(Almost) Three Month Living LCHF

I was going to write my 2 month summary on my experience and thoughts on LCHF – so I sat down today to write one, but glanced at the calander realised that next week on July 4th, I would have actually been eating LCHF for 3 month! Where does the time go?!

So this is my (Almost) Three Month Summary!

Nearlly all skepticisms I had in the beginning of my LCHF challange have been completely banashed. The longer I am on the LCHF diet and the more I read about how carbs, sugar and processed food negatively affect our body, the more convinced that eating a low carb high fat diet is the way forward.

Not only am I more convinced that this is right way of eating for me, I have also become increasinly annoyed at governements who do not want to listen to the new evidence and increasinly angry at large food corporations that continue to feed the world’s population rubbish. I am convinced that in 50 years time, we will look back at this period and wonder how in the world our governments ever allowed food companies to be so irresponsible with our health!  But this is a whole other topic which I am not going to go into now.

Healthy Feeling

I really want to focus this post on how I am feeling mentally and physicially- and I can tell you that I am feeling very healthy indeed. In the 3 month that I have been eating LCHF I have had no adverse side affects (apart from initial headaches and flu like symptoms in the first few weeks) but rather the opposite.  I no longer feel bloated after eating, my energy level no longer nose dives after lunch, rather it is constant throughout the day, allowing me to feel continuously awake and alert.

Good Skin

I am also convinced that my skin has improved immensly since I have started this diet. Ever since my early 20s I have continuously had pimples and quite bad skin, always spread around my chin, mouth and lower cheeks, very often they would be large and painful. It got so bad that my Dr. advised me to go on the pill Jasmin, as that was known to level out hormones and improve adult acne. Although it definilty improved, my face was far from pimple free but I have just learnt to live with it the last 8 years.

It was in fact C who noticed it first, he commented that since I had started LCHF I have not broken out as much, and when I started thinking about it I realised he was right. Over the last 3 month, I might have had a total of 4 pimples and no break-outs (*Touch Wood*), and after he noticed it, my friends and colleauges noticed it too, and I have been getting alot of compliments on how fresh my skin looks at the moment. Although I have no scientific evidence that my sudden clear skin is directly linked to LCHF, I truly feel that this must be a major factor as this is the only big change I have done in my lifestyle recently.

Weight and Exercise

Something that I am slightly concerned over however is my weight. When I started this diet, I was fluctuating between 62-63kg. In the first month of doing LCHF, I went down to 60-61kg, but I feel that the last 2 months I have increasinly put on weight and now the scale stands between 63-64kg (which I am not happy about one bit).

Before I throw up my hands and give-up, I have to admit a few things which could also be the underlying reasons for my slight weight gain. My lifestyle. The last two month I have been socialising far more than normal which has meant a substantial increase of alcahol during the week and lots of very late nights on the weekend. I had also lost my motivation for exercise completely – in fact I don’t think I went to the gym once throughout the month of May.

However, I feel as though I am back on the straight-and-narrow again. I no longer have a houseguest that can lead me out for a wine filled dinner mid-week and by seeing 64kg on the scale a few weeks ago…I quickly found my motivation to exercise. So lets see how July goes.

Food and Eating habits.

I would say that I am eating a strict LCHF diet 90% of the time. However, there are times where I don’t have a choice on what I eat, or it is particularly difficult to avoid carbs – living in Mexico is probably the biggest challange to the LCHF lifestyle. But I don’t beat myself up about it. If I have a tortilla or two every couple of weeks – so be it. If I am at a friends house and they are serving rice, I have a little. I still am not consuming anywhere near the amount of carbs I was doing before.

I have also realised that my eating habits are slowly changing. I used to be always a type of person that needed 3 meals a day, I could not understand how anybody could skip breakfast! In the beginning of the LCHF diet, I continued to eat my 3 meals, and even added in snacks inbetween meals and looking back, I think I ate more than I normally would have, becuase I was ‘allowed’ as long as it was low carb high fat – that should be ok right?

However I have realised now, I’m just not hungry and if anything this diet has taught me – you really have to listen to your body. So the last few weeks, I have found myself skipping breakfast all together, my coffee and cream being more than sufficient to keep my sated until lunch time. At lunch, I have been having my yoghurt (which I used to have for breakfast) and when I get home from work a cup of tea with cream and then dinner. I am VERY suprised at this! As you all know – I love my food!

Summary and Going Forward

I am a convert. At this moment, I cannot even imagine going back to eating the way I used to do, and all the new information out there in regards to the effect of carbs and sugar on our body is all pointing in this direction.

As mentioend previously I am somewhat concerned with my slight weight gain – so I will be monitoring that closely, but I have to get back to the level of activity I was at when I started this diet, in order to have a fair understanding. However considering I have been eating saturated fat for an entire 3 months and not exercising as often as I usually do, conventioal understanding of diets would dictate that I should have put on a substantial amount of weight by now – this is something I find interesting!

