Recent Posts

Notes on Low Carb Intermittent Fasting

I’ve been trying to fast until noon lately. I wake up daily at around 5am, so this ends up being about a seven hour window without eating. This isn’t usually a problem, but there are times when hunger sets in and screws with my hormones. Yesterday, […]

Low Carb Peanut Butter Cookies

I like to eat fairly low carb (~100 or less total grams/day). This isn’t for weight loss reasons, or because I love hopping on diet bandwagons. I stick to a reasonable amount of carbs (from minimally processed sources, mostly whole foods like fruits, veggies and […]

You Can Eat Veggies on A Low Carb Diet

Yes, you can eat veggies on a low carb diet. I know the trend is to avoid them because the carbs are so high compared to foods like cheese and eggs and almonds. And you’re right – it’s not as sexy to save up your carbs for a salad over a piece of sugar-free chocolate, but it’s still important to get your veggies in.

Why? Let’s explore a few reasons! (more…)

Intermittent Fasting on a Keto/Low Carb Diet

I’ll just come out and say it: I’m torn on intermittent fasting (IF). For those of you who aren’t familiar, IF involves daily (including while you sleep) fasting of at least 16 hours. So, you’ll only be eating in an 8 hour window. Often, people […]

Sweetness in Low Carb Baked Goods

You may have noticed that a lot of the low carb recipes I post don’t include much by way of sweeteners. This is wholly by design. It’s not that I don’t like the flavor of something sweet, it’s mostly that by eating relatively low carb […]

How to Tell When You’re in Ketosis

Ketosis isn’t some mystical state, achieved only by days and months of fasting and spiritual connection. Kind of the opposite, actually. A lot of people (whether or not they follow a low carb diet) go into a state of ketosis every night without even trying, just by having a functioning metabolism.

Of course, as soon as they eat carbs again, they’re knocked out and back to burning carbohydrates preferentially – but we’re not here to talk about them. The question at hand is for those following a low carb diet, who want to be able to tell when they’re in ketosis. Seems simple enough.

Keto Sticks

I’m including these, and listing them first, because they’re pretty widely known in the keto community. You really can’t throw a rock without hitting a post about them. The thing is, keto sticks work nicely to tell that your body has been in a ketogenic state recently, they just aren’t the best at letting you know whether or not you’re in a ketogenic state now. I’m not totally against using them, just not as a regular means of identifying your body’s current state. They’re certainly a good starting point to try and see when you hit that keto place.

Keto Meter

There are two varieties of these: blood & breath. Both test your current state of ketosis, but are costly. The advantage of breath over blood is no skin pricking, and any diabetic will tell you that has its benefits. The breath meter will also save you in the long run, if you plan on using this daily for any duration of time. While the blood meter is initially 1/5 the cost of breath, use requires testing strips that are $35 for 10. Yikes.

Of course, if you don’t want to spring for a testing meter, you can check your body’s symptoms…

Your Pee & Poo

Yup. Get excited, you’re about to become very acquainted with your bodily functions. These are both separate indicators, but I thought I’d loop them, for fear of too many gross heading tags. You’re welcome.

The first thing I always notice when my body transitions over into ketosis is that my pee starts to smell/look different. I know that sounds weird, but bear with me. This is one of those things that is super objective, but if you pay any sort of attention to how things work down there, you may note that your urine becomes a little more viscous (almost a touch oily, for lack of a better word). Mine is always a bit less yellow, though I have no idea why. This is complete speculation, but my best guess is that your body isn’t processing carbohydrates, you might not be excreting as many b vitamins?

In terms of #2, I noticed that everything ran a lot smoother – there was a more regular schedule, and no IBS symptoms. Awesome!! This might take a little longer to notice than the above, but it’s still worth noting.

Thirst

Keto is going to make you THIRSTY. So thirsty. Crazy amounts of thirsty. This is a change I notice pretty rapidly. I usually drink a fair amount of liquids, but when in ketosis, that skyrockets up! Increased (drastically increased) thirst is one of the first things I notice in ketosis. As a response, I drink a lot more, but also try to get in electrolytes – these packets are awesome if you’re on the go, and pretty much any electrolyte-enhancing tablet/powder/beverage will do the trick.

Mouth-Feel

This is a weird one (I guess no weirder than any of the above). My mouth always seems smoother, and I notice less plaque buildup on my teeth. Not a huge deal, but certainly a nice feature. Basically, there’s no fuzziness on my teeth or in my mouth.

Overall Feeling

Again, another subjective assessment, but in my experience, you just feel different when in ketosis. I always feel like I’m a little bit lighter, and burning calories a little bit more efficiently. I’m not sure that there’s really any other way to describe it. This tends to be a general set of symptoms – I’m less hungry, my joints feel looser and everything seems a bit brighter, for lack of a better word. These general sensations, along with the above symptoms usually indicate to me that I’m solidly in fat-burning mode!

Of course, your body is different than mine, so your symptoms might be a little different, but it’s definitely worth sitting down and taking a few minutes to write down the differences in how you feel, so that you at least have a baseline!

Episode 3 – Caffeinate Better

I’m completely addicted to caffeine, and I know it. So, I’m trying to find a way to consume this little drug more responsibly! Mission accomplished? We’ll see… Below are links with information that I used in this week’s show. Enjoy! http://www.marksdailyapple.com/coffee-tea-caffeine-talk/#axzz3VnQbiX11 http://www.dailyinfographic.com/15-things-you-should-know-about-caffeine-infographic http://en.ilovecoffee.jp/posts/view/110 

Why don’t I use artificial sweeteners?

So, you’ve probably noticed that I tend to only use stevia here, and you’ve probably wondered to yourself, “why would she use a sweetener in baked goods that doesn’t mimic the texture of sugar?” Yeah, I know. Sugar does more than just sweeten: it adds […]

Episode 2 – The Eyes Have It

Eye exercises:

The first is pretty basic: every few minutes, try blinking your eyes slowly several times, or squeezing them shut to stimulate tear production. This will keep them moist, no need for drops!

The second involves eye rolling, and you can put as much or as little attitude into this as you want. Look left with just your eyeballs, and roll them upwards until you are now looking right. Now go back in the opposite direction. Do this looking down as well. This can be done around every 20 minutes while using a computer, or staring at a TV.

The third exercise just involves finding a spot that is more than 30 feet away and staring at it for 20 seconds. Then find another spot, and repeat. Next, start scanning the distance, moving to and focusing on a different spot for a second or two for about a minute. This will allow those ciliary muscles to relax! You can do this with a spot out of your window. It’s that easy, and can be done about every half hour.

Finally, give your eyes a break every hour or so by cupping your hands over your eyes, so that they are in complete darkness for a minute. This will give them a break from focusing, and will allow them to rehydrate.

See? So, in around 3 minutes for every hour of gaming you do, you can help to keep your eyesight intact, which will not only keep them sharp for gaming, but also the rest of your daily functions!

Links:

http://www.katysays.com/pumpkin-eyes-and-pelvic-floors/

http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/exercises-to-combat-computer-eyestrain.html

Healthy Gamer Girl Podcast 1: Vitamin D

I finally got around to recording the first episode of the Healthy Gamer Girl Podcast! The topic, inspired by the most recent post, is Vitamin D. What is it? What does it do? How do you get enough? Listen to find out! Here is a […]