Sugar Hangover and Apparent Remedies!

I am suffering!

Yes. I have the worst hangover I have experienced in a while…and it has nothing to do with alcohol and EVERYTHING to do with carbs and sugar! The worst of it is, I can’t blame anyone but myself!

C and I had a dinner party on Saturday night at our place, it was a casual and informal event for a group of people and we wanted to serve something that was quick and easy to make. Although we haven’t eaten pasta in month, we both thought that this would be a good option. I would make a lovely ragu, we will serve our guests pasta and C and I will eat cabbage noodles….

Well, what can I say. On the evening itself, things didn’t go as planned, time got the better of me and to make my life easier, I ended up eating pasta myself. I ate a small plate, as I did not want to over do it, and then enjoyed the evening with my friends (it was delicious by the way!).

However, no matter how delicious that pasta was on Saturday, it was not worth the way I felt on Sunday morning and today. My head feels like it is in a thick fog or cloud, my sinuses feel blocked and I have a headache that just won’t leave me – not to mention I am craving chocolate like nobodies business! It truly feels as though I have a terrible hangover!

I did some research on the web today on carb hangovers, but I really didn’t come across a lot of useful information. However, I did find some ‘remedies’ in regards to what to do if you have a Carb or Sugar hangover. I don’t know how effective they really are, but this is the information I found:

1. Drink plenty of water: Try to flush out all the toxins that are now in your body.

2. Exercise: Move your body, try to burn the carbs you have eaten so you can go back to burning fat instead.

3. Eat lots of fat and protein during the day: Because you have been on a sugar high, your body will be CRAVING sugar again, so if you keep yourself full, you might be able to control your cravings slightly better.

4. Take supplements: Apparently Chromium picolinate, glutamine and carnitine are good for curing the crave for sugar.(I don’t really know how I feel about this one!)

5. Hang on in there! The sugar can take up to 12 to 48 hours to flush through your body!

Well – I don’t know how much I believe in any of these remedies – with the exception of taking supplements, they are all pretty straight forward and quite frankly none of them has worked…apart from the 5th one…Yes, I’m still hanging on in there…I have no other choice!?

I really can’t get over how my body has reacted to the pasta on Saturday night. It has also made it very clear to me, that if I really want to live the LCHF lifestyle, I have to commit to it 100%. I can’t have cheat days, or cheat meals as apparently my body is not able to process it when I do. Quite frankly, no cheat meal is that good to feel this bad!

Has any of you ever had a carb/sugar hangover, and if so – what are your cures?!

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Animals and Obesity

Humans are not the only creatures who are becoming increasingly obese and suffering from diabetes. If you look around us, our furry little friends are also suffering from weight and insulin related illnesses.

According to the U.S. Pet Obesity Prevention society, 53% of all adult dogs are overweight and 55% of all adult cats are overweight in the United States. Like in humans, obesity can trigger arthritis, diabetes, high blood pressure, kidney disease, certain types of cancers as well as heart and respiratory disease.

Now who do you think is to blame for this? Fido? Felix? Absolutely not! I am pretty certain we are to blame -the people who love them the most.

Have you ever thought of what is actually in that ped food you lovingly feed your animal? To be honest neither did I until recently. My husband is a qualified vet, and when we adopted two little kittens in Mexico, the quality of the food we bought was very important to him and he was determined he would only buy the best for our little babies! I shrugged it off, as a fatherly indulgence, but recently it has got me thinking!

If the food industry has absolutely no qualms about putting in all sort of additives, corn, sugar and other unnecessary rubbish into food for humans, what on earth are they putting into food for our animals? After a brief discussion with a friend of mine here in Brazil who works for the US Foreign Agricultural Services – my suspicions were confirmed. The worst of the worst left-overs goes into pet food!

Take a look at these two different cat food brands and their ingredients. The first is Friskies Sea Food Sensation (http://www.friskies.com/Cat-Food/Dry-Cat-Food/Seafood-Sensations):

Ground yellow corn, corn gluten meal, poultry by-product meal, meat and bone meal, animal fat preserved with mixed-tocopherols (form of Vitamin E), soybean meal, animal liver flavor, ocean fish meal, phosphoric acid, calcium carbonate, salt, tuna meal, potassium chloride, choline chloride, salmon meal, crab meal, dehydrated seaweed meal, taurine, Vitamin E supplement, zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, Yellow 5, DL-Methionine, Red 40, manganese sulfate, niacin, Yellow 6, Blue 2, Vitamin A supplement, calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate, copper sulfate, riboflavin supplement, Vitamin B-12 supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, folic acid, Vitamin D-3 supplement, calcium iodate, biotin, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of Vitamin K activity), sodium selenite. E-6003

Notice that the first two ingredients is corn, which means this is the main ingredient in the cat food! If you continue to read through the long list of ingredients, the only form of protein that you see  are types of ‘meals’ (Poultry by-product meal, meat and bone meal, ocean fish meal etc etc). In this context ‘meal’ is “dry, ground, rendered clean parts of the animal carcass (according to wikipedia). So there is no actual meat or muscle in this food.

