Monday, August 1, 2016

Low Carb USA 2016 part 1, Franziska Spritzler, The Low Carb Dietitian

Franziska Spritzler, Low Carb USA 2016
I had a fantastic time at Low Carb USA.  I'll be featuring some  of my favorite key learnings. I'll try to keep each blog post short and sweet.

Low Carb USA 2016 part 1, Franziska Spritzler, The Low Carb Dietitian, How to Achieve a Healthy Low Carb Lifestyle

Franziska's talk on the last day of Low Carb USA was very welcome.  After hearing a lot about the science of LCHF (Low Carb High Fat or Low Carb Healthy Fat), Franziska provided some information on implementation and real life eating. 

You can read more about Franziska here.

BONUS! Franziska and I walked across the street to Tender Greens and had an amazing lunch before her talk. If you are in downtown San Diego, put this restaurant on your list of Paleo, LCHF, Primal, Keto friendly places.

My favorite things about the talk

1. No one set carb range- see the "how low can you go slide" below.

2. Challenges will keep coming up because we DON'T live in a low carb world.

Science based references to review on carb levels, variety of levels
3. Don't expect perfect blood glucose levels 24/7- highly dependent on illness, foods, hormone fluctuations, etc

4. Reminded us to know if we are "Moderators or Abstainers"  and talked about Gretchen Rubin's books. See the Youtube video at the end of this post.

5. Do what works for YOU. 

Many great examples of real life implementation.  Low carb is fine for some, Keto is fine too for some.

Gotta n=1 this thing. Really.

Here's what's working for me.

1. LCHF of a variety of days. Carbs from veggies 27 grams to 43 grams total carbs, varying based on how I feel, my activity levels.

2. Dealing with real life post morbid obesity, making tough not moderate decisions in long term weight maintenance. Eating while traveling, at work, with friends- I have a plan and I stick to it. GRIT, you'll have to develop it as you go.

3. Monitoring my glucose and not losing my cool over occasional higher readings.

4.  Abstaining from grains, sugars, and emulsifiers. Puts the lid on 40 years, 4 decades of binge eating.

5. Being boss about doing what works for me, self experimentation and n=1 is still an important part of my weight maintenance life template (food, feeding windows, exercise, sleep, meditation)

Here's what didn't work in the past

 1.Eating high carb, low fat frozen diet meals (WW enchiladas! More carbs in one meal compared to what I eat in the whole day, and I was never full. ..... sigh)

2. Being moderate and not tough on my food choices. Not keeping my food template within my optimum health frame work. Moderating junk food when you are a food addict in recovery will have poor results- in my opinion.

3. Only checking my glucose 1 x per year and seeing it go to pre-diabetic levels.

4. Moderating grains, sugars, and not understanding that guar gum and Xanthan Gum could open the door to massive food cravings and food addiction.

5. Buying the WW and Medifast food templates wholesale, not understanding how much nuts and milk really impacted my migraines and acne. Who knew until I did an elimination diet?

Hope everyone is busy N=1 this summer.

Photo Op! Karen and Franziska
Franziska and I had a great LCHF lunch at Tender Greens before she spoke

Gretchen Rubin's abstainer vs moderator video- know yourself!


  1. Oh this is wonderful, Karen! So neat that you went to the conference and had that great opportunity. I have a question. I assume you don't do net carbs, then. Is that correct? I am working to lower my carb intake, but I still focus on net carbs. I can go a bit higher than you because I still have room to lose weighg. In addition, my fasting glucose is on the low side of normal. However, I am trying to deal with my love of (too much) fruit, and I want to get that under control. I am also experimenting with a higher fat diet though its still a little scary to me. However, I need fat with fewer carbs, and I'm trying to remind myself of that. I look forward to your future posts on the conference.

  2. I do total carbs. Franziska is a big advocate of net carbs (subtract the fiber). I think it's very individual and I've talked to many maintainers who used to do net carbs and got stuck. But many of those people ate the processed food products. I don't eat those "low carb" food products. The junkiest I get is 85% chocolate most days- 1 to 2 squares or raw coconut butter 1 TBS measured in grams.

    Fruit = NO WEIGHT LOSS for me. 100% of the time. I struggled with that realization, as an adult for 30 years (not so much true in my pre-teens and teens. Even early 40's. Franziska is an advocate of berries, with self experimentation- raspberries or black berries being the lowest, small amounts.

