To succeed, maximize your failure rate…

I’m surprised to find I haven’t posted anything since February.  Not because we haven’t been busy, but because nothing we have tried recently has yet helped.  Juliana remains stuck at an unhealthy weight, and at risk for metabolic syndrome and type II diabetes.  Although the low carb eating plan has helped tremendously, I am convinced there is still something else going on that has been ameliorated but not eliminated by low carb eating.

In the next few posts, I will review things we’ve done that have failed.  I hope that our failures might be as informative for others as our successes.

 

Overcome obstacles with information

Every low carb eating book, article, and blog (including ours!) has a section on overcoming obstacles. Here is a sampling of some of the things that could be interfering with weight loss even when a low carb eating plan is being followed:

Food allergies or intolerances (especially dairy and wheat)
Stress or elevated cortisol levels even without stress
Poly Cystic Ovarian Disease
Yeast overgrowth
Thyroid issues
Not drinking enough water
Eating too few carbohydrates (paradoxically)
Eating too many calories overall, even if low carb calories
Medications (prescription and over-the-counter)
Inadequate nutrients to assist fat-burning (remedied by taking supplements, like l-carnitine)

In Juliana’s case, allergy medications and not drinking enough water were definite obstacles. But we’ve addressed those: she stopped taking allergy medication and instead we went to an alternative allergy practitioner who was able to clear up her mold and dust mite allergies without drugs, and she now fills and drinks several large water bottles a day, plus tea and low carb lemonade. But she is nonetheless stuck at her current weight. We tried some supplements, but didn’t notice a change. We tried eating no dairy, but didn’t notice a change. We honed in on overall calories, making sure she was eating appropriate protein and fat portions, but didn’t notice a change.

Rather than all this trial and error, wouldn’t it be great to have Information specific to your body to guide you? We just got the results of the tests Dr. Hopewell ordered for Juliana.

Lots of them were completely normal. Fasting insulin levels, cortisol levels, and thyroid function were all normal. Cholesterol was in range and most of the LDL cholesterol was the big fluffy kind. She did not show markers of Poly Cystic Ovarian Disease.

This was good and bad news. It’s good that she doesn’t have a hormonal imbalance or a thyroid problem. But it was bad because there was no smoking gun to explain her weight stall. However, there was one more set of results–the food allergy panel. Despite not having eaten gluten or wheat for 10 months, Juliana tested positive for wheat and gluten allergies. (Ordinarily food allergy reactions diminish over time when the food is not consumed). She tested positive for allergies to chicken and egg whites, and very positive for egg yolks. Since she has been eating 2 to 4 eggs every day, that could be a problem.

We are now trying an elimination eating plan where the offending foods are removed for a month. At the same time, Juliana is taking supplements to improve her gut health, since the wheat and gluten allergies may have caused leaky gut issues.

 

 

Low Carb Peanut Sauce

Low Carb Peanut Sauce

Serves 6
Prep time 5 minutes
Allergy Peanuts
Dietary Gluten Free
Meal type Condiment
Misc Child Friendly
Kids like to dip vegetables or chicken or tofu in this quick peanut sauce.

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons Unsweetened Peanut Butter
  • 2 tablespoons Rice Wine Vinegar
  • 1 clove Garlic (plump) (Finely chopped or put through a press)
  • 1/4 teaspoon Sea Salt (Finely Ground)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Hot Chili Oil
  • 2-4 tablespoons Boiling Water
  • 3 drops Liquid Stevia (Whole Foods House Brand (unflavored))
  • 1 tablespoon Chopped Cilantro ((If you like cilantro; otherwise omit))

Note

This is a very quick thai-style peanut sauce that makes a great dip for raw or cooked vegetables (try blanched snap peas) or sauce for things like chicken lettuce wraps.  It is usually made with soy sauce and sugar.  The salty soy sauce is overpowering and requires sugar to balance it.  We make it without soy sauce or sugar, and only a small amount of salt.  A few drops of stevia is all that's needed to give a slight tang to the chili oil.  It keeps well for a few days but the garlic taste gets stronger over time.  Read about stevia before you start.

Directions

Step 1 Mix together the first five ingredients.
Step 2 Add 2-4 Tablespoons of boiling water until the sauce is the consistency you like. Less if you want a thicker sauce; more if you want a thinner sauce.
Step 3 Add 3 drops of Stevia and mix well.
Step 4 Add chopped cilantro and mix.

Almond Flour Pie Crust

Almond Flour Pie Crust

Ingredients

  • 2 Cups almond flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 Squirts vanilla creme liquid stevia (Whole Foods House Brand)

Note

The kind of almond flour you use matters.  We use blanched almond flour from Honeyville Grain products.  I ran out of it recently however and found some perfectly good Bob's Red Mill almond flour in the BULK section at Whole Foods.  It was much lighter than the Bob's Red Mill almond flour in the bag and did not seem to contain the almond skins.  The Bob's Red Mill in the prepackaged bag is not good for this purpose.  Read about stevia before you start.

Directions

Step 1 Sift almond flour into a mixing bowl.
Step 2 Mix in baking soda and salt.
Step 3 Mix in stevia and eggs with a fork.
Step 4 Refrigerate until ready to use.

Low Carb Chocolate Cheesecake

Low Carb Chocolate Cheese Cake

A low carb chocolate cheesecake with an almond flour crust.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup whipping cream
  • 2oz 60% cacao chocolate
  • 3 - 8 ounce packages softened cream cheese
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla cream liquid stevia (Whole Foods House Brand)
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 recipes almond flour pie crust

Note

Use whipping (heavy) cream, NOT whipped cream.  Stir the cocoa in with a spoon first so it doesn't poof up when you turn on the mixer.  Make the almond flour pie crust first and refrigerate while you make the filling.  Read about stevia before you start.

Directions

Step 1 Preheat oven to 325°
Step 2 Heat cream and chocolate in a small saucepan, stirring constantly until chocolate is melted. Remove from heat and set aside.
Step 3 Beat cream cheese and stevia until smooth.
Step 4 Add cocoa, beat well.
Step 5 Add eggs and beat on low until just blended.
Step 6 Stir in vanilla and chocolate/whipped cream mixture.
Step 7 Use the heel of your hand to spread the pie crust in a 9" pie pan to a thickness of about 1/2 cm.
Step 8 Pour filling into pie shell.
Step 9 Bake 45-50 minutes until center is almost set.
Step 10 Allow to cool completely before serving.
Step 11 Beat cream cheese and stevia until smooth.