desperately seeking restart help

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anne from california
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desperately seeking restart help

Postby anne from california » Sat Feb 03, 2018 11:23 am

Hi everybody, I am having a heck of a time restarting with some good dietary practices, and I believe I need some specific recommendations for transitioning from SAD to keto 12/3. I was doing great back in November and early December, and I don't recall any big transition issues, but since falling off (holidays), getting back to good habits with food has smacked me against the wall every time. I keep trying to get back on the horse, but getting bucked off by: nausea or hunger or light-headedness or dizziness or migraine--or some combination of all of those symptoms. I've cronometered my intake and my calories are high enough overall, actually too high if I were to want to lose weight, but I feel like I'm having to constantly stoke the fire to stave off the above symptoms, and I'm not successful unless I just throw in the towel and start the day with cheese toast and coffee with half and half and sugar and keep going like that all day! So it's an ugly circle. I can't quit the bad stuff because I can't quit the bad stuff. Recent attempts to get back on went like this:

After 12 or so hour fast:
Breakfast:
16oz smoothie with 1 tbsp hemp seeds, 10 macadamia nuts, cup or so of raw spinach, cup of wild blueberries, maybe half a tbsp of MCT (keep in mind that too many hemp seeds might cause nausea for me, and MCT is guessy as well)

Hungry within an hour of finishing. So then: 1/4 cup walnuts and a small square of 88% dark chocolate, and 1 small cup coffee with half and half. Holds me over for about 30 minutes.

Lunch:
Salad of romaine, arugula, cabbage, carrots, avocado, olives, pepitas, chicken with lemon squeeze and a tablespoon or so of evoo

Within an hour or two of the salad, I'm light-headed and back into the nuts and dark chocolate, looking for anything to stoke the fire. Ruined by 3 or 4 o'clock, willing to eat anything to try and stave off the symptoms.

On a different day, after 12 or so hour fast:
Breakfast:
Omelet with 2 pastured eggs and spinach cooked in ghee with a little swiss cheese (can't do eggs without cheese yet)
Pile of arugula with evoo drizzled over
1 small cup coffee with half and half

Within 30 minutes of eating the eggs--sometimes even WHILE I'm eating the eggs--stomach feels empty, head feels light. So . . . 1/4 cup walnuts with small square 88% dark chocolate--helps for about half an hour.

Lunch salad the same, but even earlier because I'm desperately stoking the fire. Sometimes having grass-fed ground beef with my salad gives me a little more time before I'm clawing through my drawer for food in the afternoon.

I usually fall off by late afternoon, overdone on nuts and vegetables, and hit the bagels or a cookie or a peanut butter cup . . . I can get back on for dinner, which is often chicken, wild salmon or gf beef with a veggie (broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, etc.), salad greens, and a sweet potato, for example. Maybe a half glass of wine.

Yesterday morning I did the smoothie, and finished it as I was heading into a classroom for three hours where there are kids with nut allergies and a table full of crappy packaged snacks. Less than 15 minutes after arriving, I felt starving and light-headed. I went out to my car and ate a handful of walnuts and a tangerine, and that helped for another 15 minutes (while I hoped my walnut breath didn't ignite anyone's nut allergy!). Ultimately, I ate two small bags of Pirate's Booty, and still had a migraine the rest of the day (which could only be killed with Advil AND Tylenol--good grief). I ended up throwing in the towel completely and having a turkey/bacon sandwich and a cookie for lunch, and pasta for dinner--like I had to catch up on carbs or sugar or calories or something.

Sorry so long. Obviously, I need some help! :)
57 years old, ApoE 3/3, mother and grandmother have/had late-onset dementia, eager to save brain and optimize health.
Thank you all for sharing your knowledge!

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Re: desperately seeking restart help

Postby slacker » Sat Feb 03, 2018 11:49 am

How frustrating! What is different about what you were eating late last year (before the holidays), and what you are eating now? What are your macronutrient percentages now per Chronometer? Are you getting enough calories for your activity level?

