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Back to running - this time while eating low-carb

Monday, April 02, 2012

Today the weather was finally spring-like.
It was time to get back to running after taking about one month off to mostly devote to ice skating.
I'm going back to running at least 3 times/week, maybe as much as 6 times depending on how I feel. I will also do more horseback riding again after the ice-skating season is completely over next week.
Today I ran for 30 minutes, 2.3 miles, average heart rate 134.
I also spent about 2 hours walking and 20 minutes strength training so my total calorie burn was about 1000.
My carbs are back to under 50 net carbs for the first time in a while today.
Breakfast was some blueberries, plain full-fat yogurt, walnuts, ground flaxseed
Lunch was a hard-boiled egg, some pumpkin seeds, a piece of cheese and a small glass of full-fat raw milk.
Dinner was a duck-egg omelett with mustard greens, tomato and cheese.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FIT_MAMA_2_FOUR 4/3/2012 8:17AM

    Exercise plan sounds great and the menu sounds yummy:)

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HEALTHY4ME 4/3/2012 6:59AM

    Thanks for putting your meals on, cos I have a super hard time keeping my carbs that low. Seems even when I eat salad ect something bumps it up by days end.
Have a great day and I am back to evening walking now that it is light out longer.

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HOUNDLOVER1 4/3/2012 1:58AM

emoticon you did not see my portion size. My rough guesstimates for calories are 600 for breakfast, lunch about 400 calories, dinner probably another 800 calories since it was a 4-egg omelett.
I have to say I don't always exercise that much, but today was a nice day and my day off so I had the time.
You are definitely right that it is important not to undereat and end up burning muscle.

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SUPERMOUSE35 4/3/2012 1:56AM

    I finally got back on track today, as well. Here's hoping we both keep it up tomorrow. :D

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DIVEGODDESS 4/3/2012 1:07AM

    You burn 1000 calories and that's all you eat? Wow, I would die!! I don't do cardio or run and I eat about 5 x much as you!! Be careful not to lose muscle!

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GRACEMCDOG 4/2/2012 11:56PM

    You're amazing and such an inspiration to me when I start to wimp out, like I did today. I just couldn't face the torrential downpour. It didn't let up for one single minute today. My driveway is so flooded I'd have to wear Wellies to get to the road. Gonna do some Zumba and ride the steel pony.

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TAMPATINK67 4/2/2012 9:41PM

    Menu sounds gourmet!

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Caballo Blanco - you will be missed

Sunday, April 01, 2012


For those of you who don't know who he is, Caballo (real name Micah True) was made famous by Chris Mc Dougall's book "Born to Run".
He lived a simple life in the Copper Canyon of Mexico with the Raramuri, also called the Tarahumara Indians. He was known well among ultra-runners and "Born to Run" spread the word about him.
I only met Micah True once when he was on a speaking tour in the United States and gave a talk in a small venue near where we live. The topic was not running, minimalist running or ultra-running but the concerns of the people he made his own, the Raramuri. He was passionate about them because they had touched his heart and he did everything in his power to help them with humility, grace and enthusiasm. He was the organizer or the Copper Canyon Ultra Marathon and a tour guide for people who wanted to visit the Copper Canyon, all in order to support the Raramuri. When asked about his shoes he said they were good because he got them for free. When asked what he eats to help his running the answer was corn and beans.
He was my role model as a runner, not because of his speed or running style but because of his character. He was a winner wherever he went because he treated people with kindness, sincerity and warmth. I'm very sad he is gone, but he deserved to be in heaven.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DRB13_1 4/5/2012 11:07PM

    Your having met him and been inspired as well as able to see the character in him will help keep his memory alive. Thank you for sharing your remembrances. May the Cooper Canyon Run be held in his honor from now on.

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PAPAMIKIE 4/3/2012 3:00PM

    He was a runner, and it sounds like he died running, what more can one ask for.

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    Such a sad situation.

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LINDAKAY228 4/2/2012 3:58PM

    I was so sorry to hear about it and had been following the story since last week when he first went missing. He went missing about 45 miles from where I live in the mountain areas I love and I've been to some of the area he went missing in quite a few times over the years. Being right here in my own area made it hit even more. I was so hoping they would find him alive and so sad when I finally heard they had found him already passed. I know that he died doing what he loved best it seems, being out on trails in nature and at peace with the surroundings. He will be missed.

