Weigh Your Words

I envy people who can eat whatever they want and not bear any consequences. You lot are extremely lucky! I think we are all aware that most of us don’t have that luxury. Whether it’s because of PCOS, diabetes, hyperthyroidism, cancer or whatever other reason, some of us really need to watch what we eat.

I don’t know about the rest of you but I sometimes get really annoyed by naturally skinny people – and not to be sexist, but yes, its primarily other women – waving a dismissive hand and saying something like ‘Oh, surely it isn’t as bad as all that, I don’t have to keep track of what I eat no reason you should.’ I respect that people who say things like that aren’t concerned with their own weight or size, and in all honesty that’s super for them, but the reality of this all is: you simply cannot compare one person to another. Especially not when it comes to weight, health and/or necessity.

This doesn’t just go for people not trying to lose weight mind you. This also goes for the lot of us who do watch what we eat. I may lose 2kg this fortnight while you only lose 0.5kg even if we are doing the exact same thing. Why? Because our bodies are different. My metabolism might be a little quicker than yours, I might be less further along in the weight loss than you at a point where I dot have to inrease my kj deficit yet. There are a whole range of reasons why two people may not lose weight the same way.

This is why I always get so worried when a friend tells me they’re on the latest celebrity diet because such and such lost 20kg in 6 weeks. Not only is that unhealthy and puts you at risk, it’s probably unattainable unless you’re a celebrity with time and money on hand to fix your diet. It’s also stupid. The quicker you lose weight the faster it’ll come back, which is really why you need to set yourself reasonable targets. Me, for example, I need to lose 30kg in total and I originally aimed for the steep 1 year timeframe. I’ve amended that to 1.5 years because while the initial burst of weight loss was awesome, I do nit just want to gain it all right back again and that means slowing down a little and adding in more exercise. By May next year at the latest I aim to weigh 52kg, so I’ve still got a little ways to go, but I’m nearly through.

The other type of person I have trouble with is the obese person who excuses their weight by saying ‘It’s okay, I’m healthy’ or that they’ve tried dieting and exercising but ‘it’s just too hard’ or ‘it didn’t do anything for me’. Now, its really none of my business, your weight and health don’t really affect me, but when I hear that I just want to throttle them. When I hear that I feel like my battle against obesity – and let’s be honest here, it is a battle – is being dismissed as some sort of vain attempt to conform to society. I’m being trendy, clearly. I find it rather upsetting and lately it’s been getting under my skin; I know, not very professional of me.

The truth is that Western society does seem to promote skinniness as being ultra healthy, thus the rise in eating disorders and fad diets, but on the flip side we are also plagued with obesity to such a degree that people do get dismissive about their weight. The truth is, if you are obese, you are not healthy. I’m sorry, but it’s true. Forget how much you weigh, studies are showing that increase in waist size along can lead to diabetes and other problems. I’m sick and tired of people saying ‘I can’t’, the answer may not be Low-Carb for them in particular, but there’s something out there so grow a spine and lose the extra kgs before you keel over and die. Seriously, people, your health is important! If you’re thinking about losing weight but doubt whether you can, your first step is always to say:

Yes, I can!

Clear skies (with apologies for the slight rant),
Vee

A Word About: Cortisol

Cortisol is kind of fascinating in my opinion. It’s a hormone, and its vital to managing weight loss, stress and a variety of other things, like migraines, anxiety and insomnia. Also called the ‘stress hormone’, cortisol regulates blood pressure and our body’s flee/fight mechanisms. It’s the way our bodies have evolved to deal with danger and pressure.

Back in the Stone Age, when we were running away from sabretoothed tigers and other predators – or when we were hunting them – ‘our’ bodies would flood themselves with a healthy dose of cortisol, telling our systems to consume more kilojoules so that enough energy was available to do what was needed. It would then settle down ans dissipate, leaving the bodily systems to calm down and take stock.

Sounds pretty straight forward right? It is! Unfortunately we no longer run after or from sabretooth tigers or lions or whatnot, most of us are lucky enough to go through life without ever facing life-threatening danger. (For those of you who have, I seriously salute you.) So since we’re not running for our lives or accomplishing life-defining, death-defying feats as often as we used to, our cortisol comes into play when we’re stressing out about work, school or personal matters. Whenever you feel pressured, that’s when cortisol kicks in, trying to help your system to prepare and cope for the steps you need to take to deal with that stress.

Think of it as if cortisol hasn’t quite picked up on the fact that you’re not running from a tiger, it hasn’t learned the difference between predatory danger and the panic of a deadline.

This means we’re not getting the right evolutionary release of cortisol after the fact either, it doesn’t just ‘go away’ because we’re not using it up in a burst of adrenalin-fueled running away in panic scenario, we’re just powering through it, finishing our essay or paper, and then that’s it, no outlet, no nothin’!

In the meantime, cortisol has been triggering our ‘stuff your face with everything in sight because you’re going to need the energy to fight or run away!’ instinct. This is important to realise, especially when you’re trying to control your eating with a diet: stress will make you seek out food, whether it’s comfort food or not, you are more likely to overeat when stressed out!

