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Karen's Whole30 Life


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So sorry to hear about your back problems.  I have the luxury of being home when my back acts up.  You have to continue on with your job and such; prayers going your way.  I went to Whole Foods this morning and was thinking of you and the things you suggested I get.  I have a great recipe for halibut, so bought 2 more fillets.  I know it's crazy, but just being in that store reinforces my healthy eating.


If I didn't live so far away, I would be over helping you.  Stay strong...your posts help me so much!

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Slept pretty well last night.  Thanks to a coworker, I didn't have to get up too early (coworker covered the first few hours of my shift so I could go back to chiropractor).  It was slow going this morning - still having quite a bit of pain, but have to admit I am feeling better every day.  Thanks to the dr I am moving better :)


Spent the day at work today.  Also got a call from the insurance company about DS's accident and they are writing off my car.  So, have some big financial decisions to make in the next couple of days.  


I tell you, between pain and stress, I have really wanted to go back to comfort food.  What I realized is that it doesn't give me the fix that it used to.  DS had picked me up a bag of chips (my favorite kind) earlier this week.  Before I had eaten them, that silly beagle of mine stole the bag - guess she knew I shouldn't be eating them.  At first I was upset, but quickly realized that I wasn't eating them to begin with.  Months ago, the bag wouldn't have lasted long enough for her to steal them!  Today, at work, there were cupcakes.  I had one - well, I had half of one and realized that I wasn't enjoying it - so why eat it?  I was quickly realizing that pain makes me want the "easiness" of my old foods - not to have to stand in the kitchen and cook things.  Go figure.....


M1:  brat, fermented green beans, carrot salad, beet, 1/2 cupcake


M2:  2 salmon cakes, 4 sb eggs, bag of frozen mixed vegetables, bbq sauce

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Karen, somehow I missed the part about ds wrecking your car...?!  Wow, when it rains, it pours -- but SO cool to hear you talking about still staying away from the bad food, for the most part.  I love that you are so aware of what you are thinking, feeling, what your triggers are, etc.  MOST people have no clue about this stuff -- they just let their emotions take control of their eating.  You have really learned a lot along the way -- and that will be the key to lifelong success.   :)

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Karen, somehow I missed the part about ds wrecking your car...?!  Wow, when it rains, it pours -- but SO cool to hear you talking about still staying away from the bad food, for the most part.  I love that you are so aware of what you are thinking, feeling, what your triggers are, etc.  MOST people have no clue about this stuff -- they just let their emotions take control of their eating.  You have really learned a lot along the way -- and that will be the key to lifelong success.   :)

The last four months have truly been a learning experience. I guess I have known for a very long time that I was an emotional eater. But learning how sugar is so addictive and understanding how it changes our palate seems to have made an impression on me. It's like the old habit still wants to come back, but I am just not finding the "enjoyment" in it anymore.

Take that cupcake for example. Any other time, I would have scarfed it down. If there were more left, I would have eaten more than my fair share. It would have calmed me, dulled me to what was really bothering me (sugar coma). As I have the first bite, I immediately started an inner dialogue: "Karen, why are you eating this? Are you having it just because you are enjoying something special? Are you hoping to run away from all the stress? You know that doesn't work.... Are you really enjoying this?" It kinda took the enjoyment away. I realized that I really wasn't enjoying it (too sweet), that I hadn't made a conscious decision for a special treat, and it was actually making me a little nauseous (again, too sweet). It was the old habit of stuffing my face that was coming to play and I didn't want it to. I stopped at half!

But I will admit that I really enjoyed the chick-fil-a the other night! :)

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  • 1 month later...

October 23


I'm back!  


Last month, Brewer5 and I did another w30, together.  She did an amazing job and I kind of limped along - had to restart several times and quit early.  Too much stress in my life I suppose.  In fact, the stress got so bad thatI ran away from home for a couple of days.  I had decided, when I ended my w30, to do some hiking, but on Sunday, I made up my mind to just disappear for a few days.  I went to a lodge in the mountains where there was no cell service, plenty of hiking trails and great food.  I completely enjoyed everything that I ate, even if my tummy didn't :)  However, the rest and relaxation made brought me to a place where I am ready to recommit to a healthy lifestyle.  


