Saturday, November 30, 2013

What is Ketosis?

Just doing a quick internet search of What is Ketosis? This is the first thing that came up on google. 
noun: ketosis
  1. 1.
    a condition characterized by raised levels of ketone bodies in the body, associated with abnormal fat metabolism and diabetes mellitus.
Now I must say I think this is entirely inaccurate. First of all, why is this being characterized as abnormal? Fat metabolism is a normal body process. I found this information on

Question: What is Ketosis?
Answer: A lot of people are confused by the term "ketosis." You may read that it is a "dangerous state" for the body, and it does sound abnormal to be "in ketosis." But ketosis merely means that our bodies are using fat for energy. Ketones (also called ketone bodies) are molecules generated during fat metabolism, whether from the fat in the guacamole you just ate or fat you were carrying around your middle. When our bodies are breaking down fat for energy, most of the it gets converted more or less directly to ATP. (Remember high school biology? This is the "energy molecule.") But ketones are also produced as part of the process.

When the body breaks down fat ketones are produced. This is not ketoacidosis, which is a dangerous accumulation of ketones that happens in a diabetic person. 
When I worked at The Children's Hospital, I worked with the Ketogenic diet. This diet was for epilepsy patients and the purpose was to reduce their seizures. To be in ketosis, the patients consumed adequate protein and then fat and carbohydrates in a 4:1 ratio. They were not on this to lose weight, so their calorie level was adequate to allow them to grow normally. 
This made me interested into looking into more about ketosis and any other possible benefits or risks. 
Here is a link to an interesting article about the ketogenic diet that explains conflicting studies performed on it.
I bring up the ketogenic diet, because when I was exploring the literature on intermittent fasting, I came across fat fasting. This is in the Atkins diet as a last resort for people who seem so resistant to fat loss as a way to put them into ketosis. The Atkins diet recommends eating cream cheese (1000 calories) through out the day in order to put the body into ketosis. (you can read about this here
This is mentioned in quite a few Paleo blogs I have come across as well. I have tried it a few times, never for more than a day, and I have to say that it did work. I lost weight that I did not gain back. I don't do this for fast weight loss because I don't like it. It's really hard. However, I think you can get into ketosis without fat fasting. Most sources I have come across say keep carbs under 20 grams a day.
What I have realized  really works for me is the Paleo diet, and staying away from high carbohydrate Paleo foods (honey, dates, almond flour, sweet potatoes) so that weight loss can be achieved. I don't know what my carb total is for the day but eating salads and vegetables and no grains, I assume it is pretty low.  Eating this way makes me feel better and more normal, not like someone on a diet. I think that feeling like I'm on a diet, makes me treat my eating habits as something temporary. As soon as this diet is over, I can have junk food again :( That makes me give up. With the Paleo diet I have eggs and fruit for breakfast, chicken and salad for lunch, lamb chops and asparagus for dinner and I lose weight. 
I think it's about finding what works for you. That means what allows you to stick with it and not give up. It's taken me about 2 years of research to commit to the Paleo diet, but once I did, I saw that it worked and it made me feel better and I'm not a slave of sugar anymore.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Dentist and Paleo and Gut Bacteria

"Today, over 95 percent of all gum disease and tooth decay is caused by harmful bacteria in our mouths. And harmful bacteria in our mouths are created by harmful bacteria in our gut. And harmful bacteria in our gut are increased by certain foods we eat—specifically dense carbohydrates and refined sugars—those highly processed, refined, hybridized, and genetically modified “foods” of modern-day lifestyles." (link)
 The above is a quote from an article I found on The Paleo Diet website. It is talking about typical dental issues such as, cavities and gum disease. I took both my children to the dentist yesterday and this made me think of this article that I came across last week. My daughter who is 8 may need some orthodontic help at some point, but other than that her teeth are fine. Now, my son, who is almost 6, already had two cavities filled last year and now he has another cavity and then "staining" on his teeth that will become cavities. After the $600 to fill the last two, I was determined to brush and floss his teeth everyday to prevent this. However, despite my effort, he is still getting cavities! He's only 5. What happens at 35? My husband is very diligent about brushing and flossing and his teeth are worse than mine. He has a lot of fillings and root canals. I didn't have any dental problems until I was about 16 and then I started getting cavities. I had a dentist break a filling, which lead to a root canal and for some reason I should pay for that? I digress.

