Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Workout 102 and more Ray Peat

Yesterday was P90X plyo.  I must have gotten stronger, because I thought I remembered it being harder... then again, the last time I did it, I was also running all.  the.  time.  and probably didn't have the energy reserves to really power through it.

Today I took another page from DailyHiit, but modified it for my own needs.  The whole workout was against my own body weight.  So, I did as many rounds as possible in 15 minutes of:

10 low lunges (as in, stay in a low squat and lunge backward)
10 dips with one leg raised (5 and 5)
10 pistol squat practice (5 and 5)
10 bodyweight rows with one leg raised (5 and 5)
10 double-leg lifts

I started my 6th round when the timer went off, and since I was already at the end of the pistol squats, it was no skin off my teeth to finish the rows and the leg lifts, so my workout took just about 16:30.  I finished off with a spur-of-the-moment slow, steady jog outside since it was beautiful and sunny and these days, 40 degrees is balmy t-shirt weather!

A note on the Ray Peat protocol:
I have no idea if this is good with also being an athlete.  It's certainly counter to *everything* out there.  Fruit seems to be a good fuel for working out, though, so I'll keep working on that.

I am trying dessicated thyroid.  That is powerful stuff!  I took one last night and had trouble falling asleep and even more trouble STAYING asleep.  So I took it this morning and got the amazing super-warm my-body-is-producing-heat feeling, tons of energy and motivation without coffee, but it was intense, so tomorrow I'm going to split the tablet between morning and lunch.

I am taking vitamin A -- not beta carotene, retinol.  I love liver, which is a good source, but I can't eat it every day.  I don't love liver that much!  But, I have perpetually chapped lips.  I can't remember them NOT being chapped.  I just read that chapped lips are a sign of a vitamin A deficiency, and from what I can tell from the work of Ray Peat and Danny Roddy, vitamin A and thyroid are also super-important toward getting progesterone going and keeping cholesterol down.

Matt Stone also highly recommends getting 10+ hours of sleep a night and focusing on having quality day hours instead of just more.  Goodness knows that sure is asking a lot!  But when I get to the weekend, when I know I don't have to set an alarm, I sleep like the freaking dead and I sleep for 12 hours, so I guess I'm going to get the sleep somehow.

My husband commented today that it was amazing how there were several nights where he was rustling around, couldn't fall asleep, got up, putzed around on the computer or played a videogame or something, came back to bed, and I never even stirred.

I can definitely say that since upping the carbs, from WHATEVER source, my sleep drastically improved.  Immediately.  Then, when I added regular workouts back in, my sleep drastically improved even more, and immediately.  Thirdly, when I sleep for at least 9 hours, my sleep app tells me my sleep was awesome.  Any less, and my sleep is sub-optimal.  Those are my current observations.

My difficulty with this diet is getting enough protein from non-muscle-meat sources.  I'm experimenting with low-fat milk in my coffee, and I think that one is going to die a horrible death, unless all I eat in the morning is two eggs with coffee and milk, and probably some sugar in that coffee.  Maybe I should just pour eggnog in my coffee...

I guess the best part about this is that I really don't think of it as a "diet" because nowhere is it spelled out as one.  It's a series of suggestions that you can follow to try and optimize your metabolism, but the goal is to do what works best for you.

I guess I will keep experimenting!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Diet and Workout 101

My latest obsession is Ray Peat, PhD.  That is some crazy, cracked out stuff.  Since it's not a "diet," though, I can eat like a normal human in social situations, and lo-and-behold, I can almost always find something acceptable.  It also fits well into my eat-like-a-rich-person philosophy.

Fruit has a long-standing stigma as rich-people food, like ancient Greek and Roman rulers lounging around eating grapes, or getting oranges at Christmas.

The more I eat fruit, the more fruit works for me.  It's a better source of carbs for a workout than starch is, at least for my digestion.  That doesn't mean I don't like a good sweet potato, but I am loving my mangoes these days, and I can get those at the commissary for cheap, too.

