This is the third and final part of my 2017 Keto anniversary feature write up. Read the first part here.
Previously I discussed my overall thoughts on training, supplementation and carbohydrate refeedings. In this section I will elaborate further questions for thought:
- Fruits and Fibre – My Thoughts.
- CKD Keto for already skinny and lean – best of both worlds?
- Costings – is Keto more resourcefully affordable?
- Terminating Ketogenic interventions – two possible reasons.
- Where to from here.
You are reading someone else’s in-depth account/s upon nutritional & life intervention/s spanning across ONE YEAR (combined with comparative notes and thoughts year/s prior). This is not a light reading. Don’t like it? Then go somewhere else. Pedestrian Normalcy welcomes you back with open arms.
Fruits and Fibre – my thoughts.
My implementation of fruits and fibre intakes are heavily periodised between few, lots and (gasp!) occasionally little. The reason being from my own (unexpected) effects on taking in between such different amounts. Determining what is the most “optimal” intake; is still an ever-present challenge.
Generally, I find that the more fibre intake I consume during refeed days – the more sluggish I feel come Monday mornings and all the way to the afternoons. This I find seems more pronounced during warmer climates.
This also somewhat resonates with fruits / fructose intakes. There are days I felt convinced as simple as eating an apple on Saturday my joints felt immediately relieved after Friday’s delirious squat session. Other days? My recovery went just so-so. Then there goes the bloating inconsistencies. On some Mondays I could’ve sworn I’m a walking water tank sludge. Other days – not so much.
Dan Duchaine; as what he wrote in BODYOPUS strongly believes the human liver can only accomodate 30 grams worth of fructose. Consider that a small pink lady apple (approx 80g) already constitutes as much as 9.5 grams of fructose.
Does this mean we should all abstain from fruits on refeeds? This remains somewhat a tough question which I don’t think there is a universally “tough” or “reliable” enough answer in return to justify any “correctness”.
Fibre – how “rough” do you actually need it?
Our current institutionalised perception of “Fibre” as I have written in my book; is unfortunately in my opinion (and thus far physiological + metabolic interpretations) – a bandwagon-biased, red-herring.
For obvious space reasons, I will not debate my thoughts on it. There are convincing arguments for and against their relevance to human nutrition; if somewhat the opposing former offered somewhat of an interesting yet dare I say it – compelling argument/s.
My experiences with HIGH vs LOW fibre intake during refeeds and SKD days are interestingly met with both pros and cons. Do I consider Fibre a “nutrient”? No. Do I consider it a “supplement” then to any existing human diet? Yes.
But How “essential” is it for such a supplement? I’d say not by any means of it as “Ultra-Mega-Hyper-Crucially-Every-Meal-Every-Minute/Hour-Of-My-Lifetime-Thus-Far” – “essential”.
Here are such sample “repercussions”; from me having religiously (or should I say “Institutionally”) maintaining a high fibre intakes (both insoluble and soluble forms). From very bad flatulence/gas (lingering for days on end even after up to three days of SKD <35g of carbs reentry), to (surprise!) quite bad constipation, to mind-numbness / tiredness, sluggishness. And get this….mineral depletion symptoms (to think that my second year of Keto I’d be immune…). Particularly if I were to implement psyllium husks; I feel more as though as something is just “sitting” there. Rather than how I usually would expect my body to actually use everything I chew to some metabolic use.
I can see how people are attracted to Fibre as nothing more than roughage “brute-force” cleanse. But how “regularly-rough” do you want your “food”? Well, I’ll leave it to this old adage – “If it bleeds, we can kill it. “
If I could possibly offer sound advice (hopefully without me getting slapped by a vegan) – IF your bowel movement episodes felt too warm or somewhat painfully burning – then perhaps consider reducing or stop fibre intake. Begin periodizing on/off heavy/small/none fibres ON TOP of your existing vegetable intakes. Take note how you feel. That’s all I’m advising.
Does this mean I rule all fibre out completely? Absolutely not. I feel that current findings surrounding their role on short-chain-fatty acids nevertheless are still conducive to colon health. But in what optimal amounts? This likely remains to be a difficult, ensuing task as no one optimal intake is consistent from one circumstance to the next. In the meantime? – Cauliflowers, cabbage, baby spinach absolutely remains on all my plates.
