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Hercules and Keto

12 Labours of Hercules screenshot

That was my day yesterday, researching more in-depth on Keto and playing The 12 Labours of Hercules. We started Keto again yesterday, January 2nd, and I found myself wanting to eat just for the sake of … eating … I guess, so I distracted myself by finishing achievements in this super cute little game. I am trying not to buy anymore games until I’ve played more of the ones I already have. I’m assuming I got this game on a sale at some point and wish I’d gotten the others as well. They’re great for distraction and when you don’t want to deal with a super involved ‘break out the notebook so you can keep track of your characters’ kind of game. The graphics are cute, the game play (on some levels) takes a *little* strategy and the achievements come easy. There’s three more games in the series and I WANT THEM ALL! You have to gather resources: food, wood and coin. You need food to keep your energy up for gathering and building. You use the wood to repair bridges and eroded or otherwise destructed bits of pathways so you can finish your tasks. Sometimes you have to free prisoners who, in turn, work for you giving you extra man-power to complete your tasks on time. You also free other Greek mythological peeps who, also, become part of your team. It’s a simple yet, to me, satisfying game to play and it did the trick to keep me out of the fridge!

Since starting this post I’ve had to quiet and play with a crying baby while his mother took a shower, get lunch for 4YO and sit for discussion with one of my kids. This is why I rarely blog anymore … no quiet time to devote to a post.

Anyway, I wanted to talk Keto for a bit. All five of us are doing it but not in the same way. Three of us are doing no more than 20 carbs a day. One is trying to stay under 50 a day and the other is limiting themselves to 100 carbs a day. So! I’m cooking for 20 carbs a day and the other two can do whatever with the rest of their carbs. I’m using a guesstimate on how many proteins I need. I do not know my body fat percentage, nor do I care to if I’m honest (shudder!) so I’m using a min/max based on approximates to determine how much protein I can eat without kicking me out of ketosis (once I’m in it, that’s VERY important). You multiply your weight in pounds by 0.6 to get your minimum and by 1.0 to get your maximum amounts of protein per day. Going under your minimum can cause you to lose muscle and going over your maximum can kick you out of ketosis. I stayed well under (and over!) yesterday so I’m on the right track with both carbs and protein. What worries me is the amount of calories I ate yesterday.

My day end totals yesterday were 1,741 calories, 19.5g (net) carbs and 159.8g protein. If I’d remembered the amount of chili that makes a serving correctly my totals would have been 1,512 calories, 17.25g carbs and 126.8g protein. I wish I hadn’t goofed on the chili because those calories feel high to me. I’ve read calories aren’t the MOST important thing to watch on keto, that following keto properly tends to keep you from overdoing it on calories. But, 1,741? If I want to lose weight, isn’t that a TON? I’m confused and disappointed in myself and, try as I might, couldn’t find a definitive one-way-or-the-other answer on this after at least two hours searching JUST for that answer last night. Frustrating!

Lazy Keto chicken and steamed broccoli

Breakfast was a slice of quiche, lunch was (2 servings) of chili and the above picture was dinner: Lazy Keto Chicken and (overly) steamed broccoli. By the way, I’m not sure if my vision is messing up or if I just took a bad picture. I’m changing some settings in my phone and, hopefully, it’ll help. Anyway, I also had three cups of coffee, each with a tablespoon of heavy cream and two drops of liquid sucralose and, after dinner, made pesto keto crackers and ate three of those. I *really-super-badly* wanted a cheddarwurst last night but that would have added another 200 calories, 2g carbs and 8g protein. UGH. I love eating cheddarwurst at night. I really, really, really do! But, not enough to give up my coffees.

/Sigh

I started this post several hours ago. Should have been posted at least two hours ago. Such is life. I have laundry waiting and need to eat lunch. Have a happy!

That keto thing …

Mike and Bear are doing great on a keto diet plan of no more than 20 carbs a day. They’ve lost 30 and 31 pounds and the loss is encouraging them to stick with it. That’s HUGE! Since we started this five weeks ago I’ve lost seven pounds, a figure that’s surprised me some but then, in all honesty, I’ve been mad snacking at night, even when I’m not hungry. It’s habit, midnight snacking, habit so deeply ingrained in me that I do it even when I really don’t feel like eating.

Boggles!

Mike and Bear have more energy. Mine has been waning the last couple weeks. They aren’t complaining of headaches much, outside of the headache Mike still has from his accident in July. I’ve had killer headaches the last couple of weeks. They feel better, health-wise. I’m starting to feel those fluttery heart-palpitations (if that’s what they’re called), tightness in my chest and my face goes so flushed at times it feels like a little more and blood vessels are going to start popping in my cheeks. Also, I’m losing a gob-ton of hair.

Note, when I complain about how much hair I’m losing every day they scoff and remind me I still have “SO MUCH HAIR”. I get what they’re saying, enough so I’ve quoted them here. But, it still irks me.