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ABSOLUTZER0 4/2/2012 3:19PM

    I was on Twitter, as usual, when the news hit. I saw so many trail and ultra runners sending their regards. As I stated there and on my FB, the best thing we can do to remember him is to continue to inspire and motivate others. He was a true ambassador. His legacy lives on through us. #RunFree #RunHappy

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KRISZTA11 4/2/2012 2:05PM

    So sad.
He was a good man, a great runner and he did a lot to help the Tarahumara.

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DEFIANTVEGAN 4/2/2012 11:02AM

    That's Sad thanks for the info. May he RIP.

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BOBBIENORTHERN1 4/2/2012 10:46AM

  I never even heard of him. Thank you for this blog that made me aware of such an awesome person.

I wonder if it was his heart?

I hope you can blog about the cause of his passing over to the other side if you find out.

He loved running and loved people and loved life.

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GWBACH 4/2/2012 10:12AM

    A true runner, RIP

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REJ7777 4/2/2012 7:48AM

    Some people leave the world a better place for their having passed through it. emoticon

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HICKOK-HALEY 4/2/2012 1:59AM

    I read that today, and to was saddened. Born to run is one of my Hubby's favorite movies, and he isn't a runner, he just admired the man. Micah was a true gentlemen, and will be missed by many.

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FLAMENM 4/2/2012 1:04AM

    Everyone here in New MExico is sad that the Gila claimed another person. But it also is inspiring to know that he left us doing wat e loved - running on the trails of a great wilderness area.

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SUNNYWBL 4/2/2012 12:38AM

    I visited the Copper Canyon about 4 years ago and spent an afternoon with the Tarahumara while there. They are an amazing people! I will look for his book, Born to Run".

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HWNHMMBRD 4/1/2012 11:02PM

    I saw the article about his death, and I was saddened that some one who gave so much of himself is gone. May his spirit live on. emoticon

Comment edited on: 4/1/2012 11:02:34 PM

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More results from going low-carb - Sleep

Sunday, April 01, 2012

As I experiment with eating low-carb, primal and wheat-free I'm discovering more and more connections.
In October of last year, after running a very good but very difficult trail half-marathon I started wondering about what I could do to improve both my cardiovascular fitness and running speed and my body composition (fat vs. muscle). At this point I knew that both were likely affected by hypothyroidism, primarily TSH levels that had been somewhere between 7 and 12 for years, that were due at least in part to having had part of my thyroid removed. I had other symptoms that are typical of mild hypothyroidism, including lack of energy in the afternoon, low body temperature (below 97) in the morning and frequent sleeplessness at night. Occasionally I also noticed what seemed like a reduced ability to deal with high stress levels, possibly due to sleep deprivation.
I already ate what I thought of as a thyroid-friendly diet, avoiding PUFA's (polyunsaturated fatty acids) and avoiding soy, raw cruciferous vegetables (cabbages, broccoli) and peanuts. This brought my T3 and T4 levels in the normal range and lowered my TSH to about 6 or 7.
I had already eliminated most sugar from my diet and all grain I ate was whole-grain. My weight has been in the normal range (BMI around 25) for many years now but I knew that I still qualified as "skinny fat", with a fairly low percentage of muscle and a fairly high percentage of belly fat for my size and weight in spite of exercising almost daily and consistently for 1-2 hours/day at low to moderate intensity.
So in October I decided to get a little more systematic in trying to improve my fitness and health. I started running according to the Maffetone method which recommends capping one's heart rate at about 180-age during all runs for at least several months to build a strong aerobic base and avoiding any speed workouts or other anaerobic workouts incl. strength training. For me this would have corresponded to about 70-75 % of maxium heart rate using the 220-age method.
The Maffetone method also includes nutrition recommendations and life style recommendations which I partly followed. I had some improvement in my running over several months and again assumed that the slowness of my progress was due primarily to thyroid issues. Overall I felt that I was still making progress both in my running and general well-being.
At the beginning of the year my husband decided to try gluten-free eating to improve his own health and we both did a fair amount of reading about gluten and grain. About a month later, after reading "Wheat Belly" I decided to go wheat-free. I noticed an increase in energy in the afternoon and evenings and better sleep at night within about a week. After reading Gary Taubes' book "Why we get fat" I decided about two weeks later (around the mid-February) to try to go low-carb by eliminating almost all grain, beans and sugar and limiting fruit to the less sweet varieties for a while. The "almost-all" is because I decided that there is no reason to worry about either small amounts of grain or sugar when they are served at social functions or when they are the only food available. My hope was to reduce body fat without paying much attention to calories eaten or to weight. It took about 2-3 weeks to lose an inch of belly fat which was a great start.
I have since experimented a little to see what happens if I eat some sugar but no grains and found that as my carbs increase to more than about 100grams/day my weight starts climbing up a little but all the other benefits of eating low-carb remained, especially not getting any food cravings and having higher energy levels.
So yesterday I pushed the envelope a little to see what would happen. In the early evening I ate a whole gluten-free brownie that was made with rice flour, butter and lots of sugar and must have had about 500 calories at least. I was expecting to get hungry a few hours later, which did not happen, probably because the brownie also contained a lot of fat in the form of butter.
But for the first time in quite a few weeks I woke up at 3 am and could not go back to sleep. After over an hour of lying awake I got up and decided to start writing this blog ( accompanied by a large cup of coffee)
I suspect eating brownies or other similarly high-sugar foods, even gluten-free, will be VERY rare from now on. Since I don't crave sugar or carbs any more this is going to be very easy.
Most of the sugar I get will come from raw whole milk products (lactose) and some fresh fruit and the total is still not going to be very much.
I will also continue running using the Maffetone method except I will start adding a little strength training back into the mix. I'm looking forward to seeing how this will go while eating low-carb.

