October 30, 2007

Could Gluten Intolerance be Affecting Your Health and Weight Loss???

I had a very dramatic reaction the other day to a teaspoon of vital wheat gluten that I added to my 1-minute flax-soy muffin to see if I could get it to raise better. It did raise better, by the way, but it also helped to raise another issue. That of gluten intolerance.

As many of you know, I've been searching for awhile now for the fundamental principle behind the success of the Kimkins diet. "Something" makes it work extremely well, even among those who didn't choose to take it to Kimmer's extreme, and I'm not buying the idea that it "totally" has to do with starvation. So I've been experimenting with the different dietary components --fat, calories, and protein -- that go to make up the Kimkins diet. With the results not being consistent.

But the other day while trying to improve on the 1-minute nuked flaxmeal muffin, by first baking it, rather than nuking it, then adding soy in combination with the flax, and lastly adding in a teaspoon of gluten to help it raise better -- I MIGHT have stumbled upon the answer I've been seeking elsewhere.

Now I didn't look closely at the 20 full carbs allowed daily in that diet, because it was close enough to low carb principles in general, that it didn't feel all that off. Except for the fact, that many individuals need more than that, in order for the body to run efficiently. But this gluten thing, really "seems" to center into the heart of the matter. Because WHAT was the Atkins diet originally about? Not only ridding our bodies of carbs, but the type of carbs that cause ill health. And gluten certainly fits into that category.

Now HOW did Kimkins accomplish this? She outlawed "all" low-carb products, and counseled her followers to cut drastically back on condiments, especially fatty ones, sauces, and other frills. Things that are generally loaded with gluten by manufacturers. Then suggested that we eat as plainly and simply as possible in order to reap the fastest loss.

Now "her" mindset was one of lower calories, but maybe that's NOT what made it work so well. Maybe it was because she unknowingly/ignorantly took everyone who entered into her rules and regulations off all of the gluten that is as prevalent in our American Society as high-fructose corn syrup is. Maybe it was an allergy/sensitivity issue and not a calorie-fat issue at all.

Years ago, before low-carb products were born, the Atkins diet was basically a simple diet. You started off with meat, poultry, fish, eggs, a few "teaspoons" of cream, a bit of age cheese, and a couple of cups of salad veggies. That's it. No gluten anywhere to be found EXCEPT "perhaps" in your bottled prepared salad dressing, (which includes mayo), if you didn't want to go to the trouble of making it out of oil and vinegar yourself as Dr. Atkins suggested.

The next week you got cottage cheese added to the list. Now, I don't know about other brands, because I haven't looked at them in this regard, but the Walmart brand is clearly marked GLUTEN FREE in large capital letters at the bottom of the allergy alert for milk and fish. The next week you got 1/2 cup cooked veggies. Preferably fresh, steamed. Followed by an ounce of nuts the following week, then fresh strawberries or other berries with a bit of whipped cream the week after.

So all-in-all, the OLD Atkins diet (especially if you followed Dr. Atkins instructions completely) was pretty much clean of the gluten and wheat that it isn't so free of today. Especially if you're aren't "aware" of all of the places that gluten and wheat can hide in the thousands of processed foods made today. Places like NATURAL FOOD FLAVORING, MALT, SOY SAUCE, STABILIZER, EMULSIFIER, HYDROLYZED PLANT PROTEIN, and a host of others. Even tucked away in what we generally consider "safe" low carb foods like sour cream and cream cheese, or possible plant contamination of carb controlled yogurt.

So if you're having trouble losing weight, if you don't FEEL as good as you think you should on your low carb diet, or if you don't feel as well as you used to feel, do a little research on gluten intolerance and celiac disease, and see if maybe your own diet is far less "clean" from allergens than you currently believe. Because I, for one, was completely shocked to see just how much gluten I was getting in my daily diet. A diet I THOUGHT was pretty simple, plain, and basic.

But it wasn't.

October 25, 2007

Dieting Fatigue No 1 Reason Why Dieters Quit

Dr. Mike Eades hasn't posted in quite a few days, so I decided to take a look at one of the special interest links he had posted at the bottom of his Protein Power diet page. It was a Medical News Today article on a survey About.com Heath and InsightExpress did early on last month in regards to diets. Their successes or failures as reported by the dieters themselves. The article simply reported the facts, much the same as About.com did in their own article.

