Sidelined by Knee Pain, Turning Focus to Keto Diet

I did everything right. I eased into my new workout routine slowly to avoid injury. Yet, my knee decided that it does not like 15-minute daily walks. Technically, it isn’t my knee causing the pain. It’s the iliotibial band (IT band), a flexible fascia that runs from the hip to the knee. I’ve felt this pain before. The band is rubbing inside my knee and is starting to swell.

Shifting My Focus to Keto
As I nurse my leg back to health, I’m turning my full attention to getting into ketosis. I screwed up by not doing a menu plan this week. As a result, we ate out way too much. I let my busy schedule became an excuse to go out rather than stay home and cook.

If you want to get healthy, you must put in the work. This week, I didn’t.

My mistake was not planning. I knew how busy I was this week. All I needed to do was make a casserole and use the slow cooker a couple of times.  Leftovers are a busy gal’s friend when you are trying to eat healthy.

Lesson learned.  Last night, after another long day, I browned some ground beef while dicing an onion, garlic cloves, tomatoes and peppers. My keto chili will last a few days. Tonight, I’m whipping up a bacon cheeseburger casserole.

Time to Start Food Journaling Again
I have my target macros and am recommitting to a realistic menu plan for my schedule. What is missing is my food journal. I have no idea if I’m hitting my daily macros, eating too many carbs, or in ketosis.

I know a lot of people think keeping a food log is unnecessary. “Just eat real food until you are full!” I’ve heard this many times. Sound advice for someone whose hormones are in balance and metabolically sound.  But as someone who hasn’t been consistently keto for a few years, I need more discipline. By tracking what I eat, I’ll become more mindful of my choices. In addition to tracking my carb count, I’ll figure out how to course correct if my daily energy level starts flagging, or I’m stuck in a plateau.

For a tracking tool, I’m going old school: pen and paper. At least until I have a chance to research any new apps out there. As you may know, I haven’t been a fan of certain food log apps, like My Fitness Pal. Much of the data is incorrect, and I usually end up doing more work than the app had promised. Which is fine.

Tracking My Blood Ketone Levels
Finally, I’m going to start tracking my ketone levels. My new Keto Mojo arrived.

Although I’m starting today to track what I eat, I’m not going to start tracking my ketone levels until February 1st. I want a solid week of cooking at home, menu planning, and food tracking under my belt before I start pricking my finger with a needle.

I’m rebuilding my good habit routine. I won’t be perfect (I wasn’t this week!). But if I worry about perfection, I’ll never reach my goals.

Day 4 of My 7-Day Fasting Challenge

Day 4 of my 7-Day Fasting Challenge is winding down, and I am a bundle of energy. I’ve been running around my house going from chore to chore for about 10 hours. I took a “quick” break for social media and 30 minutes later I start crashing.

No problem.

I just moved to the next project. BAM! Energy levels come roaring back.

As for hunger, well, I’m just have no interest in food. Oh sure there were a few small rumbles, but they went a way as fast as they came. Heck, I was working in my kitchen about 5 feet from my refrigerator and I had no urge to eat.

My hunger is just gone. Sweet!

Checking Ketosis
Right before bed I decided to test my ketone levels. I just had too. I used two different strips — one I got from CVS and another that was sent to me by One Health to test. I’ll do a review of One Health’s ketone strips next week. However, I say they have one immediate advantage over the ones I currently use — length! When you have to pass the sticks through a urine stream, having a long stick is awesome.

Anyway, last night the strips showed that I was excreting trace amounts of ketones. By morning the strips showed I was releasing small amounts (1.5 mmol/L). A few hours later the amount increased to “moderate” levels or 4.0 mmol/L.

Using Ketosis To Protect Cells
So I am fat burning mode and loving it. The added benefit is that ketones protect our cells from cancer. In his presentation at the 2017 Low Carb Down Under conference, Dr. Gary Fettke talks about how things like protein and fatty acids serve as building blocks for cancer (glucose is the fuel), but are not readily available. So Cancer basically poaches them from nearby cells.