Okay, on to the real purpose of this post: today's workout.  I had been doing a lot of Physique 57 in the hopes of getting "toned" and a lovely ballet body, and actually I really like the workouts.  But now that I'm two months out from my PRT, I need to kick it up a notch and get on with the booty-busting workouts.  My best (as in easiest) PRT for pushups and situps happened when I was doing the 100 burpees/100 days challenge, and even then I only made it to day 25 before my knees were so beat up that I needed to switch.  It did a number on my situps!

I want to like BodyRock and DailyHiit, but I don't.  I always find myself modifying their workouts because the moves are too complex for me to think you're getting an adequate workout in the 50 seconds you have to do them.  Some of them might be better as CrossFit "For Time" workouts with a set number of reps per exercise.

I also don't like the amount of equipment they use.  I'm focusing on bodyweight exercises here (Physique 57 actually does some very hard bodyweight stuff that I think is really good).

So I made up my own workout in the spirit of.  50 seconds on, 10 seconds rest of the following:

Pistol squat
Pose running drills
Push-up with leg and arm raises
Pose running drills
Jump lung burpees
Pose running drills
Bodyweight rows with alternating leg lifted
Pose running drills
Inverted shoulder press/10 mountain climbers
Pose running drills

Repeated two more times gave me a 30-minute workout, but quite honestly, the Pose running drills made it easy.  Wednesday's workout will be similar, but if I want to run, I'll run in one fell swoop at the end and keep the intervals to real bodyweight movements.

'Til next time!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Crashing, Boredom, and Veggies

A couple weekends ago (I actually literally think two weekends), the hubby and I took a four-day weekend to go to Columbus and catch a Buckeyes game.  In the six years that hubby went to OSU, he never saw a home game.  I, on the other hand, being the decidedly less fanatic of the two of us, actually had student season tickets one year and loved it.  So if a non-sports-fan can get into Buckeye football at the Shoe, a real fan should love it.

It did not disappoint.

I had been doing very well on my ketogenic diet for the week, generally feeling pretty good.  It certainly keeps my weight down, but mostly it keeps away water weight.  As soon as I eat carbs, I retain about 4-5 extra pounds of water.

We had a wonderful, horrible-diet weekend.  Let me recount the amazing horrors:

We stayed with my family on Friday night.  My mom is struggling with diabetes and in many ways is trying to do it through diet, but honestly I think her lack of exercise and the stress her job forces on her is making it more difficult to control her blood sugar than just diet alone.  She likes her Larabars and her fat-free, fruity yogurt.  I applaud her for subbing those out for candy bars, but in the end, she's missing out on physical activity.  She works a 60-hour workweek with a 45-minute commute each way.

You couldn't pay me enough to work those hours.

There's no time for physical activity in there unless you really like fitness as a hobby.

In any event, we ate nice and low-carb, with grain-free meatloaf, a salad (my dad has become a serious label-reader and supplied us with dressing that used only honey and natural sugar and had expeller-pressed canola oil instead of soybean oil), and half of a small acorn squash.  Yum!  For breakfast the next morning, we drove way the heck out into the middle of nowhere to try a cafe that my dad read about, and lo-and-behold, it was closed permanently.  We weren't surprised.

We ended up at a cafe just five minutes down the street from our house, and when we saw a "gyro omelet" on the menu, all our eyes lit up.  Did it come with gyro meat?  Yes.  It was, in every sense, a gyro served folded up in an omelet instead of a pita.  They had tzatziki sauce.  Four low-carbers very happy!

Hubby and I drove down to OSU to check into our hotel at 2pm.  It wasn't the worst hotel ever from what I've heard, but it wasn't anything to write home about, unless you want to write home about dirty, stained, outlets that didn't work, and lights that were burned out.  Whatever.  We checked in and then headed down to the campus.

It didn't take us long to get hungry, but a lot of the restaurants have changed since we were there.  We liked to go to Moe's, but we had that on the way out to Ohio, so it didn't seem special.  We thought about going to Moy's Chinese restaurant, where we went on our first date, but they didn't open until 5pm, and we were hungry NOW!  We ended up eating at Qdoba, which wasn't there when we were there, and which neither of us had eaten before.  For "not-Moe's" it was pretty good!  We also bought homemade Buckeye candies from some local Girl Scouts.  Yeah, keto-that!

