My LowFiiZC Protocol. A case for NOT eating all beef as a Carnivore

In this blog post I am going to present to you, the science and reasoning behind a protocol I designed in Feb of 2017, to combat a 2 year fat loss stall while on a ketogenic diet.

I call it the LowFiiZC protocol because as I was developing it, I quickly went over to a carnivore diet. But LowFii can work for anyone from LCHF to Keto, to Carnivore who has deep insulin resistance.

But first, for those of you who happen upon this post without knowledge of who I am, let me give you the background on my health in the last 4 years.

I am 43, 4 foot 11, and at the time of developing my Protocol I was 50% body fat.

In 2013 I was diagnosed type two diabetes. After teetering in pre diabetes range for about 8 years before that, I finally tripped over the line. I was eating for those years the “healthy low fat, healthy whole grains” standard recommended diet trying to avoid the T2d that I am predisposed to genetically.

It didn’t work ( duh! right? I KNOW that NOW) In that time I GAINED weight. Let me be clear I was not indulging in sugar all that much. The thing they tell everyone to avoid if you want to not become diabetic.

In March of 2013 I went on a Low Carb High Fat (LCHF) diet, against my Drs recommendations. In 9 months I lowered my a1c to a point of amazing my doctor, and I lost weight.

March 2013 to September 2013

Then I stalled in my weightloss. I’d lose a pound in 3 months and I’d stall again.
I cut out ALL grains, I cut out most sugar. I was having a treat day once a week in the begining. Then I lowered it to once a month, then down to a few occasional treats through the year.(birthday cake or ice cream or potato chips)

I went on ketogenic diet in early 2015. I found it by accident. One day I googled “why does my sweat smell like cat pee” and found out about ketosis and in turn…the diet. I figured- hey if I am getting down into ketosis on my own without trying, what would happen if i did it on purpose!?

Fast forward to 2016…still stalled and stuck between 184 and 179 pounds. I noted I was unable to stay in ketosis for any length of time, no matter how strict and diligent I got with my macros.

It seemed I was always popping in and out of ketosis ( never did sticks..just went by smell of sweat, and the taste in my mouth, and my mouth being very hot all the time when in ketosis)

Through late 2015 and early 2016 my asthma was getting worse and worse and I had new adult onset allergies to the environement (ragweed and spring pollen) that rendered me useless for weeks and I was starting to notice certain vegetables bothered me when I ate them.My arthritis pain was getting terrible and I had chronic back pain that stopped me from living a normal life.

In December of 2016, I went for allergy tests and it was confirmed I was basically allergic to everything outside, and I was either directly allergic to most of the vegetables I ate on a ketogenic diet ( like the whole cabbage family of vegetables) or was having serious cross reactions to foods related to the trees, grasses and ragweeds I am allergic to.

Cutting out all the allergins took me down to a very small number of vegetable and fruits I could eat but I didn’t care…I was hopeful that now knowing what was going on, I’d start to see the scale fall downward again.

I lost about 5 pounds through December 2016 into Jan 2017. Which was mostly water or inflammation weight, an though my asthma went almost totally away from no veggies i was allergic to…I wasn’t seeing the scale move.

I also noted that when I ate beef I would literally pass out afterwards from what felt like a carb crash.

Bound and determined to NOT have a stall for another 2 years I started to research what else could be going on.

That was when I researched and studied and developed the LowFiiZC Protocol.

How LowFiiZC came to be…

First, I noted that even though all the allergens were cut out, I STILL could not stay in ketosis through a whole day.

-I noted that my dinner meal of “heavy” protein ( beef, chicken, ham, pork) and a small salad made of what veg I could still eat ( lettuce, spinach, water chestnuts, shredded cheddar cheese and cut up green beans) was making me fall out of ketosis.

-I noted I would get back into ketosis through the night and would wake up with the usual signs and ketone taste in my mouth. But by bedtime each day I was out of ketosis again.

So, I started searching optimal protein amounts to eat and started trying to tweak it, since I was eating STRICTLY 20g of carb a day only. I made the conclusion it HAD to be the proteins.

I was worried I was eating excess of protein and GNG or Gluconeogenesis was ramping up and switching me back to being glucose fueled.

I understood then, that GNG is a normal function of the body and would only happen in theory if I was over eating protein. It felt like GNG was happening for a very small amount of protein and I could not find any reference for that happening to others in online forums for keto diet.

I reasoned it must be because I am a short woman…so, maybe I need a lot less protein then typically advised?

Maybe I was an outlier on the low end of macro needs?!

Let me tell you: If you have been in the online keto community long enough, you will see that the protein debate is a hot topic on most forums, facebook groups and keto subreddits and even twitter thread that go on for WEEKS.

You end up spending a lot of time trying to figure it out and get frustrated with protein if you are in a stall trying to figure out how to shake things up again.

The fat adapted keto body builder types will adamantly claim to Type Two Diabetics, and still fat keto eaters like I was, that protein in excess is Bullshit, and that GNG DOES NOT happen, and you can’t ever eat too much protein.

They are almost fanatical about it. No, scratch that.. THEY ARE fanatical about it.

I called bullshit… I knew that stance was crap, because it was clearly happening to ME!

Everyone online teaching a keto diet as a coach ( and I use that term loosely for some coaches, as they are just winging it and selling you bullshit supplements and packaged foods neatly marketed as keto) has a different formula and calculator for just how much is optimal grams of protein you should eat on a Keto Diet.

Most of them say it doesn’t matter WHEN you eat it, cause “steak doesn’t turn into cake!” and will claim if you are stalled you are eating too much fat. While that CAN be an issue for some people, it was certainly not my issue.

In a week of trying to figure out this protein issue I would have 4 people tell me I was eating NOT ENOUGH protein, and 3 others tell me I must be eating too much fat if I was not losing my own fat. ( I wasn’t)

It was hellishly frustrating! Especially since I was experiencing it first hand and NO ONE ELSE was talking about it!

Looking for info on GNG and protein amounts in a keto diet, I happened upon Dr Adam Nally on the ketovangelist podcast episode 44

https://www.ketovangelist.com/episode-44-dr-adam-nally-is-the-keto-answer-man/

In the episode he was talking about how some of his patients DO in fact have issues with too much protein on Keto, and even he himself struggled. He said everyone’s protein threshold/need was different based on how insulin resistant they were. He said that too much protein all at once would cause GNG and pop you out of ketosis.