Part of this committment came from how I was doing on the hikes.  I chose a couple of hikes that were considered (by the reviews) as "strenuous".  The first one included steep rocky slopes and some boulder climbing.  The second hike followed a series of waterfalls.  The part that you don't think about as you read "40 foot falls, 60 foot falls, 87 foot falls" is that hiking up these slopes mean, "40,60, and 87 feet of very steep and rocky paths".   I realized that 50 pounds ago, I would have had a much more difficult time.  I don't doubt that I would have finished the hikes a year ago, but I would have taken alot more time and been much more miserable.  Even so, it wasn't easy.  There were plenty of people on the trails that were hiking much fast and were less out of breath than I was.  Granted, many of them were younger than me :)  There were plenty of people older than me as well.  I even met a gentleman who was 86, climbing over boulders and jumping crevasses with the help of his son.  I want to be him when I grow up!  


I have to admit that even though I am proud of my accomplishments, the soreness of my body make me realize that I am no where near as fit as I should be.  So, I am going to have to find more time to exercise! 


The other thing that I have decided to add to my "regime" is an elixir, "Yoder's Good Health Recipe".  The bottle says:  "An invigorating and therapeutic blend of 14 herbs and spices, along with real apple cider vinegar, and fruit juice concentrates."  Ingredients:  Cider vinegar, water, apple juice, grape juice, and tinctures of ginseng, goldenseal, echinacea, valerian, ginger, black cohash, chamomile, black walnut, licorice root, anise, cinnamon, cloves, chickweed, and fenugreek.  It doesn't taste horrible - but its not very good either.  But if it helps me feel good.....   :)





M1:  chicken leg quarter, asparagus cooked with ghee, guacamole, Yoder's elixer


M2:  Roast Pork, green beans


M3:  beef stick, dehydrated veggie chips

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Oct 24


Slept wel last night - at least 8+ hours.  Up for work at 0600 (o dark thirty!) - the earliest ive been up in about a week.  But I felt good :)


In a way it was sad but comforting to know that things haven't changed at work (not that I really though it would be different).  The stress in my coworkers faces was tangible.  Made me wonder how quickly it would be back for me as well.  I am trying to keep a positive attitude.....


M1:  3 eggs, 2 bacon, bowl of blueberries, grapes, and pineapple


M2:  bologna sandwich (I know - but DS has't eaten it for days and if I didn't it would have gotten tossed), dried berries, dehydrated veggie chips


M3:  homemade unsweetened applesauce, cottage pie

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October 25


Slept very well last night - 9 hours - but still feel sleepy :)  Going to be glad to take a nap today :)


Spent the morning at the farmers market, and am now home to cook up a couple things:  golden cauliflower soup and shepherds pie.  Then a nap and off to work for the night.


M1:  3 eggs scrambled and asparagus sauteed in ghee


M2:  salad with roasted chicken and an egg

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  • 11 months later...

I thought long and hard about coming back to this thread, or starting a new one.  In some ways, the title of the thread still applies:  Karens Whole 30 life.  I have come to learn that I feel/perform best eating w30.  That being said, I have also come to realize that like people who eat severely restricted diet will go back to the junk with a vengeance, being w30 for the rest of my life is not an option for me either.  In the end, I decide to return to the thread.


Right now, I am on vacation.  I had signed off of my Whole30: 2015 thread saying that I would be back after vacation, but a couple of things have happened that make me want to return early.


Just before my vacation, I saw my Doctor for a yearly check-up.  We talked a lot about my weight and how difficult it is for me to lose.  I can do well initially, then plateau.  The plateau never seems to stop, no matter what I do.  My FBS was a bit elevated.  We talked about insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome.  We made a plan.  He wants me to track my blood sugars for a while and if they remain elevated, we will do all the other workup for insulin resistance.  


I had been checking my FBS eat day the few days before leaving for vacation.  I ate well (w30 style) for 3-4 days before starting.  My glucoses were 100-110.  Then one night, things happened and I had a grilled ruben with tater tots.  The next morning, my FBS was 90.  Crazy.


