Sunday, July 29, 2012


I was doing a little search on the internet to see what the ideal body fat percentage is for men and women.  I had seen before that the low side of Normal for a woman is 25%, so that's what I have been shooting for.  I was using a chart similar to this:

Today, I found this chart, which adjusts body fat by age:

According to this chart, the low side of average (called Healthy on this chart) is not 25%, but somewhere around 30%.  Hmmm...  I always have thought that there was no way I was ever going to make it down to 25% body fat.  Maybe 30% is more realistic for a woman my age.  My age today is 56 and 1/2.

Here is my old dream goal:
132 pounds
11.875" neck
26.125" waist
37.25" hips
0.701 waist-to-hips ratio
25% body fat (33 pounds)
75% lean body mass (99 pounds)

Here is my new dream goal:
136 pounds
11.875" neck
27.625" waist
39.5" hips
0.699 waist-to-hips ratio
30% body fat (40.8 pounds)
70% lean body mass (95.2 pounds)

If I ever make it to there and it seems like I could go lower on body fat percentage, I can always reevaluate...


It's been three weeks since I started my experiment with nutritional ketosis.  I am still eating higher fat and lower protein and very low carb.

After two and a half weeks, I decided that I needed to change things up a little bit.  Starting to gain weight and inches this past week is showing me that I may need to scale back on the fat a little bit.  I've been sharing results with some folks over at the Low Carb Friends forum, who are also testing blood ketones and glucose, and they've been nice enough to give me some quotes from the Phinney/Volek book that talk about nutritional ketosis.  Evidently, the book says to only keep fat extremely high if you are a high-performance athlete.  Last time I checked, I was not one of those.  The book says that you will always keep your protein and carbs at the same level, and increase or decrease fat based on your weight gain or loss desires.

So, two days ago, I started cutting back on fats.  I also increased my carbs, but only a little bit - 7 grams.  After a week of this, we'll see how I am doing.

Here are some of my charts:

In summary, in the past 3 weeks:
I lost 1/4" around my neck, 1-7/8" around my waist and 1/2" around my hips.
I lost 3.2 pounds on the scale (lost 4.8 pounds of body fat and gained 1.6 pounds of lean mass).
I went down 2.5 percentage points on my body fat.
I went down 0.037 points on my waist-to-hip ratio.

If you want to know exactly what I am eating, look here, and then you can click the page numbers at the bottom to see each individual day.

Because I changed the way I was eating halfway through the week, my averages are a little skewed. Here is the average of what I actually ate last week, but I am leaving out Wednesday because the cake and ice cream thing completely threw everything off.

1740 calories
159.3g fat (82.4%)
54.5g protein (12.5%)
22g carbs (5.1%)

Just in case you are curious, this is what Wednesday looked like, after eating normally all day and then adding the cake and ice cream:

2635 calories
213.2g fat (72.8%)
61.5g protein (9.3%)
117.3g carbs (17.8%)

The weird thing about this is that these are the breakdowns of what the USDA tells us we should be eating.  They would want me to eat even more carbs than this, and obviously, a lot less fat.

For the coming week, my food will look like this:

1539 calories
135g fat (79%)
54g protein (14%)
27g carbs (7%)

I tested my blood ketones six times this past week.  Here are my results since I started testing:

I did not test my blood glucose three times per day like I did last week, because I could see that the way I was eating was keeping my blood sugar stable.  So I tested now and then, and these are my averages, not including the day that I ate cake and screwed everything up, and as you can see, I still have not fully recovered from that sugar load on July 25th:

I am continuing my experiment.  I am definitely in nutritional ketosis, so the only thing that remains is for me to find out the right amount of fat to eat so that I lose my excess body fat.

Friday, July 27, 2012


This little cutie is my grandson, and he turned three on Wednesday!  And, of course, there was cake and ice cream.  I decided that because I have been so low carb and doing well (blood ketones and blood glucose at great levels), that I would go ahead and have a very small sliver of the cake and a few bites of vanilla ice cream.

I tested my blood glucose an hour and a half later, and it was 117.  Two and a half hours later, it had risen to 141.  By three and a half hours, it was started to drop again - down to 106.

My normal reading are no higher than 91 after eating.  I guess I've learned my lesson.  To keep my blood sugar in normal ranges, I'm just going to have to forgo the wheat and sugar, as disappointing as that is.