I listened to that section of the podcast over and over and in a note book wrote down…”Don’t eat more than 25 g of protein per meal” per Doc Muscles.

(Start podcast at 56:12 time mark to hear the part I took info from.)

Later that same day…since I love podcasts to do housework to, I was back binge listening to 2 keto dudes podcasts and came across one with Dr. Jason Fung from August 7th,2016.

Based on what Adam Nally had said about protein having a hormonal response in the body and you can eat too much…. I was starting to think.. “ok..it is likely insulin is playing a role in protein utilization.” And then BOOM, Jason Fung basically confirmed it for me when I heard him on 2keto dudes podcast talk about a thing called the food insulin index and said that insulin doesn’t just deal with carbs it deal with all macro nutrients…With that…it was consuming my thoughts and I HAD to figure this out! I was on the right warpath to a solution.

I urge you to listen to both of these episodes.
http://2ketodudes.com/show.aspx?episode=26

http://2ketodudes.com/show.aspx?episode=33

When I heard Dr Fung talk about Food Insulin Index, That led me to look into it because I’d never heard of it before. I’m just a fat chick from Canada, but I learn fast when I want to solve a puzzle. So I poured over everything I could find about Insulin and Insulin resistance, protein and GNG processes and the food Insulin index.

Which led me to Ivor Cummings from Ireland. I devoured everything I could from Ivor by way of videos and tweets and his blog.

Then I found this article: https://optimisingnutrition.com/2015/03/30/food_insulin_index/
by someone everyone interested in insulin should read regularly. Marty Kendall Of Optimizing Nutrition.

This article by him, that listed the insulin load by foods ( per 100G)
https://optimisingnutrition.com/2016/05/16/building-a-better-nutrient-density-index/ is the foundation to my protocol.

With all this information, and more I’ve not mentioned yet…. It clicked and I got it. It’s the Insulin Stupid! (Thanks Amy!)

So. I use all this information and that list to make my eating protocol and keep all proteins under 20 on the Food Insulin Index on my ketogenic diet.

But how did it become the lowFiiZC and not the LowFiiKeto protocol?

At the same time as I was searching this keto related GNG from protein, and this insulin stuff, I happened upon some crazy dude on twitter who was eating NO VEGETABLES AT ALL! (Jan 2018)

I found him in Ted Naiman’s twitter replies. ( Ted is another unmentioned goldmine of Insulin and nutrition information I researched)

I had been wondering in my mind for weeks if a person could survive with NO VEGETABLES at all, but I had not yet started my deep dive research into an all meat diet, because I was so busy trying to figure out this insulin stuff.

So, I decided to follow this crazy “all meat all the time” guy.I was both fascinated and horrified at the same time. I was half waiting for him to have a poor outcome in his 1st 30 days of an all meat diet…and half wanting to know if I could make zero carb work for me too!

That crazy dude was of course, Dr Shawn Baker. Who has in the last year blown up all over social media advocating a Carnivore Diet.

So, it started as a keto protocol, and Keto people can do it. But it quickly became a Zero Carb protocol through the first months I started it.

I began digging in deep into carnivore diets and as much history and personal stories I could find all over the internet. THERE AREA MANY. The Carnivore Diet didn’t start with Shawn Baker, he is just the guy with the time and drive to loudly advocate it currently, and he is doing an amazing job spreading the word, because the number of carnivores I see on social media has increased 10 fold since his 30 day Carnivore challenge in January 2018.

I always look into things as deeply as I can before I make decisions. So, I wanted to find people who had been carnivore for 3 yrs or 5 plus years, even longer if I could. I found them, they are out there! Advocating and supporting and educating in their corners of the web as well. they are now peers and mentors and my hats are off to them paving the way for this carnivore movement simply by seeking optimal health for themselves.

In December 2016 and Jan 2017 I was already eating a zero carb diet half the week anyway, if cutting out vegetable wouldn’t kill me from lack of some important nutrient, I was game!

Now a year and a half into Carnivore, I am grateful for the info and example and support of some awesome carnivore chicks on Twitter like Kelly Hogan and Dana (@zerocarbhealth) just to name two. ( this is becoming a name dropping post isn’t it? FOLLOW THEM ALL)

Anyway..back to how I went from searching keto protein macros and GNG to developing my Low Fii Zero Carb Diet Protocol.

I knew if now eating very low carb and most days ZC, I basically eliminated big insulin loads by lowering carbohydrate used as fuel. I wondered…“if I’m not eating TOO much fat and not burning my own fat for fuel..am I not fat adapted?”
I further wrote in my note book :
I do get into ketosis, but I can’t STAY in ketosis….So, if I’m not giving my body carbs, and I’m not burning fat for fuel…where is my energy/fuel coming from?

Well, I rationalized…the answer could only be from one of two places.
1. From fat intake when I WAS in ketosis, and fat fueled. And 2. beyond fat… when I was not in ketosis…my energy HAD to be coming from protein through GNG.

I wondered: was I just different? Am I a duel energy fueled organism? This surely could not be a NATURAL state for some people, so easily switching back and forth between glucose fed and fat fed for energy with the absence off all eaten glucose.

I was still confused… as GNG production should not make me pass out when I ate beef and I was. Also known as the “Meat Coma” it felt like carb crashes I had when I was first t2d and ate too many carbs at a meal and my blood glucose spiked up to 15 mmol and I had to take a nap.

But my blood glucose was showing minimal spikes now no matter if I was fasted, post exercise or post meal. It was always between 5.5 to 8 mmol all the time….so if it was not BG…it had to be an insulin spike I couldn’t measure by test myself. I had to go by the feeling, and the crash, and that it felt the same as a carb crash.

If insulin was spiking this much to make me pass out after beef…then I had to be seriously Insulin Resistant!!

My doctors were of no help, because my BG was stable, so they were happy, and they saw no need for an insulin test they could not justify on the Canadian Health Care dime and I couldn’t afford to pay for the test myself.

