Healthy Household: Fat Loss on the Cheap: Part II

“It has been shown fairly conclusively that it is only the high-fat, not the high-protein diet that produces the greatest health benefits in combination with a low carbohydrate intake.”
Moment of Clarity by Dr Ron Rosedale

keto clarity Healthy Household: Fat Loss on the Cheap: Part II

Jimmy Moore’s new book Keto Clarity will explain how to benefit from a ketogenic diet.

“Humans went into ketosis every winter for thousands of generations. Being in a low level of ketosis is the more natural state for our metabolism.”
Moment of Clarity by Dr Terry Wahls

In Fat Loss on the Cheap: Part I, we talked about Dr Krista Varady Every-Other-Day Diet as a inexpensive way to loss fat. The book could be summarized as: feast one day, fast the next day, then repeat. (Without the marketing hype, the summary would be: eat normally one day, do a modified 500 calorie fast the next day, then repeat.) If this approach works for you, read no further. But if you don’t loss weight, or your weight loss stalls, or your hungry all the time, please continue reading. You could be carb-intolerant.

“Everyone is different and has different carb-tolerance levels. Some people, especially athletes, can maintain ketosis with as much as 100gm of carbs a day. But most people need to be at 50gm or less, and those with metabolic syndrome typically need to stay below 30gm of total carbs a day to produce adequate ketones.”
Moment of Clarity by Maria Emmerich

A person’s carb-tolerance is primarily influenced by three factors: age, activity level and gender and to a lesser extent endocrine health and medications. So, a twenty-something, active male can safely consume more carbohydrates than a menopausal, sedentary woman. If you are overweight or obese and have metabolic syndrome or type 2 diabetes, you are by definition carb-intolerant. People that are carb-intolerant will benefit from a low-carb or ketogenic diet. The ketogenic diet might cure your other medical problems too.

“Type 2 diabetes is a state of profound carbohydrate intolerance, and carbohydrate restriction reduces the demand on the pancreas to secrete excessive insulin in the face of insulin resistance while improving glycemic control and facilitating weight loss.”
Moment of Clarity by Dr Keith Runyan

Personally, I got interested in ketogenic diets because the diet was a traditional treatment for epilepsy. I used to have epilepsy among other chronic conditions. Doing a low-carb version of the Specific Carbohydrate Diet cured my epilepsy along with asthma, allergies, chronic sinus infections, yeast infections and osteoarthritis.* Because of my own personal success, I have been following the research and doing my own experimenting with low-carb and ketogenic diets for some time.

“The efficacy of ketosis in reducing the frequency of seizures in patients with epilepsy has been in the medical literature since 1928.”
Moment of Clarity by Dr David Purlmetter

The ketogenic diet is being used clinically to treat a number of serious illnesses: epilepsy, type 2 diabetes, obesity, metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), irritable bowel syndrome, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Research is being done on using the ketogenic diet to treat cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis (MS), dementia, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and sleep disorders. If you have any of these serious conditions the ketogenic diet could literally be a life saver.

“A ketogenic diet may provide weight loss benefits over and above those achieved with carbohydrate restriction alone. It provides all the benefits of a low-carb diet but to a somewhat greater degree, since ketosis increases satiety and provides mental clarity, focus, prolonged concentration, and increased energy.”
Moment of Clarity by Dr William Davis

Until recently, it has been very hard to get good information on a whole food, ketogenic diet. Jimmy Moore has just put out a book called Keto Clarity: Your Definitive Guide to the Benefits of a Low-carb, High-fat Diet. Just in case your are wondering if this is just some new fad diet, Jimmy Moore will introduce you to 22 experts on ketogenic diets and their research.

Jimmy Moore states that the biggest mistake people make with ketogenic diets is eating too many carbohydrates. The second biggest mistake is eating too much protein. A ketogenic diet is a very high-fat, low-carb and just-enough-protein diet. The book will explain:

  1. The science of ketosis and why it has health giving benefits and to test to know you’re in ketosis.
  2. How to find your personal carb-tolerance and protein-tolerance.
  3. How to free yourself of the habit and need to eat three or more meals a day and how to manage societal pressures surrounding food.
  4. Why people on a ketogenic diet need more salt and why consuming more salt isn’t a health problem.
  5. How to use a ketogenic diet and intermitted fasting for fast, hunger-free weight loss.
low carb living Healthy Household: Fat Loss on the Cheap: Part II

This book is a detailed look at ketogenic diets. Section 3 has information suitable for a medical professional. Dr Volek explains the “natriuresis of fasting” and why ketogenic dieters need more salt. Just take a pass on the bouillon cubes and make some bone broth.

