Intermittent #Fasting, Day Two

Last night I finally bought book The Complete Guide to Fasting by Dr. Jason Fung and Jimmy Moore. I’ve been listening to Jimmy Moore’s health podcasts for some time now and he has a new podcast about fasting with his co-author, Dr. Fung.

What most people don’t know about fasting is that fasting isn’t some odd or scary thing. We do it every day when we stop eating in the evening, go to bed, and don’t eat again until morning. One form of fasting recommended in the book is the 16 hour fast, when you stop eating at dinner and don’t eat again until the next day at noon. Since human beings feel the least amount of hunger during the morning, the 16 hour fast is something many of us have done without knowing we are fasting!

I’ve actually been doing 16 hour fasts for years without thinking of it as fasting, ever since I read a health-related book which recommended skipping breakfast. In our snack-happy culture, we all need to start putting some limits on how many hours a day we are eating. (In 1970 the average person ate— meals and snacks— three times a day. Now we eat 6-7 times a day— and the diabetes and obesity rates are sky high.)

One thing that interests me about the book is that one author, Dr. Jason Fung, is a nephrologist (kidney doctor) who works with many diabetic patients. I have diabetes and kidney disease myself, and have endured a series of second-rate nephrologists who seem oriented to watching my kidneys deteriorate until I’m condemned to their dialysis clinic.

Dr. Fung seems to be giving his patients hope that their diabetes and kidney disease will get better when they follow his treatment which includes ketogenic diet and fasting. One of my nephrologists, by contrast, told me kidney disease never improves (even though mine had) and is never affected by diet changes.

Dr. Fung recommend his patients go on 3 fasts of 36 hours per week. How that works is:

Day one: stop eating after dinner

Day two: eat nothing all day, water and plain coffee and tea are allowed.

Day three: don’t eat until noon/lunch, stop eating after dinner

Day four: eat nothing all day

Day five: Don’t eat until noon/lunch, stop eating after dinner

Day six: eat nothing all day

Day seven: Don’t eat until noon/lunch.

You will notice that since day seven is followed by the next week’s day one, and so there are two eating days in a row.

DISCLAIMER: Nothing in this blog is to be construed as medical advise, and you should READ THE BOOK and pay attention to its restrictions and advice— including the advice to NOT FAST if you have certain medical conditions and CONSULT YOUR DOCTOR about your fasting.

I’m currently on Day Two of the plan about and have not eaten since 6 pm last night. It is currently nearly 1 pm and so I’ve gone 17 hours— which I’m fairly used to. Things will get tougher in a few hours, and so I have to keep drinking my water/tea regularly to prevent excessive hunger.

My writing has been adversely affected by my health problems in part because I do keep going off my ketogenic diet, and find it hard to get back on because going OFF saps my energy. Fasting, like going keto, tends to increase your energy.

I’m also hoping that the alternate-day fasting will give me extra time both for writing and for getting things done around the house, because I won’t have to be spending as much time cooking and washing dishes. I will post updates on this blog to let you know how it’s working out.

 

Getting fat people to plead guilty

It’s funny how easy it is to make a fat person plead guilty to a dietary crime. I sometimes watch this program where a weight-loss surgeon berates morbidly obese people. Somehow all his patients end up accusing themselves of ’emotional eating.’ Now, unless you count hunger as a emotion, or insist that no normal weight people take pleasure in tasty food, or that normal people don’t eat when they have reason to be down or depressed, this doesn’t make all that much sense.  But this particular doc seems to encourage a belief in ’emotional eating.’ But he’s willing to perform the surgeries anyway.

In older weight loss books the theory was that a fat person was the guy who reached for a extra slice of bread at the dinner table. To understand that, you must know that years ago, people placed a basket of bread at the table for each meal. If you ate your share of the prepared foods and were still hungry, you took a slice of bread. If you were still hungry, you took more bread. I am sure there were plenty of fat people back in that day who WEREN’T filling up on bread at every meal. But it seemed that everyone who bought a weight loss book back then was willing to plead guilty to taking that extra slice of bread. After all, most of them had taken bread at the dinner table at least once.