The most interesting aspect of the statistics is the fact that the greater majority of dieters (those who took the time to fill out the survey and submit it, at least), named Diet Fatigue as the number one reason for them going off of their diet. Now some of these folks were habitual dieters, so this fatigue was a normal pattern for them, going "on" and "off" of a diet as soon as they couldn't withstand the deprivation and restrictions any longer. Then going on another one as soon as a new trendy diet surfaced.

But what really caught my attention was the fact that they had only lost on the average of 5 to 9 pounds on their previous diet. Not very much weight at all before the dieting fatigue set in. So we're also talking about lots of folks who either can't overcome their emotional eating tendencies, their need to lean on strictly rigid, rule-driven diets, or they aren't really committed to losing the weight over the long haul. Probably out of a serious misunderstanding that diets are well...temporary. Because the second major reason for going off of their diet was the fact that they didn't get to eat enough of the foods they enjoy the most.

Now, the disturbing thing was that the number one diet these folks had tried throughout their lifetimes (and some of these guys have gone on as many as 20 diets), was Weight Watchers, with the Atkins diet coming in at a close second. So even though we all know that low-calorie, low-fat diets like Weight Watchers are a heck of a way to live over the long term, low-carb dieting isn't doing any better statistic wise -- at least among those willing to admit to their dieting past in that survey.

Which for us low carb supporters, and enthusiasts, raises some serious concerns.

Are folks in general, (there was only a 40% success rate among these lifetime dieters, slightly less than the success rates for quitting smoking these days) really not capable of overcoming the reasons "why" they eat when stressed or not hungry, or do they just not realize that it is necessary to CHANGE, in order to be successful at permanent weight loss? Do they really believe they can eat what they have always eaten, and still arrive at, as well as achieve permanent weight loss?

Since neither article sought to find any conclusions or interpretations in accordance with the data received, those questions weren't raised. But I think they are valid ones. Because most of us that travel the dieting blog circuit, as well as visit the various low carb egroups and discussion boards, (at least, I hope so), DO understand that permanency totally depends on making our diet of choice a lifestyle, rather than a diet. And that if we can't give up the foods we love, if we can't switch from worthless junk to a new healthier way of eating, then we are not yet ready to enter the path.

Because while Ketosis itself is certainly a magic bullet in regards to hunger and cravings, we're talking physical hunger and cravings. Not emotional ones.

Now further statistics of interest were how many of these folks continued in their emotional, self-destructive behavoirs. Even on low carb diets. With 68% of them continuing to eat even after they were full. And 55% eating whether they were hungry or not. However, the most notable recognition by these folks was the fact that 43% of them had family or friends that were influencing their eating habits.

In general...our culture itself is a very hard habit to break. Especially when we tend to be so food-driven. From TV commercials to magazine ads, everything is about enticing us visually to eat. And when we don't comply, when we don't clean our plates, or when we refuse to eat something that isn't really good for us, we suddenly find ourselves the offender.

So I guess it's no wonder that so many people find themselves riding some type of dieting merry-go-round throughout their entire lives. WANTING to be at goal weight, and TRYING to get to goal weight, but finding themselves caught in either the web of food addiction, or the repeating trap of caring, loving friends and relatives who think we're starving ourselves when we don't eat the "white stuff" they offer us, for no good reason.

It also doesn't help that real nutritional knowledge is so lacking in our society. Because that pretty much places us low carbers in the minority when it comes to dietary advice. Most folks are soooo caught up in the low-fat, low-calorie mind-set, (you GOT to eat whole grains, you GOT to eat fruit), that they can't even "think" about the possibility of another way. Which is why those who do tend to stand their ground, DO what is required to keep their diets from becoming run-of-the-meal, and make the changes necessary to overcome their emotional tendencies in regards to food (or at least find safe outlets that don't interfere with weight loss and/or maintenance), find themselves on the road less traveled.

But as Robert Frost once said, for us, THAT has made all the difference...

