Friday, June 29, 2012

Why Do I Need To Know How Many Carbs My Body Can Handle?

We interrupt this post to bring you a breaking news item!!

Leave It To Beaver a classic 60's sitcom!
Image courtesy of IMDb
Fluffy Chix Cook Turkey Meatloaf will be delayed another day because I’m thinking we need to have a little talk bout ‘trition, Beaver. (That’s Nutrition to those of you who can’t read my colloquial prattle. And that’s Beaver, referencing Leave It To Beaver for those of you who are not children of the 60s and 70s. Poor you. You missed out on an awesome lot and a mostly happy era!) But good news! Apparently Leave It To Beaver, The Movie is coming to a theatre near you, soon!

I’m kinda guilty of tending away from talking about all things Nutrition Nerdville these days. Lately, Fluffy Chix mainly squawk about yummy recipes and silliness. Maybe it’s because of the cancer recovery? Maybe I’ve gotten lazy? Maybe I’m just tired of trying to convince people that this way of eating helps us and in my opinion, should be a preferential method of eating for most people. I’m talking of course, about low carb/controlled carb and paleo nutrition.

I’ve kinda left it up to the professionals and brainiacs in our nutritional world to take care of the education for all humanity on greater Earth. The brainiacs and metabolic
"The Boys" (Remember our sock monkey boys:
Kevin, Buddy, Tony, Zippy, Schylling, the little toy dog
Wee Wee, and Wee Wee's baby, Skeeter, and their
new "pony", Gerry the Giraffe made it official!
I am the boss of cheese and ketchup!
docs in the blogosphere talk about the really important issues within our low carb, controlled carb, paleo community. I just talk about cheese and low carb ketchup – of which I am the boss. After all, as our sock monkey boys remind me, I know cheese and low carb ketchup better than any mom on the block!

You know, who the hell am I, anyway? I’m just some schmoe off the street with a broken metabolism out the watoosie, who is recovering from Stage IIIC Breast Cancer and takes an anti-cancer drug that has weight gain as a known side-effect, who is a T2 Diabetic in remission, who has metabolic post-menopausal Syndrome X from a lifetime of PCOS, who is an asthmatic that often needs inhaled steroids and oral steroids, who has high blood pressure and takes medicine for it, and who has only lost 86lbs after 12 years of trying and who still has another long 60 to go! I don’t have a nutrition degree. I am not licensed by the great state of Texas, and don’t even have a mail-order diploma from a university in Zimbabwe.

I mean really! Who in the hell am I to talk to YOU, about nutrition? So all Fluffy Chix Cook can do is talk about the experiences as they apply to me. And share a few cooking tricks I have up my long-tall-Texan sleeve to help you adhere to low carb nutrition plans. And yes, as so many are used to reading at other bloggers’ sites, that boils down to exactly an n=1 experiment.

YMMV. Your mileage may vary. (But mine will always vary more cuz everything is bigger in Texas, backsides and mileage included!)

A couple of things happened this week to reinforce the meaning of life and low carb as Susie sees it! The first thing is one of my dear sweet friends is going through hell right now. Her husband is in the hospital and has fought battle after battle with diabetes and complications from kidney failure (which is a complication in itself). His kidneys are shutting down and continue to fail and he now has blood complications with his platelets (think bleeding). He is going on kidney dialysis.

I’d like to tell you his situation is unique. Trouble is it isn’t. That’s the progression of diabetes, an awful disease. It causes system wide organ failures and has a voracious appetite when it gets out of hand. Notice I said “when”, not “if.” Because, the reality is to paraphrase Dr. Richard K. Bernstein, noted diabetologist, in his book Diabetes Solutions - The Complete Guide to Normal Blood Sugars, you have about 10-15 years from the time you are diagnosed with pre-diabetes until you are dealing with full-blown diabetes. From there, the disease continues to progress.

Diabetes is degenerative.

It will kill you.

It's a gruelling, painful, slow death.

And my friend, her husband, and her sweet daughter face this possibility. They caught his disease late and it swiftly degenerated. I don’t have the particulars of how his diabetes started – I think his diabetes happened in response to an infection, virus, or auto-immune disease. And I think the kidney failure may be in response to a medication he was given. Or from the diabetes itself. Dunno. Didn’t want to be intrusive. All I know is that he struggles for life now and my heart breaks for him and his lovely wife. My friend.

And they are Denny’s and my age! Our age! How can that be?

Jimmy Moore has a series of websites dedicated to educating and raising
awareness about the truth and power within low carb and paleo nutrition.
His original Livin' La Vida Low-Carb Blog is a low carb institution!