Jumping ahead of my story a little bit, it took me three days for my blood glucose to get back into the normal range.  So, eating just a small sliver of cake and a half of a scoop of ice cream raised my blood sugar for three days.

The morning after the birthday party, I tested my blood ketones.  My normal has been an average of 2.4, but that morning it had gone down to 1.7.  The next day, Friday, it was still only 1.8, and this morning it was only 2.0.  Those are still within the target area, but they obviously went down and I want them to go back up to where they were before.  So, for blood ketones, after three days, they are still depressed due to what I ate.

From left to right - my grandson, Will, the Birthday Boy, my father, me, my son, Barry and my granddaughter Annelise.  Four generations!

Thursday, July 26, 2012


From a recent article in The Examiner:

Federal nutrition programs such as the school lunch and WIC programs adhere to these guidelines. The grain-focused, low-fat nutrition policy has not helped Americans live healthier lives. An estimated 42 percent of the U.S. adult population is projected to be obese by 2030.  (emphasis mine)

The Worst Advice.  Ever.
It is wrong for federal guidelines to promote behaviors that might increase our risk of obesity and heart disease. Instead of grains, USDA policy should recommend that we eat mostly vegetables, protein and healthy fats to reduce the prevalence of obesity and its associated health problems, such as Type II diabetes and heart disease. (emphasis mine)  Research shows that a lower carb diet, like the Paleo diet, can result in weight loss, lower cholesterol and triglycerides, improved metabolic syndrome risk factors, and reduced risk of developing heart disease. While critics of low-carb diets suggest that replacing grains with fat and protein will damage our hearts, there is evidence that this is untrue. A long-term longitudinal study, published six years ago in the New England Journal of Medicine, showed that lower carb diets with increased amounts of protein and fat did not increase coronary disease risk.

Read the full article here.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


I just found these great (great?) ads from the days of old, when we were told that sugar was health food.  You can find more ads like this here.

The small print on this one says: "Babies who start drinking soda have a higher chance of 'fitting in' during those awkward pre-teen years. Start them on a strict regimen of cola and other sugary carbonated beverages right now, for a lifetime of guaranteed happiness!"

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


I just came across this article (Thanks, Adam Kosloff) about the sad state of affairs going on with prescription drugs and the irresponsibility of the drug companies that manufacture them and the doctors that prescribe them.  Here is an excerpt:

“It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines. I take no pleasure in this conclusion, which I reached slowly and reluctantly over my two decades as an editor of The New England Journal of Medicine.”

Dr. Angell cites the case of Dr. Joseph L. Biederman, professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and chief of pediatric psychopharmacology at Harvard’s Massachusetts General Hospital. She explains:

“Thanks largely to him, children as young as two years old are now being diagnosed with bipolar disorder and treated with a cocktail of powerful drugs, many of which were not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for that purpose, and none of which were approved for children below ten years of age.” 

Read the full article here.

It makes me want to just go live on an island.  Sigh.  Or better yet, I will devote some time to getting the truth out to all of those who cannot go live on an island.

Sunday, July 22, 2012


It's been two weeks since I started my experiment with nutritional ketosis.  I have been eating higher fat and lower protein, and I have been keeping my carbs pretty low, too.

Last week, I posted that I started out this experiment with around an extra 22 pounds of body fat and that I was going to start testing my blood ketones and blood glucose.  I am starting out this week with only an extra 16.5 pounds of body fat.

I lost weight and inches again this week.  It's not fast, and there are some days that I lose nothing, but it seems the last 15-20 pounds never go away without a fight! Here are some of my charts:

In summary, in the past 2 weeks:
I lost 3/8" around my neck, 2-1/8" around my waist and 5/8" around my hips.
I lost 3.4 pounds on the scale (lost 5.3 pounds of body fat and gained 1.9 pounds of lean mass).
I went down 2.8 percentage points on my body fat.
I went down 0.040 points on my waist-to-hip ratio.

If you want to know exactly what I am eating, look here, and then you can click the page numbers at the bottom to see each individual day.

