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Old 02-06-2014, 02:34 AM   #1
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Riding the walrus!

I've been eating LCHF since 25th Jan, and I'm feeling great!

The purpose of this journal is to celebrate and motivate.

I have been on a weight loss/gain spiral, on and off LC, for 15 years. This time, I'm doing it for my health. I'm not even weighing myself regularly - I've measured my waist (which is a far more meaningful health marker than weight) and I'm already seeing improvements with reflux and IBS. I'm hoping that my PCOS will improve and that I will be able to avoid Type 2 diabetes that runs in my family (my grandmother and mother had it, now my older sister who's also fat has it).

I am 43, 5'10" and currently about 35-36 BMI.

(Sponsored by Fishy Joe's Walrus Juice. Ride the walrus!)
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Old 02-06-2014, 03:50 AM   #2
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Eating plan

I'm in the third week of a quite strict, bootcamp approach, and here is what my current plan looks like.

Eat freely: meat, fish, eggs, green leafy veg, any veg that's lower than 6 carbs per 100 g, butter, coconut oil, olive oil, herbs & spices

Occasionally: HM yogurt, cream, bacon, dried salami/sausage, cheese, higher carb veg (not potatoes), dark chocolate (70% plus), mayonnaise

Rarely and in very small portions: raw nuts, coconut milk, shirataki noodles, fruit, legumes, wine/spirits

Never: grains, sugars, sweeteners

Drinks: water, black coffee, tea (green, white), herbal teas

I eat 2-3 meals per day, no snacks.

Being so strict with sugar and grains really helped me have no cravings. Another thing that helped was advance preparation: in the first week I made a huge batch of lamb mini-meatballs, which I could eat for breakfast or lunch for a few days if I couldn't be bothered with preparing something fresh. We also don't eat dinner 3 days per week (my partner is still doing the 5:2, or rather 4:3, which works well for him), so the rest of the week I really make an effort to have a lovely LC dinner.

Yesterday, I experienced a breakthrough of sort; after a breakfast of 2 large drumsticks (dinner leftovers), I wasn't even that hungry for lunch. Yet, I thought I would get my appetite as soon as I started eating, so around 3 pm I opened a tin of sardines and served it with leftover homemade red cabbage slaw (dressed with vinegar, mayo and yogurt). Well, I ate about half, and then I realised I felt really satisfied and put the plate away!

Now, for me, that was HUGE!!!!! My longterm weight issue is not just due to choosing the wrong food, but also to extreme overeating and never feeling really full/satisfied, even when my stomach was bursting. To feel satisfied enough to leave half the plate uneaten - well, that was unheard of! Until yesterday...
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Old 02-07-2014, 02:25 AM   #3
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Yesterday's food

B: 3 eggs scrambled with asparagus and bacon, in butter

L: remaining half of sardine (in olive oil) tin and HM red coleslaw; small avocado with olive oil and cider vinegar

D: lamb curry made from LO roast shreds, leeks, peppers and mushrooms, and tin of coconut milk, served with 100g shirataki noodles

We usually have a roast for Sunday dinner, and as there are only 2 of us, there are plenty of leftovers. I make sure my OH packs 2 days of lunches (I work part time so I eat lunch at home) and then freeze the rest of the meat, chopped up or shredded. We prefer a leg of lamb on the bone, beef brisket or shin (although a rib roast is fantastically fatty and yummy, it's a rare treat due to the price), pork belly or shoulder, and a whole chicken.

This is the second time I've had shirataki noodles in the 3 weeks of LC-ing. It's a bit of a crutch, and I wouldn't like to eat it more often, but at the end of the day it is carb and calorie free. The problem is, it's a processed food, and I'm otherwise avoiding any food that's not in its natural state. Yes, I have been Primal for a long time (at least in heart, if not in actual food choices!). If I could buy the whole konyaku root, grate it myself and then boil it, I would feel more comfortable with it. Although that would probably taste even worse!
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Old 02-07-2014, 05:09 AM   #4
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Why so strict?

Because I love food, cooking and especially eating it, and if it's carby I cannot stop.

Because when I start "treating" myself it becomes a regular expectation, and a naughty reward for... I don't even know what. Breathing?

Because it's soooooooo HARD to stop overeating carbs*, even when they make me sleepy, stretch my stomach painfully and burn my oesophagus. Not to mention the fat rolls! Which then makes me depressed, frustrated with my lack of willpower, and hating myself. Leading me back to comfort eating, and another vicious circle.