October 16, 2007

Filling Your Plate with Color

I cruised by Good Housekeeping's web site earlier this morning, and they had an article posted there entitled: The Color of Health. The recommendation in that article was to eat 9 to 11 servings of fruits and veggies a day! That's approximately 4-1/2 to 5-1/2 cups worth. It listed all the different colors of fruits and veggies (greens, blues/purples, reds, whites/tans/browns, yellows/oranges) and listed what types of fruits and veggies are that color (for ideas), as well as the nutritional aspects of each category.

Fit right squarely into our low-carb lifestyle, of course.

But then I began clicking on some of the "related" articles, the pieces that dealt with Superfoods and Disease Fighting Foods, and discovered...that MOST of their recommendations 'also' fit squarely into our low-carb lifestyle. Foods like blueberries, cranberries, blackberries, strawberries, watermelon, yogurt, cheese, whole milk, dark green leafy veggies such as kale, broccoli, and chard, spinach, soy, fatty fishes like salmon and tuna, tomatoes (especially cooked), nuts, eggs, butter, peas, meats and poultry, plus oatmeal and other whole grains were all being tooted across several articles as SUPER FOODS that fight disease and keep us healthy.

Since we low carbers eat most of these foods already, "why" is low carbing such a frowned upon lifestyle?

Mostly Ignorance regarding the fats in our diets. Their true and proper place. That they don't actually "cause" or even "contribute" to heart disease as preached. But then, most low carbers are just as ignorant when it comes to fats. Low carbing isn't a license to DROWN ourselves in fats, just because they are "allowed." Nor is it a license to ignore the difference between good and bad fats, just because bad fats don't upset the low-carb Ketosis cart.

Dr. Atkins, in his 2002 edition of his diet, clearly stated which fats were allowed, irregardless of carb content. Butter, olive oil, mayo, and any oil that is liquid at room temperature. No hydrogenated fats, no trans fats (including margarine), with "cold-pressed" less refined oils and fats PREFERED. Now, I realize that these rules and suggestions are a bit outdated, with all of the research coming out about coconut oil and other saturated fats being good for us. About the unbalanced ratios of omega 6s to omega 3s.

But a lot of low-carb dieters eat far more trans fat and manipulated/damaged fats than they realize. Yet condemn those of us who have chosen to eat less fat overall than they would otherwise choose.

Just because a company 'claims' their product (even a low-carb product) doesn't contain trans fat, since that manufacturer didn't add it themselves, that doesn't make it true. Because whenever a heat-unstable fat is heated, trans fat and/or damaged fat results. Whenever a liquid oil is turned into a solid one, trans fat results. So refined oils, like the store-bought canola or corn oil, or even Crisco shortening that claims 0 trans fat now, isn't all that good for us.

Which means the TYPE of fat we use, matters just as much as the quantity. And could very well be "why" I did so much better healthwise on Kimkins, than I do on what I previous perceived Atkins to be. So go ahead and fill your plates up with color. Lots and lots of veggies and low-glycemic fruits. But dress that color up with GOOD fats: olive oil, butter, a "bit" of cream, cold pressed nut oils, unheated flax oil, coconut oil, etc. Just don't get carried away.

Results of my Re-72' Induction

Well, I've come to the end of the second week of my re-induction period, though I have to honestly say that I didn't remain true to the rules throughout.

The first week, I did great. I ate from only the foods listed as Week 1 in that first book, which totaled biologically zero carbs. And since Dr. Atkins doesn't talk about minimums in regards to just how much fat and how many calories you "should" be eating, like many Atkins' advocates do today, I stuck with what I know currently works for me: 1,000 calories, 60 grams of fat (plus salmon oil and omega 3 supplements in addition thereto), and 10 net carbs.

I did pretty good weight wise. Broke my stall. And happily watched as the scales began moving downwards again, to the tune of 2.6 pounds that week.

This past week was a bit harder for me. I don't exactly know why, except that a second week of only "one" medium basic salad on the menu (lettuce, radishes, cucumbers, and celery), even with full-fat Bacon Ranch Dressing was a bit more deprivation than I could handle. The result being slipping back into generalized Atkins, with higher fat and calories. Around 100 grams of fat and 1350 calories over this past weekend, which caused...as rightly deserved--another few days stall.

