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Day 10 of ultra-low carb

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

My energy level is a lot better today than yesterday so I assume that I was mostly lacking sleep. My weight was at 129.6 so about the same. I know my scales are not super-accurate anyhow so half a pound up or down is likely not meaningful.
Eating the low-carb pie yesterday was really worth it. I ate every bite slowly and made sure I actually tasted it, knowing that it would be a little tempting to eat more than one piece otherwise. It still had enough carbs between the plums, the Xylitol and the crust that it's not something I'd have every day, but occasionally. Eating desserts is something I would not want to give up for life and I don't think I have to. It's similar to caffeine, I can reduce the carb-level by 90% and be ok (notice I did not say the sugar level, that needs to be reduced by at least 98% for me). Caffeine is probably ok for me in the amounts that are in decaf, green tea and cocoa if consumed in moderation (one of those daily). Carbs from desserts need to fit in the overall carb plan which will evolve as I go. Some fruit, a coconut milk popsicle (with or without Xylitol), homemade low-carb ice cream, even an occasional small piece of milk chocolate or almonds covered with milk chocolate should fit. The key is to eat them slowly and thoroughly enjoy them.

I'm sitting in the coffee shop/restaurant part of our local co-op this morning. It's a stimulating environment with lots of health conscious people around and generally very healthy food. But while the gluten-free message has reached the board of directors with lots of gluten-free books on sale and more and more gluten-free menu items available, the low-carb message has not spread, yet.
There were no low-carb options in the hot case and I did not feel like salad bar (overall excellent) for breakfast. So I got myself a plain yogurt (10 g of carbs) and some walnuts (4 g of carbs) to contain the damage and save a few carbs for veggies today.
I also had one cup of coffee (80% decaf) with half-and half.
I've talked with one of the butchers who has started eating low-carb and looked into the benefits of this eating style. My next step is to talk about diabetes and insulin management to some people and how to help manage it without drugs (except for type 1 diabetes).
Like most alternative groceries there are whole grains everywhere and the value of eating whole grains and beans is assumed by most. We buy organic oats and rye in bulk here and I sometimes mention that they are used as duck food, not for people and even for the ducks they are only about 20-50% of their diet (more in the winter). emoticon
Of course there are many vegetarians and vegans who shop here so there is always a great choice of vegetables, seeds and nuts for sale and organic produce in season can be a good deal.
One stress-producer this morning was that my computer seemed to have a virus. After running a virus scan everything was fine, but there was another little temptation to eat stuff I didn't need.
Back to my plan of fine-tuning:
Yesterday's lack of sleep confirmed to me that I need to make sure I get enough sleep (for me that is 8-9 hours) before I have the energy to exercise more and to curb any interest in high-carb foods. I simply have a long-term pattern of treating tiredness with carbs, espcially now that I've cut out most caffeine. When I feel tired and low-energy my brain automatically looks for sugar/carbs as a fix because it works, temporarily.
This pattern probably got started 15 years ago after my daughter was born. She was a baby who never got cranky but stayed up til midnight and hardly ever took naps.
Borderline hypothyroidism is mostl likely a factor, too. I need to try to include a little more virgin coconutoil in my diet again and take some selenium (low in my area) and some Iodine since my diet is low in seafood. Once I have enough sleep I should have enough energy to increase my exercise to include about an hour of exercise every day except for one rest day. I will continue a mix of cardio (swimming, running, hiking) with strength training, horseback riding and ice skating this fall and winter. One hour of low-to moderate intensity exercise burns about an additional 400-500 calories/hour, but also increases muscle, so the result should be a reduction of almost 1 pound of body fat per week just from that.
To make all of this into a daily checklist will look like this:
1. how much did I sleep last night:
1. how many carbs did I consume:
3. how much and what type of exercise did I do today:
4. what supplements did I take today:
5. what was my stress level today:
6. did I get enough salt (2-3 grams/day) and enough water (80-100oz.):

Monitoring these things should help me to find out what I need to do.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHRISTINASP 10/23/2012 2:47PM

    Checklists are A VERY useful tool for improving one's health and habits.
I think indeed that getting enough rest and sleep is so important. It's so hard though sometimes to get into bed on time for me.

