Thursday, September 15, 2016

Downhill Fasting

I've lost 7 pounds!

Now, as I have mentioned several times, the number on the scale is not always a good indicator of much of anything, but it is a number that most of us tend to com back to time and time again...

If I was not also losing inches, I might not be as pleased with myself as I am today, but I am having success all around.  I feel good, I've jumped back into my successful fasting schedule from last year, and this week has been remarkably easy.  Of course anything would seem easy after a 7 day fast.  :)

Here is a breakdown of my average daily macros:

I am doing really well with the carb and fat limits, and though my protein is a little low, it isn't unreasonable.  I have had a pretty inactive week.  I think I am averaging less than four miles a day with my walking this week because my ankle was bothering me for a few days.  It is better now though! :)

So today is my second 42 hour fast this week.  I had coffee with a little cream and two cups of bone broth yesterday, and today has been two cups of coffee and water.  When I get off work, I will be heading to the store for something to make for dinner--I am thinking chicken Caesar salad with avocado and Parmesan cheese and maybe a nice bottle of red wine!   :) YUM

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Seahawks won 12 to 10!

M and I go to our local pub to watch the Seahawks games during football season.  (Secret:  I think American football is kind of boring, and going to the pub makes it WAY more fun.)

Since I started the Keto Challenge, I have not had a lot of days where I was tempted by outside food.  It is easy to be compliant when you cook all your own food...

Today WAS a challenge though.  Everyone around us had fish and chips and nachos and onion rings.  Here is what I ate:

Appetizer:  Bacon wrapped shrimp
Martini (gin) with 3 olives
Main:  2 small Beef Sliders with cheddar and tomato served with lettuce and mayo (no buns)
1 glass Syrah

Thoughts?  It is a lot easier to eat well when the others with you are eating well also.  It is nice to have a drink out, but honestly it can lower your resistance to things like fish and chips and other traditional pub foods...

Best to eat and run when temptation rears its ugly head...However, I made it through unscathed, and the Seahawks won their first game of the season...Go Hawks!!  :)

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Feast Day

Woot!  Under goal today means Feast Day.  I blew my goal out of the water, and little secret, my fast did not go so well yesterday.  I was rejected for this job proposal that I have been working on all summer.  I was depressed, and M brought me wine.  I never drink wine on an empty stomach, and so decided to just give up and eat.  Obviously the fast wasn't essential since I woke up 2.4 pounds less this morning!  Go me!!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Week One

I started this week off with a full eating day of 2 baked eggs with cream and butter and 2 sausage links.

Since I am eating so little, I am taking care that the food I do eat is exceptionally good quality.  My eggs are pastured, my cream and butter comes from grass fed cows, and I enjoyed Isernio's sausage, a traditional, local and delicious product that does not add unnecessary crap to their food.

So today, I am back to fasting after two days of feasting.  I didn't go crazy eating over the long weekend, just a nice couple of meals on Sunday where I tested out the martini theory.  (Which btw, seems to work ok, if you can control how many martinis you drink.  I had two, and a terrible hangover on Monday, so remember:  a little goes a long way. )

My weight did fluctuate a little after eating and having the martinis, but not by much, I was still under my goal for the week, so yesterday, I had breakfast as described above, then a light lunch of 3 ham and cheese roll ups with mayonnaise.  Dinner was roast chicken with one of my favorite low carb higher fat vegetable dishes:  Just Like Stuffed Baked Potatoes.  No alcohol yesterday, just flavored sparkling water and coffee with cream:  Here is a breakdown of what I ate:

Here is pie chart for those who prefer visuals:

My set weight goal for this week is 212, so when I weighed in at 212.4 this morning  I could see that today was a fast day.  I am going to mostly drink water today, but I am starting my day off with coffee and cream.  As I get used to doing this, I want to adopt some of the advice on Marty Kendall's blog, Optimising Nutrition and make my meals not only very keto, but also as nutrition-conscious as possible.  According to the calculator he developed to measure the percentage of insulinogenic calories, my meals from yesterday were 16.7%  insulinogenic.  Here is a link to his calculator.
For my purposes, I think to begin with, aiming for 25% or less insulinogenic calories is a good place to begin.  So, for my meals yesterday I did well, although in the future I do want to include more vegetables and maybe a little less cheese...

Marty has a very well-written and thought out Manifesto, which I think is a great place to start when considering the optimal nutrition for weight loss.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Long overdue update...

