Sunday, September 25, 2016

I'll be joining the Keto Summit this week, to catch up on the current research and listen to some of my favorite speakers

Tender Greens, LCHF, Ketogenic lunch, San Diego, July 2016
I use a Low Carb Healthy Fat (LCHF) and Ketogenic food template to maintain 65 of 70 pounds lost.

Moderate protein, leafy green veggies, colorful vegetables, olive oil, coconut oil, coconut milk. Sea Salt and Spices. So filling, all real food, great non-diabetic glucose readings.

Excellent weight maintenance after 40 years of overweight, obese and morbidly obese.

I'm telling you LCHF and Keto I believe that both are underused in long term health and weight maintenance.

Once someone arrives at long term weight maintenance, I would hope that some sort of low carb approach is offered as an option. After 40 years of binge urges, yo-yo dieting, and physical and mental pain, this is one stop shopping.

Anyhoo, I have signed up for the Keto Summit. I cast a wary eye about "Health" summits as being sales funnels for people selling supplements, books, etc. That might be, but I do think that the speaker line up is excellent and there will be a lot of current research presented.

****** Please Note*****I don't use any Keto supplements or special supplements. Just saying. You can live this lifestyle by eating real food off the shelf at Trader Joes, Costco, and Sprouts.

Robb Wolf, Mark Sisson, Jason Fung MD, Chris Masterjohn PhD, Prof. Tim Noakes, Dan Pardi all speakers I enjoy their lectures and the current research that they present.

Here's a link via Nourish Balance Thrive ( I love that podcast, too!)

*Modified to state*** enroll in this conference JUST to hear Jason Fung, MD about diabetes and obesity. It makes sense. Totally. Fasting, IF. These solutions are free to experiment with and will cause massive financial savings. Just saying!!!

Saturday, September 24, 2016

I'm still here, reading, tweeting, Instagram, and Snapchat more than the blog- oh, and I'm still weight maintaining, too! ;)

Hey everybody!!! Blogging is not dead, but I'll tell you it's much faster to read, tweet, Instagram, and Snapchat these days.

Weight Maintenance Status:  If you are checking my maintaining status, the My Fitness Pal ticker on the right shows the output of my daily weigh-ins. I lost 70-72 pounds but I'm maintaining 65-66 pounds these days.  There are many health bloggers who hide or fib or photoshop or use super old photos, so be cautious, trust but verify when searching for folks to follow or model.

1. Twitter account - interesting articles, interesting weight & obesity experts, my favorite paleo & low carb people.

Yeah, prevention is a key in weight maintenance.

I feel like I was pretty much on my own and just traveling the interwebz like Gardengirl of the Lost Weight Maintenance Template to string together something on my own.  It wasn't like there was one great menu to chose from that was presented to me. I had to swing through on a vine and try to jump hurdles and over boulders as I went.

I needed and still need more accessible tools.

LCHF food template for weight maintenance Sept 2016

Cherry Tomatoes, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, basil, garlic sea salt 
2Instagram food and Low carb stuff stuff- for me weight maintenance is a about real food, batch cooking, and delicious meals.

Very sustainable, for me

Very delicious and high in nutrition.

No franken food required.

Psssssst: food elimination does not always =/= a restrictive diet. If you are in food addiction and need to break out , you can work with a health coach, shrink, or a habit change coach or even an OA sponsor.  Even if you are  to get to a better  safe place- say lapse instead of relapse, or remission instead of lapse.

Millions have done food eliminations for health. Auto-Immune, Food Addiction recovery. Gretchen Rubin is on to something.- Abstaining for the WIN.

The disease ( food addiction) will do anything to stay alive. Scary stuff! Yes I had to eliminate grains, sugars and emulsifiers.  I'm better than before. Just saying. Far from restrictive. Yes I know some need to moderate for their particular disease. I understand. Many of us need elimination so that is important to note.
Sunset, Carlsbad State Beach, Sept 2016

Instagram So. Cal Coastal-  I'm living the dream, and I seem to have better health when I walk 5-6 miles per day. Photography is my hobby.

American Kestrel, Carlsbad, CA Sept 2016

OMG- Snapchat is brilliant. I follow a few people and it's so fun. I post Snaps of my LCHF food, my garden, my hikes, and my cats. So if our friend Katie wants a tortoiseshell cat update more frequently, Snapchat is a great place. It's fast and a great documentary.  

