Welcome to my little blog

Hi I'm Don from NJ. I'll be sharing a lot of useful information as well as my experience on how to treat diet and fat loss correctly and safely. This is not only for those of you who know me in the forum, but also anyone who is serious about getting in nice shape for long-term.

13 November 2012 ~ 0 Comments

Blendtec or Vitamix – battle of the best blenders

It does not matter your finances, when researching blenders, choosing one is difficult and in many cases comes down to Vita-mix or a Blendtec. In figuring out how to go about your decision, you should think about the purpose of your purchase. If you’re looking for a high-powered blender that will handle smoothies, iced drinks, and other standard blender tasks, both blenders are fully capable of meeting your needs. Likely, the better choice for milling grains and then kneading with wet ingredients for dough is the Blendtec. On the other hand, if you’re looking to make fresh juices, you’ll want to go for the Vitamix.

Another criteria to consider when comparing Vitamix vs Blendtec blenders is how often you’re planning on using the blender. If you’re an occasional user, it will be important to you how easy it is to take the blender out and put the blender away. The base unit of the Blendtec is lighter, and easier to move. Also the Vitamix lid, lid cap, and blending tool will not all fit in the blender at the same time, so you will need to store one or more of the items next to the blender. If you plan to use your blender every day or nearly every day and keep it on your kitchen counter, you’ll want to consider the aesthetics of the blender, as well as the size. The Blendtec will fit neatly underneath an overhanging kitchen cabinet, whereas the Vitamix will only fit beneath a kitchen cabinet if the lid is removed. They also have very different appearances, the Blendtec being more high tech, while the Vitamix is more traditional.

The third point in the blender comparison is your overall personality. If you’re a control freak that wants to micromanage your blender use, you’ll definitely want the Vitamix with its ability to fine tune blending speeds and duration. If you’re extremely laid back, and want to blend something with the least amount of effort possible, you’ll definitely want the Blendtec with its single button pre-programmed blending routines. Most people will fall somewhere between those two extremes of personality.

Finally, when comparing Blendtec vs Vitamix, ask yourself if you’re prone to accidents in the kitchen. Do you throw too much into the blender at once, causing the motor to overheat? Has more than one spoon or knife fallen into the carafe while it’s running? If so, you need the Vitamix, which is designed to compensate for these occurrences and prevent damage to the unit. Also, the Vitamix support is located in the US, compared to a mix of domestic and foreign support for the Blendtec.

26 August 2012 ~ 0 Comments

Diabetes and Metformin

I’m surprised so many of my friends who have Diabetes II and have taken Metformin for a long time, considering our population is LC/HF. Have I missed something?

I ask because we just don’t have that experience among our clientele. It’s not unusual for Metformin to be discontinued well within the first six months on protocol and easily within the first year. We look for a self-assessed 85% compliance or greater. We begin timing when the client affirms they’re at 85%, after which these people become normalized and their docs take them off Metformin.

One of our insurance plans out here requires enrollment in a diabetes workshop if diagnosed with Type 2. A case I like to talk about is a client (old friend of mine) who had been diagnosed with diabetes three years ago. We put him on protocol and three months later most his numbers were normal (fasting glucose, triglycerides, total cholesterol, HDL, LDL), six months later all his numbers were normal, including c-reactive protein, homocysteine, blood pressure, HgA1(c).

He’d also lost 30 or 40 pounds and Metformin was discontinued. The nurse practitioner running the workshop asked him how he had so much success so quickly. He said, A high-fat, no sugar diet and by no sugar, I also mean no grains. She said, That’s not healthy. He said, According to your numbers I am. He continues to do well and is 87 pounds lighter (297 to 210). He feels great. His comment: “No sugar and by no sugar I also mean no grains” is a popular phrase among functional medicine providers.

Anyway, I’m wondering why so many of them still have glucose and insulin problems to the point they require Metformin. I realize you may always be sensitive, but not sick, uncontrolled and on medication. This disparity remains in question.

23 August 2012 ~ 0 Comments

LCHF without a gallbladder

For those who have gallbladder, I have some advice for you. The gallbladder is an important organ and when we lose it, we’ve lost a very important part of our ability to stay healthy. Most physicians and surgeons in the United States think of the gallbladder (appendix, tonsils, etc.) as ancillary parts of the body that are not needed to maintain good health. Not true. Even more important than tonsils and appendix, when we lose our GB, its function needs to be replaced with the appropriate nutritional supplements, mostly food-based supplements in concentrations that cannot be obtained through diet.

I also take quite a few different things: Metformin, CoQ10, probiotics, blue green algae, vit D, etc. However, I’ve been blaming all of my intestinal “distress” on the metformin. But, it finally dawned on me that in February when I was diagnosed with diabetes and put on metformin that I also drastically changed my diet – to LCHF. And, without a gallbladder, it may be the fat that I’m having issues with. I used to take digestive enzymes, but I stopped when I started on the metformin ER as I’ve always been told not to take enzymes with a “time release” medication.

