Saturday, August 27, 2016

Eating Paleo, LCHF, and Ketogenic while traveling in Hawaii 2016

My twitter friend from Portland Dr. Ghaheri, MD asked me for tips for eating Paleo while in Hawaii. Dr. Ghaheri is an excellent resource in tongue tie, so be sure to check out his information on his blog.

The request, tips for eating out in Hawaii

@gardengirl_kp coming there in Sept! Tips for paleo eating out there?
— Bobby Ghaheri, MD (@DrGhaheri) June 25, 2016

Why, yes!  I have lots of great tips for eating Paleo (LCHF & Ketogenic) while traveling. I'm strict gluten, and nut free and emulsifier free, 100% of the time.  I'm a food addict in recovery, so abstaining from my binge triggers is priority #1.

Here are my best tips for eating Paleo, LCHF, and Ketogenic while in Hawaii

AKA What is working now:

1. Pack foods in your suitcase, saves money, know what you are getting.
2. Order "shell eggs" in restaurants and look for grass-fed island beef.
3. Stop at Costco in Maui to stock up, cook in your own kitchen.
4. Get spices and local flavors in general stores or local stores or farmers market type places.

Here's the long version below
Dark Chocolate, Mini Guacamole, Oyster tin, Raw coconut butter-LCHF Paleo travel food

Chicken Salad with greens, radishes, and lime slices, guacamole, coconut milk for coffee

1.  Airport travel:
a. I was traveling from one sensitive agriculture area to another, so I packed only foods that would not get confiscated in San Diego or Honolulu.

In San Diego, beagles are used to randomly check bags for whole fruits and vegetables during certain times of the year.  In Honolulu during inter-island flights, German Shepards were used- more for drug sniffing that fruit. ;)

Normally, I would pack a few whole avocados and call it a day.

b. Chicken salad packed in a "PackiT" soft sided lunch bag with gel packs inside the whole lunch box. Freeze the lunch bag, then pack your cold stuff for lunch inside. I made it through just fine in the carry on TSA line. No need to buy really expensive food when you can eat lunch for $1-2 tops. 

Bonus! We used the lunch bag to keep our water cold on the rest of the trip for post very hot walking and sight seeing.  PACKiT's are $20 at Target.
PackiT lunch bag- you can take it

Honolulu and Waikiki and touring Oahu Island

Food here was very easy because the hotel side of the island is like any major city. Great fresh options. I woke up early, let the teen sleep and explored. I didn't have a kitchen in Oahu, so we found a nearby Denny's.
1. a In restaurants, ask for "shell eggs" only and no pancake batter in your eggs or omelettes. Denny's did not have coconut based oil, so I did get mild stomach upset (probably the corn in the vegetable based oils used to cook the eggs.

Chinaman's Hat, as seen from Kualoa Ranch, Oahu, HI
1. b There are ABC stores on every street corner. And drug stores like CVS carry limited fruits and veggies, nuts, and Hawaiian salt and have decent coconut oil jars. Since we were only on Oahu 2 short days, I waited until we got to Maui to buy the coconut oil. 
Such good beef!
1.c Touring-  Look for local grass-fed beef. We took a Big Island Tour and stopped for lunch at a touristy, yet scenic ranch.

There was a prepaid traditional Hawaiian meal, but I don't eat pork, so I took my chances. I was pleased that they served their own ranch raise grass fed beef.

This burger was tasty and I did not get glutened. Bravo to Kualoa Ranch for offering a great Paleo, Low Carb High Natural Fat option for touring a more remote section of Oahu.

Kualoa Ranch 100% grass fed beef, Oahu, HI

Kualoa Ranch, scenic stop on our island tour

Honolulu Coffee Co., Waikiki, HI
1 d.  Coffee. Yes! So good. I recommend buying and enjoying freshly brewed Hawaiian coffee while you are traveling. An Americano at Honolulu Coffee Co in downtown Waikiki was the same as in the US.

Whole bean coffee to buy and bring home was double the price, so I just enjoyed my cups consumed on the island.

2.  Maui and Lahaina

a. Stop at Costco in Maui, it's near the airport and rental car area

Here's what we stocked up on in the Maui Costco.

Freezer section
Grass Fed pre-cooked burgers

Refrigerator section

Sweet Kale salad (tossed the dressing and toppings)

Wholly Guacamole
Cheese (for my teen)
Romaine lettuce
Bell Peppers
Chicken thighs

Room Temp stuff
Pineapple and Mangoes (for the teen, too much sugar and I need to pass my insurance Ha1c test)

Great locally made salsa from Costcto Maui
Pepper to make your salsa spicy hot

b.  Cook in your kitchenette and grill in Maui

I made omelettes, grass-fed burger bowls, chicken on the grill at the resort, chicken salad to bring with me for lunches.