Tomorrow I will report on the book by Mark Sisson "The Primal Blueprint".

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PATTERD707 7/26/2012 10:03AM

    I had a very sleepless night, which is strange for me. The only thing I could think of is that I had a big soy smoothie for dinner. I don't typically do this, but was on the run and needed something relatively healthy (just soy milk and fruit).

I rarely eat soy, but whenever I do, I wonder whether I have a soy alergy. My stomach was upset all night and I laid in bed unable to sleep (which is extremely rare for me).

Oh, and I did have a slide of home made wheat bread an hour before bed too (about 8pm). Maybe I have a wheat intolerance too.

Any advice would be appreciated.

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ARLENE_MOVES 4/1/2012 5:56PM

    Such an interesting blog and the comments - wow! I am learning so much between reading WheatBelly for the second time and all the great blogs on the WB team. Thanks!

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GRACEMCDOG 4/1/2012 5:31PM

    I'm still sitting here stunned at your TSH levels. How on earth do you have the energy to do all that exercising? If my TSH is above 4 I can barely move at all.

I've started reading a blog that I'm finding very interesting, though I'm not at all sure yet that I would be willing to follow this neurosurgeon's path, there is certainly a lot to think about in the information regarding circadian rhythms. There is a great deal of information and I've barely scratched the surface, but you might find something helpful. The doctor is Jack Kruse. Have you read any of his material? Curious to know what you thought, if so. http://jackkruse.com/ Website is called 'Living an Optimized Life'. Someone (I'm sorry I don't recall who) posted a link to it from the WB team. I'm kind of fascinated by the CT (cold thermogenisis) but I need to read more to understand the process. I often use cold/ice to address swelling/inflammation but he takes it way beyond that.

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HOUNDLOVER1 4/1/2012 1:30PM

    I think there are a couple of different possibilities. It could be sugar or it could be any other carbohydrate. Any carbs will increase insulin production and affect hormones that regulate sleep. Stress is brought on by the same hormones.

Comment edited on: 4/1/2012 1:32:16 PM

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    So in this case it's clearly the sugar.

I'm not as diligent in studying cause and effect for myself.
All I know is that I cannot have caffeine after 4:00 pm or I won't sleep.
I have not really studied and food connections.
What I have discovered, however, is that my overall stress level (especially worrying) greatly affects my sleep quality. My approach is to balance this through exercise.
I have great success with yoga.

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GOPINTOS 4/1/2012 11:28AM

    Enjoyed reading. Thanks for sharing!

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LILY_SPARK 4/1/2012 10:29AM

    This is really interesting!

Amongst all the stuff my family has, my mother had hypo/ Graves and had her thyroid irradiated twice. While she tested negative for Celiac, I *am* Celiac (and have always been normal for thyroid, although her sister is hypo and medicated off and on for it).

I have multiple autoimmune diseases (congenital lupus being one) but still use soy (organic milk) daily to "treat" my hormone problem (it's that or the pill, which doesn't work as well as 3C of soy milk a day). My family members (female) have bled to death and / or had radical hysterectomies in their 20s--it's not an annoyance, it's a real problem. I was anemic for years (ate high iron foods and took RX supplements) but that hasn't been a problem since doing the soy.