I did manage to lose another .6 pounds in the beginning of the week when I was being faithful to my chosen plan though--which brought my total for that 2-week Induction period to 3.2 pounds, as I weighed in Monday morning at 195.2. Just short of my next mini goal. Not bad overall, though, considering my original Induction on 2002 Atkins last January only resulted in a loss of 2 pounds. But not nearly as good as the last time I went on Atkins 72 Induction the first week in June (5.5 pounds). Course, I weighed quite a bit more then too.

Since Induction is now basically over, I'm moving my weigh-in day for this blog back to Friday where it belongs. That will result in fewer charts and way less math, with only one weekly weigh in for all of my groups. In the meantime, I've added back more veggies, upping my carb limit to 15 net carbs. But keeping the fat and calories the same for right now. The weekend showed me that I'm not yet ready to up those quite yet. At least, not as much as I did.

However, since I often have a protein shake in the morning before going to work, (which ranges from 4 to 7 net carbs depending upon whether or not I'm craving chocolate that day), as well as a couple of flaxmeal muffins for those good, healthy omega 3's, my carbs are "not yet" MOSTLY veggies, as advised. That is the direction I'm heading in first though, before I even think about raising my fats and/or calories. With the exception, that if veggies push my calories over the 1000 calorie limit, I won't sweat it.

October 09, 2007

What is Chili-Garlic Sauce?

In the comments section of my "Fiddling Around in the Kitchen" post, someone asked me, "What is Chili-Garlic Sauce?" Chili-Garlic Sauce is basically chilies, garlic, and vinegar. It can be found in the Oriental food section of any major supermarket.

You can find a picture of what the jar looks like under a "3-ingredient recipes" post in the "Recipe and Helps" section of Low Carb Friends here.

However, that isn't the only brand that makes it. There are other types as well that would work equally as good. Is it hot? VERY. So if you decide to make my recipe for Chili-Garlic Chicken (found under the link above), use it with a light touch until you find out how much is right for you. You can always add more spice, but if you get it too hot to begin with, there's no way to fix it. Other than making up another batch of the stuff and mixing the two recipes together. The amount in the recipe is what "I" use, but you might want more or less than that.

October 06, 2007

What's All The Fuss About Hair Loss???

I've been following the recent developments of the Kimkins controversy with sincere interest, because I'm curious to learn about the after-effects, as well as the "serious" health issues that come when one takes their daily calories and fat to such a severe level. I'm still waiting to hear about those things, but for now, the greater majority of the low carb community, plus KTTV, are centering their attention on hair loss.

The interesting thing about this symptom, which has been spoken of recently in terms of being one of the "horrors" of the Kimkins diet, and a sign of a BAD diet, is that any and all diets can cause this problem, as well as a great many other things like pregnancy, childbirth, birth control pills, emotional and physical stress, severe dandruff, surgery, genes, infections, yeast overgrowth, toxins, gastrointestinal problems, insufficient stomach acids, high levels of metals in the body, intestinal parasites, chemicals used for hair styling, illness, thyroid problems, auto-immune diseases, and age related hormonal changes.

With hormone imbalances be the "major" cause.

So what's all the fuss? Mostly because nutritional deficiencies of vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, and even water weaken the hair shafts, causing breakage and slow regrowth, as well as hair loss.

Now the truth is...that any type of dieting can cause hair loss episodes, since dieting itself tends to produce imbalances in hormones as well as physical, and sometimes even emotional stress on the body. But the diet in question is one that produces RAPID weight loss, which makes the problem of hair loss more common among those following that diet.

However, ANY program that produces dramatic, significant weight loss can at one time or another trigger hair loss. Especially if you have more than 20 or 30 pounds to lose. So this hair loss issue and problem "isn't" something new to low carb diets. It's just being treated as such.

ANYTHING that brings stress can trigger metabolic changes that can affect hair growth, even among those who are taking adequate supplementation. Things like allergies, yeast overgrowth issues and ailments, food sensitivities, the chemicals in processed foods, and sugar substitutes are just a few of the things that will "override" the benefits of vitamins and minerals when it comes to triggering hair loss. Stress wins out...plain and simple.

During times of stress, the body shuts down production of everything that is not necessary for survival, so it can devote all of its energy and resources towards tissue repair and essential functions. And the body doesn't consider hair an essential function to life.