Comment edited on: 10/23/2012 2:48:11 PM

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ERIN1957 10/23/2012 1:50PM

    I have never belonged to a co-op. Traveling so much I guess I have never pursued it. I do love being in fresh markets though, they make me feel fabulous!

I have been checking a list of my own too and that is finding more time to be accountable and push myself. Mostly for more activity and exercise. Being active has been an issue for me since the accident I had last winter. I got very complacent and protective of myself and now I am having to push myself to do more and challenge myself more as well.

I am OK on the food part and trying to find that sweet spot on my numbers is an OK challenge. I enjoy your blogs and do enjoy learning from them as well as they make me think of where I could be looking at as well.

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Low-carb diets and cancer

Monday, October 22, 2012

Here is a link to an interview that Jimmy Moore did with Dr. Colin Champ. In addition to talking about several potential benefits of a low-carb or ketogenic diet on cancer the talk also mentions people on a 0 carb diet who have no measurable blood ketones that may be hormone related (pituitary or adrenal gland problems)


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GOPINTOS 10/25/2012 9:40AM

    Thanks for sharing!


Smile and Enjoy the Rest of Your Day!
Melinda (gopintos)
Wheat Belly Team
Country Living Team
Perfect Health Diet Team

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DJ4HEALTH 10/23/2012 11:55PM

    High carbs will feed cancer and that is why you need to go on a low carb diet and I have researched it because my husband has cancer and I almost lost him in 2010 from the doctors not knowing how to really treat him. I was able to get him healthy before they scared him into taking chemo again, But if he would of taken chemo when we got back home after they gave him chemo and radiation he would of died. I kept him on a low carb diet and he got healthy and then went back to chemo. I am praying that God will show him that chemo is not the way because they have to keep giving him stronger and stronger chemo to keep the cancer under control but they don't cure him, A low carb diet will cure him and that is what God has been teaching me starting in 2005 and he was diagnosed in 2009. That was not fate but God leading me in what was going to happen and to help my husband get well but he needs to listen to God. It is all in God's timing and I just have to wait on God.

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-LINDA_S 10/23/2012 4:20PM

    Thanks! I'll check it out!

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ERIN1957 10/23/2012 6:37AM

    Went there yesterday to listen to this and got side tracked looking up Jenny Ruhl. She actually had a good interview too. Now I will have to go listen to this one now. Thanks for the reminder!!

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JSTETSER 10/23/2012 5:41AM

    Thanks for posting. Good food for thought!

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HOUNDLOVER1 10/23/2012 12:18AM


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GLC2009 10/22/2012 10:34PM

    oh, i can't listen to him. what is he, like, 12???

just kidding, i am going to listen right now.

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EJOY-EVELYN 10/22/2012 10:26PM

    Wow, you've had a productive day at the computer -- it's been a four-blog day! Guess that means you successfully got the juices flowing all around. Have a great week!

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Day 9 of ultra-low carb

Monday, October 22, 2012

My weight this morning was steady at 129.4 lbs.
Given my increase in carbs yesterday it's interesting that it's not a gain.
I've tried to lower my carbs again this morning but my body is not pleased
I started with a low-carb pancake, about 6 inches in diameter, made with eggs, coconut flour and milk, no sweetener or fruit. With it a small cup of coffee with lots of cream.
Two hours later I realized I felt hungry and had a few brazil nuts. Lunch was 2 jumbo-sized hard-boiled duck eggs. I still felt hungry and not too energetic. One thing that may make a difference in my appetite is the fact that it is fall and I have always been more hungry in fall and gained about 10 lbs. Compared to that I am doing much better now.
Now it's 2pm and I'm having a second lunch of 1/2 cup cranberries, 3 oz. plain yogurt and some cream with about 2 oz. of ground flax seed. After that I hope that I'll fell like having a good workout. The weather does not look very nice outside so I'll go to the gym. I know that exercising always curbs my appetite so maybe, just maybe I won't need another meal today.
We don't have any green veggies other than zucchini in the house so I may buy some sprouts later.
I did a light, easy workout today. 15 minutes of cardio on the treadmill and another 15 minutes of strength training. I did feel a little bit tired and then remembered that I did miss some sleep last night because of a sick dog.
I bought some arugala lettuce and mixed that with some tomato and the last cucumber form our garden for dinner. I also ate about 4 oz. of brie.
Dessert will be special: my daughter made a plum pie with a low-carb almond crust and only a small amount of Xylitol for sweetener. It will push the carbs a little higher for the day but I wouldn't want to miss it since I'm so glad she is motivated to try out low-carb recipes.

