Tuesday, August 12, 2014

CLCA Day 31: What Have We Learned?

Well, this is the day you've dreaded or longed for (because I messed up the counting and thought yesterday was Day 29--oops), Day 31 of "Cyd's Low-Carb Adventure."

Breakfast: "Green" Smoothie with Berries, Spinach, Almond Milk, and Chia Seeds
Lunch: Turkey, Bacon, Pepper Jack, and Guacamole Sandwich on a Whole Wheat Tortilla
Snacks: Pickles, Kouign Amann Pastry (uh-oh!)
Dinner: Roasted Chicken and Mashed Cauliflower with Gravy, Corn on the Cob (an unintentionally YELLOW meal, tee hee)--pictured
Dessert: Fruit and Veggie Frozen Pop

Summary: For thirty days, I promised to be in charge of preparing meals for my roomie and BFF that were lower in carbs but still satisfying, and to keep record of the journey along the way, which I have done to the best of my ability. But to what end? The biggest goal was to regulate her blood sugar better, and whereas she used to take 200-300 units of insulin a day, she has been taking only 20 units at the most since changing her eating. That's AMAZING! Also, she has lost quite a bit of weight along the way. Most importantly, she says that, except for a few things here and there (French fries, for example), she hasn't felt hungry or deprived, and she's keen to continue these kinds of dietary changes. In general, she has felt better, too, but it's been hard to really gauge that since she is still battling a persistent intestinal infection. She sees a GI specialist this week, so we hope he will be able to help her resolve her ongoing nausea and pain.

And as for me, I have learned a lot of tricks and tips to exchange lower-carb foods for higher ones in my cooking, and that it's not about entirely eliminating carbs, but making reasonable exchanges. Just look at her meals today. Even with the decadent pastry that she had as a snack (whoops!), she came in just under her daily goal of 1800 calories (=1756), and also under her goal of 150-180 total carbs (=137), because she made better choices throughout the day. As I was discussing with another friend earlier today (who was having butter chicken for her dinner), if you have your curry over cauliflower "rice," then you can go ahead and have a piece of naan bread; you should just try to avoid having both bread AND rice!

It seems very reasonable and do-able to make your goal 80/20--sticking to your low-carb program 80% of the time, and indulging a bit more once in awhile, but no more than 20% of the time. Interestingly, though I wasn't following nearly as strict a regimen as Cyd was, eating lower-carb by default and just being more conscious of my food choices, I lost about eight pounds myself--and that's after spending a week in Maine consuming my weight in lobster rolls! Ha ha.

In short (too late), I think it was a worthy experiment, one that we wish to continue going forward, especially after she consults with the new doctor this week and gets him to, ahem, weigh in on the matter. And if you're sad to see my daily low-carb food log go away, don't fret. I will continue to post meal ideas and recipes here on my blog--just not as frequently. (I start back to school again soon, and I won't have the time to do this every single day!)

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