Is CKD the best of both worlds (carbs + fat mobilisation) for all skinny-fats?
In my “opinion”, both yes and no.
This answer is not meant to be “cut and dry” nor is it a black or white take-home message.
In other words, it all depends on how you interpret “Yes” as an agreeable experiences coinciding your’s circumstances towards my opinionated end of metabolic interpretation at this point thus far. However taking into account also; against other possible “No’s”; as a list of detrimental incompatibilities or insufficiencies yet to be defined / scrutinised to your existing circumstances. Be that as it may – across financial, sociological (cultural/obligatory ecosystems), and obviously – your existing metabolic & physiological conditionings profiling and of all – intuitions.
Hence, I will raise further questions below as means of readdressing and breaking the above into additional food for thoughts.
“How long have you; in your LIFETIME thus far – has ever persisted on a Standard Ketogenic intervention?”
Only a few days? Forget it. A mere week? Not enough. A month? Arguably not enough. Or Several months? Now we’re getting somewhere.
As much as Ketogenic intervention is now widely recognised (though sadly not yet in my most isolated city of the world) – they are nevertheless NOT lightly recreational. Nor are they a whimsical curiosity once-in-a-while moments and back out again. One week of SKD is NOT enough for you to fully understand every implications of changing a dietary regiment (ANY regiment) upon your daily living implications. It would ideally be at least two months combined with resistance training; which I will explain more below as my next following question down below.
If you have not fully understood every effects of low (<100), very low (<75 to <50) or theraupeutically Ketogenic (<25) carbohydrate grammage restrictions per day for less than a month straight; without ever touching a gram of starch or a gram of rice, then I am afraid that CKD is UNLIKELY yet to be a solution for you.
The reason being for this (seemingly forever) long timeframe is important because of you are strongly encouraged to self-enforce your own understanding of the above effects; should they arise. What to do if you have chest tightness, cramps, muscle tightness, lightheadedness? Magnesium citrates, Zinc and/or (start at a tiny level) of potassium / cream of tartare in your Apple Cider Vinegar drink. What to do if you feel bloated after meals? Consider digestive enzymes / betaine HCLs + Pepsin; this in my opinion is conducive to all digestive functions anyway irrespective of dietary regiments.
This period therefore; consisting of weeks, or even month/s – are a series of constant revisions and re-evaluations for transitioning yourself to change your perception of food; to all aspects of everyday living.
Have you done any sort of weight training before? Can you keep yourself motivated towards your own self-authenticity?
Regular exercise or training is conducive to overall health regardless whether Ketogenic or non-ketogenic dietary subscription.
Cycling in between heavy carbohydrates to fat mobilisations period/s; when it is done self-sensibly right upon the individual’s physiological and metabolic intuitions – will likely becomes an inevitable, intermittent necessity. Especially given if the trainees are already somewhat inherently lean. I cannot speak for endurance athletes, as I can only speak from my experience as an individual, non-expert enthusiast.
For those who are entirely new to weight training – I’d most likely advise not even contemplating immediately towards commencing any Ketogenic interventions at all.
Rather, concentrate on committing to the daily regiment of tracking your food/resource/calorie consumption, how much food you’ve purchased, and in what training intensity and/or lengths you can handle from day one to the next. Unfortunately this article has no space for a counselling session. I’d wager that the ultimate goal here – is for you to understand yourself first – your early potentials first – over how you handle and tolerate carbohydrates in general throughout your day to day regiment in conjunction to your training and exercise lifestyle…And obviously a journalling on how your body composition reacts to all of this.
Next, be wary of institutionalised weight training paradigms of lifting “heavy”. If I were to reconcile my entire training history (of twelve years starting from lifting 5kg bells in a public toilet) – I am a living proof that lifting as “heaviest-as-you-can-under-short amount-of-time” each and every day – is excessively an institutionalised – egoistic gospel. Challenge yourself however you must, but do whatever exercises in however amounts just necessary to achieve efforts that you are happy, PRODUCTIVE (most important) and sensibly – safe from one day to the next.
“Bodybuilders”, or “Fitness Competitors” are only cultural, pejorative labellings. If you’re already in fear of being labelled as one; then you are already in a state of submissive inaction. Start anywhere. Go from there.