So, I decided I had to figure out how much beef I COULD eat without crashing.
With a little self experimentation for a week I concluded:

1. I was eating too much “heavy” protein in one sitting and it was spiking insulin and causing the crash. My top line for heavy proteins in one sitting was only 24 grams without passing out

2.This excess protein above 24 grams per sitting was likely causing GNG and/or causing an insulin spike so large it was what was knocking me out of ketosis daily.

Hey I’m no scientist, bio chemist or engineer, but I could feel it happening. I literally was keto cycling daily after evening meals.

I also wondered why I didn’t crash when I ate fish, or eggs over 24 grams in protein…it was always my evening meals that caused this issue…so I went back to the FII (food insulin index) info and found a list of fii values and checked out the Fii for all the proteins I eat.

Fish and eggs were all in the Teens for a FII value, and all animal flesh (meat) was over 20. Eggs were 10.

With this new knowledge….and knowing that high insulin prevents fat loss and actually helps STORE fat…I concluded that how/when and what I was eating for protein was what was preventing bodyfat loss.

It HAD to be protein, it was my basic ONLY source of glucose via mouth ( through GNG).

I decided to throw worrying about staying in ketosis out the window, and not listen to ANYONE on protein amounts and find out for myself while I focused on how insulin behaved when I ate protein only.

After a week of noting that I could not eat more than 24 grams of protein from beef in one sitting without passing out…this led me to wonder what would happen if I ate a zero carb diet of low Fii protein only for a month to try and lower the level of IR and hopefully back it down enough to eventually stop passing out when I ate a piece of beef bigger than the size of my big toe!

( I want to note that while I was testing out my protocol in early 2018, I had the opportunity to watch Dr Ted Naiman’s live talk at Lowcarb Brek 2017 on Insulin resistance via video in real time. You should watch it.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jd8QFD5Ht18
I also fell upon a Canadian PhD guy by the name of Ben Bikman who was sharing info via twitter about insulin as well. @benbikmanphd follow him. )

Yes I know, This is scattered and long winded, but stay with me !

For that month trial of LowFiiZC in feb of 2017 I ate eggs and fish every day because they are under 20 on the index.I kept beef to only 2 or 3 times a week for one meal on those days. I kept the beef amount to less than about 24 grams of protein. I ate 3 and sometimes 4 times a day in small amounts of LowFii proteins ( to hunger ques) to keep insulin drive more steady and lower. I drank water and club soda.

Below are my blogged notes as I went along. For brevity sake….they are as they were written then.

Inflammation loss in 1 month lowfiizc, 8 pounds down.

Notes

low fii results from 1 month plus ..March 2017

After this last month of lowfiizc and losing weight (8 pounds) inflammation is way down….I went mainly Beef and pork and chicken and hard cheese again. I was just happy that I was no longer passing out from even 80g of high fii protein now!

But a month into high fii ZC again, I have gained the weight back and my fat % went back up, plus a bit of muscle % as spring came on and I started doing more activity outside for yard work etc.

I was frustrated that fat was still sticking around. I’ve tried some timing on foods and even with Intermittent fasting of many variations of 18/6 , one meal a day after 23 to 26 hours fasted, I have had NO fat loss. I HAVE GAINED!

I’ve started reading ZC forums and online support groups in earnest, and I follow many ZCers on twitter…They keep saying “just eat beef, have faith” So, I keep eating beef and trying to figure it out…but it wasn’t working for me!

The mantra of all these beef ZCers to new ZCers who see weight gain or no fat loss at all for months and months is that “the body is healing from years of poor nutrition and health ailments and repairing organs and muscle tissue..just give it time…drink water, eat beef and trust the process”

Well, I am a person who has a faith… but I like science.

Trust is nice for stuff you can’t prove or see in faith…you can trust and be comforted by your faith. But, its has no place for me in science…and this lack of fat loss for so long has a scientific/biological reason and therefore…has a solution! I refuse to wait..”

I like to know why stuff works and how it works… within understanding that, if you dig deep enough, you can find a solution to the thing that is not working.

I do not believe that our bodies operate in a linear fashion this way that beef ZCers kept telling me- and basic biochemistry and science says it is not the case.

If we can burn fat and build muscle at the same time with healthy eating and exercise…how can we NOT burn fat and repair internal damage at the same time? It makes no sense to me.

If our body was a machine that was SO linear, we would not be able to breathe and do complex math at the same time, or ride a bike and talk at the same time!

So many systems in the human body operate together and in conjunction with each other, all at once for us to just BE the humans we are and do all we can do.

So… I refuse to believe we just need to eat beef and wait out the healing process before our body then says, “OK…all Healed finally! NOW lets burn off this excess fat shall we?! ”

I’m not knocking all beef ZC, or the proponents of it. They are a smart bunch of people. ZeroCarb/Carnivore works and is a healthy way of eating. Dare I say: the most optimal way of fueling a body.

It works…clearly…if you follow ZIOH Fb group and read the stories of people like Kelly Hogan, you can see that.

But it is clear with the vast number of new ZCers who complain they GAIN weight or do not lose weight for a LONG LONG time- that for some people like me, it works SLOW.

The worse you are in metabolic derangement like Insulin resistance…the slower it is. well, I have ADHD. I am impatient and I like as instant a gratification as I can get!

end notes

Your body does not work linear by putting all that protein you eat as a carnivore into healing and fueling for day to day living… and THEN at a much later date decide it is NOW time to burn off the fat.

What you are waiting for is not healing to be finished….that is always ongoing daily. Every day of your life in every cell that makes us up!

What you are waiting for is the slowed down reversal process of IR to reach a point where it doesn’t inhibit fat burning and doesn’t drive fat storage anymore ( because you are eating High FII protein in too large an amount all the time making your insulin resistance stick around longer.)

In my opinion, for people like me with deep Insulin resistance- High Fii ZC greatly slows down or stops fat burning from happening UNTIL the IR is reversed enough that the beef you eat is not spiking your insulin so much per meal.

Your insulin tells the stored fat “NO! stay there, we don’t need you…there is too much going on here NOW, I got GNG to manage! We don’t need the energy for fuel you can give this body, just wait!”

And so, the fat sits there in the cells on your ass and your stomach and it WAITS to be needed.