Here is the goal I set for each day:

1979 calories
187g fat (85%)
54g protein (11%)
20g carbs (4%)

Here is the average of what I actually ate last week:

1975 calories
186.2g fat (84.8%)
53.5g protein (10.8%)
21.4g carbs (4.3%)

I still experienced no hunger this past week, but to be honest, I was having trouble getting in all my fat.  Oh, I forced it down, but I did not like it.  In this coming week, I am going to keep protein and carbs the same, but I'm going to cut out 10 grams of fat and see if I continue to do well.  So for the coming week, my food will look like this:

1889 calories
177g fat (84.3%)
54g protein (11.4%)
20g carbs (4.2%)

I finally got my ketone testing strips.  I tested my blood ketone levels every morning when I got up.  The desired range for nutritional ketosis is between 1.0 and 3.0.  On my first test day, mine was 3.1 and the next two days were both 2.1, so my average is 2.4.  I'm very happy with these numbers.

I also tested my blood glucose three times per day these past three days - upon waking, 1.5 hours after breakfast and 1.5 hours after dinner (I am not eating lunch).  The highest it ever got, even after eating, was 91 and the lowest was 71.  My average for all these tests was 83.  A very good result.  Last summer when I was testing my blood glucose, it was not unusual for it to go over 100-110.  So I guess decreasing protein and carbs has resulted in lower blood sugar.

All in all, it was a good week, and I'm going ahead with the experiment.  I only ordered 20 ketone strips because they are over $2 each.  My plan is to continue to test every day for the next few days, especially since I will be cutting down fat and I want to be sure that I stay in ketosis.  After a few days, I am going to only test every few days, just to check up on my ketosis.  I will continue to test my glucose three times per day for the rest of this week, because the strips are pretty cheap! 

Saturday, July 21, 2012


Well, I've been keeping a little secret from my readers.  I didn't want to say anything, in case nothing came of it, but when I met Andrew DiMino at the Low Carb Meet & Greet this summer, he asked me if I would be interested in writing for his online magazine,  I thought about it for a few days, wrote an article and emailed Andrew, saying, "The answer is 'yes' and here is an article for you to consider."  And guess what!  He liked it!  It went through a little editing with Dana Carpender and was published very late last night.

I am so tickled to be joining the ranks of Andrew DiMino, Dana Carpender, Amy Dungan, Jimmy Moore and others, in writing articles about the low carb movement and my personal journey in weight loss and improving health.

This is my article to the left, entitled "The Carbiest Generation." Here is a short excerpt:

When future generations look back upon today’s generation, what will they see?  What will set us apart in the timeline of human history?  What contributions have we made to humanity that will define us in a word or a phrase?  Some people in the Low Carb Movement think we will be known as “The First Modern Generation Where the Children Had a Shorter Life Span than Their Parents,” but that’s a little wordy.  I feel a better name would be “The Carbiest Generation,” because, when it comes down to a pretty important aspect of our humanity – our overall health and very existence — this encompasses all that has gone wrong.  Blame it on the food guidelines that have been handed down to us by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and promoted by our government starting in 1977.  That’s when George McGovern took it upon himself to change the way America eats by vilifying saturated fat and cholesterol and glorifying carbohydrates.  In case you don’t remember what happened back then, or were not even born yet, this short video by Tom Naughton summarizes the dubious wisdom and eventual adoption of the tenets of The McGovern Report.  (Read the full article here.)

Thursday, July 19, 2012


I've had my blood ketones testing monitor for a week now, but I just got the strips last night.  This morning, I tested for the first time and threw in a blood glucose test just for good measure and to get a more complete picture of what is happening in this crazy body of mine!

Getting all the supplies together was a little overwhelming.  So many packets and boxes and instruction sheets!  And what you see here does not even include all the stuff for the glucose monitoring.  You can use this meter for ketones and glucose, but then you have to recalibrate it for the two different tests.  I already have a separate meter for glucose, so I decided to just use the two meters side by side to make the process go faster.

And talk about drama!  I have not pricked my own finger for almost a year, and I got scared at the last moment.  Since the meter was new and had to be set up and calibrated, it took me awhile before I actually did the pricking, and the whole time my anxiety level was going up and up.  What a baby I am!  I finally worked up the nerve and did the test, trying to make one finger prick give me enough blood for both tests.  After doing the ketones test, the little, tiny hole in my finger snapped back shut and I had to prick another finger for the glucose test.  When I test again tomorrow morning, I'll turn the lancet up a little bit to make a better hole so I can get a bigger drop of blood.