The similarity between a horse and a donkey is that they both finish at “Life’s” race at different speeds. All things die; at different speeds. If it took me twelve years to only able to do 6×5 ATG limited-rest squats at 100% of my own body weight then I am happy with it. I find no need to envy anyone else who deadlifts 350 pounds+ compromising their backs or squatting 500+ pounds only turning it to a good-morning exercise. I’ve seen them lots, yet I do not need to name “names”.
Are you willing to take further supplementations? Are you willing to interpret chaos as progress?
Every “diet” is both sufficient AND deficient. My argument that Ketogenic is hardly recreational can seem rather fervent and intense. But I am simply reconciling what reality and survival feels like. Scarcity is imminent. If you cannot handle all of this, Ketogenic intervention is NOT FOR YOU.
Once you are in this paradigm, you are in it for commitment and exploration resiliently over redefining what you can and as well as what you cannot do. I dare say that in ways more than one – EVERYONE WILL NEED to supplement further micro-nutrient needs regardless of their dietary subscription; all to sensibly advance their own curious potentials.
I’ve said this before and I will say this again. The word “healthy” is infinitely idealistic, misintepretively unicornian and institutionalised – bullsh*t.
No matter what or how you use that term. It is both dismissive and insidious because being “healthy” – largely constitutes only as an end-observational-result. Rather than acknowledging the chaotic, insidious processes to get to this one same linear and static – outcome.
All forms of life goes inevitably through some sort of processes. Can you “freeze” a process? No. perhaps save that for cryostasis if you have big bucks. Any “process” is never a static event. A process always invariably involves constant re-evaluations from one dependant element upon another. Any “process” therefore – requires re-prioritisation and utilisation of existing resources and leverages. Be it existing liver + muscle glycogens, existing ketones, mineral retentions, vitamin profiles, hormones, list goes on. …Yup also how deep your pockets go in deciding whether to repair your car or that dinner.
Hence, everything of life will invariably at some stage be met with eventual leverage scarcities. Supplementations therefore – help supplement our needs against these scarcities by providing a temporary cover for ongoing deficiencies and uncertainties.
Eating whole foods therefore alone without any further supplementation, is not enough to sustain any “Life”.
Pardon my nihilism, but it’s not unusual that mother nature will at some stage, in one way or another – wants us all to die. It’s called the effects of aging. Just as there are anti-nutrient in (gasp!) supposedly-“healthy” beans; or whether that’d be our slow and degrading – our insulin sensitivity and/or reduction of our betaine HCL /Pepsin capacity to digest food.
Are you trying to gain weight whollistically?
If yes, then CKD may NOT be the best “permanent” solution. Think of it as a ritual to augment your metabolic, hormonal and cognitive – discipline/s. You are teaching your body how to survive and how to react – in times of scarcity and abundance.
Assuming if you are really (already) lean and in that you are aiming to gain overall weight or “mass” – in many ways for practicality, and speaking based on my experience – I’d say cyclical ketogenic IS NOT suitable enough for this goal.
I in many ways concur with Lyle Mcdonald’s thoughts as per his first written book “The Ketogenic Diet”; that not even CKD as an overall program or strategy; might be enough to raise sufficient calorie intakes for optimal weight gain. I will also to add to that from a digestive practical context that it is very difficult from my experience to eat on a surplus WITHOUT considering additional digestive support, particularly Betaine HCL + Pepsins.
Not to mention also, financial context for you to inevitably supplement with much more needed – digestive enzymes. Obviously also, more costings for acquiring more food. Snacking on almonds, macadamia nuts and brie cheese forcibly asks you to churning out at least $70 per week. Unless if you earn a comfortable AUD$65,000+ per annum before taxation – you’d need to have at the very least $100+ discretionary spending per week all to yourself.
My experiences dictate that if I want to gain weight, I MUST feel some sort of internal “incentive”. That incentive is simply as we all know it – is hunger. Otherwise, forcibly eating when you are not hungry (especially during SKD portion regiment) to me is evolutionarily non-sensical, counter-intuitive and futilely dangerous to a human digestive capacity.