Here is a picture:

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HOUNDLOVER1 10/23/2012 12:36PM

Concerning your questions:
I don't have a goal weight. Weight is relatively irrelevant for both looks and health. My goal is to reduce my percentage of body fat at least to 20% and increase my lean muscle mass.
I'm feeling very good on ultra-low carb so far. Of course the switch was easier for me than for someone coming from a very high-carb diet because I had already been on moderately low-carb (ranging from 50-80 grams/day) for 8 months. Many people go through carb withdrawal for a week or even two weeks which can feel like the flu.
Concerning maintenance: Atkins and other low-carb diets are not meant as temporary diets but as lifestyle diets. They will only work for maintenace if you use them. Most people gradually raise their carb level by 10 grams/week once they approach their maintenance weight.
The reason low-carb diets work is because high levels of carbs lead to increase insulin levels which lead to more hunger. Eliminating at least grains, beans and sugars is the easiest way to maintain weight on low-carb. Thanks for the question. emoticon

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ADZY86 10/23/2012 8:29AM

    That pie looks yum yum yum! Let us know how it tasted. I love almond crust as an alternative. When I'm seriously (and I mean seriously, I don't have it often) craving a sweet treat, I make tiny little blueberry cheesecakes with ground almond crust. Only 1 carb per serving and it is amaaaazing!

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ERIN1957 10/23/2012 6:38AM

    looks great!
You are on a roll today! Keep it up!

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SUNSET09 10/23/2012 2:18AM

  emoticon How are you feeling on your 9th day and what weight are you working on getting to?! That's an accomplishment within itself but what happens when you're off of this diet? It's good to know you can get down to your desired weight and maintaining can be a challenge all within itself. The dessert looks delish! emoticon emoticon It's a life style change and you're on your way! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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Is emotional eating or food choices the cause for binge eating?

Monday, October 22, 2012

I am writing this in response to a comment on one of my previous blogs and in response to a discussion on the binge eating team.
I'm sure that emotional eating is one of the reasons that is almost always involved for binge eating and/or bulimia. The question in my mind is whether emotional eating is the cause of eating disorders or if in many, though not all cases, emotional eating is triggered by foods that are addictive to many people like wheat and sugar and emotional eating becomes part of the package along the way. We don't always continue a behavior for the same reason we started it.
High-carb foods lead to extreme ups and downs in blood sugar levels and insulin levels as well as insulin-resistance (of the cells) and along with that cause almost continuous food cravings in many people. At the same time the increased insulin levels will lead to more calories getting stored in fat cells, making this energy unavailable for brain and muscle function. Many diabetic people report severe mood swings as a result of very low blood-sugar levels. Once the body has stored enough fat (rather than using the calories in the muscles) the person will usually go on a diet, meaning trying to reduce calories, exercise more etc. in an effort to control calories in - calories out. But the body is already deprived of energy for muscles and brain because the high insulin levels make sure that more additional calories get put in storage (fat cells).
After a shorter or longer period of time the body wins against our will power and the diet (calorie restriction) fails. I know I repeated this cycle many times over my life.
Every time the diet fails and weight loss stops or weight is regained, this leads to discouragement if not depression at a time when the body is craving calories.
At a time we finally start eating a lot because of real hunger we find out that we feel much better, at least until blood sugar levels drop again an hour or two later or the next day, thereby starting to condition ourselves to self-medicate depression and other negative feelings with food. Because the good feelings don't last very long the next dose of food, often but not always carbs, follows soon after. After repeating this cycle several times the brain is starting to learn and after repeating this dozens of times these behavior patterns are hard-wired and as resistant to change as brushing our teeth in the morning. If insulin levels stay high because of high and frequent carb consumption the viscious spiral continues until the person is severely obese and has full-blown metabolic syndrome.