This made me think about the role of diet. My daughter and son eat very differently. Yes, they both love candy and cookies, but my son loves bread and rice and cereals. My daughter loves the Paleo way of eating. She eats a lot of fruits and vegetables and meats.

The article brings up the point that if our species, which depends on teeth to eat and thus survive, had rampant gum disease and tooth decay, this species would become extinct. It also mentions that animals in the wild do not have dental problems, but in captivity where the diet is not their natural diet, do have dental problems.

I am going broke over here with dental costs. I need another solution. I do not buy candy and cookies for my kids anymore. However, I do make cookies for them which whether "Paleo-ish" or not could be a problem. My son polished off all his Halloween candy recently, despite my efforts to control the amounts. He would climb up on the counter and get it down or climb up my closet shelves. Basically, wherever I hid it, he found it. I do buy bread and rice and potatoes to include with my son's meals, because he likes them so much. He demands it. And I don't know what to do about this. I haven't bought bread for about two weeks and he still begs for it at the grocery store. He begs for cereal. He threw in a bag of croutons that I didn't notice just two days ago. I also have a problem of him getting the foods I don't want him to eat elsewhere, such as the rice and sprite from my husband's mother, jelly sandwiches from my mother and pizza at his religious classes on Saturday.

How can I reduce the processed starches and rice and potatoes in my 5 year-old's diet, when he refuses to eat the meat and vegetable dishes I make. How can I stop the sabotage of the standard Western or even Mid-eastern diet from outside the home?

On Wings of Song

This is my old piano book from when I was a kid. It belonged to my grandmother. Now that I have this book back, I want to play my old favorite On Wings of Song. I can play half of it from memory and it's so strange how my fingers remember those cords so well, without even thinking. Now, I am trying to learn the left hand for the whole song (I still know the right hand not the left).
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We bought a trio of piano books Alfred's All in One Adult Piano. I want to go through all of these, but its hard not to skip ahead. I'll go to the end of book 2 and try and play a song, which I can if I spend enough time. Then, I'll not want to go back to book one to learn all that "technic and theory" this book talks about.
My husband can now play simple songs. He had no background what so ever with learning music and now he can play Jingle Bells. I consider myself his teacher (:

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Snow Day

So we got some snow and its cold. This really makes me want to get on a plane and fly to a beach. Any beach. I know people think the snow is cozy; I used to be one of them. Now, it just freaks me out driving in it. I took my kids to school and I slid last year and crashed my car that I had only had for a month. (kids were not in the car when this happened) So, my husbands fancy sports car cannot handle the snow (good choice for Colorado) So I drove him to work. I slid on the way home, was able to stop, so no crash. But this still really freaked me out.
That being said, I didn't go to the gym. But I have been in gym clothes all morning because I intend to do Yoga here at home. After boot camp yesterday, I need some Yoga. Actually my real plan was to organize my closet with this extra time. (: yeah that didn't happen. I just need to hire the organizer like I've been wanting to. Yeah, that will never happen either. Who am I kidding?
In the spirit of trying to be cozy I included a picture of my fat fasting coffee. What is fat fasting? I am reading the scholarly articles written about it to explain it better, but let me just say it works. However, I have this coffee without fat fasting. Great for weight loss when you are in ketosis (fat burning metabolism).
It is basically just a nice brewed coffee to the strength you prefer (decaf so that it is low salicylate for me). I add some cocoa powder or in this case some crushed cinnamon stick and cloves like a 1 tsp, to the coffee when it brews.  I then whip some heavy cream, without sugar. I add some cream to the coffee, top it with a dollop of whipped cream and then grate some 88% dark chocolate on the top to look pretty.
I don't even miss the sugar anymore. In fact, I like the taste so much I prefer it this way (: