Robert's Fit Blog
One Participant's Perspective
Full Disclosure: I have known and worked with Jude for over 15 years and work closely with Dr. Kurian on the RFMx technology development but the thoughts on this blog are my own, un-edited (well I will self edit ) and will be an expression of my thoughts and feelings as I walk to better health and a happier me.
Its been a little crazy in my life and I have neglected posting on this blog so I wanted to get a quick update in.
I am down about 60 lbs since January 26th and have reduced my medications by 50%! The soft tissue injury to my left foot is almost healed (I jumped the gun on getting back to normal and had a slight set back but am back on track). The biggest change that i have notived so far is in my wardobe. None of my old pants fit at all and have been replaced. Shirts are also a little big but becuase of my height and the broadness of my shoulders downsizign has not worked yet. I need to find some smaller shirts that will still accomocate my height and shoulders.
The eating plan continues to roll along though I have had a cheat or two in the last couple of months but nothing prolonged or sustained. All in all things are going good and I feel better than I have in years. Later this week I go or my quarterly labs and we will have some additional data points for my next Dr Visit next week.
Setbacks and keeping a positive mental attitude.
As the walking program started, I had a callus split on the bottom of my foot that prevented me from keeping up with the hills and drills, but I found suitable replacement training at the gym.
Although the wound has been healing the pace of healing has slowed to a crawl and this week my pediatrist decided a total contact cast is what I need to full get all pressure off the wound so it can finish healing. This is going to put my training.
This journey would not be the same without a set back or two. Dealing with the foot and an ongoing dental issue has been taxing but I am working hard to maintain a positive attitude. Live happens and most circumstances are temporary so how we react when faced with a challenge is a mark of our character. It would be easy to slide backwards and have a personal pity party but in the end that does not help solve anything and leads to eating pitfalls and that is the last thing I want to back slide on.
As they say take on one day at a time and one challenge at a time. It might sound simple but if you think about all the challenges you face in live at once then its hard to see the other side but if you keep focused on solving things one at a time there is measureable progress.
Two Months into a 2 Week Jump Start
Wow, its been two months already. That is hard to believe. Time flies when you are having fun! But really lets do a little check in with my progress:
Weight: Down 30 lbs.
Triglycerides: down from 410 to 303. Need to get them to < 150
Total Cholesterol: down from 194 to 154
· HDL CHOLESTEROL (Good Cholesterol): 31 should be > 39
· CALC LDL CHOL: 62 should be < 100
· RISK RATIO LDL/HDL: 2.01 should be < 3.55
A1C (3-month average blood sugar reading) 7 down from over 10 in December.
For most adults who have diabetes, an A1C level of 7 percent or less is a common treatment target. Lower or higher targets may be appropriate for some individuals. If your A1C level is above your target, your doctor may recommend a change in your diabetes treatment plan.
Well I am not most adults and I am working on reversing my type 2 diabetes so while the results are much better than what I was seeing prior to the jump start the work is not over.
My work now focuses on two areas what I put in my body and what take out of my body (exercise/training).
Based on the RFMx Nutrient Density Guide I am maintaining the Jump Start goal of getting all of my calories from the columns 1 and 2. There have been a couple of times when I ate something that was outside of this but it was limited and well it didn’t feel well after eating it. Funny how your tastes can change in such a short time. I keep a container of cooked beans and cooked brown rice on hand for quick meals and have some other items from our menu ready at any time. If there is one thing, I have learned is that is that convenience matters.
So, what am I eating?
Breakfast starts with a ¾ cup of beans (pinto or black) on a bed of baby spinach with 2 tbs of salsa. I follow that with 1 cup of steel cut oats or quinoa or brown rice with fruit. Breakfast is roughly 400 calories
Mid-morning snack – usual a medium sweet potato – 125 calories
Lunch can range from beans and rice over greens to a curried veggie dish over greens but is roughly another 400 calories
Afternoon snack is usually a baked oatmeal fruit bar – 100 estimated at 125 calories
Dinner is a range of backed, steamed, pressure cooked veggies with beans over greens again about 400 calories
After dinner snack is an apple (my favorite fruit) or an air friend potato (only if I didn’t have a starchy veggie with dinner)
Add it all up and my calorie intake is 1500 to 1700 calories a day.
So, what am I doing?
I was doing the RFMx Hills and Drills and hope to get back to that soon, but a pre-exiting foot problem has me on the sidelines for that for now. So, I am in the gym 5 to 6 days as week doing 10 miles a day on the stationary bike (no pressure on the ball of my foot allowed) and weight training 5 times a week. 3 days legs 2 days arms back and shoulder and then reverse it the next week. Ab crunches daily. Using and online calculator and data from my fit bit I am burring about 3500 to 4000 calories a day that is roughly a 1500 to 2000 calorie deficit a day which corresponds to about 2.5 to 3 lbs lost per week (not counting added muscle mass).
As I lose weight, I continue to add to my training regimen and will continue to tinker with my calorie intake. Ideally a moderately active to active person looking to lose weight should not incur more than the 1500 calorie deficit on a regular basic to prevent your metabolism from slowing town to conservation mode.
The Road Goes on Forever, The Party Never ends…
Its been a minute or so since my last post so let me update you all on my progress. It has been just over a month since I started the Jumpstart program and as of today, I am down 22.5 lbs. I rarely need any fast-acting or mealtime insulin. I have reduced my blood pressure medication from 40 mg of Lisinopril to 10 mg. I don’t have an instant reading cholesterol kit so I will find out about that at my next Dr. Appt in early March. Everything is looking good but……
Ok so the but… last week my weight loss stalled. I was militant about what I ate but I wasn’t counting calories but didn’t go off the reservation. I broke down and looked at what I ate and calculated that from my 3 meals a day I was only taking in about 1000 calories and maybe another 200 from snaking. 1200 Calories and being moderately active (Gym 4- 5 times a week and one outdoor functional training session) sent my body into “Conservation Mode.”
This mechanism, which is thought to have evolved as a defense against starvation, means the body becomes super-efficient at making the most of the calories it does get from food and drink. The main way it does this is to protect its fat stores and instead use lean tissue or muscle to provide it with some of the calories it needs to keep functioning. This directly leads to a loss of muscle, which in turn lowers metabolic rate so that the body needs fewer calories to keep ticking over and weight loss slows down. Of course, this is the perfect solution if you're in a famine situation. But if you're trying to lose weight, it's going to do little to help you shift those unwanted pounds.
So, for the past few days I have added more calories including a legume severing at breakfast and a mini meal snack between breakfast and my workout at noon.
So as important as reducing caloric intake is its equally important to make sure you take in enough calories to support healthy weight loss. There is a wealth of healthy recipes out there including Whole Food Plant Based and Oil Free cooking. This week I have ventured away from pinto beans and Spanish brown rice on a bed of greens (still a favorite) to some Indian Cooking including curried chick peas and saag tofu. Both of which turned out great and I will get recipes posted soon.
Hot Dog Carrots
I thoght today I would share one of my favorite recipes so far. Hot dog Carrots. Yep you read that right. Hot dogs made from carrots. No nitrates added.
8 medium carrots, peeled and skinny ends trimmed
1/4 c. low sodium vegetable broth
1/4 c. apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. maple syrup
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
1/2 tsp. Liquid Smoke
8 hot dog buns (optional)
Ketchup, for serving (optional)
Mustard, for serving (optional)
1. Add the carrots to a small roasting pan and toss with olive oil. In a small bowl, whisk together broth, vinegar, soy sauce, maple syrup, garlic powder, paprika and liquid smoke. Pour over carrots and cover pan with foil. Let sit for 30 minutes.
2. Preheat oven to 425°. Place the foil-covered baking dish in the oven and roast carrots for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and roast for another 20 minutes, until the carrots are just tender enough to stab with a fork.
Day 15: Judgement Free Results Day
Well its Day 15, the last day of the jump start program and we will see what effect this crazy eating has had on my blood work. Before we get into that I want to note that I had to miss workout day 2 of my hills and drill due to a minor foot procedure that had me in a surgical shoe and not able to put pressure on the ball of my foot.