    My own n=1 says that eating berries with my dinner late at night = a bigger glucose spike than I really want 2 hrs post. Now with my restricted eating window, I stop eating food 3-4 pm each day. I'm curious to see if eating raspberries or black berries early in the AM with a LCHF breakfast or lunch will be a winner for me. I hope so, but I still have to pass my insurance discount. LOL.

    Keep up the good n=1, Ali. :) Onward and yes, probably 5-10 more posts in my brain.

  3. Lovely to read this Karen, and to see your photographs too.

    Eddie and I were fortunate to meet up with Franziska back in 2013, see here

    Eddie and I have been living the LCHF lifestyle for eight years now, we eat no more than 50 carbs per day, sometimes a lot less! You really do get used to knowing what you / your body needs the further along the road (so to speak) you get used to and accustomed to this much healthier lifestyle.

    My good wishes to you, and enjoy this month of August

    All the best Jan

    1. Don't know why there are so many gaps in my second sentence!!!
      Gremlins at work perhaps? LOL!


  4. Gretchen AND Franziska in the same post - Karen...thank you! I absolutely love Gretchen - her podcast is a frequent companion on my walks. Her books are awesome. And love the low-carb dietician. She seems quite realistic, and very much an n=1 proponent. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Love it, Jess!!! Love the fact that I can easily point to Gretchen Rubin and say, well Gretchen does this as a life strategy. Everyone loves it. If I tell folks that I abstain they call me names, they call me crazy, they tell me they could never do it, it's dangerous.

      Baloney. 40 % of obese need to abstain from their triggers. So glad Gretchen and Franziska are speaking out.

      Yes! Franziska was awesome and is such a great speaker. We need more voices in abstaining, LCHF. Hoping to watch the forward momentum of folks getting well after decades of calories in calories out crap!!! Thanks for stopping by the blog, Jess.

  5. Catching up on your blog! (It's been a while and I'm so glad you are still doing so well...and I love the Hawaii pictures!!). I have listened to Gretchen for a while...but I still struggle to figure out if I'm an abstainer or a moderator...I have traits or both. If you tell me I can't have any, I freak out...but I'm not so great at moderating either...sometimes I do well, and sometimes I don't. I still want to believe I can moderate certain foods, if I can get the emotional pull of food out of the way (starting counseling Thursday). Thanks for all your wisdom! - Rebecca M

    1. HI Rebecca, thanks for stopping by the blog. It's really, really easy- IMO to figure out if you are an abstainer or moderator. Take the Yale Rudd Food addiction quiz. Plus you know, when you eat foods, you cannot stop for hours, days, month's years. I knew but didn't take action soon enough Open the two pdf's in this link, bring the results to your shrink I scored very high( before abstaining) and close to zero (after abstaining)

      The hard part are the withdrawals and rewiring your brain to accept yourself, as you are (it's not your fault, it's not my fault) and then rebuild your life around. Also the super hard part is finding an RD or life coach that does not preach moderation. This is where OA or FA comes in or a health coach that coaches or supports abstaining.

      About 40% of obese, normal and even underweight folks need to abstain. In what world would any one tell someone to smoke a small doobie, or shoot up a tiny bit???? The food world. .... Ack! I get extra ghrelin (hunger hormone) there's nothing to blunt (punny!) the effect of the signals to eat. I'm left with abstaining and being normal brain & weight or being in full blown food addiction. I'm not weak, weak willed, or left with a choice. I'm either abstaining and being well OR I'm in full blown addiction.

      Here's to doing the work that a good CBT (cognitive behavioral therapist). If I had done what my shrink suggested in 2002, I might have saved my daughter from those junk foods I served her for 10 years. I regret not abstaining deeply. She told me "it's like an allergy to wheat and sugar"

      Onward and here's to working on the massive work AND rewards that being an abstainer brings to you and the whole fam. Your whole family changes for the better when you rock an abstaining food template and get off your food hootch. Keep up the hard work. The rewards are worth it. You are worth it.

  6. That's wonderful to meet Franziska!! You must have really enjoyed this time... and having lunch with her? bonus!!

    1. Thanks Lynda!!! OMG, so awesome to meet Franziska, I should have treated her for lunch. I could ask her any question I wanted. Anyhoo, our food templates are similar except she eats dairy and a few more carbs a day, but we are close, pretty much.

      I'm looking forward to more Low Carb USA's next year, same weekend, same city. Can't wait.