So, at long last, I know that I am in ketosis!  According to Phinney and Volek, nutritional ketosis is achieved with a blood ketone level of between 1.0 and 3.0.  This morning, mine was 3.1.  Success!  I really wish I had tested it before I started this new way of eating, so I could see the change as it happened, but I was too impatient to see some results.  I guess I made the right choice, but it still would have been nice to know.

My fasting blood glucose this morning was 81 and my 1.5 hour postprandial (after eating) was 76.  Both excellent numbers!  Especially considering that, when I was testing last summer, my fasting level was an average of 88 and my 1.5 hour postprandial was an average of 95.  At that time, I was eating an average of 102g of fat, 71g of protein and 49g of carbs.  Since then, which has resulted in these new, good numbers, I have almost doubled my fat, decreased my protein by a third and cut my carbs a little more than in half.  And I'm losing weight and inches and feeling good.

Ketone Meter and Glucose Meter - I'm locked and loaded!
I only bought 20 ketone testing strips (at $2 each), so I will not test every morning.  I will test for the next five days, and, if I am seeing consistent results, I'll back off and only test every three days or so, and then maybe once per week.  I'm not going to post my results here every day unless something goes wrong, so if you are following my results here, assume that everything is fine unless I tell you different.  I will post my overall results on Sunday, as usual, along with blood ketones and glucose.

Here is an amusing little side note:  Well, maybe "amusing" is not the right word.  Anyway, I officially entered menopause 11 months ago, at the age of 55 and 3/4.  Day before yesterday, after being in deep nutritional ketosis for about a week, I exited menopause.  And I'm heading in the opposite direction!  Sorry if this is too much information, but, at the age of 56 and 3/4, I am all "meno" and no "pause."  I wonder if anyone else doing this has had a similar thing happen, or if this is just my crazy body being crazy once again.

So, in honor of my backwards journey through time, enjoy Joan Baez singing, "Forever Young."

Testing Blood Ketones with Jimmy Moore
Higher Fat and Lower Protein - Week 1 Results

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


If you scroll up and look right, you will see a before and after comparison of me at my heaviest in February 2009 on vacation and me in June 2010 at a family wedding.  Underneath, you will see my body fat percentage when the photos were taken.  Lately, my body fat has been above 34.4%, but today - TA DA! - I hit that number again!  I was so happy that I put on that same dress and had my husband take a pic to celebrate.

So this is me, with a different 'do, no makeup and wearing my cheaters, and no, I am not referring to a push up bra!

I'm just happy today and feeling skinny...

(To hear the song, fast forward the video to 0:45.)


Which objection to the low carb, high fat way of eating do we hear the most?

       a) It's unhealthy to eat saturated fat.

       b) That diet is unbalanced.

       c) If you don't eat bread, what do you use to sop up your egg yolk with breakfast?

If you guessed "c", you have a one in three chance of being right.  Just in case that is your objection, or you're missing bread, here is a recipe that I came up with this morning after getting in on a conversation on Facebook about low-carb flours.  I usually don't eat any kind of "bready" things, like, uh..., bread or, uh..., breaded things.  Plus, even the low carb flour is still pretty carby at 22 grams per 1/4 cup.  But just talking about how I don't eat bready things, got me in the mood for a bready thing, so I whipped up this version of the standard MIM (Muffin in a Minute) and I think this would be a great thing to use to sop up those egg yolks, or just sop up melted butter, which is what I just did!  I thought about using sauteed onions in the biscuits, but they are pretty carby and I am really low carb right now, so I used onion powder, and the taste was great!  The biscuits are obviously a little heavier than your common, flour-driven biscuits, but they fit the bill for me.  Add 1 Tbs. of butter to your biscuit, and you have a great, high fat, low carb treat!


Recipe makes 6

Cooking spray (I use organic coconut oil)
3 oz. (3/4 cup) finely ground flax seed
3/4 tsp. onion powder
3/4 tsp. baking powder (aluminum free)
1/8 tsp. sea salt
3 eggs
6 drops Stevia sweetener (optional)
3 Tbs. water
1 Tbs. melted bacon grease
3 thick slices uncured, nitrate/nitrite free bacon, cooked crisp and chopped finely (I use my mini food processor).

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit.

2. Spray a muffin top pan (6 muffin size) with cooking spray, or grease generously with butter, olive oil or coconut oil.