Much like day 1 I show up fasting. I check in and wait to be called back. First, they measure my waist. Down one inch from day 1 and I have lost 12 lbs. Next blood pressure. My systolic is down from the 130s to the 110s and my diastolic is down from 90s to 80s. Still a little way to go there but going in the right direction. Now its time for my resting pulse rate. This has been ranging in the upper 90s to 100s for a while now but after two weeks of clean eating its in the low 80s. Still not ideal but again going in the right direction. Now its time for the blood work. On my first visit my fasting blood sugar was 150 (normal for Diabetics is 70 – 130 and for non-diabetics 70-100). This morning my reading was 83. This is a big change. Ill share more about this shortly. Next, we have my cholesterol panel. Total Cholesterol was at 299 on the last visit with my HDL (Good Cholesterol) at 33 and my Non- HDL Cholesterol was at 266. Target numbers are Total under 200 with LDL less than 100 and HDL 60 or higher. Today my total Cholesterol was at 194 with my Good HDL still at 33 and my non-HDL down over 100 points to 161. Again, still some work to do but a huge amount of progress from two weeks ago. Last but far from least is every Type 2 diabetics favorite (not the sarcasm) Triglycerides. Two weeks ago, my Triglycerides were over 500 and that is as high as the rapid test can go but in December my last full blood work, they were over 1000 close to 1100. Today they are down to 410. Still high but 500 is a big threshold to get past in just two weeks.
All in all I am very pleased with the results and the look on the Dr.’s face when she looked at the numbers was pretty telling. This two-week program has been so successful that Dr. Kolte has decided to see me (and other participants) as a regular patient faster that scheduled. It was going to be June before I go in as a new patient but now its going to be March. Just over a month from today. I am very interested to see what my numbers are going to be then.
The jump start program might be over but for me this is just the beginning.
Day 8: Check in time
Day 8 is here. Its check-in back at the clinic to see how we are doing on the jumpstart program. Lunch will be a pot luck style with everyone bringing in a Whole Food Plant Based item cooked to the specifications of the program. I get checked in and they take me back to the scale. In one week, I am down 5 pounds and my blood pressure and resting heart rate are both lower. Not too bad for one week. Now on to the Pot Luck Lunch.
I brought Hot Dog Carrots and there were lots of other delicious foods from an Eat Loaf (whole food veggie meat loaf), deviled potatoes, whole wheat pasta salad, Chick Pea Curry on a patty, and an assortment of Quinoa and Veggie dishes. Everything was delicious and nutritious; even the corn tortillas are good.
So, my family has asked me four main questions about this. Why am I doing this? What am I eating? Am I hungry? Is it hard? The answers are easy.
I am doing this to change the direction my health is heading. As a Type 2 Diabetic my numbers have not been good for a couple of years. Although I do not have any kids of my own, I have several nieces and nephews and grand nieces and nephews that I intend to see grow up. To put it succinctly, I am eating to live or not to die.
Pretty much any whole food, plant-based item is fair game with a few exceptions. No nuts, no seeds (except flax or chia) no olives or avocados and no oil. Eating foods as close to their natural state as possible. Brown and wild rice over white, whole wheat pasta over white pasta, small amounts (1 tbs) natural sweeteners such as agave nectar or maple syrup. No sodas, no refined sweets and baked good (cookies, cakes, pies) no animal products what so ever. Most of my diet consists of steel cut oats, fresh and frozen fruit, fresh greens, rice, beans, lentils, squash, quinoa, corn. I have a healthy portion of fresh greens at every meal. Spices make all the difference in the world.
This is the funniest questions I get. Am I always hungry? The answer is a resounding no. Do I get hungry? Of course, I do, even between meals. The difference is that I reach for a healthy snack instead of chips or nuts or breads or whatever. I am eating far more now that I was before.
Not really. The why takes are of that. There were a few days of brain fog as I detoxed from the chemicals in Coke Zero and processed food, but the rest has been easy and fun. I get to experiment in the kitchen with different foods and spices.