The game against Penn State was awesome, if you like embarrassing blow-outs.  OSU won 63-14.  Yikes.  I can't remember OSU ever being a blow-the-other-team out kind of team -- that wasn't our former coach's style, but our new coach is definitely kicking asses and taking names.  The game against Purdue a week or so later was the same: 54-0 or something heartbreaking like that.

We stayed until the bitter cold end at midnight.  The hubby had no interest in going to a bar and getting a few drinks before hitting the hotel, but in old-school fashion, we tried to hit up the corner store near his old apartment for our favorite college snacks.  I always got a chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwich, but they had none when we went!  I didn't even know what those crazy ice cream concoctions were that they sold, but I'm pretty sure they weren't food.  That's not saying much, since chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwiches aren't food either, but these were decidedly less.  I think they were just small tubs of frozen chemicals.  Blech!

So we just got our snacks from a gas station as we went to fill up.  Yeah, take that, keto!

The next morning -- very late morning, I might add -- we went to Jack and Benny's for breakfast.  Finally, we were actually succeeding in hitting up one of our old-school favorites!  I couldn't help myself, so I had my "usual" -- an apple and swiss cheese omelette.  I also had one Buckeye pancake (that would be a pancake with peanut butter chips and chocolate chips).  What I like best about this place is that basically everything is a la carte, so you make up your meal.  My omelette didn't come with hash browns, and the guy assumed correctly (he confirmed with me) that the pancake would take the place of any toast.  Yes, good idea.

That was a good omelette, and while I've had my share of pancakes in my life (though not recently), I have to say they make the best pancake I've ever eaten.  It should have been heavy, but it was light and fluffy.  Worth it!

We went shopping for all of our necessary OSU gear: I got a t-shirt, a winter hat, and a car decal; hubby got a hat the night before and then added a mug and a t-shirt to his collection.  Yeah!

We met a friend at a bar to watch the Browns game (ugh...) and when that was over, hit up Hound Dog's for pizza.  Yep, still some of the best crust I've ever eaten, although I thought the pizza, basically a margherita pizza with fresh basil, could have used more of the fresh basil.  We just split a small, and then, before we left Columbus for good, I decided we needed to see if our favorite ice cream joint was still open.  It wasn't, but then hubby said that he always loved Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams.  I hadn't eaten there before, but I actually read about them recently online as being an amazing ice cream place that used grass-fed cream.  So we found a close location, they were open, and we ate there, and the servings were proper portions, the whipped cream was hand-whipped, and I'm pretty sure I died and went to ice cream heaven.  It was the best I've ever tasted!

Apparently nostalgia is as good a condiment as hunger...

Getting back on track is so hard once you fall off.  We got on the road and drove about half the distance back to Newport before hitting a hotel.  They had a continental breakfast, where I filled up on powdered egg substance and some sausage.  Yum?  I don't even remember what we ate for the rest of the day.  Anything?

It was Monday when we got back, and hubby wanted to go work out, so we did, and then we bought ingredients to make Buckeye candies for everyone at work, and then I went to karate class, and then I made Buckeye candies.  But we licked the bowls and each "taste tested" a candy.  Blerg.

I can't even recount all the stuff I've eaten these last two weeks.  I think I was doing pretty well because I wanted to feel okay for my physical assessment this past week, but at the same time, there are days where I feel like saying "screw dieting, just eat food."  There's a happy medium somewhere that I haven't figured out yet.

I remember on Saturday, we had a gig that was pretty long and early, so I skipped breakfast.  They fed us lunch, and I happily ate the bistro box lunch with a big roast beef sandwich, jalapeno potato chips, three M&M cookies, and a bottle of Dr. Pepper.  I remember feeling like garbage after that.  Maybe that was our bender day where hubby and I also grabbed leftover Cadbury Screeeem Eggs and a bag of M&Ms?  Or maybe that was the day before...

