The day before Thanksgiving, I had a follow-up blood panel done to see if there were any improvements from my lower carb diet. About three weeks into the lower carb protocol, I expressed my concerns to my doctor about my stomach not responding well to high-fat intake and that my blood glucose readings were often very high, even while fasting and post-exercise despite being relatively low-carb (70g/day average).
My prescription diuretic really complicates things, as some of the side effects are increased blood glucose and elevated triglycerides—both of which my doctor wanted to improve with lower carb. The higher fat in my diet was aggravating my already compromised digestion to the point it became unbearable. So my doctor suggested decreasing my fat and increasing my carbs from 70-100g/day to 100-120g/day. I increased them to about 120g most days, some days 150g and my fasting blood glucose numbers improved, but my postprandial (post-meal) numbers had higher spikes, not surprisingly. However, I finally had readings in the 90s again, which I didn’t have the entire time I was doing lower carb.
So for 6 weeks I kept my carbs in the in the 100-120g range (on average). My doctor emailed the other day to let me know she got the results and she’s comparing them to my previous set. She’ll let me know when she’s gone over them and then we’ll set up an appointment to discuss a new plan of action.
Meanwhile, we’re in the month of December now. Holidays, my birthday, etc. So, I’m not really on any prescribed planned right now, I’m self-prescribing some of my own diet modifications. Forever experimenting, you know me! After my follow-up lab work and Thanksgiving, I pretty much returned to my usual carb levels, but have remained gluten-free. I lost about 16 lbs during the weeks I lowered my carbs, but I attribute much of that to water weight. After returning to my usual levels over the past week, my glucose numbers have been about the same as they were during lower carb, but my fasting numbers have actually gone down significantly SOME days. For instance, it was 80 the other morning. But that may or may not be due to my supplement use. I’m still collecting data on that. Too soon to say. All I know is that I am on a very strong thiazide prescription and it really complicates things as far as accurate results go. On top of my unbalanced hormones, anemia, and IBS, I’m in total disarray and searching for answers. So far I’ve found that dietary fat is definitely a problem for my digestion.
While I’m waiting to see my doctor and make a new plan of action, I decided to do a low-fat high-potato diet inspired by this Potato Hack thread on MDA. The original protocol of it outlined in that forum thread says to eat nothing but potatoes (low-fat condiments OK) for 14 days with no added fat during cooking. Many people are having great weight loss success following it, and it doesn’t seem to be entirely water loss as most report keeping the weight off after resuming their normal diets. This is meant to be a short-term diet, not something to do for more than a couple of weeks at a time.
At some point this link to Mary’s Mini-McDougall Diet surfaced. It’s a variation of the all-potato diet, but adds additional low-fat foods such as rice, beans, fruits, vegetables, etc. That sounds much more livable to me, so I decided to give it a go while I sort things out. I’m doing it for the 10 days before my birthday: December 2nd to December 11th.
These are my reasons for wanting to try what will essentially be Mary’s Mini-McDougall Diet:
- I’m perpetually curious but due to my underlying medical conditions, I don’t want to miss out on any nutrients that I can’t afford to lose at this time. Hence why I am seeing if results are similar including other (naturally) low-fat foods as suggested by the Mini-McDougall protocol. Fat and added protein minimization seems to be key to the success of this short-term hack.
- I’m chronically low on potassium due to anemia and my prescription diuretic – a high potato (potassium) and other fruits + veggie diet will help improve this, and I’m curious how I will feel when I am getting as much potassium as I need. I found it very hard to get the potassium I needed while low-carb, even taking a RX-strength supplement! I believe the potassium element of this diet also contributes to its success as potassium helps regulate blood glucose.
- I have weight to spare – lots of it! Whether it’s fat or water weight, I have it to lose. I won’t miss either if I lose them.
- I just did 6 weeks of lower carbs, this will be an interesting contrast in data sets
- I love plant foods! After eating so much fats and animal products over the past 2 months, I really, really am craving fruits and vegetables. This will be a nice break for my palate.
- I’m curious as to how reducing fat in my diet will affect my digestion. I know that high fat meals cause my symptoms to increase dramatically, will I find some temporary relief being on a naturally low-fat diet for 10 days?
The world is supposed to end in a few weeks, so why the heck not.
Let me reiterate if I didn’t stress it enough: This isn’t a long-term solution to anything. This is a temporary diet that can be beneficial to people for various reasons. Fat is not the enemy! Fat is essential in our diets. It is very, very good for us. I love it. I’d be devastated if I have to avoid it indefinitely. But perhaps a short hiatus from our everyday helps to balance things out. I do believe that variety is a good thing.
My diet for the next 10 days will include: Fruits, rice, potatoes, sweet potatoes, vegetables, honey, juices, and assorted low-fat condiments, such as mustard, ketchup, A1 sauce, coconut aminos, herbs, spices, salt, black pepper, nutritional yeast, pickles, sauerkraut, and so on. Almost all vegan except for the bit of honey here and there.
Yeah. The 90s called, they want their fat-free diet back. Ha!
My first potato-centric meal today:
Gorgeous, huh? lol
- 7.2 oz roasted sweet potato, skin removed w/ yellow mustard artfully slathered on it
- 174g organic D’Anjou pear
- 3 pitted dates
It was actually pretty filling for a whopping 339 calories.
My blood glucose before and after eating this:
2:00 PM (fasting 10 hours): 104
6:30 PM (1 hour postprandial): 134
7:30 PM (2 hours postprandial): 104
8:34 PM (3 hours postprandial): 89
I started to get hungry around the 3 hour mark. So I ate:
- One small (83g) purple potato (impatient, nuked it) with a teaspoon of mustard + ketchup;
- 10 pickled asparagus spears;
- 4 Bubbie’s bread & butter pickle chips;
- 3 oz raw carrot shredded and tossed with 38g chopped dates, apple cider vinegar, and pink Himalayan salt + black pepper
Oh, and Aunt Flo is in town, and I’m always hungrier (and puffier!!) when she’s visiting, so this is extra challenging, yet not nearly as challenging as all potatoes. So props to those who go for the (Yukon) gold with that one!
I miss cheese and butter and chocolate already. lol… kidding. Kinda.
We’ll see what happens. It’s only 10 days.
And then, I turn 33 on 12-12-12! And I’ll celebrate with shellfish swimming in butta.