9/26 Weightloss Wednesday: Handstand Challenge

It’s time for Weightloss Wednesday!  I am up, way up.  I weighed in at 240 lbs this morning, that is about a 6 lb weight gain in one week.  That is a big jump in the wrong direction.  I know what I did but I had no idea it would be this bad.

Every one in a while I’ll grab a pint of sugar free ice cream from the store, usually Halo Top.  I’ve always enjoyed ice cream as a treat and I can usually tolerate it pretty well. This week I happened to be at Walmart and grabbed not one but 2 half gallons of Blue Bunny Sweet Freedom ice cream that supposedly has no sugar added.  I have no idea what is actually in that ice cream but whatever it is, I can say with some degree of certainty that it causes an insulin spike in me.  Between my wife and I splitting those cartons of ice cream over the course of about a week, I gained 6 lbs and she gained 3.  There’s not an ice cream in the world that would be worth that.

We are approaching the end of the month and I’m thinking about starting a new challenge next month.  I like to do these little things to keep my head in the game and see how my body reacts to different stimuli.  I was looking around the internet, looking for inspiration and I found something that looks just the right mix of challenging but within the realm of possibility.  Starting on the 1st, I’m going to try to do a hand stand everyday for a month and see if I can get to the point where I can actually do a handstand.

This will hopefully be good for me because it addresses a few issues I have and been looking for ways to deal with.  First of all, it will force me to try to be flexible in my shoulders.  I’m not sure why but my shoulders have been tight for a few months to the point where if I move my arm in certain ways, I get a sharp pain in my shoulder/neck area.  I’m not exactly sure what’s happening there but I would like to have full mobility in my shoulder.  Secondly, I hope it will help with my balance.  I have always been a clumsy guy and the idea that I could be coordinated enough to hold a handstand for a minute or more really appeals to me.  My core has always been pretty weak so if this could strengthen that, I’m all for it.

Would you like to join me?  I will be posting what I’m doing primarily in my Facebook group and on Instagram so if you want to follow there and join in, I would love the company!  If you decide to do it, let me know in the comments!

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The My Sugar Free Journey Podcast – Episode 100: Dr Bret Scher

In this week’s My Sugar Free Journey Podcast, we are talking to Dr Bret Scher

Remember that you can follow us on iTunes and I would really appreciate a review there on iTunes.  Thanks!

Podcast Shownotes

You can find more from Dr Scher at his website, podcast, or follow him on Twitter here.

This Week in Low Carb News: Guess What Graham Crackers Were Invented For and Statins Don’t Work

What is The Difference Between Being in Ketosis and Being Fat Adapted?

The Facebook stream I mentioned in the Mike Israetel interview can be found here.

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What is The Difference Between Being in Ketosis and Being Fat Adapted?

This was a question that came up in my Facebook group a while ago and I knew I wanted to write about the answer here.  I think this is an important question because the terms often get used interchangeably and they aren’t.  They each have a specific definition that we should be familiar with.

What is Ketosis

Being “in Ketosis” simply means that you are producing ketones.  You have not eaten carbs or fasted to the point where your body used up enough of its store of blood sugar that it needed to convert fatty acids to ketones to supply the brain and red blood cells with a source of energy besides sugar.  The nice thing about being in ketosis is it is something measurable.  In other words, you can use a ketone testing strip or blood or breath meter to measure the amount of ketones being produced.  If ketones show up at any level on the test, you are in ketosis.

Here is more information about how to get into ketosis and my personal journey with the Ketogenic diet.

What is Fat Adapted

Being “fat adapted” is a little more nebulous.  It just means that you have the ability to burn fat for fuel, not necessarily that you are currently burning fat for fuel.  Think of it as a hybrid car that can switch between regular gas and diesel.  Once you are fat adapted, your mitochondria can easily switch between sugar and fat for fuel.  There’s no easy test to determine if you are fat adapted but one thing you can do to get an idea is after eating a few carbs, see how long it takes for you to begin producing ketones again.  The faster you get back into ketosis, to more fat adapted you probably are.

