Sunday, March 12, 2017

Keto Khronicles: March 2017 - All About the Heart

Hello and welcome to another edition of Keto Khronicles! As you probably already know, my grandfather passed away last week. What I haven't mentioned publicly yet is that he died of a heart attack - after having a heart attack just a few weeks ago. The next day Bob Harper of Biggest Loser fame had a heart attack. So, this is a topic that has been on my mind a lot the past few days and I wanted to talk about it. I'm not claiming to be an expert, but I have done a lot of research on this topic over the last year from people who are experts and are much more knowledgeable than me. I feel like I am eating the best way possible to avoid heart problems for someone who has a family history of heart disease on both sides. I feel like this information is so important and everyone needs to hear it.

The biggest downfall of keto is honestly telling other people about it. It's almost impossible to penetrate the preconceived notions. All of the conditioning we receive like since BIRTH really flies in the face of what I want to share with them. I LOVE sharing the science behind keto with those who want to learn and don't judge. It's something I am extremely passionate about, it is not just about weight loss. It's about healing your body completely. Keto is becoming my Windex. (If you don't get that reference then do yourself a favor and watch My Big Fat Greek Wedding.)  But I realize it is a lot to take in. It was a lot for me to take in. I didn't come to this decision overnight.

Things I hate hearing are "all that fat is going to clog your arteries" or "you look great but I can't imagine you're healthy" or "I hope that meal doesn't have too many calories!." Really?? Nobody said anything when I had 8 cans of Coke a day and lived on macaroni and cheese. And honestly, it's none of their business. But since I AM passionate about this way of eating I like to try to share what I have learned. As I said earlier, I'm not an expert, but I have spent nearly all of my free time the last few months researching. The more I learn, the more I want to learn! I will link several resources below to back up what I am saying, as well as expand on the subject.

So, why doesn't eating a lot of fat cause heart problems? The vast majority of heart problems are caused by atherosclerosis, which is calcification (hardening) of the arteries. What causes atherosclerosis? High insulin causes atherosclerosis - and high insulin is caused by a high carbohydrate diet. By eliminating (or drastically reducing) carb intake you lower your insulin. This is the basis of why keto works. Weight gain and loss isn't about calories, it's about hormones - with insulin being the main culprit. If you lower your carbs, you will, in time, lower your insulin. This will allow your body to start burning stored body fat and will also lower your chance for heart disease, as well as a lot of other things including reversing Type 2 Diabetes.

Have you ever stopped to think about how the low fat craze has only come about in the last 60-ish years? Before that nobody was eating low fat. Our ancestors lived on animals. They only had fruits and grains in the summer - when they would have needed to fatten up their bodies for winter. Coincidence? I think not. Is it a coincidence that heart disease is the fastest rising cause of death in the last century - when low fat foods and processed foods filled with sugar were becoming popular? Our ancestors didn't follow the food pyramid - they didn't even have grains to eat most of the year. I mean, just look at the chart below.


Source
Look at the jump in heart disease! This can not be a coincidence. The more I learn, the more it seems like such common sense and the more it infuriates me that we have been brainwashed our whole lives. Cancer is talked about all the time, everyone hates cancer and wants to find a cure (trust me, I'm one of them!), but nobody seems to feel that way about heart disease. The doctor tells you your cholesterol is getting high so you should cut fat and exercise more. Yet we have been doing that for decades and it's not helping. Maybe it's time to look at it from a different perspective.

I mentioned Bob Harper in the beginning of my post and I want to talk about heart attacks in people, like him, who seem super healthy. The most common type of heart attack for these types of people is called the widowmaker (I will link resources below about this, it is information everyone needs to know). I don't know if this is the type of heart attack Bob had, but it is very important to talk about even if it wasn't.

I used to be an avid fan of The Biggest Loser. I watched it every week and wished I could be on there - and yes, I wanted Bob as my trainer. Looking back now I am so thankful for that unanswered prayer because I know now how unhealthy their weight loss was (and why most of them have gained it back). I am NOT claiming to know Bob's medical history or personal diet, but he did put his eating and fitness recommendations out there for everyone - including writing a book about it - so I think it's fair to use that type of diet as an example. I do not want it to appear like I am picking on him. I loved him and I think he truly wants to help people. He's just been brainwashed like the rest of the world and truly believes a lot of fat is bad and we need carbohydrates to survive. Bob is a vegan (or at least said he was on The Biggest Loser) and promoted low fat, high carbohydrate diets. You can even see a video here from just a couple of months ago where he is still promoting that. Low fat, high carb creates an environment of high insulin, which is what leads to atherosclerosis. Bob said himself that his heart attack was genetics because his mom had heart problems. Genetics does play a role in heart disease, but with the right food you can greatly decrease your chances of having problems. Knowing his stance on food it honestly did not surprise me when I heard he had a heart attack because I've learned what leads to heart attacks. Just hearing Ivor Cummings talk about The Markers of Disease on the 2 Keto Dudes podcast (episode linked below) was enough to blow my mind. That is actually what woke me up and made me start looking into heart disease in the first place.