The second thing of note this week is Jimmy Moore’s timely post about Julian Bakery Bread and Julian’s potentially fraudulent labelling activities. If not fraudulent, then allegedly misguided for sure! Please go to Jimmy’s website, Livin’ La Vida Low Carb Blog and read the article. It’s a very well thought out and well-presented article. Jimmy is articulate and clearly lays out facts for you. You will get all the particulars on Julian Bakery and the bread and what one woman is doing to change things for the positive!

Click on image to enlarge.

But more importantly than the case of Julian Bakery itself, is what Jimmy wrote in the preface to discussing what this lady was doing to change the way Julian Bakery operates. Paraphrasing Jimmy, “It is up to each of us to know our individual carb tolerance level.”

Unless and until you do define this individual level, you will have no idea how stringently you must adhere to carbohydrate restriction. One thing that the past ten years of double blind controlled studies have proven over and over again is that low carb, high fat nutrition helps improve a wide array of health markers.

Low carb/controlled carb nutrition can delay, and in many cases, it can arrest and sometimes even reverse disease progression of diabetes and many other diseases too! I wish my sweet friend suffering right now in the hospital had known that! But at some point, a body may be too broken to come back from the edge with proper low carb nutrition. My poor friends!!

Fluffy Chix Cook = Party!
All Low Carb. All The Time!
I’m walking proof low carb, controlled carb nutrition works. By rights, I should be a full blown diabetic. I AM n=1 and proud of it!

Heck, I was finally diagnosed as a T2 about 5 years ago through a Fasting Glucose Tolerance Test (FGTT). I told the docs I was a T2. I’d seen it on my glucose meter. I’d been using a glucose meter to monitor my blood sugars since about 2003 or before. I saw the readings. But all my fasting tests came back in the pre-diabetic range. The docs didn’t believe me.

I finally convinced a doc to do a FGTT on me and did the prep work necessary, since I was low carbing. If you low carb, you MUST go off low carb and eat above 150g of carbohydrates a day for about a week or so prior to testing. Otherwise the FGTT results will be skewed and won’t show proper glycemic response.

The FGTT confirmed my T2 status. I believe I had been T2 for a while judging from my symptoms and obesity in addition to personal health history (metabolic disease PCOS – Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome, et al).

Sure enough, my blood sugar went up over 140μg/dl and stayed elevated past the 2 hour window. T2 diabetic. Sucks to be me. But I already knew! I knew cuz of individual glucose test meter results on pre-post meals. I’d known for years! I was already controlling my disease through diet. Through carbohydrate control.

But the cool thing is that nowadays, my new docs refuse to give me a FGTT, saying my fasting blood work doesn’t support a test. My fasting glucose readings are only in the pre-diabetic range and haven’t budged since going low carb back in 2000. They refer to me as a pre-diabetic.

I mainly refer to me as a T2 diabetic in remission. (Sometimes I shorthand it and refer to myself as a pre-diabetic. That doesn’t alter reality.) As soon as I go off my low carb diet, my blood sugars regress and go diabetically high.

The docs saw that in the hospital after my double mastectomy. My blood sugars were in the high 160s. The good news is that they aren’t any worse than they were almost 12 years ago! And they dropped back to pre-diabetic levels as soon as I started eating low carb after surgery.

Atkins Diet is easy to follow.
I want to encourage each of you to follow Jimmy Moore’s advice. The only way that I know of to follow Jimmy’s advice is to use one of the Atkin’s Plans.

There are other low carb plans out there and certainly other lifestyles such as Paleo and Primal Living that are most excellent have fantastic merit. But Atkins Induction makes finding your individual critical carb level for losing very methodical and precise. If you follow the plan correctly, you have little doubt of your level.

New Atkins for a New You, brings new
insights into controlled carb nutrition.
The New Atkins for a New You by doctors Westman, Phinney and Volek is an excellent book – very comprehensive and educational! They have a complete website dedicated to helping you follow the Atkins Diet.

By following Atkins Induction and allowing your body to become adjusted to low carb nutrition (a biochemically complicated process we will discuss on another day), you can then walk the carb ladder up to the level where weight loss ceases.

At that point, you should be able to reduce the carb level by as little as 5g of carbs and theoretically weight loss resumes. By following this OWL (On-going Weight Loss Ladder), you know unequivocally, your individual level of carbohydrate restriction necessary to keep your blood sugars in check.

Barring that, you need to get a blood glucose meter and begin monitoring. Richard K. Bernstein, MD and his book Diabetes Solutions, gives you a step-by-step process for accurately tracking blood glucose. You will get a better window into how your individual body handles carbohydrates. And Dr. Bernstein’s method does it without necessitating you go off of low carb and eat at such a high level of carbohydrates before testing like with an FGTT.

As Jimmy states succinctly in the quote above, Buyer Beware!
Click image to enlarge!

These are the only ways, in my humble opinion, to reduce the likelihood you will end up like my sweet friends – facing a health crisis of epic proportions.  Gosh, I don’t want any more of my friends to have to face such a health crisis!

