04 March 2015

My Keto Experiment

My Mum has always been into homeopathy and self remedies. She is the type of person that gets really excited about a new diet or concept and will jump on the band wagon. She will often try to encourage us (her kids) to follow suit. I have been with her during the Atkins phase, my siblings did the Cabbage Soup diet with her, and now she has been really excited about the Ketogenic diet. 

Mum got me to read Maria Emmerich's book called Keto Adapted. After a few pages, I was shocked. She talked about how fat is not the enemy, sugar is. She is very good at explaining how your body works and what does what so after the first couple of chapters, I found myself repulsed my ice cream and chocolate, where as I would usually crave those sorts of things. I went to the supermarket one day to have a look at where sugar was hiding in our foods. It was in everything. From bacon, to salad dressings, to baby food. To be honest I was kind of afraid. Sure some sugar couldn't been that bad for us right? But at the rate at which we eat sugar, it's dangerous and can lead to fatal disease. One fact that I didn't know before was that cancer feeds off sugar, yet in the hospitals, they basically feed us sugar. Carbohydrates are also sugar in a different form. Once it enters our system, our body recognizes it as sugar. There are two types of fuels that our body burns. Sugar and fat. Most of us are all sugar burners and constantly needs to top up that sugar because our bodies can't store it for long. This leads to craving and snacking etc. Fat on the other hand burns for longer and is way more abundant. Coconut oil is an example of a really good healthy fat. The health benefits of coconut oil are pretty impressive. The one that surprised me the most was a alternative health care method called Oil Pulling. Basically, your teeth are porous and by swishing around a couple tablespoons of coconut oil in your mouth for 20 minutes each day, you can literally pull all the bad bacteria and build up out from your teeth. Bye-bye dentist, hello oil pulling!

I have done a wee experiment to see how I feel when I am off and on sugar, but more especially to see if my migraines disappear. For four days I quit sugar cold turkey. This included fruit and carbs. Anything sweet was off the menu. I'm not gonna lie, it was hard at first. I wasn't well equipped enough with almond flour and Swerve sugar to do much. What I did look forward to though was butter. Butter is considered a good fat and so I fried just about everything in it. It was nice to have the guilt taken away and to enjoy the delicious flavour of butter for once without thinking of gaining weight! I got used to it after the first day and fell into a routine. After Day 1, I lost 2 kgs! Wooooow, I was in awe. I wasn't expecting results that fast! That definitely motivated me to keep going. The next 3 days were easier and I lost another 2 kgs. 4 kgs in 4 days was something! One the first day I noticed that my body was always warm and I felt really energetic and alive. The second day I felt not as energetic but my body felt less jiggly. On the third day, I didn't crave sweets at all but had a dry mouth and itchy eyes. On the fourth day my body felt really slim and I liked that but I still had unusually itchy eyes. My milk supply also decreased a lot and so I decided to come off the diet and wait until I had weaned Aila off the boob.

That was about a month ago and I am back to burning sugar. I noticed that when I came from no sugar to sugar that the taste of sugar was really sweet! Sweeter than usual which is probably what you would expect. But then again, that would mean that we have slowly become accustomed to sweeter foods to the point that regular sweet was no longer sweet. I remember having Japanese donuts from the donut shop, Mister Donut. My first mouthful was really bland and I couldn't believe that this was allowed to be called a donut. I asked my husband, "Do they not add sugar to donuts in Japan?" Of course they do, but not the same amount that other countries do to theres. After getting accustomed to the Japanese level of sweet, a new Krispy Kreme joint opened up not far from us. We decided to go and get us a treat and boy was it something. I could barely finish it! Did I use to think this was "normal sweet"? It was wayyyy too sweet for me. Just think that instances like this are happening everywhere! Sugar has consumed our lives and we depend on it like a drug. Since being back on sugar, my migraines have come back, I feel bloated and flabby, and I am always craving something sweet. I am sure you have noticed with my recent posts. I am always wanting ice cream, chocolate or cookies. Not long ago a documentary about sugar came out in theaters called "Fed Up." I haven't seen it as I don't have access to it being in Japan, but I would love to! I am happy that people are trying to get people to see the truth about our food standards and the food industry.

For now I am struggling with sugar. It is hard because I always want it. It is an addiction that my body needs. I know that I shouldn't but I do. This past week has been especially hard. I can't control my eating habits. It really is like a drug! I think that all this sugar has weakened my immune system because now I am sick. I feel terrible on the inside. I really want to kick the habit. I hope that one day I can be sugar free or at least be able to eat it within moderation.

I am sick of feeling sick inside. I want to feel energetic and lively again! Cutting sugar completely out of mine and my family's life isn't practical right now. I mean, I live in Japan where rice is the staple. Rice and noodles. And they also don't readily supply foods that you need to survive if you completely cut out all sugar/carbs, like almond flour.

I have decided that for now, I will not eat any processed foods where sugar resides. I will only consume foods that have natural occurring sugars and will go from there. I feel that if I quit sugar altogether, I am bound to lapse so I'm taking it one step at a time!

Here's hoping I find some sort or balance!

Toddler Photo Challenge!

For my August Mums group on Facebook, I decided that it might be an idea to do an weekly photo challenge of our kids so that we can all keep up-to-date with our kids development. They are all Kiwi mums and had their babies in August 2011, making their kids all Reia's age. Even though I don't know these women personally, they have been such a help and support for me while I have been over here in Japan!

Here are the shots:

1. With Mummy

2. Bath time

3. Shopping trolley shot

4. At the park

5. Eating

6. Caught being naughty

7. Sleeping

8. Reading a book

9. Crying

10. With her favourite toy

11. Secretly take a photo of them doing something without them knowing

12. Holding hands with someone

13. Laughing

14. Hugging someone. Or tackle in this case. 

16. Playing dress ups (Queen Elsa)

17. Helping with a chore

All pics from 2014