I love food. It’s pretty much the only thing I can do socially at the moment. Culturally, we now associate the word ‘diet’ to mean ‘weight loss’, rather than ‘what we regularly eat’. I’m not dieting, I’m trying to find a diet that works for me because I have endocrine disorders which make me feel terrible most of the time, and how I fuel my body is especially important. If I also lose weight, that will help those conditions, so it’s also something to bear in mind, but it’s not the sole reason for me doing it. The main purposes are to try to control my insulin resistance and to slow down diabetes.
I’ve tried various combinations of things: Low GI, Low sugar, Low fat, Low GL – I’ve tried pretty much most things with the word ‘low’ at the start. After seeing 2 dieticians and a lot of food diaries later, I gave up trying to follow other people’s diets and kind of made my own one up. I then got sent to a third, diabetes dietician, mostly because the other ones didn’t know what to do with me. She mentioned ‘grams of carb’ and ‘low carb’ a lot, so I thought I’d look into it, and found that a lot of diabetic patients have seen vast improvements with the Low Carb High Fat Diet. I did some research and I realised that grams of carb isn’t the same as grams of food. You take out carbs, but you don’t take out healthy fats, calories and protein, if anything you increase them. Which went against the grain of most other diets, but I thought it was worth a shot.
Diets can be miserable things because they limit the food you eat and you have to have good willpower. But if it’s for weight loss, you can usually visibly see the effects which makes it more worth while. Medical diets are worse, because, with mine anyway, I’ve had to do them and not felt any better while doing them and there’s no physical change I can see. I just ‘might be slowing down diabetes and helping my insulin resistance’. Low Carb High Fat is good so far because you’re actually still eating real food for the most part. Things taste nice! Eating low gi was the worst because it was like eating tree bark or dust. Going out to eat is not as hard work.
The average person eats about 260g of carb a day. For reference, a Pizza Express pizza has at least 100g of carb by itself. I was eating waaaaay more than that to try to stop myself from passing out- but it’s a cycle: the more carbs I gave my body, the more it needed because it doesn’t mobilise insulin properly, so the quantity just kept getting higher. I’ve been phasing out the carbs and I’m now on 80-90g of carb per day, and I think that’s where I’ll stick to. Most people who cut out carbs have flu like symptoms to start with, but because my body is really sensitive to change, it would be a bad idea to just cut them straight out, I’d end up in hospital, hence the gradual introduction of the diet. I did have a really bad headache and felt sick for some days but, to be honest, I feel flu-like most of the time anyway, and I only noticed the headache because that’s one symptom I don’t get very often! I don’t want to go any lower than that for lots of reasons, I think I’ve got a good balance where I am. It does involve a fair bit of maths and forward planning, but I’ve got an app (and a husband) which helps me with that.
If you’re thinking about cooking for me (thanks for the invitation!), it’s not a bad thing if I don’t eat low carb for one meal (the last dietician told me this a lot), and I’m not following a strict plan- I’m making it up. But avoiding things which are purely carb e.g pasta, pizza, rice dishes like risotto would really help me out 🙂 I’m quite good at balancing it myself, but meat, cheese and vegetables which grow above ground are lower carb foods. Ask me questions about it- if you fed me during low GI points, this is a lot more flexible! And I still eat pasta, rice and bread, so if that’s what we’re going to eat, let me know the day before and I’ll eat fewer carbs earlier on in the day so I can eat more of your lovely food 🙂
Anyway, here’s the interesting bit, photos of recipes we’ve been trying!
Cheesey chorizo chicken and spinach from lean in 15. This was really good and filling. The pine nuts meant that we didn’t actually need rice with it, it was filling enough by itself. 16 carbs without rice.
Egg, bacon and cheese muffins with pesto and spring onion. 5 muffins works out about 2g of carbs. These are good for snacking on and taste really good. I think this recipe is off a website I found called diet doctor.
Now these don’t look great, but they tasted amazing! We adapted a recipe from an Instagram user’s blog, Actually Low Carb (that’s the name). They’re bacon, Philadelphia and jalapeño poppers. Not very good for a snack because they’re not portable, but a good treat!
Peanut and chocolate bars. 3g per square. They’re really rich, so you don’t actually want to eat more than one in a go, and also have coconut oil as added fat. Taken from the Diet Doctor website (I think).
Popeye Chicken from Lean in 15 book. Chicken. spinach and tomatoes with onion and cream sauce. 12g per carb without salad.