I am finally back to fasting!  After the whole broken ankle disaster, it took me most of the spring and summer to get back here.  My IDM group started a Ketogenic Challenge
on September 1st, and I decided to start it off with a 7 day fast.

Initially, I was going to start fasting on my long weekend (which begins today) but I decided to fast starting Monday instead, which was a great idea, as it has been a very busy week!

Today is day 5 and I am doing great.  I am drinking lots of water, bone broth and one or two cups of coffee with a little cream each day--so like before, not completely calorie free.

I feel good, and it is fall in Seattle now which is my favorite time of year.  Starting over like this can be disheartening.  I began my fasting journey at around 216.6 pounds last October, and I started this fast at 214.6 pounds.  My lowest weight over the past year was in January at about 201 (after I had broken my ankle).  I feel like I have completely lost ground which is depressing considering how hard I have worked.  The first four days of this fast, my weight remained right around 214, then this morning I weighed in at 211.  So at least it is going in the right direction.  I know that weight is not necessarily a good indicator of fat loss, so I also measure my waist, and it has gone down three inches since Monday which is great.  That was some badly needed positive reinforcement!

I have to keep reminding myself that the purpose of this long fast is not specifically to lose weight, but rather to make sure I am in deep ketosis, so that I can utilize the fat stores that I obviously have.  In fact, with the way that the body works, I may not lose weight very quickly, The process may make me leaner in other ways.

For now, my goal is to keep up with Megan's Keto Challenge.

My Plan

Fasting: I joined a Facebook group called "My Low Carb Road--Fasting Support" Which is a group of people doing a slightly different fasting protocol than I was following previously which I think might work really well for me, or maybe not.  It is very scale-oriented, and they encourage eating on the low end of the fat spectrum, which doesn't work well for me.  More fat is definitely something that works for me.  But I thought I would experiment a bit this coming week and see what it is like.  Basically I set up a weight goal for the week--typically it is .2 pounds, (although in my case at first I might make it 2 pounds per week since I have so much to lose.)  I will weigh in every morning, and if my weight is over my goal for the week I will fast that day, if not, I can eat.  I will be following a strict ketogenic diet when I do eat. I will not count calories, but I will track all my food in Fitday.  I will do water fasts when I fast making sure to add Himalayan salt to my water (about a tsp. per day).  I may allow myself coffee (with limited cream) and broth as needed...

Eating: I will eat lunch and dinner on my eating days.  I won’t eat them more than 7 hours apart, and I won't eat past 6 pm at night since I go to bed at 9 pm.
Macronutrient Breakdown: I will stick to 20 grams or less of TOTAL carbohydrates per day. I will consume no more than 60 grams of protein on my very sedentary days (rare), and 100 grams on a regular day. (My lean body mass=107.6) For me, a regular day usually includes over 5 miles of walking--on weekends I sometimes do a 6+ mile walk.

My Beginning Stats

Ketones: Since Sept 1st, I have measured my urine ketone levels every morning using Ketostix. My levels were 15 mg on Thursday, and today they were 40 mg.  So definitely excreting some ketones.  This is a good measure of my acetoacetate levels (one of the three ketone bodies) which tells me I am succeeding.  I do this first thing in the morning before I start drinking water, because water can dilute my results, and I drink a lot of water.  When I become keto-adapted, Ketostix will be less helpful since once I am keto-adapted the level of acetoacetate circulating will drop.  If you want to read more about this, I recommend this post.

Weight and Inches: My starting weight was 214.6 on Thursday Sept. 1st.  I am 211 now.  My waist at its smallest point was 38 inches when I started Thursday Sept. 1st and I am 35 inches now. 

Goal: I weighed 214.6 pounds September 1st, and want to lose 2 pounds per week, so a total of 8 pounds lost by the end of September. I may need to re-adjust this if I lose too quickly.  I have  49.02% body fat at the start of September, according to this site. For this challenge, my body fat  goal is 25%, so 1% per month would be a good goal--I may invest in a body weight scale and include this in my daily stats.

Miscellaneous: I have been very tired this week as I am transitioning to full-on ketosis which suggests to me that my body is struggling to use fat for fuel. It seems like it is hard for me to be fully in ketosis if I am eating, even with the low carb diet I usually consume--I will need to be very careful and stick to the 20 grams per day rule very strictly.  I allow myself wine on my eating days, but even that small amount of carbs seems like a bad idea--if I drink at all, I should limit my drinks to special occasions and stick to very keto drinks like dry Martinis, and monitor whether or not even that is feasible!