3. Mix dry ingredients in a small bowl.

4. In a medium bowl, beat together eggs, Stevia and water.  As you continue to beat, drizzle in the bacon grease.  Stir in the chopped bacon.

5. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix well.

6. Divide the batter evenly in the muffin pan and let rest for 2 minutes before baking.

7. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool in the pan.  Refrigerate leftovers in a sealed container.  They are great right away, and the bacon flavor gets even better after refrigeration, in my opinion.

Nutritional information for one biscuit:
187 calories
14.6g fat
9.2g protein
4.7g total carbs
3.8g dietary fiber
0.9g net carbs


I just found this on Massive Health.  So much good info in so little space!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


Cigarettes & Melted Chocolate...  Her two favorite things?  Two of the things she has given up since going low carb?  What covers her chair-side table after a long night watching chick flicks?  I have no idea why Red Ria's blog has this title, but I'm planning on asking her!  In the meantime, I am too busy looking at all the great recipes, occasional rants and flashes of low carb wit and wisdom that grace the pages of this blog from "across the pond."

I know Red Ria from my old days as a regular on the Atkins Community Forum, and I really enjoyed her posts there, but I had no idea what a great writer she was (and is) and I'm looking forward to the next insightful and wacky thing that comes out of her fun-loving mind!

Her most recent post, "The Toast Rant..." is funny and so true.  If you want a chuckle and a kick in the bum at the same time, read this post and get hooked!

Welcome to my blogroll, Ria!  What will you come up with next?

To find my blogroll, look right and scroll down.

Sunday, July 15, 2012


Last week at the Low Carb Meet & Greet, I spoke to Jimmy Moore about the new n=1 experiment he is doing.  It involves eating higher fat and lower protein than he usually eats, because there is the chance that eating too much protein is causing it to turn to glucose in his blood, and stopping his weight loss.  He is also testing his blood ketones with a specialized meter that is usually used by diabetics to check for ketoacidosis.  (Ketoacidosis is not to be confused with nutritional ketosis, which is the goal here.)  The meter can also be used to check for ketone bodies in the blood as a way to measure whether or not you have entered ketosis and are burning fat for fuel rather than sugar.

Since I've tried just about everything else, and still need to lose an additional 22 pounds of body fat, I decided to give it a go.  I ordered a ketone meter just like Jimmy's (which arrived yesterday) and the strips to use with it (which will arrive soon) and I started tracking my macronutrients again.  The last time I kept track of all of that was almost a year ago, so it was a little tough getting into the swing of that again.  I came up with a plan for how many grams of fat, protein and carbs to eat each day:

187 grams of fat (85% of total calories)
54 grams of protein (based on my height of 5'3")
20 grams of carbs (not net carbs)

I've been doing this now for 6 days, and so far, I am losing weight and inches for the first time in over a year.  Here are some of my charts:

In summary, in the past 6 days:
I lost 1/4" around my neck, 1-1/4" around my waist and 1/2" around my hips.
I lost 3.2 pounds on the scale (lost 3.8 pounds of body fat and gained 0.6 pounds of lean mass).
I went down 1.8 percentage points on my body fat.
I went down 0.021 points on my waist-to-hip ratio.

So I would say that this is working.  I'm encouraged to continue another week.  And for those who have asked what I am eating, click here to see my daily menus, and then you can click the page numbers at the bottom to see each individual day.  I probably won't continue to post these each week unless I drastically change something, because it's too time consuming and boring.

Here is the average of the six days that I tracked:

1950 calories
183.1g fat (84.5%)
54.2g protein (11.1%)
21.4g carbs (4.4%)

I came pretty close to the goal I set for myself that I shared at the beginning of this post.

The big question, obviously, is if this way of eating is sustainable.  As far as hunger goes, I think it is, because I'm not hungry.  In the past, when I would go on high carb, low fat diets, I would sometimes lose weight, but I starved all day, and I just could not keep it up.  So, hunger wise, I'm golden.

Another problem with it is whether or not I can keep up eating so little protein.  I have no problem eating all the extra fat, because that's fun.  Having very small portions of protein is a bit of a sacrifice for me.  Right now, I am eating about half the grams of protein that I am used to eating.  I feel a little deprived.