What is the difference

The big takeaway here is ketosis is a bit more ephemeral than you would think.  Sometimes you are producing ketones, sometimes you aren’t and that can be affected by almost anything from stress, to sleep, to the last thing you ate.  Being fat adapted is a much more permanent state and should be the goal of your diet and lifestyle choices, especially when it comes to weight loss.  Being capable of pulling energy out of fat stores and burning it for energy instead of relying on constant infusions of blood glucose for energy is the secret to losing weight with stable moods and no hunger.

I am certainly not saying you shouldn’t try to be in ketosis, that is the natural result of cutting your carbs and upping your fat.  But I am saying that you shouldn’t stress about ketone levels on a pee stick.  You should get yourself into a fat burning state and stay there.  If you have a cheat day or a high-stress day and the ketones aren’t there, that’s fine.  Get back on the horse, get back to the point where you are burning fat for fuel instead of sugar and keep going.

What are some of the ways you know you are burning fat for fuel?  Let me know in the comments below!

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This Week in Low Carb News: Guess What Graham Crackers Were Invented For and Statins Don’t Work

Every week I come across a bunch of articles I want to tweet about and comment on and every week I run out of time to do it.  This is my attempt to clear out the open tabs on my browser by putting them all in one place.  Enjoy!

‘No evidence’ having high levels of bad cholesterol causes heart disease, claim 17 cardiologists as they call on doctors to ‘abandon’ statins – I love that The Daily Mail doesn’t care about short pithy headlines.  Just put all the words in the title, who cares!?  But this is a great look at how the word about statins is getting out!

The graham cracker was invented to stop you from masturbating – An old article but it just shows how crazy Vegans are and have been since the beginning of Veganism.

Carbs, Good for You? Fat Chance! – Here are the rules.  If Nina Teicholz writes something, I read and like it.  Nice takedown of the crazy idea that carbs are good for you.

Medicine’s Financial Contamination – Money corrupts everything and medical research is no different.  You need to be aware that no medical or dietary research comes from a vacuum.  And to put a finer point on it, don’t ever trust Nutritional studies coming out of Harvard or have anything to do with Walter Willett.

Daily aspirin may be harmful for healthy older adults, large study finds – Oh look, something else medical science has been wrong about for decades.

Gates Foundation Buys Cochrane Integrity for $1.15 Million: The Death of Scientific Integrity – Calling it the Death of Scientific Integrity might be a bit of an oversell but this is how money infects science.

Physical activity does not influence obesity risk: time to clarify the public health message – Again, a older article but it goes to the idea that eating less and moving more doesn’t work.

Here’s what’s going on inside your veins after you drink a soft drink – Soda makes you sick!  NO duh, right?  I would love to see something like this happen for diet sodas though.  I desperately want to know if my Coke Zero makes me produce insulin.

Low carb diet ‘should be first line of approach to tackle type 2 diabetes’ and prolong lifespan – YES!!  We need more articles like this!

Prevention of type 2 diabetes—success story that is waiting for next steps – Note, this is NOT from VirtaHealth.  This is a different study from Finland that shows the same results.

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The My Sugar Free Journey Podcast – Episode 99: Ethan Weiss

In this week’s My Sugar Free Journey Podcast, we are talking to Dr Ethan Weiss.

Remember that you can follow us on iTunes and I would really appreciate a review there on iTunes.  Thanks!

Podcast Shownotes

You can follow Ethan on Twitter here and see his UCSF profile here.  One note, he is an advisor for VirtaHealth and does not work for them despite what my picture says.  Sorry about that.

Low Carb in the News: Different People Can Tolerate Different Levels of Fat and Glucose

9/12 Weightloss Wednesday: Moving Forward

My Kroger Health Insurance Fund is $17M in Debt. What This Means For the Future

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My Kroger Health Insurance Fund is $17M in Debt. What This Means For the Future

It has been an interesting week at work.  I have worked at Kroger for the last few years and have enjoyed my time there.  I have had several different positions, obtained 3 pay raises in less than 2 years and enjoy pretty good benefits as an employee.  I am also a member of UFCW 1000, a union that works on behalf of Kroger employees and for the most part has done a good job protecting me and my benefits.