Because stopping cold is so EASY, almost magically so. OK, I did have a mild headache on days 2 and 3, but nothing a paracetamol couldn't deal with (apparently, ibuprofen, my go-to painkiller, is not that great for LC due to its effects on insulin. Also, it is slightly damaging to the stomach lining, another reason for me to stop using it). But no cravings, no boredom, and I'm really enjoying the food.

Because I am an addict in recovery, which means that I will have to be ALWAYS vigilant. One misstep is not the end - as long as I immediately follow it with strict LC. This is not a diet with an end date or weight - this is my life. And I don't want to let myself down any more. I deserve the best I can give!


* I must note that when I say "carbs", I mean the combination of fat and sugar which has been scientifically proven as addictive (as if we needed additional research!). I was not overeating dry bread and plain rice.
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Old 02-08-2014, 08:34 AM   #5
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Friday

B: 3 eggs scrambled with asparagus and bacon, in butter

L/D: Cos lettuce wraps: chorizo balls fried with leeks, mushrooms and red pepper; avocado; HM yogurt; grated Shropshire red cheese
1 sq (10g) of 85% chocolate

I had a late and hefty lunch with my sister, who enjoyed it but kept being negative about Low Carb. All whilst complaining how fat she was, how unwell it was making her, and how she wished she could restart a diet/healthy eating like me. But she can't drop grains because she has to eat something bread-like in the morning, with the ham and cheese, and no, lettuce is not an option. She has almost as many excuses as I used to have!

Actually, in the last few months I had run out of excuses. I had no reason or excuse for poisoning myself with unhealthy food, except that I wanted it, or even needed it, blindly. Despite the piling weight, heartburn, bloating, and a host of other unpleasant effects. How I managed to switch to cold turkey LC? I sure wish I knew!

It was easy not to have dinner, as I met up with my OH after work to see a production of opera scenes by the students of the Royal Academy of Music. It was beautiful, relaxing and uplifting. I didn't even feel like a herbal tea when we got back home!
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Old 02-08-2014, 11:28 AM   #6
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Saturday

As it's the weekend, I actually cooked both lunch and dinner. The former was a bit easier and quicker to make than the latter, but as it needed to cool down to be at its best, I did it before we went out for a couple of hours.

B: 25 g flaxseed with some bits (pack below 2 carbs, but in hot water swells to a sizeable portion) with 3T HM yogurt; coffee

L: Meat-crust quiche with asparagus and mushrooms (I used the other frozen part of the chorizo-spiced ground pork shoulder); artichoke with mayo-vinaigrette

D: Creamy fish pie with mashed celeriac topping; green salad

The artichoke was a carbier choice than usual for me, but as it's the weekend... It falls under the "occasional" banner, and it's a nutritional powerhouse besides being super tasty, so well worth it.

The quiche I more or less improvised, but I found a LC fish pie recipe online. I'm going to start recording recipes here, so I have them in one place.
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Old 02-08-2014, 02:17 PM   #7
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Here's the link to the recipe I used for the spicy chorizo mixture

Just in case it ever breaks, here are the ingredients:

750g pork shoulder, coarsely minced
1 tbsp sweet smoked paprika
2 tsp hot smoked paprika
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
10g/2 tsp fine sea salt
1½ tsp fennel seeds
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
50ml red wine
Freshly ground black pepper
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Old 02-09-2014, 11:42 AM   #8
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Sunday

B: L/O slice of meat quiche, sliced turnip

L: Tuna/smoked salmon/fennel/avocado in mayo/yogurt dressing, on top of lettuce, spinach & rocket; about 2oz blue brie

D: Roast beef, mashed swede, creamy leeks

I measured my waist today, and it went down by 2-3 cm! YAY!
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Old 02-10-2014, 03:36 AM   #9
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Feelings and thoughts

Feeling somewhat low today. I was, for some unknown reason, acutely aware today of how I actually look: big belly rolls, hefty legs, ham-like arms, thick neck, double chin that swallows my jaw-line; and that makes me feel gross, ashamed and unhappy. I am blessed to have the love, desire and support of a wonderful man, but this morning I felt like I don't deserve him and am just a millstone around his neck.

Writing this down helps. It helps me see it rationally, instead of emotionally, and I can see how absurd these words look. I know I have a lot to give and I deserve to be loved, as much as I deserve to share my love with others. I know that my body does not look perfect, but it's my vessel in this world; my strength, my roots, my health, my sensuality, even my thought and feelings are anchored in my body.