The only other factor I can think of is boredom.  I'm going to have to come up with some creative ideas for high fat, lower protein meals.  Of course, if my choice is to be bored or to be overweight, I'll choose boredom any day!

I will really be happy to start testing my blood ketones so I can see how my ketosis level factors in to all of this.  Looking to the future, if this works the way it is supposed to, it means at some point I will need to increase protein or carbs or both in order to stabilize my weight.  So, right now, it's possible that I could be eating a little more protein or carbs and still be losing weight.

Today started Week 2.  I'm feeling good.  I'm encouraged.  See you next week!


Saturday, July 14, 2012


I'll post more details tomorrow about what I've been eating this past week since returning from the Low Carb Meet & Greet last weekend, but, for now, I wanted to share what my typical breakfast/lunch looks like.  I call it my breakfast/lunch because, although it looks like breakfast, I usually eat it around lunch time, and today is no exception.

In an effort to reduce my protein and increase my fat, I'm having to really pile it on!  With a little inspiration from Jimmy Moore, here's the big, yummy and filling recipe:

I start by spreading 1 oz. of organic cream cheese on a sandwich plate.  I use my fingers for the spreading and then I lick my fingers.  I then cut 1 Tbs. of organic butter into little pieces and distribute them on top of the cream cheese.  I use a paring knife for the cutting and then I lick the knife.

In a small mixing bowl, I use a wire whip to whip up 2 Omega-3 eggs, plus one more yolk, 1/8 tsp. sea salt and 1/8 tsp. ground turmeric.  I do not lick the wire whip (salmonella).  I put the eggs into a small pan in which I have melted 1 Tbs. of unrefined, organic coconut oil.  I stir the eggs with a rubber spatula over medium heat until just set and still a little wet.

I put the cooked eggs on top of the cream cheese and butter on the plate, being sure to scrape any oil that is still in the pan onto the plate, which melts the cheese and butter, and then I lick the spatula.  The final touch is dotting the eggs with 1 Tbs. organic sour cream and then licking the spoon.  I even use a spoon to eat my eggs/fat/fat meal because I do not want to leave any of the fatty goodness behind on the plate.  Of course, I can't get it all, so I lick the plate when I am done.

 My goal for the day is to eat 187g of fat (85% of my total calories), 54g of protein and 20 grams of carbs.  Along with this meal, I try to get in some raw veggies to up my carbs.  That way, I am not eating the majority of my carbs at dinner.  This meal gets me started, and I run just fine on it until dinner time, rarely experiencing any hunger.  Here is the breakdown of this meal:

557 calories (not that I really care, but some people are interested in that number)
52.7g fat (85.2%)
18g protein (13%)
2.6g carbs (1.8%)

Thursday, July 12, 2012


I got to meet so many great people at the Low Carb Meet & Greet this past weekend, and one of them was Andrew DiMino.  Quoting from his website, "Andrew DiMino is the Publisher, President, & Founder of He has been a low carber since 1998. He is currently contemplating which he loves more; his Vespa scooter or a plate of bacon."  Personally, I know something else he loves - olives!  He and I double-handedly made a pretty good sized dent in a beautiful bowl of assorted olives at the home of Dana Carpender.  If it had gotten down to the last one, I'm afraid there would have been a tussle!

I have just started reading over at CarbSmart, and I can see that there is a wealth of information and inspiration there.  A recent article by Andrew was titled, Why You Should Always Bring Your Own Low Carb Foods to a Conference or Special Event.  And boy, don't I know it!  I have gone to many business conferences, and the fare is always wheat, sugar and more wheat.  I have always tried to pick out what little bits I could of what was offered that I actually felt good about eating, but it's not easy.  From now on, I think I'll follow Andrew's advice and bring my own food.

Welcome to my blogroll, Andrew!  I'm eagerly awaiting your next article!

To find my blogroll, look right and scroll down.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


      Real Amy Dungan                Less Real Amy Dungan

As I posted here, I had the great privilege of meeting Amy Dungan this past weekend.  She is a great girl and we had a good time talking about our low carb journeys and struggles.   That is Amy in her logo above, holding what I suspect is one of her favorite foods.  The artist is Amy's teenage son, and after meeting Amy, I must say that it's a pretty good likeness!

