My new toy to track my steps. Over 4 days I averaged 12,000+ steps a day. And on Sunday I rested.
Concerned that I was falling back into my old couch potato ways, I decided to buy a pedometer to track my steps. The last few weeks the weather’s been wet and windy. Who wants to walk in that? Not me. So poof, the idea of getting the pedometer popped into my head. I was curious.
It arrived late Wednesday. I quickly set it up and put it on my bedside table, ready for Thursday morning. Sure enough, I woke up, clipped it to my PJs, and started my day. I made a promise to myself not to look at it until the end of the day. I just wanted an idea of how much I move in a day. I guesstimated that I’d hit around 2,500 steps.
My typical carnivore dinner: 2 eggs over easy and a rib-eye steak. Yummy.
I’ve designated 2020 as an awesome year for my health. The husband and I went carnivore a week before we rang in the New Year. Although we hit a few snags – namely wine – we found our groove in time for World Carnivore Month (WCM).
Does this mean I’m no longer eating veggies and berries? Nope. I should be back to filming delicious keto (and carnivore) dishes soon. It’s just that my husband needs to get serious about his gut health and the Carnivore Diet is the ultimate elimination diet. I’m joining him for support and as a reset, and God knows I need one.
There are many ways you can do the carnivore diet – with limited diary, no dairy, lean meat with added fats, fatty meats only, grass-fed & free-range meats only, all beef, keto carnivore, 90% meats and 10% vegetables, etc.
I know there will be comments to proclaim what the one true carnivore diet is. Well I call “Shenanigans” on you. Like all healthy eating lifestyles, make it your own as far as what works for you.
Per my husband’s suggestion, we are going all-beef, with eggs. No spices, herbs or seasonings with the exception of salt (obviously!).
The only plants we’re consuming come in the form of coffee and tea. That means the only dairy is heavy cream for coffee, and that is limited.
Last night’s dinner – a lovely beef brisket.
How Much Meat Do I Eat In A Day?
I don’t usually measure my food on carnivore. I’m really focused on eating when hungry only. However, I have noticed a gradual increase in how much beef I’m eating. So I did some measuring.
Before carnivore, I typically ate about 14 ounces of meat in a day. The first week of carnivore I was eating roughly 20 ounces of beef/day. I’d say right now I eat between 24-36 ounces (1-1/2 to 2 pounds)/day. If I’m super busy doing physical work I can easily eat 2 pounds/day. But If it’s a lazy day, it’s a struggle to eat 24 ounces.
I’d guess that my husband is between 3-4 pounds of beef a day. But he too had to build up to that amount.
So Far I Feel Awesome…When We Don’t Mess Up
My energy level is up and I’m experiencing fewer aches and pains in my problem hip and knees when I stick to carnivore. But we’ve had some slips due to very poor planning and bad habits. Things like wine and very anti-keto snacks (popcorn is the devil!).
I don’t beat myself up for those slips…I don’t have to. My body punishes me with:
Low energy the following day
For me, slip-ups happen with boredom. If I’m not busy I’m my own worst enemy. Thanks to physical therapy and gardening my mobility improved. But once that first frost hit, I didn’t have a plan to stay as active.
Bad habits came back with abandon. And I’m feeling it in my hip. Not good.
We had to tear down our old shed last summer. Now we have a ton of work to do to get our backyard ready for the new shed.
Rather than waiting for spring (47 days away in case you were wondering), I’m focusing my efforts on some DYI projects around the house:
Painting the basement
Cleaning up the backyard
Finishing the raised beds
Redecorating the spare bedroom/office
Replacing plants in our landscape
Some of these projects, I kept putting off. Others are more urgent with spring fast approaching (like clearing out the space for our new shed).
What I love is all of these projects are needed, take time to get right, and keep me active physically and mentally. There is no reason to get bored and eat something I don’t want to eat.
Feeling like I’m over the worst part of this blasted cold, yesterday I did something I haven’t done in a long time. Food prepping for the week. Granted, it happened on Hump Day, but that’s neither here nor there. Doing something so simple felt great. It’s an habit I started when I went low carb and it’s been MIA for too many months.
What To Do With All These Tomatoes?
I deviated from my grocery list slightly by picking 2 pounds of tomatoes – Campari, heirloom and San Marzanos. Why? Oven-dried tomatoes of course! Great for salads, pesto, quiches. Nice add-ons to the dishes I’m making this week.
Of course, they take 8 hours or so to dry out, but they do taste spectacular. Frankly the taste is even better when they sit in a delicious extra virgin olive oil (frankly, the amazing oil coming out of California is replacing Greek and Italian olive oils in my home).