If you are looking for a more how to approach to low-carb eating, The New Atkins for a New You is an excellent whole food primer. This book will introduce you to your “metabolic bully” and help you get this bully out of your life. It’s safer to just pass on the industrial vegetable oils and artificial sweeteners suggested in the book. Small amounts of honey or stevia would be a better choice than artificial sweeteners. After a few months of low-carb eating, your sense of what is sweet will naturally be dialed down to a healthier level. I would also suggest avoiding the Atkins brand of prepared foods and find ways to prepare these foods at home. Also, take a pass on the commercial bouillon cubes and make some bone broth. This is especially important for followers of the Specific Carbohydrate Diet or GAPS which must avoid common food additives. 

new atkins1 Healthy Household: Fat Loss on the Cheap: Part II

This book is an excellent “how to” approach to low-carb eating. Just ditch the industrial vegetable oils, artificial sweeteners, bouillon cubes and the Atkins brand of prepared foods. Other then that, it’s a great book.

One thing I have learned about low-carb and ketogenic diets over the years, is that it’s easy to eat your fill of salad or greens and still be low-carb or even ketogenic. For example, you could consume 12 cups of romaine lettuce a day and still be under 20gm of total carbohydrate. Or you could eat 4 cups of cauliflower and be under 20gm of total carbohydrate. That’s a lot of salad or greens. The trick is to save all your carbohydrates for salad and greens and not to waste them on starchy vegetables, fruit or simple sugars.

Fiber is also very important because many people find low-carb or ketogenic diets constipating. When you cut out the grains, legumes, beans, starchy vegetables and fruit there’s not much fiber left in the diet. Consuming large amounts of salad and greens will help fill you up and supply essential vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals.

Salad and greens also provides fiber. Fiber comes in two forms: insoluble and soluble. Insoluble fiber just passes through the body. Soluble fiber can be consumed by our gut flora. The gut flora thrives on the carbohydrates in the fiber.** The gut flora also produces short and medium chain fatty acids from the fiber but cannot consume these fatty acids in the anaerobic environment of the bowel. These fatty acids are reabsorbed in the large intestine and used by our body. These special fatty acids are being researched for their health promoting qualities. The fantastic part of this process is that eating soluble fiber from greens is like eating high-fat, after digestion… And you get these very special fatty acids produced just for you by your gut flora!

So, eat your salad and greens. Know that your friendly gut flora with convert these carbohydrates into health promoting fatty acids… after digestion!

“Herbivores obtain little glucose from diet, but up to 70% of their energy needs from short-chain fats produced by bacterial fermentation. These short-chain fats are transformed in the liver to ketones which nourish neurons, substantially reducing the body’s glucose needs.”
Perfect Health Diet by Paul Jaminet

paleo burger sweet pickles Healthy Household: Fat Loss on the Cheap: Part II

Contrary to popular belief, it is possible to be ketogenic and eat your fill of salad or greens. This meal is ketogenic. It’s very high-fat, low-carb, and just-enough-protein. The trick is to save your carbohydrates for a plate full of salad and greens and take a pass on the starchy vegetables, fruit, or simple sugars. Just remember to enjoy your salt and bone broth!

If you would like to learn more about the science of ketogenic diets please see this lecture by Dr Peter Attia. He sees being overweight or obese not a disease state but a marker for an underlying medical condition, a predisposition to insulin resistance. Dr Attia shows how the ketogenic diet will help improve bio-markers, body composition and athletic performance. He will explain why a ketogenic diet will make you more “metabolically flexible” as a fat burner. He also talks about new treatment protocols using ketone supplements such as medium chain triglycerides (MCT) that may be especially effective for treating neurological disorders.

*Please note: I was on a very low-carb, not a ketogenic diet when I cured my epilepsy. I was on a very low-carbohydrate diet (40-60gm) but I didn’t have a way to test if I was actually in ketosis.
**If you are wondering why you should care about the health of your gut flora, please see: What is a Healthy gut?

