Sunday, November 7

Intermittant Fasting - 2 Week Update

Alrighty then. In the end, I began intermittant fasting on Oct 24. I started 'tracking' Monday 10/25. It's been two weeks since then. The plan is a 4-hour window for food each evening. Generally, it's about 5pm-9pm. It's allowed to shift if my schedule does, but it's a 20 hour fast period.

So here's a summary of the reactions and results so far:

Thursday, October 21

Intermittant Sanity

When I first began serious lowcarb -- devoid of much info about nutrition or what ought to qualify as 'real food' vs. 'that will probably kill you too' but at least it was low on carbohydrates -- I wanted to try Intermittant Fasting.

I had protein requirements, at the time. As I mentioned in Don't Have A Cow, Man!, they were pretty significant. And as I sadly concluded in IF only I could do IF and still get enough protein, it just wasn't working for me trying to do "induction" and at the same time get "enough" nutrients and at the same time only eat once a day.

Over the last few years I've been through so many variants I'm totally losing track. High protein! High fat! Carb Cycling! VLC! ZC! LC with fruit! with grains! with legumes! Go Team Go!

All of these work for people. Nearly every imaginable variant of eating plan appears to be working for at least someone, and often many someones, and often those someones have lost a LOT of weight and have kept it off a long time and their health markers are great -- so who can argue with success?

Thursday, October 7

Pesto Salad v1.0

When finished, it looks attractively like glop.
Tastes good, though.

If it's fast and tasty, it's my kind o' food.

This is just a simple thing I threw together that I thought was yummy. Kid doesn't like pesto. I have been eating once a day separately from her so it's a chance for me to eat the things I like that she doesn't (read: that's nearly everything).

dairy-free, gluten-free, high-protein, high-fat

6 hard boiled eggs
6oz cooked chicken breast, diced (you could probably use shrimp if you prefer)
6 scallions, diced
7 oz pesto
1 small jalapeno pepper, diced
~1/3 large red bell pepper, diced

Mix it together. Eat it. This is cooking at my level for sure!.

normal world: 6
my normal world: 4

Click the numbers image to pop up one large enough to read.

Wednesday, October 6

Food versus "Food" for Breakfast

Low-carb seems pretty reasonable, healthy and do-able until you are wrangling with a 14 year old 8 minutes before she's got to be out the door to school.

Much of the time I make her a scramble, or an omelette. She doesn't like eggs much and tends to not eat more than a bite, sadly, to make me feel better. Sometimes I make grilled sliced kosher dogs or gourmet sausages (the apple-gouda or jalapeno-jack or chili or cheddar types). She doesn't really like that either. (Had I put them in a bready bun with ketchup and mustard, ok, but sliced and grilled, no.)

Sunday, October 3

Cooking Ahead

I felt like such a whiner after my last post. I nearly deleted it but it had already hit RSS and feedburner so I didn't bother. Many thanks to the commenters for being so kind and supportive. Actually, I have to say the lowcarb community is probably the most friendly genre of the several I've been in online over the last 17 years!


So after thinking about it I decided the first and primary problem is that if I get lazy or work too much so I'm not prepared, I end up running out of food that is decent to eat or that doesn't take eons. Worse, it only takes going without food for awhile or even worse eating badly, to ensure I have no energy for a major cooking job anyway. I know what I can do, should do, I know a whole list of steps that are ideal for making this sort of thing easier, but following them is another story!

The Cook-Ahead Plan:

Monday, September 27

Mellowing with Age

Over time I got to where I was wiping out so many foods from my diet--and I've little experience with most any food that is 'real' so not much variety was left--that instead of feeling enthused about recipes and issues, the way I did when I began this blog a few years ago, I just felt kinda demoralized. Like, even if I were eating on plan, how could my plain burgers and plain baked chicken breasts be of interest to anybody else?

Despite my occasional success with my teen, the most common event is that she doesn't want to be on lowcarb and whether via drama-queen or pleading, eventually I make the lousy decision to agree with her 'somewhat' and then slide completely off the wagon, UNDER the wagon.

