Monday, November 12, 2018

Three months down

Long time no post.

I'm three months in, and other than one day of poor choices, have basically been eating keto since this began. The poor choices happened after a couple of days of higher-than-desired blood sugar (low 100s), a little weight gain, and then I tweaked my back in the gym.

But, one day off, and back into it I went.

I've not counted my carbs for the past two months, and I appear to alternate between having high 90s and 98-105 fasting blood sugar measurements. Last week was mostly 102-105, and so I did a 17 hour intermittent fast, and the last three measurements have been
I've also been mindlessly eating. The Trader Joe's roasted/salted macadamia nuts are my new Achilles' heel (dark chocolate peanut butter cups were the weakness before). So I'm bringing some mindfulness back to eating - which includes paring down my snacks, and using the intermittent fast as a reminder of what actual hunger pangs feel like.

As of today, I'm down to 235, which is 25# down from 260 at the beginning of July. I began this whole process with three+ weeks of a paleo diet in July, so we'll use that as my beginning weight. In May I did spike above 265, and May of 2018 I hit a solid 270. But, looking back over the past 18 months, I kind of hovered at 255.

I didn't take a photo for this process, so I've been scouring my gmail for photos Mary and I took back in 2009 when we did P90-X! So far, no luck. I did, however, find my measurements from back then:

2009 trey:
right thigh:26.125
left thigh:26.5
right arm:15.125
left arm:16

I'll take some new measurements at some point. And I'll look for a photo from that time. I don't take photos of myself, in part because I don't like how I look. My mental reference is probably the family photo from the 4th of July when Simone was a couple years old.  I do have a photo of me in my bike getup from a ride in June with Chapell, but the patterns make it hard to see much.

Maybe Mary has a photo of me.

I'm still keeping at it, though I think I'll try adding a few starchy vegetables (sweet potato, delicata squash, etc.) to the meal rotation.  So far, 3 months in, I'm not tired of eggs and bacon for breakfast.

Friday, September 14, 2018

The Reset Worked

My blood sugars have been solid since the reset.  And today I measured my sugar levels after I worked out and after I ate.  So, I woke up, went to the gym, and then ate a BLT salad.  I measured my blood sugar levels at each point, including every 30 minutes after eating my late breakfast.  The entire time my blood sugar stayed within the range of 85-89.  Nice and solid.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Six weeks and still going

I'm like the energizer bunny...

The past two weeks have been some ups and downs, starting with the downs.

For a little over a week, my blood sugars rose above 100 - generally around 105-106, but as high as 110.  I didn't change my diet much, but I was not being as strict about my carb intake.  I did measure it out on two days, and those days were around 50g.  Nevertheless, my blood sugar rose above 100 and stayed there.  I also gained a couple pounds.

Mary talked with a friend of hers who had done keto and found that when she plateaued, a two day reset usually did the trick.  So, for the past two days I ate nothing but ground beef and butter.   Yummmmm!

Actually, it wasn't bad.  I did eat salmon and butter on Saturday morning because we didn't have any beef, but we loaded up with 4 pounds which I cooked with some spices, and have since finished off.  After two days of that, my blood sugar this morning was a middle of the desired range at 90!  Additionally, I dropped down to 244# - which is what I was 3 weeks ago.  So, good news.

I have really been eating nothing but eggs, meat, and greens, with the occasional tomato/green bean/cauliflower, and dark chocolate every third night or so.  I had one Newman-O's cookie last week, and a taste of the bread Simone made.  But no sugar/grain other than that...  It hasn't been hard, other than feeling a little discouraged when the 90% diet (as in, I was doing it 90% correctly) was leading to higher blood sugar levels.

I think the conclusion is that I need to keep a tight rein on the carbs.  I can't just guess at it.


Monday, August 27, 2018

One month in Keto

Four weeks in, what's new?

Well, my blood sugar was high (105-106) a couple of times in the past week, and I didn't cheat!  That's been a bit frustrating.  I've only eaten meat, cheese, nuts, greens, and a few vegetables (cauliflower, tomatoes, and green beans).  Oh, and the occasional blackberry (c'mon, they're practically hitting me in the head when I walk by) and square of dark (80+%) chocolate.  But, seriously, it's been a square or two of chocolate, and 4-5 berries (granted, they're HUUUUGE), and then back to meat and nuts and cheese.

And, to top it off, I gained 3 pounds in the past week.  Bummer.

So, back to being more critical of my food - actually counting the carbs and not just hoping that the tomatoes I added to my salad didn't bump me over the limit.