Fat people tend to have low self-esteem because they are told that their extra weight is caused by their own bad behavior. So they admit guilt to  whatever it is thin people or doctors accuse them of doing. But the science is not behind all these little pet theories. There is research that would indicate that the real problem that causes weight gain has to do with how an individual person metabolizes carbohydrates. If you have metabolic syndrome or insulin resistance, it’s likely you are overweight or will become overweight. If you remove the root of your problem by adopting a healthy low-carb diet as a lifelong eating plan, you will likely lose weight and feel better without the need of massive doses of ‘willpower’ to help you stick to the diet in spite of hunger— because after the first couple of days on a low-carb diet, you don’t really feel hungry.

I think it’s time that we who have weight problems stop pleading guilty to ’emotional eating’ or taking ‘extra’ bread and start realizing we have a physical, biological condition that is not our fault. Read some good books on low-carb/ketogenic diets— I’d recommend the original Atkins diet book, as well as ‘Keto Clarity’ by Jimmie Moore and ‘How I Gave Up My Low-Fat Diet and Lost 40 Pounds’ by Dana Carpender. Because berating ourselves doesn’t cure anything. Knowledge, however, when properly applied, does.

Bean sprouts as a low-carb noodle or substitute

1227160757My mother has a number of wonderful casserole recipes that she used to cook for the family regularly. (Now that she’s almost ninety, she only makes casseroles once in a great while.) My particular favorite was the tuna casserole. But since it calls for 1 1/2 to 2 cups of shell macaroni, it is not exactly a fit for my low-carb lifestyle.

I’ve tried some substitutes for the noodles. None were good except of Dreamfields, which is a good noodle but not really that low in carbs. So I’ve been making my tuna casserole with bean sprouts subbing for noodles.

The first thing I have to figure out is the amounts. The original recipe called for 2 cups of noodles. But noodles expand when you cook them, while bean sprouts shrink a bit. I made a batch with 2 cups of fresh bean sprouts and it looked like half a batch. So I think I need to use 3-4 cups of fresh sprouts.

My mother always put some tiny green peas in her tuna casserole. But I didn’t have any, and the way the fresh mung bean sprouts smelled when they were cooking made me think I had vegetables enough in the dish with the bean sprouts. I have purchased some peas for sprouting, and when they arrive I may put some pea sprouts into a future batch.

You can buy canned bean sprouts at some grocery stores. But I think it’s better to sprout your own at home. I use the Victorio brand sprouters for my salad sprouts (alfalfa, clover, broccoli & radish seed), and that’s how I made my first batch of mung bean sprouts. I put 1 and 1/2 T (tablespoons) of mung bean seed in a small jar to soak overnight— three jars, actually, one for each sprout tray I was going to ‘plant’ with mung beans.

Each of the sprout trays in the Victorio brand sprouter holds about 2 cups and is 6 inches in diameter. The sprout trays are sold 4 to a set, but you can stack them up to 10 high. I pour off each jar’s contents into a sprouting tray and let the water drain off. The fact that you stack the trays means that each tray stays moist during the day— even if you skip a watering. I left my sprouts for 2 days over Christmas and they all thrived.

You rinse your sprouts at least 2 times a day. The newer model Victorio has a green topper with drain holes (like the sprouting trays do) and so all you have to do is fill the green topper pretty full with water and it will drain down your full stack and water every level.

IMPORTANT: before you water your sprouts, check the bottom water-catching tray. It may still have water from the last time you watered sprouts! So dump the old water before you add new water to the topper. The used water has enzymes so you can use it in soup broth or put it in a water dish for your pets or chickens.

For the first day or two, check often to see that the newly ‘planted’ sprouts are getting fully watered. Sometimes the sprouts in the center get a little dry. A method I’ve seen recommended is to measure your water, making sure it is under 2 cups, and then give each sprout tray a little water individually, making sure each level gets a good watering.