At this point just switching to a low-carb lifestyle is frequently not enough to fix the problem. The emotional eating has become an automatic behavior that does not need a major cause any more. Many small triggers, ranging from thinking about food, to seeing food to all kinds of emotional minor variations can trigger the binge, even in the absence of hunger.
Still, I see reducing carb levels as the only way to take the first step to long-lasting freedom from binging, maybe in a supervised setting or with a support system in place in some cases.
Many people find that removing the physiological trigger for overeating, high insulin levels and other abnormal hormone levels that come with it, are enough to make improvements with emotional eating issues on their own over time with only online and/or family support. The low-carb, paleo and primal forums on the internet and on spark teams are full of these success stories.
Other binge eaters may need a more structured environment that is not possible at home to succeed.
Based on my own experience, whatever it takes it is worth the fight for our health and for our quality of life and that of our families.
There is light at the end of the tunnel. emoticon
Comments and discussion welcome, as always

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

EBLOOMING 10/23/2012 3:00PM

    What a fantastic blog!!! What a lot of neat comments...so worth reading it all.
Thanks to you!!!

1. how many carbs did I consume:
3. how much and what type of exercise did I do today:
4. what supplements did I take today:
5. what was my stress level today:
6. did I get enough salt (2-3 grams/day) and enough water (80-100oz.):
7. or too much salt?


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KAI_ZEN 10/23/2012 2:56PM

    "We don't always continue a behavior for the same reason we started it." - So true, and important to consider when embarking on major habit change.

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ADZY86 10/23/2012 6:31AM

    Love this blog. I discovered low carbing 10 months ago and it has changed my life. BUT I am not yet at goal weight, which leads to my next point: yes, cutting out sugar and starch and wheat is definitely the key to controlling cravings and from feeling hungry all the time; that has been an absolutely amazing eye-opener for me. HOWEVER I have found myself many times slipping up, or going for a piece of chocolate, even when I'm not craving it. And ultimately once I start, I find it hard to stop as it spirals out of control (which is obviously due to its addictive nature).

The point I'm making is: a big part of the process is also fixing what makes us go for those foods that we know are bad for us and are addictive, EVEN when we are not hungry or craving it, and knowing how bad it is for us. I'm still working on that. I don't know the answer, I don't know why I do it or what's going to make me stop. I guess it is a habit of a lifetime that I need to learn how to break somehow, or get help for it.

(Hope this made sense!)

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SPARKLISE 10/22/2012 8:29PM

    Love the blog.
I think it is ,as you said, a combination of the 2. It starts one way,but then it takes on a life of it's own.
It is so complicated,but then,we are complicated beings. emoticon
I think there are as many way out as there are people with the disorder.

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-LINDA_S 10/22/2012 8:01PM

    I generally agree with you, but I had a weird experience. Yesterday my friends and I went out to eat at an Italian restaurant and I did not make good choices. I ate wild mushroom carbonara to which I had them add some roast chicken. Then I ended up eating most of the cake my friend ordered. All in all, a very high-carb evening! It did kinda knock me out earlier than usual, but I awoke with no repercussions other than 1.4 lbs that I didn't need. Did a very low-carb day of chicken thighs with butter and hot sauce. That's all. I don't think this would have happened before I did the hCG protocol. My blood sugar is so much more stable now, and I had no cravings or extreme hunger today. I found this very odd, but am glad it happened! I have noticed in the past that carb consumption tends to only make me hungrier, especially if I don't get a high-protein breakfast.

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WOUBBIE 10/22/2012 7:49PM

    NELLJONES' post makes me sad. It's not at all blaming "insulin or some such thing" to finally understand the science of why we crave and hunger. Anyone who has experienced the magic of not being hungry ALL THE TIME once they detox from sugar and starch and especially wheat can tell you what an amazing revelation it is. "It really WASN'T my lousy willpower all this time?!?!?!"

But we've also seen time and again how easy it is to backslide, even once you've recognized how bad those things make you feel. THAT'S the power of emotion and habit at work.

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EJOY-EVELYN 10/22/2012 7:31PM

    Great observations. I do believe the quality of calories we eat impact the level of emotional eating we end up craving more of Ė Iíve been on that vicious cycle all too often.