Healthy Household: Fat Loss on the Cheap: Part I

“EOD dieters were delighted by the biggest surprise of every-other-day dieting: you don’t lose control on Feast Day. You don’t binge. You don’t even eat all that much more… After eating 25% of normal caloric intake on Diet Day, EOD dieters usually eat only 110% of normal calories on Feast Day.”
Every-Other-Day Diet by Dr Krista Varady

I just read a very interesting book called the Every-Other-Day Diet by Dr Krista Varady. I heard about the book from a Dr Mercola interview. This diet doesn’t require expensive special foods, supplements or joining a group. This is dieting on the cheap. EOD dieting might even help improve your longevity.

This book may be of interest to someone that has been fighting with weight issues for a long time but can’t seem to lose the weight. The first part of the book could be summarized as: feast one day, fast the next day, then repeat. Eat normally on feast day and 500 calories on the modified fast day. On fast day eat the 500 calories for lunch or dinner, not breakfast.*

Chapters 1-3 goes over the science and some weight loss tips learned in the clinical trials. Dr Varady found many of the clinical outcomes very surprising. EOD dieters did not overeat on feast days. “After eating 25% of normal caloric intake on Diet Day, EOD dieters usually eat only 110% of normal calories on Feast Day.” She stated that science doesn’t really understand the mechanism yet, but fast days act like a “metabolic reboot”. Dr Varady wonders if feeling true hunger on fast days causes EOD dieters to tune into their hunger cues which naturally controls appetite on feast days. 

I didn’t like Chapters 4-5 which contain some truly scary recipes. The homemade recipes are based on prepackaged foods from the industrial food system. There’s a whole chapter on frozen prepackaged foods that meets the calorie requirements of fast days and gives tips for safely using your microwave. Ugh. The clinical trails show that even if you’re on a Standard American Diet (SAD), the EOD diet will give you the weight loss you’ve been looking for. In my opinion, ditching the industrial food and replacing it with nourishing traditional foods would better ensure your long-term health.

Chapters 6-7 talks about the benefits of a walking program for maintaining lean body composition which results in the maintenance of long-term weight loss. Dr Varady states: “When most dieters lose weight, they lose body fat and muscle: 75% fat and 25% muscle… However, the group combining EOD dieting and exercise didn’t lose any muscle during the eight weeks of the study — they lost only fat!” And we’re not talking about a lot of exercise here, just 20-40 minutes of walking a day. Surprisingly, they found that EOD dieters that walked didn’t regain the weight during the maintenance period. Dr Varady theorizes that the success in weight maintenance was because the diet combined with a walking program maintained muscle mass.

“I want to repeat this fact — drive it home, really — because it’s so important to your health and well-being: if you go on the EOD Diet and exercise, you will get the most benefits… Exercise boosts willpower and decreases binging and emotional eating.”

Here are some suggestions for making the diet easier and ensuring your long-term health:

  1. Eat nourishing traditional foods from a quality source and avoid the junk coming out of the industrial food system. Skip the food advice in Chapters 4-5.
  2. Leave behind the current wisdom that eating breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Dr Varady’s research shows that EOD dieters that ate their 500 calories for lunch or dinner, did not cheat as much as EOD dieters that ate their 500 calories for breakfast.
  3. Making the transition from being a “sugar burner” to a “fat burner” can be difficult. Surprisingly, Dr Varady said her EOD dieters make the adjustment in less than two weeks. Also, EOD dieters that ate the most fat lost the most fat!

I have experimented with intermitted fasting (IF) and ketogenic diets for some years. Just one warning. If you can’t fast overnight and go without breakfast you’re hypoglycemic and a sugar burner. When I was a leader for Weight Watchers I would regularly become hypoglycemic and become panicky and feel like I was going to pass-out if I didn’t get a snack every 2-3 hours. I didn’t know it at the time but this was a serious warning. I was on the road to type 2 diabetes. It took me awhile, but I made that transition from a sugar burner to a fat burner. It’s now easy for me to fast all night, not eat breakfast or lunch, and have a meal in the late afternoon. Like Dr Varady’s clinical results, I find it easier to fast overnight and not eat breakfast or lunch, then to eat breakfast and fast for the rest of the day. Don’t get me wrong. I’m hungry on fast days, but being a fat burner means I can take being hungry, unlike the days when I was hypoglycemic and would be in danger of passing-out. Here are three last tips to help with the modified fast day:

  1. If you use the 100 calorie snack during fast days, make sure it’s high fat. This will ensure your insulin does not spike during the fast period. I like coffee with raw heavy cream or Ketogenic Coffee, Flax Crackers, Sesame Seed Dip, Crunchy Cocoa Candy or Brazil Coconut Candy as my snack.
  2. Eat more fat if you’re hungry between meals. Don’t fear fat.** Dr Varady’s clinical trial showed that EOD dieters that ate the most fat lost the most fat.
  3. Reduce your stress and use adaptogens in the afternoon.*** Your endocrine system controls your metabolism. If you have high insulin and high cortisone at the same time your body considers this an emergency and will pack on the fat stores.

