Saturday, December 30, 2006

Last day of the year!!

Recomitting, Starting Over.....

Whatever we want to call it, it's all the same thing. We need, at times, to blow off some steam.....and some of us do that with food. When that happens, we need to recommit to our original plan towards health and weight loss.

For me, this time, the trigger was staying home too long after my son's accident.....combined being cash poor.....and the holiday season.

I was doing great when Bri had his accident. I was quite proud of myself for not eating anything unacceptable on my plan. I worked from home for about 2 1/2 weeks after the far, so good. Then, after seeing the doc.....and going back to work to find homemade cookies on my desk (my boss's famous sugar cookies and the best oatmeal chocolate chip ever)....and having a "holiday breakfast" at work that was 95% carbs....and not having enough money to buy what I want for Christmas presents.....well, it all kinda came crashing down.

At first I was careful, I had some of the treats at the breakfast, but had a good lunch and dinner. Of course I had some of the cookies, but I shared them with my son.

But then things got totally out of control. Today I have had lots of bad stuff.....not just high carb, but junk! Highly processed, empty calorie, high carb junk. Today I was better than I was yesterday. Today I limited myself, "allowed" myself just a little, after eating good, healthy foods.

January 1, 2007 I totally recommit to changing my lifestyle to what I believe is the healthiest lifestyle.

That lifestyle includes
  • Following a low carb plan, specifically Protein Power Life Plan
    • Protein requirements = 102g/day (102g = 408 calories)
    • Carb level = under 40g/day (40g = 160 calories)
    • Total daily calories at least 1200.
    • No fruit X2 weeks, then berries to start
    • Minimal use of dairy and grains
    • Nuts allowed up to once a day
  • Drinking lots of plain water, at least 80% of intake
    • Hot coffee with cream or hot tea with milk acceptable
    • Sugar free soda max 2 bottles/cans per week
    • NO sugar free hot chocolate
  • Getting into an exercise program I can keep up.....details to follow
  • Minimizing the use of processed foods, artificial sweeteners
    • Looking for recipe to make small amount of mayo, say a cup or two?
    • Looking for recipe to make small amount of dressing, 1 cup max.

January 1, I will measure myself and record the measurements in Fitday PC. I will also weigh myself. I fear I may be back where I started weight-wise.....and I'm sure at least some of my measurements are larger. I will also update my ticker and post it here.

I am starting with 3 challenges.
  • Loose 20 pounds in 20 weeks.
    • January 1 = starting date
    • May 21 = ending date
  • Walk in neighborhood at least 3 times a week
  • Try at least 2 new recipes a month. Record recipe, picture, and opinion here.
Still have to come up with an exercise plan I can live with....but walking and biking will be part of it.

Tomorrow starts a new year. I am hoping it will be a better year. 2006 was not a good year overall, so I am really hoping 2007 will be better!!!

Friday, December 29, 2006


Map moved to bottom...please! add yourself!!!

I'd love to see who reads my blog and where you're located!

Monday, December 25, 2006

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Update on my son

Well, we finally saw the doctor on Thrusday and there's no new news.

This time we actually saw the attending, not just the resident. The first thing they did was more XRays, which we expected. They took several films, from the side and from the front. They removed the collar before the films, and my son had to bend his neck for the films. He had to bend forward, so his chin was "on his chest" and he had to bend back, so he was looking at the ceiling. No "pushing it", he was told to bend his neck only to the point of pain.

The docs poked at his neck, with and without the collar, and also asked him to move and tell them how much pain he was having. Amazingly, he only had "mild" pain when he attempted to put his chin on his chest, but he also didn't get even close to his chest! His range of motion is very limited!

The doc showed us his films, including the MRI that was done the day of the accident. He has a displaced vertebra, and that's what they're worried about. If looked at from the side, the botton of one vertebra sticks out a tad more than the top of the one below. It's very easy to see on the films, and really doesn't look like much!

The doc explained that this displacement usually indicates that the disc (the cartilage between each vertebra) is damaged, although there was no sign of damage on the MRI. He also said that it may take "a while" before the damage to the disc is evident on MRI.

The good news? My son can pretty much do as he pleases, although obviously driving is still out, as he has to continue to wear his collar 24/7. He can remove the collar for shaving and showering, but otherwise must wear it at all times.

The bad news? There is still a very real possiblity that he will need to have surgery! It seems that this particular injury, unless it stabilizes, can and likely will get worse over the years, leading to a steady progression of worsening damage. This will cause him to gradually curl forward....his head will gradually move forward, so eventually he'll look like he's about to topple over!!!
This is an example, more severe than my son's, of the dislocation that he has. Note the top vertebra is pushed forward. My son't injury is similar, but not as dramatic....and it's a lower vertebra that's involved.

If this doesn't stabilize, he will need surgery. Surgery means a scarey procedure and possibly being in a halo for several months! (Doc didn't sepcify, but looking online for info, it seems 50/50 that he could be in a halo or just continue in the hard collar.)

So....we're still in a holding pattern. Brian's been told he can go back to work, if they'll allow him, but has a weight limit of 5 pounds, and will have to continue to wear his collar. I doubt his company will allow him back with the collar, but he's going to try!

We still haven't seen the car. Brian and a friend will be going this week to see if they can get any personal possessions out of it. His leather jacket, all his DVDs and many of his CDs are in the car. He also has about $300 worth of stereo equipment in the car and is hoping at least some of it is salvagable. He'll get pics when he goes to the tow company. When I see the pics, I'll post them here.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

What a day!!!

Early AM Wednesday I got the call that all parents dread.

"Hi mom....I'm OK, but I'm in the ER at Duke. I flipped my car last night"

Needless to say, I grabbed some clothes and threw them on....then grabbed my cell, wallet and keys and ran out the door. He sounded a bit groggy, but he made sense, and I just kept praying all the way to the hospital.

When I got there I practically threw my keys at the valet guy and ran into the ER. You now have to go through the metal detectors and ask a woman if you can go in, where to go, etc. Room 14 I was told and given a stick on visitor's pass.

With a little help, I found his room. Door was shut. I knocked gently and opened the door.

To find my 22 year old son lying flat on his back with a cervical collar on. He had 2 IVs, on in each arm, and he had all the monitoring stuff (heart, BP, Oxygen sensor) on him....but nothing was hooked up!!! No sooner did I walk in, and he says "I'm going to be sick" and started to roll over! An aide handed me a bucket to hold for him, and said she'd get a nurse.

Within a matter of minutes, a nurse came in and started futzing around with his IVs. She asked if he was vomiting, and I said no, just dry heaves. She got him a medication for nausea and gave it to him IV and the nausea quickly subsided.

At this point, I asked how he was and was told by the nurse that she'd get his doctor. My son told me that he was OK, but "they told me I broke something in my back"! I nearly passed out on the spot!!!

Now, I'm a RN and have been for over 30 years. I've taken care of many a back patient, and even worked for almost 2 years with teens and young adults that were paraplegic and quadriplegic. I know how to "log roll" a patient onto their side to (hopefully) not do further damage to their spine. I also know that in auto accidents, especially if the car rolls, that a collar is placed at the scene and is often left on for much longer than is necessary. The nurse, of course, couldn't really tell me anything.

When I asked about his monitors, they did hook things up and got readings. All were within normal limits.

I was able to ask my son what happened, and found that he hit his brakes to avoid a deer and that his car "fishtailed" and "next thing I knew I was in a ditch, upside down. My arm was stuck in the sunroof, and they had to partly lift the car to get me out". While he's telling me this, I noticed that he was moving all 4 extremities, so at least I knew he hadn't done any permanent damage to his spinal cord. He was moving his legs a lot and complaining about his lower back, so I assumed that's where the break was.