Bean sprouts, like pea and lentil sprouts, are ready in 4-5 days. I wash the bean sprouts in a bowl of lukewarm water to get the green seed hulls off. The green hulls are edible and full of fiber, but most folks like the taste better with most of the hulls off.

TO COOK: I put a suitable-sized kettle on the burner with water and perhaps sea salt. Bring the water to a boil before adding your sprouts, and cook for 10 minutes. You can also steam them if you have the right equipment. The resulting cooked sprouts can substitute for noodles or rice in a casserole.

Nissa’s Tuna Casserole

3-4 cups fresh mung bean sprouts, cooked
1-2 cans of tuna (in olive oil if available), flaked
1/2 can of Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom soup
Sea salt, pepper and perhaps onion powder to taste, also 1/8 teaspoon of kelp or dulse powder/flakes if you like.
1 small can of tiny peas (optional), or one small can of mushrooms, chopped

Mix the ingredients well and place in casserole dish. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake covered for 30 minutes, covered for 5-10 minutes.

My mother used to put crushed soda crackers, moistened with milk and dotted with butter. This adds carbs so I don’t do it. I suppose I could use chopped pecans covered in melted butter for a lower-carb topping, but I don’t like to bother. It’s good enough without.

FUTURE SPROUTING IDEAS

Because my sprouting trays are pretty full, I started the new batch of noodle sprouts in a 1 quart canning jar. I used 1/4 cup of seed. Since 1/4 cup is also 3 tablespoons, I measured out 2 T of mung beans and 1 T of lentils. Lentils are great sprouters and even the brown lentils you find in a grocery store will sprout like the dickens! Plus, I once sprouted some lentils I KNEW had been in my cupboards for 10 years and they sprouted well. So adding the lentils to the mix will save some money.

Do people with Aspergers empathize too much?

AspergerSyndromeI just read an article which suggests that persons with Asperger Syndrome (like me) don’t lack empathy, but instead empathize too much and become overwhelmed by it.

This theory, if accepted, would prove to be a help for people with Aspergers. The media, once it discovered that an empathy deficit was a part of Asperger Syndrome, seems to have decided we are junior league sociopaths. NOT a good way for people to understand Aspies!

I know that in my own early life I experienced empathy for others. Even imaginary others. I could not bear to watch sitcoms where the humor came from the fact that one character lacked important information or had false information, and then proceeded to act based on that. I couldn’t laugh at a character in a situation like that. I thought it was just mean. When my parents were watching a sitcom with that kind of plot I could not stay in the room because I identified with the character that we were all supposed to be laughing at.

Here is the article, in case you are interested:

Seventh Voice: Theory finds that individuals with Asperger Syndrome don’t lack empathy

Belated Celebrate: Eyeglasses & Bette Davis Eyes

Celebrate blog hopOK, I missed Celebrate the Small Things (a blog hop) yesterday. So I’m doing it today. Because that way at least it gets done.

First thing I’m celebrating is eyeglasses. Eyeglasses that work, actually. Because my eyes recently got worse and my current eyeglasses no longer work. In fact, I have been using the lower half of my bifocals to see at a distance! And taking off my glasses for close-in work like reading or writing blog posts.

Normally to get new glasses I would have to wait to get an appointment with my Medicaid-approved eye doctor who only comes to the clinic once a week. And I’d have to get welfare glasses— I’d have to pick from a handful of cheap, crappy eyeglass frames that are so awful to wear, I didn’t wear my welfare glasses at all but my older pair which at least stayed on my face without causing pain. (The eye doctor said they couldn’t put new lenses in my old frames for some reason.)

But the next eye doctor visit I took my prescription to Walmart and found that THEY could put new lenses in my old frames so long as I paid for it. This time out, since it’s kind of an emergency and I don’t have money saved for new glasses, my mom offered to buy me glasses. So I will be able to SEE properly without holding my glasses up with my hand so I can see through the lower bifocal lens.