I could go on, but I think it is better if I link some resources below so you can learn more for yourself. There are a lot more resources out there than this, but these will definitely give you a good start.

But first, let's get to my comparison pics and measurements for the month of February! With my grandfather passing away and some other things happening I didn't get a chance to get formal pics, but I think the one I have do the job. :)





Apparently I was a ghost on February 1st.



As you can see, after hitting 130 lbs lost on February 18th my weight went back up. I finally broke that plateau yesterday (which I posted about on social media). I knew I would and I knew I hadn't gained fat, so the number on the scale going up doesn't bother me a lot. This is why you can't rely on the scale to tell you the full story. SO many things affect weight - hormones, water, muscle, etc. As you can see I didn't lose a ton in inches, but I did lose 1/2"- 1" on many different areas. I'll take it! I'm experimenting with changing up some of my eating - I think this week I am going to completely cut out sweeteners (I don't use them a lot as is, but I want to see if cutting them completely changes things). I think it is important to change things up every once in a while. Even if that's changing up your exercise routine or when you eat. Sometimes stalls just happen but sometimes it's a sign that you need to change things up.



Resources

I HIGHLY recommend the following 3 episodes of 2 Keto Dudes (yes, I know I recommend them a lot, but there's a reason for that!) that all address cholesterol and heart disease:(You can also find all of their episodes on their YouTube Channel.)
Cholesterol
Heart Disease
Markers of Disease with Ivor Cummins

The Widowmaker

Challenging Traditional Cardiovascular Risk Assessment by Dr. Jeffrey Gerber

Dr. Peter Attia's Blog

The Fat Emperor (Ivor Cummins) Blog

Multiple resources in the Show me the Science category of the Ketogenic Forums

Videos
LDL Cholesterol Explanation by Dr. Stephen Phinney
President of the World Heart Federation linking carbohydrates to heart disease

Books
The Obesity Code by Dr. Jason Fung
The Big Fat Surprise by Nina Teicholz
Cholesterol Clarity by Jimmy Moore



.































Friday, March 3, 2017

Feelings Don't Have to Taste Like Regret

Hello, everyone. If you follow me on social media, you know it's been a very rough week. My grandfather passed away on Monday and I received some very devastating news about my other grandfather last Friday. When I got home Friday there was a big box of fried okra (one of my former favorite carby foods) sitting on the counter. The old me would have grabbed a Coke and okra and eaten her feelings. The me I am now didn't do either of those things. I wasn't tempted to eat "carbage" because I know what it will do to me. It will make me feel like crap, make me crave all sorts of bad-for-me things and potentially lead me down a path of destruction that I never want to visit again. I truly believe keto is largely to thank for this. Before going keto I was low carb (I will get into the difference between these in a future post) and still had all sorts of cravings. I didn't give into them often, but I did miss carby foods a lot. I really don't crave them anymore and, while they look good, I know the repercussions are not worth it. 



When my grandma passed in 2005, and then my aunt/second mom in 2008, I turned to food both times. Before my grandma passed I had managed to kick my Coke habit for about two years. When she passed I gave myself permission to drink it again because "I needed the comfort." You don't get over 250 lbs overweight without being an emotional eater. The way I was able to grieve and deal with stress and sadness this week while maintaining what I need to do to be healthy was a huge accomplishment for me.  I'm not going to put my health in jeopardy because I'm sad. All of my grandparents have been extremely supportive and proud of me. My grandfather who passed away often commented on and shared my blog posts. In fact, the last thing thing he shared on Facebook was my social media post about reaching 130 lbs lost. He wouldn't want me to go backwards, and I definitely will not be going backwards. This is honestly even bigger of an accomplishment than the 130 lbs I've lost because it proves to me I truly have changed and can continue on this path for life.


.