In my journey with food, I have meet some awesome people who have helped guide me.  I am now working toward a LCHF diet to see if I can break this barrier that I am at.  I welcome any and all comments and suggestions - helpful ones :) - as I continue to fight for my life.  


On my first day on vacation, I met up with a friend who I knew in high school (27 years ago - eek).  The best part was that as we sat and talked, it was as if no time had passed - those are the best friendships.  Anyway, he is a massage therapist in Las Vegas.  He also believes greatly in essential oil therapies.  He is quite in tune with the body and it hurts him to see people hurting themselves with life.  He is interested in nutrition now.  His 6 year old niece has lung cancer and he has been trying to research non-pharmaceutical ways to help her treatment.  We talked about diet and nutrition - the processed food and sugars, the chemicals in our food, etc.  It was nice to talk to someone who is of the same opinion and not feel like I am beating my head against the wall :)


So, before I saw my doctor, I had packed for my trip.  My vacation is a hiking trip in Sedona AZ.  I didn't know if I would have access to a fridge.  I struggled with what to pack to eat while hiking.  I knew that breakfast would be served by the hotel each morning.  I knew we would be eating at restaurants each night.  I knew that I could eat w30, and I could eat LCHF while I was on vacation - but at the same time, I didn't want to restrict myself from being able to enjoy a treat now and then.  I also thought about leaving my glucometer at home.  A friend suggested that I bring it with me to see the effect of my vacation treats.  So, I did.  Like I said, I had already packed my hiking food:  epic bar and a small handful of dried fruit and nuts.  All w30 compliant.  All fit in a snack sized zip lock baggie (in other words, just a small handful of the fruit and nuts).  Not LCHF though.


I have been lucky.  I left the house so early in the morning to travel that I missed breakfast at home and didn't pack anything for a travel day.  With lots of problems with my flights, I ended up not eating until late in the afternoon Sedona time.  My FBS before eating that day:  87.  I opted for an omelete with sausage and cheese.  It came with home-fried potatoes (very pretty - some sweet, some white, some purple, etc) and biscuits and gravy.  I added some salsa to my omelet (for the veggie) and ate just a couple bites of the biscuits and gravy and potatoes. (They were so good I wanted to inhale the plate!)  Dinner that night was at a Mexican restaurant.  I have to admit that I did splurge just a bit with chips and salsa, entree was a carnitas salad (w30 compliant) and a margarita.  


FBS the next morning:  97.  (Maybe I need a margarita each night!)  Breakfast was a cheese omelet with 2 sausage links.  We then went hiking  - 10 miles.  We hiked from 9-230 with a break at 1130 for lunch (epic bar and fruit and nut mix).  I felt good hiking.  On the way back to the hotel, we stopped at dairy queen.  It was 315pm - over four hours since I had last eaten - so I checked my BS.  If was 151!  I knew I shouldn't, but I had an ice cream anyway - but did choose to have the mini blizzard instead of the large that I would have gotten.  Before dinner, I checked my bs again - 104.  Dinner last night was a beef chimichunga - no rice or beans, heavy on the lettuce and tomato.


This morning:  bs 107


So, I came back to this thread so that I could record what is happening to me - what I am eating that is causing my bs to remain elevated.  I am going to continue my packed lunches - mostly because they are easy, and I am not wasting the money by throwing them away.  My logging these things, I will be able to see if there is a difference when I get back home and will concentrate more on my LCHF eating (with less "treats") and a change in my activity (not hiking as much).  My conventional medicine, the higher activity should allow me to be able to handle more carbs.  Yesterday did not show that.

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Up at 5 am - the jet lag is still with me.  Didn't sleep well last night at all - tossing and turning.  I could have been the storms outside - thunder and lightening in the early morning hours.  Or maybe I just didn't sleep well.



FBS :  107

M1:  cheese omelet (2 small), canadian bacon (3 slices)



AC BS:  116

M2:  epic bar (bison), baby bel cheese (1), handful nuts and dried fruit



ACBS:  97

M3:  Dennys:  Bacon Avocado Cheeseburger with no bun, Garden salad (no dressing) subbed for the fries

       dessert - one chocolate chip cookie (normal sized)


Hiked today:  5 miles - a good part of it in the rain.  Was hungry (but not starving)  a good hour or two between each meal - but waited until group ate.  