For starters, I wonder if the smoothie breakfast is not giving you enough fat and/or calories to last very long. A cup of blueberries may be causing a glucose spike and drop. Have you tested your blood glucose 1 and 2 hours after you eat?

PS. What is Pirate's Booty? 8-)
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Re: desperately seeking restart help

Postby Jan » Sat Feb 03, 2018 11:57 am

I agree about the possible glucose spikes, and I wonder if more protein in the morning might help?
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anne from california
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Re: desperately seeking restart help

Postby anne from california » Sat Feb 03, 2018 12:38 pm

slacker wrote:How frustrating! What is different about what you were eating late last year (before the holidays), and what you are eating now? What are your macronutrient percentages now per Chronometer? Are you getting enough calories for your activity level?

For starters, I wonder if the smoothie breakfast is not giving you enough fat and/or calories to last very long. A cup of blueberries may be causing a glucose spike and drop. Have you tested your blood glucose 1 and 2 hours after you eat?

PS. What is Pirate's Booty? 8-)



Pirate's Booty: "Aged White Cheddar Rice and Corn Puffs"--pseudo-healthy snack foods made of uber-processed organic corn and rice pressed into tubes and dusted with gross powdered white cheddar. Evil in a crinkly bag! (But likely a blood sugar lifter.)

Nothing I've tried doing here is that different from last November/early December, when I first started keto 12/3. I was eating more beans, maybe? (But those are guessy for me--they often make me feel like I've swallowed a bunch of air and I don't love the texture of them.) I am pretty religious about doing my 40-minute walk before I eat in the morning, and wasn't quite there yet back then.

I could see where the blueberries in the smoothie might be creating a blood sugar situation, but the eggs! I thought the eggs would be my savior, and it's actually often been worse on those days.

I have not done any self-testing, either for glucose or ketone levels. I did have some fasting lab work done while I was doing well on keto 12/3, and my glucose was flagged as low at 60.

With my cronometer settings at 14P 18C 68F, I'm maxed on protein and carbs by after lunch, and at about 70% for fat. I'm 5 foot 6, 125 pounds, with a menopausal spare tire I'd love to lose even though my weight is fine. I gained 10 pounds in recent years with menopause, so my lifelong normal weight was low. I wonder if my metabolism might be partly to blame here.
57 years old, ApoE 3/3, mother and grandmother have/had late-onset dementia, eager to save brain and optimize health.
Thank you all for sharing your knowledge!

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Re: desperately seeking restart help

Postby SusanJ » Sat Feb 03, 2018 1:46 pm

Hi Anne, your comment about the beans might be a clue. You might need to get more fibrous veggies/foods on your plate to slow down your digestion. Smoothies are notorious for not lasting long, because you've essentially broken down the ingredients to some degree and there just isn't as much for your system to work on. So blood sugar spikes, then crashes. It sounds like hypoglycemia. Seems like it would be good to monitor your blood sugar over the two hours after you eat.

I'd personally ditch the smoothie and maybe eat the nut, seed and berry ingredients whole - put them in a bowl and cover with a little almond or coconut milk. Here's a "super food cereal" recipe I found online and modified a bit:

½ oz. raw cacao nibs
½ oz. unsweetened coconut flakes
½ oz. sliced almonds
¼ oz. chia seeds
¼ oz. hemp seeds (I usually use slightly ground flax)
1 oz. blueberries
unsweetened almond milk

Place cereal bowl on scale and measure out ingredients except for blueberries. Add almond milk and let sit for 5 minutes to thicken a bit (I usually make it before I go take a shower). Top with blueberries.