Off to live life. I've got to get some work done before the hot Santa Ana winds kick up. 90 degree F weather without air conditioning is no joke. 
Cat wars, Sept 2016

What's working

1. Daily weighing and recording at My Fitness Pal
2. Eating real food, Low Carb, abstaining for the WIN.
3. Walking 5-6 miles per day, with my camera
4.Using faster social media to keep up with my favorite people

What didn't work in the past

1. Rarely weighed in, when I did I would have a 20 pound gain.

2. I ate frozen WW enchiladas, popcorn, skinny cow ice-cream, and other franken food, high processed, but HEY low points. I'm a WW member, I proudly told people. Ugh. I was a junk food consumer, hooked into the SAD.

3. I walked 3,000 steps a day and thought I was awesome???

4. I used to spend a lot of time following moderate food eaters., thinking I could model them. No more.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Update on time restricted eating window, 67 days into my 90 day IRB study from the Salk Institute, Sept 2016

I'm about 67 days into a 90 day, time restricted eating window IRB study via The Salk Institute (La Jolla). You can read more about the study here on the web site.

You can read more about the program from my previous 2 blog posts. There are links for you to check out  2 youtube videos on the researchers involved in the study.

Time restricted eating windows from Ruth Patterson, PhD

Time restricted eating windows from the researcher who is running the study Statchin Panda, PhD

Panda, San Diego Zoo, July 2016
I found a lot of value in  the My Circadian Clock app. It's free, except for the time investment of recording my food & sleep & exercise. I'll get to use the app all I want or don't want after the 14 weeks is completed. The app also works with any food template that works for you.

Free tools, YES!

The primary researcher is Satchin Panda, PhD.  Panda! Panda! Panda!  I'm sure he's tired of the panda references, especially in San Diego County. I have empathy since my last name is a much loved animal name, too!!! LOL.

I don't mind the jokes. Hopefully he doesn't either. But I'm telling you, his name is magic for me.  See item #5 below.Dr. Panda's name is my ticket to happy interactions to talk about what I do and why I do it.

I'll take any help I can get. It's a cranky pants, food addicted, processed junk food world out there in the US.  It's a sad state of affairs.

Here's what's working:
1. I like time restricted eating windows and can make them fit into my life.
2. I've navigated the habit change to make favorable outcomes in sleep.
3. I've seen some health blood bio marker changes for the better- glucose and Ha1C
4. I have seen a small reduction in subcutaneous fat (AKA- clothes fit better)
5. I have seen that people get upset when I tell them the full truth of what's working for me.

Here's what's working now. The long story.......

1. Fitting eating into 6am to 1pm time window, fasting with only water between 1pm the current day and 6 am the next morning.  So, about 16-18 hours fasting each day, with a good portion of the time being overnight.

a. Time: Yeah! My baseline was a feeding window of 12 hours and went from 10 hrs, to 9 hours, to 8 hours and now I'm averaging 7.5 hrs or so during the week. About 6 hr feeding window during the weekend.

b. Food Template: LCHF/ Keto/ Paleo for my WIN I'm eating the exact same foods, in the exact same quantity, except I did add some raspberries into my food template with great glucose results. (see below). Blackberries, raspberries, and even blueberries seem to work well for me.

c. Fitting the eating in with my family. Works just fine. My teen is essentially on a swing shift, sleeping late, staying up late. I'm on an early shift- getting up early and going to bed early. I still sit down to meals with her, just with water. It's no big deal. 

We were not hungry at the same time. The days forcing a teen to sit and eat if they are not hungry should be long gone. Now, sitting together for 5-10 mins is still a thing while one of us is eating. A lot of our most meaningful conversations are in the car anyway, but we both respect family eating times.

d. Fitting in eating with my work. No problem. I traded my lunch time for walking anyway. It's a good trade since I need to get away from my desk and I have to deal with a 2+ plus commute. I just have to navigate meetings, so if anything drinking water only past 1pm is a benefit. 

e. Errands and the gym and not eating at night: I no longer have to hurry home, so I can stop by the gym or concentrate errands into good, time effective blocks of time. So nice. 

2. Sleep

a. My sleeping has gone from 6 hrs 45 min ave to 7 hrs 15 mins and I'm shooting for 7 hrs 30 mins. 
b. I sleep better - falling asleep, not waking up stressed out, and getting back to sleep quick if a cat or road noise wakes me up. 
c. fewer middle of the night bathroom runs.

3. I got a company offered blood work for $10 - truck loads of expensive tests (99% discount-yeah!). Now I can make some small changes before my insurance discount 

a. Ha1C went from 5.2 & 5.4 to 5.0
b. Fasting glucose has been around in the 70's
c. Glucose post eating berries is around the mid 70's
d. I've lost 2-3 pounds and some inches, too.