And as you keep eating high FII protein in faith…waiting- Insulin tries to pack the liver with the excess gng made glucose to store it for later, and the liver then says to your fat cells…“I know you are bored sitting around waiting your turn as fuel, but we STILL can’t let you take over… In fact..here, have some of this GNG produced Glucose and pack it up for us for later will ya?! I’m stuffed full of glycogen, and I’m overwhelmed here! We don’t need this much fuel for what we are doing right now!” That’s mom speak, not science speak BTW. I’m writing for lay people here mainly, not people who get all the medical/biochemistry lingo.

Yes, all beef ZC works for people who are athletic like Shawn Baker who has never had any deep issues with metabolic derangement for years, and has always been athletic.
He is not battling IR or unmanageable GNG keeping bodyfat stored while his body uses the glucose he makes up for fuel. His muscles are using that for fuel and the protein for repair for all he does physically.

Carnivores like Shawn are using up that energy daily in heavy intense workouts, with an already low body fat percentage. He can tell when his body needs 3 pounds of rib eye over 5 pounds of ribeye on a heavy lift day. ( estimations as example, I don’t know exactly how much he eats day to day)

But we are not all Shawn Bakers!

When Carnivores chant ” BEEF…JUST EAT BEEF” …from the outside looking in- as a way of eating, it looks more like a dogmatic religion where they never waver from that ideology…kind of like their polar opposites, the Vegans. So much so, it is now becoming an all out internet war. The Carnivore diet has so many health benefits for so many people with so many illnesses it is hard to not see it for what it is. But you have to dig past the hardcore online carnivore warriors posts to see it, like I had to do.

It began looking much like a cult, and these days it currently gets labelled as such by plant eaters who dislike the extreme vocal shift in the LCHF arena. I can’t say I blame them; it scared me off of using the term Carnivore for a while- Even though technically, that is what I am.

I felt like a fraud calling myself a carnivore,sitting over here eating eggs and fish and not the all revered rib eye every day.

While I think ZC/Carnivore is a healthy option for people who are extremely carbohydrate intolerant like myself. And while I agree that we are genetically built as a species to be carnivores above anything else…that stance among some all beef ZCers prevents people who may be interested in carnivore for health today, from trying it at all.

So here I am. All 4 foot 11 of me saying….Beef is NOT the be all and end all of Carnivore. There are lots of us who eat more then just beef. or all High Fii.

When you go carnivore and GAIN FAT or do not lose any fat at all, while everyone you see IS losing weight , and are spouting off “Just have faith, keep going…” It lowers the long term sticking to it for a new person. I’m glad I stuck it out.

In the long run, an all beef carnivore diet slows down success in improving health and fat loss at all for people like me with deep insulin resistance.

My LowFiiZC is a viable protocol for healing faster as well as fat loss, because when your Insulin operates the way it SHOULD, you also heal ailments and undo past dietary damage internally easier.

But… most importantly… I feel the “Just eat beef” mantra cuts off emotional support from new carnivores among the online community like me who should be eating LowFii, while they are taking on a new way of eating that is an outlier way of eating, already.

Carnivores get a lot of flack anyway…but ME, a Low Fii ZCer who is sitting here saying Beef is not the be all and end all of a carnivore way of life for health, gets looked at like I don’t know what I’m talking about.

I have been a LowFii Carnivore for a year and a half. When I started and was vocal about it and I got little validation or emotional/community support from many others eating ZC.

Early on, I often had to defend my eggs and fish Low Fii ZC eating, because of the stance that “true” ZC has to be beef and anything else under the ZC umbrella is inferior and therefore I must lack trust in this way of eating.

I am here to provide that support to new Carnivores like me. Because it is needed. I get messaged daily and asked about my protocol. I had decided I was NOT gonna be a blogger, cause well…look at my sentence structure. AND i’m dyslexic to boot. Writing this is NOT my strong area. I had even retired this domain and only from interest from others like me did I decide to re register it and actually PUBLISH this information.

My LowFiiZC protocol would have someone like Shawn Baker eating more than 2 dozen eggs and 2 whole salmons, and more a day to feel satisfied for a days worth of fuel, and to continue his heavy lifting and athletic endeavors.

His ZC all beef protocol has someone like me with IR and 47% percent body fat still, who doesn’t lift a lot or do more than typical house work, yard work, carrying fire wood all winter, and 2 hiit cardio sessions a week- stuck with my body fat not coming off me..and even gaining weight. Which is NOT healthy.

So my main point is this…

Within ZC/ Carnivore…there is room for each individual to find optimal health with carefully chosen, well thought out protein amounts per eat/timing and sources.

Those choices need to be decided individually, based on body fat, fitness level and current metabolic state ( derangement/IR or not)

And THAT…the ONE person who is still reading this LONG winded post… is why I developed the LowFiiZC protocol.

Because ZC/Carnivore should not be a “beef is the answer” diet as a rule. There are many sources of animal protein to be utilized within a Carnivore Diet, beef SHOULD be one of them…but it doesn’t always need to be at EVERY MEAL/EVERY DAY.

Not convinced?

Think about this…

When you look at people on a keto diet who stall and do an egg fast to break the stall- they are switching to the principles of my LowFiiZC protocol without knowing it is, or understanding the science behind it.

Eggs are low fii…and usually when they stop the egg fast… they go back to high fii proteins in beef, chicken, pork and hard cheeses and gain back some weight.

Rather than do a week long gag worthy egg fast every 6 weeks to stop a stall… I propose that the stall is a clear symptom of insulin response being too high.

I propose that people who stall in fat loss on Keto and ZC need to actually consider what their protein sources are. Stick to mostly lowFii proteins and eat minimal High Fii proteins in smaller amounts in their week, to see fat loss happen again.

I propose that people who wish to do a Carnivore diet and have IR or are struggling to lose fat, also consider a predominantly LowFiiZC way of eating for the duration of desired fat loss. Not just eat beef and only beef one or 2 times a day. I propose longer Intermittent fasting periods over 36 hours at least once a week if they are not working out heavy.

Sure the all beef carnivore WOE may work SLOWLY for people who are obese and IR.
Sure It may take years to start losing the weight they desire to lose, as they SLOWLY lower IR on all beef… they WILL eventually see fat loss…if they don’t all together quit before then, out of sheer disappointment of no fat loss at all for so long.

But WHY would you do that when you can eat LowFII and see much faster fat loss and healing at the same time?