I remember on Tuesday, after our weigh-in for the PRT, I was doing really well.  I've been eating a few too many of the Clif Builder bars because they're candy, but with lots of protein in them, so it's okay, right?  Ugh.  We had this stupid rehearsal super-late at night, though, so while we were all sitting around the lounge at work, since there wasn't enough time between the end of work and the rehearsal for any of us to really go home, I plowed through so many bags of single-serving dark chocolate candies and Quaker Chewy granola bars that it wasn't even funny.  Excuse: stress eating.

On Wednesday, we had a gig at a senior center in Massachusetts, and once again they fed us lunch.  I just ate a light breakfast, still feeling sick after the previous night's sugar bender, and then after our performance, we ate.  They had salad and a choose-your-own pasta and sauce bar.  So I got to choose if I ate bowties, some big tubular noodle, or regular angel hair noodles, and if I wanted pesto sauce, marinara sauce, or alfredo sauce.  I filled my plate with salad, but since they had people cooking the pasta for us, I didn't get a say in the portion, so it was huge.  There was bread and whipped spread at the table, and dessert was lemon pudding with whipped cream on top.

And you wonder why the elderly end up decrepit in their old age?  When you go to a nursing home for the wealthy, their lunch will look more like roasted chicken with cranberry-balsamic reduction or salmon with lemon-caper sauce, fresh rolls, wild rice pilaf, arugula salad, and fresh-baked cookies.  Yeah, they look like they're better fed, too.  Not fat or anything, just a little more awake, a little brighter-eyed, and a little more with-it.  Just sayin'.

Oh, I felt like crap.

I couldn't wait to come home to my Primal Blueprint stew: stew beef, peppers, tomato, onions, and garlic, with a little bit of pureed liver mixed in, garnished with two or three olives.  It sounds expensive but a little bit goes a long way -- liver is a strong flavor, but onions, garlic, and briny olives balance it out.

Still, I had an excuse: carb-loading for the PRT!  Yes!  Ben and Jerry's here I come!  I got Imagine Whirled Peace.  By the time I was done, I had jitters from the sugar rush.

I maxed out my PRT, but five minutes into the run, I felt like I was going to vomit.  I just had to keep going for... five... more... minutes...


So I did sort of have a revelation the other day.  Out of culinary boredom, I started flipping through some cookbooks my relatives bought.  One of them is just a "breakfasts" book, and it has recipes for salmon with a poached egg, or a poached egg with asparagus and hollandaise, or creamed spinach with an egg baked on top.  A "big breakfast" is two eggs scrambled with cream and chives on toast, or two slices of banana bread french toast topped with strawberries.

THAT'S a big breakfast?!

I have a thing or two to learn about portion sizes!

Then I pull out my Williams-Sonoma FoodMadeFast Seafood book.  Once again, minuscule portions.  Four ounces of fish cooked up in coconut milk, curry spices, and onions and garlic that have been cooked up in butter, served on top of some steamed white rice.  Four scallops and bacon bits on a salad.

I think back to my favorite restaurant in Newport: Tallulah on Thames.  The first time we went was with my parents, my brother, and his girlfriend when they were all up for Christmas.  My brother thought, for $30, this had better be the best damn chicken of his life.  My dad ordered the bouillabaise, and the waitress pointed out each individual fish -- but it was like, "Here's your (one piece) of scallop, your (one piece) of this fish, your (one piece) of that thing..." and my dad was like, seriously?  I had kurobuta pork, and literally all the meat could fit in the palm of my hand (that's what they tell you a portion of meat should be anyway, right?)

Turned out, it really was the best chicken my brother ever ate.  My dad took his time eating his bouillabaise because each single bite had so much flavor and was so distinctly different from each other bite that he couldn't help but try to savor everything.  The full meal, start to finish, takes over an hour because everything is cooked to order -- very little is prepared in advance, if anything.

You eat very small portions of food, it's very high quality, and when you're done, your stomach isn't expanded and you're not going into a food coma.  You've probably only eaten five bites of food, but it's so rich and flavorful that all you feel is light and happy and energized.  My parents make a point of going there every time they visit.