Eventually, after he was given pain medication, twice, the doctor showed up. It was an orthopedic resident, and he explained that they had done Xrays and a CT Scan and that my son had broken 2 vertebra in his neck! The doc told me they were "pretty sure" that the break was stable, but had to do 2 more Xrays to check it out. They were going to do a film of him lying flat, then a second one of him standing.

A few minutes later they took him to Xray and over the next 30 minutes or so they took a bunch more films. They didn't stand him, but took the "standing" one with him sitting. Not sure why, I never got an explanation....but it could simply be because of his height, he's over 6'3" tall. In any event, the doc then decided that this wasn't sufficient and now they needed an MRI.

It took a few hours, but they finally got the MRI and decided that his fracture was "pretty stable" and they didn't need to do surgery. Now, a bit of explanation. The facet joint is on the side of the spine, where the separate vertebra are joined. It's what allows the bones to move independently of each other while holding the spine together. The bones are supposed to move, but they're supposed to move as one piece, not two, and if the pieces get displaced injury to the spine and/or spinal nerves can result.

My son's fractures were at the C3-4 level, which is very high, and at minimum would result in quadriplegia, if not also being ventilator dependent. My understanding is that a facet fracture would more likely cause damage to the nerves leaving the spine, rather than to the spine itself, but I'm not 100% sure. In any event. He was very lucky. The break could have been worse....and the results could have been devastating!!! What would be considered "life altering".

Hy son only has to wear a hard cervical collar for 6-8 weeks. He will likely have some problems for life, probably at minimum constant or recurring neck pain or discomfort. A small price to pay for surviving relatively intact!!! He's hurting a bit right now, but really, not as much as I expected!

My son, in his collar.

He's really not upset for me taking the picture, he wanted me to!

He's not sleeping, he just closed his eyes as I took the pic. Looks comfy, huh?

How did the accident happen? What did happen?

My son was driving home, late, from a friend's house. The roads are all "country" back roads, meaning they are generally 1 lane in each direction, lightly populated, and usually posted with fairly high speeds. Where he was the speed was 55mph. They estimated his speed at about 70mph, but he says "no way" and anyone that knows his, knows that he's a slow driver! He's a total car nut, but he also respects cars and doesn't abuse them. He says he didn't drive this car too fast because it was old. He really loved that car!

Before the accident. 1986 Ford Thunderbird. He's only had it for about 8 months, paid for it himself over about 3 months. Had been in the middle of fixing it battery, alternator, sound system.

Anyway, Brian was driving home, and came over a hill and saw a deer right in front of him. He knows he's supposed to just hit the thing, but he reacted (as most of us would) and hit the brakes. When he braked, his car fishtailed, and he over corrected. He skidded across the road and ended up in a ditch. The car apparently rolled over into the ditch, but we're not sure.

He says he never lost consciousness, but it took a few seconds for him to realize he was upside down. He was pinned, but able to move around and looked for his cell phone so he could call for help. He couldn't find the phone, so he set off his car alarm and honked his horn (SOS!!) to get someones attention. Eventually, he's not sure how long it took, someone came and called 911.

When EMS arrived, he said they broke windows and used the "jaws of life" to get him out. They also had to lift the car to free his arm, which was caught in the sunroof. When he was free, he was able to crawl through the side window and said when he got about halfway out the EMS pulled him out the rest of the way. He was then put on a backboard and a collar was applied. From there, he was taken to the Duke ER's Trauma area. After doing the initial Xrays and scans, he was sent to the non-acute area, where he was when I arrived.

I have several concerns about his treatment, and will post more on that.

Will also post pictures of the accident area and the car when I get them.

For now, I am just so thankful and relieved! A mother's worst nightmare....and it all turned out well. I think he had a Guardian Angel sitting on his shoulder that night!!!

Friday, November 24, 2006


In light of the recent study done on chocolate, I decided to post my new favorite treat.

I use ChocoPerfection dark chocolate, as no additional sweetener is needed.

It's really easy:

Chocolate Pecan Patty:
1 (1.8oz) bar dark ChocoPerfection
1 T butter
1 oz (1/4c) pecan halves.

In small pan, melt butter and then add pecans.
Cook pecans 5-10 min over very low heat, making sure nothing burns. Stir frequently.
Add the ChocoPerfection bar and stir until all chocolate is melted and nuts/butter is well mixed.

Remove from heat and let the choclate mixture cool a bit. While chocolate is cooling, line a small bowl with aluminum foil. Pour chocolate mixture into foil lined bowl and let cool. Be sure to scrape the pan well to be sure no chocolate is left behind. Be sure to use a metal or silicone scraper to prevent melting!! (the first time I tried this my spatula melted!)

Entire recipe:
Calories: 496
Fat: 50g (Sat: 21g, Poly: 7g, Mono: 15g)
Carbs: 21 (Fiber: 17g, Sugar alcohols: ?2g from Erythritol)
Protein: 5g

Give the ChocoPerfection a try. They have free shipping within the US! You can also buy SweetPerfection, which ic oligofructose (made from chicory and mung beans), which contains 5 net carbs per cup (127g total carbs, 122 are fiber).

Doesn't this look good?

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Dare I hope?

Just got off the phone with my sister. She's 65 yrs old and in pretty good health. But, she's diabetic and has high blood sugars and high BP.

Here are her meds: "Meds are Glyburide, 5 mg each tablet, 2 in the AM, one in the PM and Metformin HCL 500 mg tabletsan, 2 in AM, 2 in PM" I'm not sure what her BP meds are, but last I heard she was taking 2 different ones.

And here is her most recent A1c: "my last Ac1 or A1C (can never remember proper letters.........was 6.2 or 3 lat April, also they did a finer prick the 18th of October when I was there and that was very good"

I have (gently) tried to talk to her in the past about her levels, but today I said the hell with it and told her that I was concerned about her meds.....what's next? Another med? or insulin? She (finally) admitted that this was also worrying to her.

FINALLY she asked me what I would recommend, and without hesitation, I said LOW CARB!!! We talked for almost 2hrs, which is amazing with conversations with my sister....and I really feel she listened to me! (I'm the little sister, and even at 52 I think she often thinks of me as being just 13yrs old! LOL)

My sister is overweight, but not that much. According to BMI calculators, she's "officially" obese, but to me she's just overweight.....but, she carries almost all her weight in her belly!!! And she always has.....even when she was much younger, she always had a big belly!!! Classic sign of insulin resistance and/or diabetes!!! And also a sign of higher risk for heart disease!!

My sister is also trying.....she's trying to follow her diet as recommended by her doc....and she gets her exercise. But over the years her meds continue to increase (she's been diabetic over 15yrs). So far, however, she has no evidence of heart disease, vascular problems (other than high BP), or kidney disease....the usually complications of diabetes. I guess even with the family history of diabetes, we're pretty lucky as so far there is NO heart disease in the diabetics in the family, and most live well into their 80s.

She seems to be very lucky, in that she's not showing any signs of complications of her diabetes, although I think now she may have gastroparesis, as she says she's rarely hungry. My sister has always had a healthy appetite! She's also lost a little weight recently, which concerns me. Unfortunately, I strongly suspect that her recent improvement in her weight and blood sugars is due to her lack of appetite, not better diet choices. (2 summers ago she visited and her blood sugars were running in the 160's, but now they're in the 140's)

Now, let me tell you a little about my sister. She's my "big sister", 13yrs older than me. She was almost a second mother to me growing up. She married fairly young and had her first child with that marriage, a daughter. She then divorced and lived on her own.....struggled on her own....for about 8 years before meeting and marrying her second husband. They have 2 more children, another girl and a boy. All 3 are now adults with kids of their own.

About 15-20 yrs ago my sister started having problems with sore throats and was eventually diagnosed with cancer of the epiglottis. She was treated with radiation and was actually overdosed, but she survived (her voice is quite hoarse sounding even to this day). Several years later she was diagnosed with cervical cancer and had a hysterectomy as treatment. Since then she's been cancer free....oh! almost, she's had several skin cancers removed and is watched for that.