While I have the longest ever run of being within a healthy BMI (Since April 2011), Iím now at the high end of a healthy BMI and really want to take more strategic action to return to a BMI that is in the lower 20ís. Iíve enjoyed the great education, experience, and research you provide us, as well as the dialog generated by your blogs. Thanks!

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HOUNDLOVER1 10/22/2012 4:54PM

    I have been on low-carb (ranging from 50-80 now down to 20 grams/day) for about 8 months now. I have no idea of how this is going to work long-term for me. I know that there are people who have maintained on low-carb for many years on the low-carb forums, not all at an "ideal" weight, but at least at a healthy weight.
I agree that eating a lot of vegetables will help a lot, at least for me. I've learned that form the raw foodies. It allows the consumption of large amounts of food with minimum impact. The same is not true for me with fruit at all.
Concerning a permanent solution - I guess that will never happen. Our environment , including our food supply always changes. Our bodies also change as we get older, although maintaining a very active lifestyle seems to help as much as exercise.

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CHRISTINASP 10/22/2012 4:39PM

    Well worded; my compliments. My idea is that both factors are at play - at least, in MY situation. Both emotional factors and craving for 'toxic' foods.
I notice that cutting out foods (sugar, wheat) AND, just as important or maybe even more important in my case, eating LOTS more vegetables, seeems to help me to have less urges with regard to bingeing. ( I said 'seem' because it could be that there's psychological impact just from 'eating in a new way' that might - temporarily - decrease the frequency of binges, I don't know).
I don't do low carb, because even though 'some people can 'make it' work, as was stated, to do low carb while not eating meat, I can't do it and I doubt that many people CAN do it for a long time. I mean longer than say, ten years.
So if we're really looking at a long term solution or maybe even have a good weight for life, I am not sure that cutting foods out, or 'doing low carb' really is 'the only answer' as you suggested on that thread. It could be that working on emotions is just as important. I do not know, I cannot know, I'm not an expert and I have not found the answers yet.

I'd love to hear just how long you have been doing low carb, Birgit. Because I know that it's possible to lose weight and be very enthousiastic about a certain way of eating, and even maintain it for years (as I did) and still then somehow get lost, go back to 'old ways', gain weight again. So a permanent solution? If you find it, write a book - you will be a millionaire... :) And a life saver, of course.

Comment edited on: 10/22/2012 5:07:19 PM

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LIVINMYDREAMS 10/22/2012 4:29PM

    Low Carbing has totally changed my life. I do not binge anymore and rarely have cravings. I thank God for the freedom that has brought in my life!

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ERIN1957 10/22/2012 4:14PM

    It is so hard as each of us have had our own individual journeys and each have our own issues. The reason why we are here or sought out this site. We couldn't do it on our own or was looking for something more than what we had been doing.

The journey is a difficult one and many of us have had many reasons why we over ate or made bad choices with food.

It personally has been very hard for me, as it is with each of us when we feel different emotions and our relationship with food. I find the hardest thing for me now is the reality, that some of us can not lose that last 20-25 after a large weight loss. Reset, stall, or just our metabolic system refusing to give up the extra pounds we carry.

I have shed many tears not giving up and many tears when the scale defeats me with no weight loss or even a gain after religiously being compliant and not binge eating. The pain at times comes from others and their disbelief that we didn't cheat adding to the self conviction and hurt, that many of us have dealt with our entire life.

To become healed when we decide we like ourselves and that we are OK being healthy, even if we do not meet the standards of others. This journey has been the hardest of all journeys in my health and weight loss. It is an ongoing journey of life for many of us.

The emotional scars have to be worked on as much if not more than the food plan. All the help any of us can get is welcomed I am sure by many. Keeping brain food in, is one of the keys while we get emotional healthy. Brain food is not foods that are or have chemicals! Healthy fats and healthy clean choices. Good God made foods, not man created.... is a great start. While you figure out the rest.
Live life healthy and the body you love will love you back as you feed it well.

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JANETELIZABETH1 10/22/2012 3:37PM

    Yes I know these are connected and addictive too! It's a struggle to omit them from our daily eating but so worthwhile. Then....remembering not to slide back because somehow they are always hovering around to tempt us!!!!