So, maybe wealthy people are on to something...

New strategy: eat like a rich person.  Actually, it can be pretty ketogenic.  Yesterday, I made some of the Williams-Sonoma fish curry and simply served it over spaghetti squash.  We even ate "rich people" portions by splitting half the spaghetti squash between us instead of each eating half a spaghetti squash!  And you know what?  It was enough food.  While I was cooking, I tided myself over by eating some duck pate on cucumber rounds.  Turns out, a $7 container of pate and truffles contains three servings, but I could easily turn it into six because pate is so rich.

This morning, I had a good, snobby boutique barre workout just down the street, and I was amazed at how hard simply lifting your leg and pulsing for 24 counts can be.  I followed it up with one poached egg (instead of two) and 2 ounces of smoked salmon (instead of the whole 4 ounce sleeve), and a dollop of creme fraiche.  And you know what?  It was enough food.  (It was also ketogenic)

I'm going to try and get back into modeling.  Maybe this way I can lose a little of the weight I've put on without feeling like I'm starving or I'm "dieting."

For more thoughts on rich people, I was inspired by this funny little blog: The Billionaire's Butler.  Good stuff!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Alcohol and Low-Carb Don't Mix

It's been a long time since I felt this much like crap.  I know that I don't have the highest alcohol tolerance, and maybe I got a little comfortable because I metabolized the daylights out of last week's Redd's Apple Ale.

Last night, the hubby and I were watching the OSU Buckeyes have a rough go against Iowa.  I had been up since 5am because we had a gig in Boston, so at that point, I'd had eggs, bacon, and one chicken sausage for breakfast and was SO HUNGRY when I got home that I made an egg, chorizo, bacon, and avocado omelet.

Hubby and I agreed that the game required a drink, and since whiskey is just about zero-carb, I had a slightly more generous serving than I should have.  We had baked garlicky chicken and broccoli for dinner.  When we won, hubby reminded me that I said I would drink some of the nicer whiskey in celebration.  So I did while we watched James Bond.

Bad idea.

So around 5am, I felt awful.  Really, truly awful.  I was actually craving Pedialyte, but I had it in my head that I had to get through this low-carb style.  I slept until 10:30, and hubby bought me diet ginger ale to keep my stomach settled.  I napped off-and-on all day, skipped the yoga class I was hoping to try out, and didn't eat until after 5pm.  I had this hankering for fajitas from Chili's... weird... so we ordered online.  I still had it in my head that I wanted to do this low-carb, so I also ordered a house salad with avocado, cheese, and ancho chile ranch dressing.  I ate the salad first to gauge just how badly I wanted the flour tortillas, and sure enough, there was no denying those tortillas.  Now I feel so much better.  Who knows, maybe this keto thing will be keto-cycling.

I will not be drinking alcohol at the game next week.

At least today I didn't drink any coffee!

One website that I'm an occasional fan of is The Bulletproof Executive.  Sometimes he's a little too into pushing his products or doing things that just aren't financially accessible to even fairly wealthy people, but I actually really enjoyed this post about words in your language that basically train you to fail.  He got the Yoda quote wrong, but one of the words he says makes you weak is the word "try."  You know, Yoda got it right: "Do.  Or do not.  There is no try."

I've been pretty successful in that aspect with the diet.  You either eat the diet or you don't, whatever your parameters are.  I didn't "try" to avoid the tortillas only to fail, I made a conscious decision that eating the tortillas would make me feel better than not eating the tortillas, and when you feel like crap, that's pretty important.  As for my never-ending battle with coffee, I'm always "trying." I'm never doing.  If I'm going to give up coffee, I just have to do it.  There is no try.  I'm either drinking coffee, or I'm not.  Or exercising.  I'm either doing it, or I'm not.

Speaking of exercise, I can't remember if I said that I was thinking about giving up the bootcamp style training for a while and trading it in for good old circulation-boosting cardio and yoga/pilates/fusion.