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Now lets have a look at Eukanuba’s Lamb and Rice Cat food (http://www.eukanuba.com/cat-food/adult-cat-food/lamb-and-rice-cat-food):

Chicken, Chicken By-Product Meal, Corn Meal, Corn Grits, Lamb, Brewers Rice, Animal Fat (preserved with mixed Tocopherols, a source of Vitamin E), Dried Beet Pulp, Dried Egg Product, Natural Flavor, Sodium Bisulfate, Potassium Chloride, Fish Oil (preserved with mixed Tocopherols, a source of Vitamin E), DL-Methionine, Fructooligosaccharides, Brewers Dried Yeast, Choline Chloride, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, Ascorbic Acid, Vitamin A Acetate, Calcium Pantothenate, Biotin, Thiamine Mononitrate (source of vitamin B1), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (source of vitamin B6), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement (source of vitamin B2), Inositol, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid), Calcium Carbonate, Minerals (Zinc Oxide, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Potassium Iodide, Cobalt Carbonate), Salt, Rosemary Extract

At first glance it may not appear that much better – but there are a few distinct differences which I think are very important. Unlike Friskies the first two ingredients are chicken and chicken by-product meal. Although there is a lot of ‘meal’ ingredients in here as well, note however that chicken and lamb is actually stated as an ingredient. Which means, actual chicken meat was used in the making of this dry food!

I am no animal health expert, but it is my belief that like humans cats and dogs are not built to consume so much carbohydrates and process so much rubbish. Once I had a look at the ingredients of both cat foods, I became quite sad (we currently feed our cats Eukanuba)- is this really what we are feeding our best and most loyal friends?

Making my own cat food is something that has never crossed my mind, I may just give it a go now – however that is not an option for everyone. BUT, what is an option is to read the ingredient labels. Do your research, all pet food brands have their nutritional information online and try to buy the best quality pet food by looking for brands that list meat and protein as the 1st ingredient!

poultry-by-product-food-for-pets

Do any of you make your own pet food? If so, please do share your recipes and experiences, as I would love to know more about this topic!

Are Calories Made Equal?

About 3 months ago I came across Sam Feltham in the Huffington Post. He was doing a 21 day experiment eating a real food Low Carb High Fat diet, but consuming a whopping 5794 calories a day by eating eggs, nuts, fatty fish, steak and green vegetables.  He wanted to see if the conventional theories about calories are true, that in order to gain weight you have to consume more calories than you burn.

If we are to believe the conventional theory of calories, Sam Feltham should have put on 7.3kg in this 21 day experiment – but do you know how much he put on? 1.3kg!

Here you can read all about Sam Felthams journey and his theory as to why he did not put on the predicted weight!

http://live.smashthefat.com/why-i-didnt-get-fat/

Now Sam Feltham has just finished another experiment. He did a 21 day challenge eating 5793 calories, but eating a diet high in refined carbs. Do you know how much he put on? 7kg!

You should read his journey here:

http://live.smashthefat.com/5000-calorie-carb-challenge-day-21/

That is quite incredible difference, and I think quite a good illustration that a calorie does not equal a calorie, and the food that you put inside your body does matter!

Just a little food for thought before you start your weekend!

Happy Friday 🙂

(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)

I Have a Confession (When Things Go Wrong)

As you probably have noticed it has been rather quite here the last few days. The reason being, is that Friday 10th May was Mother’s Day here in Mexico and we got the day off work! So along with a few friends of ours from Mexico City, we decided to go on a weekend trip to San Miguell do Allende which is about a 3 hour drive from here. I promise to write more about this magical Mexican city in the The Travelling Chopsticks as it truly is an amazing spot – if you ever fancy a holiday!

However for this issue we are not here to talk about what a wonderful weekend get-away I had with my friends and hubby, but instead focus on my LCHF confession.  Yes, your suspicions are confirmed – I did not keep to an LCHF friendly diet over the last few days! And do you know what?! I felt terrible. Keep Reading