My sister is no shrinking violet!!! She's a formidable and very intelligent woman!!! She has pretty much raised 3 children on her own (i don't think her hubby wasn't much help there, but I'm sure she'd disagree), and she's worked hard all her life. Currently she's retired, but still works as a union rep. She's a writer, and keeps saying she's going to write more now that she's retired, but so far I haven't seen any evidence that she's done much. My sister can pretty much do what she sets her mind to!!!

I have only 1 sister.....and actually I really only have 1 sibling. My sister and I are 1/2 siblings, but I've never considered her anything other than my big sister! I also have/had 2 brothers. My other 1/2 sibling died at the age of 24 (he was 11 yrs older) from an accident, and left behind 4 young children. I never really knew him. My other brother, a "full" sibling, has divorced himself from the family and won't have anything to do with me or my sister. He's 3yrs older than me, and I really miss him. Last time I went home to visit, I tried to contact him, but according to his wife (who I don't trust or believe), he was away. I haven't seen or talked to him since my mom's death over 12yrs ago. His loss, I know, but I still miss him!!!

I am praying my sister takes my advice and talks to her doc about changing to a low carb diet!!! I was very careful to tell her (repeatedly) to talk to her doc before doing anything on her own, as the diet will likely require her to cut back on her meds and she needs him to help her there....I just hope he doesn't talk her out of it!!!

I've got together a list of websites and bloggers for her to read up on.....I hope it works!!!

I want my sister to live a LONG life!!! She's currently financially comfortable and seems to be enjoying her "retirement". I know in my heart that a low carb diet can help her.....and I just hope she follows my advice and gives it a try.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Millions face risk from drug-coated stents

This is just too important to ignore!!! All of us depend on our doctors to do the right thing. And we depend on the FDA to make sure that drugs and devices are properly tested prior to being introduced for use in the general public. Apparently, the FDA is not doing there job!!

This is from MSN, quoted verbatim:

Potentially lethal heart devices a frightening problem for patients, doctors

Millions of Americans could be walking around with tiny time bombs in their hearts.

The concern centers on devices called drug-eluting stents. Doctors implant them in the hearts of about a million Americans a year to treat coronary artery disease. They generate some $5 billion a year in sales for the two companies that make them. But they may be doing more harm than good.

Next month a panel of experts will try to advise the Food and Drug Administration on what to do about it. But many top doctors and scientists admit they are in uncharted waters with a frightening problem that was largely unanticipated. By one estimate the devices already kill 2,000 Americans a year — and no one knows what the long-term danger will be.

To understand the potential hazard, it helps to look at the history of efforts to open the arteries to the heart when they get clogged with cholesterol-containing plaque. That blockage leads to shortness of breath and the chest pains called angina. If the artery closes completely the result is a heart attack with destruction of heart muscle and often death.

Beginning around 1980, doctors started using tiny balloons inserted on wires through the veins and guided by X-rays to push open the clogged arteries. This procedure, called angioplasty, often worked — but with a problem. In about half the cases the artery would close up again within a few weeks or months, an outcome called restenosis. The re-shutting of the arteries occurs because the blood vessels respond to the treatment as if they suffered a slight wound. They try to heal by growing more cells which can clog the artery again.

Thwarting the body's own healing process
To solve the problem, starting in 1994, cardiologists put tiny pieces of wire mesh called stents around the balloons. These stay in place as a piece of scaffolding to try to keep the arteries open.

These helped, but not enough.

Cells still grew over the wire, and in 20 percent to 30 percent of the cases, the vessel clogged again.

Drug-eluting stents (DES) appeared as the next solution. These give off a drug that prevents cell growth, and for that, they work well. The restenosis rate fell to about 5 percent. In 2003, soon after the FDA approved them, drug-eluting stents captured most of the market, even though they cost about $2,000 compared to $800 for the bare metal version.

Then a new hazard started to appear.

Doctors began seeing patients suffer from heart attacks that seemed to be triggered by the new stents. Because the drug-eluting stents are so effective at stopping the cell proliferation inside the arteries, the DES's end up as a piece of metal sticking out in the artery. That creates a perfect place for a blood clot to form and instantly block the artery. The result? A potentially fatal heart attack.

Dr. Jeffrey Moses of Columbia University, who conducted some of the original studies of the DES's, estimates the danger of a blood clot at 1 in 500 patients a year. For every million of the devices implanted, that would add up to 2,000 clots a year — although not all of them would be fatal.

But an estimate from Drs. Sanjay Kaul and George Diamond from Cedars Sinai in Los Angeles, published on the Web site of the American College of Cardiology, estimates that deaths from the new devices exceed 2,000 a year. Studies from Europe regard the danger to be many times higher. Because the devices are so new no one knows how long the hazard persists.

Already, many cardiologists are cutting back from using the devices. Sales are dropping dramatically. The FDA panel may well recommend they not be used at all.

Companies are searching for alternatives, including balloons that give off the drugs and would be removed at the time of the procedure, as well as stents that dissolve a few weeks after they are implanted.

What's next?
The big question now facing the FDA is: What should the estimated 4 million patients who already have a DES do?

The devices cannot be removed safely or easily. One preventive measure is to keep the patient on the blood-clotting medication Plavix for months or even indefinitely. But that medicine can cause severe bleeding, including a type of deadly stroke, and it costs more than $1,200 a year.

DES manufacturers Boston Scientific and Johnson & Johnson could end up rivaling Vioxx maker Merck as targets of lawsuits from people who suffer heart attacks.

The origin of this terrifying problem is that medical devices, like drugs, get tested for a few months in a few hundred or at most a few thousand of people before the FDA approves them.

Many experts are clamoring for better methods of assuring safety before devices like these go into millions of people for a lifetime.

Please note the lines about the Europe saying failure rates are much higher than US estimates!!!

Also, note that these "complication" didn't show up until after approval? Why is that? Is it because the manufacturer gave incomplete or incorrect data to the FDA? It certainly wouldn't be the first time!!!

What ever happened to "First, do no harm"? I guess that should be removed from they Hippocratic oath?

Friday, November 10, 2006

Catching up

Short Term Goal:

And my NEW Short Term Goal:

It's been a while since I've posted my weights, so here goes.

I went on a mini binge, not tooooooo bad, just a couple of days of eating high carb and not eating good, natural foods.

I know what caused it.....taking advantage of the intermittent fasting!!! After a day of fasting I decided to have something that is not on plan.....then something else.....then the cravings kicked in!!! I ended up breaking the binge by doing a 24h fast, then getting back on plan.

Now, the reason I haven't posted isn't because of falling off the wagon, but because things have been crazy!!! Work has been very busy, I've visited my daughter, and had a friend with a personal crisis. you can see, not only have I reached my 20 pounds in 20 weeks goal, I've surpassed it!

There's been sooooo much good news lately too!!

If you follow politics, heck if you aren't living under a rock, you'll know that the election is over and finally the system of checks and balances are back in place in our government!!! Yep, the Democrats have taken back control of the House of Representatives AND the Senate!!! Additionally, several states got rid of Republican governors and have elected Democratic ones.

And the BEST NEWS in politics? Donald Rumsfeld has not only been shown the door, but now I hear once he leaves office he could be sued for war crimes, for authorizing the torture at Abu Ghraib.

There's a lot of talk about inpeachment, reinvestigating the reason we went to war and whether our government decieved us, and hopefully more. The President is now open to reconsidering what we're doing in Iraq, so hopefully that will mean our wonderful, incredibly brave service men and women will be returning home soon.

