Vacationing and Recommitment

As I mentioned in my TED Talk Tuesday post, from last week, I teased a post about my vacation and food dabbling. Here it is: for most of it I stayed low-ish carb, around 50-150 carbs a day, with the exception on my last day in town.

Most mornings I had a fatty coffee with heavy cream and BHB salts. I didn’t really eat until lunch around 1-3pm. The first day we got in to California, I had my coffee after getting off the plane. After the long drive from the airport to my families house, I grabbed In & Out for the family. I had a 2×2 protein style and animal fries. Let me dissect that for anyone who does not know what any of that means. A 2×2 protein style is two burger patties and 2 slices of cheese, with tomatoes, secret sauce, onions all wrapped in lettuce, I asked for grilled instead on raw onions, and no tomatoes. Animal fries are an order fries topped with their secret sauce, grilled onions, and cheese. With all of that I accompanied it with an ice water. I may have not down keto, but I still didn’t want the high and crash I get from soda.

On the second day, a few friends and I went for pizza, there is an awesome pizza place that offered a gluten-free pizza and a cauliflower crust pizza. My wife and I were sharing, so we got the gluten-free pizza. She isn’t a big fan of the cauliflower crust. As she says, if she’s eating pizza there better be a doughy feel to the crust. This really didn’t get to me, however when we went to an ice cream shop after it wasn’t so good. I got coffee ice cream, and my wife got vanilla with a cookie dough mix-in. She didn’t finish her ice cream so she offered it to me, I took it not realizing she got the cookie dough mix-in, and it wrecked me. I will detail just how later.

The Third day, was business as usual, I mad coffee for me, and made breakfast from everyone else. I cooked up bacon, sausage, eggs and I had plain yogurt for my little guy. I gotta say, I used to choke at the stuff, but since I have been doing keto for awhile, plain yogurt actually tastes really good. We went to the beach and I had my first meal at the pier. It was another wrapped burger with half an order of sweet potato fries, my other half were stolen by my sister and son, which I didn’t mind. I also snacked on som bacon. Later that day I had dinner with a friend where I had steak fajitas, guac and sour cream. It was quite tasty!

My last day in town we I again made breakfast while sipping on my coffee. My first meal wasn’t until 2pm when we went to a Mongolian grill, I had broccoli and cabbage mixed with streak and chicken, with the sauce on the side. I added a little, but I didn’t go crazy. For dinner, we went to a place I used to frequent in high school that was known for their breadsticks. I ordered the ribs and chicken, and I had a few breadsticks, they weren’t as good as I remember them. But my goodness they were addicting, I only planned on having one, and before I knew it I had finished my fourth, that’s when I had to stop, I knew that was going to really wreck me.

The next day we spent traveling home, so aside from cooking my sons food, and making my morning coffee, I didn’t have anything until I got home and settled which was around 5pm.

Now time for what the effect the gluten had on me. Before my trip, I cannot remember the last time I had gluten since it helps me control my ADHD. I also didn’t realize how bad my ADHD was, nor did I remember just how it affected me in general. So I’ll breakdown when changes I noted.

Mentally, I was foggy headed and I found it harder to find the right words. The feeling was like I had the words on the tip of your tongue, but I could never get a grasp of them. It also seemed like I was inebriated because I would mix up works or missay a phrase which would spark frustration and laughter. My friends loved it because I added to the funny, but I was frustrated.

Physically, I was fidgety and tired yet wired. On a normal day, I can be very expressive with my movements, but this was to its extreme, it’s no wonder that I had a hard time focusing in high school. To be fair, I talk with my hands normally and I have no poker face, however, it was hard for me to tone it down. That was coupled with an upset tummy and intestinal distress served as a great reminder as to why I initially tried and decided to stay low carb, gluten free, if not strict keto.

The mental fog and occasional cramps stayed with me for the next few days. In fact, my mental clarity didn’t fully come back until a few days after I got back. The cramps were their worst when we were driving to the airplane, seriously these were worse that lady cramps. Real quick speaking of lady cramps, when I went grain and sugar-free, I have minimal cramps, and when I am fully keto I am cramp free, except if I am low on electrolytes, but when that happens it’s my fault.