I did do some research online and found that people who don’t initially have issues after gall bladder surgery may develop problems later on. It’s been 10 years since my surgery. The recommendation was to take 1/2 a Caltrate Plus tablet with each meal, as calcium can help with diarrhea. I did start taking the Caltrate and have noticed that it is helping, but it’s not perfect yet. I did check with my doctor first and she said to give it a go. She also suggested taking digestive enzymes (not knowing that I used to take them). I wanted to give the Caltrate another week or so before adding back the enzymes just so I would have some idea if one or the other is helping.

I’m at the point where I cannot live my life with this intestinal nightmare. So I was hoping that maybe someday there were others who had figured out how to successfully eat LCHF without a gall bladder.

19 August 2012 ~ 0 Comments

Coming out of the closet, um… sugar jar

I was diagnosed in February of this year with diabetes. It was a huge shock, as I guess it probably is to most people. I’d gone in to an urgent care facility with a cough and came out with diabetes. Yikes! I had lost 120 pounds over several years, so again, my diagnosis was a huge shock. My A1c was 12.7 and my fasting bs was 360. I immediately stopped eating any carbs thinking that I would get my bs down to normal within a week or two.

Yah, right. Another shock. Didn’t happen. My bs did drop, but nothing really dramatic. I was put on Metformin and let me tell you, that has been a horrendous experience. She had me start it on a Friday so I “would have the weekend for my body to adjust to it”. I asked her if I would have any trouble with it on Friday as I had to be at work. She insisted that it would not be an issue the first day. WRONG! I spent a lot of time in the bathroom and ended up having to leave work to go home and change my clothes.

Quite humiliating. I went back to work and ended up just having to go home as my …cough cough…issues… wouldn’t stop. I found out about the ER Metformin and made the switch to it, but still have problems with it. I went in for my 3 month blood draw last month. My A1c came back at 8.1. I was completely disappointed. I keep reading about people who were able to get there blood sugar down into the 6s in just 3 months and that’s what I was expecting. The good news was that my doctor was thrilled. She was totally excited and thought that I’d done an unbelievable job. She’s convinced that I’ll have my bs down in the normal range at my next 3 month blood draw. I hope she’s right. She’s also very supportive of my LC/HF diet. Her one comment to me about it was that I need to find a way to make it sustainable. I don’t think I have any choice.

I have learned a lot from you all about this way of eating. I am so very glad to have found you and other LC/HF info online. If I hadn’t, I’m sure that I’d be caught up in the standard dietician diabetic diet and not be getting anywhere with my bs.

One thing that I have to keep wrapping my head around is that I have to be eating enough fat. I’ve been on diets my whole life and am programmed to stay far far away from fat. So, this has been an experience. I find that my bs levels go down with the more fat I eat. I have coconut oil fudge every night after dinner to help up my fat.

I’ve also begun eating beef (haven’t done that in about 25 years). I’m continually having to find ways to add fat to my diet. I just discovered Mr Peanut Bread last week and am thrilled that I can have sandwiches again. I think I’ve made some kind of sandwich every day since. I make the bread in a muffin top pan so that it is kind of a bun. YUM! My fall-back recipe for when I can’t think of anything to make and want something quick and easy is Crack Slaw. Even my dh and dd enjoy it. I’d love to know what your go-to recipes are.

18 August 2012 ~ 0 Comments

Understanding how you metabolize foods

The Mercola and some questionnaire tests in determining your metabolism are accurate about 60% of the time, but keep in mind that you can be a protein/fat type (a fast metabolizer requiring higher fats/moderate protein) but have a sympathetic-dominant autonomic nervous system where that style of eating would not be healthy for you in the long run.

If your autonomic nervous system rules (if it’s strong enough), it can change how you metabolize foods, so a protein/fat type as determined by the Mercola test could very well require eating more carbs, including breads, lighter proteins (eg, white meat chicken vs. dark, poultry vs. lamb, etc.) and fewer fats. To find out your metabolism requires urine, saliva and respiratory testing over a 3-1/2 hour period.

Or you can try both and see what works. I don’t need any tests to tell me that a piece of white bread is like poison to me. I can guarantee that in about 12 hours, I will be exhibiting bi-polar symptoms, the worst of which is dwelling on suicide. I am drug free now, and it is through staying in ketosis. The ketogenic diet actually works better for me than the drug (lamotrigine) ever did. Even on the drug, I experienced anxiety frequently.

With the diet, the anxiety is gone so long as I stay at 15. My psychiatrist and I have written a paper that has been accepted for publication in The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease. The paper deals with my case and one other. My experience has been very positive. The latest Wise Traditions magazine (Weston A. Price Foundation) has an article about using low carb high fat diet for control of bi-polar disorder as well as autism and other mental disturbances.