That may be starting to change.  Let me walk you through what has happened this week and then let me tell you my opinion on what this means.  I promise by the end of it you will see the connections to the overall theme of this blog.

What Happened So Far

It all started on Monday when the union sent out 2 mass texts warning all the members of the union that Kroger was attacking my healthcare and demanding millions of dollars in cuts and asking me to call my HR dept and demand that Kroger “do the right thing”.   On Tuesday , we had a meeting at Kroger telling us their side of the story which was the fund that both Kroger and the union pay into to cover healthcare costs for employees was $17M in debt.  Both Kroger and the union are contractually obligated to cover half the shortfall, Kroger paid their half of $6.8M and the union has not yet paid their half.  Plus, according to the union’s timeline of events you can see at  the bottom of this page, they don’t seem to feel obligated to pay their half.  So at this point, our health coverage is a bit in the air with both sides threatening either an increase in fees, cut backs in benefits like dental and vision, or both.  Oh, and it seems the union blocked an attempt to have the fund audited by an independent third party, never a good sign.

This is Going to Happen More and More Often

Here is my opinion of what happened.  I don’t think there was any malfeasance or embezzlement of funds on either side. (I could be wrong about that but Hanlon’s Razor will probably apply here)  I think Kroger accrued millions of dollars of medical bills from its employees than it anticipated and everyone was caught off-guard.  Why do I think that?  Because this is the trend we have been seeing across the nation.  We are a country that has done nothing but get sicker and fatter as the years go by and we are being served by a medical establishment that is far too comfortable prescribing pills that mask symptoms instead of educating lifestyle and dietary changes that will actually cure disease.  The costs for those pills and other medicines have been borne by insurance companies and insurance companies are faced with the prospect of either going broke or pushing more of the cost back on to the public.

Our Country Will Break Under the Weight of its Own Weight

We have already seen cases of people DYING because they can’t afford something as basic as insulin.  What is going to happen as T2D instances continue to rise at astronomical rates?  The cost of insulin will continue to rise to the point where insurance will be unable to cover a substantial portion of the cost.  Then what happens?  Nothing good.  Medicine becomes more expensive as demand rises and the poorest will be the first to go without.  And that’s just insulin.  The same market forces will also apply to heart medications, blood pressure medications, and virtually any other life saving drug.  How many people over the age of 40 do you know that don’t have a regular daily medication they have to take?  Multiply that across a nation of 300 million people and growing and the numbers start to look VERY scary.

It Doesn’t Have to Be This Way

I have seen first hand this week the panic that can set in on hard-working middle class Americans when their health benefits are threatened.  I sat at a table yesterday as a mother who was newly made single this year after her husband passed away from cancer worried about how to afford the dentist visit her son needed.   Another started making plans to get her eyes checked before her vision insurance was cancelled.  But it doesn’t have to be this way.  There are simple lifestyle changes you can make that drastically reduce your need for medications.  Let’s walk through them.

  1. Don’t Eat Anything that Didn’t Exist 100 Years Ago. If it comes in a box or package, don’t eat it.  If it sits on the middle aisles of your grocery store, don’t buy it.  No Sugar, No Processed Grains, No Polyunsaturated Fat.  Eat Meat, Veggies and possibly full fat dairy if you can tolerate it.  That’s it.  Shop the perimeter of your grocery store and call it a day.  Buy ingredients and make your own meals.
  2. Your Body Was Meant to Be Moved.  Go for a walk, pick up heavy things, break a sweat.  It doesn’t really matter what you do, just do something.
  3. Get Sunshine on Your Skin.  You are probably Vitamin D deficient because none of us get enough sun.  Go outside and get some sun.
  4. Love Your Family.  Believe it or not, personal family ties have a huge effect on our health.  Spend time with loved ones, talk, hug, whatever.  Just be close to the people you love.