Other things that were different this week - I didn't drink nearly the same amount of water, and I think I mistook thirst for hunger.  Plus, I made some fat bombs that were a bit too tempting - they were like candy.  And Mary was out of town, combined with a deadline at work, I did not make time to get my regular workouts in.

So, new day, new week, back on the saddle.

I must admit, I'm not yet tired of salad and meat.

Monday, August 20, 2018

Three Weeks Keto

I'm three weeks in now, and beginning the fourth week.

So far, I believe I've avoiding annoying everyone with my keto talk.  Simone might beg to differ, but she's enjoyed the food for the most part (Mary did tell me that last week she asked, "do we have something other than chicken to eat?").  Luckily, food her food woes are quickly calmed with a piece of bacon.  Go bacon!

I began keto three weeks ago, but it's been six weeks since I cut out grains and sweeteners.  In that whole time, I'm down 13 pounds - to a slim, trim, 244# today.  And my blood level has been in the normal range, excepting one morning of 101 (too much chocolate for dessert?).

Overall, I've been feeling just as good, if not a bit better than "normal."  I have not experienced the keto flu that many talk about (and now would be the time), and my workouts have felt solid.

I think the dietary changes work for me so far.

I feel a little odd eating just meat, nuts, eggs, cheese, and greens - but three weeks in I have been happy with the food so far.

I've not yet started doing intermittent fasting - I may give that a try in week five.  I did just listen to an interesting podcast where they recommended protein fasts (as opposed to water fasts), under the idea that generally during a water fast your body uses about 1/3 a pound of lean muscle to power your day's activities - and eating just protein helps avoid that.  Granted, that's different than intermittent fasting, but still an idea.

We just went camping for three nights, which was interesting.  The yellow-jackets were certainly attracted by all the meat at meals - a bit of a downside.

On to week four!

Sunday, August 12, 2018


Mary reports that my scoring had improved already, and I'm only down 10 pounds.

Blood sugar this morning: 89

Predict review: Vermont Smoke and Cure, uncured bacon pork stick.  The texture was about perfect, and the seasoning was a nice level.  BUT... If you label something as"bacon", it had better taste of bacon.  It did not.  This is a hard pass.

Product review: Epic Meats Salt and Pepper Pork Rinds.  Well, now I've had pork rinds.  I was looking for something to munch on while driving home, and the gas station had nothing but a bunch of stuff filled/coated/glazed with sugar.  Enter pork rinds!  Nothing but fat and protein goodness.  I must say, the crunch was delightful.  The rinds were very delicate, had a wonderful salt and pepper flavor, and very satisfactory crunch.  But then, you're left with the after-texture (Simone coined that term for me).  When you eat a crunchy cheeto, it also has a lovely crunch, and it dissolves into a fine-grained powder - that if you eat too many at once might turn into a little bit of paste that sticks to your tongue.  But even that paste will easily dissolve in your saliva.  However, the "paste" that you are left with after after eating a single pork rind is a not-so-fine-grained "paste" that is apparently a bunch of fat cells.  They do not dissolve easily in your saliva, and instead kind of hang around until you drink something  Rating: first two thirds of eating a rind is awesome, the last third is terribly disappointing.  Will not be buying again - unless I have a pitcher of gin and tonics handy.

Thursday, August 09, 2018

More Tired

Huh, third Tired post in a row.  I know I didn't get quite the sleep I wanted - it's a Thursday, so I woke up early to work out and then drive to Wilsonville.  I ended up pulling over at the first rest stop to walk off the fatigue.

The workouts yesterday and today were tough, but good.  I didn't feel anything but muscle tired during them, so my overall energy level seems reasonable, and in the portions that were bike/ski for time/calories, I did real well.

I am down another 2 pounds, and the blood sugar was 79 this morning.

Mary made some cold-brew coffee, and I've had it twice now with cream (aka Keto Coffee) and stevia.  Pretty tasty.

Wednesday, August 08, 2018


I slept hard last night, it was a challenge to get up this morning.  Couple that with yesterday's riding fatigue, I'm wondering if I'm not getting enough calories. 

This week's meal plan fell a bit short of 2000 calories each day, which is substantially lower than I generally get.  I've tried to add snacks to compensate, and I haven't felt super hungry...

Way back in my youth, I hiked the Muir Trail.  I spent 30 days in the Sierras and hiked over 220 miles.  Every night I slept about 11 hours, going to bed when it was dark (around 9), and waking up around 8.  About two thirds the way through my hike I got really tired and took one of my rest days early - choosing to do so because I fell asleep sitting on the side of the trail.

After the trip I found that I'd lost 30 pounds - a pound a day.  No wonder I was tired, I was operating at a huge calorie deficit.

