Seven days ago I changed my way of eating—again. The Diet to Live For seems so easy in theory, but while traveling, I’ve found it difficult to maintain. One of the reasons for my nomadic lifestyle at the moment is to experience the traditional foods of other cultures. That requires actually eating those foods sometimes. After 3 months of travel, my blood sugars were completely out of whack (morning fasting readings of 211-228; once my post-prandial reading was over 300). I’d reverted to eating bread and cookies, convincing myself that if they were mostly whole grain, that would be okay. Something just had to be done or I was not going to be healthy.
That’s when I discovered that Tom Naughton’s site had a group page on Facebook called Fat Head. There I found many people doing the LCHF (low carb, high fat) diet, including those who eat no grains whatsoever. I quickly joined in the conversations, and decided to take the plunge and give up grains and sugar and try to eat only proteins and fats and non-starchy vegetables. I felt I might be able to manage it since I’m stationary at the moment, and not actively traveling.
Since Thursday 19 May, 2011, I’ve eaten no bread, had no sugar in my tea or coffee (still using artificial sweetener), no cookies (I adore Hobnobs). My diet consists of eggs, meats, butter, virgin coconut oil, lard, and chicken fat. I have been eating a bit of potatoes (two dinners, about 5 small new potatoes, fried with onions and mushrooms in plenty of butter and lard and turmeric), but I’m discovering that even that much carbohydrate is spiking my blood sugars, so will give them up for now.
My fasting blood sugars have dropped from 225 to 165. Today, at 4pm, before I ate an early dinner, my reading was 146. Hallelujah, it’s working! I’ll keep eating this way and hopefully I will be able to get reasonable blood sugar readings. Funny thing, I hit a wall on the 3rd day and really was hungry and would have gobbled up the Hobnobs that I’d given my coworker, Darian (she wouldn’t give them back). Resisting, I just kept shoveling butter and coconut oil and a spoonful of no-sugar-added peanut butter into my mouth and I got past it. Now I am not craving bread or cakes, even though the homemade rye bread my host’s partner makes is tempting. I just keep telling myself that grains are poison and that I want to find out if the pain in my thumb joints goes away if I don’t eat them.
That said, sometimes it’s hard to stay off wheat and grains when you’re living with people who eat that stuff.
My host’s partner fixed a beautiful cake that looked like something from Lithuania or Russia, her heritage. Many very thin, pancake-like layers with something creamy between each. Truly, a very picturesque confection…and all sugar and white wheat flour. Definitely NOT on my diet.
She said, “Erica, I brought a cake to the dining room. Come eat some.” I said, “But I can’t eat that; I don’t eat wheat any more.” She just looked at me and said nothing. I said, “I’ll be over and taste it,” and she smiled and went away, satisfied.
So, I went over to the dining room of the Mill House, where my coworker and 3 others were getting ready to have coffee with the cake. I put my newly purchased xylitol in the coffee with a little milk, and then took 1 small bite. Seriously, just one tiny bit (1” x 1” x 1/16”). It didn’t even taste that good to me. Darian loved it and ate the rest of my piece as well as hers. I spent the next few minutes trying to get the glue that wheat becomes out of my teeth.
A while later, my host’s partner came back, and said, “Erica, how did you like it?” I said, “It was delicious, thanks.” She beamed, as Darian nudged my now-empty plate back towards me.
My diet is very strict, in that I’m giving up all grains and sugar. Everyone who hears about my diet looks at me like I’ve grown another head. No one seems to understand how people can be so sensitive to wheat and sugar. And ‘everyone knows’ that saturated fat is bad for you, as well.
How important is it to maintain relationships where food is concerned? Is a little bit of the forbidden food okay in certain situations?