Thanks for visiting my blog!

2 Jan

Wow, I just got a summary of how my blog did in 2010 and I was surprised. There are people visiting me and I haven’t been doing any blogging for the past 5 months. Shameful! So today, I decided I must sit down and explain why I’ve neglected writing and what I’ve been doing.

As I mentioned in my last post, I had guests staying long term with us from end July to end September and not everyone was enthusiastic about my low carb meals (actually I’ve decided this resistance is all in the mind – people just can’t imagine eating for example, Thai curry with Cauliflower Rice instead of Jasmine Rice or Low Carb Bread instead of Baguette or Toast for breakfast – we are all so set in our ways. What I’ve been eating so far has been delicious.).  So I did a mix, substituting stuff where I could and ended up eating more carbs than was specified in Diabetes Solution (for those not familiar with this book, the author Dr Bernstein advocates 30gr carbs a day, split into 6gr for breakfast, 12 gr each for lunch and dinner.)

After my guests left, I took stock of my situation and realised that I did not put back the 5 kilos I lost when I started trying to eat healthier. Mind you, I am already tiny as is at 152cm so going down in weight from 45kg to 40kg is more than I want to loose. My fat collects around my waist and this is what I want to get rid of for health reasons, yet my BMI says underweight. However, I am definitely not underweight nor undernourished. I weigh myself every morning and my weight has been quite stable on the whole staying around 40.5kg. I’m happy with it but am still working on ‘defining my waist’.

The second thing I noticed, was that I stopped getting leg and foot cramps. There was a stage where I got some kind of cramp almost every day and to combat this, I was popping magnesium pills at two a day to compensate for the deficit. I got pretty worried.

The dizzy spells have reduced too.

And lastly, I’ve stopped losing hair. Around August I noticed that I was losing a lot of hair. It could have started earlier, I don’t know. Then I went to the hairdressers for a cut and was told that I was losing quite a bit of hair.  I was advised to go have my thyroid glands checked and perhaps a hormone check. Did that and both were ok. The doctor said there were many reasons for hair loss and it is hard to pinpoint the cause. So I left without an answer. Then after a while, everything became normal again. I don’t know if this had anything to do with my low carb diet but I’m happy that I’m not going to go bald so early!

Well, maybe a little bit more carbs in my diet isn’t a bad thing.

My last blood test in December showed astonishingly good results. My doctor said that except for the Hb1AC (which I am having trouble at getting down to a normal person’s level) I can’t be healthier. I did read that MODY2s have a higher set point so I am wondering if this could be the reason behind this set-back. My Hb1AC is 6.6. Still haven’t have time to do more research.

In addition to the two books I’ve read since taking on the challenge to ‘change my life’, I’ve read another called Skinny Bitch by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin and am now reading Sound Mind, Sound Body by David Kirsch. Skinny Bitch advocates a vegan life-style in order to ‘start looking fabulous’ while David Kirsch’s Sound Mind, Sound Body tells us how to achieve fitness for the body, mind and soul. Although I wasn’t bowled over by Skinny Bitch and haven’t come to the end of Sound Mind, Sound Body nor tested the fitness programme out yet, I’ve noted that again, there are the same underlying principles (although the reasons are different) as the first two books I’ve read. Whether you want to lower your blood sugar (for diabetics), look great, lower your risk for cancer and heart disease or keep fit, it all boils down to… cut out the carbs and sugar, eat protein, eat good fat, go organic.

David Kirsch differentiates between good carbs and bad carbs. Good carbs are those found in fruits and whole grains while bad carbs come from products made with sugar, white flour and white rice. Bad carbs cause your blood sugar to shoot up immediately and have a high glycemic index (GI). Good carbs raise blood sugar slowly and have a low glycemic index. Yes, I have experienced both.  When training, Kirsch recommends eating foods with a low glycemic index. Depending on the type of fitness training you are about to embark on, you will need some carbs to provide you with energy during training and if you need carbs, then of course, you should choose the good carbs or those with a low GI.  That is what my doctor said and it makes sense in my case since I go to the gym 6 days a week. So now I’ve stopped counting the carbs I eat. I just aim to keep them as low as I can by choosing the right foods – but the total count never gets as low as 30gr a day.

Now that all this is drummed into my head, I have to find the right balance for myself. Each individual has a unique composition and situation. My experiences show me that I can’t just pick up a book and follow all of what is inside. How much carbs, proteins and fat do I need to stay fit and healthy and minimize my risk for other diseases (diabetics are at greater risk)? I know more than when I started but with the goals I’ve set for myself, I am still not there yet.

Fitness wise, I’ve gone from going to the gym 4 times a week to 6. It’s like going to work everyday! My new Polar watch has an integrated programme calculator and I set it to ‘improve fitness’. It then comes up with a programme which I have tried to follow diligently. To my dismay, after a few weeks of training, it suddenly increased the amount of time I had to work out to 6hrs 35min. Since I only work out on the average 1 hr a day, I’ve had to go more often and train harder! But guess what, it was hard at first but now it seems normal to go everyday and I don’t have muscle aches from overstrained muscles anymore.

And now further excuses for not blogging for the last five months.

No camera! – I was not satisfied with the photo quality produced by my outdated camera and due to procrastination and money, I still have not got a good one yet. My Christmas wish was not heard. No camera, no photos. To me, photos are important. I like articles with photos – not too many, just the right amount – cos as the saying goes ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’. Well, not only no camera, also …

No time! Gosh, blogging takes up time. It always takes me forever to write an article. I have to check spelling, grammar, facts, make sure I’m not writing rubbish etc, etc.

No new recipes! Developing new recipes also takes time. I have to experiment, experiment and experiment and I don’t want to post a half-baked attempt at making something just for the sake of posting an article. I’ve found my staples for keeping my carbohydrate intake low and have just been working with these things. These staples have been mentioned in my previous articles but I’ll list them here again as a summary:

Breakfast

Low Carb Bread, Low Carb Pikelets, Low carb Scones, Cream Cheese, Peanut Butter, Organic Jams with 70% fruit content and sweetened with Agarve syrup, eggs, occasionally cheese, ham

Lunch and Dinners

substitute rice in all rice dishes with Cauliflower Rice (I’ve had it as an accompaniment and made paella and fried rice but not risotto-doesn’t seem possible), substitute Mash Potatoes with Mashed Cauliflower (I add in some grated cheese to enhance the flavor), substitute noodles with shirataki noodles(have only done Asian-style dishes and made a Baked Pasta), eat lots of salads and vegetable soups, have reduced meat intake and where possible, replaced with tofu

Snacks

raw almonds, low carb brownies, berries with low carbs, nori

When I’m not eating the above, I allow myself to be bad but eat a smaller portion. And when we go out, I look at the menu with a more critical eye than before. First, I will look at the vegetarian items on the menu (unfortunately most contain carbs). If there isn’t something I fancy, I will see if I can find a fish, poultry or steak dish (in that order)  where a salad substitution is possible and which is not cooked with hidden carbs or bad fats.

At the beginning, I downloaded recipes for low carb pizza bases, low carb crepes and other items made with protein powder etc but they either just did not appeal to me taste-wise, involved too much work or ordering expensive ingredients online or were loaded with cheese, so they’ve disappeared from my repertoire.What I cook has to be delicious enough for my family to enjoy otherwise I am going to end up cooking two meals each meal time!

Ok, have run out of time. This was supposed to be a short post but I guess I had to make up for my long silence.

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