I don't think I'm at that point, but I think I might be under eating.

Blood sugar: 84.

Tuesday, August 07, 2018

Tired Legs

Blood sugar: 89

I did a quick ride today, and I felt tired.  My legs just didn't want to go very fast.  Looking back at recent rides that were the same route, this was between 5 minutes and 13 minutes slower.  I'm not sure what the difference is, but will keep an eye on it.  Maybe not quite enough sleep?  Unsure.

No meat stick today - but this week's meal plan appears to be bacon heavy which is fun.

Monday, August 06, 2018

Now I'm one week in.

Ok, yesterday's update was a bit premature.  I was beginning the 7th day yesterday, and today I've got a full week under my belt.

Blood sugar: 90, weight 249.

I haven't seen that side of the scale since last October, and that lasted all of 4 weeks.

My weight one week ago was 252, so it's been 3 pounds since I started eating keto, but I'd also lost another 4 pounds during the 3-week ramp up to this.  In those weeks I was not eating any grains or sweeteners, but I was gorging myself on fresh fruit - mostly blueberries and cherries as they were at peak ripeness.  We're talking pounds at a time.

I don't necessarily want to lose 3 pounds a week - that seems like a disaster waiting to happen.  If I let myself get too hungry I imagine I'll be prone to binging on food (carbs or not), and that's a cycle I'd like to break.  Still, just one week in - it's silly to predict long-term trends on just one week.

The primary objective, again, of this exercise is to hopefully reset my body so that it less resistant to insulin.  But, excess weight is tied to insulin insensitivity.  Is it causative?  That is the million dollar question.  This page does a nice job of presenting theories that folks have around weight and type-2 diabetes.  It sounds like the answer isn't really known, but if you can reduce both your blood sugar levels and your weight, then you're setting yourself up to win either way.

Now, I'm measuring my fasting blood sugar level - which is really an indirect way of measuring how my body is responding to insulin.  It could be that by not eating carbs, there are just fewer sugars in my bloodstream.

That's one thing I don't understand - I'm eating relatively few carbs each day (~50gram), which is relatively very little.  It looks like I used to eat between 250g and 400g on a "normal" day (depending on exercise levels), yet cutting my carbs by one-fifth to one-eighth, my blood sugar dropped only about 20%.  Granted, my blood can probably only store about 10g of sugar at any point, so it should be able to easily generate that given my eating of 50g/day.

There's much to learn.  I definitely get a lot of great information from Mary, but I try not to be wholly reliant on her.  Plus, she doesn't regularly deal with diabetic patients.  That said, I've never found good information on any health subject that she's been wrong about.  And every time I try to brush off one of her ideas as just being over reactive, she turns out to be 100% correct - the most obvious case was my gall stone that she correctly diagnosed and I later had to have surgically removed.  I wanted to blame it on a bad case of gas...

Long story even longer, I'm not doing this keto-diet because of Mary, I'm doing it for myself - in order that I can be around (and healthy) to be with Mary and Simone for a long time to come.  But, it definitely was an idea that Mary planted in my head.

Sunday, August 05, 2018

One Week In!

This is day 6, and my blood sugar was 88 this morning.

I'm planning out the next week's food, with the help of Corvallis Whole Body, which has been a nice way to not have to think of everything.  It can definitely be a challenge to keep the carbs under 50 grams a day.

Product review: Vermont Smoke and Cure Original Cracked Pepper Beef and Pork stick.  This is MUCH better than their turkey stick, it's got the texture I'm looking for and has great flavor.  I'll get this again for sure.

Keto and a big bike ride

Morning blood sugar: 96

I rode with some friends around Waldo Lake, which was almost 30 miles and 3000' elevation gain.  We were out for a little over 6 hours.

I snacked on nuts, cheese and salami, and drank two quarts of low-cal electrolyte drink.

Overall, my energy level seemed good, especially considering I haven't been doing many rides over 2 hours long.  So I'm happy about that.

Friday, August 03, 2018

Keto, day 5

Blood sugar: 95

I'm going on a long bike ride at Waldo Lake tomorrow with some friends, so we'll see how this keto diet plays out. I did this 3 years ago, and spent almost 3 hours riding (out of 4 hours total).  Looking at the planned route, it's going to be longer tomorrow because we'll include Twins Trail which adds another 1200' elevation gain and a few more miles (5?). I've got some meat, cheese, and nuts for the ride, and I'm planning on bringing some food for after the ride.  I imagine we'll stop somewhere and my food choices will be limited.