The thing about hair loss is that it happens to everyone every single day. We just aren't always aware of it due to it's 3 phase cycle. The first phase is the growing phase, and generally last anywhere from 2 to 5 years. The second phase is the less-active phase which lasts about 6 weeks. The last phase is the final resting phase, lasting 3 to 5 months. After which, the hair falls out and new hair grows in. About 15% of your hair is in the resting phase at any given time, with hair loss averaging out to 50 to 100 hairs per day.

Now...EVERYONE sheds hair at the same rate. So it's the re-growth and replenishing of "new" hair, where we run into problems. This is where genetic programming and hereditary thinning and baldness comes into play. But the problems with Kimkins aren't really about that, except that a genetic predisposition in combination with fast, dramatic weight loss can trigger that hereditary eventuality to come forth early. So no matter "what" diet you are on, if you have a family history of age-related hair loss, you need to take a few precautions to help slow down that eventuality.

Abrupt changes in nutrition, especially a lack of protein, can interrupt the new hair growth cycle, as well as cause hair follicles in the growth phase to revert to the resting phase too soon. This can mean up to a 20-30% increase in the amount of hair lost per day. On the other hand, with all the hormones being used in animal production these days, excess animal products and even fat can also trigger hair loss due to hormonal imbalances.

The good news is that diet related hair loss is TEMPORARY. And generally lasts between 2 and 6 months. Once a person improves their nutrition, and/or stops doing the things "to" their hair that is weakening it, the hair generally grows back in. Be aware though, that in some people, this regrowth could take up to a year or more. The bad news is that it often takes about 3 months for hair loss to manifest itself, after the triggering event, so it can quite often be very difficult to pinpoint the exact problem.

So "what" do we need to stop doing "to" our hair? The main thing is to avoid chemical treatments of any kind. The chemical "in" our food as well as the chemical's we put "onto" our hair. Bleaching, coloring, hair sprays, permanents, blow dryers and hair stylers, all of these things weaken the hair and can trigger hair loss. But pulling on the hair can do the same thing. Pony tails, braids, anything that pulls the hair tight will aggravate the problem of hair loss.

So try to cut down on all of these things, if you can't cut them out completely.

Hair loss is a very "REAL" problem, no doubt about that. But it isn't anything that is "special" and "unique" to the Kimkins Diet. It is something that WE ALL should be concerned with, because all successful diets trigger hair loss, at one time or another, which means it can happen to "US" at any time.

October 05, 2007

Easy Apple-Blueberry Crisp

Stretching Apple Pie Filling with Blueberries Makes a Great Low-Carb Dessert
One of Those Head-Slap
Adventures in the Kitchen
That Cost Me 10 Net Carbs
This recipe was created back before I went gluten free, when I was still doing an extended Atkins Induction and running a few crazy low-carb experiments in the kitchen.

At 10 net carbs, it wasn't something I made twice. However, if you're doing Atkins 40, you definitely have room for a little apple pie filling and blueberries in your life.

That just wasn't my life in 2007.

Pre-gluten-free, I spent a lot of time cruising up and down the grocery store aisles, especially when my sister-in-law was at home. This time, her stay was extended, due to gall bladder surgery, and once she started feeling better, she had a hankering for a tasty low-carb dessert.

We spent quite a bit of time walking up and down the isles, reading all the labels. This definitely wasn't something that hubby enjoyed doing, so I took advantage of the situation. We found lots of new things (okay, new to me) that I didn't know about, such as Spenda-sweetened canned fruits, Russel Stover granola bars, organic sweet corn (7 net carbs per 1/2 cup serving) and the wicked Splenda-sweetened pie fillings.

Caesar Salad Dressing

I've been meaning to post this for awhile, but after adapting it from a recipe I saw on MD Eades' blog to include more fat than hers did, I somehow misplaced it. When I first tried this, I wasn't real sure what Ceasar Salad Dressing was supposed to look like. I've had Ceasar Salad in restaurants before, and the dressing was kindda clear. A lot like Italian, or house dressing. But the last time we ate at our favorite buffet up north the dressing was thick and white like mayo.