So the short if it is YES, I am very much enjoying my LCHF lifestyle, and I am going to continue eating this way for the foreseeable future!

LCHF-mat

Who wouldn’t want to eat like this?! 🙂 (picture from dietdoctor.com)

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Petter Attia’s TED Talk: What if We are Wrong About Diabetes

When I first started to get interested in the LCHF lifestyle, I spent hours trawling the web, reading blogs, trying to find out as much information as I can on the subject. It was during this pursuit, I came across Dr. Petter Attia and his blog The Eating Academy. I really enjoyed his way of writing and how incredibly thorough he was in his research.

So today, when I saw that he had given a TED talk – I was excited. I really enjoyed the talk, unlike many of his articles which are very fact and scientific driven, I felt this his TED talk was personal and heart-felt (even got a bit emotional towards the end – which I wasn’t expecting).

Also what I liked about it is the fact that he honestly admits that he does not have the answers! None of us have the answers at the moment when it comes to nutrition – but something is wrong. Something is wrong when we have such a huge increase in obesity and diabetes in our societies. Somthing is wrong when a seemingly healthy man can suddenly develop diabetes in his 20s.

We need to re-examine why this is happening, and if cutting out sugar and carbs and regulating our insulin levels is the key, we need to research this!Here is the talk in case you are interested in watching it:

Petter Attia: What if we are wrong about diabetes

Covering the Basics with Chrstine Cronau

Sorry it has been so long since my last post – life has been hectic over here with a constant stream of house guests, work events, social engagements – that I just have not had time to sit down and post.

However, today I came across this interview with Christine Cronau who I am following on FB and it really is a very good interview as it covers the most basic question of the LCHF life, many of which I had when I started. So I thought I would share it with you guys:

In case you don’t have time to listen to the entire 50 minute interview, you can also read the transcript here:

http://www.180nutrition.com.au/2013/06/13/christine-cronau-the-fat-revolution/

It has now been two month since I started my LCHF Challenge, and although I promise to write a post dedicated to the 2 Month Mark – I can tell you now, that I have no intention of returning back to my previous way of eating.  The more I read and look into LCHF – it just all make sense and I can’t believe all the nutritional nonsense that we have been fed by government and large food companies over my entire life time! It is time to stop and for the everday person to take control of what we put in our bodies!

I hope you enjoy the interview!

Salmon Kebabs

So I made these kebabs for dinner the other night – which were pretty tastey!

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I really love this photo!

Served with a side of garlicky spinach and cream dressing – which I forgot to take a photo of, it was the perfect mid week dinner!

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Definitely do not love this photo as much – but wanted to show you what it looked like cooked.

If you would like to see the recipe please visit The Travelling Chopsticks or click here

I have a bit o a love/hate relationship with salmon. When I love it, I can eat it in all forms – smoked salmon, gravlax, fried salmon fillets but I get really bored with it quickly. I would love to hear how you prepare your salmon and if you have any great recipes you would like to share?

Weekly Menu – May 27 to June 2nd

Monday

Breakfast: Scrambled Eggs with ham, 2 tortillas and a chocolate brownie.

So I started the week well! We had Monday off and were invited to a friend’s for breakfast and I just didn’t have the heart to refuse. Although refusing the tortillas would have been easy, but I can honestly say I was just not thinking.

Lunch: Chili Rellano con Queso (Stuffed chilli with cheese)

I have finally found an LCHF friendly Mexican dish. I promise you that is no easy feat – however, this was delicious and I would definitely order it again!

Dinner: Camomile Tea and Dark Chocolate

Our lunch was such a late Mexican lunch (3pm) that I was not at all hungry in the evening. Plus all that cheese really kept me full. So I just nibbled on a bit of chocolate and sipped some tea while watching a recorded episode of Hannibal!

Tuesday

Lunch: Miso Soup, Tuna steak with avocado and lettuce wraps.

I went to lunch at the Japanese restaurant round the corner from work. I really had no idea what I wanted to eat (well apart from all the Sushi which I LOVE) so I chanced on this dish which turned out to be the perfect LCHF lunch!

Snack: Sliced chorizo

Dinner: Roast Chicken with buttery green beans, salad and creamy gravy

A lovely home cooked dinner. I could have definitely done without drinking the gravy as a soup as I got such a tummy ache after! I still have a hard time digesting overly fatty food…however nothing compared to what it used to be like.

Snack: Camomile Tea

Can you believe that I didn’t have chocolates – I had absolutely no craving for them!

Wednesday:

Lunch: Vegetarian Pozole Soup, cochinita pibil (Translated: mexican food)

Pozole is a brothy soup with hominy – but I tried my very best to avoid all the hominy as much as possible, but I definitely got a few bites in. Also cochinita pibil is a lovely pulled port served on warm tortillas. I asked for a fork, and ate the meat and left the tortillas…eating Mexican can be done!