15 August 2012 ~ 0 Comments

Intermittent fasting diet is NOT a low carb substitute

Intermittent fasting diet isn’t meant as a low carb substitute — its was developed for people who have gluten/ celiac problems. One hundred grams is over 500 calories, fat is over 50g, protein is 25.1g and carbs are 19.6g. The nutritional proportions aren’t that bad actually, But thats for only 100 grams of pb. And that’s to make something that is just to put other food on.

I’d say that I try for total carbs of under 20g per day (I’m diabetic) – possibly you allow more carbs in your meals, but I suspect mr peanut bread might be something to watch later on if your weight losses eventually stop — the calorie input is quite high.

One way of using mr pb is to make a little loaf, then slice horizontally into slices. And I’ve chanced it sometimes for open-faced sandwiches as well — kind of like a light rye (only dryer) if you add some ground up caraway seeds to the batter to feed your imagination a little bit.

It doesn’t have anything in it that will spike your blood sugar and it is a much more appealing “bread” to me than the very dry coconut flour or almond flour breads. I haven’t had any bread of any kind in four months, so this has been a real treat.

With 10 servings per recipe, it works out to 5 carbs per serving. Yes, that’s still high (I’m shooting for under 30 per day), but if I keep the rest of my carbs for the meal way down, it’s doable for me. I have been enjoying BLTs for dinner. Something I haven’t been able to do unless I made a lettuce wrap out of it and sometimes I get really really sick of lettuce wraps.

I also like the 31 day fat loss cure program which my friends recommended to me and can be ordered online too. Google it if you are interested.

There is a website that you can find the program and I heard it’s low carb ness (as well as dreamfields pasta for that matter) BUT who knows maybe it would work for u. I’ve had it and its delicious in my opinion, kind of like a crumbly dense bread (am I thinking English muffin bread, that doesn’t sound right now that I say it).

13 August 2012 ~ 0 Comments

How to properly find out your metabolism

You may think that finding out your metabolism requires Lamotrigine, urine, saliva and respiratory testing over a 3-1/2 hour period.

The fact is, Lamotrigine is the drug of choice for bi-polars who are more depressed than manic. It is used quite often for bi-polar disorder. The thing I hated the most about it was the mental confusion it caused. I could never take a full dose because of that, which is probably why it didn’t do very much for the agitation. But it certainly quelled the suicidal thoughts.

So how does one do this?

First, you make an appointment with someone who can do it, usually alternative practitioners who have the training, unless you have a digital pH meter and a bunch of other stuff. You could go to the website phblood.com to find a practitioner in your area, or read about the process: The Nutrition Solution : A Guide to Your Metabolic Type by Kristal.

However, since everybody’s different, monitoring by way of ketostix each morning will be helpful as you find the right macronutrient (fats/protein/carbs) balance for you. Carbs will metabolize as sugar (that’s what carbs are), whether very slowly with the use of added fats or quickly, as with white rice without added fat. So, you’re not really dodging the carbs with added fat, you’re just slowing down how quickly they’re metabolized, which is why ketostix is a better indicator than blood glucose monitoring. And don’t forget, too much protein will also metabolize as sugar in a process known as glyconeogenesis, which is why a high fat diet is so cool.

Also, if you are already eating carbs from non-starchy vegetables. E.g. a whole bag of organic lettuces at Trader Joe’s (5oz of baby romaine, for example), has only 3 net carbs. 5oz of lettuce is a lot of fresh greens, with a lot of phytonutrients, then you shouldn’t be worried that you’re not getting nutrients from starch.

09 August 2012 ~ 0 Comments

An alternative to “juicing” diet

Instead of removing the fiber from the vegetables and fruits leaving only the carbohydrates (which I mentioned in the last post) and if you have a really powerful blender, like a Vitamix (that’s what I’ve got) you can do the opposite — completely liquify, say, strawberries or blueberries, rendering the micro-nutrients even more available (because the Vitamix ruptures cell membranes) and also rendering additional fiber digestible from the teeny seeds, which ordinarily would pass undigested through your system. AND, in the vitamix you can have your fat, too, by adding cream or full-fat yogurt to your berries for a smoothie that’s a *lot* tastier than the juice alone. You can also add supplements, whey powder, coconut oil, flaxseed, etc., whatever you need.

If you need an example of how much gets left behind in a juicer, take a sip of carrot juice. It’s *really* sweet. That’s because you’re getting *only* the juice and therefore concentrating the natural sugar. Whereas if you puree a carrot in a Vitamix, you get something that tastes like . . . well, mooshed-up carrot. Not nearly so sweet, and it’s more soup consistency than drinkable.