As my insane weight when I began all this makes clear, my metabolism is not particularly normal. Normal people do not weigh 520, not ever. I lost a lot of weight, not remotely enough, but I'm still pretty huge. And I don't really need to eat horribly to gain weight. I just need to eat. But it's worse because if I'm not pointedly eating lowcarb, which amounts to 'mostly fats/protein', it's not merely that I'm eating carbs, it's that I'm not eating protein, and eventually I will start to overeat, simply because my body's starving for amino acids. I know that by now. Why this is ever still a problem is beyond me.

I considered not posting. Figured maybe I should close the blog and forget it. Being somewhat Type-A in personality, I would sooner gets shots and bruises than confess to any weakness, or be forced to spend any time around medical places. I think it's important if one's going to blog for a given 'thing' -- lifestyle, food choice, whatever -- that they be a positive and decent example of it.

Saturday, April 24

Teenage Low Carb, Part 2

"Why is there no cream cheese?"
"I dunno."
"Did you eat all the cream cheese?"
"I don't remember."
"Well who did??"
"I dunno."
"There are only two of us living here! It wasn't me. So..."
"I was hungry!"
"You're always hungry!"
"Yes! I am! So what!"

It's the Mystery of The Disappearing Yummy Foods.

Now, Regina Wilshire once counseled me: Don't deprive a growing child of nutrient-foods; their body drives them to intake nutrients so they have what they need to grow. They need to have free access to the healthy foods so they can eat as needed.

I agree that seems like a sound philosophy.

But what do you do when the growing child only wants to eat all the peanut butter and cream cheese and any possible yummy snack (even homemade LC stuff), instead? In the night? Without mentioning it?

Sunday, April 18

Teenage Low-Carb, Part 1

Most people have a fairly difficult time getting, and staying, on an eating plan that is significantly different than what they grew up with. Or, an eating plan that requires major changes to the lifestyle they hold. Even for adults, those "in control of" the money and food and cooking, there are many issues.

And then there's having a teenager!  gah!

The way I see it, the issues fall into different categories. For example:

Wednesday, April 7

PJ's Crazy Theories

I was talking to a lowcarb journal buddy and nearly posted this tome in her journal, and then thought it should be in mine instead, and then thought that I should post it on the blog, where a larger collection of people could kick it and tell me what's wrong with it so I can improve it.

This is a theory. Not a theory like in science. A wild-ass-intuition-imagination from a layman who just had an idea that found justification for its own existence (funny how beautifully facts do that for all of us no matter what we think :-)). I will call it PJ's Crazy Theory since you probably will too.


Food intolerances can cause all kinds of things -- psychological, as well as physical, and then more psychological in reaction to the physical, and then your outer world reacts to your physical and psychological reactions, and it becomes a whole snowball perpetuating itself. All because your body didn't like some molecule in your bagel. Go figure.

I am coming to suspect that severe obesity is probably almost inextricably entwined with food intolerances. It may be that, just like poor eating which affects people differently depending on genetics, maybe it is really the same as issues some others have, differently handled.

When you think about it, society as a whole would show what amounts to a "spectrum" based on how severely or multi/complex-ly all the people in that society reacted to the common foods. Ranging from people seeming totally ok, through the spectrum to people with rashes, or the horror of cystic acne, to so-called eating disorders, psychological issues, and at the far side of the spectrum, people developing various serious disease. It would actually make sense that the spectrum of people with any given 'condition' are probably on the far side of the spectrum for something else; the condition itself is secondary.

Imagine this model in your head where at point A is bad food, and point B is the body and genetics and history and so on, and then point C actually splits into many different paths, one being cancer, one schizophrenia, one diabetes, one obesity, etc. etc. That is how I have thought of obesity until now, mostly after reading Taubes. Basically, like obesity was a disease like cancer, so was schizophrenia. I've sort of changed my mind. I don't think of it like this anymore. Not quite, anyway.

I know this theory is nuts. There is no science to back this. It's just some fat woman in the midwest rambling. But WHAT IF...