Anyway, I started drinking more water. Lots. Didn’t help. Things are slowly, gradually, increasing in frequency and or intensity, depending. (headaches are more intense) I sat down last night to think. Sounds like a blood pressure issue, no? Years ago my doctor told me not to take my nightly Sudafed anymore because, she believed, it was causing my blood pressure to rise. I stopped taking them and the heart flutters, chest tightness and flushedness stopped. But what’s causing it, I wondered. Stress was the first thing I thought of as it’s super high right now. Bear and Britt are getting married on Halloween and the pre-wedding planning/doing tension has them at each others throats. A. LOT. Babygirl is pregnant. She’s our youngest. My baby is going to have a baby. At 18 (well, may be 19) instead of 27 like I’d have preferred.

/Cheesy-grin

Our youngest son, although he’s worked hard to straighten himself out this year and, in my opinion, has come far from where he was, still has to pay the piper for old deeds, as he should mind you. He’s about to serve a ten-day work release and, hopefully, as long as he stays on the straight and narrow and away from drugs and drink, this will be the last jail time he ever gets.

Ugh. Said all of that to say this. Stress. We has it in spades at the moment.

Still, the blood pressure problems got me thinking about glucose levels. I haven’t checked mine in a year and a half so I did after dinner that evening. I checked everyone in the house, except Boo of course, and all of the guys levels were beautiful. Britt’s was very low and she’s now talked to her mom for advice as her mom suffers from low-blood sugar. Mine was high, 147 an hour or so after eating.

That upset me. I wanted to see it under 120 (mg/dl) and just assumed that enough time had passed from taking the Prednisone (2-3 years ago) and my body had learned how to regulate insulin again. The steroid zapped my ability to do so (regulate) over night, they said. I was hoping that was a temporary thing.

It’s not.

I checked it after getting up. I’d gone 16 hours without eating and it should have read under 100. It was 215. ┬áThat could explain why I’ve been waking feeling so poorly lately. Mike’s been letting me sleep in, even, because I don’t feel good when I wake up. I’m sleeping eight-ten hours now where used to, six was too much. The chemo meds (for my eye disease) factor in to my tiredness but I’ve noticed those symptoms are finally starting to subside over the last week or so.

(They’re upping my dosage in November so I’ll most likely have to go through all the joint pain and tiredness all over again while I get used to the new dose. Very glad it’s only taken me about three months to adjust. When I was taking the pill form it was far worse and an everyday thing almost. )

So.

I think I have to run on the (well founded) assumption that I’m diabetic now and change my diet and add in more exercise. Pulling all that veg from my diet so I could stay low carb was a bad thing for me. The complex carbs in veg and whole grains (non-gluten variety for me) help my system regulate glucose levels. I had no idea this would be an issue but I do think it’s very likely the cause of some of the symptoms I’ve been experiencing lately. Like, the unquenchable thirst, the need to pee more, fatigue, the headaches, …. Mike said if I had to change then we all would, that he and Bear could lose weight following a diabetic-friendly diet. What I’m shooting for for both Britt and myself are no more than 20g saturated fat a day, no more than 300mg cholesterol and 40-60 carbs per meal (complex, not simple) … low-fat, lean meat and more complex carbs.

The keto plan is working so great for Mike and Bear, however, and I’m not about to switch them up now. They need pork, chicken and beef. I need fish and turkey (for meats). Britt wants to have more kids so she doesn’t need to eat a lot of fish. Babygirl is pregnant so she can’t eat a lot of fish. I don’t know how to make all of that work without cooking two different suppers each night and having different lunch options made up and in the fridge. The boys need the quiches for breakfast (because it’s so easy to make a couple up, slice them and stick them in the fridge) where Britt and I need oatmeal.

I don’t know what she’ll be eating for breakfast but I’ve encouraged her to go for oatmeal over, say, a breakfast pizza. She was tending to Boo so I’ll keep encouraging and let her know I’m making four servings at a time to put in the fridge for easy ‘heat and eat’ before work meals. Oat groats, (steel-cut whole grain oatmeal) is better for you than the instant stuff Babygirl and Boo eat.

I’m logging everything I eat and drink, counting as much nutrition data as I can for all of it and checking glucose levels when I get up and after each meal. Logging that info as well. I was thinking of doing this ‘diary’ for 30 days and then going to see my doctor but maybe a couple of weeks would be better? I’m back on my exercise bike, for now, and will start my step-climbing exercise again as soon as my knee heals. (nasty lumped up bruise because I dropped my heavy food processor base on it … thought I’d broken a bone for a bit) I’m also going to try and eat something (lean and healthy) before bed to see if that helps regulate my levels over night. I think I should cut my sleep back down to six hours so I’m not going so long without eating. My glucose level drops throughout the day so regular eating seems to be a good thing for me.

Meal-planning has me completely frazzled right now but, I think, it’ll be worth it in the long run. Will feel more so if I can start seeing results soonish.