Weight Loss

When I bought the size 14 Levis on eBay to wear to the Tucson gem show, I was certain they would fit. But I had trouble just getting the pants up my thighs let alone around my butt. It took me five weeks of strict, low-carb dieting to get into these pants.

Here’s a picture I took on February 18 when I started my diet. You can see all the fat spilling off my stomach. I can’t believe I let myself go that far, but when you wear big, comfortable, stretchy jeans and sweats every day, it’s easy to deceive yourself. Look at that stomach!

Fat stomach too big for pants

Since I don’t own a weight scale, every few days I would try on my new Levis to gauge my progress. I wondered if I was losing any weight at all.

But one day the pants would slide a little easier up my thighs. Then they got easier to pull up around my butt. Eventually I could button them, but they were so tight there was no way I was going to wear them out.

Over time my hips felt a little smaller, my boobs weren’t falling out of my bra, my thighs weren’t so chunky, and my upper abdomen seemed smaller.

Finally, on April 2, I was able to get the jeans buttoned and wear them comfortably while sitting. In this picture you can see that my stomach has shrunk considerably. Yay!!!

Weight lost in stomach

Muscle Spasms

In the beginning I was experiencing severe muscle spasms in my rib cage despite drinking a lot of water and supplementing with magnesium and sodium, two minerals my blood test told me I was low in. The spasms subsided only after I started taking potassium with my water.

I got lazy about drinking water and a few weeks into the diet my neck started spasming and then my back. Lots of water and a little potassium ended that.

Itching

Interestingly, I itched quite a bit over my ribcage and sacrum the first few weeks, like something was being eliminated through my skin that irritated it. That’s gone.

Warm Feet

The most exciting development was the occasional warming of my feet. I’ve had cold feet since 2003. I keep a heating pad wrapped around my feet most of the winter.

While sitting on my Lazy Boy one day, I felt my cold feet become warm, as though someone had turned on the tap. I was so excited! A few times since I’ve experienced several hours of warm feet. I don’t know what’s triggering it, but I’m thrilled.

Low Carb Is Easy

I eat meat and vegetables and I am satiated. I can go until around 4 p.m. before I eat something, and some days I don’t feel like eating at all. I often suspect that I am not eating enough.

I’ve been able to keep my carbs way down, but I did reward myself with some vanilla coconut ice cream topped with frozen blueberries I picked last year.

So I’ll keep going. I have two pairs of size 10 pants I bought years ago that I want to wear. Right now, my feet are too cold. Time for the heating pad.

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I began a low-carb diet on February 18. The next day the muscles in my left ribcage went into painful spasm. I thought I might have sprained the muscles helping to free a car stuck in the snow.

The next two days I slathered myself with magnesium oil, because magnesium helps muscles relax, and it’s common that those with leaky gut are deficient in magnesium. Then I bought an 8-pound bag of Ancient Minerals Magnesium Bath Flakes, poured half in the bathtub and soaked for half an hour. The pain continued.

I searched the Internet first for symptoms of cracked ribs. Those didn’t resonate. Then I searched for “muscle spasms low-carb diet” and hit the jackpot.

Low-carbers complain mostly of leg cramps, which I didn’t experience. But I was definitely cramping. Numerous discussion boards recommended magnesium, potassium and calcium supplementation along with plenty of water.

Dr. Michael Eades, author of Protein Power: The High-Protein/Low Carbohydrate Way to Lose Weight, Feel Fit, and Boost Your Health-in Just Weeks! explains that as your insulin falls, the kidneys release water and sodium, an important electrolyte.

When sodium levels fall below a critical threshold (which can happen within a short time), symptoms often occur, the most common being fatigue, headache, cramps and postural hypotension. – Dr. Michael Eades

I’ve read that for each gram of glycogen stored, two to four grams (depending on whose post you’re reading) of water accompany it. When you burn that glycogen, your body releases that water.

The next morning I got up and drank several glasses of water salted with celtic sea salt and Nu-Salt, which is potassium chloride. I continued to apply magnesium oil to my skin and drink water throughout the day. This did the trick. My spasms subsided and I was left with just a twinge in my left ribcage.

I also dug through my freezer and found turkey bones and beef bones, and made two stock pots of bone broth, which is high in minerals. Mark Sisson has a great post on the health benefits of cooking with bones. Check out all the gelatin in my beef broth after it cools.

