Monday, May 22, 2017

Updated Strategy for Fat Loss & Healing IBS-C ~ Ketogenic Diet Challenge

 I was close to finishing this post on Friday, May 19, however we left our office after closing our clinic down for the weekend to go home to prepare our second meal.  Since we haven't been packing it to take with us on Fridays, we are definitely ready to go home and eat by the time we finish with our last client.  After our lunch/dinner, we went back out to do our 'hunting and gathering'  at two different stores (which means we can go to the farmer's market on Saturday and enjoy the rest of the day afterwards.) By the time we came home, and put everything away, it was late, and my mind officially went off line for the night.

So, as you read this post, bear in mind that it was mostly written on Friday, although I will do my best to edit it to read better.  I do get bummed when these posts get delayed, as they seem timely, and I have so many more posts in mind to get written!

Here goes:

I woke up Friday feeling very determined.  I realized the previous night that it is time to get more 'calculated' about my strategy for losing excess fat, and healing from Irritable Bowel Syndrome with Constipation, or IBS-C.  I am also revisiting my suspicians of having fructose malabsorption which I researched and wrote about several years back.  In this post, I will share my updated strategy, and further discuss hereditary fructose intolerance (HFI) versus fructose malabsorption, previously called dietary fructose intolerance (DFI) in future posts.

I may need to be eating less of this for a period of time to determine my food triggers, and heal
my inflamed, misshapen intestines.  Hard to believe these types of foods can be a problem, and not
the animal meats and fats, but that is what we have been programmed to believe for several decades now.
I'll share some alternative points of view in upcoming posts.

My Updated Strategy for Losing Fat, & Healing My Gut!

I had a bit of a food timing snafu on Thursday, which led to a little GI distress.  The GI distress led me to revisit my previously held notion of having an issue with fructose malabsorption, OR a possible intolerance to fructose, fructans, and FODMAPs ~ Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disachharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols.

Let me explain.  First, my snafu:

All week we carried one thermos of our beef bone broth to work with us for lunch.  We packed our pre-measured amounts of beef brisket in a separate stainless to go container.  At lunch, we simply put the beef brisket into a bowl, and poured the broth on top.  I have been adding a little bit of onion and mushroom and/or celery to the broth.

Yesterday, we were low on beef brisket, but had enough meat from cooking the beef shank bone ~ stored separately from the bone broth ~ to compensate.  We purchase the beef shank bones from  one of the suppliers at the farmer's market because they are so meaty, and good quality.  I also added 2 cups of chopped spinach to the soup, along with the onion and mushroom.  It was a nice beef vegetable soup.

The previous night our hot water heater busted.  They did an emergency stop-gap to keep from a worse catastrophe, and replaced it on Thursday morning.  I left the office to go home to let them in, and make sure Jasper didn't escape while they had the hose going out the door to drain the tank.  I ended up remaining for longer than anticipated, a good hour past my normal feeding time.  I decided to head back to the office (where the food was sitting, waiting for me), as my blood sugar was definitely dropping.  I filled my bowl with the meat in the to go container, then topped it with broth from one of the two thermoses, the one we typically use as it actually still keeps hot liquids hot.

After finishing that, I was still feeling the low blood sugar effects.  I went after the blueberries and whipped cream with that familiar 'ravenous' feeling, whereby in the past, even after eating some food, it would still take time to replenish my blood sugar reserves. This would often cause me to overeat, as I would feel like I was eating to put out a raging fire within.  I would have this internal shakiness, until the fire would finally go out.  Anyone who experiences hypoglycemia can probably relate.

I went back to the apartment, and got comfortable, as the hot water heater was still not completely installed.  Immediately after my meal, I had the bloating and distention.  My stomach looked like this:

Pretty, huh?  Lower belly kangaroo pouch, sticking out more than my breasts is not my ideal vision for myself!

