Thursday, August 17, 2017

Realizing Health Goals - Very Low Carb, High Protein & Fat Diet

Health Goals, Accomplishments & Future, Big Picture Dreams


It's been about five months since swapping out our whole grains and beans for animal foods.  A short while after, I set up the 30-Day Challenge, similar to the parameters outlined by Chris Kresser in The Paleo Cure, and created the Ancestral Eating / Paleo 30-Day Diet Challenge Facebook group to see if others wanted to join me.  Several of us in that small private group chose to take things a step further, and so, on May 1, we began a super low-carbohydrate, high-fat, ketogenic version of a paleo diet, which excludes grains, beans, and all products made from them, among other highly refined and processed foods which are strictly avoided.

At this point, I feel like I have learned several things, which I was just outlining in a new e-book I am writing ~  The Trust Your True Nature Diet ~ which will be available here and on my website.  I wanted to share what I have learned ~ and accomplished ~ so far, and my more personal, big picture dreams that are very dear to my heart.


What I've discovered so far while maintaining a very simple, low-carbohydrate diet:


  • I really feel much better when I keep my total carbohydrate consumption low, often maxing out at 40-50 grams, or perhaps a tad more on occasion.  At some point, this may change.  But for now, I still believe I have a lot of internal healing to do, especially with respect to my digestive system, my adrenals, and sustaining a healthier blood sugar balance.
  • I feel much better when I limit my total fruit consumption, especially fruits with a higher ratio of fructose to glucose.  I also am avoiding tropical fruits that require importation, and are grown in a different bioregions.   So, no mangos or bananas, our one time staples when eating a high-raw, fruit-based diet.
  • I have much less bloating when I minimize intake of fibrous foods, including excess fruits.   If I have a meal with a lot of vegetables, or a big salad, I will probably not have fruit afterwards, at the same meal.  
  • I am really loving having 3-4 smaller meals, centered around a protein.  Easy to prepare.  Easy to digest. My favorite 'snacks' or mini meals consist of about 100g of some type of meat, like some smoked turkey drumstick or ham, or a couple hard-boiled eggs, along with some chopped cucumber and celery, and possibly a 1 oz. piece of goat or raw cheddar cheese.  This combo is very satisfying ~ and satiating ~ to me at this time.  If still hungry, I will eat a few (American grown) pecans afterwards, or a measured amount of more easily tolerated fruit (currently loving cherries!). 
  • While I always loved fruits and vegetables,  I have far less desire for the quantities of fruits, greens, and vegetables I once craved and consumed.  I no longer believe that fiber is an important element in the diet.  In fact, fiber is a non-nutrient.
  •  When I choose what to eat according to the impressions, or feelings of what I am desiring, I am rewarded with a sense of being more energized after my meal, and I'm more readily getting the results I desire. 


Very tender and flavorful center cut pork chops.  The secret?  I let them sit for at least 8 hours in a big
zip lock baggie marinating in the juice of 1/2-1 lime.  The acid helps break the muscle fibers down,
and prevents the meat from drying out.  I pan-fried on our non-stick, flat-top griddle pan after seasoning
generously with cracked pepper, garlic powder and some sea salt on both sides.  I did add some unsalted
butter to the pan for flavor.  Onions, mushrooms, spinach and a fresh tomato were pan sautéed separately
in a little xvoo, with some garlic. 

Leftovers!


  •  If I am craving 'protein',  I have as much as I crave, filling in with whatever vegetables I may have prepared.  The protein is the star of my meal.  It is really easy to eat animal flesh foods high in protein to satiety, without over consumption.  It is satisfying, but when you have had enough, you are done.  Every so many days, I may then crave more fat, for which I will cook with more butter, or be sure to have my morning coffee (usually a blend of decaf and regular, or with roasted dandelion or chicory root) with butter and/or half and half added.
  • Even my protein cravings have been fairly specific.  I have a strong desire for chicken breast one day, then pork another, beef another, salmon another, and so on.  Each has a different nutritional profile, so getting variety is good.  For example, pork is much higher in B1 thiamine than red meat.  Red meat has more iron.  Trust your cravings!

To think I used to drink black dark roast coffee for years!  I still enjoy it, but wow,
adding any combination of unsalted butter, cinnamon, cocoa powder, and/or half and half
makes it such a delectable morning beverage that fuels my morning workouts!