Today the weather was rainy in Sedona so we didn't get a long hike in.  We spent the morning walking about the shops and stores in Uptown before going to the Airport Loop for a hike.  Lunch was partaken about 1.5 miles into the hike.  After the hike, we went sightseeing at Montezuma's Well.  Beautiful :)


I can't remember how to add the blasted pictures and I am too tired to worry about it now.  I promise to try tomorrow :)

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Slept better last night but again kept waking in the early morning hours. Gave up at 515 (getting better!)


FBS 107

M1: cheese omelette, sausage links


BS 116

M2: epic bar, baby bel cheese, handful dried fruit and nuts


BS 104

M3: baskin robbins pumpkin cheesecake ice cream (yep, I'm on vacation)

Will tell about m4 after I have it :)

Hiked today up Soldiers Trail and down Brina Mesa Trail. Added on a few other short trails. Total mileage 10. Total Elevation gain 1500 feet. Not a bad day. Got back to the hotel in time to sit in the hot tub - I'm there now, and it feels great especially for my sore aching muscles :)

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BS 104 (surprising considering the ice cream)



Here is an example of how I talked about fasting blood glucose being a handy tool, but a limited tool.


This may give folks a false sense of security -- "Oh, hey, 104, that's not too bad."


But remember that fructose has to be processed by the liver.  That sugar won't immediately show up in your blood stream -- and is likely to be stored in your liver as FAT.


So, I'm a nerd, and I was just thinking about this awhile ago.  So I looked up the ingredients of your ice cream.


I tried to highlight the things that I know contain fructose.  I'm sure there are more there.  (I don't know what many of them are!)


You KNOW I am not sharing this to make you feel bad (I fully understand vacation) -- but I just wanted you to think about it.  How these foods are affecting you will not always show up in your blood sugar.  I can't remember if your doctor did the test that checks for fatty liver?  That one is important, I think.


Cream, Nonfat Milk, Cinnamon Cream Cheese Flavored Ribbon [sugar, Cream Cheese (Pasteurized Milk and Cream, Cheese Culture, Salt, Carob Bean or Xanthan or Guar Gum), Invert Sugar, Water, Corn Starch, Spice, Caramel Color, Titanium Dioxide (Color), Natural Flavors, Annatto (Color)], Pumpkin Pie Base [solid Pack Pumpkin, Brown Sugar (Sugar, Cane Molasses Syrup), Corn Syrup, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Water, Spices, Orange Juice Concentrate, Propylene Glycol, Cellulose Gum, Salt, Potassium Sorbate (Preservative), Citric Acid, Yellow 6], Sugar, Ginger Snaps [unbleached Enriched Flour (Wheat Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamin Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Sugar, Molasses, Soybean Oil, Leavening (Baking Soda, Calcium Phosphate), Ginger, Salt, Soy Lecithin (Emulsifier), Sulphur Dioxide], Corn Syrup, Cheesecake Base [Corn Syrup, Water, Cheese Blend (Nonfat Milk, Cellulose Gum, Lactic Acid, Cultures), Buttermilk, Natural Flavor, Lactic Acid, Potassium Sorbate (Preservative)], Whey Powder, Stabilizer/Emulsifier Blend (Cellulose Gum, Mono and Diglycerides, Guar Gum, Carrageenan, Polysorbate 80), Red 40, Yellow 6, Yellow 5, Blue 1.

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So what is it?


Well, the important part is that it is pretty high on the ingredient list (and we all know that they list the ingredients in order of quantity, right?)


And it is a lot of fructose (which will have to be processed by your liver).


From Wikipedia:


Inverted or invert[1] sugar syrup is a mixture of glucose and fructose; it is obtained by splitting sucrose into these two components. Compared with its precursor, sucrose, inverted sugar is sweeter[2][3][dubious – discuss] and its products tend to retain moisture and are less prone to crystallization. Inverted sugar is therefore valued by bakers, who refer to the syrup as invert syrup.[4] It is similar to high-fructose corn syrup.