Gelatin in beef stock

Gelatin in beef stock

The next two mornings I awoke at 3:30 a.m. with pain so severe I couldn’t get back to sleep. If I laid on my back, each heartbeat caused the muscles to spasm. I felt like someone had strapped a steel band around my ribcage and was squeezing me. Rolling over sent sharp pains across my ribcage. I guess I’d been breathing away too much water through the night. I was miserable.

The next morning I continued drinking water with Nu-Salt and sodium and headed to the health food store for a potassium supplement. While there I felt weak, I could feel my heart doing a jig and I had trouble translating my thoughts into words: low-carb flu!

Potassium supplements contain only 99 grams of potassium, which is 3 percent of the RDA. Why so low? I know that getting too much potassium can be deadly, so I needed to know what my body’s potassium levels were.

I went to the ER of the VA hospital (I’m a veteran), explained that I was on a low-carb diet and wanted to get my electrolytes checked. They treated me like a heart patient. Don, my nurse, tried to get me to take aspirin. “No thank you.” “But your doctor ordered it.” “No thank you.” Then he wanted to hook me up to an IV, which I tried to decline. The doctor wanted to take a heart x-ray, EKG, and hook me up to a heart monitor. I declined the x-ray. I tried to tell her my issue wasn’t with my heart but with my electrolytes, but they like to play it safe.

Luck was with me in the form of a nurse who was on a juice diet and familiar with alternative health who intervened on my behalf. She saved me from the IV by telling Don I didn’t want it. Don was more inclined to listen to her than to me.

Blood tests showed that my potassium was within range but I was low in magnesium, sodium and chloride.

So I’ve been eating homemade beef soup with plenty of added sodium, I continue to apply magnesium oil to my skin, and I take two potassium pills three times per day with plenty of water throughout the day. The last two I take right before bed with a full glass of water. I am now sleeping through the night and wake up with a little muscle pain in the morning.

I haven’t been very hungry and have eaten only one meal for the past three days. I need to eat at least two meals and more vegetables, which will increase my dietary potassium.

Since I can tell when I’ve eliminated all allergens from my diet by the level of morning muscle stiffness and pain, the cramping caused by electrolyte imbalance has confounded my ability to judge this. My ankles are still stiff in the morning; my neck muscles are still tight. I need to nail down this electrolyte issue so I can get to the bottom of my food allergies.

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My Goals in Following a Low-Carb, Allergen-Free Diet

February 23, 2014 Food and Nutrition
My fat belly

In this article I outline the many changes I’d like to see in my body and life by adopting a non-allergenic, low-carb diet.

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First Three Days of My Low-Carb, Allergen-Free Diet

February 21, 2014 Food and Nutrition

My first three days of my dietary overhaul are fraught with low energy and painful muscle spasms. Can’t wait to get over this.

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I’m Your Typical Fat, Tired, Achy, Middle-aged Woman

February 17, 2014 Food and Nutrition

Tomorrow is my birthday and I’m determined to eliminate food allergens, lose weight and regain a zest for life. Keep tuned.

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Governments Out of Control

December 3, 2011 Government

Governments out of control take away obese child, consider taking low-carb kid, and prohibit a girl with a gun design on her purse to fly. Oh my!

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Is Jordan Rubin’s Beyond Organic a Scam?

October 22, 2011 Food and Nutrition

Jordan Rubin’s Beyond Organic is a multi-level marketing scam that should be avoided unless you live in Missouri.

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Monsanto Now Wants to Ruin Sweet Corn

October 18, 2011 Food and Nutrition

I received this email this morning from FRESH, and I am just disgusted. It’s not enough that Monsanto has been systematically buying up seed companies. It’s not enough that they sell most of the corn and soy bean seeds in this country filling our food supply with GMOs, but now they want to market GMO […]

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Vegetarians at Higher Risk for Eating Disorders

July 12, 2011 Food and Nutrition

Here’s an interesting article published by Hal Herzog, PhD, on the prevalence of eating disorders among vegetarians.

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Woman Fined for Growing Food in Her Front Yard

July 10, 2011 Food and Nutrition

Woman fined for growing a raised bed vegetable garden in her front yard in Oak Park, Michigan.

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