Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Hello and welcome to ketosis

This feels amazing. My life, I mean. My life at the moment seems so amazing.

I've been on and off low-carb for the past five weeks, and I can't even tell you how much better I feel when I am, and how shitty I start feeling when I start on the starches and sugars again. I really feel like this is the answer. No grains, no sugars, limited fruit, limited starchy veg, unlimited other veg, dairy, meat, fish, eggs, herbs and spices, water water water water, and occasional very dark chocolate. I'm not counting calories. I'm not even tracking macronutrients. I have enough of a sense of the energy contents of foods, and enough diligence reading labels, to roughly know what I'm eating. But I don't plan out my meals any more. I don't stress over reaching or not reaching arbitrary numbers.

I eat when I'm hungry. And I eat varied, delicious, balanced meals of proteins, fats, and vegetables. And my blood sugar is so ridiculously stable that I often only end up eating twice a day, because my satiety lasts so long that it can take a good six hours or more to get hungry again. And when I do get hungry, it's not the stabbing, urgent, crazed hunger that makes you want to grab the nearest thing and scarf it down, it's just a gentle reminder that I should start thinking about food again. I'm losing my phobia of decent sized meals. I'm pretty much over my phobia of fats.

And do I crave carbs? Not really. Yeah, sure, sometimes I feel like something starchy would be amazing, but actually I know it wouldn't be. Because carbs actually aren't all that interesting. They have little taste, little texture, little interest value. We use them to bulk out meals, because they're cheap. That's the only thing they have going for them, really. I am spending a heck of a lot more on food. But that's fine. My health is worth more to me than money. And since I don't buy processed foods, or eat out often, or drink anything other than water except very occasionally, or waste food, I reckon in the end I don't spend much more than anyone else.

I have so much energy for life. My body feels happy with me. If I take in starches and sugars, I almost instantly get bloating and digestive issues, not to mention zippy blood sugar and fuzzy mental state. I actually think maybe I'm a bit gluten-intolerant, since wheat seems to give the worst reaction. So grains are completely out for the moment. I think in the future, when I'm no longer trying to lose weight, I might try adding back potatoes and other tuber starches a bit more frequently, but I don't hugely miss them. I made the most fucking amazing cauliflower soup yesterday, and it was so thick and creamy that I don't think I'll bother putting potato in soup ever again.

I guess it's all about finding what works for me. It's about not restricting my life according to what societal dietary norms, or conventional/governmental wisdom, or 'common knowledge' thinks is right. Because once you start actually researching the nutrition, you find out that most of the things we think we know about a 'healthy' diet are actually complete nonsense. As a history student, I deal with experts talking bullshit for a past-time, but that we're bullshitted to so comprehensively about something so personal and fundamental as out own health sickens and horrifies me. But I'm not out to force-convert anyone. Health is a personal journey, and what works for one person is disastrous for another.

For the moment, I'm just happy with how I'm doing.

And I beat my best long-run this morning, taking my longest to 9 miles, or 95 minutes. Felt amazing. Just... yeah. Good times are here again.


  1. Would you be willing to share the recipe for your cauliflower soup? ::wipes drool off chin::

    I don't believe that there is one type of diet that is the "healthy" diet for all humanity (another part of "common knowledge" - ie the food pyramid) but I do believe if your body runs well on it that you're probably fine & dandy.

    Nine miles is nothing to sneeze at! Glad you're feeling strong & healthy :)

    1. Well I didn't really follow a recipe (I'm more of a throw-in-whatever's-in-the-fridge kind of gal), but I guess I softened one onion and one leek in some butter, then added two carrots, half a head of cauliflower, a couple cloves of garlic, covered it with chicken stock, added some dried thyme, salt and pepper, then simmered until soft, and whizzed with a blender until smooth. I then added a little milk and some grated cheese. :)