4. Reduction in sub-cutaneous fat

a. Yeah,  my clothes are fitting better, size 6 at 5'1" and 121-122 feels better than 124-125.
Over 125 and I need to start considering size 8. It's not a bad thing, but with a small frame, middle to lower on the BMI scale feels better.

b. Less knee pain with just a few pounds less. I notice this when I carry heavy items or while working out at the gym.

And the last one puts virtual frosting on the LCHF/Paleo/Keto cupcake I'll never eat (because frosting is binge trigger....)

5. I have people who are very pleasant to me when they ask what is working as compared to saying I eat LCHF or Keto or Paleo (because IRB study!!) LOL .  IRB study = okay.  Researchers name = Panda= Okay, Eating Low Carb = Not okay to many  Mmmmkay. Whatevs.

 If you tell everyone you are only drinking water past 1pm and are enrolled in an IRB approved study out of The Salk Institute , Dr Panda, they will 

  • Treat you like a princess, oh, GREAT! they say. SOUNDS INTERESTING! Did you say Panda? Why, yes, I did.....
  • Roll out the red carpet, smiles, sugar coating and head pats doled out freely. Awwww.
  • Compare you to Monks in China who stop eating at 12 noon each day!!! Awesome!
Here's the funny thing, I'm further into a LCHF and Keto food template than I've ever been. I didn't change my food template except for adding some berries here and there

If I tell people the truth- that what really, really works for me : I'm Paleo, LCHF, or in Ketosis  some of the time people will:
  • Frown
  • tell me moderation and counting points , Calories in Calories out, EAT all the FOODS. 
  • I need try harder.
  • tell me about vegan or vegetarian diets
  • tell me I'm going to die, clogged arteries, heart attack,and other things that are NOT true, so says my doc
  • tell me I need a statin-Wait, my doc says NO!!!! WHUT?, good cholesterol =/= needing drugs.
  • tell me whole grains are good for low blood sugar and quinoa, too. WHUT??!! NO!
It's tough to overcome old thinking. Thinking for myself and my own N= MANY!!!! are great tools. Now I can say "Science" "IRB study" "Time restricted eating window" "The Salk Institute"

Moral of my story, tell no one what you are doing, provide info if they ask, and onward.

 DR. PANDA!!! A big shout out to the research team at the Salk Institute and Dr. Patterson at UCSD for making the research, teaching,  and tools available to us.

Glad that I can add this :

"A Time Restricted eating window, Sleep Circadian clock  IRB study, that lends itself  to leaner body mass, lower scale weights, and good sleep" to my weight maintenance plan.

More zip, zip hooray my pants fit and my insurance discount is sweet. Who would have guessed the value of a little bit of data and photo taking and watching the clock for my meals. ??????

Only time will tell if I'll have sustained weight maintenance eating this way.

So far so good. I started the study July 4, 2016. As of Sept 10,2016, I can say I've had positive outcomes. Time will tell if I sustain the good changes.

What didn't work in the past

1. Eating with an 18 hour feeing window- so only fasting when I slept
2. Slept 4-6 hours
3. Watched my glucose, HA1c, blood pressure climb to near type 2 diabetes.
4. Had so much visceral fat AND subcuateous fat. My body had no other choice.
5. I probably joined WW 12-15 times thinking I had to points harder. Once there, one leader bullied me because I said I couldn't moderate and stay in Lifetime. Other leaders did hint at abstaining from "red light food".

Any of my readers have success with time eating window or IF? What's your window and how long have you been practicing? Do you practice every day?

PANDA!  Awwwwww, so cute!
Panda peeking at San Diego Zoo Visitors

Monday, September 5, 2016

How long will it take? (part 1) My life without sugar is sustainable and certainly not dull!!!! Cookie-less for 4+ years now

How LONG will it take? Part 1 in a series of blog posts about barriers to being normal weight after morbid obesity.

Abstaining from sugar, how long will it take for this free tool to be encouraged by healthcare professionals?

Had to laugh this morning. An RD from Canada thinks life might be unsustainable and dull if we stop eating cookies. LOL. Hilarious. And for me, NOT TRUE. Although it may be true for some of you. Maybe for him,  full life stops when cookies and sugar stop?  Lack of cookies makes for a dull life? Wow.

Okay, fair enough for him. For me, I disagree.  Let's walk a fitbit mile in my shoes.

A note  and plea to anyone on social media: Please be respectful if you engage in conversation. Open conversations are gold these days. So be nice. We can be adults and agree to disagree without being insulting. What I want is deeper understanding.  We can agree to disagree on ideas.

