Sunday, September 27, 2015

Back to my regular food template- LCHF Sept 2015, lessons learned- Don't mess with what is working

The Sad news: I ended my AltShift experiment only about 10 days into it.

You messing with the food template?
Reason: Joint pain. Lots of it. Multi-location. Always my body's way of saying.... "Hey! Listen up! Whatever you are doing/eating needs to change right now!!"

The Weird News: I'm food sensitive to Turkey. I blew up like a balloon. Could have floated me in a Macy's Parade.  Good to know, especially with Thanksgiving approaching.

Could the two have been related. Not sure. I'd have to re-test without the turkey. Not this year.

Why the wheels fell off the Karen the bus: I'm really not able to incorporate the starchy carbs the AltShift calls for (rice,  potatoes), so I'll probably skip any challenges in the future with this protocol. It's not a good fit for my current health management. That's okay, it's not a bad plan, just not a good fit for me. I can see why it works well for others.

The Good News: I'll be able to use some of the non-diary sauces in my current food template and other people are having great results with AltShift. That's great. It's an interesting protocol. I'd describe it more of a Primal-ish food template.(many of the recipes have dairy- can be modified for Paleo)

More Good News: I have a new appreciation for my pain free living, I used to live with joint pain and just accept it as a part of "aging"- in my mid-40's. What?? No way. Now I know better.

Interesting News:  As part of one of my discussions on the Facebook AltShift community, I realized how many sulfur rich, non-starchy vegetables I was eating and it did cause me to wonder how close I was to one of the Wahl's Protocols. I  picked up a copy of the book The Wahl's Protocol. MS runs in my family, multiple blood relatives.

Sure enough, my chosen, low inflammatory LCHF food template is very similar to the Wahl's Paleo Plus protocol. Low level ketosis, non-starchy veggies, coconut oil. Yes, yes, and yes.  It's nice to see that there will be clinical trials around the Wahl's protocol for both MS and obesity. I think it's no accident that I chose this food template, genetic wise. There's undoubtedly some genetic component at play.

It feels good.  One major difference is that I include eggs in my food template, since I'm more in it for the low-inflammation and the side effect of weight management and avoiding obesity.

Some more good news:  I'm extra motivated to keep the organ meat (chicken livers and chicken hearts so far- hey- saute in garlic and onions, not so bad!!)  in my food template and to be extra mindful of leafy greens. I'm also getting up to 1/2 cup of berries into my food plan with super good glucose results.

Massive Gratitude: Food is medicine for me, more than I appreciated before.

Doctor agrees: on a recent check-up: "Keep doing what you are doing. Oh, lets look at last year's lab results... okay cholesterol slightly high, oh, your HDL is very high, well nothing to worry about there."  Happy dance that my doctor understands detailed lipid panels.

*I still have to get this year's lab work done, so, I could still be in line for some changes.

Binge Urges: at an all time low. Binge eating thoughts are far, far from my mind. The switch is off. I couldn't binge if I wanted to now based on my full signals after each meal. The deepest I've been into long term remission as I've ever lived life.  Like a switch that is on OFF.

Don't worry, I'm not naive, eating sugary, grainy foods with emulsifiers (xanthan gum or guar gum) could change that in a microseconds. That switch could be turned on and it's my full responsibility to make choices within my food template so I can remain food sober. BS-ing myself = lapse or relapse.

That's it, back to regularly scheduled food programming.....  very thankful and I have a new appreciation for daily, pain-free living. I feel so much better.

Smooth sailing on the SS LCHF ship

Sunday, September 13, 2015

I feel so much better on a Paleo-ish , LCHF food template- deep thoughts on a Sunday

I FEEL BETTER: I feel better.... I feel so much better now.

Eating in a Paleo-ish food template (lower carb, higher natural fat, very low processed foods) is like life in color vs life in black and white. It's life, but through a very rich color filter.
Carlsbad, CA just north of Carlsbad Cliffs, Sept 2015

What's working now:  Paleo-ish food template

I eat, I feel full,
I live life with normal activities and thoughts,
I feel normal hunger, just a little bit,
I eat, I feel full, more living life
I have natural sleepiness, I sleep
Wake up feeling rested

Eat, live, be present, rest, repeat

Life in Black and White

What didn't work in the past:   Eating Grains and Sugars, and food emulsifiers (guar & xanthan gum

I'm starving, I eat all  the things,
I rarely feel full, I eat more
I go about my day, when can I eat again?
I need to eat, find a place to binge, food seek,
Did someone bring treats, can I eat them in secret after eating them in public?
I eat, I binge,I'm starving,I don't feel full,
When can I eat again? Because I've blown it
I binge, I feel terrible, I'll start tomorrow.
I wake up groggy and not well rested

Eat, Repent, Repeat

I can live life either way. One is better. I feel better. I wouldn't trade a sugar laden or grain food for the new life. I feel so much better....  I choose this. I feel better.