So nice to have my own kitchen.

c. Buy spices in local groceries- I bought several different kinds of Hawaiian salt and a decent sized jar of coconut oil

The view from the grill was spectacular!! And I got a chance to chat up some of the guests and share my spices with them.

Grilling Paleo/Low Carb on vacation, so great!

View from the grill, Ka'anapali, HI while cooking LCHF
d. Eating out in Lahaina, HI

We ate out a few times in Lahaina. One of the best places was Koa's seaside grill. Great location, great food.
Huge salad at Koa's Seaside grill, Lahaina, HI
We stopped at Koa's right after our kayak and snorkel tour, so the great salad hit the spot.

View from Koa's Seaside Grill, Lahaina, HI

Another great meal was Down the Hatch in Lahaina. I got surf and turf and gave the fries to my daughter. I know better than to even eat a bite of off template food. Belly ache and binge urges have no place in my vacations anymore. Food Addiction gets to stay in remission on this trip!

Down the Hatch is located in downtown Lahaina, near the theater. 
Surf and turf from Down the Hatch- Lahaina, HI

Rainforest hiking, no need to snack, I can run off my own fuel

Catamaran sailing out to Molokini, Trilogy

Turtle Town photo ops- snorkel trip

Dinner made at the hotel

Breakfast fuel. So good!

What worked is above, near the top of the post.

As always, what didn't work in the past when I was obese, morbidly obese and counting WW points

1. I packed junk food and candy to "travel with. Hey, York Peppermint patties were low points, YO! Lordy, I arrived at my destination craving all kinds of junk . Terrible way to start a trip.

2. I used traveling as an excuse to eat EVERYTHING, local, junk food, baked goods. Hey, I was on vacation

3. I thought that I needed to only eat out because I was on vacation.

4.  All local food purchased was junk food. High sugar, breads, etc.

Sigh. Traveling while food sober, Paleo, LCHF, and Ketogenic is a better deal. Glad I've arrived and changed my thinking and habits. Better than before. :)

Zip, Zip hooray, my pants still fit.

Any travel tips for Hawaii that are Paleo, LCHF, Keto- share below.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Low Carb USA 2016 , part 2 Karen Thompson and Emily McGuire talk Sugar Addiction

Low Carb USA, part 2- Karen Thompson and Emily McGuire talk Sugar Addiction

Yep! Sugar Addiction is real, and YES many of us are sick (literally and figuratively) of the advice to moderate all the foods, including highly additive foods like processed sugar. 

Here are my take aways from the lectures
1. Karen Thompson ( founder of The Sugar Free Revolution) who gave a talk on The Journey of a Sugar  Addict.  

Here are my take aways from Karen's talk, I could really relate to her. 

a. Sugar is my pimp, the gas station was my dealer. Karen Thompson was a sugar addict from the age of 4, I was from the age of 6.  And yes, riding my bike to the convenience store to buy candy was BETTER than Christmas for me. Sugar addiction is real for many of us.

b. Karen Thompson's recovery was 8 years ago, mine was 5+ years ago. Tim Noakes mentioned sugar addiction. Karen's Thompson's recovery was in abstinence, LCHF, Exercise, and 12 step. Mine is similar, without a formal 12 step, but 12 step principles applied ( I don't attend meetings, but do practice many of the  OA steps). 

c. Karen Thompson made a mention of the samples in the hallway at the seminar and that she has to be very careful about what she eats -

 Karen' P's take away I don't eat all fake desserts or cookies or bread recipes- even if they are LCHF/Keto . I have to be very careful about what I eat. Ditto for me, I can't do Keto Kookies and be okay with that. No freaking way. I'd be binge eating or food seeking with in 10 minutes. At least I know myself!

It was great to hear Karen's Thompson's history and to know she had the first in-house treatment center for food addiction in 2012 in South Africa. 


2. Emily McGuire - (Low Carb Genesis)- who gave a talk on Sugar Addiction- Fact or Fiction

a. Who else is sick of the advise "Everything in moderation"? Many in the audience raised their hands, including me.  Karen P's take away- moderation kept me sick and in pain and binge eating for decades. 

b. Yale Food Addiction Scale, try it for 30 days, lead by example, let others decide for themselves. 

Karen P's take aways- I had the highest scores on the Yale Food Addiction Scale, if I answered when I moderated sugars  and the lowest scores with my current No Sugars, No grains, No emulsifiers food template. 

Karen P's take away additional thoughts: I used to BS myself and tell myself I was only "mini binge eating" so I didn't have to face going through sugar withdrawals. Even after a shrink told me "you are allergic to flour and sugar" stop eating them!!"  It was when I finally accepted myself as sugar addict that I could get well again.

c. Teaching life long adherence to those who are on and off LCHF : This was in response to a MD to who had a question about being LCHF, then going back to Low Fat, high carb.

 Karen P's take away, yes, I really did teach myself life long adherence. I love it, I do. I would not go back onto my old yo-yo, binge eating, low fat diet. No way.  

