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This is Day 11 of the 30-day challenge and I’m finding it’s not as easy nor as dramatic as I had hoped … nor as difficult as I thought it was the first two times I tried it years ago. I believe doing the 66-day sugar fast eliminated some of the carb cravings that I’ve had before. While I hadn't been in ketosis, I was already focusing on a lower carb eating range.
So far, my energy has been a little low but seems to be coming back to normal range. Sleep seems about the same with a greater number of significantly interesting dreams.
Blood Glucose: Biggest disappointment so far is that my blood glucose hasn’t changed … still fluctuating around 110. I was sure it would drop dramatically since I’m doing no sugar and maintaining about 22 grams of carbs per day. I’m beginning to worry that I might need to drop the carbs even lower.
Weight: Dropped four pounds quickly and two have come back. This isn’t the main reason for doing this challenge, but I had hopes of seeing more response.
Ketosis: It took almost 8 days to get into ketosis and I’m at 0.5, the beginning of the hallmark of nutritional ketosis that runs from 0.5 to 3 mg/dL. I’m hoping that getting into the higher levels will show a drop in blood glucose and weight. However, the main goal is to stay within the macros set by Carb Manager, the app I'm using to track what I'm eating.
Hunger: I am seldom hungry and almost never “craving hungry.” Keto is so big right now that there are several aids for those gnoshy moments. Three shown below.
App: Carb Manager is a great help for tracking. During the 30-day challenge, my determinant of success is tracking every day and not going over 30 carbs in any one day. Carb Manager is easy to use and I have created some foods that I eat regularly so I don’t have to enter the individual ingredients. They also run 4-week challenges and I’ve just started one of those to see how it affects my motivation.
What I’m missing: I eat in a cafeteria which is definitely not aligned to this nutritional program. They do have a good salad bar with cottage cheese and sunflower seeds, so that is a staple that I can supplement with some egg-and-cheese-based concoctions I make in my room.
However, before this challenge, my Sunday morning treat was bacon and cream of wheat with peanut butter and jam. Fortunately, bacon made the cut.
I miss fruit. Assuming I get my blood glucose under control, I’m hoping I will be able to add back a reasonable amount of fruit in the future.
All in all, I think this is the right path to be on and am definitely willing to continue to the 30-day mark. Then I will have another round of laboratory tests to see if there is progress from the last one.
Ketosis Monitoring … all reports recommend monitoring ketones by blood monitors versus urine strips. However, the monitors and test strips are relatively expensive so I am opting for urine testing on a daily basis and blood testing on a weekly basis.
A year or so ago, I was thinking about going low carb, so I bought a Keto Mojo ketone monitor. I didn’t do a good job of shopping since I already had a blood glucose monitor. What truly disappointed me was that the strips are individually packaged and a pain to open. And there were only ten of them and replacement strips were $1 per strip.
I’ve just ordered a cheaper version in order to do the weekly monitoring.
Keto Snacks: There are a lot of keto stuff on the market, some of which is not all that good nor good for you. One of my criteria is taste … must be good enough to fill a craving but not so good as to trigger a binge. It’s a narrow window. Here are three things that are working:
Keto Bombs: dark chocolate and nuts, two squares are 1 net carb. Great way to end the day, although this morning, it was a great way to end breakfast! All things in moderation, she says to herself.
Whisps: small round parmesan crackers, 19 (a lot!) are 1 net carb. These are crunchy and very good.
Kind protein bars: good … too good. 1 bar is 13 net carbs, which blows a big hole in a day’s carbs macro. Cutting it in half would be a reasonable thing to do. I’ve yet to manage reasonable. Available for emergencies only.