One time I’d recommend a juicer is if you seriously hate vegetables, then that’s a way to hold your nose and get it down fast. I’d still recommend not using a juicer if at all possible — there are SO many veggies out there, and so many luscious ways to prepare them and not waste all the fiber and some of the nutrients, surely you’ll like *something* — but if drinking vegetable juice is the *only* way you’re going to get your veggie nutrients, then it’s better than doing it via vitamin pill.

The only other time I’d recommend a juicer is if you want to do wheat-grass. There’s really no way to do that in a Vitamix. Has to be a juicer.

07 August 2012 ~ 0 Comments

Fat, Sick, Nearly Dead

I don’t mean to start a firestorm with anybody and perhaps this works great for certain people, but I would respectfully like to suggest that any conditioning workout would suggest the opposite of a low carb, high fat diet. What you do is remove the fiber from the vegetables and fruits leaving only the carbohydrates (and presumably the micro-nutrients).

And as far as I can tell there is little to no fat. While such a diet probably reduces calories enormously and thus causes weight loss, it seems to me that by taking the carbs without the fiber you are asking for blood sugar and insulin surges that will not be helpful in terms of arterial plaque and metabolic syndrome. Maybe the weight loss alone is enough to improve health, but such a program is in my opinion not consistent with the topic of this list which is low carb and high fat eating. I wonder if you would be better off eating the fiber (with a big dollop of coconut oil) and throwing away the juice.

It’s helpful to realize that many folks with weight problems also have other health problems, and the nutrients in carefully chosen fruits and veggies that are juiced or blended can be crucial to healing, increased insulin sensitivity, etc. That’s why the guys in Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead got a good start on weight loss and improved health. After the 6 weeks they definitely needed guidance on transitioning into a healthy low carb diet.

Focusing only on carb restriction can leave you short of essential nutrients. I’ve done both juicing and blending and they serve somewhat different purposes. If I have a lot of leafy greens in the garden, I can juice a bunch of them. I add some water to the remains and send them through again to extract more of the nutrients, but I definitely don’t need all the fiber. Lately I’ve done more blending with my BlendTec. Then I add olive oil, raw apple cider vinegar, a bit of raw honey, and some Celtic sea salt, and you have to add water or a liquid to blend a jar full of cut up veggies. And I don’t drink the whole thing all at once.

04 August 2012 ~ 0 Comments

What you must know about the diet for your child

When my daughter was 10 year old (she’s now 12), I really felt she’s eating a lot of the time because she sees someone else eat, not because she’s hungry.  She would be doing something else, then see someone eat, then suddenly, she MUST eat.

I was pondering how can she be hungry 30 minutes after eating a plate of baby tomatoes, cheese, and ham?  I just couldn’t believe that she ate only when hungry and never because of other influences.  She also complaint sometimes about reflux, at times when she has eaten a lot.

She grows because she eats?

You’ve heard the saying “Is she growing because she’s eating, or eating because she’s growing?“….she had been a tiny baby and toddler, but from about age 2 1/2, the growth has not stopped.  Really!  Yes, her dad is tall and I am not, but at some point in the past 4 years I would think she might slow down a little.  I do notice her sister will get a little pudgy (a little!) before a height spurt, but Meg has had a large belly since turning 3.  She doesn’t really look “fat” but she is solid, large overall, with extra in the belly.  And she has been called fat at school. And research shows many fat adults were fat kids, and since she’s the only one of 3 kids that is like this, I can’t help but worry about her future.  She’s been storing extra fat for 4 years and growing constantly…

I did try to steer her in the low carb way, and she does well with that, but if someone was eating bread, or Kraft Dinner, etc, it’s extremely hard to give her something else.  She’s aware of better choices, but she’s still only 6 for long and wanted what the other have.  If it were just her and I here, we’d both do so much better!  This is why I tried to make “regular” foods (pancakes, desserts, etc) that are low carb, even if many of you feel this things just aren’t necessary…if I can make a chocolate brownie that everyone likes, but is non-wheat, low carb, then that really helps us all.

Hungry because of growth

If you’re ever feeding your child a diet low in carbs, high in veggies, meat and healthy fats, there is no reason to worry about her “overeating”. Her body knows when it needs more nutrition. Some of your children may be taller than her classmates, and that is not a result of overeating, that’s a genetic predisposition. She’s a growing girl, which makes her hungry.

Baby fat on young bodies serves an important purpose – it’s there to be drawn upon during growth spurts. The body is going to grow whether there is fat to draw upon or not, and if the fat store is gone (because a child is undernourished or thinner than necessary) the body will draw upon whatever nutrition stores it has to – muscles, tissue. You get the idea.

A growing body will often start storing fat in preparation for a growth spurt. It’s natural. As long as she’s not wolfing down french fries, waffles and chocolate milk, you shouldn’t worry about her carrying baby fat while she’s growing. It will come and go.