MD's recipe had only 1 single tsp of mayo in it, and that was the only fat. But I'm not crazy about sour dressings. So I decided to make something that fell in between the two extremes. I really like how it came out, but you can certainly adapt it either way to your liking. I've made this with both the lemon juice and lime juice and like it both ways.

Caesar Salad Dressing
In a blender, combine 1/4 cup lemon or lime juice, 1 tbsp dijon mustard, 1 tbsp worcestershire, 2 tbsp mayonnaise, 2 tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp garlic powder, 2 tbsp parmesan, 2 tsp Splenda, 1/2 tsp seasoned salt, 1/8 tsp pepper, and 1/4 to 1/2 tsp guar gum or Not Starch, depending upon how thick you want it. Blend until nice and creamy. This has 44 calories, 4.5 grams of fat, and 1 carb per tablespoon.

October 03, 2007

Colette Heimowitz's Most Recent Interview with LCF

There was an interview conducted by Low Carb Friends with Colette Heimowitz this past week, vice president for nutrition communication and education with Atkins Nutritionals, Inc. With all of the Kimkins survivors coming to the Atkins diet for help these days, it focused on repairing and revving up a damaged metabolism. Some of it was very repetitive, because Colette went out of her way to answer each question placed by LCF members thoroughly. And some of it was a bit surprising, considering what is being advocated by the low-carb community at large these days. It certainly cleared up a lot of issues for me.

The following are a few of the highlights:

Most Atkinites, if asked what to do about speeding up the metabolism will speak about upping our fats and calories to increase metabolic output. However, according to Colette, it is actually exercise that plays the "major" role in revving up our metabolisms and keeping them going -- with exercise being especially beneficial first thing in the morning to get our metabolisms fired up and running. While it is important not to skip meals, the stress was on exercise rather than breakfast. And it will change a sluggish metabolism irregardless of age.

But not all exercise is the same. To strengthen the heart you have to do exercises that will speed up the heart rate to 20 beats a minute above your resting heart rate and keep it elevated for awhile. To strengthen skeletal muscles you have use resistance in short, hard bouts. But doing so for more than 50 continuous seconds can tear your muscles. So alternate the kinds of exercise you do on any given day.

Now no where in the interview did Colette concede to the 10 to 12 times one's current body weight in calories being needed to keep the metabolism running smoothly. Because in Dr. Atkins' books he wasn't the least concerned with calories. His belief was that counting calories was unnecessary since Ketosis naturally controls the appetite. His philosophy being to eat until satisfied, (just enough to satisfy hunger), but not stuffed. And that counting carbs was all the general public reading his books should be concerned about.

But in private practice, real life would now and then enter into the picture. And BOTH eating too little and/or too much can stall weight loss. Metabolism, activity, age, genetics, muscle mass, gender, and even the weather and nutritional state one is currently in all play a role in how the body utilizes calories. So each person needs to find their own caloric level for weight loss.

However, in Colette's opinion, if you are doing Atkins correctly, you shouldn't be dipping below 1500 to 1800 calories per day for women and 2000 for men. But that is on the average. Individual differences must be taken into "serious" consideration; making that 1800 to 2000 calories a STARTING POINT, not something set in stone, from which one ups or lowers their calories to the degree necessary in order to secure continued weight loss.

In terms of food choices, however, protein increases the metabolism through thermogenesis and spares muscle mass.

If your weight loss has stalled, be on the lookout for allergies and food sensitivities. It is allergies and food sensitivities that cause us to stall on things like cheese, nuts, and the chemicals used in processed foods.

The length of time to correct a sluggish metabolism through dietary changes is unknown, but Colette said to give it several MONTHS at least!!!

Also be on the lookout for the symptoms of low blood sugar, selecting higher carb foods if necessary. If Induction is too low in carbs for you, you can "start" with OWL where higher carb selections will make you feel better. You don't "HAVE" to do Induction if you have a fast metabolism. You can add an extra serving of veggies or an ounce or two of nuts/seeds to slow down the weight loss.

Her answer to hair loss was especially interesting since I suffer with that myself. Apparently it is natural to go through periodic episodes of losing hair. However, if this is an on-going problem, then something is wrong. ANY weight-loss regimen can lower metabolic rate (even low carb), which can then result in hair loss. But according to Colette, Atkins is the least likely to cause this, due to it's higher calorie content. However, there are also nutrients, the reduction of which can cause hair loss: biotin, N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC), glutathione, and lecithin. Restoring the proper level of these nutrients can take several months.