Okay, that's enough deep thoughts for this morning. Here's to finding living color.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Experimenting with my long term weight maintenance n=1 with AltShift

I'm excited to be starting the AltShift protocol (Jason Seib) today. 

These are all my own opinions, as always, at this time, I remain a non-commercial blogger.

Even though I'm well within my "normal" BMI goals - AKA, I can meet my $40 a month insurance discount in 2016, I could stand more n=1 in long term weight maintenance.

It's nice to be able to unbuckle my seat belt and move about the Paleo-ish, Weight Management cabin, so to speak. 3.5 years into long term normal weight (previously I had yo-yo dieted for 40 years). 

 I've also accumulated a little bit more subcutaneous fat than I would like and despite my best efforts, It's not moving by a few shifts I've tried myself.

Here's what I like about the plan:

1. 5 out of the 8 days are pretty much my current food template, Paleo-ish, no sugars no grains.
2. 3 days out of the 8 days  match what my 23nMe genetic report say works for my body type for fat loss.
3. It's inexpensive ($25 for the ebook and access to the Facebook group)
4. I can monitor my changes safely by using my home glucose monitor to make sure I'm not increasing my risks to develop type 2 diabetes. 

So that's the scoop. I'll let you know how it's working. Hey for $25 getting the Facebook support group access was well worth it. Those are some nice people, with similar goals.

In the past, here's what didn't work

1. Eating high carb, processed diet foods that kept my hs-CRP high
2. Not taking personal geneotype and phenotype into consideration and n=1
3. Paying $10 per month to moderate all foods.
4. Not doing home glucose testing.
I'm free to move about the cabin in long term weight maintenance, 30K feet

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Get yourself a good Weight Maintenance Support Group- one that has good internet moderation- I recommend Half Size Me Heather

* Note: I am a paying member of the Half Size Me Community and a Patreon Supporter, too. I'm making this recommendation as a happy customer. My opinions are my own.

Support: My 2 cents: One of the required critical steps in long term weight management is support.  Dr. Barbara Berkeley, MD wrote about it in Refusing to Regain (see chapter twelve)  Weight Maintenance Juniors, Seniors, and Mentors are discussed.

Overcoming 40 years of binge eating and at times morbid obesity (age 6-46) is something that requires many tools. One bite and I can be eating off the rails and killing myself slowly. One meal, one day. Food sobriety is no joke and is a matter of life or death for me. I'll have to deal with this every day for the rest of my life. I can't opt out.

One the most important tools in my weight maintenance tool box is support from other people. BOTH getting support and giving support in long term weight maintenance. Keeps your head in the game, either way.

Here are my top reasons why I would recommend the Half Size Me Community and the Weight Maintainers. It's $15 per month and well worth the money, in my opinion. 

Heather Robinson's Half Size Me Community is one stop shopping for a low price. Great Value. As I get older, I would rather pay a small amount for great value than have something free and not so supportive.

Here's what works for me in the Half Sized Me Community:

1. Good Moderation. There are no Spamers or Haterz because it is not tolerated.
2. Growing number of Weight Maintainers who are long term (2+ years into it).
3. Acceptance of Abstaining from sugars and grains, I'm accepted, Paleo-ish, Low Carb is accepted.
4. Private subgroups for many topics that are related
5. Monthly weight maintenance live calls where we can ask each other questions, live!!
6. Weekly, live calls where we can interact with all the group members or listen to topics.
7. Ability to interact with maintainers on the West Coast and Pac Rim time zones.
8. Access to people who are deep into weight maintenance.
9. Structured, predictable schedules. 
10. Good tech support, if needed.

 Here's what didn't work in the past in other groups. Not that they were bad over all, but Heather's Community is more one stop shopping for a low price. Great value.