Rinse, Chop, Make Ahead, Repeat
While the tomatoes took hours to make, the rest of my food prep took just 2. I quickly dispensed with the veggies: washing, chopping and storing – about 30 minutes total.
Next up, the cooking portion of my prep work: whipping up hard-boiled eggs, testing my Instapot (that poor spaghetti squash!), and preparing a make ahead meatloaf to pop in the oven for dinner.
The nice thing about all this prep work was how relaxing it is to work in the kitchen. Just turn on some music and focus on the simple task at hand. No worries. No melt downs. Heck, even when I knocked over my big tumbler of water, I just laughed as I cleaned up (and played a little ice cube soccer with the pup).
Food Prep Takes Stress Away…It Really Does
Two hours of my time to save me hours during the week. So simple. Yet it’s too easy to fall back into that bad habit of mine — sitting on the couch scrolling through a Twitter feed.
Not only is that bad habit a waste of time, but it added to my stress. How many times I felt rushed to try to cook meals for my family. A little bit of food prep yesterday and I saved 20 minutes this morning making a Swiss and mushroom omelet for my mom. My husband just reached in the fridge and quickly put his lunch together (my meatloaf the day after is awesome!).
For the challenge I decided to take another look at my macros. Normally I like to take a look at these numbers about every 6-8 months. Well with my weight gain, limited movement and doing this reset, it’s a perfect time to revisit my macros.
While I’m not focusing on calories, I want to stay within 1400-1600 kcal a day. For the reset, my macros break down as 68% fat, 27% protein and 5% carbs.
I’m not going to fret about hitting my macros spot on every single meal. I’m using this as a guide. On days I am really hungry, then I’ll add more fat. Those days where I’m not as peckish, then I’ll cut back on fats and carbs.
However, I’m going to still go with eating my typical daily protein range of 12 – 14 ounces (84g – 98g).
If you want to calculate your macros, there are 2 keto sites I use that have easy calculators: Ruled.me and KetoDietApp.com.
Getting Strict With Food
I decided to follow Dr. Eric Westman’s guide for going very low carb. As I mentioned yesterday, I’m track all the carbs I eat. No more eliminating fiber from my carb count. I’ve made a few tweaks but that’s because I’ve discovered certain foods I’m snacking on way too often like cheese and nuts.
Which means I’m reducing the amount and variety of vegetables I’m eating. And berries are forbidden this month and maybe longer.
So what exactly am I eating and avoiding? Drum roll please….
Dot’s Food List
Grass fed beef, lamb, veal, venison
Free range pork
Free range eggs, poultry
Wild caught seafood (nothing battered)
Uncured, sugar-free bacon, ham, and deli meat
Leafy Greens: Up to 2 Cups/day
Cabbage (all types)
Greens (all types)
Lettuce (all types)
If it is a leaf, I can eat it!
Non-Starchy Vegetables (1 Cup/Day) Below isn’t a complete list but gives you an idea
Peppers (bells & chilies)
Snow peas/Snap peas
Fats & Oils: Cooking
Red palm oil
Fats & Oils: Dressings, sauces, flavoring and eaten cold
Extra virgin olive oil
Macadamia nut oil
Foods In Limited Quantities
Allowed up to 2 ounces in a day; I’m only allowing this 2 times a week
Includes hard, aged cheeses like Swiss and Cheddar
Brie, Camembert blue, mozzarella, Gruyère
Cream cheese, goat cheese
Avoid processed cheeses like Velveeta
Check the label: carb count should be less than 1g per serving
Up to 2 tablespoons a day
Includes heavy, heavy whipping or sour creams
No Half and half or milk
Up to 3 tablespoons a day
Fatty Fruits & Other Foods
Avocado: ½ per day
Olives (black or green): up to 6 in a day
Nuts & Seeds — while allowed I’m actually giving them up for the reset
Lemon/Lime Juice: up to 2 teaspoons in a day
Reduced sugar/sugar-free ketchup in very small amounts
Soy Sauce: up to 2 tablespoons in a day
Pickles (dill or sugar-free): Up to 2 servings in a day
Packaged/deli snacks should be less than 1g of carbs per serving
Deli meat roll-ups with cheese
Do Not Eat List
Starches: “Complex” Carbohydrates
Cereals & oatmeal
Beans and peas
Most root vegetables – carrots, parsnips, corn and potatoes (all types) as well as French fries and potato chips
Fats to avoid
Margarine & hydrogenated oils
Mayo made from soybean oil
Salad dressings with more than 1-2g of carbs per serving
Avoid “lite” or “low fat” or “Fat-free” foods because these are commonly higher in carbs and loaded with sugar.