I also found her comments about soy to be very enlightening. If a woman "with" breast cancer is estrogen receptor positive, then she needs to limit her consumption of soy to 2 servings per day. But if a woman doesn't have cancer already, or if she has cancer but isn't estrogen receptor positive, then soy is encouraged to protect against free radical damage to cells and organs. Those with hypothyroid problems (meaning a sluggish thyroid already) should also limit their intake of soy to 2 servings per day. But soy itself doesn't slow down the thyroid.

Since I've recently been experimenting with Kimkins, and since I have liver and/or gall bladder issues, I found the question about lowering fat levels to be especially interesting. The question was asked if one has gone through gall bladder removal was it okay for them to cut their fat intake from the general 65% recommended amount to say...50%.

Colettes reply? You "CAN" follow a lower fat version of Atkins. No problem. Just eat fish, poultry, lean meats, low fat cheese and nuts in moderation, and lots of veggies. Avoid creamy salad dressings, choosing mustard based sauces and/or simple olive oil and vinegar dressings instead. Don't fry foods, but use "lean" meats...and Yes, she did state to use lean meats twice!! She also cautioned us to stay away from processed foods such as bacon and sausage. Then supplementing all of this with 1 tbsp orange-flavored Metamucil DAILY in a glassful of water to keep things running smoothly.

Sounds an awful lot like original Kimkins "as written" to me. Without the "extremes" offered by Kimmer herself. The way a great many of us were following the diet in the first place. Hmmmm.

She did not think too highly of cycling, though, but then...that was no surprise LOL.

To read the whole interview for yourself, you can find it here.

October 01, 2007

A New Beginning

With all of the Kimkins controversy going on lately, some of the dark things behind the Kimkins Empire now coming into the light, and a lot of confusion on my part as to what I needed to do to finish the magical low-carb journey I began last January, plus my SIL's extended home visit, I decided to take a back seat for a little while and spend the month of September cruising on the Atkins diet. But the results, as I've mentioned before, haven't been good.

Before I began the Kimkins diet, and the major reason why I switched from Atkins to Kimkins, was because I could see my weight loss coming up on a stall. For the first 4 months of my journey I did relatively okay. Not great, but just okay. Weight loss averaged about 5 pounds per month, which wasn't too awfully bad considering my physical limitations, health issues, age, and dieting history. But May brought a very large slow-down, a loss of only 1-1/2 pounds for the whole month.

So I knew in my heart that if I ever wanted to reach my goal of a normal weight, something more drastic than Atkins needed to be done.

At the time, I had been studying the old Kimmer threads over at Low Carb Friends, watching the weight losses and turnarounds in stalls by those participating in those threads, and doing lots of praying in regards to just what I should do about my own situation. Some of the advice Kimmer was giving in those threads sounded reasonable, and some of it did not. So I decided to ask the Lord to reveal to me just where the truth lay.

At that time, I received a vision that placed Kimmer on my left-hand side and Dr. Atkins on my right. I clearly understood at the time that what was being shown to me was the two extremes in low-carb dietary advice and wisdom. Between those two individuals, between their opposing nutritional approaches, and differing advice, was a line. The Lord next showed me just where on that line the truth was. At least...for me.

Because of what I had been shown, and because of other spiritual nudging I had received the week I had devoted myself to Atkins 72 Induction, last June, I decided to do a modified K/E for one week, (utilizing all lean meats, not just chicken breast and hard-boiled eggs), then move into a slightly higher-fat, more lenient version of Kimkins. The results were amazing. I went from a 1-1/2 pound loss to a 13.5 pound loss that month. Which (honestly) included the 5.5 pounds I lost on the week I spent on Atkins 72.

The next month a lot of real life kept interfering with my personal weight loss plan, so I began cycling on a day-to-day basis between my own version of Kimkins and high-fat Atkins, depending upon my daily needs and life interferences. Weight loss slowed a bit because of it, down to 9.2 pounds that month, but it wasn't anywhere near as slow as things had been on regular Atkins.