I've got some CLIF BLOKs from an Xmas gift, so I'll have that with me if I feel a bonk coming on.

Product review: The New Primal spicy beef stick.  Texture - close to great, just a little dry.  Flavor was awesome - perhaps even a bit too peppery, and the saltiness was on target.  It's made from grass-fed/finished pasture-raised beef, so better for the environment too.  I'll definitely try other flavors of this.

Thursday, August 02, 2018

Keto, day 4

I've got to come up with better names for these posts.

Blood sugar level was 94 this morning.

I took an impromptu nap for a couple minutes yesterday.  That happens to me not infrequently.  I'd been chalking it up to post-lunch blood sugar crash, and I'm hoping that it stops during this experiment.  We will see.

My sleep is OK, the Fitbit tells me I sleep about 7h15m per night, with an additional hour every night of being awake.  The two days I commute to Wilsonville skews this low because I generally get only 6 hours those nights (with another hour of being awake).  Sleep is important, but it's a bit difficult to use 9 hours (8 sleeping, 1 intermittent awake) of the day on it.

Product review: Sweetwood Smokeouse Fatty original smoked meat stick.  This one has plenty of fat, it's got the texture of a hot-dog.  I prefer to have something with the "lumpier" texture of a good salami, as opposed to the homogenized structure found in a hot-dog, but for what it is, I much prefer this to the "ground jerky" texture found in other meat sticks.  The stick is nitrate free, but isn't necessarily from humanely raised pigs (meaning, it's likely CAFE meat) - so I may be healthier because of no nitrates, but the environment is dying.  Other than the texture, it's a little salty, which might be great for a snack in the middle of a hike/bike ride, but is overpowering as I sit here in my office.  But I'd happily buy it again.

Wednesday, August 01, 2018

Keto, day 3

And so it continues.

I felt munchy yesterday.  Too early to tell if it's keto related, or if it's because I'm just not eating as much as normal.  I did a run to the co-op yesterday to pick up some chicken for today's lunch, and when I walked in I felt very tempted to grab fruit, or a bag of chips.  But I held strong.

Annoyingly, the chicken in the package weighed 1.25 pounds - enough for two meals for the three of us, but after cooking weighed just over half that at 0.75 pounds.  grrr....

If you recall, from way back yesterday, I said my goal was to get my blood sugar levels into the normal range and hopefully reset my body's relationship with insulin.

This morning's sugar level: 86.  That's in mg/dL.

Product review: EPIC Venison bar. This bar has some celery and onion powder, evidently enough to have 2g of carbs... the other bars had zero.  Do those help the flavor?  You betcha!  The flavor of the venison bar is great, nice and peppery.  The consistency is so-so, it's not very fatty, so the texture is more like ground jerky than salami.  But, overall, I think the bar is a winner: great flavor and passable texture.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Keto, Day 2

So.... why keto?

My blood sugar levels have been a little high for a while.  They haven't changed substantially in the past year (so, not increasing, yay?), but I'd like to have them in the normal range.

The keto diet is low carb, like real low.  The idea (for me) is to reduce carbohydrates to the level that my cells get a break from the excessive amounts of sugar floating around in my bloodstream.  The hope is that the body will be able to heal and ultimately be able to handle normal (not excessive) amounts of carbohydrates without becoming resistant to insulin.

This morning, my fasting blood sugar level was 100, which barring one recent measurement, is the lowest it's been in a year.  We'll see if this is just a blip because the body was in shock from no fruit/potatoes/bread, or if it's an actual step in the right direction.

Product review: Nick's Sticks free range turkey snack sticks.  It's another humane-ish, nitrate-free meat stick.  This has good texture - what I'd expect from a pepperoni stick, but the flavor is just lacking - it's bland.  Maybe the spicy version is worth trying.

Keto, Day 1

So, I'm beginning an experiment - the "keto diet" and will be logging some of my thoughts/results as I go.  I can write them in my food tracker, but that's a bit awkward to recall information on, so I'm going to try blogger.  Plus, it's been a long time since I blogged.

The first day was bound to be easy.  I could do a 24 hour fast without too much of a problem, so going keto really doesn't seem like that big a deal (for one day).

Product review: Vermont Smoke & Cure, Ancho Pepper turkey stick.  meh.  Pretty dry consistency, not very spicy, not very flavorful.  Sure, it's gluten free, vegetarian fed (um... turkeys probably like eating bugs), no antibiotics/hormones, and nitrate free, but it's boring.  I've a hunch that the preservative-free (and low fat) meat sticks will all be boring because they're low fat, and thus have the consistency of ground jerky.  I like a good jerky, but not ground up.