Dinner: Grilled Salmon Kebab, with garlic spinach and cream sauce.

I found this recipe in my Bon Apetit magazine. I made a few mistakes like cutting the pieces of salmon to small and cooking them too long so it ended up being dry  – but the flavour was there, and I would definitely make it again.

Snack: Camomile Tea and Lindt Dark Chocolate squares (x3)

Thursday

Lunch: Pozole and sope with minced meat

So it was my colleagues birthday, and they wanted to go to the same restaurant that I went to the day before with C. The restaurant is well-known in Mexico for their pozole. Instead of trying to describe my food to you – here is the link to their menu which has pictures http://lacasadetono.com.mx/menu/ 🙂 I had the sope with minced meat…its like a mini pizza stacked full of minced meat, lettuce, cream and cheese. So I just ate the toppings leaving the tortilla bottom. I felt rather proud that I managed to get around from eating carbs yet-again at a Mexican restaurant!

Drinks: 1 glass Champaign, 1 tequila shot, half a glass of whiskey

Soo…I went to a friend’s leaving happy hour. I have to admit, I hate recording what I drink on this website! But I have promised to be honest – but I know my mother is reading this and judging…sorry mummy!

Dinner: Creamy scrambled eggs with smoked salmon

Snack: Lindt Dark Chocolate with sea salt (4x squares)

Really did not need the chocolate and definitely did not need 4 squares. I think that was influenced by the whiskey I drank earlier!

Friday

Breakfast: One creamy starbucks coffee

Maybe it was from the late dinner I had last night – but I was not hungry at all this morning. So only had the coffee. I probably got peckish around noon, but knew I was having lunch at 1 so I could wait.

Lunch: Stirfried Beef with vegetables, salad with thousand island dressing

Dinner: Mixed meat platter with cheese, tequila and sangrita

In actual fact what I ate is called a Molecajete, where all these different types of meat, cheese, onions and nopales are all put into a piping hot stone pestle. Your meant to eat it with tortillas but naturally I didn’t.

Saturday

Breakfast: Smoked Salmon with cottage cheese on seed crackers

Lunch: 2 tostadas (dry tortillas), stirfriend prawns in garlic, coconut flan (shared 3 ways)

This is a good example that being organised is key to this diet. We were out sightseeing all day, and did not sit down for lunch until 4.30pm. By this time I was starving and ready to chew my own arm off – on the table was a pile of tostadas with different types of chili and I just had to eat something. Then C order the coconut flan and again I couldn’t resist a few spoonfuls, it was very yummy 🙂

Dinner: French Onion soup (sin crouton), Hamburger with butter sauce (sin bread)

As we had such a late lunch we were not hungry until much later. We went to watch a 2130 movie and went for a bite to eat after. I feel as though I have really turned into a Mexican! Lunch at 5pm, dinner at midnight!!

Sunday: 

Breakfast: scrambled eggs with cream, seed cracker with cheese

Lunch: cheesy chicken dip, coconut crusted chicken  & salad, some m&ms, wine

We went to my colleagues daughter graduation party, and ate probably more than we should have I also tucked into this amazing cheesy chicken dip, which at the time I thought was LCHF friendly, but after speaking to the host and asked her how it was made, she told me there was an entire bottle of buffalo wing dressing in it. Now I don’t know exactly what that is – but I have a feeling it consists of lots of sugar and unpronounceable ingredients!

Dinner: 2 Turkey hot dogs

Again I wasn’t very hungry when we got  back from the party – and had absolutely NO inspiration to cook. However around 9pm, our guests went down and bought a packet of sausages from the corner shop. When I smelt them being prepared my hunger kicked in and ate two dogs. They were awful. Processed meat at its worst!

Note: That evening I got a terrible headache before I went to bed. One of those awful thumping behind the eye type of headache. I hoped that a good nights sleep would cure it, but I woke up with it as well and was very close to calling in sick. It could be a combinations of reasons such as stress, dehydration, exhaustion (or all of the above) but I do think it is from all the ‘bad’ food I ate on Sunday.

Summary: This week was much better in regards to the food front. We did not go out as much as did the week before, and I managed to be slightly more organised with my cooking. Something that is so important with being successful with this diet, is planning. Don’t wait until you are absolutely starving and have no self control over what you put in your mouth like I did on Saturday.

This week, I have been receiving a lot of compliments on my skin! Many people have commented on how good my skin is looking one person even said I ‘glowed’. Even C noticed! I generally I don’t have very good skin on my face, I always have lots of little pimples and spots around my chin – but after someone pointed out how good my face looked – I realised it has been a few weeks since I last had a breakout. I wonder if this is a direct link to the diet?