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Slept great last night - best since being here in AZ



FBS - 96 (yeah!)

M1:  waffle with butter, sm omelette, canadian bacon



BS 145 (yikes)

M2:  epic bar, baby bel cheese, dried fruit and nuts



BS 114

M3:  hot tub side:  chocolate chip cookie

M4:  denny's bacon avocado cheeseburger (no bun, with butter), garden salad (no dressing), one of moms onion rings

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  • 2 weeks later...

Day 1


Home for AZ, and back to the "real" world of getting kids where they need to be, grocery shopping, appointments, meetings, etc....


No hiking yesterday (unless you count the trek through the airport) or today.  I did have a massage for my legs and shoulder today (it was part of the vacation!).  Today, my blood sugars have been the best than they have ever been  :rolleyes:


Ketones (by calculation):  1.2


FBS: 90

M1:  3 eggs, 1 oz cheese


BS: 89

M2:  spinach (raw), marinara sauce with ground beef, sour cream


bs:  83

M3:  romaine lettuce, bell pepper, cucumber, chicken thigh (with skin), guac, sour cream, salsa


There were times today that I felt like I just "had" to eat.  Coming off the snacks from vacation I suppose.  But I checked myself and asked myself if I was really hungry - the answer was invariable "no".


I am trying a Keto plan.  I am going to stay true to w30 with the exception of dairy.  No grains, no added sugars, no processed foods, no swypos, no paleo "desserts".  

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So how are you calculating your ketones? I'm not sure what the 1.2 means.

Its a calculation - kirkor had the link on his KetwhOle30 page.  Its basically an estimation based on your food intake.  


1-1.5 = mildly ketogenic

1.5-2 = mostly ketogenic

>2 = very ketogenic


I am using this just for a little bit - at least until the ketonix comes in the mail.  It is also giving me a chance to see what I need to do to be in J Moore's guidelines (i.e. 60-85% fats, <20gm carbs, 75-100gm proteins).  Once I am sure that I am where I need to be, I'll stop "counting" and just eat.  I know that I can do this without counting (and believe me, it won't last long because it is TIME CONSUMING!) but at least this way I can see a little more clearly if I need to increase fat, decrease carbs, or decrease protein.....

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Day 2


Ketones (by calculation) 1.45


FBS:  98

M1:  2 eggs +1 egg yolk, grated cheese, 2 slices bacon, mushrooms and spinach cooked in bacon fat


BS:  97

M2:  romaine, cucumber, bell pepper, pulled pork, sour cream, guac, salsa


BS:  99

M3:  chicken thigh with skin, broccoli roasted with lard, kalamata olives, sour cream


First day back at work - ended up getting out 2 hours late....  I am definitely home from vacation :)

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Day 3

Ketones (by calculation): 1.3

I thought I would have had a higher number today but my carbs got too high, mostly due to the avocado. Who knew there were so many carbs in that - must be why it's so tasty :)

FBS: 104

M1: 2 eggs+1 egg yolk, one slice bacon, spinach and mushrooms cooked in bacon drippings and ghee

BS: 96

M2: pulled pork, celery and cream cheese

BS: 89

M3: salad with romaine and Napa cabbage (also has quite a few carbs), bell pepper, cucumber, chicken thigh, 1/2 avocado, sour cream, salsa

I struggled with feeling hungry today - but when I went to get a snack, couldn't think of what I really wanted to eat - so I guess I wasn't as hungry as I thought I was. I must admit I fondled the snickers bars when I was in the grocery store, but strangely, when it came down to it, I really didn't want that either.

Tonight was my baby's last home football game for marching band. Tonight was Senior Walk night. I missed my sons because I was working. Was very glad to be able to go tonight :) I took my salad with me so I wouldn't have to visit the concession stand. (I still kinda want that box of popcorn, tho). So, I sit here as the game starts, eating my salad and typing this up while I wait for the band performance at half time. It is warm enough for jeans and t shirts - no jackets (very unusual for nov in va), feeling very blessed for many reasons!

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