If you are IR/t2d…it makes sense to me that smaller amounts of protein per meal to keep insulin from spiking is key for effective fat loss and reversal of IR.

It makes sense to keep protein to your body’s fueling and restorative needs only, and not consume excess to prevent it from from turning to glucose through GNG you are not going to use up day to day.

If you want to be an “all hail the ribeye” carnivore AND you are Insulin resistant, You DEFINITELY need to UP your output of energy daily. Otherwise, you are making insulin have to deal with that new glucose from the gng as an energy source to be utilized before your fat stores start getting tapped for fuel…and staying stalled..OR if it is in great excesses, causing it to be stored as fat for later use.

This blog post has been a YEAR in the writing. I am not a doctor, a nurse , a nutritionist or otherwise. I am a person with skin in this insulin game, and a carnivore who has found the optimal fueling protocol for ME. I urge you to do the research for yourself, and make your own decisions. I just gave you all the experts links you need to get started!

I will detail the Protocol in an easy to follow post sometime soon if there is interest for it. But really….it is not complicated.

Eat eggs, eat fish first. Eat animal muscle with it’s fat ( beef , pork, poultry, lamb, game meat) less often than 4 times a week, and eat it in SMALL portions to keep insulin needs dialed back for Insulin resistance.

BTW regular breakfast bacon is low fii as well.But I don’t eat it every day. I currently am researching the omega balances in pork and am limiting pork at the moment.

Today’s Update:

I have now been eating mostly LowFii ZC for a year and a half

I am down to 45% to 47% body fat and my A1c’s are 5.4 and finally non diabetic range and have been for a year as a LowFii Carnivore. I am finally out of the 170’s I had been stuck in for TWO years.

My progress has been slow. Admittedly due to being more lax in the summers with BBQ season and eating more beef, but EVERYTIME I go back to my LowFiiZC protcol, I see IMMEDIATE fat loss within days and I am keeping it off.

I can eat high fii protein now in GREAT amounts without passing out or feeling physical effects of an insulin spike. But, because I stall every time I eat High Fii proteins, that is a clear indicator to me that Insulin resistance and I are still doing a fine choreographed dance in order to use up this long time stored body fat I still have to lose from my donut days YEARS ago!

Dairy, I gotta quit you

 

I feel old and pudgy today because of the inflammation.

So. Double confirmed. Dairy is out.
Now to just get over the mental and emotional loss of so many options to make food less boring.
At this point all I got left is healthy fats and meat. The mental aspects of such “limited” fuel sources is much harder to overcome than the actual giving it up for health’s sake. ESPECIALLY when you live with 3 other people who do eat that stuff.
Sigh.

Ill get over it. Its just gonna take some grieving on my part i think.
The trying it again was the denial phase. Time for the acceptance phase.
#inflammation #dairyfree #nodairyforme

#nodairy

SULFITE SENSITIVITY!?

Keto coconut macaroons…

I made 6 of them to reach my macros for supper.

I decided to eat high fii protein foods today to see how I managed them. I had half a poubd if ground beef for lunch abd had no sluggishness…

The macaroons were good..i ate them all. But halfway through I began having an allergic reaction! And I was all like “WTF!? What could be in these. They are JUST coconut and egg and stevia!”

 I grabbed the coconut bag…which is a different coconut than I have been eating (which is smaller pieces)…I wanted a flake coconut for these…and the ingredient list said Coconut and sulfites!!! 
So I Looked  at sulfite sensitivity on the webs…and…every processed food that has ever bothered me in the past is usually preserved with sulfites!! 
So..looks like I just discovered yet another allergy/sensitivity. I had an asthma episode and sinus issues from histamine reaction to the sulfites.
Since I eat mostly fresh real food it should not be an issue…but I will have to make sure any coconut I buy in future doesn’t have sulfites in it!! And wine is likely off the list for occasional events. 

What if You Just Accepted Your Depression?

Everyone treats depression like it is a bad thing, and something we should fight to fix, or get over.

There is societal shame in admitting that we are held in the arms of depression and it won’t let us go.

But… what if we just accepted our depression. What if we were open about it?

Having lived now with chronic low level depression and dips into deep levels, over the last 10 years- I can tell you that the years it was worst, were the early years of dealing with it when I felt shame and guilt for, and on top of- being tired, and weepy and not wanting to do much.It was worst when I hid it from people and still tried to act like everything was A-OK.

What if depression is our body telling us to slow the fuck down?

What if we just honored our body’s signals and we just slowed down a bit?

Be it due to past deep hurts we need to grieve, or burnout from a stressful life situation… or, brain chemistry we can’t control stuck on low burn in our body…

What if, rather than feeling guilty and trying to keep up- Trying to heavily medicate our depression and our shame and guilt away- We just accepted that we are depressed, and opened up about it and just figured out how to navigate life better while we are depressed?

 

People are all over fat shaming and encourage being “body positive” these days… Well. It’s time to call out depression shaming and encourage some Depression Embracing!

 

 

  • What if, between the crying days, we nurtured ourselves and looked for small tiny ways to have some joy, anyway?
  • What if we chose to drop the guilt and the shame and stopped getting upset with ourselves just because after a relatively good day, we have yet another weepy day? Why do we minimize the importance of the good day, just because we had another bad day?
  • What if we start drinking our morning smoothie, or lemon water from a wine glass every day? Seems small, maybe even silly! But if you feel fancy doing that… why not?
  • What if while taking a bath, we just don’t care if we cry in the tub the whole time?
  • What if… for at least 20 seconds as we laid in the tub while depressed and crying, we noticed that split second of feeling good, and we said hello to it- rather than feel guilty for crying through it, and not feeling that more often?

5 7 things you can do to accept your depression, drop the fucking guilt and feel less shitty day to day.

depressedbuthappy

1. First, realize you are not the only depressed person in the world.

I am not telling you this in a negative way. I want you to know that you are not alone. There are a shit tonne of us out here, depressed just like you are-Living life.

We are buying our groceries, and taking the kids to soccer, and standing in front of you in the bank. We might even be having a good day and be the one laughing with our friend while we eat lunch together. We are a silent club, and no one really knows the other club members…but know that you are not alone.