Another thing I’m celebrating is seeing an old movie on the TCM channel, ‘All This and Heaven, Too,’ starring Bette Davis as a governess who is arrested for complicity when her employer kills his crazy wife. It was a great story based on a novel by Rachel Field, who based her story on real life events that happened to her great-aunt.

I’m reading the novel right now. I bought it because the movie inspired a writing idea, something which is a bit of a change of direction for me. I’m not saying more about the idea right now lest I jinx it, but if all goes well, I will share more later.


Keto Diet

Last night I was making Keto Bread from the recipe book ‘The Ketogenic Cookbook’ by Jimmy Moore & Maria Emmerich. It’s really just a revision of the Diet Revolution Bread recipe from the original Atkins Diet Revolution book, with unflavored protein powder replacing the small amount of (unhealthy) soy flour in the original.

The recipes involve separating eggs and whipping up the whites. Well, in my case it also involved waiting for the hens to lay a couple more eggs so I’d have the six eggs required.

When I whipped up the eggs it did not work like it was supposed to. It didn’t get high enough and I fear a speck of egg yolk may have gotten in the whites.

What I should have done at that point was to whip out my three muffin-top pans and turned the batter into flatbread ‘slices’. They wouldn’t have been perfect but the size would have been OK. Instead, I baked in the bread pan, and the bread ‘fell’ and the middle was soggy and the bread slices I salvaged were very short.

Since the recipe calls for possibly frying the slices in butter to increase the lipid profile, the slices will be edible. I will probably eat them with cream cheese and bacon bits on them. (Yes, that’s a diet meal.) But I’m going to make another batch of bread sometime soon, God and hens willing, and then perhaps I can make some better bread— and take pictures of it for my blog readers.

Blood sugar: Last night my blood sugar was at 124. Before I went on strict keto, my blood sugars were always over 300 for about a month. (Probably why I have my current eye problem.)


0510161425This is a picture of my kitten Simon when he was younger. He’s almost as big as a full grown cat now, but he’s still nursing from his mother, Consubstantial 2, and his aunt, Consubstantial 1. He has a brother named Theodore, and a possible half-brother named Alvin. Lately, what Simon and Theodore love to do every day is run out the door and play outdoors with the big kitties.

Give me this day my daily Jimmy Moore podcast

JimmyMoore

Jimmy Moore, ketogenic diet podcaster

Right now my number one priority in my writing life is getting back on a strict ketogenic (low-carb) diet. Because I just am not able to write when my health is very bad.

My ketogenic diet changes me from a person with chronic fatigue— to the point I have to sit down and rest after the exertion of getting dressed in the morning— to a person with energy. It controls my blood sugar without drugs. It makes me less depressed and more optimistic. And it helps me with some of the issues from my autism spectrum disorder.

But when I’m off the diet, I’m hungry and also have cravings for carb foods. And I don’t have any energy for making healthy meals, so the bad diet and low energy, high blood sugar and depression goes on and on and on….

I need to get back my enthusiasm for eating healthy in order to do ANYTHING. And so I’ve resolved to begin my day by listening to a ketogenic diet podcast. And luckily there are some very good ones available from Jimmy Moore, a well-known ketogenic diet advocate who used to weigh 410 pounds.

Listening to the podcasts gives me enthusiasm for sticking to my diet. This morning after listening to one of Jimmy Moore’s podcasts, I got out my ketogenic diet recipe book and made some low-carb/ketogenic bread. It’s about .4 gram of carb per slice. I used it to make a sloppy joe sandwich for lunch just now. It was very good!

There’s another good effect to listening to a podcast. Jimmy Moore’s podcasts run about an hour. I listen using an mp3 player and so I can do household chores during that time. I got a whole batch of clothes folded and put away, and started a load of laundry, while listening to Jimmy Moore.

I feel that I have no choice but to establish better dietary habits as my #1 priority right now. Listening to the podcast first thing in the morning means I can’t do my writing first thing in the morning, or my blogging. But I’m keeping the podcast as first priority. Because it’s much harder to write when you are dead, or deathly ill, from illnesses which can be helped by ketogenic diets.