Point A is toxic food intake.
Point B is the human body (genetics), its history (environment, plus cumulative stuff).
Point C is the immune system.
Point D has 3 segments and it is "reactions of the neuro-immune system."

(I say neuro because I read a bunch about neuro techs as I'm into brainwave feedback and such, and I am always sort of struck by how it seems to me that in some way the brain is actually having a fight/freeze/flight response. There is no science that I know of that would put it that way. So I guess tonight is just a wild rambling journey through my deviant mind, sorry.)

So I'm saying that I think how the brain reacts determines how the immune system reacts. But maybe that is a no-brainer (no pun intended) anyway -- maybe the brain controls everything. Who knows. Let's move on.

So we have the immune system which breaks into three branches of point D:

Fight, flight or freeze.

* the 'fight' point splits off into all these body-attacking syndromes like chronic fatigue, rheumatoid arthritis, celiac, things that seem to attack the body in some way.

* the 'freeze' point (like in/under-active) splits off into all these immune breakdown (or disease overcomes immunity) areas like cancer or susceptibility to viral disease for example.

* the 'flight' point splits off into like, rashes which is 'venting' through the skin, and obesity which is venting into fat cells, 'partitioning' the toxins 'away' from the body.*

(* This may be the body's way of 'running away' so to speak. Much like plants don't have claws and teeth so antinutrients are what they 'do', maybe the body's 'running away' manifests as 'closing things off from it/sending them away' one way or another.)

Now, seeing a 'spectrum' of response in the population would seem reasonable -- the degree of genetic response, the degree of environmental issues, the degree of cumulative problems, and the degree of "immune system reaction" perhaps, resulting in a rainbow of 'degree' which would be measured by condition, severity of condition, and timing of condition's full bloom.

* People at the 'far side of the spectrum' for fight-response may end up with severe RA when they're 7 years old, or CF when they're 17, whereas people farther back on the spectrum may just gradually get more and more symptoms until by the time they're 40 they're starting to have some bad arthritis.

* People at the far side of spectrum for immune 'freeze' response may get disease when very young -- *so young they may literally be born type I diabetic or get it in super-early childhood* -- or they might start finally getting schizo symptoms when they're about 20, stretching out down the milder spectrum all the way to people who seem perfectly fine until they are 86 years old and suddenly get Alzheimers/dementia. At the farthest part of that mild spectrum, people may die prior to manifesting disease--even if they would have, had they lived longer--so it 'seemed' like they were always healthy, despite eating the same foods, but really their place on the spectrum simply put their manifestation-point after their lifespan.

* People at the far side of the spectrum for immune "flight" response may not just get rashes as skin venting, as one pathway, but more serious syndrome stuff like cystic acne, or even -- by sheer coincidence yesterday I found this wiki page talking about a rare condition that sounds exactly like cystic acne except that the cysts are literally the size of softballs and anywhere in the body, no cure, no idea to cause, severe problems with them rupturing, etc. (Horrible!). Or if the body uses the fat-storage approach to venting/running/closing-off, the far-spectrum of people would not seem to stop getting fat (such as the body 'shifting' from the 'flight' response to the 'freeze' response and then adding disease), instead, they would just get huger until they were lumbering and eventually so huge they were immobilized. (Irony: you could almost think of it, eventually, as if *an entire human had been stored in a giant adipose cell and had become immobilized and inert*.) Even in some cases weighing 900# and yet they're NOT quite diabetic, or cancerous, or officially celiac -- just the far extreme of immune-flight via the adiposity-storage route.

I know this is a crazy theory, I have zero medical or science backing for it, and it probably just sounds like I came up with something to explain away my being crazy fat or something. But this is my theory for the moment: that maybe all conditions are actually a manifestation of "one of three types of neural/immune system" response to injury (rare) or poisoning (environmental or chronic food).

OK Taubes already suggested that nearly everything was a response to toxic food. I'm just saying sure, but what if the literal responses we can measure in the body, are actually responses to/from/via the *immune system* -- that this is actually the controlling point for literally everything.