Before leaving from the office, I packed up the thermoses and incidentals to take home, since we were done with them.  Or so I thought!  I never did finish the soup!  Half of the meat and vegetables were in the other thermos, as the other one I filled my bowl up with first was mostly broth.  I think at the office, I imagined that Don poured out half of one into the other.  I have no idea why I assumed that, or never checked the other thermos.  I was in low blood sugar mode; my mind was on auto pilot with thinking 'one thermos-full' was it, as per what has been typical.

So, despite being a bit bloated, I still had the subtle blood sugar blues shakiness.  I ate the rest of the soup, and immediately felt better, in the head at least.  Some foods really perk me up quicker than others.  One of those foods is red meat.  I has also already put all the foods I planned to eat on Chronometer earlier, and thought that I would really be lacking in nutrients if I didn't finish it.

Whether that was the best strategy or not, I don't know.  It's that ongoing tug-of-war between the mind's analyzations, and the body's actual needs.

Probably more background than you needed.  But, after feeling some frustration with ongoing constipation, and irritable bowel issues, including bloating and distention after certain meals, and no weight change, I went back to the planning room to rethink my strategy, based on the following observations:

What I've been observing about my experiences so far:

  1. The meals I consumed where I felt my best, I ate the least produce, if any.  
  2. Beef and eggs are the animal foods that help me to feel my best right now.  Second choices include salmon, or a fish high in EPA and DHA, such as sardines.  Bacon + bacon fat, and ghee seem helpful as well.  I'm also doing well having my Sugar-Free Coconut Macaroons as a between meal snack that travels well.  Whipping cream also provides a good deal of satiety, but I am currently eliminating it to see if I have less allergy symptoms when avoided.
  3. Meat + fat brings on a feeling of Euphoria, and better, more clear and focused energy.
  4. My mind believes I need fresh produce for the minerals and micronutrients.  (Not saying this is not true.)
  5. When I was eating the Beet, Carrot & Parsley Salad,  I would also experience bloating and abdominal distention by the end of the day.  I just wasn't making the connection previously, which is sad, because I really like that salad.  But this is all temporary, to discover food triggers.
My Conclusions:
  1. Excess fibrous vegetables in their raw form, and excess fruit at any one sitting needs to be eliminated for now to see how symptoms improve.  My intestines are misshapen.  I am fairly certain at this point that it was the excess fibrous foods that contributed, if not caused, my intestines to get stretched out to begin with.  I need gut shrinking, versus gut expanding meals for now!
  2. To finally lose this last 7-8 pounds or so of fat, I need a new strategy.  I don't like being restricted, but the "eat what you want of _______ (fill in the blank) advise I had heard or read over and over needs to once and for all be exorcised from my weight loss rule book.
  3. I need a meal strategy that enables me to consume fewer total calories without feeling the blood sugar blues, and that I can sustain while going about my day.  (Note to self, Don wants to gain weight, Tracy wants to lose weight/fat, therefore, can't eat the same volume of food as Don!)
Keeping to berries and citrus for fruit intake.  Strawberries are best for those with  fructose malabsorption.
If eating any, I am having smaller portions at one setting as suggested for those with a
fructose (or fructan) malabsorption issue.  Fructans are also found in wheat, and other foods. 

My Updated Strategy

Later in the day after my eating mishap and abdominal distention, I did a little research to see if people were having results healing IBS with a ketogenic diet.  There were some success stories.  It involves being a detective, and eliminating various foods, which for some included the FODMAPs.  However, most of the anecdotes I read were people dealing more with IBS-D, irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea.  However, I found this particular article, Keto Diet Quick Start,  on the No Bun Please blog helpful.

That post linked to this site, where you can calculate exactly what your macros should be.  After checking that out, and plugging in some numbers, I decided I needed to be more 'calculated' in my approach.