Another clue is "nausea or hunger or light-headedness or dizziness or migraine". You might also be somewhat histamine intolerant, especially with some of the foods you've listed: spinach, eggs, chocolate. It's like a bucket, you might be able to eat one item per day, but mix them together over a day or several days, the histamine bucket overflows, and you get a migraine or light-headedness (too much histamine tanks your blood pressure). You might search for histamine, mast cell disorders on the site. We've had a number of discussions around this. If you've had GI issues, histamine issues do seem to resolve when gut health improves. Do you take probiotics or eat any fermented foods?

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Re: desperately seeking restart help

Postby Julie G » Sat Feb 03, 2018 3:06 pm

Susan, you need to add that "cereal" recipe to our thread- YUM.

Anne, my friend, I think slacker has hit the nail on the head. I've been there and recognize a fellow sister on the glucose roller coaster express. Your CHRON-O-meter settings suggest that you should be making endogenous ketones... but given your symptoms, I suspect that you're not. I agree that checking BG/ketones should be your next step. There are two that I recommend: Precision Xtra or the KetoMojo kit. The latter has very inexpensive ketone strips that are readily available. I use the former and have to search hard for deals. It would be a good idea to start checking fasting morning BG. If you're above 90, I would recommend 1 & 2 hour post-prandial checks after each meal to help you pinpoint the foods that are giving you the spikes.

My guess is that your food choices/timing may be a part of the issue. A whole cup of blueberries at breakfast will provide a blood sugar spike, followed by a precipitous low that's causing you to eat too often... searching for stability. Additionally, you seem to be eating unsubstantial meals that aren't satiating. Combining a longer fast, with high fat foods (while concurrently limiting foods high on the glycemic scale) and exercise will help your body ultimately make that metabolic shift from running on glucose to burning your own fat. If the hunger signal is too strong and you're very uncomfortable, Dr. B would recommend MCT as a short-term transitional crutch. This will supply immediate exogenous fuel to your brain and body that (unfortunately) is also relatively short-lived. MCT capsules might be helpful. The goal, obviously, is to get your body to endogenously create KBs on it's own.

Because you're having breakfast after a 12 hour fast, followed by a snack, I'm guessing that you're having trouble with a longer fast. As you know the goal for E4 carriers is 16 hours. If you can't (no worries- I couldn't at your stage) TRY to extend your fast as long as possible. If you have to stop prematurely, chose foods high in fats, such as a half of a small avocado or a small handful of nuts to help tip you into ketosis.

I'm also wondering about hormonal issues. What is your current stress situation? High cortisol can play havoc with metabolism. Remind me of your hormonal status. Are you using bHRT? I ask as estrogen appears to help carry glucose to the brain. A precipitous drop can exacerbate the neuronal fuel shortfall that E4 carriers already exhibit, naturally worsened with age and insulin resistance.

You've achieved metabolic stability before. I know you'll sort it out again. Keep us posted on your journey. -xo

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Re: desperately seeking restart help

Postby SusanJ » Sat Feb 03, 2018 5:51 pm

Julie G wrote:Susan, you need to add that "cereal" recipe to our thread- YUM.


Done.

anne from california
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Re: desperately seeking restart help

Postby anne from california » Sat Feb 03, 2018 6:41 pm

Julie G wrote:I'm also wondering about hormonal issues. What is your current stress situation? High cortisol can play havoc with metabolism. Remind me of your hormonal status. Are you using bHRT? I ask as estrogen appears to help carry glucose to the brain. A precipitous drop can exacerbate the neuronal fuel shortfall that E4 carriers already exhibit, naturally worsened with age and insulin resistance.


Thank you, Julie and Susan! That "cereal" recipe does look good, and I've got all the parts on hand except the cacao nibs. I'm also on the lookout for a nut milk bag. So OVER dealing with cheesecloth, and I hate commercially prepared almond milks with all the additives.

Julie, my hormone situation is actually something that has changed since my Nov/Dec successes. I'm on a .050 estradiol patch now, and doing 100 mg of progesterone each night. Sleeping MUCH better. Maybe had some difficulty adjusting to the .050 level on the patch (increasing from .025 coincided with a weird week of nausea). Because the hormone situation seems to be working well enough, I'm hoping to leave that stable till I see Dr. Hathaway (for the first time!) in mid-April and get some actual labs.