I know these things seem really simple and rudimentary but they work.  You can read my story here but this is essentially how I lost 200 lbs, got rid of my Metabolic Syndrome and cured my wife’s Type 2 Diabetes.  Diet is by far the most important aspect to this, just stop eating crap!

If anyone of you have had similar experiences with your insurance being changed or healthcare costs increasing, I would love to hear your story in the comments below.  Thanks!

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9/12 Weightloss Wednesday: Moving Forward

It’s time for Weightloss Wednesday!  As of this morning I am at 232.0 lbs which means that once again I am stick in this 230-235 range and am just not budging.

I am trying to be as Zen about this as I possibly can.  After all, I am no stranger to plateaus but COME ON!  I just want to know that it is possible to drop back down into the 220s.  It is like my body wants to be 230 and will do whatever is necessary to stay there.

My exercise has been on point for the last month or so as well.  A lot of weight lifting and kettlebell exercises.  I am seeing much more definition in my biceps and shoulders but there is a limit to what I can see with this much body fat still hanging around.  My goal right now is to continue this process of lifting as heavy as I can and trying to grow my biggest muscle groups.  I need those muscles to absorb all that sugar so I can get to my fat burning zone faster.  I’m choosing to believe that I’m putting on muscle at about the same rate that I’m losing fat but I’m not so sure that is the case.  My pants don’t feel any looser and that has always been a reliable indicator of fat loss in the past.

Overall, I feel pretty good.  The consistent exercise has allowed me to feel strong every day, no little aches and pains or nagging injuries.  My commitment to do more warm up and stretching especially before the kettlebell exercises seems to be paying off.  My sleep needs some improvement as I keep getting into the “stay up late, sleep late” trap.  That is definitely not what is best for me.

So another week where things are moving along.  How are things going for you?  Let me know in the comments below!

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Low Carb in the News: Different People Can Tolerate Different Levels of Fat and Glucose

Every week I come across a bunch of articles I want to tweet about and comment on and every week I run out of time to do it.  This is my attempt to clear out the open tabs on my browser by putting them all in one place.  Enjoy!

Normal weight individuals who develop type 2 diabetes: the personal fat threshold – Oh look, another study that says the same thing.  Some people just don’t have a lot of places to store fat and won’t ever gain a lot of weight.  Doesn’t mean you can’t get sick or develop T2D just because you aren’t fat.

Latest Low-Carb Study: All Politics, No Science – You might have seen the article suggesting that people on a low carb diet die sooner.  Here’s a great article breaking down the dumb science behind the article.  However, there isn’t enough being written about how this latest flurry of anti-low carb  propaganda is coming out after Dr Walter Willett got his unscientific ass handed to him at the Food for Thought conference a few months ago.  We might be witnessing the last few gasps of a failed nutritional theory!

Insulin’s High Cost Leads To Lethal Rationing – The rising cost of insulin is costing people their lives.  Literally.  People are dying because they are rationing insulin.  If only there was a simple, low cost way to reduce demand for insulin.  Think about this article next time someone tells you people like Dr Walter Willett and company don’t have blood on their hands.

Top Cancer Researcher Fails to Disclose Corporate Financial Ties in Major Research Journals – What?  A top cancer researcher didn’t disclose his work is being funded by Big Pharma?  I can’t believe this.  Not really.  Big Pharma has its fingers in everything.  If only there was a cheap dietary intervention that reduces the risk of cancer and improves survival rates once you have it.  Quick reminder, everyone should read this book.

Babies conceived via IVF are SIX TIMES more likely to have high blood pressure as teenagers – This isn’t diet related but it fascinates me none the less.  Every time we circumvent nature, it would seem there is a cost.  If only there was a dietary intervention that raised fertility rates.  Oh well.

Researchers identify molecule with anti-aging effects on vascular system, study finds – Guess what it is!  No, go ahead, guess.  I’ll wait.  Did you guess β-Hydroxybutyrate?  Did you?