Here are my targets, based on my Keto Calculator results:

According to my weight and height, and the pictures on the charts you can look at, I have 26-27% body fat.  To maintain weight, my total calories for a moderately active female over 50 needs to top out at 1350.  Oops.  I've put my food intake on Chronometer and logged in 2,000+ calories on a few occasions!  No wonder no fat loss!  The good news is that I haven't gained more weight since beginning this challenge, despite consuming far more calories than is appropriate for my size and activity level.

To lose weight, I plug in the percent less calories I am willing to consume, and the number of grams of carbs and protein I am targeting.  They give you the recommended low and high end, and you choose accordingly.  The calculator then figures out the remaining grams of fat you can consume (um, not an unlimited amount?).  

As per the calculations, if I choose to limit total calories by (a mere) 10%, and opt for 30g of carbs, and 70g of protein per day, then my total fat grams should be 90g for a total of 1218 total calories per day.  That will enable me to lose 1.1 pounds per month.  

Not a speedy process!  And a lot less calories than I typically consume in a day!

My Strategy is to employ the following, gauging results, and adjusting meal to meal:
  1. To make this work, I need to be choosing very nutrient-dense foods.  I always considered dark leafy greens, vegetables and beans to be very nutrient-dense.  However, animal foods ~ and especially eggs ~ are really nutrient-dense with nutrients that are much more bio-available.
  2. Pick one day per week to do a longer over night fast, and eat only one meal, later in the afternoon.  If I finish my last meal the day before between 2-3 PM, then I could wait until 2:00 or so the following day to eat one main meal.  I can do this incrementally, building to the full 24 hour fast, eating hour later at a time.
  3. In lieu of 24 hour overnight fast, eat a much lighter breakfast.  Focus on just a simple breakfast of 2 eggs, and 2 pieces of bacon along with incidental vegetables, such as a little tomato or basil, avocado, and some cooked spinach or beet greens.   Focus on 'fruits' that are classified as vegetables, such as tomato, cucumber, avocado, and zucchini.  These fruits are good sources of potassium, but a lower percentage of fructose.
  4. Eliminate, and/or greatly minimize the amount of fibrous vegetables, including lettuces, I eat at one time.  Consume less if any raw, for the time being.
  5. Eliminate or minimize the quantity of fruits consumed at one serving.  Minimize or avoid those fruits that are higher in fructose.  Fruits like apples which are higher in fructose, and can be problematic I need to avoid, or eat only a small amount at one time.  I've been using up the apples we had previously by slicing one at a time, and placing it with sliced onions on the bottom of a roasting pan when roasting brisket, whole chickens, thighs, or turkey breast.

I am continuing to eat what I feel drawn to eating at this point, even if the micronutrient profile isn't stellar.   I'm using Chronometer more to gauge where I am at with my total calories, and the grams of each of the macros.  

Over the weekend, we had a stellar day of meals on Saturday, which helped us to feel really great on Sunday.  However, on Sunday, we may not have completely hit the mark.

Each day is an adventure.  Since beginning this post, I waited until noon on Friday to eat my breakfast of 2 hard boiled eggs with bacon that I packed to go.  I had my Coconut Chicory Coffee Drink prior.  I was definitely ready for a more substantial meal by the time we ate, about 4 hours later.  My blood sugar was on the edge, but I managed it far better than I would have in the past.

Two Instant Chicory 'Coffee' Drinks ~ I have a few variations, which I'll share in one of the
next couple posts

I still can feel fairly sleepy within an hour of eating on some days, however, on Sunday, the day after our stellar, Gold Star day of meals, I felt pretty focused, and accomplished some things that I've wanted to do for some time.  

I made up another batch of 'cookies' ~ small treats I am making that are sugar-free, and mostly fat with a little protein to have as snacks.  

And, I created this...

                                   ....... which I can also share more about in another post.

So much to write about and so little time to get it done!  

Time to share our Gold Star day of meals, some recipes, then more ongoing insights, and experiences as the great 30+ Day Challenge continues!


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