That’s where ketones come in. When you are burning fat for fuel instead of glucose, the ketone bodies act to protect healthy cells. So not only does it stop cancer from stealing from healthy cells, ketones also starves cancer cells. Pretty Awesome.

Check out the video for yourself.


Changing Up The Diet

fat bomb 2

Fat bombs are back on my menu as I look for ways to increase healthy fats into my diet.

Since I now have a target weight and start radiation treatments in the next 30 days, and feel it’s time to do some tweaking to my diet. I’m still eating LCHF, but I’ve decided that once my body is in ketosis, I need to consistently stay there for a while. So basically I’m moving to a ketogenic diet.

Embracing Keto!
We’re still in the early stages of studying the impact of ketogenic diets on cancer, but the results are very encouraging. Eating a diet that’s high in fat, a bit restricted in protein, and very low in carbs switches the body from running on glucose to ketones. Cancer thrives on glucose, but it can’t live on ketones. In fact, some studies have shown it to shrink tumors.

Of course, those studies were done on mice or terminally ill cancer patients using a ketogenic diet that’s around 90% fat, 7% protein and 3% carbs. I’m not doing that. I’m shooting for 75% fat, 22% protein, 3% carbs. Considering my diet is now 65%-70% fat, it seems doable.

Ketones, Insulin and Calories…Oh My!
I’m making a few tweaks in my diet. But changes are also coming to what I track. Read More

IVF, Hormones & Diet: The Balancing Act

weigh in may 22

So the weight gain thanks to my estrogen injections stopped…for now.

This week I bid adieu to my estrogen injections and (temporarily?) the weight gains. My weight held steady this week, and considering my hormones are all over the place, that’s a victory.

I still feel bloated and a bit moody … a bit like having PMS on and off for 2 weeks. Ugh!

Estrogen Injections – Mixed Results
(Warning: Female stuff ahead. I suggest the more delicate flowers out there read with caution or skip to the diet changes.) After 2 weeks of taking estrogen, the results were a bit mixed. On the plus side, the ultrasound indicated that my uterine lining thickened like it was suppose to.

On the minus side, while I was taking the estrogen, I noticed that the day following the injection, I’d start spotting. While it’s not typical to have vaginal bleeding during these injections, some women do. It turns out my estrogen level is lower than the doctor would like.

So now I’m 3 days (out of 7) into taking my new med – progesterone. The idea is that the new med will get my menstrual cycle properly regulated. About 5-7 days after my last dose, it will induce my period. Then the birth control pills start up.

Yep, I need birth control pills to get pregnant. Oh, the irony.

Then a saline sonogram and afterwards we might start the estrogen injections again.

Improving The Diet … & Bank Account!
On the diet front I noticed that I’m experiencing cold hands and feet on fasting days. What’s up with that?

I have too much of a calorie deficit on non-fasting days. Seems strange since I only eat when I’m hungry. That means I need to retool what I’m doing by upping my protein back to 6 ounces per meal. I cut back to 4 ounces months ago. Sure enough, I started feeling colder not too long after cutting back and just didn’t put 2 and 2 together.

I’m also making a sincere attempt at adding more fish into my diet, eating it twice this week. In June I’m going to start a seafood challenge – eating fish 2 times a week. That means I’m on the hunt for recipes as culinary skills in this area are severely lacking.

Besides improvement on the fish front, efforts to cut coffee from my daily grind are going well. This week I only enjoyed the Black Java during the weekend and limited myself to 2 cups in the morning. I expect by June I’ll be so over coffee.

As for cutting my ties to wine, I’m making progress there too. We no longer have bottles at home. But when I go out for dinner, I have a glass or two with my meal. I’ve essentially created a habit. Normally I’d consider this a little indulgence rather than a habit. The problem is we’re going out to eat far too often – 4-5 times a week! That’s a lot of wine.

And its wrecking havoc on our bank account (cost of restaurant + wasted food at home = stupidity). It also kicks me out of ketosis since my body burns the alcohol before any fat. Not to mention the sugar in wine is getting stored somewhere.