OK let's get back to obesity and food intolerance. Just as an experiential comment, I think some of the compounding factors is that for many people and at least some foods, the "reaction" to a food which is essentially dangerous and damaging to their body, is like the reaction to some allergies: literally, craving.

As if this isn't bad enough, the type of foods that seem to most often cause this craving, may also result in literal addiction, by mucking about with neurochemistry and other body chemicals in various ways both direct (e.g. non-habituating neural stimulation) and indirect (e.g. positive association with feeling good from food X).

A nightmare cycle. The molecular-level damage is not obvious enough to 'see'. You see only the side effects that come from the toxins and the immune reaction to that. In the case of the immune-flight response via adipose-storage, so food doesn't give you hardly any of its energy for use (either because it's stored as a toxin or because it's suppressed due to its nature causing insulin highs), every iota of damage just results in more sense of need to eat more of the thing that's hurting you.

My buddy Sara was half-saying and implying *I think* the following, which I've fleshed out into my own words and added to: The psychology might develop all kinds of neurosis that are actually just the subconscious acting-out the model of the food being toxic. What if you got a flight fat-storage response combined with the subconscious reaction to the food as a toxin, would the anorexia (lack of appetite), combine with an obsession to NOT have bodyfat because the fat *itself* is slightly-toxic and the storage point/recognition of much of the 'thing' that is hurting the body? So Anorexia Nervosa might result (much like 'schizophrenia' does, an alleged psyche issue that is definitely physiologically based). Could the combination of craving-reaction to toxic-food, and the psychology reacting to the toxin like the previous, create the binge/purge bulemia cycle? Yes, of course we assign these to emotional issues, but as a hypnotist for many years I can tell you that you can have a person do anything on a posthypnotic command and they will rationalize why they did it when you ask them no matter how irrational they have to get to do it. So in my opinion, it's not that psychology causes certain behaviors but that physiology does and then the psychology 'grafts on' a rationalized explanation of 'why'.

I spent my entire life, literally, living almost entirely on gluten products and milk. And it looks like I have some pretty serious issues with gluten (at this point any of it gives me "severe asthma" -- which I never developed until age 35 and was medicated for until Lowcarb got me off gluten 'by accident' and made me realize gradually what was going on). And given the heroin-like more-more-more addictive response I had to milk for many years, probably that too. Eventually I refused to bring it into my house at all most the time, because the more I drank, the more I wanted, and this literally increased until I was waking up after every 3 hours sleep, in the kitchen at 3am, rushing for the milk, drinking from the carton, falling gasping in oh-thank-god-yes back against the fridge door as I got a fix. Serious junkies act like that. (I've known some... my brother died of a heroin overdose... milk is definitely my heroin.)

Now, it's hard to imagine how eating the very things you are intolerant to, most of 3 meals a day 7 days a week 12 months a year every year of life, first because they are *the primary cultural foods* and cheap and fast and common and yummy-tasting, and second because from very young you craved 'em -- how could all this NOT have some mind-bending effects. You'd think a person in that condition would be lucky to be alive at all frankly. Weighing over 500# at one point from, we assume, the combination of chronic over-intake and chronic over-storage and chronic refusal-to-release-from-storage (due to insulin) doesn't even seem all that surprising!

More theory... though it runs into and tackles some (hypotheses?) in Taubes's book I guess.

If your immune system reacts powerfully in a 'partitioning' (the "flight" reaction), say it takes all those free radicals and whatever and stuffs them into fat cells like crazy to make you safe, much the way we store toxic waste in containers in the ground. The more you ingest of the problem (toxic foods), the more stuff there is to store, even when you barely eat at all, let alone if you eat a lot, which you have to do more and more.

If you mostly eat Taco Bell as a humor example, the % and quantity of food you have to intake in order to get something that is (a) NOT toxic and not mixed in, in your stomach, with what's toxic, and (b) has protein-amino acids, which is mostly what your body wants, becomes utterly staggering, and I mean many thousands of calories a day kind of staggering. But nearly all of it's going to storage.