When we are depressed it can feel like we are drowning in a lonely sea of happy (& fucking judgmental) people who have all the answers. We think this so much that we convince ourselves that everyone we see looking at us, is judging us. But, I can tell you this… at least some of those people are depressed too, and looking at you, thinking the exact same thing you are thinking about them!

So, remind yourself of that, and the anxiety will start to lessen as you realize that depression lies to us to keep us down.

2. “What you need to do is, is just…” “What do you have to be depressed about?” “Don’t you know there are other people who have it much worse than you!” “Just exercise more” “Focus on being happy and you will be!” Sound familiar?

Yeah!… fuck that shit, right?

Those seemingly happy and judgmental assholes in our lives who are vocal about our depression to us… they are usually telling us this stuff out of ignorant genuine concern. Often it just makes us feel like we are being blamed for our depression, like we are choosing this shitty way of life. But, understand that it’s coming from a good place, even if they sound like a totally heartless bastard.

I can tell you, they do not know just how much of an asshole they sound like. Telling you these things makes them feel better, even if it makes you feel like shit. These people around us usually are feeling helpless too and they don’t know how to help us. Remember this, and cut them some slack, and don’t feel worse for their shitty advice.

If it comes down to it, tell them how their “helpful” advice makes you feel, and tell them to shove it up their ass. Plain and simple.

3. You cannot control depression any more than a person can control getting the flu and puking and shitting all over themselves on the bathroom floor. But, while you are depressed you can do things to make it less hard on you while you are going through it- just like people with the flu do things to make being sick with the flu less difficult.

If we can comfort the flu….we can comfort depression!

Like the flu, you gotta ride the bad days out. Rest more. Back out of the plan with “I’m feeling under the weather today, I just need to rest” It’s not a lie, don’t feel guilty for it.

Take regular naps. If you work shift work, schedule no more than 2 days in a row and rest on the in between days. It takes a lot of energy to do day to day stuff when your brain chemistry is working against you.

4.Do things to bring the depression up to a manageable level.

Cut the sugary crap foods that fast feed your brain short lived energy, and then seek more a short time later.It is a vicious cycle that does NOTHING good for a depressed system. Try going LCHF and supporting your hormones and brain chemistry the best you can. I know it sounds like BS…I would not have believed it myself if i had not seen remarkable improvements in my own depression and Anxiety since I went LCHF 4 years ago. What once kept me on the couch in my housecoat all day staring at the weather network…is now just a mild meh I can manage to talk myself through most of the time. Movement/light exercise, Vit D, Vit B’s and real healthy foods will help lift depression.

See a Doctor and get medication if it is necessary

Don’t feel shame or guilt for needing a medication to get you through the hardest depressions. Even if the medication only lifts you up into the grey from the dark black depressive hole…You are accepting your depression now and you know that medication is not a magic pill- It is not going to cure you. But, it will help you navigate the bad days better, until you can manage them with better coping skills on your own later, and that’s a good thing.

Please know… If you are feeling suicidal… that requires immediate attention and you should not feel shame for needing it!

Unlike the flu like depression- Suicidal thoughts is the “I fell out of the boat, and I’m drowning with a brick tied on my foot, and I need a life jacket and a lifeguard to save me RIGHT NOW” depression. Put the life jacket on!

Suicide.org - Suicide Prevention, Awareness, and Support

5. Talk to a therapist on an ongoing basis. Not to FIX or cure your depression, but to have a non judgmental person to talk it out with. Get shit off your chest to keep the guilt and shame low during your depression. It’s hard enough to get out of bed everyday with depression. Feeling like a shitty person on top of it is no help.

If you can’t see a therapist, find a support group. Perhaps an in person one your doctor can set up for you, or hey… online even! There are lot of FB groups for depression that are private and you will see that you are not alone, and even find others who understand exactly how you feel.

Bonus tip!

6. Create something every day! Even if you don’t feel like it. Pick up a paintbrush, a pencil, even a crayon. Play a video game, play a musical instrument, color in a coloring book. Do something that gave you joy in the past and just do a little of it everyday. Find one good moment in your day everyday and write it down in a journal.

Don’t think you’re suddenly going to be happy… you’re not. You are distracting the depression for a few minutes and looking to feel that split second of joy- even if that is all you feel. one.split.second.

Say hello to that split second of joy, and be ok with it. like trying to tame a cute chipmunk in your back yard… be patient and feed your joy… eventually, a little at a time, it will show up for longer periods of time.

Extra BONUS

7. Give yourself some credit, will ya?!

You live with depression, and you find ways every day to get the things done that need doing! That is pretty fucking amazing!

So, pamper yourself a little now and again, and feel proud of the fact that you are doing it!

Those happy people who breeze through a day like it’s nothing…. that’s not an accomplishment… it’s just easy breezy shit.

Doing that same stuff they do everyday, and doing it while depressed makes you a pretty-fucking- awesome person!

So… I’ll ask you again.

What if you just accepted your depression?!

Hmmm, What.IF!

depressed and awesome
The Jaded Optimist is a Canadian living with chronic depression, accepting it and choosing happiness anyway for the last 10 years. You can read more on her blog www.alifeungrained.ca

(this article can be shared, linked to, or copied and “guest blogged” on your blog, so long as it contains the article and bio in it’s entirety and links to here. Drop me an email to let me know where you share it!)

How I Reversed my Type Two Diabetes

I have been overweight since I was 12. I hit 4 foot 11 and that’s as tall as I’ll ever be. When I entered puberty, everything went to hell. I often joked over the years that when I stopped growing upwards, I started growing outwards. I didn’t know until recently, but my hormones were like hurricanes out of control from the start, wreaking havoc on my metabolism.

I was attending T.O.P.S. (Take Off Pounds Sensibly) with my mother at eleven-20 pounds overweight, I went to Weight Watchers at 12.

I tried slim fast at 14 and when that didn’t work cause I was having dizzy spells and had to stop- I essentially settled on starving myself all day, and having one meal a day. I went to school everyday, having not eaten, and binged when I got home from school, and snacked until I went to bed. I was the of the fatter girls in my class, back in the late 80’s and early 90’s when body positivity wasn’t a concept. My self esteem and self confidence took a major hit from the name calling and taunting that came from my school peers.