Stress is okay at the moment, although meditation is always on my to-do list (that sounds like an oxymoron, doesn't it?) and never gets the priority it deserves.

The histamine possibility is interesting to me. I've never been an allergic person, but I come from allergic people--and have helped produce one. My mom, sis and maternal aunt all get hives, and my sis has a terrible problem with migraines. My daughter gets hives. I get an occasional migraine (sometimes w/aura), but since menopause, it's really rare and it's usually related to going too long without eating.

I love the cereal idea, and would LOVE more quickie breakfast/first meal ideas. Will search the forums. So much great info here.
57 years old, ApoE 3/3, mother and grandmother have/had late-onset dementia, eager to save brain and optimize health.
Thank you all for sharing your knowledge!

anne from california
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Re: desperately seeking restart help

Postby anne from california » Sun Feb 04, 2018 12:25 pm

SusanJ wrote:
I'd personally ditch the smoothie and maybe eat the nut, seed and berry ingredients whole - put them in a bowl and cover with a little almond or coconut milk. Here's a "super food cereal" recipe I found online and modified a bit:

½ oz. raw cacao nibs
½ oz. unsweetened coconut flakes
½ oz. sliced almonds
¼ oz. chia seeds
¼ oz. hemp seeds (I usually use slightly ground flax)
1 oz. blueberries
unsweetened almond milk

Place cereal bowl on scale and measure out ingredients except for blueberries. Add almond milk and let sit for 5 minutes to thicken a bit (I usually make it before I go take a shower). Top with blueberries.



Susan, I'm eating the cereal. At first, I looked in the bowl and thought, "This isn't very much. I'll be hungry again in five minutes." But I've been chewing and chewing and chewing, and it seems to be filling me up nicely--and evenly. I don't have a scale, but I looked up the ingredients and converted them to tablespoon units, and I've got a nice little bowl of nutrition here. My blueberries were frozen, so I let them sit, too, so it's all very purple! I also found some (expensive!) organic almond milk last night at Whole Foods that I actually like, and it's pretty barebones: the only gum is acacia. Otherwise it's just almonds, water and sea salt. Called New Barn. I'll still be making my own most of the time, but it's good to have a store-bought option that I can actually stand.
57 years old, ApoE 3/3, mother and grandmother have/had late-onset dementia, eager to save brain and optimize health.
Thank you all for sharing your knowledge!

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Re: desperately seeking restart help

Postby Julie G » Sun Feb 04, 2018 12:43 pm

Stress is okay at the moment, although meditation is always on my to-do list (that sounds like an oxymoron, doesn't it?) and never gets the priority it deserves.
Lol, you and me both... WIP ;)
Julie, my hormone situation is actually something that has changed since my Nov/Dec successes. I'm on a .050 estradiol patch now, and doing 100 mg of progesterone each night. Sleeping MUCH better. Maybe had some difficulty adjusting to the .050 level on the patch (increasing from .025 coincided with a weird week of nausea). Because the hormone situation seems to be working well enough, I'm hoping to leave that stable till I see Dr. Hathaway (for the first time!) in mid-April and get some actual labs.

Yay on the sleep! Since the hormone increase coincides with your other symptoms, I wonder if there's something there. I remember when I first began using bHRT, I felt really strange at first, bloated and my breasts were really tender. That stage passed and a much greater sense of fuel stability and calmness eventually emerged. I wonder if you're just adjusting to the changes?
Susan, I'm eating the cereal. At first, I looked in the bowl and thought, "This isn't very much. I'll be hungry again in five minutes." But I've been chewing and chewing and chewing, and it seems to be filling me up nicely--and evenly.

I'm so happy that Susan's cereal worked. I plan to try it too. Thanks for adding to our collection, Susan!


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