So the person has no none nada ZERO energy to move, for obvious reasons (their energy is locked in fat cells, not in the blood stream making them feel energetic) and this only hugely amplifies their desperation for carbs, which are "pure energy". <-- this last part, Taubes basically explained, and the foregoing that relates is sort of implied. Anyway back to my rambling theories:

But it turns out that the very toxic foods they crave (for reaction-reasons), and are addicted to (for intrinsic quality of the so-called food reasons, and indirect reasons of association) are the energy/carbs. So they are driven to eat more of those very things by their body's utter energy-less-ness. Plus, driven to eat more of them by the addictive-reaction. Which only makes for more toxins to store at all speed, and the person growing fatter, but each (maybe most) eating cycle(s) only makes for another round of almost no energy, so one is driven to find energy, and this cycle just keeps happening over and over.


Total trivia aside: for the last 20 years of my being huge, and the larger I got, one sort of odd thing is real noticeable: my BRAIN has energy (although it's "fogged" a bit with gluten present) when the rest of my body doesn't. I can sit as still as someone in a coma for 12 hours, until the need to pee makes me move (everything 'cracks' when I do!), it is almost surreal how little energy I can expend physically unless I am eating gluten-free low-carb and ENOUGH (80g++) protein. I barely BREATHE; my oxygen is incredibly low during those times; I don't just have sleep apnea, it's more like apnea, period -- I started getting that way as a young teen, my boyfriend used to comment when I was 16 on how my breathing got so shallow I eventually just wasn't breathing at all for awhile. I attributed it years later to emotional issues (not wanting to 'feel') but maybe it was instead -- or related to that -- the beginning of my version of metabolic syndrome and energy access slowing down/reducing. Anyway, but even when my body has absolutely no energy, my brain has always been extremely active. I don't know how to explain this so let's just leave it at that.
This leads however to a second thought: if my brain is used to taking nearly all the available energy--so it survives, while the body atrophies in some respects (low oxygen has SO many horrible effects on every cell of the body...) because it hasn't enough energy left over.

I am highly 'functional' so am not, haven't been, and likely never will be, classified as anything like bi-polar. However, I have what I call 'upcycles' and 'downcycles'. They are semi-cyclical but not totally predictable. I do not have 'un-functional' behaviors like people who tend to get medicated for this. In my downcycles I really just feel like reading or listening to music or sleeping (escape and low-energy) and I tend to sort of "trance out".

In my upcycles I am totally wired, I sleep maybe 3 hours a night and sometimes just skip sleep the first day, I invent stuff and create stuff and feel incredibly positive and optimistic and THINK so fast that ordinary conversation drives me nuts because people are so SLOW. However, in both cases, I'm behaving "within the spectrum of assumed normality" (my upcycles less so, probably) so mostly, in my life, the result is that what I don't get done during the downcycle, gets taken care of plus more in the upcycle, and in the end people just think I'm creative and accomplish a lot. They only see the "averaged end result" not the very variable-energy process.

I'm getting to the point I swear. This just seems like a niggling thing to pay attention to, it's bugging me like I should notice it. I have (without lots of protein and lowcarb) almost no energy, and I mean that in a rather profound, barely-breathing, coma-stillness kind of way that you'd probably need to be my size to grok. But my brain has energy (most of the time at least...) even then. But there are cycles when my brain -- *not my body so much, just my brain, with a little bit of spillover to my body like in insomnia* -- seems hyper-energetic, versus hypo-energetic.

What if over the course of time, due to this toxic then immune then energy-partitioned-in-favor-of-brain model, maybe eventually the brain starts taking nearly all the available energy. Unlike the "normal" scenario of healthy life, it's not that there is a bunch of energy and it feeds the whole body varyingly as needed. Instead, there's a tiny bit of energy, and the brain has first dibs on 92% of it, the max quantity it can grab for whatever reason (maybe this varies).