Monday, April 25, 2016

Fat Fasting versus Regular Fasting

Ever since my accident I have been off the long fasts due to the need for a little extra protein while healing, and the fact that emotionally I was a mess for awhile which meant cravings and a lot of comfort food. (Very depressed).

 However, I started doing three 24 hour fasts a week about a month ago to ease myself back into my fasting schedule. The 24 hour fasts don't do much for me. I can maintain really well with that, but not lose any weight. Megan suggested that I start back on longer fasts this past week--it is over 12 weeks since my accident so most of the healing is over, and fasting here and there shouldn't cause problems. So I tried to jump back in with two 36 hour fasts last week. I was starving!

 I generally love fasting because I do not get that hungry, and can easily make it through the periods when I am hungry. This time was different. I was hungry all the time and could not get a handle on it. So, at our last IDM check-in I asked Megan if they had had anyone try fat fasting instead of traditional fasting. Fat fasting is when you eat a diet consisting of primarily high fat, very low carb foods. Fat fasting kick-starts your body into ketosis, which is the state that you want to be in to burn fat for fuel. When you are keto-adapted (which can take weeks) you tend to not be hungry, and to burn primarily fat for fuel.

 Megan said that they have had several patents using and responding well to the fat fast. She said to have keto coffee (with butter, coconut oil, and heavy cream), avocados and bacon. She also recommended bone broth for my continued healing. So this morning, I am back to my keto coffee. I don't like coconut oil in my coffee, so I just ate a tsp of it separately. It doesn't taste too bad on its own. I will move up to 1 T. later this week, but 1 tsp is a good place to start. I will have it several times throughout the day. So this week, I will be eating lots of bacon and avocado which I love, and hopefully in a couple of weeks, going back to my fasting schedule will be much easier...

Friday, February 26, 2016


It has been a huge adjustment going from an average reasonably fit active walker to a completely sedentary person.  The novelty wore off about 3 weeks ago.  It is very frustrating.  I can't get around enough to effectively clean the apartment.  I can't do laundry because our laundry room is 12 steps down and around the corner and I can't really carry anything up and down the stairs. The shower is a problem--I cannot get into or out of the bathtub, so I am forced to utilize a bucket and a lot of towels in order to wash up.  It is annoying.  (and messy).  It least I can wash my hair in the sink!

While I can cook again, it is still tiring.  In fact everything I have to do on my knee scooter is tiring, which means that even small tasks require an amount of time to recover from.  For the past 4 weeks I have worked from home 20 hours a week which is good, but again, tiring (mentally anyway).  And to make matters worse, I am starving all the time! While I have tried to stick to one good balanced meal a day, I find myself far more hungry than normal and my fasting schedule has pretty much been non-existent.  I am doing 3 or so 24 hour fasts per week, and making sure that I eat enough protein and fat, and trying to restrict my carbs.  I've had a couple of cheat days, and am drinking more wine than I probably should, but I think it is time to rein it all in...

Today is a turning point.  I go back to the doctor today to see if I can put weight on my foot for the first time.  I am nervous, but also hopeful and excited.  I'm not sure what to expect.  I know I desperately need to rebuild a lot of muscle in my right leg--my calf has shrunk to half the size of my other leg which is weird and scary, but also totally to be expected.  I don't think that I will be able to just start walking again--it is going to be a struggle, but maybe later today I can take a shower.  And maybe later this weekend I can go out with my husband to our pub and have a meal.  I have been pretty much housebound for six weeks--it would be so nice to order a meal and a drink!!

But most importantly this turning point includes my fasting schedule.  I am going to pay more attention to my fasting for the next 2 weeks, and do three 20 hour fasts on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays with the idea of extending these to 36 hour fasts in the coming weeks.  The rules are simple.  I eat each fast night from 4-8.  I break my fast with broth, then a snack of veggies and either cheese or salami & one glass of wine.  Then dinner:  Green vegetable, meat, water, lots of butter, maybe another glass of wine.  When I transition to 36 hour fasts, I will only be having wine on non-fast days, and I need to focus on keeping my carbs to 20 grams per day on all eating days.

My macro-nutrient goals are based on what I have learned from Megan during our IDM meetings:

Macro-nutrient Guidelines:

Protein (for women):  
  • If not actively working out: 50-60 g.    
  • If working out: 70-80g  (It is best to workout while fasted, then have an extra 20 g. protein at that post-workout meal boosting your protein from 60 to 80 for example.)
  • If recovering from broken bones: 80 g.