I have a "adopted son" that is there now. I am incredibly proud of him, and I'm also terrified that he's going to get hurt or worse. He's only 24, and I've known him since he was about 5. His mom and I are best friends, and I know she's suffering and sick with worry! We don't know where he is, just that he's in Iraq. This is his second tour of duty. The bravery and integrity of these men and women just amazes me! There is no way I could do what they do!!!

Now for health issues in the news!!!

This is probably the best news:
Low-Carb Diet Can Be Heart-Healthy. This study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, after looking at the diets of 82,000 women over a 20 year period, found that low carb wasn't dangerous after all. Of course, the media put some spin on it, but check out Regina's blog for the REAL details of the study! She also posted a follow up with more information a couple of days later.

And here's probably the worst news:
Children with risk factors for heart disease, including high cholesterol and diabetes, are showing signs of narrowing and hardening of the arteries. Now this is bad enough, but not at all surprising, considering the "foods" that our children are being fed, but the conclusions are horrendous!!! They are recomending that if diet and lifestyle changes don't lower cholesterol levels, the children should be put on statins!!! Never mind that the levels are unreasonably low, and do we even know what is "optimal" for children, but to put children on drugs that change the way their livers work, drugs associated with all kinds of severe and sometimes even permanant side effects is just unbelievable!!! Once again, check out Regina's take on the issue. (Aside from the fact that these children could potentially be on these dangerous drugs for 40, 50, and more years, these drugs are also found to cause severe birth defects in animal studies!!)

Also in the news:
Experts are recomending increased use of statins, for anyone with just a 1% risk of heart disease! A ONE percent "risk"???? Again, these are powerful drugs, with no real evidence of being helpful in primary prevention!!!

More to come soon!!!

Long Term Goal:

Sunday, October 29, 2006


This has been a major blowout week, ending with a not-too bad weekend.

I'm doing Intermittent Fasting (IF) and on my eating days I usually don't worry about what I eat....but within reason. This past week I splurged. I had a sub, and a milkshake, and regular cheesecake with chocolate fudge. It was all very tasty, but time to get back on track!!!

Went to see my oldest this weekend. She's so happy!! She's in college up in Boone, and she's still plugging along!! She was refused further financial assistance, but is going to continue to fight for it. She's an English major with a concentration in creative writing. She's a very good writer and enjoys everything about English! Funny tho, she's had trouble with her foreign language!! She tried and failed with Spanish, even with tutors, and now she's taking German. She's doing well, but she still needs a tutor!! She wants her Master's, but she's still got a long road ahead of her. She's technically a Junior (I think), and is only able to go part time.

We went to see the Appalacian State football team trample Furman University. Final score was 40-7! And man was it cold!!!Luckily Laura had a hat and gloves for me. I remembered to wash my coat and bring warm sweaters, etc....but forgot all about my head and hands!! I was amazed at the number of girls (students) who appeared to put fashion over comfort!!

I am so proud of my kids!!!

Here's my Brian this past summer:

Here's Laura and Chris (her honey!):

I'll be weighing in Tuesday AM, will post again then.

Oh yea...I couldn't forget my puppies!!
That would be Daisy on the left and Duke on the right.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Long Term Effects of Ketogenic Diet

This was a small study, and still relatively short term, but it's promising.

Long Term Effects of Ketogenic Diet in Obese Subjects with High Cholesterol
Authors: Dashti, Hussein; Al-Zaid, Naji; Mathew, Thazhumpal; Al-Mousawi, Mahdi; Talib, Hussain; Asfar, Sami; Behbahani, Abdulla
Source: "Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry"
Volume 286, Numbers 1-2, June 2006, pp. 1-9(9)
Publisher: Springer


Objective: Various studies have convincingly shown the beneficial effect of ketogenic diet (in which the daily consumption of carbohydrate is less than 20 grams, regardless of fat, protein and caloric intake) in reducing weight in obese subjects. However, its long term effect on obese subjects with high total cholesterol (as compared to obese subjects with normal cholesterol level is lacking. It is believed that ketogenic diet may have adverse effect on the lipid profile. Therefore, in this study the effect of ketogenic diet in obese subjects with high cholesterol level above 6 mmol/L is compared to those with normocholesterolemia for a period of 56 weeks.

Materials and methods:
In this study, 66 healthy obese subjects with body mass index (BMI) greater than 30, having high cholesterol level (Group I; n = 35) and those subjects with normal cholesterol level (Group II; n = 31) were selected. The body weight, body mass index, total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol, urea, creatinine, glucose and triglycerides were determined before and after the administration of the ketogenic diet. Changes in these parameters were monitored at 8, 16, 24, 32, 40, 48 and 56 weeks of the treatment.

The body weight and body mass index of both groups decreased significantly

Conclusion: This study shows the beneficial effects of ketogenic diet following its long term administration in obese subjects with a high level of total cholesterol. Moreover, this study demonstrates that low carbohydrate diet is safe to use for a longer period of time in obese subjects with a high total cholesterol level and those with normocholesterolemia.

Keywords: blood glucose; cholesterol; HDL; ketogenic diet; LDL; low carbohydrate diet; obesity; triglycerides

Document Type: Research article

DOI: 10.1007/s11010-005-9001-x

Affiliations: 1: Email:

I really wish I could afford to buy the study and see just how this research was carried out. There are so many studies that are really crap science.

Thursday, October 19, 2006


You know when you have those nasty days in work? Well I had one of those today.

It started off great, woke up early, dogs pottied on demand, traffic going to work wasn't bad....but then it all went downhill!!!

We're in new offices. We're freezing!!! Or at least I am!!!

I am a QA Analyst for a company that has several different products, all related to healthcare. Most of our applications are either on a PDA or PC, but we also have a couple that are internet based. The product I work with is internet based. There are well over 700 screens in our application, and as you can imagine, several share data. The application is for Utilization Review (justifying admissions and treatments), Case Management (helping make sure your patient gets the services, equipment, and follow-up they're supposed to have), Disease Management (same as CM, but disease specific), and Quality Management (Making sure standards of care are followed). We have the capability of interfacing with the hospital ADT (Admissions, discharges, and transfers) feed as well as several other products. I am VERY proud of our product as I started with the company before we even had our first release.

My job is to test different aspects of our application. For the most part it's going to a certain screen (or two or several) and make sure all the buttons work, and the data is populated correctly in all associated screens. We also have a fairly extensive reporting structure, and we're currently changing how our reporting actually works.....and there's the rub.

Lately I've been called upon to do some of the minor report testing....extracts are more like it. The problem? Our equipment doesn't work right!!!!! It's fine for our users, but apparently, but for us testers, we get shut out quite often. It can be very irritating!!

We get logged out of the database within 20-30 minutes. We have a couple of interfaces and they keep shutting down!!! Apparently it's because our volume is too low!!! Weird, huh?

Oh well, the day is over and tomorrow I get to work from home. I love working from home!! I can stay in my PJs all day, and I don't have to deal with anyone directly!!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Weigh Day, Week 6

Short Term Goal:

WHOO HOO!!!! 3 more pounds gone!!!!!

I'm still doing the intermittent fasting and staying pretty close to plan when I do eat. I'm actually amazed at how little effort this it. I'm rarely hungry on my fasting days, and when I do get hungry I just have some water. I do allow myself coffee and tea, both with a little cream or milk, but not much. Actually on fasting days I get most of my calories from my fish oil and Vitamin E!!

I kind of lost track of what I've been eating, but I'm still getting enough on my eating days to pretty much cover my fasting days. I guess because you regularly eat and eat well you don't get into a starvation response. I think maybe that only happens when you have long-term reduced calories?? Who knows all I know is I'm loosing, and it's been pretty easy!!

Long Term Goal:

Monday, October 16, 2006

Low Carb Living

I've read a lot of posts on forums and message boards, and I've read a lot of blogs, and I've read a lot of articles about low carb, high protein and/or high fat diets. Isn't it amazing how many people have a strong opinion about something that they know little or nothing about?