Go read about the Julian Bread debacle. Then make your own low carb bread. There are so many recipes on the web for good, healthy low carb breads. Easy to make! Many are gluten free. Many are Induction Friendly! Check out my good friend’s at Linda Sue's Low Carb Menus, Atkins Diet Geek, or Splendid Low-Carbing, or Maria’s Nutritious and Delicious Journal, or Your Lighter Side, or any one of a dozens of blogs! You don't need to buy low carb bread! Make your own. You have the power!

There are so many easy low carb bread recipes on the Fluffy Chix Cook site alone! Just look in the labels section under Low Carb Bread. I promise they taste delicious! Then you won’t be a victim of any hapless manufacturers seeking to ignore issues inherent with their products at the potential expense of your health.

Photo courtesy of Society for Vascular Surgery
Issues that might just affect your long term health!

Long term!

Health – or disease!

Trust me, internal bleeding and dialysis is NOT where you want to go in life!


  1. Nice post. Have a great weekend!

    1. Thanks Jen! Hope you are having an awesome weekend too!

  2. Dag nabbit!
    Now I've got to go and bookmark another low-carb website! (Wearin' my fingers to the bone, I tell ya...)
    I hate following links - they always take me off to sites that entice me with nasty ole heathen recipes that I can barely choke down more than about 8 or 10 servings of.
    (Curse you Kent!)

    And now to run across a Texican of all things?
    (You ever notice how them Texican's is always bragging about LOSING a fight? "Remember the Alamo"? Heck yeah I remember - you people won't shut up about it! Pitiful, plumb pitiful. It's as bad as the Aggies bragging that they lost a football game to a bunch of pencil-necked soccer hooligans...)

    Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah.
    You ought to be ashamed of yourself, little miss Susie (if that is your REAL name). It's on a count of people like you and Kent and other low-carb heathens that I'm in the kitchen cooking my chubby little fingers to the bone (skinnier bones, I might add) instead of sittin' on the couch shoveling in delivery pizzas and Ho-Ho's - as is the natural order of things.
    I hope you can sleep at night knowing that you, and all the rest, are ruining the grand tradition of couch tater decrepitude that has long been the mainstay of my forefathers.
    Why heck, the other day I just noticed that I had TOES! (And they need a good trimmin', BTW)

    So you can just shinny your scrawny little derriere back into the kitchen (where all good women folk belong), knowing that you may well be destroyin' an American tradition and way of life.

    I'll be keeping an eye on you and this site. You just 'stay on your toes', as they say.
    (And now that I know what toes look like, I'll know what look for...)

    1. Hi Elwin! And welcome! Glad you made your way back to the kitchen and found us womenfolk sittin' around jawin'!

      So glad to hear you found your toeses!

      And oh yeah, we Texans are braggarts. :) I come from a long line of people who brag,"Hey, that's nothin', I can beat that story!"

      Hope you'll stick around for awhile. But be careful, I might just put you to work pickin' okra or something like that!

    2. Oh, I'll be around. For me, LCHF has become a lifestyle - not a fad diet.
      Hopefully, I won't be quite as Stupid in the future. But don't carve that in stone - me and Stupid have got an on-again-off-again relationship. I just can't quit him!

      And thanks!

      P.S. Wait a minute. Pick okra? Whoa now.
      If you want me to swamp out your septic tank, now that I'll do. But OKRA? Huh-uh, no way, no thanks. A man has got have a little pride...


    3. So glad to hear you embrace LCHF as a way of life. I have to giggle anytime I hear someone say, "that fad diet of yours." The latest unfortunate sould to do that was my late-great-fired-nutritionist who said, "It's not sustainable."

      Well, I don't need to tell you that comin' from Texas I know how to swear like a ranch hand (to the chagrin of my DFSW mama and granmamas and sissies...). So I looked at him and took aim. Cocked my six-shooter and said, "Sustainable my ass! I've been eating this way for most of 12 years. When do you think it's gonna become unsustainable? Don't you imagine that pony's left the barn?"

      And he kinda sputtered and told me in no uncertain terms that he didn't "do low carb diets."

      At which point I said, "I'm sorry to hear that."

      And I shot him.

      Of course the Texas defense will be used...

      "He needed killin.'"

      And I don't have a septic tank with needs right now...but I do have a mess of okra that needs eatin'. I reckon you may just be the victim, er, the man to do it? :)

      (Coming soon to a blog near you, "Okra the Red-Headed Stepchild of the Vegetable Kingdom"

  3. My mother just learned she was Diabetic and I need to make her
    a safe, yet enjoyable treat for her birthday.
    She's also cholesterol conscious..
    Also visit my website Angela Knowles


Hey guys! Comments keep us going! Leave your thoughts, please? XOXO!