Being in control is the solution, and not controlling everything is the challenge. Friday I went to a restaurant, a very good restaurant, in Kansas City called Revolve. The look and feel was what I imagine European cuisine to look like in Europe. The portions were bigger than French, but the presentation and ingredients were very up-scale. I ate part of Karen’s dessert. I ordered broiled scallops, and we split our side dishes. Until dessert I am pretty certain that my dinner contained no carbs, but dessert made up for that omission.
Yesterday we went to the movies after dinner. We went to a Vietnamese restaurant that I had never been to and I had Pho for the first time. Loved the soup, but I am pretty sure it was sweetened. I don’t know what spices are in pho but I am positive that I have never tasted anything like that before. Still, though, the soup was sweet. Mine had wontons in it, because I judged that there would be less carbs in a wonton than in a bowl of rice noodles. Thats not a scientific judgement, it is splitting hairs.
So, intending to eat no carbs I have had carbs both times that I went out to eat, which is why, at the top of the piece here I say that control is the solution. I don’t know if there was a sweetener in my soup, but I would know that if I had cooked it. To really abstain from carbs for any length of time you have to do your own cooking for the duration of the fast.
I am pretty sure that my carbs affected my digestive system because this morning I have “hot hands” which is one of my carb withdrawal reactions. I didn’t sweat in bed last night, so my carb load wasn’t that high. When I really overdo it with sweets or starches then I get night sweats as my body burns through the metabolizing process for that. My weight is once again down to 140, so I am once again not overweight. Remember, I don’t keep track of my weight as a goal and only measure myself as a troubleshooting tool for keeping track of my goal of carb maintenance.
I am going on this carb fast to get my body chemistry back on track for metabolizing my fats for energy instead of carbs. When you eat carbs or sweets the sugars pass into your bloodstream. There are two kinds of sugars that matter, glucose and fructose. Table sugar, sucrose is a little bit of both kinds. When the sugar is eaten the glucose goes into your blood and insulin takes it either to muscles or to fat cells. The fat cells change the molecule so that the sugar doesn’t leak back out until it is needed. If you constantly eat carbs and sweets then your insulin levels stay high. If they stay high long enough (think years) then your muscles begin to ignore the insulin signal to take sugar, your blood sugar rises. High blood sugar causes the pancreas to create more insulin, and eventually the blood sugar must be gotten rid of by putting it into fat. Once the pancreas is creating all the insulin it can, the blood sugar rises too high (type 2 diabetes) and we get insulin treatments to give us EVEN more insulin than our body can produce, keeping insulin levels permanently unnaturally high, taking all of the carbs we eat straight to fat. Eating carbs makes you fat, keeps you fat, makes you sick eventually. The Fructose goes straight into fat cells. A high concentration of fructose is stored by the liver in fat in the liver itself. Fructose is the sugar found in fruit juices.
I check to see whether or not I am metabolizing fats for energy by checking my urine for ketones. Ketones are created by us when we take the fats released from our fat cells and metabolized to keep us energized. Any pharmacy has little indicator strips that you urinate on to see how much ketone you are producing. Saturday morning I was producing a detectable amount of ketone, but not high. There are two more colors on the chart before I get to the high one. So, I am metabolizing fats for energy, and I am sure that I still am. To change my body chemistry back over to the carb-energy model takes a few days of really trying to do it. I was pretty happy to see that I am burning fats.
At dinner with our close friends the conversation turned to one of their adult daughters that is on a diet to try and lose weight. I listened for a while as she described the diet, bone broth for breakfast, starve until lunch, no dairy–including butter and cheese and eggs, no carbs, low fat. Her daughter was complaining that she couldn’t stay on the diet even until lunch because bone broth does not satisfy her hunger.
Diets don’t work because for so much of the time you are hungry. Diets put you in a bad place because they all treat fats like they make you fat. FATS DONT MAKE YOU FAT. This is proven scientifically in clinical trials. Any claim that fats make you fat are based on pseudoscience from the fifties, and have never come close to proof. If a person is not going to eat carbs then they have to eat fats. We only get energy from three basic groups, carb, fat, or protein. Cut one group out and you are left with starvation or increasing one of the other groups. If a person wants to lose weight they must not starve themselves. It is hard enough to eat right in the face of all of the temptation that is out there without throwing hunger on top of it.
For my friend’s daughter, I would recommend that at breakfast she have a breakfast steak. A thin breakfast steak can be fried in a hot skillet for about three minutes on a side. Salt and pepper seasoning, a little melted butter in the pan and in just eight minutes you have taken care of hunger until lunch time. Eat another one at lunch, with some leafy green vegetables. Eating greens gives you something to bulk up your stool, but not much more. Eating meats with their fats contains all of the nutrition that you have to have, if consumed with greens. Avoid sugars and starches, eat meats and fats and you will lose weight.
I don’t feel that losing weight should be a goal. By not eating carbs my body will have an easy time maintaining my weight. There will not be insulin hurricanes going on every day, there will be no sugar highs or sugar crashes. The goal should be to eat minimum amounts of carbohydrate every day. I can live forever without a full cookie jar. I can eat the infrequent dessert. I don’t need any sweeteners in any drink. If the only potatoes I eat are in my stews that won’t be too many.