Being from a low end of middle income family didn’t make affording healthy foods easy…but more influencing on our way of eating was the low fat diet guides that pushed cheap margarine, low fat pastas,cereals and other high sugar foods, while demonizing eggs and red meat and butter.

I never ate many fruits beyond apples, or canned peaches and I didn’t even know what a steak, hard cheddar cheese, broccoli or yogurt was until I was in my late teens!

My mom was almost 400 pounds when I was about 10 or 11 and had gastric bypass to lose the weight. At 26 she was told if she didn’t quit smoking and lose the weight, she’d be dead by 30! Still, all our meals were pasta, meat and potatoes, and bread heavy. With canned corn and peas as our vegetables. We ate boxed cereals and oatmeal for breakfast daily, smothered in sugar and had treats on weekends. I don’t think we ate a salad until I was in my teens! There was all the occasions through the year for sugary fatty food too- Christmas baking enough to feed an army, Easter baskets full of chocolate, a garbage bag full of Halloween candy to last till Christmas.

You know, the usual typical North American High Carb lifestyle.

A rare picture of me in high school. I hated having my picture taken.

I graduated high school in the 170 pound range, ( where I am right now with my weight, at 42) and I was of the heaviest girls in my class.

I didn’t exercise much anymore because I had asthma, and running made it worse. ( why did gym class include all physical activity that is impossible for fat and /or asthmatic kids?)

I’d skip gym class as often as I could get away with it after grade 10, because I was always the last picked for team sports, and was teased and picked on for being fat in our required shorts and t-shirt attire for class. I certainly did not learn to like physical activity in my teen years. I was depressed and a loner. The high school years were not my best years.

At about nineteen I started having hip pains and was told it was probably my arthritic genes and from being overweight. Everyone in my father’s family had arthritis, so they didn’t look any further for a reason for my pain beyond being fat and genetics. (Hind sight-it was my “healthy” diet causing me pain.)

I was told to go on a “healthy low fat diet” & give up sugary treats for healthy fruit snacks and it would help.

So, I did…and….I gained weight!

I entered adulthood still struggling with my weight and eating an unhealthy high carb, low fat diet like pretty much every one else- the standard government recommended “healthy” food guide for most of the world.

In 2003, 3 years after the birth of my first child, and 29 years old…I started to get a handle on emotional and boredom eating and I was learning to enjoy the me time of fitness, as a new mom.

But being ADHD all my life and not knowing it till then, I was still feeding my lack of dopamine with sugar and carbs to give me a short lived rise in focus, daily. So, every attempt to lose weight was usually a failure because it required daily exercise for over an hour, and my brain chemistry made me crave carbs in the late afternoon more in order to have some attention span.

The low fat high carb diet was the faulty foundation creating this paradigm…but, like everyone else on it who CANNOT lose weight, I was blamed for lack of willpower, not trying hard enough and unlucky draw with bad genetics.

By 2004 I worked hard at exercise. Everyday for an hour was a requirement just to see a 1 pound loss a week. This was while limiting sweets and following the standard recommended calorie intake for my height and age for weight loss. It wasn’t easy, but I managed to lose 30 pounds.

Then I got pregnant with my son. Trying to stay active through pregnancy proved to be an issue with dizziness whenever I exercised and severe morning sickness that lasted 6 months. If I wasn’t sick…I was constantly hungry.

I was nearing gestational diabetes by the time my son was born at 38 weeks at 8 pounds 13 ounces!

Let me be clear in pointing out I was eating “healthy” then. Lots of healthy fruits and vegetables, low fat chicken, whole wheat breads, and the truly occasional small ice cream or half a chocolate bar. I was being a good healthy mom of 2 to be.

6 months pregnant with my son

I gained 50 pounds through his pregnancy and tipped the scale at 220 the week he was born. On my 4 foot 11 frame, I was morbidly obese, and newly diagnosed with ADHD.

While weight loss and healthier eating was on my radar, learning to manage my ADHD with a 4 year old and a brand new breastfeeding baby was a higher priority then. Since I couldn’t take ADHD medication until he was weaned, I relied on carbs to feed my adhd need for dopamine boosts for 18 months until he weaned.

2006-My depression and anxiety season

 

For 30 some odd years I just accepted my so called genetic fate and dealt with the hip pain, lived overweight and took pain medications. With all that AND ADHD, and being the one in charge of running the home, I then struggled with depression, anxiety and massive life overwhelm for 5 years.

Being fat wasn’t as high a priority as figuring out how to do the day to day things I needed to do as a mom and struggled through with my ADHD, massive depression and anxiety.

Once I was properly medicated for ADHD, and began to develop better skills to manage the depression and anxiety, things started to get better.

I had serious side effects from anti depressants so I chose Vit D and Vitamin B complex recommended by my ADHD doctor, along with my ADHD meds to manage my depression. It lifted it somewhat with a better handle on my ADHD medicated, but the depression and anxiety was always looming behind me in the shadows.

As the Kids got a little older and easier to manage, I got better at exercise again, and managed 3 times a week. I was doing all the “right” things like limiting the fats and overt sugar intake…but it didn’t help.

They blamed my weight gain on the medications I had been taking for the last few years ( Anti depressants, Anxiety medications, Arthritis Medication and Birth Control to manage the painful periods) Then, told me I was in my 30’s now. It’s just a fact of life- it gets harder to lose weight as you get older, get used to it.

By 2010, I was “pre diabetic” and about 199 lbs.

Hey! at least I was still under 200 I told myself! (my cut off for how heavy I’d ever allow myself to be.) I was active enough. living rural, growing a garden, cutting wood up for winter every spring and fall, swimming all summer, bike riding with the kids. My friends all said I was so active I should be literally bone thin…and I wasn’t. I could never manage to lose more then 5 pounds a season. ( now I know that Calories in and calories out IS crap, and hormones and low fat high carb eating was the issue)

September Fall Fair 2012

In March 2013, I was diagnosed with Diabetes 2, and I was over 200 pounds again….225 pounds to be exact!

I was floored! I was being GOOD. I ate the recommended healthy food guide, and I exercised intentionally 3 times a week OVER all the housework, yard work and chasing two small kids I did daily!

Having seen most of my mother’s family struggle with Diabetes 2 all my life, and seeing them having to get their legs chopped off and going blind- Having attended funerals from diabetic death earlier than necessary-When I was told “You are diabetic, here take this metformin.” it scared the living shit out of me!