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CNTRYGL1 10/22/2012 3:28PM

    For a long time I thought it was simply that I had a lack of self control. I wanted to eat and I didn't want to tell myself no. I had cravings and I didn't have the "will power" to turn them down. But after this past week I am begining to believe that the "cravings" I thought I was powerless to, were caused by the foods I was eating. I was/am addicted to sugar and wheat. If i cut them out, I dont crave them. I never would have thought it possible but I have proven myself wrong. And I am so glad I did!

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ARUSHING2 10/22/2012 3:20PM

It'd seem that there can be more than one reason that people, or even a sigle, particular person might binge eat.

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NELLJONES 10/22/2012 3:20PM

    For me the problem is a lot more simple: I want what I want when I want it. I want as much as I want NOW. I want the satisfaction I could get by climbing Old Rag or making a wool suit, but I want it without the work or effort. If I were a druggie, it would be drugs, but I am not so the next easiest thing is food. I'd love to be able to blame it on insulin or some such thing, but for me, the bottom line is realistic expectations and the willingness to do something even if it's hard.

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Day 8 of ultra-low carb

Monday, October 22, 2012

It was a long day, too many things to finish before the weather gets freezing and wet for a while. We harvested plums and I enjoyed two of them. I walked the dogs and we made enough progress on the duck barn to provide shelter, although it's far from done.
I was so busy that I did not pay too much attention to food, but I noticed that I was hungry even after bacon and eggs with veggies for a late brunch. I decided to wait a couple of hours and still felt like my body needed some fruit and yogurt so that's what I had for a late lunch. In between I snacked on some brie and a few nuts.
Dinner was late, around 8:30 pm, because it took that long to get the kitchen clean enough to cook. My husband and daughter had gluten-free brown rice pasta with tomato sauce and I had kelp noodles with tomato sauce. I'm getting used to them and did not feel deprived. I looked at the brown rice pasta package and a 2 oz. serving has 43 grams of carbs. I used to eat about 3 servings on average which is more carbs in one meal than I eat in one day now. The kelp pasta only has about 1 gram of carbs.
I had some more homemade chocolate ice for dessert and a few pieces of dark chocolate.
I really did not have time to add it up today but with the tomato sauce, plums and yogurt and Xylitol sweetened ice cream I suspect my carbs were closer to 50 grams today, if not a little over. Exercise was again minimal so it will be interesting to see how my body responds. Being very busy really can make it difficult for me to eat very low-carb.
On the good side: I managed to only have a half cup of coffee today and then had tea tonight but otherwise no caffeine. The gradual approach is working.
Time for bed, tomorrow is my day off so I will sleep in and then finally get some swimming in. I'm looking forward to it. emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MISSFORTE 10/22/2012 3:03PM

    WOW! this sounds nice I have never tried or seen Kelp noodles in my grocery store.

I will GOOGLE that later! thanks for the idea!

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SWEETLIPS 10/22/2012 2:53PM

    Sounds like you have this in good time - best wishes to you.

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GOPINTOS 10/22/2012 8:45AM

    Love reading your progress. I can't remember now why you were going VLC? I was LC for quite a few months, with higher fat, and discovered that for me, weight loss crawled. I have had to switch my macros back around in order for the scale to start moving again. So weird. Same calories but different macros make a difference. And what works for one doesnt work for another. And what works for now, might not work for later. So weird. :)

Have a great day!

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KALIOPPE 10/22/2012 3:48AM

    Maybe the appetite has to do with cutting caffeine? Not sure how coffee works for you but I think it may work as an appetite suppressant for me, especially topped with cream.

I completely concur on past eating habits. I used to eat rice with abandon. Easily 3 or 4 times in one meal what I eat now as a daily amount. Add some bread to that for breakfast and a flakey pastry now and then and it isn't hard to see where the weight gain came from. To think I spent years wondering why and how, as I didn't overeat - or at least think I did.

It is a good sign you are starting to spend less time worrying about food and more about your hunger. You are doing so well, eating fresh food, spending time with your family and creating new habits. I love a good success story. Have a great low-carb week! :) emoticon

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