Saturday, August 25, 2012

the ketogenic semi-elemental diet day six: so much for my weekend ride

Even at 6 I was pretty determined once I set my mind to something

Saturday August 11

So today I felt pretty crummy. On a typical Saturday morning I will do the TSV ride from the Art Museum which generally goes 3 to 4 hours. Today I was physically tired as has been the norm during this keto-adaptation and there was no way I would be able to hang on a group ride. So I dragged myself out anyway and rode up and down West River Drive for an hour solo. At first it seemed incomprehensible that I would be able to muster the energy to do anything but a weak recovery ride, but I had brought along my headphones and I turned up the music and pushed myself until I got in a solid endurance ride. By the end of the hour I was more than ready to climb the hill up back up into East Falls and the dogs were happy to see me returning so they could start following me around the house staring me down until I acquiesced and took them on their hike. Which was not easy either, but at least I got out there and got some exercise instead of moping around the house.
My blood ketones tested at .2 , which was better than yesterday but my ketones have been decreasing the past few days so obviously I am eating too many carbs. I seem to be caught in that no-mans-land where I am not eating enough carbs to fuel effective workouts or particularly effective cognitive functioning on the one hand, yet I'm still eating too many to encourage my body to keto-adapt and start producing more ketones so my brain stops competing with my skeletal muscles for glucose. When I look back over what I have eating, the only real culprit is my homemade kombucha, which I estimate to have anywhere from 20 to possibly as much as 40 grams of carbs per bottle.
Of course whenever you are dealing with a live cultured food it is difficult to quantify the exact number of calories or sugars in the bottle as the product is never quite "finished" until you drink it, and with kombucha the those numbers can change depending on many variables such as length of time it ferments, ambient temperature, strength of the sugar and tea at the outset, etc.  So after reading up on the bodybuilding forums from those who are experienced in ketogenic dieting, I decided that tomorrow I would go 100% carbless. No more kombucha and no honey whatsoever.  So I will be eating a liquid, semi-elemental diet consisting of 80% fat and 20% protein, yes, you heard that right, zero percent carbohydrate.

The other reason it dawned on me that I might want to quit my kombucha habit, arguably the only bright spot in my otherwise dreary days on this diet, is that the point of this semi-elemental diet to cure SIBO is to kill off all of the bacteria in my small intestine.  I figured that it might not be a good idea to be drinking a concoction populated by bacteria and yeasts that can survive at a very low PH since for the time being I'm trying to discourage anything from surviving in my small intestine.  So I had to quit the kombucha habit for the duration of the diet.
Tomorrow marks the first day of my final week, so it won't be long. This is pretty tough. The worst part for me is the mental health aspect; which is to say I'm normally a pretty happy person who takes the hard luck life sometimes throws at me in stride. Yes I'm hardworking and can be hyper-focused, and to others often seem like I need to relax more, but I really want this to be my last summer in Philadelphia and The Big Move is not going to happen if I don't make it happen.  So this summer has turned out different than most when I'm hosting dinner parties and being a bit more of a social butterfly. This summer I've been running around trying to hire contractors and get the house ready to put on the market in the fall, so yes I do spend a lot of time on the weekend doing chores. It's tough for someone who generally measures the success of a weekend by how many items I've checked off my list to be in a state where I don't have the energy to do anything at all, but I guess this forces me to slow down and do some reading and relaxing.  I made some more fish broth, coconut yogurt and bottled some kombucha, and then I settled into bed with a book and called it a day. Perhaps tomorrow will be easier.  I'm growing weary of this.  

1 comment:

David said...

Hi Andrea,
what would I do without you?? It's good to know someone else who is trying this. I am coming up on week 3 this Thursday. You are more extreme with the carb limit than I am. I am still amazed I gave up grains, potatoes, legumes, and dairy since I lived on that stuff before. I have it easier since I'm not training and face surgery this week. I suffered a crash at the Midnight race, and the wound completely healed. But, I had one hard work week, and, my elbow bursa started bleeding into my elbow and shows no signs of stopping after one aspiration. Sucks!!Should be minor. I will get back on the bike tomorrow for the first time since Bear Creek. Good luck on your journey. I will share my experience as well,