The First Fortnight
I have just completed my first 15 days of changed food habits. My diet has become Low Carb-High (Healthy) Fat.
The dietitian I met after the doctor’s medical advice, prescribed a list of foods I could include everyday, twice a week, once a week or never. She was also the author of a book on LCHF cooking. It had about a 100 recipes spread over soups, salads, curries, snacks, juice and smoothies and egg recipes. Armed with that and the knowledge I had gained listening to multiple podcasts and reading what thought leaders in this field spoke about, I ventured into the world of #LCHF.
The First Week:
I began my mornings with Bullet Proof Coffee. I got better at it from day three when I figured out the proportions, the temperature the hot water had to be at and the embellishments I could add to it ( Either a sprinkle of cinnamon powder or 100% cacao). I made a loaded vegetable omelet fried in butter with dollops of cheddar cheese my standard ‘go to’ breakfast food.
The cook book offered a variety of recipes to try out for lunch and dinner. So I had either a soup with generous amounts of coconut milk and vegetable curry (sauteed in ghee no less) at lunch. The ‘cauliflower couscous’ instead of rice was a neat idea but I didn’t seem to need it everyday. I made a huge pot of dal makhni and avial, two dishes that could potentially increase the nutritional composition of my diet to 70% fat, like the #LCHF guidelines recommended.
My faithful Omron digital weighing scale showed me encouraging results at the end of Week 1.
I was on a roll!
The Changes :
I felt great the first two days. I was enjoying the idea of not consuming rice or any form of carbohydrate rich food and yet feeling satiated.
I experienced some exhaustion and a slight trembling of hands on Day 3 which is when the carb reserves in my body had depleted. I also had a few bouts of headache and I felt light headed during an evening walk around the condominium.
But nothing was going to shake me from my single minded focus of being off my medications for insulin resistance, cholesterol and thyroid malfunction!
Diwali is just around the corner why don’t you start this once the festival is done?
My mother in law tried to entice me into putting off the decision to alter my dietary habits to accommodate the most heavenly, sinful, sugar rich celebration of the year. I was steadfast in my decision.
I had to go on a day trip to Coimbatore in the first week of my new diet. I carried my go to breakfast with me. I also carried soaked almonds ( I am allowed 40 of them a day) and some ghee fried pumpkin and melon seeds, for the in-between times. I was a sport and accompanied my architect who was traveling with me to lunch and ordered a paneer tikka masala at the restaurant.
A colleague at work organised a lunch for his daughter’s first birthday and insisted that I join the celebration. He offered to order a vegetarian meal for me instead of chicken biryani that he was ordering for everyone. I politely refused the invite quoting my special needs diet but he kept insisting. I made him order a paneer tikka for me instead.
A dear friend and I were meeting after months and we decided to catch up over lunch one day. We went to The Great Kabab Factory which offered a variety of no grain, no sugar and high fat vegetarian options at lunch.
I had a feast!
I don’t need a bullet proof coffee to sustain till breakfast. I have either a black coffee with a sprinkle of cinnamon or have my coffee with fresh cream (which incidentally tastes better than coffee with full fat milk).
My breakfast is not always eggs. I have also begun to alternate it with other foods. Sometimes it is olives, avocado and fried nuts and a glass of almond or coconut milk or it is innovative recipes recommended by friends who are also on #LCHF (I have more than one friend who is on the diet).
Diwali has come and gone. There have been boxes of delightful, carb rich, sugary treats that were delivered at my door step. My mother in law herself made some rava burfi that she swore ‘ hasn’t been made too sweet just to make it #LCHF friendly’. ( But ma, the 2 cups of sugar, 1 cup of milk and 1 cup of Rava that you have added is not allowed in my diet already!)
These have not tempted me to break my resolve of staying low carb this week. However, I did have a serving or two of the deepavali lehiyam that a friend of mine makes so well.
I continue to walk an average of 12 thousand steps every day. I hit the gym for some weight training at least thrice a week. I feel good.
Did I cheat?
Well. The dietitian has not allowed me any milk, even high fat, in the diet. Yet, I have had shots of south Indian filter coffee with hot steaming milk on a few days. I have also had some dark chocolate that has 87% cacao and beet sugar (any kind of sugar is disallowed in the diet).
I continue to feel great. People who see me regularly have begun to notice a difference but haven’t been able to put a finger to it. My weighing scale shows a 100 to 150 gms weight loss on most days. I tried a 16:8 intermittent fasting on a few days and it did feel a little challenging. I am not expected to start it till I am a month into the new diet so I will wait to try it a little later. I am still figuring the do’s and don’ts of the fasting advice.
Meanwhile I have discovered some interesting podcasts that answer many questions that you may have about the #LCHF diet.
You will hear more from me in a fortnight.
Disclaimer: The experience I have shared in my blog post is specific to me. If you would like to get started on the #LCHF, please consult a physician.
#Blog 86 of the #100DayWritingProject