I pulled out my old-school Windsor Pilates videos (yes, they're VHS -- but I had a few that I ordered as DVDs) yesterday to see how I felt about it.  My reaction, aside from the fact that my core was BURNING, was that it didn't have enough work for legs and arms.  On the other hand, I have to remember that I'm not doing bootcamp workouts, so for a while my legs and arms might not feel totally worked out.

But holy cow, that core.  I do believe if you want some killer abs, this would do it.

I'm tempted to try The Bar Method and see where that gets me.  Or power yoga. Or both?  Experiment?  I dunno.

Keeping on keeping on with the estrogen.  I'm not noticing a difference yet, but I'm not sure if I'm supposed to notice a difference.  We will continue waiting and seeing...

Friday, October 18, 2013

Still Low-Carbing

So far so good with the low-carb thing.  I ended up with a "high carb" day today because we had a chili cook-off.  I think I still landed under 50g because I picked out all the beans.  I sure hope so -- I'm hoping I overestimated how much I ate.  All the carbs came from veggies, like tomato, peppers, and onions, so I can't really call it a travesty, but to really be zero carb, I need to stick with the leafy greens.

Today was the only day that I was over the 20-30g net carbs, though, so I'm still calling it a win.  My carb-cheat doesn't come until the day before the PRT, so I'm still going strong.

This was my fifth day of straight super-low-carb, and so far my impressions are pretty favorable.  It doesn't seem to be particularly affecting my athletic performance.  I actually had the energy and desire to do treadmill sprints and then finish up with 20 minutes of super-easy recumbent biking while I read a few magazine articles.  Honestly, I felt better than I have in days.

The sprint intervals suck, but those make me feel awesome, and strength training hasn't really been speaking to me.  I'm considering reducing the strength stuff to just whatever calisthenics I get in karate, plus yoga, and then doing my twice-weekly sprints while I'm doing the hormone challenge.

I actually read a beautiful article in Fitness Magazine today about "loving yourself at any size."  Okay, sometimes I roll my eyes when I read those things.  But in this case, the woman was a total warrior woman: doing the bootcamp fitness classes, beasting it, feeling like an Amazon princess, and then she started sleeping really well.  Then she started sleeping for 10 hours plus a nap in the afternoon, and then comfort eating led to weight gain.  It turns out she had undiagnosed endometriosis and was slowly bleeding internally to death, but when they removed the endometriosis, nothing changed.  She was still heavier, feeling sluggish, and wearing a few pairs of "fat clothes."  She quit taking her bootcamp classes and switched to hot power yoga, focused on eating food that nourished her body, and right about the time she accepted her body size, she lost a bit of weight.

I can't complain about my weight gain too much, except that it means none of my pants fit.  I'm definitely in the mindset of buying cheap consignment and thrift store clothes to tide me over until my hormones figure themselves out.  Maybe I really should bite the bullet and just buy some damn pants that fit right and look awesome (not that my consignment clothes DON'T look awesome -- I just am not stocking up or shopping for new items in my new size).

As for the hormone challenge, no news to report.  That is, unless my newfound "Hey, I woke up from my nap after only an hour and still made it to the gym to do awesome sprints" is a result of the estrogen.  It could be.  Goodness knows hormones are powerful things.

So, I guess in as much as the diet seems to be working (as in, it's surprisingly easy to stick to and surprisingly hard to overeat, which I didn't think was remotely possible on a diet like this), I will keep on keeping on, and keep on updating.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Half-Marathons and Prempro

Well, it's definitely been a few days!  In that time, I ran a half-marathon and saw a new doctor for my missing menstrual cycle.

I decided against my previous notion of eating a lot of food but running low-carb.  Instead, I munched on the trail mix, Clif bars, and popcorn cakes that I got in my goodie bag.  Still, I only had 70g carbs for the day -- that is definitely low carb to run a half-marathon on!