The question then now also becomes, how often will you be hungry enough of a response to eat again and again? To repeat the next day? And the next? Sooner or later I can tell you thing – eating fats and proteins overtime, is no joke of a task for all endocrine and liver systems to cope.
This would largely requires secreting enough insulin at some stage amidst such goal of simply just that – “to gain weight”. I can speculate however that you can do this by raising protein intakes whilst also keeping your carbohydrates low and fats high. Periodizations between low and high intakes; then becomes necessary as you analyse and assess – your overall body composition week to week. As well as how you feel.
I’d wager, that in the long run your “mass-gain standard keto program” will falter as energy balance / expenditure laws will take over. Even if you DO NOT exercise on top, you will feel increasingly hesitant to eat your next normal feature meal or may even feel extremely agitated, fidgety or even restless; should you self-force yourself to skip training (no matter how painful) for an entire day all just to “gain weight”.
Weekly Costs of Resources & Meal prepping.
Is a Ketogenic intervention cheaper or more expensive than a low-fat regiment? This is a tough one. Again, let us think pragmatically.
If you love lavishly written $50-list-ingredients per “RECIPE” food-porn-fetishes, then absolutely yes – you will only swallow your wallet faster than actually chewing your own food.
One critical proxy (as well as catalyst) that always remained towards any positivity outcomes of sustenance, fitness or wellness – is money. I don’t care how or in what manner of disagreements you or all readers may throw at me. What matters is your socio-structural degree of accessibility to qualitative resources. You or your parents, as well as your grands’ prior to your current generations; would have likely had histories of immoralities, vices, infidelity, mistrusts, violence, fights, thefts, deceptions and lies – just to survive on procuring food (and therefore – resources) on the table.
I am a living proof of sustaining just above a poverty line. And I managed to do it all within SKD Ketogenic parameters as well as leaving carbohydrate supplies for all 48 hour refeeds ably saved for multiple weekends. $50 (or if I’m REALLY rich – $60) per week to me is what I consider lavish. $30 is my absolute pauper minimum. $40 is my pragmatic but still struggling – average.
A shot above shows you an exact total overall weekly purchase made on December 14th, 2017; across FIVE (5) shop outlets, out from just under $40 CKD budget. Within about two and half hours worth of work. Specifically within the day (14th December 2017) and timeframe of this image/photographic shoot I am still going through and rely upon last week’s residual <$40 resources and supplies such as:
- (Bought One week ago) still one more 12x 600g eggs to go.
- (Bought THREE & HALF WEEKS AGO) Approx. 150ML left of Extra Virgin Olive Oil left overs.
- (Bought One week ago) approx 350ML egg whites to go.
- (Bought One & half weeks ago) approx 400g left overs of flax/linseed meal to go.
- (Bought One and half weeks ago) 2x smaller cauliflower heads left overs. I initially bought four as marked-down specials @ 30 cents each.
- (Bought THREE WEEKS AGO) approx 400g of 4kg bulk potatoes purchase left overs.
- (Bought TWO weeks ago) approx. 350g of cabbage head leftover.
- (Bought One week ago) approx. 450g of quick oats left overs.
- (Bought One and half weeks ago) approx 300g cut grey pumpkin left over.
- (Bought One and half weeks ago) approx 350ml heavy cream left overs.
- (Bought One and half weeks ago) Frozen mixed berries (for my protein fluff about 10 grams used per serve).
Consider this – an average Australian wastes/discards ONE (1) in every five (5) food grocery bags bought in any given moment of purchase. That could be every day. Three days. Or even several hours; at a time.
….Yet we hear Joes and Janes complaining about they can’t eat “well”.
For goodness F*ck.
Cooking, meal prepping and stress.
What are my thoughts so far on meal prepping on LCHF / Keto? I would say it’s still a 50/50 even pros and cons when it comes prepping each and every meal/s be it on-demand as well as preparatory regiments.
The bulk of all my meal preparation gravitated towards LESS panfrying galore in the kitchen. Whilst I still somewhat rely on my $80+ stainless steel to fry beef minces (which I then also drain its’ excess poly unsat fats with boiling water); MORE OFTEN THAN NOT – I have been reliant on using the OVEN more instead. That includes baking/cooking organ meats, chicken breasts / lean meats, manual-filleted tilapias, pea / whey protein slices / bulk breakfast linseed + (periodical) pysllium breads.