Here's the tweet:

It’s not sustainable as would make for a dull life. Imagine never eating a cookie?!
— Mark McGill, RD (@MarkJMcGill) September 4, 2016

Here's the original tweet
 I respect Mr. McGill's opinion.

What I would like is for all RD's &  MD's to understand that millions of us world wide have a much more sustainable, full life without sugar & cookies. Life with sugar and cookies was unsustainable and painful for me. It was dull sitting on the couch, watching the Biggest Loser and eating Skinny Cow ice-cream, morbidly obese. So my family told me later. Life did stop eating sugar.
My life with sugar was painful & expensive

My 2 cents:
I get tired of normals ("normies") telling me that a sugar, cookies, etc are required for sustained, deep life. It's simply not true for many of us. There's nothing wrong with eating sugar, unless it makes your life unmanageable.  For so many of us, the obesity and diseases are and were devastating.

According to the CDC, life with sugar is getting worse each 5-10 years. 

Finally, abstaining from sugar becomes a thing- a free tool for many of us to use as we need, and now cookies and sugar are required so we are sustainable and NOT DULL??

How about advocating for proven tools that are free that work for many? 

WHUT?  Of course life without sugar for me is very sustainable. For others, maybe it's not. It's okay if you choose to eat sugar, if it doesn't make your life unmanageable.

Replace the word "cookie" with the word "beer". On what planet would someone say life is unsustainable and dull without beer to someone in long term recovery AA?

Replace the word "sugar" with the word "cocaine". On what planet would someone say life is unsustainable and dull without drugs of abuse to someone in long term recovery in  NA?

Life without a cookie is awesome for me. Sugar is my drug. I'm not ashamed or alone.

Think about the millions in OA, think FA, think Food Addiction, think those of us who had Auto Immune Disease or obesity and simply don't have the finances or don't WANT to pay big health insurance bills. My company will take $80 out of my pay check if I start eating cookies.

Getting to my root causes: I'm not a bad or weak person. Nope! Let's boil it down to my personal genetic risks:  Science, baby! My personal genetics revealed.

For some of us, we have obesity and binge eating if we eat sugar. Most sugar makes my genotype become my phenotype. I was obese from age 6-46.

I'm not a bad person. I dug deeper into my own obesity root causes.  I've got FTO genes that code for obesity, diabetes, and for me, extra ghrelin (the hunger hormone). I can see this on my 23nMe report with a HTML Promethease report.

Keeping weight off did work when I ditched sugar, Sept 2016
I can live a sustained weight maintenance, very active and exciting lifestyle. I also have a very low risk of what would otherwise be a very expensive type 2 diabetes diagnosis. In 2011, I stopped eating most processed sugar, grains. In 2012 I stopped consuming emulsifiers (guar and xantham gum).  A few months short of getting very sick.

I learned in the book Refuse to Regain, by Barbara Berkeley, MD  that "S" foods- sugar, processed starches, high carbohydrate plants cause many to regain their weight. Dr Berkeley wrote her book in 2008. She's board certified in obesity medicine. Thank goodness she gets it.

Living a full life without cookies, Maui, 2016
It's almost impossible for me to stop eating with 1 bite of a cookie. I can and have started to binge eat  with the extra ghrelin, for days, weeks, months, even years once I get going. Millions are like me. We abstain from certain foods, certain drinks, certain drugs to make life manageable and exciting.

 My life is far from dull. Trips to Hawaii, teaching my teen how to drive a car, traveling for work and pleasure all over, walking 5-6 miles a day, volunteer work in my community. Using my gifts given from my higher power like photography.

Life is not dull for me. And I'm single head of household, too. I earn the money, I have the fun and put great community project time in to where I live. No sugar coating required.

Far from dull and unsustainable.Abstaining from sugar, cookies and other binge triggers (processed sugar, all grains, and emulsifiers) has had a positive impact.

Now don't think I'm not telling the truth, I can eat a couple of squares of 85% chocolate (2-3 grams) per day without sinking into ill health. But could I live without it. Sure, I have and I could.

Food sobriety, sugar free, is > any cookie, cupcake or slice of bread. For me. Your milage may differ.

How long will it take before abstaining from sugar becomes an accepted thing in main stream medicine? I for one, am tired of waiting.

You don't need a genetics test. Food elimination diets are a thing. Are you better off abstaining from sugar than before. Okay then!

What's working for me:

1. 4 years normal BMI post 40 of morbid obesity
2. I get my insurance discount for normal glucose, BMI, low hs-CRP, and waist measurements.
3. I don't have joint pain all over, so I can paddle a kayak, jump over boulders on trails and be active.
4. I get up off the couch and my sugar stupor and do community volunteer projects on trails.