One forum I'm on, a diet site that is extremely pro low fat, I posted the results of a study done that shows that people with a higher protein intake have smaller waists. A fellow poster called this an "urban legend". Huh? The results of a study....a study done on almost 45,000 people...a study that has been published in the world’s most prestigious nutritional journal...THIS is an "urban legend"??

On another forum, someone posted a question of whether low carb diets are good for you. Again, this is an extremely pro low fat diet site. Various comments include:
--"eating low carb is not good for u." (ok...opinion stated as fact, nothing more)
--"i have never done a low carb diet, but my theory is that if you go on a diet that you are not happy with you wont keep the weight of." (and obviously no one can be happy eating low carb, right?)
--"I agree with the previous poster. If you feel you cannot stick to a food plan for the rest of your life, it's not a good one to be following. You need carbs for brain function and to fuel your activities." (the human body, a most amazing thing, is fully capable, given enough protein, of "creating" all the glucose you need)
--"i don't eat red meat at all, i don't eat butter at all, i only eat olive oil (1 teaspoon for salad), i only eat chicken or fish , i eat every fruit possible and any veggie except potatoes cause i hate them! i eat cheese, yogurt and milk and only egg whites" (this poster later admits she's a former vegetarian....and few vegetarians are big on low carb)
--"I've never done the Atkins because I get so concerned about fat and cholesterol." (well, until the medical/pharmaceutical Industry stops brain washing people into believing fat is bad, cholesterol is bad, etc there's not much you can do with a comment like this)
--"First of all, the brain and other body systems NEED carbs to function properly." (like I already said, the body is capable of metabolising protein to provide all the blood glucose you need....besides, low carb doesn't mean NO carb!)

So many people voicing opinions as fact. So many people stating "facts" that are just incorrect. So many people who don't have a clue about what their bodies need!!!

Our bodies need 2 things, other than air and water, and the 2 things we need are protein and fat. There are "essential amino acids" that are required and can only be taken in as food, we cannot manufacture them without protein. And there are "essential fatty acids", which are required for various body functions. However, there are NO essential carbohydrates!!!!

Fats are needed for various things:
1. Without fat you can't absorb certain vitamins.
2. Fat is an integral part of virtually every cell fact, saturated fats make up about 50% of the membrane!
3. Fat can be converted to glucose by the liver
4. Fats are required, again specifically saturated fats, to properly use calcium and incorporate it into the bone structure.
5. Fats are required for proper function of the immune system and in fighting infections.
5. Fats are required for formation of stress hormones and reproductive hormones, and growth hormones.

Now for a word of caution about vegetable fats. Vegetable fats are very high in Omega 6 polyunsaturated oils. Too high an intake in Omega-6 can lead to a disruption in the production of prostaglandins, which can lead to an increased tendency to form blood clots, inflammation, high BP, irritation of the digestive tract, depressed immune function, sterility, cancer and weight gain.

It's best to stick with saturated fats and mono saturated fats. Monosaturates come from nuts and olives. Corn, soy, canola, and other vegetable oils contain mainly polyunsaturates and should be avoided due to their high Omega-6 content.

Trans-fats, artificially hydrogenated unsaturated fats, should be avoided at all costs. More on this in a later post.

Protein is also essential for good health:
1. Proteins are essential for healthy muscles
2. Protein is essential for healthy strong bones
3. Protein is required by virtually every cell in the body and is essential for proper function and replacement of cells.
4. A healthy nervous system is dependent on protein.
5. Protein helps move energy into cells.
6. Protein is required by many cell components, which have to bind with protein to be used or transported.
7. Protein is essential in the creation of many enzymes in the body, which are required for many cell functions, including DNA repair and replication and RNA sysnthesis.

Now, for Low carb diets. I am NO expert on low carb diets, but they all pretty much limit carbs and replace them with either protein or fat, or both.

I'm sure there's at least one out there, but every low carb diet I have read about encourages intake of veggies and some fruits. Yes, they also more or less encourage fat and protein intake, but they also encourage home cooking and avoiding processed foods and "fake" foods.

FAQ about low carb diets:

Can you stick with a low carb lifestyle for many years? Certainly, many people do. Check out some of the blogs out there! Some have lost hundreds of pounds and have been following a low carb lifestyle for 5, 10, 20 years and some even longer!

Is low carb safe? Of course it is. It's the diet we evolved on. Science shows that when we started eating meat is when our brains grew and developed. Even today many tribes follow a low-carb diet and not only do they survive on it, they thrive on it!!

Doesn't eating so much protein put a "strain" on your liver and kidneys? Nope. Our liver's job, in part, is producing the correct chemicals (bile salts) needed to digest meat. And for those of us with healthy kidneys, there is no problem with a high protein intake.

But what about ketones? Don't they cause ketoacidosis? Nope. Benign dietary ketosis is simply a result of burnign fat. We use carbs before fat, so with low carb you burn fat faster, so therefore have more ketones. Ketoacidosis, on the other hand, is a potentially fatal condition that results from high blood sugar. With diabetics, the body essentially gets confused with too much sugar in the blood and not enough insulin. Because a diabetic can't handle the blood sugar, the body thinks it's starving and begins to break down fat for energy. This leads to a high level of ketones, along with high blood sugar, and can result in coma and even death if not treated.

Isn't the high fat content of many low carb diets a danger for heart disease? fatty liver? metabolic syndrome? diabetes? Once again, the answer is no. Heart disease seems more and more to be the result of inflammation, and/or oxidized LDL. Fatty liver is actually caused by too high a carb intake, as is metabolic syndrome and diabetes (Type 2).

Does low carb really result in faster weight loss? For many of us yes, but I'm sure not for all. To me the biggest plus in dieting with low carb is that you stop having cravings and at the same time eat foods that fill you up faster and stick with you longer than even unrefined, high fiber carbs.

But don't we need carbohydrates? No, we have no "need" for carbohydrates, but we do need to have glucose. Our bodies can and do use ketones for energy, but some organs do require glucose. If there are adequate calories, fat and protein the body can and does "manufacture" all the glucose we need. We don't NEED carbs, but we do need glucose.....isn't it amazing that our bodies can produce all that we need as long as we get enough good food? what's the downside of low carb diets? Well, for many the initial withdrawal can be horrendous. In fact, many call it the "low carb flu". This will pass, however, if you stick with the plan and keep your carb intake low. There is also a "side effect" of bad breath....specifically "ketone breath". And yes, this can be quite nasty. There are times that I feel like I haven't brushed my teeth in days!!! But, increasing your fluid intake (always a good thing) can help with this. Many find that this goes away after being on plan for a while, probably because of an increase in carb intake.

Low carb diets can also lower your blood pressure, so some may have to monitor it, especially if they take blood pressure medication. Low carb can (and does) also lower clood sugar, so again, if on medication it will have to be monitored.

Additionally, some people complain about constipation, but if you get enough fluids and fiber, this shouldn't be a problem. Many of the low carb diets recomend supplementing with additional fiber, but personally, I've never found a need to supplement.

Some people also might see a transient rise in the blood cholesterol levels, but this is not usually a problem. For one thing, saturated fats increase your HDL cholesterol, which most feel are beneficial, and secondly the rise in LDL cholesterol, if seen, is often a rise in the big, fluffy kind of LDL, which is not considered dangerous. Evidence also shows that levels normalize within a year or so. (of course, there is no real evidence that high cholesterol causes heart disease, but that's another subject) The other thing about low carb diets, which some feel is the most important, is that blood triglyceride levels usually fall dramatically, and most feel that high triglycerides are a major contributor to heart disease.