By this time, I had been doing this overall lower-fat version of low-carb long enough to see drastic "improvements" in not only my health issues, but also my energy levels, my physical stamina, the systemic inflammation, and even the physical ailments like hair loss I had been suffering with when on straight Atkins.

However, it was also around this time that the Kimmer controversy began to come to a head, and it was becoming quite clear and obvious that the organized opposition to both Kimmer and her dieting counsel and suggestions wasn't going to stop until they had succeeded in not only manipulating Kimkinites through scare tactics and constant badgering into returning to higher-fat, higher-calorie, low-carb plans, despite individual differences in metabolism, health issues, and insulin resistance, but bringing down the entire empire completely.

At which time, a lot of confusion began on my part.

Not only because "they" were preaching stuff that went against what I had been shown in my vision, but also because their arguments and rationalizations carried a certain ring of truth. The body "does" need essential fatty acids. The body "does" need enough protein to repair tissue damage and maintain muscle mass. The body "does" need enough calories and water to keep it from scaring itself that it might enter into dehydration, plus what these folks were calling Starvation Mode.

But the truth is, the amounts of those things needed daily differ for everyone. There is no cookie-cutter formula that fits each individual situation.

Still...I DID try it "their way" for awhile. For most of August and all of September I have been following the Atkins Plan. The result of which has been not only a return of all of my health issues, complaints, and pain, but also a screeching halt in my weight loss. At least, in the way that I would define it.

After a "slight" gain in the middle of August as the Kimkins opposers predicted, I did see a very small loss towards the end of that month. But nothing since then. Just a lot of bouncing weight for the entire month of September.

So with October's arrival, and another vision clearly showing me that Kimmer herself is traveling further and further away from the truth I was originally shown, I have decided to make a NEW BEGINNING. And while lots of folks won't agree with what I am going to do, nor support me in that new beginning, since it doesn't and won't match up with their beliefs and dietary ideas, still...for my own health, for my own well-being, and for my own weight loss goals, I really need to do this.

Because I didn't enter into this low-carb journey with the intension of throwing my hands up into the air in defeat now that I am almost half-way there, and resign myself to the physical discomforts the Atkins diet brings for me. I didn't enter into this low-carb journey to end up weighing 200 pounds (on a 5ft frame) for the rest of my life. I entered into this journey to make serious, permanent changes that will empower me to rise above the junk that is standing in my way of reclaiming most of what I had, if not all, before the Meniere's struck.

I entered into this journey to cross the finish line, not fall short of it.

So while I can't honestly call what I am doing Kimkins, I can't honestly return to full-fat, high calorie Atkins (or any other organized high-fat, moderate calorie, low-carb plan) either. Not without falling short of my goals and purposes. And not without resigning myself to a life of not only overweight, but also inflammation and pain.

I know that due to a dream I had recently that showed me if I continued on the path I was currently traveling, if I continued to "listen" to what the greater majority of the low-carb community is preaching and advising these days, their pushing of fat and higher calories, irregardless of their sincerity by doing so, I will NEVER reach my goals. I will never achieve what I initially set out to achieve. Because the platform they are insisting I climb up on (the way they lost their own weight and improved their own health) is far too shaky to sustain me.

If I continue to FOLLOW THEM, I will fall. And falling isn't in the program. It isn't an option for me. And it isn't happening.

A little while ago, while I was going through all of the confusion regarding Kimkins and what was happening with that, I blew up my Kimkins' blog because I didn't want to be associated with that name until I knew exactly what I was going to do. That day has come. So I have now started another "personal" blog called Sharing the Magic of the Low Carb Lifestyle. With the first post very similar to this one.

Like my last personal blog, it will be more oriented towards my day-to-day living struggles, than this one is, what I am actually doing in particular to lose the weight, but I don't think I'm going to go so far as to include menus and fitday computations this time. Fitday became waaaay to obsessive for me. It caused my focus to be more on the fat and calories I was eating, rather than on making the permanent lifestyle changes so so needed.

So if you want a closer glimpse into my life, you can check it out.

As for this blog, I will continue what I'm doing here, the same as I've always done, now that my life has gotten somewhat back to normal that is lol, researching and writing about low-carb in general, plus weekly weigh ins and reports of what is happening in my life.