Fat:  50-100 g. Per meal

Carbs: 20-30g. Per day (This is effective carbs.  Carbs minus fiber)

Thursday, January 28, 2016


Here is a short summary of what has happened so far:

January 11th (Monday):  I broke my ankle in three places on my way to work and was taken to the emergency room where a doctor and PA had to wrench my ankle back into place as I had thrown it out of place during the injury.  They had to do this twice because it didn't stay in place the first time.  Even though they gave me IV drugs and several shots of pain killer directly into my ankle the whole thing hurt immensely.  I was relieved when they put a splint on it and discharged me.  I was in the emergency room for about 5 hours total.  They asked me to call an orthopedic specialist (Dr Boyer) and make an appointment for the following day. I had to drag myself up the stairs into our apartment to get home.  M helped as much as he could, but I fell down trying to use the crutches and probably knocked my ankle out of joint yet again in the process--I could feel it moving around.  Thank god for pain killers.

January 12th (Tuesday):  My first appointment with Dr. Boyer.  Getting there was a huge trial, although getting down the stairs at the apartment is much easier than going up them!  At the appointment, Dr. Boyer basically just sat me down and told me I needed surgery (no way around it). They wanted the swelling to go down on my ankle before the operation, so the surgery was scheduled for Thursday the 14th. I went home afterwards, and dragged myself up the stairs again.  M got me a knee scooter to use instead of the crutches and cleared spaces around the apartment so I could maneuver to the bathroom safely.  He also brought me bone broth and coffee and all sorts of comforts, and took the week off to help me. (I love my husband, this would have been absolute hell without him.)

January 13th (Wednesday): I rested as much as possible.  The Codeine and Tylenol that they gave me covers about 50% of the pain.  The pain is very intense as the codeine begins to wear off, I am not able to sleep very well, and am in horrible pain several times a day that lasts an hour to two hours at a time even at maximum dosage of painkillers. I had to have an empty stomach until surgery, and couldn't drink liquids including water after midnight.  I took my codeine every four hours with very small sips of water, and was intensely thirsty.

January 14th (Thursday): Surgery day!  I was in a lot of pain while I waited for the surgery, they gave me an IV and several shots of drugs, which didn't do much to help for very long. I had never had any kind of surgery before, and had never been under anesthesia before.  They wheeled me into the operating room and gave me some oxygen to breathe, and then, next thing I knew they were waking me up.  They immediately gave me some pain killers upon waking, and after a little time had passed, they let M take me home, after making an appointment for me to have the splint removed the following week.  I drank a lot of water.  I was in considerably less pain after the surgery.  They placed a splint on the ankle after surgery to keep everything in place which seemed to be nicely rigid.  I slept better that night, and the codeine pretty much covered the pain.

January 15th-January 22nd  (Friday-Friday):  I slept a lot this week, my appetite returned, and as the time to take the splint off approached, I felt like I was improving.  I had company from my cousin and one of my friends from work, which was really nice.  I sort of cleaned the apartment a little.  I was definitely feeling better--it wasn't all about the pain any  more.  On the 22nd, I scooted down the stairs and made it to my appointment where they removed the splint and gave me a "Boot" cast.

January 23-present (Saturday-): During the weekend I adjusted to the boot cast.  Definitely not as comfortable as the splint.  I'm not sleeping as well.  I am also allowed to stretch my ankle with a goal of 3 times a day--I am doing three doses of 50 stretches with the goal of being able to manipulate it normally.  It is sore, but not so bad.  I am also cutting back on the codeine to once every 6-8 hours--although due to the discomfort, I am taking more at night so I can sleep.  I cooked twice this week which was great, but also exhausting, and I worked from home 15 hours which was also nice, but tiring.  I have another appointment Friday and am hoping that the healing is coming along well.  I have been taking sponge baths since I can't really get into the shower yet--it really sucks that this is my right foot, I would be able to do better if it was my left instead I think...

As for my fasting, I have been doing 24 hours fasts about every other day.  I each plenty of protein each day, try to get some green veg, and eat enough fat.  My waist is 36 inches as of today, and my weight is 201.6 with the cast on.  I think I am doing OK with the fasting--I am also taking a multiple vitamin each day, and drinking bone broth regularly.  