So, if you're interested, give low carb a try. BUT, it it very important for you to read a book or two about the plan you pick prior to starting on it. Personally I usually recomend Atkins (Dr Atkins New Diet Revolution or DANDR) or Protein Power Life Plan (PPLP). Both DANDR and PPLP encourage natural foods over artificial and processed foods. Both also note that exercise is VITAL for properly following a low carb lifestyle.

If you can't afford to buy a book, or not sure of what plan will suit you, I have 2 recomendations. Forst, go to your local library and see what they have. Second, check out the ActiveLowCarber Forum for a synopsis of the various low carb plans. Once you decide which plan sounds like you can work with, try it for 2 weeks. And give it your all.....for just 14 days. Remember you might feel horrible the first few days, but stick it out. If, after 14 days you don't feel better, them maybe low carb isn't for you.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Weigh Day, Week 5

Short Term Goal:

I apologise to anyone who's been following my weight tracker. I keep getting the numbers mixed up! This week I lost 2#. I am very happy about that and hope it keeps up. I'm happy with 1-2# a week, and even a no loss here and there. But I hate it when I gain!!!

From my starting weigh to now, I'm down 40#!!! Just 3 more and I'll be halfway there!! I still have a skirt and 2 pair of pants that I want to be able to get into. Probably another 15-20# before those will fit, but that's OK.....I've got a goal!

On my short-term goal of 20 pounds in 20 weeks, I'm down 14 and have 6 to go!! Woo hoo!!

Once this 20 in 20 is over I'm going to immediately start another goal. I think that's the best way for me to work.

Oh well...back to the plan. I fasted a couple of days this past week, so all my totals look pretty messed up. I am definitely not eating twice the calories on my eating day, but mainly I'm not getting the protein I need. Tomorrow I fast, then when I start to eat again I'm going to look towards higher protein foods. I find I feel better with the higher protein. I've been eating pretty much on plan, although the past 24hrs have not been. I need to get back to drinking the protein shakes and eating meat and fish instead of cheeses and eggs.

I really enjoy following PPLP! My back and neck feels better, I have more energy and just all around feeling of wellness. It's hard to describe unless you've felt it. But to eat foods that you like and are truly healthy foods, your body knows it's getting what it needs and responds accordingly. I sleep better on low carb too!

Things are going to get a bit stressful over the next few months.

I'm trying to get my house straightened out so I can put it on the market and move into a much smaller place. The place is a mess and I own way too many things!!! I am really going to downsize on what I have!!! I went to see a place on a whim last week and was amazed at how little storage I'm going to have!!! I never even considered that part! LOL

Many are going to think I'm nuts, but I want a little place 800-1000 sq ft is ideal. I will absolutely need to have some outside storage, for lawn mower if nothing else. I only want 2 bedrooms, but would take 3 if the price and location is right. My son may or may not go with me, but if he does, it won't be for long! Then it's just me and the puppies! Yippee!!!!

I sometimes think I'm nuts. I love my kids, and I'm very proud of them....but I can't wait to live alone again!!! All I've truly had in living alone was a couple of months before getting married. When Jeanne and I still lived together, but she really lived with Fred. Before Stephen moved in and we got married. Since that day I have lived with others, and I'm tired of it.

I want to be able to put something down and have it remain where I put it. I want to know that anything in my house is not going to get touched unless I allow it. I just want to be alone for a while!!! Oh I am sooo bad! LOL

Actually, I figure some day one or the other are going to come home. Even if it's just for a visit. And, someday I'll probably have grandchildren! I hope to be the nana that they go to sleep over with! My kids had a great relationship with my mom, and I hope I'm at least as good a nana as she was!

Oh well....enough for today. I'm not going to post my totals this week, but will probably next week. I am going to continue to fast, but during non-fasting times I'm going to stick with the plan and go for protein.

Long Term Goal:

Sunday, October 08, 2006


Diabetes: Why would anyone think it makes sense to eat the very thing that caused your disease???? I know the general consensus in the medical/pharmaceutical industry is that there is no cure for diabetes, I personally believe that excess sugar intake causes diabetes (NOT Type 1 that starts in childhood, but Type 2, which is preceded by insulin resistance). even figuring that sugar/carbohydrates don't cause diabetes (which they do), we all can agree that diabetes is a condition in which the body cannot handle the amount of sugar that is found in the blood. For most diabetics this sugar comes from the food they eat. Right?

The body can't properly metabolize glucose. So we feed the body mainly glucose? OK, yea, that makes sense!?!?!?! Not to me!!

Gluten Intolerance, what do you do to treat this? Avoid gluten.
Seafood or peanut allergy? Don't eat seafood or peanuts!
Intolerance to food additives like soy, MSG and sulfites? Don't eat them!!
Can't metabolize phenylalanine (PKU)? Don't eat high protein foods!!!

But man, if you can't metabolize carbohydrates what do they want you to do? Yep, eat more carbs! Insanity! But that is exactly what they want people to do! Eat more carbs!

I'm not sure if my school was behind or ahead of the times, but I was taught in nursing school that diabetes, then called "adult onset" was caused by high carb intake and that people on diabetic diets should not only count their carbs, but they should restrict them. I remember a "serving" of cake for a diabetic being a mere 1" cube of angel food cake! Forget any other kind, you just don't eat it!

My first 8 yrs of nursing were working in the acute care hospital. (I can remember when you were admitted for GI tests!!!) I worked on both medical and surgical floors, pediatrics, and have over 3 years working in intensive care (ICU/CCU/ER/Recovery/OR).

During that time, the majority of patients I saw that had complications of diabetes were patients that didn't follow their diet and/or take their meds!!!! People didn't have limbs removed the way they do today! And people didn't die of kidney disease as often as they do today....and I remember the days before transplants became routine!

I don't know the numbers, but I have read several articles that indicate that more people get complications of diabetes today at a much higher rate than they did 30, 40 and more years ago! The prevalence wasn't as high back then, no one argues that. But the incidence of complications was much lower than they are today. And the complications seem to be much more severe.

Regina posted a blog about a study that indicated that clocking carbohydrate absorption didn't change the progression of diabetes. What I question is why the heck would you want to feed someone carbs, and then give them a drug that prevents them from being used????? Why not just lower the carb intake????

Unfortunately, the levels that the medical establishment says is appropriate for diabetics are way too high. Again, I say.....stop feeding diabetics sugar and you'll prevent the complications of the disease.

This is funny too....sad funny, not funny funny. The cause of diabetes as far as the medical/pharmaceutical industry is concerned is fat. Not being fat, overweight, and obese....but dietary fat!!!

Now, think of this. Our ancestors ate high fat diets. Yep, lots and lots of fat. Our ancestors evolved on eating why did diabetes not show up then? Why has the incidence of diabetes gone up, even though the intake of fat for many has decreased? Maybe it's because fat plays little or no role in developing diabetes????? Now, if you're talking about body fat, especially visceral fat, then yes....fat does likely at least contribute to diabetes. But that fat is a symptom of insulin resistance and diabetes. A symptom that becomes part of a vicious, dangerous circle.

Drugs. Oh this is my favorite!!!! First line of treatment is not diet, not lifestyle change, but drugs. Initially you might get a drug that increases your insulin sensitivity....later it's drugs to push your pancreas into producing ever more insulin....and then finally, when your pancreas is completely (or almost completely) destroyed, you take insulin injections!!!!

If people were put on a low carb diet and a simple exercise program, they would likely be able to prevent medication....or at least slow the progress from one drug to another.

But do they do this? Far too often the answer is no. They tell people to eat carbohydrates, even though those very carbs are what is causing all their problems!

From the CDC:
The Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP), a landmark study sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, found that people at increased risk for type 2 diabetes can prevent or delay the onset of the disease by losing 5 to 7 percent of their body weight through increased physical activity and a reduced fat and lower calorie diet.

Now, I can't argue with loosing weight or the lower calorie diet. Since it's a good bet that the person is overweight any cutback on intake is only going to be good. And any weight loss will also be good. But where does fat come in?

Is insulin influenced by fat intake? No, not really.
Is blood sugar level influenced by fat? Not by much!

Sooooooo....why are diabetics told to limit fat intake???? Because they are at higher risk of heart disease of course! Does dietary fat have anything to do with heart disease? No (except for trans-fats). So why are people told to cut back on dietary fat? Because everyone KNOWS fat is bad!!! (More about this later)

Does the fact that we require certain fats matter? Nope. Does the fact that we also require certain proteins matter? Again, nope. Does the fact that we have no requirement for carbohydrates matter? Once again.....NO!!!!

This is the way I see it. A diet of 45-55% carbs (some articles I've read have advocated as high as 65% from carbs recently!) provides too many carbs and too few calories from fat and protein. We evolved eating a high protein and high fat diet. Our ancestors not only survived, but thrived on mainly fat and protein. Yes, I'm sure they also ate fruits and veggies that they found wild, but these were mostly seasonal, not a part of their regular diet. In preparation for winter our ancestors preserved extra meet and fat for use at a later date. They probably didn't do much with trying to preserve fruits and vegetables because they didn't have the technology. (I have no doubt they did dry some fruit and maybe veggies, but in small quantities, not large amounts like meat and fat)

Since we haven't been around for very long, I believe that we have not yet evolved to be able to handle a diet that is only 45-55% fat and protein!!!! We need fats and proteins....we don't need carbs. Since we evolved eating mostly fats and proteins doesn't it make sense to understand that we still would do better on a diet rich in fats and proteins?

If, on top of this you have a disease that prevents you from metabolizing those carbs, does it make sense to continue to promote a high carb low fat and low protein diet? The ADA thinks it makes does the AHA. Even though diabetes and cardiac diseases are at epidemic proportions, and even though there is evidence showing lowering carbs is beneficial for both conditions, and even though people are getting larger and larger and lower carb has been shown to again be beneficial in loosing weight. Yes, even though all these things are true, the ADA, AHA, and other groups continue to recommend low fat, high carb diets for people that have been diagnosed as being overweight (or obese), have diabetes, or heart disease.

Please, if you have diabetes read Dr. Bernstein's Diabetes Solution, if you have heart disease read Heart Frauds, and if you have high cholesterol read The Cholesterol Myths. Check out some of the blog links, especially both of the Eades and Regina Wilshire. And talk to your doc. I'm hearing more and more about docs who are turning to low or lower carb diets for their patients, especially diabetics, but many only recommend it if a patient asks.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Weigh Day, Week 4

Short Term Goal:

No loss this week. Not surprised. I think it was probably at least in part due to a brunch I ate on Sunday. I had a little bit of salad, a couple of pieces of cantaloupe, scrambled eggs, bacon, ham and sausage. I also had about 1/2 slice whole wheat toast. The bacon, the eggs, and the ham were all loaded with salt!

I'm not a big salt eater, so when I have a dose like I got with that meal, I retain fluid. I have a tendency to retain anyway, and large doses of salt like that really make a difference. I don't avoid salt, but I just don't think of it. I got out of the habit of using salt when I was in school. And I've never gotten back in the habit of using it.

Here are my averages for the week:

As you can see, I am very low on Iron this week. But remember, this is an average. One day I had no iron in my diet at all.

I do eat red meat, eggs and cheese, but I don't eat that much. I use protein powder and shakes to bring up my protein intake. Fats go along with it usually, but not necessarily red meat. I also fasted 2 days during this week. One day it was 9PM to 10PM, the other day it was 11PM to 9PM. I only had chicken this week, and only 3 times.

Long Term Goal:

Friday, September 29, 2006

Low carb VS Low fat...which makes more sense?

You know, one of the things that all the "experts" say when they argue against low carb is "but if you cut carbs you have to replace them with that means more fat or protein"

But think of it....that's exactly what they told us to do with low fat! For the most part you have to have either fat or carbohydrates to make food taste good. None of us want to eat bland, tasteless foods....but when you remove fat or carbohydrates you have to replace it with the other one or it won't taste as good. Think about an's the yolk that has all the taste...the white, which is almost all protein is pretty much tasteless. Now, you can take that egg white and add sugar and it will be yummy. You can also take that egg white and add fat and make it taste good. Seems like you can eliminate protein, or at least mostly without effecting the taste, but if you remove fat or carbohydrate, you have to replace them to improve the taste.

This is what food processors do when they create all the various concoctions available today. Want a low free cookie? No problem.....we'll just take out most of the fat and add carbohydrate. Want a low carb cookie? No problem.....we'll just remove most of the carbohydrate and add fat. Want a low fat and low carb cookie? Well, we can do it! We do have a host of chemicals that allow us to manufacture fake fat.....and use fiber to add sweetness.....oh and let's not forget sugar alcohols!!! More chemicals!! We have lots of chemicals to create all kinds of "foods"!!

Our bodies require a certain amount of fat and protein in the diet. If you remove 100% of either they body will die. Maybe not right away, but eventually the body will die. However, if you completely remove all carbohydrate from the diet you will survive, and likely even thrive!!

All (usable) carbs are sugar. Complex or simple, they are eventually broken down into glucose. While it is very true that whole grains are better for you than refined....and fruit or veggies are better than candy....they all eventually are broken down to glucose. (Fructose is different, but actually much more dangerous when overdone). If you eat carbs, your body will process them as quickly as possible. Fat and protein do slow down the process, but your body prefers sugar, so it will process that as fast as possible. When you eat more than you need, the body stores it as fat. Fat and proteins have to also be processed, broken down....but they are often recombined in different configurations before they're used. And, since your body prefers sugar, it will ignore the fat and protein, and only process what it needs.

As you breakdown that carbohydrate your body will sense the higher blood level of glucose and begin to produce insulin. Insulin essentially locks on to the sugar to transport it to cells for energy. As needed the cells put out receptors. Each receptor will combine with insulin and allow the cell to absorb the glucose. When there is high blood insulin levels the cells put out few receptors. If the cell senses that glucose is readily available it will only put out a few receptors, because it knows if more is needed it's easily available. Since there aren't as many receptors as there are insulin molecules, the excess glucose and insulin builds up in the blood. As the insulin and glucose levels increase the cells put out fewer and fewer receptors, leading to a vicious cycle resulting in damage to various parts of the body.

Another contributing factor to the whole vicious cycle is that the body identifies a high insulin level which triggers a hunger for glucose. And then, when the glucose is eaten, the body pumps out even more insulin to handle the additional glucose, which leads to the cells cutting back on the number of insulin receptors, which again leads to higher levels of glucose and insulin in the blood. And on it goes.

If you eat excess fat or protein along with an adequate or excess amount of carbohydrate intake the body simply stops or dramatically slows down processing dietary fat. For animals being raised for slaughter, the feed combination is based on the levels of fat and protein in the feces. If the cows are putting out too much or too little fat or protein, the feed is adjusted to a lower or higher level of that macronutrient.

High insulin and glucose levels are undeniably a cause of damage to blood vessels and organs. We know diabetics are more prone to heart disease, kidney failure, nerve degeneration, and a host of other problems. Diabetics are also more susceptible to infection because of a compromised immune system. In the absence of high levels of carbohydrate intake there is no evidence of damage caused by excessive fat intake.

Diabetes also leads to high levels of triglycerides in the blood. Most agree that high triglycerides are in itself a cause or contributing factor in heart disease. Having an intake of carbohydrate higher than the body needs results in high triglycerides in the blood. You levels always go up to a degree when you eat food, but with high levels of glucose and insulin in the blood the levels of triglycerides goes up and stays up. If glucose and insulin levels drop to a more normal level the triglycerides will also go down.

There have been dozens of studies that prove that restricting carbohydrate intake improves glucose and insulin levels in diabetics. The studies show that the lower the intake of carbohydrate, the greater the improvement of blood glucose and insulin levels. There have been no studies that prove that fat intake influences blood sugar or insulin levels. Every study that shows a negative influence of fat has one or both of the following flaws: both trans-fat and saturated fat are grouped together (very common), or the carbohydrate is excessive (even more common). Most studies have both flaws.

No doubt if a person has a diet that is low in carbohydrate intake, but still too high in fat, there will be "damage" to the body. But intake has to be really excessive, essentially too many calories, for fat intake to have a negative impact on the body.

While we are all different in the amount of each macronutrient we need, the levels of carbohydrates that most require is simply much less than is advocated by most "experts". At the same time we are encouraged to eat much lower levels of fat and protein than most of us need.

Since fat does not influence glucose and insulin levels, but carbohydrates do, why would we want to remove fat and replace it with carbohydrates? And, since high glucose and insulin levels cause damage to the body much faster and easier than fat, why would we want to remove fat and replace it with carbohydrates? Makes no sense to me!

For how many years did we live on very little sugar and lots of fat (Hunter-gatherer)? And how many years did we live on moderate amounts of sugar (Agricultural)? And how many years have we lived on refined sugars and almost unlimited quantities of them (Modern Industrial)? many years have we been facing rampant obesity, diabetes, heart disease, degenerative diseases, etc? Yes, we had heart disease, cancer, diabetes, etc for a good part of our history....but only since we were pushed to remove fat and replace it with carbohydrates have these diseases gone out of control!

So....which is healthier? To me, it's high fat and protein and low carb. I stick to under 30g/day when I'm loosing....and have found I can maintain nicely on 50-70g/day, but not 70g every day. With low carbohydrate intake I can also eat about 50% more calories, and I have more energy, sleep better, have less menopause symptoms, and use only 1/3 the amount of medication I needed pre-low carb.

My blood lipids are elevated...but my HDL has more than doubled, and my triglycerides are about 10% of what they were. All my values are within the ranges set prior to the arrival of cholesterol lowering medications. I am 52 yrs old.....things are wearing out....and I figure if I've got high level, well maybe it's because that's what my body says it needs!!!!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Weigh Day

Short Term Goal:

Weight today and I lost another 4 pounds!!! I only did the Intermittent fasting one day last week, so I guess that was the reason for the big loss this week. Heck I don't care what happened!!! I'm just glad I lost!!!

I'm not going to continue posting my daily totals and means, but will post a summary each week.

Here's my averages for the past week:

Long Term Goal:

Saturday, September 23, 2006


I have been reading Regina Wilshire’s blog on a regular basis, and she has been posting about the ADA and it's stance on low carb diets to control diabetes.

A few posts ago, Regina called the ADA "Irrelevant" and I have to say I agree!!!!

Even though the ADA recognizes that low carb diets are effective in lowering blood sugars and allowing people to better control their blood sugars with low carb, they not only refuse to endorse it, but they specifically call out low carb as being a "fad" diet that should be avoided. Even though the ADA recognizes that low carb helps diabetics control their blood sugar, they don't recommend the diet because” patients find them too restrictive".

Too restrictive? Obviously these people have no idea what low carb really is!!!!

And besides, even if it is "too restrictive", is that a reason to not recommend it????

How about all those people with gluten intolerance.....are we now going to tell them to eat gluten containing foods because otherwise their diet is "too restrictive"??? If someone has a nut allergy, do they tell them to eat them anyway??? no! But for people who can't tolerate carbohydrates, what are they told??? To eat at least 45-55% of their calories from carbs!!!!

The other arguments against low carb diets is that they're high in fat (some are); high in protein (most are, since the "requirements" are so low); limited in vitamins, minerals, and fiber; (not if followed properly).

My all time favorite, though, is”it's not good to cut out a complete food group". There was never a problem with attempting to cut out fat as much as possible.....but we can't cut out carbs?!?!?! (Not to mention the FACT that almost no low carb plans completely cut out carbs!)

Apparently it's ok to attempt to completely remove one macronutrient, but not another?

We have fat, which is actually quite good for us, especially saturated and monosaturated fats....but we can't eat them. Fats are required by the body to sustain life.....but we can't eat them??? Makes no sense to me! Well, actually, yes, I do agree that there are fats we should avoid, namely polyunsaturated and trans-fats. Transfats have no "safe" limit, because the "safe" limit is none. Transfats are incorporated into cell walls, but not correctly, leaving the walls weak and damaged. Many feel that this is at least partially the cause of many degenerative diseases. Polyunsaturated, on the other hand, are believed to cause damage to DNA/RNA strands, which leads to cancer, heart disease, immune system problems and much much more!!!

So we can't eat one of the fats that are good for us, and we're supposed to replace it with two fats that are known to cause illness??

And! On top of that, not only are we "wrong" to restrict our carbohydrate intake, we're supposed to gorge on them, even though there is NO minimum requirement!!!!! Make sure they're "good" carbs....well at least half anyway.....but enjoy!!!!

We have millions that are unable to properly metabolize do we tell them to restrict their intake?? NOOOO We encourage them to eat more!!!!

Here's what they're doing to diabetics:

"Susie" presented to the doctor's office with a fasting blood sugar over 700. By late that afternoon, still fasting, it was almost 900. So, what was she told to eat each meal? AT LEAST 90gms of carbohydrate!!!! That's 360 calories JUST from carbs? For EACH meal? That means at least 1080 calories a day from, what else can she eat??? Mind you, this is also a woman who is seriously overweight, possibly even morbidly obese! She's about 45 and has several other medical issues unrelated to diabetes.

"Callie" is on 2 oral meds and still has A1C above 7. Her husband was (or is, not sure) doing low carb, and her nutrition counselor told her she could eat the same food, but in smaller quantities, but to "add a potato or rice or bread" to each meal. Her "normal" breakfast is cold cereal (cheerios) with lowfat milk and blueberries and a banana. At minimum, that's 60g of carbs....along with a small amount of protein (less than 10g) and a tiny bit of fat. And they wonder why, even with 2 meds, her blood sugar is in the 160's or higher?

"Joe" has an insulin pump.....does he restrict his carbs? Nope, he's been instructed to adjust his insulin dose to match his carb intake!!!! He's already had vascular problems, including a heart procedure, but continues to eat carbs and adjust his insulin.

I read a post on a message board where a woman said she had a smoothie "LOADED with fruit", a bagel and some cream cheese. All in one meal!!!! I mentioned that was a lot of carbs for one meal, and the poster's response was that it was a whole grain bagel! A day or so later the board's dietician posted.....and all she did was point out that "All fruits can be eaten on the diabetic (carbohydrate counting) plan. It all depends on the amount of furit that gives you 15 grams of carbohydrate per serving." And then proceeds to list a bunch of fruits and what the serving size is. No mention that more than one fruit, along with a bagel (whole wheat or not), is too much for one meal!!! (although in her defense she did recommend a diabetes class and to find out her carb level for each meal). Later the original poster responded "I'll try eating some fruits with a meal to make it easier to digest... but perhaps I just need to give an extra boost of insulin before eating the fruits so that by the time the sugar of the fruits hits me, it already has insulin to counteract it so I don't feel so icky." Wonder what the dietician will say to that post??? Anyone wanna take bets????

i know of men and women in their 20's and 30's, with Type 2 diabetes, that are being put on statins because their lipid levels are "bad". But if they simply cut their carbs, transfats and polyunsaturated and increased their mono and saturated fats and got good quality protein, their levels would all likely normalize. Blood lipids as well as glucose and insulin leves would normalize.

And finally, I read a post today written by a young person who is in medical school. He states that they are still being taught low fat, high carb.....but he has faith that soon the truth will come out.

Boy I wish I had that kind of faith!