Now say that due to a shift in eating or stomach microbes or whatever, you don't even notice you end up for a day or two lower in insulin and higher in protein or fats, or lower in calories (energy), or maybe this has a 1-3 day average or lag time. And so all the sudden, the brain is deprived of some of its needed, used-to-having quantity of energy. In a healthy person, there would be enough energy, and if there wasn't, the brain would just take from the body portion, no problem. But in this case there isn't enough body portion of energy for the brain to add to its own % and come up with 'enough'. So maybe at that point the brain is having an energy crash and you get people in my case trancing out, doing anything to "not have to think much" -- and in some people's more extreme cases, you get people so depressed they can only lay in the dark, or cry.

Conversely, say that due to a shift in eating you don't even notice, stomach microbes, whatever, you end up for a day or two much HIGHER in resultant-energy. Maybe due to the 'habit' or established reaction caused by the ongoing energy problems, the brain takes its normal 92% of that far greater pool (or the body "only takes 8%") -- even though that is actually *too much* stimulus-energy for the brain. So you get people having euphoria, insomnia, inspiration, really high creativity and intellectual work, operating far too fast, so they come off as "manic" etc.

That is a totally separate line of wild speculation. I'm done with that now...

Possibly, without any shift in immune response, it could sometimes just be that a response is flight-via-fat-storage, but the repeated, massive overdosing of insulin and free radicals and more, actually has damaged the organs severely enough that eventually the immune 'defense' system can't compete and disease happens.

Or (more theory) the immune response might shift. Maybe the body instead of stuffing yet more crap into adipose cells, simply reaches a point where it is no longer able to handle the "flight" reaction, because the growth of fat% has put the body so far out of the genetic map of how that creature (person) should grow and not-grow or what size they should or even 'can' be, that the body has to do something else. At which point 'flight' no longer works, like a breaker switch flips, and the immune system has to shift to 'freeze' and they get disease, or 'fight' and they get the kind of illness that is not so much a disease like cancer as a disease like a syndrome, like RA and CF and IBS etc.

But the 'flight' response might often come first for some genetic lines, and have varying degrees of potential before the genetic 'body map' kicks the breaker for the creature growing too large -- which might explain why obesity is so 'correlated' with disease. It is not ONLY that the same thing is at the first point of all of them (toxic food); but it's that obesity as an immune response may have a spectrum of genetically-set limit on it, so it wouldn't at all be uncommon to see that at varying levels -- from 30# to 500# of overweight -- a shift happens and the person ends up with disease or disorder (one of the other immune reactions instead of flight). (This part I did not think up; it is "implied" by the existing idea that fat might be "protective" in some way.)

So sure, it would totally be "more common" that if you were obese, you were "more likely" to get a disease, since the chance that you are in that tiny segment of the "far side of the spectrum population" -- whose genetic maps don't seem to have the limit on size/storage and so they can grow to 800# or something -- are very slim compared to the chance that at some point, if you don't stop the stuff that is hurting you (and hence making you fat(ter)), it's going to shift into something more socially acceptable but probably more terminal.

So in this theory/model/framework, maybe the real problem is that we are trying to classify symptoms as 1001 different things and figure out what causes each of them. Meanwhile on the other side there are some scientists/doctors who seem to suspect already that the same thing causes all of them (chronic food toxicity). But maybe the confusingly missing part in the middle is that every condition, disease and disorder, from skin rashes to chronic fatigue to cancer to anorexia nervosa to obesity, ALL of them are actually just one of the three "immune system reactions", acting at various points on the spectrum, acting in a path perhaps determined by genetics.

I know, this was boring, but I had to get it on paper. Then I can look back at this and laugh hahaha what was I thinking someday. But if I don't write it down, even when this thunderstorm ends I still might not be able to sleep. I feel better now. Thanks for suffering with me. :-)


Tuesday, April 6

Teenage Low-Carb

I'm going to be posting, over the next week, a several-post series summarizing what I have learned, experienced, still struggle with, and have accomplished, in regards to my 13 year old daughter and our whole-foods, gluten-free, low-carb lifestyle.

Basically, a sort of bullet point and narrative summary of our ongoing attempt to improve nutrition, feel better, and reduce body fat, but specific to the issues that relate to her.

If there are any specific questions feel welcome to post 'em in the comments section and I'll include that topic in the posts.

More soon!