The Bizarre Fad Diet Taking the Far Right by Storm – OK, I am a fan of Mother Jones.  I find their reporting to be insightful and often covers topics others don’t.  After all, they were the ones that found that Big Sugar subsidized science in the 50s.  But the Carnivore diet is a Far Right diet?   What?  Granted only far left Commie Pinkos eat a Vegan diet but is is the opposite true?  Is it possible the lack of good nutrition from a Vegan diet makes people Communists and a nourishing meat diet makes someone clear thinking enough to be more Conservative?  Who knows, all I can do is make wild accusations.

Non-diabetics are using diabetes technology to track their blood sugar and improve their health – Not gonna lie, this article makes me want to wear a Continuous Glucose Monitor.  It also makes me want a Continuous Insulin Monitor.

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I typically am not a fan of gym memes because I think they can often make women feel intimidated at best and not good enough at worse, but this one I can get behind. 💪🏻💪🏻 Ask @docjohnfragoso – this is truly the only “ironing” you’ll ever find me doing and trust me, everyone likes it that way unless you want your clothes way more wrinkled or burnt. 💪🏻💪🏻 I lift weights because it’s part of what makes me, ME! I feel better, I’m nicer to be around, and I lift because it makes my hormones happier and my groceries easier to carry. 💪🏻💪🏻 I want YOU to find YOUR why – but look deeper than the aesthetic results you might want (not that it’s bad if you want them) but think about how you want to be in the world when it comes to your fitness. 💪🏻💪🏻 What’s your why besides what you see in the mirror? Take a minute and really think. 💪🏻💪🏻 Here’s a few ideas: 💫 Empowerment 💫 Longevity 💫 Less fatigue 💫 Avoid injury 💫 Able bodied – can keep up with the kiddos! 💫 Alrighty ladies – what’s your fitness why? 💪🏻 #womenwholift #iliftironbutiwontironyourshirt #strongwomen #5habits #hangrybook #hangryplan #5pillars

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The My Sugar Free Journey Podcast – Episode 98: Travis Einertson

In this week’s My Sugar Free Journey Podcast, we are talking to Dr Travis Einertson, The Low Carb Vet!

Remember that you can follow us on iTunes and I would really appreciate a review there on iTunes.  Thanks!

Podcast Shownotes

You can follow Travis on Twitter here and pick up a copy of the book he mentioned in the podcast, Dogs, Dog Food and Dogma here.

9/5 Weightloss Wednesday: Listening to my Body

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Be sure to use this affiliate link before you shop at Amazon.  It doesn’t cost you anything and helps out the work we are doing here.  You can also buy your Pure Vitamin Club vitamins by clicking here.  Thanks!

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9/5 Weightloss Wednesday: Listening to my Body

It’s time for Weightloss Wednesday!  As of this morning I am at 230.6 lbs which means not only have I lost about 2 lbs since last week but marks the 3rd consecutive week of weight loss.  Not bad!

My big commitments for the last week or so was to really get after my workouts.  Alternating weight lifting with cardio kettlebell swings.  But most importantly, I’m not afraid to stop for a day or 2 of rest if I feel like I need to.  It took me years to learn how to listen to my body when it comes to food and I’m only just now learning how to listen to it when it comes to exercise.

One thing that has become clear is I really need to buy more shoes.  I’ve been on my feet a little more than usual lately and I have developed a bizarre blister on my toe.  I almost never have any foot problems since I lost the weight so it is a little surprising.

As for my diet, everything is going well.  I got a new toy for the kitchen, an Anova Precision Cooker for Sous Vide cooking and spent Labor Day trying it out.  So far I’ve cooked soft boiled eggs that I didn’t really like because I don’t like runny eggs.  Then I cooked chicken thighs that were great and then some frozen shrimp I’ve had in the freezer for forever that turned out very well.  My next project is going to be a big roast that I’ll cook for more than a day.  I’ll let you know how it turns out!

How did you do this week?  Let me know in the comments!

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