Thursday, August 30, 2012

the ketogenic semi-elemental diet day 7: day one of zero carbs

Today was my first day of zero carbs, and I mean zilcho, because as you remember the only thing I am eating is coconut oil and unsweetened casein, 1650 calories, 79% fat and 21% protein.  So it's pretty easy to make sure you are not cheating when you are only swallowing coconut oil with a little protein powder in it.  Yuck.  So far I seem to be tolerating the casein well, which is always a question for those that cannot digest lactose. It turns out most of the lactose in milk is in the whey, not the casein, which is the milk protein.

I felt like crap for the first half of the day, in fact I could not bring myself to get on either bike, so I took Madison and Chloe to the Wiss and I trudged along clumsily as my limbs seemed to have forgotten the normally smooth motion of walking. It was all I could do to keep them in view as they galloped up and down the gorge chasing chipmunks, squirrels and the scent of deer with an exuberance I wished I could emulate.  We did discover a new trail which was exciting for all three of us.  When we returned to 3434 I could barely stoop down to wash and dry their furry bodies and I ushered their wagging tails into the house and slowly, painfully brought them their bowl of ice water.  Yes, ice water, that's what my hounds get after a hike in the heat.  Ice cubes are ice cream for dogs in the summer.

It was a glorious day, sunny and bright with low humidity, and all I wanted to do was work outside in the garden, but I was tired; my lower back was sore; my limbs felt like cast iron weights hanging from my frame and my legs burned like I was climbing the Monster when I ascended a flight of stairs.   Finally I took one of my 10-minute naps and afterward, suddenly, I felt somewhat normal.  No joke, I was such a total switch: I was much less tired, my mood lifted, and I actually was able to get some chores and blogging done.  I tested my blood ketones and they were up to 0.4, of course once AGAIN I had to use two strips because of the NovaMax Plus meter's faulty indicator which pissed me off but it does not take much to piss one off in this low-carb state.

I have not been sleeping well on this diet, either from the little bit of caffeine I drink in the morning or more likely from some metabolic shift that happens in ketosis.  I read on the forums that this is common for people trying low-carb.  Perhaps it is because I am eating only 1620 calories a day and still working out, so that is way below my maintenance level which I estimate to be somewhere in the neighborhood of 2500 calories a day.  Most of the time I am not hungry but on 1620 calories I do wake up in the middle of the night with a grumbling stomach.  It's not like I can sneak downstairs and open up a bag of Fritos.  My menu choices are coconut oil....and casein.  Kinda blows the whole midnight binge urge.  I never do that anyway.

This was the first day in many months that I did not have a bottle of kombucha, and it was sorely missed, but I really think that there is enough sugar remaining in my brew to keep me from becoming keto-adapted, so I suffered through it.  All in all, it was not a completely fruitless weekend because I did do a lot of cooking even though I can't eat the food yet.  Jack, our truckdriver, showed up at the office with two gigantic boxes of home-grown organic Jersey tomatoes from his garden again and I had to dehydrate them or make sauce or they would all have gone into the compost.   Anyway, I'm not sure how I got through it, but tomorrow, back to work, sans kombucha, my happy drink.  I swear the surge I get from the kombucha is the only thing that gets me through the workday sometimes, so that's going to be rough.  Not that any of this is a cakewalk.  Speaking of cake, when this all over I'm going to have to splurge a bit.  September is going to be the month of the restaurant:  Michael Schulson, Jose Garces, Stephen Starr and Michael Solomonov here I come!


David said...

First 1 hour trail ride on the diet. Felt really good except for some gnawing in the stomach at 40 minutes or when I my HR hit the 160s momentarily. I ate an extra handful of grapes with lunch before the ride. Stayed in the aerobic zone 95 % of the time.

andrea walheim said...

Which diet is that exactly David? Did you cut out all dietary carbohydrates or are you eating Paleo? This diet where you posted your comment was a liquid diet consisting only of fat and casein, or milk protein.