LCHF Adventure … Food (what I ate)
As you may have read in my previous posts (1, 2) I have started living a LCHF (low carb high fat) lifestyle as a way to not only improve my health, but ultimately to get my Diabetes (type 2) under control.
Now you may have noticed that I did not call it a diet, but rather a lifestyle as I really think that this is going to be a long term thing rather than a short term diet.
After reading the Huisgenoot article I started doing research and come across a website called the “Diet Doctor“. There they have an awesome article for beginners on the LCHF program – “LCHF For Beginners“. In it they explain what you can eat a lot of, what to moderately eat, and what to avoid (go check out the full article):
Eat all you like
- Meat: Any type, including beef, pork, game meat, chicken, etc. Feel free to eat the fat on the meat as well as the skin on the chicken. If possible try to choose organic or grass fed meat.
- Fish and Shellfish: All kinds: Fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel or herring are great. Avoid breading.
- Eggs: All kinds: Boiled, fried, omelettes, etc. Preferably choose organic eggs.
- Natural Fat, High-Fat Sauces: Using butter and cream when you cook can make your food taste better and make you feel more satiated. Try a Béarnaise or Hollandaise sauce, check the ingredients or make it yourself. Coconut oil and olive oil are also good options.
- Vegetables that Grow Above Ground: All kinds of cabbage, such as cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage and Brussels sprouts. Asparagus, zucchini, eggplant, olives, spinach, mushrooms, cucumber, lettuce, avocado, onions, peppers, tomatoes etc.
- Dairy products: Always select full-fat options like real butter, cream (40% fat), sour cream, Greek/Turkish yogurt and high-fat cheeses. Be careful with regular milk and skim milk as they contain a lot of milk sugar. Avoid flavored, sugary and low-fat products.
- Nuts: Good to eat instead of candy in front of the television (preferably in moderation).
- Berries: Okay in moderation, if you are not a super strict or sensitive. Good with whipped cream.
Avoid if you can
- Sugar: The worst. Soft drinks, candy, juice, sports drinks, chocolate, cakes, buns, pastries, ice cream, breakfast cereals. Preferably avoid sweeteners as well.
- Starch: Bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, French fries, potato chips, porridge, muesli and so on. “Wholegrain products” are just less bad. Moderate amounts of root vegetables may be OK (unless you’re eating extremely low carb).
- Margarine: Industrially imitated butter with unnaturally high content of omega-6 fat. Has no health benefits, tastes bad. Statistically linked to asthma, allergies and other inflammatory diseases.
Beer: Liquid bread. Full of rapidly absorbed carbs, unfortunately.I don’t drink any alcohol, so no problem
- Fruit: Very sweet, lots of sugar. Eat once in a while. Treat fruit as a natural form of candy.
Once in a while
You decide when the time is right. Your weight loss may slow down a bit.
Alcohol: Dry wine (regular red or dry white wine), whisky, brandy, vodka and cocktails without sugar.I don’t drink alcohol so not applicable for me
- Dark chocolate: Above 70 % cocoa, preferably just a bit. (try find this WITHOUT any sugar – its like trying to find a unicorn)
Drink most days
- Coffee: Try it with full-fat cream
So using these guidelines I started eating exactly that. This is what my meal plan looked like…
05h00 – 06h30: In the mornings I would get up, go for a walk and when I came back my wife and I would have 2 fried eggs with biltong (dried meat for not South Africans) infused in them, with a slice of melted cheese on top. With a glass of water. On days that I was running late and could not eat at home, I would get 4x Fried Eggs and a Beef sausage (or two) from the canteen at work.
10h00 – 11h00: As a snack I bought 1kg of Mixed Nuts (Cashew, Macadamia, Pecan, Brazil and Almonds) which I kept in my desk drawer and would take a handful if I was peckish. Have some water (between 350ml and 500ml)
12h30 – 13h30: Depending on what the canteen was offering that day it would either have a T-Bone steak, or chicken piece or grilled line fish, with a HUGE helping of green salad (consisting of lettuce, cucumber, onion, baby tomatoes and feta cheese). Have a 500ml bottle of still water.
15h00 – 16h00: If hungry I would snack on the nuts again, with a glass of water
18h30 – 19h30: My wife would prepare supper which consisted of some sort of meat (beef, chicken, fish) and a green salad (sometimes with and sometime not with mayo on)
21h00 – bedtime: If I was feeling a craving for something “lekker” (aka “nice”) I would take a cup of Full Fat Greek Yogurt with a sachet of sweetner (and a glass of water).
And that’s how I lived.
Now you may be wondering why I kept noting my water intake. Well you see it seems that kidney stones tend to run in our family genes and the last thing that I wanted was to develop one while on this diet. Touch wood so far so good.
One of the known “side effects” of this diet may be constipation. And I will admit that in the beginning yes I did have this issue, however my wife then read somewhere that dried pears seem to help with it, so I would then add two pears in yogurt (every 3-4 nights) just to stay regular. Seems to do the trick with me!
A word of warning….
When you start this way of eating the first 3 weeks will seem like hell. You WILL suffer from withdrawal symptoms (from wheat products) and you will feel slightly more irritable also. It will feel like your body is screaming to have bowl of cereal, or slice of bread, or tiny block of chocolate. DO NOT GIVE IN! Set yourself a goal – YOU CAN DO IT!
Coming up… My medical results from the 13/02/2014…
*Disclaimer – Please note that I am merely sharing my experience and story, and I do not condone anyone stopping whatever medication that they may be on. Please see the About section for full disclaimer.