While it is just day 2, I’m really feeling great. I’m already sleeping better and my energy level and mental focus are much better. Woo hoo!
This is one of those evergreen posts. I get a lot of questions about the dreaded Low Carb Flu. It is real, but there are steps to take to help your body to make the switch from running on carbs (glucose) to fat (ketone bodies) instead. Use the infographic below (H/T Keto Summit) for the “cure.”
Two awesome things about the keto/LCHF gaining in popularity:
More healthy people
More products and services for this growing market.
One such product is called Coffee Booster, a fat supplement you add to your morning coffee. It’s a way to streamline your bullet coffee. Instead of reaching for multiple items (butter, coconut oil, MCT oil and/or cream), you can just use a tablespoon of Coffee Booster. Here’s my review:
DISCLAIMER: The folks at Coffee Booster reached out to me and offered a jar for free in exchange for a review. Other than the free jar, I haven’t received any payment. And whether I like the product or not, I’m posting an honest review.
You can learn more about Coffee Booster at Facebook.com/CoffeeBooster and on Instagram @CoffeeBooster. You can also purchase it from my Amazon Store, where I feature every product I use and like.
Lately I’ve had a few questions about fasting and low carb/Keto lifestyle.
Should I eat breakfast?
How do I know I should fast?
Aren’t saturated fats bad for you?
Isn’t fasting the same as starving?
Won’t eating all that fat cause a heart attack?
Why I can eat brown rice or whole grains?
For me, when it comes to reclaiming my health and losing weight, nothing beats a low carb diet combined with intermittent fasting. Unlike the standard Western diet, there is actual science behind the therapeutic benefits of LCHF/Keto and fasting.
I’m not saying LCHF/Keto and fasting works for everyone. But the science for each is rock solid. For me, understanding the science of why we get fat was key to making better decisions on what to eat AND when to eat.
So for those who are new to, curious or want a primer on LCHF/Keto and fasting I’ve posted a few videos below to help you out.
Also keep in mind to do your own research like I did. For me, the science was compelling so I gave it a try and sure enough LCHF & intermittent fasting worked. That may not be the situation for you.
The next 30-Day Challenge: No eating out. Only home cooked meals for us. That includes running to the store to pick up a bottle of wine! Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhoto.net and Serge Bertasius Photography.
August marks the month where my husband and I are finally in sync about health and fitness goals. Over the last year, it came too easy for us to sabotage each other. Whether I’m feeling sorry for myself or he’s stressing out over the job, we always seem to end up in the same place – one of us suggests we go out for dinner and a few drinks to relax.
Sure we’d always eat low carb, but if I can’t control the food (how it’s prepared, the ingredients, etc.) it isn’t necessarily low carb! Also when you go out carb creep escalates – a dessert here, an extra glass of wine there. Read More
After 50 years, the government, medical, fitness and food industries are still peddling the same bad advice that is making us sick and fat. Time for a change.
I keep harping on the experts in the field of diet and nutrition not being all that expert. Why? Because they are so boneheaded dogmatic about their own beliefs they can’t see the mountains of evidence that those beliefs are wrong. The article Health Authorities Continue To Fail Us poses a great question: Who are we to trust when it comes to dietary advice?
The article is a great read that sums up that our “experts” have gotten so much wrong, much to our detriment. From calories in/calories out to saturated fat is bad — it’s all bunk.
Yet the American Heart Association, American Medical Association, nutritionist, dietitians, doctors, fitness industry, Big Pharma, the food industry…hell the whole lot continue to push the same bad advice for more than 50 years.
The results? Obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and a host of other chronic diseases have skyrocketed. That isn’t evolution. It’s environmental.
The food chain, built on this advice, is slowly killing us.
Since the medical, fitness and food industry has no interest in changing, the writer of the article has a very simple solution for you — not easy — but simple:
“So who are we to trust then? The list would appear to be getting smaller every day.
Now more than ever the message is clear: if you want to truly be healthy, it’s up to the individual to do their own research and come to their own conclusions. There is a mountain of information out there to go through, and you’ll need to sift through the bias of people selling you diets, fringe groups promoting their social agenda, and the media misinterpreting real research findings.
While it may sound like too much trouble, is your health really of that little importance that you’d trust it to anyone else but yourself?”
My new workout log. Time to start tracking my goal of building strength.
While I track what I eat, my exercise tracking is lacking to say the least. It’s a good habit I never tried to reinforce. But without tracking my progress it’s hard to know if I’m actually building strength.
To get stronger I need to constantly challenge myself physically. That means increasing the difficulty of my workouts. But if I can’t remember what or how well I did my last workout, then how do I know I’m doing better? Read More