It also can’t be great on the hormone front either.

I don’t want to set foot in a restaurant until June. And even then I’m limiting eating out to twice a month. That way its more of a special treat.

Roasted Garlic – Keto Style

I'm loving The Ketogenic Cookbook. I picked roasted garlic as the first recipe to try.  Easy to make, I'll use all of the garlic pictured over the next few days.

I’m loving The Ketogenic Cookbook. I picked roasted garlic as the first recipe to try. Easy to make, I’ll use all of the garlic pictured over the next few days.

While flipping through The Ketogenic Cookbook I was trying to decide which recipes to try first. Turns out nearly every recipe I picked called for roasted garlic, one of the first recipes listed in the book.

As much as I love garlic I never tried roasting a whole bulb. This one calls for an even dozen. Why so much? Apparently you can preserve roasted garlic in the freezer. Who knew?

I don’t know why I never tried roasting garlic before. The recipe is so simple to follow. The garlic tastes amazing. Plus you’ll love the fragrance that fills your kitchen.

Cooking With MCT
The big surprise for me with this recipe was the use of MCT oil. For some reason I viewed MCT oil as something I use when making my morning Bulletproof Coffee. I never thought of using it in cooking. Silly Rabbit! Read More

MCT Oil & Tummy Issues

MCT oil is a very healthy saturated fat, but you need to ease your body into it. Otherwise tummy troubles commence.

MCT oil is a very healthy saturated fat, but you need to ease your body into it. Otherwise tummy troubles commence.

Two weeks ago I picked up some MCT oil as a way to add more healthy fat into my diet. I upped my daily intake of fat from 65% to 75% as a way to get into ketosis. I had issues getting to 75% but the MCT oil helps. However, I’ve learned that I made a mistake with MCT and my tummy is rumbling loud about it this morning.

What Is MCT Oil?
MCT stands for medium-chain triglycerides. MCT, found in coconut oil, is a healthy saturated fat. It’s a more concentrated form of saturated fat that is quickly absorbed. It can be used in cooking or you can consume it (MCT oil is used for bulletproof coffee) as it doesn’t have any flavor. Research shows has a lot of benefits for those with metabolic syndrome and can improve blood sugar and appetite regulation. If you are on a ketogenic diet, this puppy can enhances ketone production and is a big energy booster. Read More

Weekly Weigh-In: Weight Loss, Wine & July 4th Food Musings

Seems as if avoiding wine this week got the scale moving again. I'm down a pound for a total loss of 141 lbs.

Seems as if avoiding wine this week got the scale moving again. I’m down a pound for a total loss of 141 lbs.

Saturday was a very happy Independence Day for me! The “No Wine!!!!” pledge got my weight moving again. I’m down a pound. I have no idea if I’m in ketosis yet, but it feels like the weight is starting to reflect the changes in my waistline again.

I thought about picking up some low carb beer for Saturday’s cookout before we set off our fireworks. But then I realized that my July 4th menu didn’t taking a holiday from how I normally eat, so why break my pledge with crappy light beer?

So my “No Alcohol” pledge continues. Until… Read More

What The Heck Is Ketosis & Why Should I Care?

No trace of ketones...not surprising after my anniversary weekend. But now it's time to become a fat-burning machine.

No trace of ketones…not surprising after my anniversary weekend. But now it’s time to become a fat-burning machine.

When starting my low carb diet more than 2 years ago, I kept hearing about “being in ketosis.” I tried reading up on ketosis, but for some reason my brain just translated all the info as blah blah blah. Instead, I focused my attention on just trying to eat right, thinking I’d learn more about this mystery topic later on.

Well, for the last couple of months, my weight’s bounced back and forth between 203 and 210. Frustrated, I decided to reach out to a few folks I know who eat low carb. Sure enough, all of them asked me if I was in ketosis.

Crap! I thought. I guess “later on” means now.

I picked up some Ketostix at the pharmacy to measure my ketone production. Oh great, so now I need to pee on a stick in the morning! Read More