Also, I have had a long history of pituitary-thyroid-adrenal axis problems resulting in a low, normal body temperature. If I restrict calories my metabolism will drop further, resulting in low energy and feeling cold all the time. This makes calorie restricted diets such as Weight Watchers a real grind. Cycling up and down between feast days and modified fast days hasn’t resulted in a drop of my metabolism. If you have issues with low thyroid function or low metabolism, EOD dieting might work for you.

It is possible to switch from being a sugar burner to being a fat burner. According to Dr Varady’s clinic trials the transition can be done in less than two weeks.

every other day diet Healthy Household: Fat Loss on the Cheap: Part I

The only industrial food on this website! The search for truth sometimes comes in strange packaging.

Work with your endocrine system, not against it. In a healthy person, cortisone is naturally high in the morning and goes down during the day. High cortisone in the morning wakes you up, but if you have high insulin at the same time, your body considers this an emergency and will pack on the fat stores. In contrast, high cortisone and low insulin makes you into a fat burning machine. Don’t eat carbohydrates — leafy greens are an exception — in the morning. Or don’t eat anything in the morning if you are trying to loss weight.

*Just to be clear, feast day means eating normally, or maybe eating a little bit more than normal. Feast day does not mean going to the all-you-can-eat buffet and expecting to loss weight.
**I did a low-carb version of the EOD Diet. If you find you aren’t losing weight, or your weight loss stalls, or your hungry all the time, consider going low-carb with the EOD Diet. I will discuss a low-carb version of the EOD Diet in Part II.
***For more information about adaptogens and managing stress please see: Healthy Household: Remedies for Stress, Depression and Grief and Healthy Household: Adaptogen Green Drink.

Crunchy Cacoa Candy

“Change is never led by consensus. That’s what pioneers are for… True innovation is usually disruptive of traditional business or societal norms, and thus the consensus response to a new idea — no matter how good — is usually denial.”
The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance by Dr Jeff Volek and Dr Stephen Phinney

cacao candy 1 Crunchy Cacoa Candy

Here’s a way to enjoy chocolate without having the added sugar or additives. One or two pieces of Crunchy Cocoa Candy is a very filling snack or dessert. Watch out, it’s very stimulating!

This recipe is NOT safe for someone on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. This recipe is good for a ketogenic fast.

Many people love chocolate but are trying to find healthier ways to consume it. Let’s Do… Organic creamed coconut has a gritty texture for a coconut cream, but this texture just adds to the pleasant crunchiness of the cacao nibs. 

200g Let’s Do… Organic creamed coconut or other creamed coconut
1-2T organic coconut oil
1-2T local raw honey (optional)
1/4c organic cacao nibs
2-3 large pinches sea salt
Prepare a tray with a layer of wax paper. Heat water in a sauce pan big enough to accommodate a 2c Pyrex measuring cup. Put the creamed coconut and coconut oil into the measuring cup and gently warm until melted. Remove from heat and add the honey, cocoa nibs and sea salt. Mix very well. (I like grinding the sea salt with a bird’s eye pepper and using few large pinches of the spicy sea salt to flavor the cocoa nibs.) Line a 8″x8″ glass baking tray with wax paper. Pour the mixture onto the wax paper and spread until fairly thin. Cool in the freezer for 10-15 minutes. Remove the partly cooled candy and cut into 32 pieces.

One or two pieces of candy is very stimulating and would be best consumed in the morning. Cacao nibs contain theobromine which is a nervous system stimulant similar to caffeine.

cacoa candy 1a Crunchy Cacoa Candy

In a 2c Pyrex measuring cup melt the coconut cream and coconut oil. Stir frequently.

cacao candy 2 Crunchy Cacoa Candy

Pour the candy into the 8″x8″ glass baking tray and cool in the freezer for 10-15 minutes.

cacao candy 3 Crunchy Cacoa Candy

After the candy cools but before it gets too hard, cut the candy into 32 pieces. If you wait too long, the candy will get too hard and will crack like the two pieces in the front.