How can you deal with this? Well, some people like to go for a run, get the cortisol out of your system by giving it what it’s expecting. Others suggest meditation. Essentially calming yourself down to allow for your body to realise you’re not about to be attacked is a good thing!

Some people are more prone to anxiety than others for a whole variety of reasons: mineral or vitamin deficiencies, genetics, post traumatic stress, or a number of other disorders or issues. Everyone has to find their own way of dealing with stress, but trust me when I tell you that stuffing your face full of whatever you find in the fridge or pantry isn’t going to help the issue! Jump up and down, go for a run, drink camomile tea, read a book, but avoid the face-stuffing! Especially if you’re on a diet, you’ll only feel guilty and that’ll just trigger more stress, generating a vicious cycle you’ll have to break out of with some force.

Sustained levels of high cortisol can mess with your immune system, your blood pressure, and not to mention your state of mind! It can also mess with how your body absorbs nutritience and medication, so that’s something to keep in mind.

Clear skies,
Vee

Xenia Monaghan’s Baked Cauliflower

Since I’ve been so slack lately, I haven’t had the chance to stumble on awesome recipes like this one! I have a serious cauliflower gobbling problem so this is perfect for anyone else who shares my addiction!

Clear skies,
Vee

Buttoni's Low-Carb Recipes

Hungarian CauliflowerThis tasty dish may not actually be Hungarian, but it was served to my family when I was in high school by my best friend’s mother.  Her daughter, also named Peggy, and I were inseparable back them.  🙂  Mrs. Monaghan, in her 20’s, was a Hungarian ballerina in Budapest, Hungary.  She met and eventually married a US Army Officer stationed there during WWII.  They were our neighbors at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas.  I think of everything I ever ate at her house as Hungarian, although it may not have been at all. 😉  All I know is this simple dish is really tasty and ever so easy to prepare.  The flavor lingered over the years and I just had to try and reproduce this recipe.  I think I’ve come pretty close, too!  She used regular white breadcrumbs, but I have subbed in a low-carb bread for that purpose.  I may have…

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Weigh-in-Wednesday

A frustrating month of bouncing around between 61kg and 62kg puts ky weekly weighing at 61.6kg for the third day running. I’ve decided to drop the carb count back down to 20g in the hope of kick starting my ketosis. Much yayness.

Clear skies,
Vee

PS. The Cafe has been requiring a lot of focus these past few weeks so I’ve had to slow down with my posting! Never fear, I’m not gone, just slower. 😀

Low Carb and PMS

Firstly, welcome to all the new followers! Thanks for sifting through everything and tuning into LCO. 🙂

Today I want to briefly touch base with all you women out there who go through the irritation that is PMS. (Guys, clearly you don’t have to read along here, but hey, you never know when this information might come in useful to help your significant other!)

So, then: what is PMS and how might LC effect it? The first thing we should clear up before we dive into that is that not all women will ever experience PMS, some of us may suffer through some symptoms of it, while others get the full whammy. So, PMS: Pre-Menstrual Syndrome describes the symptoms prior, during, or even after a women’s monthly period arrives. Generally speaking these symptoms can include things like bloating, water retention, cravings, abdominal cramping, muscle pain, back and neck aches, headaches, gas, and/or migraines. Some of us might have all of them, others none! I tend to trade potential muscle aches for breast tenderness, no fun. Another thing many women.experience are mood swings, crankiness and depression.

Most of us assume that all this is due to hormonal swings as our body goes into its cycle. That’s not entirely accurate; hormones are certainly a piece of the puzzle, especially for women with PCOS – estrogen excess and progesterone deficiency can definitely be a factor. Other possible causes are a lack in Vitamin B6, abnormal glucose metabolism – i.e. high insulin resistance – and electrolyte misbalances. In addition, you’re more at risk of developing PMS symptoms if you smoke and/or have a BMI of over 30.

And this is where the LC comes in. Some of us may have gone to the doctor to ask about these things we go through around out period, and we might have been told that weight was a factor. So we troll the Internet and decided to try an LC diet since it seems to be the current thing to be doing. Great. Just be mindful that weight loss will initially mess around with all your internal settings, so make sure you’re taking the appropriate minerals and vitamins and keeping your electrolytes up. Cutting out foods you’ve been eating your whole life can lead to a sudden deficiency in certain essentials, so just be mindful of that.

Something else to keep an eye on is that some people appear to get worse PMS symptoms while on LC I honestly don’t know why – and I’ll try to find out, so stayed tuned!  – but it can get pretty bad. My advice is, if you’re one of these people, to up your carb count when you feel it start to get bad. If you do find that your PMS gets worse while on an LC, I would love to get your pointers and opinions.

Clear Skies,
Vee

“Pretending you didn’t eat that cookie isn’t going to change that you did, in fact, eat that cookie. Cheating is fine once in a while, but be mindful of the consequences. Lying about it, especially to yourself, is not going to get you where you want to go.”