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Broken Bones and Fasting

So you may have noticed that I did not post any pictures or menus for the past few days as planned. Life has a way of interrupting the best laid plans.  On Monday I slipped on black ice and broke three bones in my ankle. Horrible experience. Lots of pain, lots of drugs, and two procedures later, I am lying in bed on a Saturday night waiting for my next codeine fix and hoping I can sleep afterwards. 

I haven't been eating much.  I was nauseated and had no appetite the first three days when the pain was so intense I couldn't stand my appetite is kind of back. I have been drinking lots of water and bone broth, and a little coffee.  There is a Chinese restaurant nearby that makes delicious Medicinal Pork Bone Broth, so M has been supplying me daily and getting me everything I need. I'm so glad to have him, he is wonderful, if a bit messy <3 :)

Today I ate beef and broccoli with more soup and a handful of raspberries and macadamia nuts. Megan told me that there have been studies that show that fasting supports bone healing. I think that on most days for a while I am going to eat to support bone health as much as possible. Protein, green vegetables, calcium, vitamins, bone broth, etc...and fast periodically but not go overboard with it right now since my body does need resources to heal with. 

In a few weeks I hope to be able to walk again. I suck at crutches. Not very good at balancing...I fell over my first try which did not improve my situation. On the upside, this experience is going to be good for my upper body and core muscles. The only way I can get into or out of our apartment is to drag myself up and down twelve steps. M helps me by stabilizing my leg, but I have to use my arms to lower or raise myself step by step. It is exhausting, and not very glamorous, but it works. I can't put any weight on my ankle for at least 6 weeks, so this is the way it's going to be for a while...

Friday, January 8, 2016

Re-Starting A Fast After the Holidays...

After 46 hours I couldn't take it any more this time and had to eat, which brings me to this post...

I think it was a mistake for me to take a break from my longer fasts and then jump right back into it again.  I think that taking a week or so to focus on low carb high fat food before you jump back into fasting is a good idea.  Eating LCHF makes fasting much easier.

On day one of my planned 14 day fast, I was pretty miserable--very hungry, achy, and  obsessing over food.  That must be what it is like for people who are starting a low carbohydrate diet for the first time.

I did my first low carb experiment in 1998, and honestly do not remember what people refer to as the "keto flu."  When I started this fasting program, I had been eating very low carb high fat for some time.  However, over the holidays this year, I sort of went crazy with the wine and eggnog, and add to that the small treats I let myself have, I was definitely out of ketosis, and desperately needed a break from my "break."  So, after the awesome fail of my planned 14 day fast, I took a step back and decided to re-evaluate this week.

Instead of fasting this week and next week, I need to take back control of my diet.  Then, starting next Friday I get four days off, and will re-start with a 7 day fast.  I may extend the fast to 14 days depending on how I feel...It would be great if I broke 200 pounds by the end of the month--that might be just the thing I need to get it going.

It takes about 3 days to get the body back into ketosis, so I figure that by January 19th, I should be feeling much better.  Today and for the next 7 days, I will be eating very high fat, very low carb--this will make the transition to fasting much easier.  I think to keep myself motivated, I am going to post my menus for the next week or so--with pictures...

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

A Few Notes On Day One...

So yesterday was my first fast day in the epic 14 day fast. I bit the bullet and weighed myself. (214) Aack!!! And my waist was 40 inches. I imagine that even with the LCHF diet-- too much champagne can derail you, and New Year's Eve and New Years Day included a lot of champagne. (Serious binge-fest on the champagne and a little chocolate too if I'm going to be honest). So I was somewhat relieved to get back to a normal schedule...

Yesterday was hard! I drank coffee with cream for breakfast, and coffee, tea and water the rest of the day.  I was definitely out of ketosis. To make matters worse, there was food on offer everywhere!! Chocolate, Mediterranean appetizers, Chex mix...I felt the old familiar symptoms of my body adjusting to the fast. Vaguely achy, increased hunger, lethargy.  I think it really is best if you can sleep a lot the first day or two.

Over the next couple of days things should get better. In fact, this morning I am already feeling much better...My weight is down five pounds and my waist is down to 39. I imagine this temporary kind of fluctuation can derail a lot of people, but as a long-term low carber I know that fluctuations of 5-10 pounds a week can be fairly normal for women--especially during certain times of the month!

So anyway, I am back in the saddle and started today off with coffee and cream, and popped a batch of chicken broth in my crock pot this morning. By dinner time (12 hours) I can have a nice warm cup of that as well. As usual, the hunger is coming and going in waves, and I just have to get through them, by tomorrow I may not be hungry at all...