Regardless of dietary choices (ketogenic or non ketogenic) you cannot ignore that exogenous stress are both cumulutive and ubiqutious in everyday pedestrian living. Watch and monitor your every surroundings for such predipositions. From the minutes to hours you spend in the kitchen; how you prep dozens of tupperwares, bulk batch baking/frying/cooking meats, breakfasts, lunches and dinners – these are all additional potentiators / markers to stress.
The air you breathe determines how your every system interacts and relies from one to another. Lingering aroma from that panfried meats, garlic and onions, etc all equate unfinished businesses and thus unmitigated stressors.
Upon any given day, there must be an allocated time for one to embrace serene solitary moment; away from any source of environmental distractions related with food preparation. That includes the kitchen, the utensils and the (excessive) smoke from cooking too much steaks for days on end. Try sleeping when your entire room is covered / odoured with vapours of panfried oils for DAYS to come.
If for the next couple of hours I do wish only to concentrate on my work or to abstain/rest AWAY from work, then all primal sense factors (smell being a significant portion) – should be channelled undistracted and undivided to such intents. Plain and simple.
Ending a Ketogenic intervention – two possible reasons.
Very few professionals within our circles of sensationalism today; be it “nutritionists” or “dieticians” rarely if ever actually discuss upon how or when or why – should one seriously consider how to cease being a practising a specific paradigm of eating, nutritional intervention, or simply “diet” – in one way or another.
Should a “Diet” become a permanent law of “Correctness”? Once again, I do not think so. Correctness is both a societal and a speculative – epidemiological hypothesis. NOT an individual one. I dare say even, that “correctness” is nothing but a form of Religion. In and of itself. For “Re” = a repeat or a pattern. And “Legion” – soldiers or cavalry for moral supremacy and righteousness crusades.
For injury rehabilitation / recovery – both metabolic and physiological.
The first of two reasons here is perhaps the most obvious. I have stated this in my prior article (What I actually eat Winter Edition) that in the event of any serious injury – it makes not a single evolutionary nor physiological sense for any species to continue surviving in a caloric deficit COMBINED with macro-nutrient elimination.
If you still think we are hardy as rocks; that is pragmatically destructive. You can however, argue that even as simple as fasting itself is a process of autophagy; an automatic reliance of self-healing.
But does that mean you can still continue exercising whilst being injured AND fasted? Without supplementation? Feel free to try “adapting” to overtraining.
The body should expects its metabolic physiology and instinct to receive whatever abundance of resources and calorie intake; for it to then sufficiently assimilate for its most intended purpose. That is – towards tissue regeneration and hormonal redirection towards this recovery and rehabilitation processes. Insulin; yes, the evil “bastard” hormone, the “demon” child or the “heinous, fat-storing” criminal partner next to Leptin – remains key nevertheless towards rechanelling the body’s metabolism towards this purpose.
The above; as per what I have felt – defenitely legitimises this need to suspend the Ketogenic intervention altogether. Only then I will resume SKD once reasonable mobility are reasonably achieved. But even then – fitness training regiments WILL LIKELY have to be lessened in overall volume/productivity and intensity to cater towards mobility rehabilitation.
Self-rationalising prophecy reason/s.
Are you “content” enough with what you can do? Then this second and last reason may seem only optional to you.
If you are not content, perhaps take this time to remark and reflect philosophically; over we what have done so far onto our bodies. What we have achieved as a “discipline” upon the face or event – of “uncertainties”. Is there a right or wrong way on how we should sustain this element of “discipline”? That – I don’t know.
There are two sides of every coin. The Yin as well as the Yang. Active and Passive forces. Thus, it’s time for us to question our own Lives. As however we currently perceive them at their current progress of Active against Passive forces. All in the pursuit and interest – for “change” or “maintain”.
- Should “life” be a disciplined linearity to “change”?
No. Because any belief of “correctness” is inherently institutionalised. All institutions carry code of beliefs or practises which are egoistically FIXED, unchanged, and politically immutable to changes of opinions. All without respect for individuality.
- Should “life” therefore, be a mosaic of chaotic uncertainty?