Still enjoying my morning eggnog, which I typically have post strength training, 3 days per week.  I blended
this with a little cantaloupe for a refreshing, slightly sweet flavor.  Briefly blend: 2 eggs, 1/4c egg white, 1/4 c half & half+ a few chunks of cantaloupe.  This is a great drink if you want something quick to sustain you on the weekend
when heading out to the markets too!



The Improvements I've experienced:

  • One benefit I was really surprised to notice was that I no longer have super ridged, scaly elbows.  I mean, that is like a miracle!  They are actually soft!!!
  • My hair has a much nicer sheen.  It was looking so dull.
  • Likewise, my skin in general is smoother and brighter.  I was looking pretty grey-ish, or pallor, a sign of blood deficiency according to Chinese medical syndrome differentiation.
  • I am witnessing my body composition change, for the better, bit by bit.  I understand much better now that this is a process that TAKES TIME!  My waist is now 25 inches, or slightly less.  My thighs have reduced about 1/4 inch, from 19.5 (or a tad more) to about 19.25 inches.  That is the area that will take the longest time.  
  • I don't really have all these uncomfortable twitchy sensations causing me to be continually moving and contorting my body.  I have a greater sense of ease, thank God!
  • Overall better digestion and elimination.  Nothing perfect.  Taking magnesium is helpful.  I rarely get bloated, however, I have had an experience here and there where something I ate did not work for me, causing abdominal distention and pain that passed by the next day.  
  • I feel more and more like my true self, more solid and whole than I've ever experienced, and more fully integrated ~ perhaps my greatest benefit so far.

Not great lighting ~ was just trying to capture the shine in my hair!  It was sadly looking so dark and dull before,
adding to my aged look.  I just didn't realize how much so until now being able to see the contrast.


I am actually nearly a 24.75 in. waist now! Abdominal muscles becoming more visible!


Taking selfies isn't normally my thing, but, this was set up as a challenge, and to
chronicle our progress, so...


Lest we forget.  The following photos are from end of April through mid-May, the beginning of
our very low-carb diet challenge.

This is from April 20 ~ after adding animal foods back but prior to super low-carb
Below are pics from around the beginning or middle of May

I had several days of massive abdominal distention in the beginning as I weaned
off of the high carbohydrate consumption, especially excess fibrous vegetables and fruits.


One of the worst 'eye opener' close-ups I'll never love!




Sometimes it's all about the lighting, but my hair is clearly darker and less shiny looking here.



Good bye chubby thighs.  There will be muscles making a debut soon!


Anything but botox to help w/ those deeply etched grooves (I won't even call them wrinkles!)

Back to the present.  These are within the last 1-2 weeks.

Don looking quite handsome and fit!

This was just last week I believe.  Currently just under 25 inches!

Definite signs of improvement from above!!!!!  Losing fat eating protein and fat!!!



Future Goals:

  • Ongoing improvement of my body composition.  I did the seven fold skin test, and plugged my data into two online calculators used by both the Navy and the Army (found here and here) and determined my percentage of body fat to be about 19%.  It was previously closer to 25%.  My weight is hovering at 100-101 pounds (down from 105-107 pounds)  sometimes up a bit depending on if I over consumed fibrous or salty foods.  I'm happy with my weight, and now just desire to continue dropping  my body fat composition, aiming for 15-17% (considered an athlete level for females my age).  Primarily, I am desiring to continue to strengthen the weaker upper quadriceps (very weak and flabby relative to my hamstrings), and get to where you can actually see muscles on my thighs!  
  • Ongoing improvement in overall health, digestion and elimination, reduction of allergies, and improvement in eye clarity and visual acuity.
  • I have other goals, but my you get the drift.  Continue to feel better, and look more radiant, what we all desire!  I accumulated a lot of wrinkles from way too much stress, and low-fat dieting in my life!  It's time to restore the years the lotus has eaten!
Up Next:  My BIG Picture Dreams ~ Self-Suffiency, Freedom & Finding Our 'Peace' of Land

Below are a few videos that Don has been putting together on his Full Range Strength Channel. He puts SO much thought, time and care into his informative and inspiring videos.  Your help watching, liking, sharing and subscribing is very appreciated!

One video explains how to determine your percentage of body fat.  One is showing a little snippet of me doing the strength training routine he has been putting together.



Two of the sites you can use to determine percentage body fat are linked above.  But you can see how to do the 7-point test, and exactly which calculators to use on exrx.net, and calculator.net in this helpful video.




Don shares anatomy pictures of the muscle groups being used (the trapezius and the latissimus dorsi, or 'lats') and how to best train them in this very informational, easy to follow tutorial.














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