Amy Dungan is a low carber, writer and photographer residing in Illinois with her husband and two children. Having written for a variety of internet publications, she currently serves as Webmaster and Features Editor at She also writes for and runs the popular Healthy Low-Carb Living website. In her free time she enjoys embarrassing her kids in public, spending time with her husband, and contemplating the true meaning of bacon, according to her bio over at CarbSmart.  I have been busily trying to catch up with her blog, because I only found her last week and I must know everything!

Welcome, Amy!  I'm looking forward to getting to know you better!

To find my blogroll, look right and scroll down.

Monday, July 9, 2012


Recently, Jimmy Moore, in his Livin' La Vida Low-Carb Blog, shared that he started a new n=1 experiment that was inspired by his reading of the new book The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance (2012) by Stephen Phinney and Jeff Volek, who also authored The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living (2011) and, along with Eric Westman, The New Atkins For a New You (2010).

In this newest book, the subject of blood ketone testing is explained in detail.  In the "olden days", we had to use urine testing strips for testing ketone levels, and the results were less than consistent.  Back in 2000, my husband, Bill, lost around 30 pounds eating very low carb but never turned a strip purple, which is supposed to show evidence of ketosis.  I, on the other hand, did not lose any weight, and my testing strips turned as dark a shade of purple as they could.

Today, there is a new over-the-counter system available to test blood ketone levels.  Although designed for diabetics, this system can easily be used by people like myself and any other non-diabetic who wants to get to the bottom of why they are not losing weight eating low carb.  Jimmy Moore explains here how he is testing his blood for evidence of ketone bodies with a handy dandy hand-held meter which is very similar to the blood glucose meters that you can buy in any pharmacy.  One drawback is that, although the meter is pretty cheap, the testing strips for ketone measuring are pricey at $5-$6 per strip, but I guess it would be worth it to achieve the results that you have coming to you!  Typically, one strip is used each day.  You can find the meter and the strips on here and here.

I bought my meter from Amazon, but I bought my strips here, because they were much cheaper.

Jimmy explains how it has become obvious to him, after testing his blood for ketone bodies, that although he has been diligently eating low carb all these years, he has probably been eating too much protein for his system.  And anyone who has been low carbing for any amount of time has heard that excess protein, beyond what the body needs, will be turned into glucose and will hamper ketosis.  Even a zero- or nearly-zero-carb diet will not produce weight loss if too much protein is being eaten.  I'll let Jimmy tell you the details of just what exactly he is eating now, but suffice to say his protein intake is less and his fat intake is more, along with his regular low carb.

Jimmy spent a few days visiting with Tom Naughton this past week, and Tom was able to witness first hand the new way Jimmy is eating and losing weight, and blogged about it here.  Tom bought one of the meters, too, and is hoping to shed those last couple of pounds himself.

Obviously, I have found this very interesting!  Anyone who has read this blog knows of my struggles to get rid of my remaining visceral fat.  Although I am thrilled that I have lost 17 pounds of body fat in the last three years of low carbing, currently, I am still carrying around an extra 20 pounds of body fat that I would love to get rid of, once and for all, and the idea that this might just be the answer has me, well, pretty excited!

Today, I tracked my grams of fat, protein and carbs for the first time since last summer.  Drs. Phinney and Volek advise that you should be eating between 0.6 and 1 gram of protein for each of your pounds of lean body weight.  With my goal of lean body weight at 99 pounds, I should be eating between 59 and 99 grams of protein per day.  In the past, I've tried 99 grams per day and more, but the results were bad, so this time, I will go to the low side and see how that works.  Today, I ate 160g of fat (84.7% of total calories), 47g of protein (11.1% of total calories) and 18g of total carbs (4.3% of total calories).  I was not hungry all day, eating mostly fat with a little bit of protein and carbs for breakfast and lunch, and a normal-ish dinner of salmon patties and salad.  I also did some interval training outside (6 intervals of slow walking interspersed with fast-as-I-could-go sprints) before it got too hot outside to bear.

I really want to buy the meter and the strips to see if I am in ketosis, but money is tight and I have not decided whether I need to spend the money yet.  If I start losing weight by just eating this new way, I may skip the meter all together.  But I love data, and I probably will not be able to resist forking over the cash to do at least 10 days worth of testing.

I started out this morning at 147.4 pounds on the scale, with a body fat percentage of 36.3%.  I wonder what I will weigh next week?  Golly, I hope this is the answer I have been looking for!