1. Moderation of online support forums were not adequate or non-existent or worse, cult like! 

2. Not interacting with more people who were 2+ years into weight maintenance, In the past I had two other weight maintenance attempts ( after a 60 pound loss and a 25 pounds loss). 
Interacting with others 2+ years out with Honesty, clarity, and other people who seek to do the hard work are key. In the past, I sought head pats and sugar coating = weight regain.

3. Ah, abstaining. I don't eat sugars or grains. Food sobriety is key. Although many maintenance group members are moderate food eaters, some are abstainers, low carbers, Paleo, Primal, Vegan,  etc. Wide variety of food templates, as required by a wide variety of genotypes, cultures, ages, life experiences.  

I am tolerated as being me in this group. In other groups, I would get told "Everything in moderation or you will binge, eat a cupcake you are in maintenance".  Telling that to a food addict in recovery is like telling an alcoholic to drink light beer instead of Jack Daniels. Harmful and painful all around.  

4. The small break out groups are awesome. I'm sure the long term weight maintainers who are men do not want to hear about hot flashes and menopause. Vegans may not want to read much about a Paleo food template. etc. There are small break out groups on any topics or you can start one. The nice thing is that because it comes via a well curated, moderated group, the people you interact with are vetted.

5.  Oh, the live weight maintenance calls are great. And they are recorded, too

6. The weekly meetings have different topics but are timely and relate to real time struggles from other members or question answering.  Heather does a great job at staying on topic while answering questions.

7. I know I can hop on in the evening or on my commute home (vanpool as a rider, not driver) and seek support or read about the topics. I know others out there are doing the same work I am. Keeps me from my own pitty parties many times.

8. I took advice from weight re-gainers A LOT in the past. Being honest and only seeking advice from active weight maintainers- in real life and online was super key to my own weight maintenance this time around. 

Put it into other (non emotional terms)  If I had been learning personal finance, I would not seek advice to someone who just recovered from bankruptcy, I'd seek advice from someone 2-5 years down their financial recovery road who was not just scraping by, but who had full, document-able recovery.  But not a newbie. I need expert advice.

9. The meetings start on time.

10. Heather's husband is a great tech person, so if you are having difficulty, then it is readily solved.

Below is an ad for the forums. For my readers, what support do you seek?  What has worked, what has not? Have you found great value in paying even a small price for something that has basic enhancements but improves the experience?

Saturday, September 5, 2015

3 years, 7 months weight maintenance update

3 Years, 7 months in long term weight maintenance. Formerly binge eater, morbidly obese.

Starting Weight: 187.4
Current Weight: 119.8
Goal range 113-119
Height 5'1"
Age 49
Yo-Yo dieter age 6-46 
Menopause: 2 years
Hashimoto's Disease 1997
Food Template: Low Carb Paleo-ish (see IG)
Binge Urges & thoughts: very rare
Walking: 12,000-15,000 steps/ day (5-6 miles)
Strength training 2X per week

Oooohh! My stats are starting to look like a baseball card.

Ah, I'm still above goal, despite my best efforts to take a few pounds off over the month. I'm still tinkering with a few small experiments with getting off this plateau.

I've got two weight palteau's in weight maintenance. One is 115-117 lbs. The other is 119-121 or so. This has been the case my whole life. Don't get me wrong, it's the difference between being in a BMI of 21 or 22.

 I'm not being too Weight Maintenance Princess like. Weight Maintenance is a privilege that I earn meal in, meal out because food addiction was killing me slowly.  Food either makes me well or keeps me sick.

I just want my long term health outcomes and my $40/month health insurance discount. That's not too much to ask of myself. I get more in return like more vacation time, a credit on my health care spending card, more time engaging with my daughter, practicing photography, easily jumping around on slippery tide pools, speaking in in front of groups, more focused at work.

I feel okay at the higher weight range, but I feel even better in the lower range. Just a preference. My clothes fit (size six) in either range.

One thing that is true, I have very good blood bio markers, blood pressure, sleep, strength at either weight range.  I have the option to choose either, but one may be beneficial over the other. I'll always be at the mercy of my thyroid med balance. I had my medical check up earlier this week (blog posts on that coming soon)

What's working now
1. Still tracking on My Fitness Pal
1.5 Still daily weighing
2. Still making small changes here or there and overall, starting to stay below 120 with my weight.
3. Battling and epic sinus virus for about 10 days now. Ouch. Just when I think I'm feeling awesome, this thing knocks me on my butt.