Clearly what I was doing wasn’t working, and something needed to change!

If you had been paying attention to healthy eating/diet trends, like I was- low carb, paleo, primal, sugar free and grain free living were becoming “all the rage” then.

Though they get crapped on in mainstream media, and get dubbed “Fad Diets” and “Unsustainable Diets” There is a very good reason for their rise in adoption and popularity.

THEY WORK!and we’ve been being lied to for a very long time by “the establishment”.

So, before I was even told I was diabetic at that appointment- Due to my eating healthy according to the food guide that just wasn’t working, I had began to dig deep and read about Low Carb.

I was ready to go LCHF the minute I was diagnosed with Diabetes….But, before I tell you about the last 4 years of that…(and how I REVERSED my Diabetes type two and lost 54 pounds so far)… Let me tell you the story about what cemented my decision to go Low Carb High Fat as a way of life.

Hint…I hate being told I CANNOT do something!

Canada’s Food Guide-2011 Edition. Note the wording below “to reduce risk of obesity & Diabetes”

That same week I got diagnosed, I was sent to a diabetic nutrition clinic to be taught “how to eat healthy, living with diabetes” with that Food Guide I pictured above.

WHAT A JOKE! I was told to eat 45 grams of carbs per meal, 3 times a day. ( And Oh…by the way salad carbs didn’t count, I could eat all of those I wanted!)

I was told I should eat low fat foods with “healthy” whole grains and lots of fruits & non starchy veggies. ( the very diet that got me sitting in her office in the FIRST place!)

I was told “No, do NOT cut out fruits, your brain needs glucose” when I asked if I could cut back for a while to get my blood sugars down to normal.

Then, I was told to eat oatmeal every day to lower my LDL cholesterol and to eat low fat to raise my HDL cholesterol as well, or I’d have to go on statins.

I had outright refused statins just days earlier. I argued about it at my diagnosis appointment, because my health care practitioner wanted to automatically put me on Statins as a “new protocol” for precautions recommended for newly diagnosed diabetics! I’m glad I had done my reading before that!

I argued “Why is there a “normal’ range for LDL then?,” because even thought it was high..it was in the “high NORMAL” range.

I was also told by this dietitian to eat every few hours to keep my blood sugars stable.

The Diabetic Eating Plan was eat two 25g of carbs in snacks between my three 45g of carb main meals a day!

I sat there just listening to this dietitian, dismayed at what she was telling me! I didn’t eat that much in carbs NOW! I had to literally check myself to make sure my jaw wasn’t falling on my lap at her advice!


Their “healthy” management plan (from the Canadian Diabetic Association) was for me eat this high carb way, take metformin, and see how my sugars were in a few months. If needed, I could take up to 6 metformin a day and then after that-insulin needles were an option depending on how my body handled this “healthier” diet.

I was floored! THIS was a diabetic/insulin resistance healthy diet plan!?

I began to ask her about low carb eating…(thinking I’d be pleasing her that I was willing to cut out the cause of diabetes).

I imagined she dealt with stubborn unhappy people everyday unwilling to cut out the carbs from their foods. I thought if I showed willingness, she’d offer me sage advice to go LCHF- she was a dietitian after all!

I was thinking…if carbs are glucose, and glucose raises blood sugar…then raised blood sugar is from too much carbs, it just made sense to ME to eat LESS CARBS.

I was about to say that to her…but she butted in and stopped me and suddenly my head was spinning from the idiocy of her very serious reply.

I was told quite sternly “NO! low carb is not healthy, you need carbs to live, and it is a dangerous fad diet that doesn’t work!”

After the “Ketosis is dangerous for Diabetics on Low Carb Diets” line, I then I got the “too much meat and fat and cholesterol” talk to go with it.

But, I had already done my homework and that was my plan to manage my diabetes2.

So, I just kept my mouth shut, played dumb, nodded my head in all the right places, and took her info like a good little compliant patient, while knowing inside-LCHF was the right way to go.

I immediately threw her info in the trash can in the parking lot when I left her office that day, and in March of 2013 I starting transitioning to a low carb eating life.

March 2013 to September 2013

That first 25 pounds made a significant change in my appearance because of how short I am. All I had done to start at that point was cut out bread, pasta, and potatoes. I ate rice once or twice a week, and had a treat day once a week for ice cream or chips, I had a chocolate bar once a month on our shopping trip day to the city.

Jan6th/Feb24th 2017. Difference is mostly inflammation having quit eating all the vegetables I’m allergic to on Dec14th.
Overall joint pain significantly reduced, feeling much better on Ketogenic Diet

It’s been 4 years now since I’ve gone Low Carb. My last HbA1cs were “astounding” and the numbers of a non diabetic according to my Health Care Practitioner.

In total I have lost 54 pounds and kept it off…it has been a very slow process due to some food allergies and intolerance issues I didn’t figure all out until just in December of 2016.

Since getting those figured out, I’ve started losing weight again.
Recently I’ve been losing inches faster than bodyfat as the inflammation goes down, and the joint pain goes away.

I have PCOS, thus Insulin resistance and many Hormone imbalances I’m trying to sort out to get the last 30 to 40 pounds off.

Having figured out only recently I am allergic to MANY vegetables- Its like LCHF Phase 2.

I feel like I’m starting all over again removing foods from my diet. I eat a more Low Carb way now called Keto, or ketogenic diet…which I will write more about separately on this blog, if you’re interested.

I intend to share the rest of my journey on this blog as I go in regular blog posts as things progress frpm here.

I still have about 40 pounds to lose to be no longer “overweight” and my belly and hips is where I still have the most fat to lose, due to Insulin Resistance.

Since this is a lifestyle and not a diet…I’m not stressed about how long it will take from here to get to where I want to be.

I’m healing my body from a lifetime of eating foods that make us sick, and I am saying yes to Health, and Living a life of Happiness while I get there

If your story sounds similar to my beginning story… If you have type two Diabetes, prediabetes, PCOS, or you struggle with trying and trying to lose weight unsuccessfully, I share here for YOU. Because there is a better way, and if *I* can do this…YOU can too.

Don’t spend the next 20 years struggling with poor nutrition advice that got you where you are in the first place.