Saturday, March 20

VLC, Hyper-Nutrient, and Mysteries

Well my first thought is, "I haven't posted on this blog in nearly six months!" Holy cats! How time flies! I didn't realize. I've lived and worked 'on the internet' for 15 years and I swear it has really mucked about with my 'time-sense'.

I've been working nearly like an ancient egyptian slave for a long time, so my time for anything else has been super limited. Also though, I have gone off and on "serious" LC -- and had not yet fully implemented my 'hypernutrient' approach which I wanted to have some follow up to next time I posted on this blog.

Today is day 5 on a return to more officially-sane eating. (Usually, my eating is LC by default. It's just that in some periods, there is other HC stuff too. When I go official, anything HC is totally out.) This is the first time I've gotten to my "Hyper-nutrient" approach.

It's like ten handfuls of big pills. I do ok swallowing pills but this really pushes my limits! That is every other day. On the alternate days I take only a few of the supplements: a liquid multi (NOW brand), and dropper-bottle under-tongue doses of B-12 (NOW), and two different blue-green algaes (Klamath). I try to "think to" my body, "OK, I'm sending you a ton of elements. Pick what you want out of all these, flush the rest." I actually thought that taking this much stuff at once (always just after eating) would result in digestive surprise of some sort, but it doesn't.

I feel more clear-headed and energetic than I have in a LONG time. I noticed it pointedly on day 2.5, and more each day since. Last night I did more stuff around the house than I have in eons, re-read a book on weight lifting, just felt a lot more proactive. Today I did a lot more house stuff, including some hard muscle scrubbing of the stove and various parts of the kitchen, we did prep cooking and then made a quiche, I did a slow lift of really light (5#) weights, sitting on the incline bench, nearly every arm/shoulder push/pull exercise I could remember, just to remind my body what it was like. If my energy keeps increasing like this, I'll be working out for real again by mid next week.

This is an anomaly, though. There's something mysterious going on. To recap:

About 3 years ago, VLC (that means >30 carbs a day), which I love eating and had lost a whole lot of weight on, suddenly quit working for me. I mean I seriously felt like crap eating that way, which I couldn't understand as it hadn't been that way before. The "feeling bad" was different than my ordinary "lack of energy." Normally, if I'm not eating 85+g protein daily, I have little energy. (Any decent amount of grains/fructose/lactose make it worse.)

I don't think people realize just how sedentary someone my size can be. I don't just mean "I don't do the dishes or exercise," I mean literally you'd probably need to be in a coma to be any more "still" -- not using any more energy than sleep probably -- than I can be for really long periods of time, comfortably. It's part of the same health issue that causes the food to store its energy as fat and not give it back to you as energy. But that is not like the 'exhaustion' of an illness, and it is not like being sleepy. I have a LOT of "mental energy" -- more than most people I suspect -- just none for the rest of the body (I think maybe my brain grabs everything available!).

But the feeling bad on VLC was more like, feeling seemingly like normal people, plenty of energy, and then at some point in the day -- alas sometimes morning -- it was like I would "hit a wall" and suddenly understand perfectly that "my battery was on zero%" and that's it. I mean there were times I was doing something -- lifting weights, doing dishes, whatever -- and I literally stopped in the middle of a motion, dropped what I was doing and walked away and sat or laid down. The "sudden" zero-energy was like being hit with something, I'd never experienced anything like that before. And after a few days, it seemed to translate into an overall feeling utterly crappy that I just couldn't stand. So I would eat some carbs -- and feel better.

But every time I would up carbs, it had the same effect that my attempts at carb cycling had: it sent me completely offplan. I simply quit caring about lowcarb almost immediately. So I tried to break it down into a specific food. Just berries. Just beans. Just a little bread. Whatever. And one by one, determined that there wasn't ANY food that would raise my carbs to 50-60 daily (that i liked) without seeming to just change my whole chemistry, food preference, etc.

After 3 years of this, and spending more time off LC than on as a result, I have theory#1, that it is not necessarily a given food triggering me; it's just having over a certain (unspecific) number of carbs for more than one day in a row is all.