What didn't work when I was cookie and sugar fueled

1. Overweight from sugar and processed foods age 6-46
2. I was 4 months away from missing my insurance discount for metrics I could have controlled.
3. I had so much joint pain that I was in tears much of the time and sitting on the couch.
4. I didn't participate fully in my community due to the pain, the pain of obesity

That's it. Who else enjoys a vibrant, exciting, full life without cookies and sugar? I can't be the only one. ;)
A big thank you to Barbara Berkeley, MD, Franziska Spritzler, RD, CDE, Vera Tarman, MD and countless others who understand life beyond the cookie.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

4 years, 7 months long term weight maintenance, another month of awesome

May 2011 to September 2016
Starting weight 187.4 lbs

Goal Range 115-125 lbs
Current Weight 121.6 lbs
Keeping off 65.8  lbs

Time in maintenance 4 years, 7 months

Age 50
Menopause 3 years
Height 5'1"
BMI 23.0
Ave glucose (fasting & 2hr post)= 73 mg/dL
Ha1C = 5.0 (lowest in the last 7 years)

Auto-Immune Hashimotos 1997
Food Addict in Recovery: 5th year
High Risk, but never diagnosed Type 2 diabetes

Current food template: Paleo/LCHF, modified AIP, sometimes Ketosis 
Time restricted eating window 6-8 hrs
May 2011 to September 2016

Walking 14-15,000 steps per day
Weight lifting 2 days per week
Sprints on the rowing machine 1 days per week 

1. Yeah!  Another month. The time restricted eating window of 6-8 hours seems too be working great.

2. I'm eating the same food. And I added in small amounts of Raspberries and blackberries a few days a week. So far, my glucose is staying stable. More n=1 self experiments are needed.

3. Sleep: I'm down about 2-3 pounds, sleeping better and longer most days. Just more consistency around 7.25 to 7.5 hrs per day. Some days are shorter sleep days. 

Raspberries with my 6-8 hr time window
4. Acceptance. Tell everyone you are in an IRB study and stop eating between 12:30 pm-1;30 pm daily and people LOVE YOU. People think you are in super good health LOL. More on that in my next time restricted eating window update post.

Tell people you eat an average of 100-110 grams of fat every day (natural sources-coconut, avocado, olive oil) and eat 30-40 grams of carbs a day from veggies and a few berries and keep a moderate protein intake 50-70 grams from (gasp) red meat, chicken, eggs, lamb, etc and they lose their  MINDS.

Low fat brainwashing, how long will it take for those who need a low carb diet to reverse type 2 to change it up?  How long until some good, critical self observations can take place?

With obesity and diabetes at all time highs, people with diabetes or high risk deserve to know the truth. 

  • That choices food matters. 
  • That there is no one food template or diet, but 2-3 food template's that will bring good health markers and stable weights to many individuals.
  • That many can reverse signs and symptoms of type 2 diabetes with food choices, support, good sleep, good stress reduction via  Paleo, Primal, LCHF, Ketogenic, and IF, if that works for you. 
If you thrive on a vegan or vegetarian low fat diet or eat whole grains, yay you. That's awesome.

 I hope you'll give some acceptance to the rest of us. Thanks!  So many preventable disease, so many good foods and food templates that do eliminate the foods that make us sick and keep diseases in remission.

The absolute misinformation has and will cause a lot of illness. Breaks my heart. Onward,and be sure to change it up if you are zooming down the disease path.  

What didn't work in the past

1. Eating from 6 am to 10 pm, More than 6-9 times a day. Or less than 2 times a day. 3 times a day works for me.

2. Eating WW frozen enchiladas and skinny cow ice creams- HEY, LOW POINTS. I ate about 250 grams of carbs a day, but low fat. 

No wonder I almost was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. On points "friendly" diet junk food. Ughhhhhhhh!!!!  All the NOPES. Whut the heck was I thinking? Anything to keep food addiction alive. Today, thinking about this makes me sad. I know many are hooked, food junkies. 

3. Sleep was 4-6 days during the week day, thinking I could catch up during the weekends. Doesn't work like that.

4. I was accepted as a WW obese person. But I felt terrible, lots of physical and mental pain. Be sure to follow your blood markers, your pain levels and disease remission. It's fun to make franken food with fake ingredients, but it does cost in the long run.

That's it. Onward. Don't wait until it's too late. Your kidney, liver, eyes, hands, and feet will thank you.