl's Paleo Plus combo

1.Holding steady, goal range revision

I've been in the same weight pattern for 3+ months. If I want to attempt  a lower acceptable range I'm likely going to have to have sustained lower carb efforts in the range of total 20-29 grams of carbs. Right now I vary between 30's, 40's and occasional days of 50 grams of total carbs all from non-starchy veggies and some 85% chocolate- small amounts.

 It's no big deal to abstain from chocolate. I did the whole month of July 2015 and it seems to make no difference. I tend to feel better eating within the Wahl's Paleo Plus for veggies, so have included my solid acceptable weight range of 119-121. I've always had a nice plateau there. It will be up to me to decide if trying to drop the weight into the lower 113-117 range is worth the lower veggie intake.

2. Travel

I traveled earlier this week to the mid-west with very good results. It was the first business trip of this type that I had been solidly food sober.

Wow, wow, wow... my eyes are open and reflective of my binge habits and food addiction of the past. There were processed food bombs everywhere.

During meetings, at meals at nice restaurants, hotel breakfast buffet.

I made a food sober, Paleo-ish, Low Carb Higher Fat food plan and stuck to it like a boss. I was grateful for my plan and food template and things like individually wrapped coconut oil, steak and veggies, eggs and some bacon, and lots of simply prepared veggies.

I came home solidly in weight maintenance but also slightly out of my favorite low level ketosis. I would bet that I'm in a very low level of ketosis 70% of the time but the extra protein and veggies had me out for a few days.

What a different trip to come home not having massive binge urges and shame and promising to do better next time. Instead I put my time into work, sightseeing, and photography. Enjoying the outcome of my choices. I choose THIS!!!

3. Mild cold virus

Yeah, airplane travels. I'm feeling good taking Zicam- zinc and this is nothing like the monster sinus virus of two months ago. Even though my immune system is much better than on the Standard American Diet, I'm not totally immune to infections.

4. Weight Graphs: It's not an update without some data. :)

What's working

1. Current weight Plateau
2. Keeping my food template while traveling
3. Taking zinc for mild respiratory viruses.

What did not work in the past:

1. Never weighing in and only weighing in once and a while.
2. Eating all the food presented to me.
3. Having preventable illnesses that could be better managed by lowering my inflammation.