Jimmy Moore’s podcasts can be found at his blog, here: http://livinlavidalowcarb.com/blog/
He has fresh podcasts Monday-Friday with many interesting guests, many of them doctors, nutritionists or researchers.


What is a podcast?

A podcast is like a radio show, only it’s on the internet.

How do you listen to a podcast?

You go to the website that hosts or links to the podcast— like the Jimmy Moore blog listed above. On Jimmy’s blog, each post that is about a podcast gives you several options for listening. Click on the one marked ‘download.’ It will take you to another page where the podcast is playing. You can listen to the podcast on your computer.

If you have an mp3 player, you can right-click on the podcast-playing graphic and it will give you the option to ‘save audio as.’ I have a folder in my ‘music’ folder called ‘Jimmy Moore podcasts.’ That’s where I download to. From there I can put the podcast onto my mp3 player.

Riding your obsessive interests

Captain_KirkAs a person with Asperger Syndrome, I have Special Interests— obsessive/intense interests in a number of topics. My Special Interests include languages, ancient Roman history, The Walking Dead, and Star Trek.

Right now, especially Star Trek. At an intensity that’s a distraction from my writing work. Which is an on-going problem— it’s hard to plot and write the story I’m supposed to be working on when my mind is buzzing away at a Special Interest.

When I am feeling a Special Interest very intensely, it takes up more of my time. Because my Star Trek interest has been at the top of my mind lately, I’ve been rereading some of the Star Trek novels from my collection. I have a whole bookshelf that is nearly all Star Trek books. This takes up time I should be spending on writing, blogging and housework.

I’ve also been highly tempted to buy new Star Trek novels. I haven’t bought new ones in years. In part because since my father’s death in 2004 there has been no one to go to the bookstore with.  And of the two most recent Trek novels I’ve bought, one was dreadful and the other was so-so. But still, I keep looking on Amazon and sooner or later I may buy.

Special Interests can cost an Aspie a good deal of money— money we mostly don’t have since Aspies have an 80% unemployment rate. One of the tough parts of riding a Special Interest is to say ‘no’ to buying special-interest-related items when the interest is very intense. When this happens I may feel intensely like I ‘need’ certain items— and have less sales resistance to buying them even when they cost too much and I don’t have money to spare.

One thing that helps me is to rate the Special Interest that triggers the desires. A brand-new Special Interest does not warrant purchases, because the interest may fade quickly and may not recur for years. With a lifelong Special Interest such as Star Trek, a few modest purchases may be justified.

Others are harder to figure. With my interest in languages the problem is that I like to try new languages, but don’t know how interested I will be in them in the future. So I go for free audio language lessons from Book2 with a new language and tell myself when I’ve completed the lessons then I can buy something related to that language.

As a writer there is one way to keep a Special Interest from becoming a distraction— use the Special Interest that is obsessing you in the story. Herman Melville did that when he wrote Moby Dick— he gave us a lot of information about whaling and the life at sea in the book.

Of course if you are writing an Amish romance, it may be difficult to work a science fictional Special Interest into the story. Your current interest may not be something you can incorporate into the story. But you might be able to use your Special Interest as a reward when you have completed your writing quotas for the day.

Another trick might be to try to reactivate a previous Special Interest which DOES fit your story. How might you do this? Well, here’s an example: I currently have one writing project which is set in Russia. The Russian language has been one of my Special Interests, on and off, since my late teens. Doing a little work with Russian language tapes or listening to online radio from Russia might ramp up that particular Special Interest, and that might keep my interest on the story a bit more.

The worst temptation for an Aspie Writer when the Special Interest bug bites is to drop the current writing project for a new, more compatible one. I almost did that a couple of days last month, when instead of working on my current project I did some planning/outlining for a starship-based science fiction story which was compatible with my Star Trek obsession. But today my plans are to be a good girl and work on my proper project— mainly doing planning/outlining since I didn’t do quite enough of that before beginning.

Question: do you have Special Interests or other obsessions which can be a distraction from your writing/blogging? How do you cope?