What did not work in the past
1. Not tracking my food intake- Paleo or not.
1.5. Not weighing in and finally 3 months later being 5-10 pounds heavier, Oh well, I'd say
2. Not adjusting my food template in response to massive weight gain.
3. Just taking anti-antibiotics at the drop of a hat and medicating the heck out of my colds.

Alright that's my update. I'm glad I update every month. It feels good to own my outcome, self-efficacy is a gift.

Friday, August 28, 2015

I was featured in a low carb weight maintenance article- cool!

I was honored to be featured in Franziska Spritzler's - AKA the Low Carb Dietitian's blog post about long term weight maintenance 

Low Carbohydrates from non-startchy vegetables and sometimes berries is the cornerstone of my long term weight maintenance food template.

Franziska is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator
who believes in a Low-Carbohydrate Lifestyle. My friends in real life who have seen her for glucose regulation and low carb diet recommendations have had excellent results.

Be sure to follow the Low Carb Dietitian's blog for more information.

When you  are in long term weight maintenance, using all the tools available to you to stay there is very, very valuable. Thanks again to Franziska for sharing my story. To my readers, please share with those who may benefit from good glucose control and a low carb lifestyle.

My current template is 40-50 grams of carbs day for maintenance. All from lots of veggetables and sometimes some berries.  My glucose 1-2 hours post meals is typically in the 80's. Maybe super low 90's if I've had berries. My fasting glucose is high 70's to low 80's. Fantastic!

I know from my 23nMe results that even though I have multiple risk factors for type 2 diabetes and I came close to being diagnosed in 2011, I never fully developed diabetes.  I have the geneotype, but via weight loss, a low carb, Paleo-ish approach, I can enjoy controlled glucose levels, weight maintenance, and good health and nutrition during menopause and a normal phenotype.

Wow, after 40 years of yo-yo dieting, binge eating , and morbid obesity, low carb sure does taste good. And  I get to spend my money traveling and taking photos instead of medical bills. Win-Win.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Inspiration from a local Trader Joe's Crew member- Paleo Food list

Post beach walk and Sunday Trader Joe's Paleo Shopping
Okay, so I was shopping at one of my local Trader Joe's (Encintias, CA) and a local crew member (Esther) struck up a conversation about Paleo and Trader Joe's.

Wearing my PaleoFx T-Shirt may have been an ice breaker. 

*Esther if I've remembered your name wrong, I'll update it! ;)

Esther had recently completed a Whole30.  Esther and I thought it might be informative to develop a Paleo Trader Joes list. (Hey, if Nom Nom Paleo can have a Whole Foods list, surely I can pin a list of my favorites staples from Trader Joe's to my blog).

Food Sobriety doesn't have to be a life of dull, boring meals. (My food template does have to be measured and I do have to be careful, I have full respect for recovery.)

 In fact, my food has never been tastier or more nutritious than now. We all have to eat, but I can choose foods that don't trigger over eating that keep me in a normal weight. 

Yeah, after 40 years of obesity and binge eating, I can have nutrient dense foods and recovery, too. Better late than never.  I do think grain free and processed sugar free Paleo/Primal approach is underused in long term weight management. It won't work for everyone, but it will work for many. 

Batch Cooking at home is also key

Of course, my Paleo favorite foods at Trader Joe's will be completely different from a person who

  • Is or is not maintaining a large weight loss
  • Is or is not a person with trigger foods for over eating. 
  • Is or is not insulin and glucose sensitive
  • Is or is not in menopause
  • Is or is not post auto-immune disease
  • Is or is not dairy sensitive (Primal/Paleo)
  • Is or is not cooking for a family
  • Is or is not working full time
 I'll be working a list of my favorites over the week. Will post a link on the blog. Just planting the seed on what works for me.  Adapting what works for you will be different. As it should. We all have different genotypes and phenotypes. Best to customize.

What are your Trader Joe's favorites? Is there a Trader Joe's in your area? If not, where do you shop for your basics.

What works for me right now:

1. Shopping and cooking foods that keep me fed but not triggered to overeating (Paleo-ish food template, lower carb, higher natural fat, moderate protein)
2. Batch cooking on the weekends or during the week, as needed.

What didn't work in the past:

1. Buying snack foods and trying to consume them in small amounts (examples: Popcorn & Pirates Booty & Peanuts) and getting triggered to overeat.

2. Eating out a lot because I felt stressed or overworked and deserved to eat fast, processed foods.