Somewhat yes and no.
- “Yes” – chaos provides texture throughout our human civilisation; whether we like it or not. Agreements & disagreements whether we like it or not. In order for “light” to be perceived as “brightness”, it must have “shadow” as an active reaction.
- “No” – chaos and uncertainty destroys and undo rational cooperation, coordination, altruism and order. “Order” brings hopeful simplicity to any or all – disordered chaos. Some passiveness and submission from a citizen of any civilisation; therefore seems inevitable for any “Order/s” to take form. Whether we like it or not in other words – sacrifices are imminent in all equations of intent for change. Order is synonym for maintenance.
…Now, let us replace the word “Life” with “Diet”.
- Should “Diet” be a disciplined linearity to “change”?
No. “Diet” only assumes that something; either a portion of macro or micronutrient – is either mediated or removed from any perceived excess. Any law or rule of “correctness” that say or believe that to do this way or that way as a dietary “intervention” – is, once again – inherently institutionalised and still open to flaws upon individual reception of self-metabolic intuition. Institutions are leveraged from statistical and economical correctness; rather than biological respect of diversity and individual empathy.
- Should “Diet” therefore, be a mosaic of chaotic uncertainty?
Somewhat yes and no.
- “Yes” – chaos is a synonym for a complexity of active “choices”. we are living in an age of abundant choices; so much so chaotically. Yet our degrees of accessibility to such choices are never yet abundant. As soon as we are granted the opportunity of choices – it is overwhelmingly confusing having heard arguments from one side against another; coercing us to choose one but not the other. What lies as a positivity here beneath all of this competition; remains simply back to you and your mind only. In that you – have a choice to start or continue on PASSIVELY somewhere else. Starting somewhere is at least a start in and of its own self to progress for the understanding of life that much more progressively. All towards “change”.
- “No” – chaos and uncertainty is sadly an antonym (as in “against”) certainty and confidence. It is a lot easier to maintain one’s overall state than it is changing them. It is all question of confidence to decide whether to stay or revise. Without confidence, one is less active in making an informed decision for his or herself; and thus remains more or less passively indoctrinated, unchanged and of all – uncurious of ingenuity and self-authenticity.
All the above is largely an open-ended question; that asks upon how much more “Yes’s” you convincingly agree to; in relative to also how much “No’s” you are convinced likewise surrounding how why or when – Discipline-as-linearity must either be abolished, or maintained/preserved. Tally these up and let each and every factor adds up to help you determine your decision making whether to end, to continue, or to start – a Cyclical Ketogenic intervention.
All this may seem abstract and arbitrarily conflicting; because that ironically – is essentially what compartmentalised the entire realm of what Decision-Making truly is.
You are your own interpretive universe. Me? I can’t tell you what to do. Why? I am my own proof-of-burden for my own interpretive universe. Your universe then, shall vary.
Conclusion / where to from here?
There is much further things for me to learn.
But one thing remains as certain. “Do what works for you” mantra still, it seems – remain as the pragmatic take home message in all of this. If the conservative method does not seem or feel intuitive to you, then by all means – CKD as a dietary protocol remains open for individualised scrutiny, readjustments and reevaluations – overtime.
But for how long and persistent would this go for? That I cannot say. I know for sure that at the very least CKD; even with weekly hypercaloric refeeds still remains just simply that – a dietary intervention. Intervention assumes that something of a factor, a reason, or rational, or condition (in my case – socio-structural / economical / financial) – is hopefully temporary.
I am yet to practise other forms of whollistic interventions, such one being under my radar of curiosity for many months since the writing of Version 1.4 of my manuscript to today – is Intermittent Fasting. I have a hunch this will proves some metabolic relevance to my needs one day; as my uncertainties for attaining enough financial means of accessing wholesome nutrition; becomes more and more undeniably – limited.
The feeling of uncertainty of resources to rely upon my own bodily reserves of energy for Survivalism after all indeed remains unchanged as simply that – a state of survival. It is neither detrimental nor beneficial as it concerns one scenario and one situation only – “What can I do in times of resource scarcities?”
My thoughts; thus on Ketogenic interventions so far on this year of 2017 remains more or less resiliently accepted on my part and end of metabolic physiology as it is.