But now for the Annoyingly Contradictory Facts, there are two carb-foods that I can eat without it throwing me off-plan. Beans, which we ate in stews, and corn tortillas, which we fry in OrgNonHyd Palm shortening. The problem with the beans is it is so easy to overcarb, in fact we almost can't help it just by decent serving size, and it makes any weight loss whatever come to a stop. The problem with the corn tortillas (check for gluten in the ingredients, they vary) is that they're like 10 carbs each, so I tend to get too many carbs and not enough protein when I eat them. I still do on occasion but we are working on limiting that.

We had to put a moratorium on peanut butter in the house. Both of us, if we touch the stuff, become obsessed with it and it seems to be a very 'small' almost-trigger of carb-desire. I was never that crazy about peanut butter until I went low carb, go figure.

As usual, I have the predictable effect of getting my protein up to 85+g/day (preferably about 100-120g/day) for several days running. First I have tons of "fidget energy". Then I want to get up and cook more and get up and make coffee more and little things like that. Then I start cleaning more (I have a housekeeper so don't normally), little obvious things like the dishes. Then all the sudden, it's like my environment springs into view. I walk into the kitchen and think, good grief that spice shelf, those cupboards, the fridge, that must get cleaning! I walk into the living room and think the same thing about the big built-in bookcase and the carpet and everything else. I told some friends that the last time I was decent on protein for an extended period, I ended up like some unholy union of Tim Allen and Martha Stewart, with house and yard and garden projects all over the place. There is something amusing about the fact that when I finally get enough protein for awhile, that instantly becomes my focus. I'm a rather practical and proactive sort by nature, it's just that usually I haven't the energy to do anything about it whatever, unless it's something I can do sitting motionless at the computer. Crank up the protein, which I have a simply horrible time keeping decently high most days even after years, and everything changes.

OK so now for the anomaly. This issue with "feeling like crap if I eat VLC" has gone on for three years. Three years! That's a long and consistent time.

But 5 days ago we went VLC because I wanted my (13 year old) daughter to do this for awhile. She has been consistently losing weight on the "mostly except occasionally" low-carb that we've been eating for quite some time, but verrrrrry slowly. I wanted to bring it back to only-basics and see if we could do something better for her speed of weight loss. Or to correct that, size-loss: she hasn't lost a single pound on the scale although she has lost at least two shirt sizes and her pants fit very differently. I had intended to add in some other foods for me, to up my own carbs; I bought avocados partly for that purpose that I'm ripening. But then I ended up working very long hours and just not getting around to it.

And then I realized that by now I should feel hideous but actually, I feel really good. After 3 years, suddenly I can eat VLC again and it works for me? Really?! What the heck!

Could it be all the supplementation? That is the one thing that has changed. I don't have any easy way to parse out what element of supplementation might be responsible, unless it's just a synergy of some kind.

I've had a lot of people tell me they were the same way. They ate VLC, felt great, lost weight, then at some point just could not do VLC at all without feeling like crap. But if they increased their carbs they felt ok again. Maybe not good but ok. Mostly women have told me that. So I know that wasn't just me, I wasn't just spontaneously imagining it, and heck, not for 3 years!

And yet spontaneously after 3 years it suddenly doesn't work that way anymore. Suddenly VLC feels just fabulous again, I'm losing the initial water weight at decent speed, I am vastly more energetic and optimistic than I am off low-carb of course, like everything is back to the way it used to be. I'm utterly baffled.

Could it just be time? Like the body needs some period of recovery after losing a lot of weight really fast? And in my case that's a *really* long time? I've eaten back and forth from LC to HC for the last 3 years. (As a result my weight has gone from 356-405 about 8 times in that period. I don't really take it that seriously, since 20+ of that is water weight anyway.)

Or is it the nutrient supplementation?

Or -- this is hilarious -- could it be that the huge quantity of supplements, all added together, plus the liquids, simply kick my carb intake every other day up 20-40 carbs? So in a way I'm getting more carbs but I'm not having to a eat a likely-triggering food for it?

It's a mystery. I don't know, but I'm happy about it!