Unlike you, my sleep (been an insomniac since baby, ask my parents--I didn't cry, I just "never slept") is NOT affected (that I can tell) by anything but gluten (since I learned that I'm Celiac and being true-Celiac, means I have NO ability to process it).

I'm sure further tweaking (as you clearly do) will find other things but I'm so happy to find this diagnosis a couple months ago. I'm happy that you're finding greater relief and energy, too!

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TAMPATINK67 4/1/2012 9:15AM

    As always - great insights on how your body is responding to different foods and exercises! Thanks for continuing to share the journey and information!

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PAPAMIKIE 4/1/2012 9:09AM

    Gramie is Type1 Diabities and has been exploring low carb diet with very good success. Daughter has ciliac and has remarkable improvements when she stays on her low carb wheat free diet.

I work on the idea of a threashold of stress, this suggests that various things are stressors and if our combined "Stress Load" goes over that threshold then you get into distress. Making a change that brings you below that level will help correct things. Therefore, you can change one or several stressor to get back to a "Safe" level, and therefore you can see individual changes like food, or exercise, etc make improvements. A balanced apporach of reducing several stressor to reduce the overall load is still the best approach. however, for individual certain systems may be more important.

Diabieties and thyroid issue are both pressent in several memebers of my wife`s family

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First ice skating show

Saturday, March 31, 2012

This is the adult beginner's group doing their first "performance". I'm the one with the blue umbrella that collapsed half way through. We had lots of fun and that's what exercise needs to be all about.
My goal for next year is to get some better skates, get some private lessons and hopefully I will do my first little solo performance at the same show.
Figure skating is a great sport for people who love to move to music and have decent balance. Not too much strength or speed required to start with. emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANJAYS-JOURNEY 4/2/2012 12:55PM

    loved it, you did really well, way to go,

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DIDMIS 4/1/2012 11:04PM

    Loved it. Thanks.

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LBEEKMA 4/1/2012 9:34PM

    So cool! I used to roller skate and love the way skating makes me feel. This inspired me. It's never to late to learn how to do a spin!

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    emoticonYou looked great and like were having fun.

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EJOY-EVELYN 4/1/2012 2:21PM

    Such beautiful lines. You look great out there on the ice.


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    You're looking great!
Reminded me that I haven't ice skated in years.
Would you believe that I have an ice skating rink within walking distance?
I really should check out their public sessions...

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WOUBBIE 4/1/2012 10:49AM

    That looks like so much fun! That's what exercise SHOULD be like!

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SUNNYWBL 4/1/2012 12:38AM

    Wow, you all did so well! emoticon emoticon emoticon

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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HJFOGARTY 4/1/2012 12:05AM

    way to go - it really was a nice show! thanks for sharing!

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ANNEV2012 4/1/2012 12:04AM

    I watched my son figure skate for years, and always wanted to try it, but I have an inner ear issue, and lousy balance, so ice skating can never be for me. Nice job.

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Stop using age as an excuse

Friday, March 30, 2012

I'm talking to myself here and to everyone who is willing to listen. We can do so much more than we think we can do and even have fun doing it.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DIDMIS 4/1/2012 11:00PM

    Amazing. Thank you.

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YJNANA 4/1/2012 11:37AM

    Wow, she is amazing

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LINDAKAY228 3/31/2012 11:50AM

    Thanks so much for sharing this! I love stories about older people and what amazing things they can do. I work with elderly and disabled that need in home services paid for by Medicaid and I do case management. I've worked in other jobs with the older population too, with eveything from homebound to active to senior olympics. I've seen so many amazing people and also seen so many who gave up too soon. Some really can't help their health conditions but my mother was one who was "old" in her 50's because she thought herself old. I'm 57 and may not be able to do what this 86 year old woman can do but am definitely not going to lie down and give up either. These stories are just so inpiring!

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BOBBIENORTHERN1 3/31/2012 11:31AM

  Now, this gives me hope that I can get stronger yet and keep on getting better and better thanks for this.

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CONRADBURK 3/31/2012 8:18AM

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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GLC2009 3/31/2012 3:49AM

    cool emoticon

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SUNNYWBL 3/31/2012 2:13AM

    Amazing! Thank you!

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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