Panel discussion :Finally, I asked a question to the panel at the end of the talks , HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE? I went up to the microphone and asked this question 5-10 years I asked? How long will it take for the estimated 40% of obese food addicts, 10% normal weight, and 10% underweight people to routinely be simply offered abstaining as a tool for weight management, binge eating?

Then the fire alarm rang, and we had a pause.  Both Karen and Emily said they hoped that it would be less than 5-10 years, maybe 2-3years?  

I hope so. Those effected by sugar/food addiction deserve a supportive community that is out in the open, supportive, and that does not function via moderating all foods. 

I'm worth it, you all are worth it. It's hard to wait. A big shout out to both Karen Thompson for traveling from South Africa and Emily McGuire who traveled from Scotland to attend the conference.

I'll be adding both blogs to my sidebar. Be sure to check out their websites for more info.
Michael Eades, MD, Karen Thompson, Adreas Eenfelt, Emily McGuire

Sunday, August 7, 2016

4 years, 6 months in long term weight maintenance Aug 2016 update, good results so far

May 2011 to Aug 2016 , Long Term Weight Maintenance
Starting weight 187.4 lbs

Goal Range 115-125 lbs

Current Weight 123.0 lbs

Keeping off 64.4 lbs

Time in long term weight maintenance 
4 years, 6 months

Age 50

Menopause 3 years

Height 5'1"

Medical status  
Auto-Immune Hashimotos 1997
Food Addict in Recovery: 5th year
Menopause 3 years
Glucose ave 30 days = 77 (fasting and 2 hr post)
May 2011 to Aug 2016, Long Term Weight Maintenance
Current food templates: 

Low Carb High natural fat (LCHF)  
modified AIP, (no dairy, no nuts)
Ketosis- mild, sometimes
Restricted eating window = 9 hrs
IF for 15 hrs
3 meals per day

N= 1 self experiments 

IRB Study for the Salk Institute, week 4 of 14
My Circadian Clock (restricted feeding window)

Mini no sugar bacon experiment, you can guess what happened


Walking 13,000-14,000 steps per day
Weight lifting 2 days per week
Sprints on the rowing machine 1 days per week 

Here's what's working so far

1. N = 1 Restricted feeding window 9-10 hours via the My Circadian Clock study  seems to be working great for me. I'm down 1-2 pounds and I seem to be sustaining the loss. 

2. Mindset : I've learned not to get overly happy or sad on the actual number on the scale and look at trends. 

Looking at this from a graph helps me overall. There's no sense in getting overly happy or sad in long term weight maintenance.

 I'm proud that I did not let me get me- aka give up or give in during the gaining part of weight maintenance. 

It is what it is. 

It's likely normal to have a weight range to maintain, especially in menopause. 

3. N=1, food OMG. I did a "mini" no sugar bacon experiment. More later on this....

You can guess, I can't have pork, but I did determine that the sugar used in curing bacon is a very BIG binge trigger for me. 

If I eat conventionally cured bacon, I can kick up fierce binge urges.

If I eat magic Paleo/ Whole 9 "approved" bacon- AKA zero sugar, I don't get binge urges, but I do get bloated and not so great feeling.

The upshot is that pork, even awesome prepared is just not for me, 99% of the time. 
That's okay. I'm over it and I don't have to buy expensive pork. 

It's funny that I can not get triggered on a small amount of sugar in chocolate 85% or higher, but one slice of bacon cured with sugar  has me wanting to think about places I might have hidden food 5 + years ago, WHUT the WHAT???  Yikes. Going back to food seeking scares me a bit.

I'm done with Food Addiction. The disease lives with me forever,  but It's up to me to live in remission. Bye bye sugar cured bacon. I'm done being bloated too, so it's bye bye pork.  

N=1 self experimentation is awesome. It's free and it really unlocked a lot of good health for me. Still to this day. 

4. Sleep

It's hard to know how the restricted feeding window (9-10 hrs) is effecting my sleep. The heat in So.Cal is better this week, but I do think not having air conditioning at home is a factor. I'll be able to better assess over the next month or so, if we have cooler conditions. 

I love living near the coast, so I keep a positive mind frame.

What didn't work in the past

1. Eating all the TIME!!!  I couldn't sort out my Food Addiction with true hunger so I ate once every 2 hours or so. I never gave myself a metabolic  break. Sigh...

2.Mindset: I got happy, happy, happy over a 1-5 pound loss... oh, I'll celebrate with a Skinny Cow ice cream WITH 1 point of M&M's. You might guess how that kicked up the ghrelin and reversed any loss I might have seen.

3. I ate all the foods. Moderation was what I was told that I had to do or I would binge!!!!! WHUT!!??? Moderation induced my binges....

4. Sleep, I thought I could go to bed at 11pm, get up at 5am and "catch up" on the weekends. 

There will be graphs....

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!