Part of the reason I did that is because I'm not actually "running" these races, I'm jogging alongside a friend.  We were averaging a 10-11min. mile pace.  It is a beautiful course, with a 3-4 miles being along Ocean Drive (so yes, running alongside the ocean).  You take in the views and marvel with other runners just how beautiful it is.  Somewhere around mile 8, we hit a hill, and I have a tendency to hit hills hard.  Not sprinting, but I don't slow down, I lean in and get myself up and over.  To me, it's less painful.  When I was done, I looked behind and couldn't see where my friend went, so I figured I would just run the last four miles at my pace.  Turns out he slowed down a lot, to about a 13min. per mile pace, and that is honestly painfully slow.  The inflammation I was feeling in my hips and knees faded when I moved at my pace.  My trainer wasn't surprised, saying that it's difficult for a person to run "with the brakes on."

One of these days, I'll run one for myself and for my own time.  I would love to break 2 hours just to say I did it.

That could get me into trouble.  The next thing you know, I'll be saying I want to break 4 hours in the marathon just to say I did it... ... ...

I had a banana right before the race.  My friend offered, and since I hadn't eaten breakfast (I usually don't because I eat a ton the night before, and then it's mostly digested come race time, and I'm not hungry, but Saturday night didn't end up in enough fuel), I obliged.  I also, out of curiosity, grabbed a Gatorade at the mile 8 stand, and it made my stomach turn in somersaults.  It was awful.  I will never drink Gatorade mid-run again.  Ever.  Blech.

We went out to breakfast afterward, and a funny thing happened.  I found that, while I was starving, I could only eat small-ish amounts of food at a time.  I ended up eating an omelet with turkey sausage, goat cheese, and steamed spinach and replaced the sides of hash browns and toast with zucchini latkes and sour cream.  So delicious!  I was still hungry, but I didn't want any more food.

Then, I came home and took a shower while my husband headed down to the bar to watch the Browns game.  I joined him and ordered a hard cider, which went down a little too easily, but I metabolized the daylights out of that thing and felt literally nothing.  I was hungry, but couldn't decide what to eat.

We decided to stop at the little taco place a few doors down because, the more I thought about it, the more those little tacos sounded good.  They're really small, which each shell being only about the size of the palm of my hand.  I couldn't decide if I wanted short rib, chicken, or pork, so I decided to order all three, and then when I finally got to ordering, I only ordered the short rib and the chicken.  I couldn't even imagine eating three baby tacos!  They also use fresh, local ingredients and make their corn tortillas in-house, so this was definitely not a Taco Bell fixation!

We walked home, and within a few minutes, I realized I had this unstoppable craving for Clif bars, so we went to CVS, picked me up some hair dye and mascara (as if you cared), and then hit the natural food store where I picked up a Pro Bar and a PureFoods chocolate berry bar.  I ate both of those when we got home and felt pretty satisfied.

Then, just before bed, I think my body hit nearly homeostasis, and I ate bacon and eggs.

Yeah, I definitely loaded up on the carbs that day.  Whatever, my body NEEDED it!

So on Monday, I started my keto-diet hard-core.  Eggs and bacon for breakfast, eggs and bacon for lunch (I couldn't get enough), salami and cheese for snacks, and chicken sausage and kale for dinner.  I sat on my butt a lot playing video games with my husband.  I needed that.

Tuesday was back to the status-quo.  Karate class in the morning worked out the kinks in my legs, and I followed that up with a training session that involved lots of jumping, deadlifts, and hanging from beams.  That worked out all the rest of the running kinks and added a few new ones!  I skipped breakfast because I ate so much the day before with so little activity, then had bacon, eggs, and breakfast sausage for lunch, salami and cheese as a snack, and had veal shanks braised with onion and garlic, and a side of kale, for dinner.

Today was the same kind of food.  Bacon, eggs, sausage for breakfast, smoked salmon with goat cheese and a salad of arugula, pinenuts, and olive oil with vinegar for lunch, and a lot more goat cheese as a snack with chicken sausage and kale for dinner.  Dessert was my homemade marshmallows with carob-coconut sauce.  Yummy!

I also had an appointment with a new doctor for my missing cycle.  She thought it was really odd that the Provera challenge, which is supposed to give me a 10-day progesterone boost to trick my body into thinking it's going through the monthly cycle, didn't work.  Coming off the progesterone is supposed to stimulate bleeding, but nothing happened.  Nothing.  That means I'm not producing enough estrogen to pump things up.