Seasonal Foods: Zucchini Chips

zuchini chips 5 Seasonal Foods: Zucchini Chips

Zucchini chips are a great way to salvage the summer bounty from our gardens.

Everyone that has grown a garden has had to deal with lurking zucchinis. Lurking zucchinis are those massive gourds that somehow manage to hid in the foliage until they grow into green monsters. No one seems to like these monstrosities and they become unwanted gifts to family or friends. There’s a regional joke on Lasqueti Island that the fall is the only time of year you lock you vehicle, because if you don’t you’ll find your vehicle full of monster zucchinis!

This recipe came from WAPF leader Rhonda Dieni and will help deal with these monstrosities. Zucchini Chips have a great chewiness with a sweet, spicy and salty taste. This recipe will make you love your lurking zucchinis.

1 monster garden zucchini, cut into slices
1T extra virgin olive oil (optional)
1T sea salt
1 bird’s eye pepper or other hot pepper
Crane the lurking zucchini onto your kitchen counter for slaughter. I find it easier to cut the zucchini in half and then quarter the two halves. Scoop out the seeds and pulp and give it to the chickens or compost. Cut the zucchini into 1/4 inch slices. Don’t worry it the slices get thicker because they will dry down to about 10% of the original size. In a very large bowl, toss the zucchini slices with olive oil and the spicy sea salt. Mix extremely well. Place the zucchini slices in the dehydrator for 12-18 hours until the slices are completely dried. Store in a plastic bag for a taste of summer during the winter months.

zuchini chips 1 Seasonal Foods: Zucchini Chips

Cut the zucchini in two and then quarter each piece.

zuchini chips 2 Seasonal Foods: Zucchini Chips

Scoop out the pulp and give it to the chicken or compost.

zuchini chips 3 Seasonal Foods: Zucchini Chips

Slice the zucchini into 1/4 inch slices. Don’t worry if the slices get larger. The chips will dry down to about 10% of the original size.

zuchini chips 4 Seasonal Foods: Zucchini Chips

Mix the olive oil and spicy sea salt with the zucchini slices extremely well. You don’t want some chips to be salty or oily.

Spicy Ketchup

spicy ketchup1 Spicy Ketchup

Spicy Ketchup doesn’t have the red color of commercial ketchup and it doesn’t have the nasty additives either.

This recipe is safe for someone on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, GAPS or modified paleo diet.

Ketchup is easy to make at home. Homemade ketchup is cheaper and better quality than commercial brands. Once you make homemade ketchup, it’s very hard to go back to commercial brands. One warning, this recipe will not have the standard red color of commercial ketchup.

2T organic extra virgin olive oil
1 organic onion, chopped
2 organic garlic cloves, minced
1tsp sea salt
2L home-canned tomatoes or garden fresh tomatoes
1tsp organic cinnamon, freshly ground
1tsp organic allspice, freshly ground
1tsp organic cloves, freshly ground
1tsp organic black pepper, freshly ground
2 organic bay leaves
1/2c Fruity HP Sauce
3-4T local raw honey
6T organic cider vinegar or 6T live culture juice from whey, kimchi or sour kraut (optional)

In a sauce pan, sauté the onions and sea salt until translucent in the olive oil. Add the garlic, tomatoes and spices. Simmer without a lid for 1-2 hours to thicken the sauce. Let the sauce cool and remove the bay leaves. Add the Fruity HP Sauce and honey. Puree in a food processor or a Vita-mix machine until very smooth. Add the cider vinegar. Pour into two, 1L mason jars and store in the fridge.

If you want to lacto-ferment your ketchup, don’t add the cider vinegar. Stir in about three tablespoons of live culture juice from whey, kimchi or sour kraut into each jar. Make sure the ketchup is cooled before adding the culture or the heat will kill the culture. Let the ketchup sit at room temperature to 1-2 days until the ketchup gets bubbling. Stir again and refrigerate. The fermented ketchup will last longer in the fridge and be a source of probiotics.

Try custom mixing Spicy Ketchup, Fruity HP Sauce, Easy Worcestershire Sauce and cider vinegar for an almost unlimited variety of quick and tasty sauces.

spicy ketchup Spicy Ketchup

If you have a enamel cast iron pot use it for cooking acidic foods like tomatoes.