So, the thing to do is feel happy with what I have, and feel motivated that I am doing something - and doing it very well - to improve my health, weight and self image. Keep on keeping on!
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Old 02-10-2014, 12:33 PM   #10
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I read this on ivillage.com:

"How you feel about yourself affects how others perceive you—and obsessing over your looks can be depressing. A recent study asked women to listen to their heartbeats. The better they got at doing so, the less likely they were to think of their bodies as objects. So breathe. Relax. Listen to your heart. You’re only as beautiful as you feel."

I shall listen to my heartbeat more often!

Monday's food:

B: L/O roast beef

L: HM pork scratchings, kale in butter, 2.5 oz blue brie

D: HM liver meatloaf, lettuce leaves
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Old 02-10-2014, 12:44 PM   #11
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Never forget that image. That image in your mind will keep you motivated, and will help you regain motivation as time goes on. I hated my picture and image as well, and now I kind of love it. I love looking at it and seeing how far I have come in such a short time! Keep up the good work.
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Old 02-11-2014, 04:34 AM   #12
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Thanks, greengeeny, and congrats on your loss to date! I look forward to the time when this shape of mine will be only a memory. At present, I have to get over it, cheer myself up and continue the strong motivation for losing weight, as feeling low is one of my triggers for overeating and ultimately giving up. So, good, I am still very strongly motivated, and I will keep it up!

Another thing to bear in mind is that I don't know how I will look at my ideal weight (I don't even know what it is). But I know how I will feel - healthy, grateful and proud!
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Old 02-11-2014, 09:47 AM   #13
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Liver meatloaf recipe

450 g minced beef
400 g liver (lamb or chicken)
1 large courgette, grated
2 small handfuls of grated cheddar
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
1 large egg

Mix everything together, season with plenty of salt and coarse ground black pepper, and some smoked paprika. Place in a buttered baking dish, pat to distribute and flatten. Bake at 180-200 C for 45-50 minutes.

These are just rough quantities, basically you want a little less liver than meat, otherwise the taste would be overpowering. I planned to add some finely minced leek too, but I forgot! It is tasty enough without it.
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Old 02-12-2014, 05:44 AM   #14
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Tuesday food

B: 2 slices liver meatloaf, spinach, rocket and watercress leaves (undressed, which was a mistake. They tasted too bitter, especially with the liver, and there was probably not enough fat in the meal)

L: Kale in butter; 2 T flaxseeds with hot water and 2 T yogurt (it expands into a satisfying, thick, porridge-like dish)

D: Slow cooked chicken legs with Moroccan spices (Ras el Hanout, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, 2 garlic cloves and 1/4 lemon with peel; salt); griddled slices of courgette and aubergine (pre-oiled with EV olive oil) with salt and crushed garlic; 2 T creme fraiche on the veggies

I also added a bit of Chinese chilli oil to my creme fraiche, which tasted nice, but... I haven't really checked the jar, and it probably has loads of MSG. It tastes so savoury, salty, hot and umami! In addition to oil, crushed chillies and salt, it also contains salted shrimp paste, so I won't be able to recreate it at home. Also, I just realised, the oil is probably a nasty seed oil which I'm avoiding... That's it. Talked myself into binning the rest of the jar!

This morning was also the first time in ages (even before I started to eat healthily) that I woke up with my tummy rumbling for food. I wonder why? Could it be the MSG? Or am I having too much dairy? I wasn't going to have more than a portion every 2-3 days, but now it's twice a day.

Anyway, by the time I got up and went downstairs I wasn't feeling that hunger any more, but I was ready to eat my brekkie.
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Old 02-13-2014, 03:19 AM   #15
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Weds food

B: 2 slices meatloaf (and it's finished now! Maybe I should have frozen half rather than have us eat it for days in a row); 2T creme fraiche

L: 2 drumsticks and some griddled courgette and aubergine from last night. All the jus from the slow cooker, which is almost bone broth, isn't it?

Then, I still felt hungry. I tried to resist it, but then realised I'd better eat something fatty and satisfying, than hold back and explode in a carb binge.

So, post lunch: 4 rashers of streaky bacon in butter, mushrooms with cream

That really hit the spot, and I wasn't hungry dinner time (which is just as well, as we're not eating it Mon/Wed/Fri)

This morning I tried a Ketostix for the first time ever, despite starting with Atkins 15 years ago. It was well purple, as I expected (I'm sure that all the water I drink during the day would lighten the colour, that's why I did it first thing). I got the strips in preparation for the second phase of my plan, which will involve a Feast and a Fast day. I will probably start this in March, after 5 weeks of strict "induction".

Tonight we're going to a restaurant to celebrate Valentine's day - in advance, because we have other plans for tomorrow night, and because it was easier to book a table! The menu is Argentinian, and I'm looking forward to a big, juicy steak!
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Old 02-16-2014, 02:00 PM   #16
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I have had a fantastic LC restaurant meal on Thu, and the next morning I was still deep in ketosis (as I expected anyway - the only possible carbs could have been hidden in the creamed spinach, as everything else I ate was clean. I only had a tiniest sip of red wine, and it burnt my oesophagus on the way down! It's great that I don't have heartburn from regular LC food)

Fri & Sat great, but I want to record today's food as we had a special family occasion and I ate a lot, including some carbier dishes. This is still on plan for me, as a "Feast" day, followed tomorrow by "Fast". The idea is to get kicked out of ketosis for one day, then go back the next, thereby interrupting the constant state, similarly to intermittent fasting.

Anyways, Sunday:

B: HM chorizo sausagemeat, wilted spinach in butter, 1T mascarpone

L: celeriac-topped creamy fish pie, lettuce

D: 3 devilled eggs, chilli cheese pate, roast peppers, Russian salad*, filo ham roulade*, grilled chicken (1/2 small thigh), mini sausage*, roast ham; black coffee and 1 teaspoon cream cake filling*

The * denote probable carbs, with the lovely roulade slice being the heaviest in quantity. The good thing is that these carbs didn't make me go overboard in stuffing myself (OK, it doesn't look it, but the pieces I ate were really small). I'm looking forward to checking the ketostix tomorrow morning! This was a special occasion, though, my grand-niece's christening, and in the future the feast days/meals would involve healthier carbs like fruits, sweet potatoes or rice.
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Old 02-17-2014, 02:46 AM   #17
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Ah, well, I tested last night and was still in ketosis, if only weak. This morning, I was in medium (previously it was always strong or very strong). So it's good news in a way. I enjoyed myself, and still continued to burn fat. I didn't completely let go, though - there were many other carby goodies that I avoided (and did not miss). I'm not quite sure if this "feast" day exists to really shake up the metabolism, or just to make the diet less boring/restrictive (I'm not finding it boring as yet, but in 12 months' time I just might!)

The concept of feast then fast is mentioned in ketogenic diets, 4HB's Slow Carb, the Dissident Diet, and it could be understood as a variety of intermittent fasting which is very Paleo/Primal. I'll have to read up on it a bit more!

The bad news is I ate breakfast even though I wasn't terribly hungry, and afterwards I felt uncomfortably full. I probably should have missed it today, especially in light of last night's abundant meal. I'm currently drinking black coffee and feeling a light heartburn, which I'm unhappy about. It's probably too much cheese/cream (LO creamy fish pie) and food in general that's stretching my stomach. Definitely something that I have to be careful about! Even though I recently felt so proud that I could stop eating when full, it doesn't work all the time. I will be more mindful!
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Old 02-17-2014, 03:05 AM   #18
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WOW, you sound like your on the right path... Just wanted to stop by and tell you to keep up the good work.
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Old 02-17-2014, 08:04 AM   #19
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Meat quiche recipe

Line a baking pan/pie dish with spiced sausage meat*, about 1 cm depth (I used about 400-500g) and bake for 15 mins on medium hot (180-200 C);

throw in a handful of chopped asparagus and another one of mushrooms and bake another 10 mins;

pour over 2 eggs mixed with about 200 ml double cream, small handful grated cheddar cheese, salt and lots of coarse ground black pepper;

bake for 20 mins more and then go out for an hour or so, as it's easier to eat when cooled down completely but smells too good to leave it alone!



Thank you for your encouraging words, giggles4me!
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Old 02-17-2014, 08:36 AM   #20
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Oh look another uk person, I spotted you on giggles4me's journal, I haven't read everything you have written in your journal as I am running out of time, but I will be back lol, I love the way you post what you have eaten and some recipes...I am really interested in the creamy leeks, I love leeks but never quite know what to do with them lol, so I chop and throw them in casseroles and chillies etc....can you let me know how you made them....anyway will be back later for more reading, it sounds like you are doing amazing.....
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Old 02-17-2014, 08:57 AM   #21
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Old 02-18-2014, 02:25 AM   #22
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I love the sound of the sausagy asparagus, mushroom quiche, I make one every few days as I find it so easy just to grab a slice for breakfast or lunch, but usually only do cheese and ham, I never thought of using sausage meat which I love, and the mushrooms and asparagus, it sounds really nice, so today I am off to the butchers to get that sausage meat, it sounds really good, and it will be nice to change up my food, thanks for posting it, and also the creamy leeks yum, can't wait to try them in the week.

Anyway you are doing really well, and I enjoyed reading your journal....I did have a ahhh moment when I read about your other half and what you said about being a millstone, you sound such a lovely person and that is what he see's, but its good you are also doing this for you.....keep at it...we will be skinny lol.
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Old 02-18-2014, 04:19 AM   #23
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Morning,
I am so jealous, I don't cook.. I am sure I can but since it's just me and if I use the oven it heats up my home. I do cook on the stovetop....LOL

Keep the calories low and laugh a lot....( I hear laughter is good exercise)....
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Old 02-19-2014, 12:48 PM   #24
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Phew, I'm back! Not that I've been away, or abandoned low carb. I just had to spend 2 days on writing my assignment for the Open University, and during that time I may have snacked a bit due to stress... No mindfulness there!

But, the assignment has been submitted and the stress is behind me. Back to normal, which is 3 (or sometimes 2) meals a day, no snacks.

I had also pre-prepared the meat quiche so we could have it for lunches/b-fasts, and when busy, the slow cooker is my friend. Yesterday I put a lovely piece of pork belly into it, and in the evening we had it with some Brussels sprouts in butter with crushed walnuts. That was nice!
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Old 02-19-2014, 03:36 PM   #25
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Sounds like you were able to make it through a tough assignment... I don't eat out of stress, I eat out of boredom. So I have to make sure I keep a clean and empty kitchen at all times. No bad food allowed.

Any good slow cooker recipes to pass along???
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Old 02-22-2014, 03:52 AM   #26
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Out of ketosis this morning, due to a planned "feast" meal. I visited a friend who cooked her national dishes for a couple of us, and I ate them with gratitude and enjoyment. They still weren't "dirty" carbs, but by my account the meal contained about 80-100 grams, which is a lot! That was my second of the 2 meals yesterday, no dinner, and today I've been enjoying a fatty low carb fry-up. I hope to be back in keto by tomorrow morning.
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Old 02-22-2014, 04:13 AM   #27
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It was a planned cheat feast which sometimes I think does us good, and then its good to get back to it.....it sounded lovely....have a great weekend.
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Old 02-23-2014, 10:00 AM   #28
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Back in ketosis this morning, after a nice sunny day yesterday. I had:

B: Bacon, mushrooms, spinach and 1 egg, all fried in butter

L: Calamari, lettuce and HM guacamole. I "breaded" the calamari in ground almonds and smoked paprika, which promptly fell off during the frying. Still, we ended up sprinkling the fried crumbs as a topping over the salad.

D: Griddled steak, cauliflower cheese

I am very pleased with my progress. I have measured my waist, and it's gone down. I'm happy I decided not to weigh myself more than once a month, as the fluctuations of the scale used to leave me really frustrated, unhappy and questioning my diet. Now I know that this way of eating works for me, for health as well as looks (that will take a long time, though, but there's no rush), and ultimately I will continue to eat like this till the day I die. It's a good thing that I'm enjoying it!

I must add that the carbs I ate on Friday, for one meal, were tasty as they were cooked with love and care; they were not, however, nastily oversweet or rich. I still have to make sure and keep well away from manufactured food like that, even on my "feast" days. Also, I was just reminded on one of the threads - one carby meal can work well without inviting cravings or binging; one whole day of gorging on carbs, not really!
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Old 02-23-2014, 02:14 PM   #29
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I really enjoy looking at what you have been eating and you certainly make so many thing that I never thought of making....I am sure you will inspire other people with some of your recipes, I think its great cooking such different meals as you won't get bored which I think sometimes is half the battle.
That was interesting to read that you only weigh once a month, that is so good if you have the willpower to do it as those scale bounces can drive us insane lol, anyway it sounds like you are shrinking so well done....
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Old 02-25-2014, 05:40 AM   #30
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Thanks, Sandy!

OK, Sunday was:

B - 2 eggs, bacon

L - salmon fillet, L/O cauli cheese

D - roast chicken, creamy braised cabbage

Monday:

B - L/O lamb tadjine, yogurt

L - L/O chicken bits, kale in butter

D - broth made of chicken carcass, fried mushrooms and bacon

I also snacked on some cheese between lunch and dinner, probably because the chicken I ate wasn't enough (I was just picking the carcass clean, the breasts, legs and wings were already gone). I would much rather have satisfying meals and no snacking in between! Something to bear in mind.

This morning I had an amazing omelette made by my OH, filled with asparagus and feta cheese. Planning a Bolognese for dinner, with courgetti, but not sure about lunch. Especially as instead of going home after work, I have to go to the bank to sort out my new debit card, and I have a feeling it's going to take a long time...
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