We're going to do the same thing, only more extreme.  Now, I get to take three weeks of estrogen, but on the third week, I add progesterone to the mix.  The fourth week, I'm out of estrogen and take only the progesterone.  The fifth week... TA DA!


Then, if I get even a spot, and she doesn't care what color: brown, red, hot pink, whatever, if I get a SPOT, a DROP, it COUNTS!  And from there I count the days.  I'll get blood work done on day 3 and blood work done on day 21 to determine whether or not my hormones are doing anything.  From there, if nothing happens, I guess I go on fertility medication... my husband and I will have to really talk about that one, because we agreed that we weren't going to do that.

So, day one of estrogen, here we go!  I am keeping my fingers crossed.  If there's a fertility goddess out there, please take pity on me!

Saturday, October 12, 2013


Here we go, the second day of true low-carbing.

Thursday was a fail of a low-carb day because I had a recording session with one of the community bands I participate in.  One of the clarinetists made homemade cupcakes: dark chocolate with little Oreos on top, carrot cake with two little candy corns on top, and red velvet.  I ate one of each.

That's about what I felt like when I was done.  Actually, it wasn't even that bad.  What was bad was the next morning, when I felt like there was some serious chemical warfare going on in my intestines.  No really, I.  Felt. Awful.

So yesterday, I embarked on a true ketogenic diet, now that I think I worked out the kinks.  I had eggs and bacon for breakfast, and on the way back from a gig in Boston, we stopped at Applebee's where I had the Signature Sirloin with Garlic Herb Shrimp and only the steamed veggies on the side (no potatoes).  For dinner, I had delicious baked chicken with sauteed kale, and I even made a super-low-carb dessert that turned out okay.

It's a little marshmallow!  I made it from this recipe, and while I wasn't sold at first, adding some carob sauce made it more palatable.

The marshmallows are made of beef gelatin powder, Stevia, and vanilla extract.  Oh, and water.  That's it.  My only issue with the recipe is that it calls for too much Stevia, and you end up with that fake-sweetener aftertaste.  When I first made them, I thought there was no way I would be able to eat them.  Refrigerating them took the edge off, and the carob sauce is just nice.

The sauce was stupid-easy.  I melted some coconut oil, mixed in some carob powder until it was fairly thick, drizzled it on (okay, dumped it on), and stuck them in the refrigerator to harden up.  That's all.  They're bite-size, but they're pretty satisfying.  The carob flavor overpowers the coconut oil flavor, so even my husband who swears he can taste the coconut flavor in refined (so it's flavorless) oil, couldn't taste it.

The marshmallows aren't as dense and chewy as store-bought ones, so I'm going to have to try again later.  Some recipes call for egg whites in addition to gelatin.  We'll see.

Today, I continued on my super-low-carbness.  I had leftover chicken and bacon for breakfast (we were out of eggs), then when we had eggs, I had eggs and sausage for lunch, liverwurst for a snack, and plan on having scallops and kale for dinner.

It sounds like a lot of meat.  It kind of is.  I just keep trying to throw in greens like kale and arugula, and make sure I'm eating variety.  Without that, this is not only unsustainable, it would be unhealthy.

Here's one strange, interesting thing I noticed with eating super-low-carb recently.  I had a funky spot in my left ankle that has just felt sore for a while, but when I stopped eating lots of carbs, the pain went away.  I ate a bunch of cupcakes, and the discomfort came back.  You could say that it's just the sugar and other crap in the cupcakes, but I had the discomfort even while eating just good carbs like rice and beans.  Given that my skin seems to get inflamed when I eat too much sugar, be in the form of straight table sugar or as fruit, I suspect that cutting the carbs helped decrease some inflammation.

I'm going to run a half-marathon tomorrow with a friend.  I probably need those stupid cake carbs, anyway.  The super-low-carb will last until I need to run my PRT, at which point I'll toss in a sweet potato or two, and I'll have some carbs at Thanksgiving.

We'll see how it goes, won't we?