So, this is what happen to me when I ended up eating some gluten. Which begs the question: what did I do to get back into keto? I am glad you asked! Well, I ate when I was hungry, I didn’t try to introduce intermittent fasting while I was keto adapting. I just focused of keeping the carbs low, and the fat high and I kept the electrolytes and water flowing. I didn’t try to go fully carnivore either, since that is how I normally eat. When I am home, I generally eat 90% meat, 5% dairy and 5% is the occasional berry or nut when I am preparing my wife or sons food, that happens once or twice a week. But that wasn’t my main focus for keto adapting. My diet For my first week I back followed this Basic Meal Breakdown, Meat, veggies (sometimes) and fat.

My goal was to keep my fat high and taper down my carbs, as I wanted them. Slowly over the rest of the week, I found myself intermittent fasting or rather intermittent feasting. I say intermittent feasting because I want to be clear that I am not calorie restricting. I am only restricting my eating time. If I normally eat 2 pounds of meat and a coffee, kombucha, and water on a non-intermittent fasting day. On a fasting day, I would eat the same amount of food, just in a shorter window of time.

As of today I am back to keto, my blood glucose is back in my normal range, and my ketones are still at good numbers. My mental clarity it back and it is amazing. My lifts at the gym are less than normal, which is expected, I am sure they will be back to normal in a week or so. Because of that I am using this time as an impromptu deload week and I am allowing my body to tell me when I need to hit the breaks. I am focusing on form and mobility, and I am not beating myself up about going off my keto course, because that’s what a lifestyle is. I am not using my workout as penance to the keto gods. On occasion we kick up our heels and enjoy some gut irritating food. When it happens, just accept it and the consequences that will insue. Don’t feel like you are a failure for eating food that doesn’t work for you, just know what you have to do to get on track.

Many of you may be asking what this transition looked like food wise, and what my meals look like now. I will give you a day and time snapshot of both of when I was adapting and today.

Adapting:

  • Breakfast, around 7-9am: fatty coffee with some bacon.
  • Lunch, around 12-1pm: lettuce wrapped burger (3 patties, 3 cheese with sauce) with water.
  • Dinner, around 5-7: steak with veggies, all cook in bacon fat or butter.

Today:

  • Breakfast at 11am: fatty coffee.
  • Lunch at 4:30pm: a pound of sliced chicken sausage, about 12 slices of pepperoni, 5 slices of bacon and water.
  • Around 5pm  I snacked on some bacon while baking it for my son.

Like I said above, today, I feel good and I am not dealing with any more gluten side effects, thank goodness! I did not include a workout, because today is my rest day, but I did mobility stuff to keep me moving. However lately my workout have consisted of 2-3 days of a full body lift day that takes about 30-45 minutes, 2 days of the week I train MMA, and the rest of the week I get exercise in the form of wrestling with my wife, play with my son, gardening, taking walks with the family, playing my Xbox Kinect, and my job, which keeps me on my feet and lifting quite a bit of weight all the time. On a daily basis I also try to stay moving and mobile, When I am not at work I try and do small consistent movements all day, I have a standing desk that I use quite often, and when I want to sit down I either do so at the kitchen table or on the floor.

I gave you a brief synopsis of my whole movement patterns because you do not need special clothes and special equipment to workout. If I do not have time to go to the gym and workout there I can just as easily do a bodyweight Tabata, go for times rounds on my punching bag, or fill a backpack with books and bearhug it to do weighted squats. Here is a link to a post I wrote that can help you get moving. Now I am off on a tangent, sorry. So that is what my workout routine.

The main part of me writing this post was not an apology for straying from the sacred path of keto (only mild sarcasm intended) but wanted to share with you that this is what a lifestyle is, like I said before, sometimes we go off course, but we are only one meal away from getting back on track. I didn’t moralize my eating and make myself feel like a fat slob for doing it. I agnologed my choice and paid the consequences in eating these foods that do not do well for me. Yes, you can kick your heels up when special events come up, which for me is generally when I go to California every other year, and maybe a day or two during the holidays. The days we indulge should be few and far between. Also with the caveat that you have been doing keto for at least a month (but ideally around 3 months) and that the deviation does not spiral you into a multi-day binge where you are left dazed and confused as to what day it is, or where you are, Hangover style. If that happens you may rethink the addition of that food even on an indulgence day.

So there it is, my deviating from keto along with my way of getting g back into the swing of things both on my trip and when I came back home.

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