Feb 28, 2018

Zero Carb - Month 2

So I am at the end of month 2 of Zero Carb. My diet hasn't change much. I continue to be very strict about my intake. My only transgressions are coffee (plant-based), the infrequent Diet Coke (?-based), and some olive oil (plant-based) in the sardines I eat. I still mainly eat steaks and ground beef but I try to pepper my diet weekly with liver, oysters, sardines and other odd things. I didn't mention last time that I also supplement with a few things. Electrolytes (magnesium, calcium, potassium & sodium via salt) as well as cod liver oil (omega 3 source), Vitamins D3 and K2, as well as a multi-vitamin concoction I make consisting of thiamine, folic acid, L-arginine, L-carnitine, L-citrulline, co-enzyme Q10, vitamin C. And I use a collagen powder as well. This is, I am sure borderline overkill, but whatever. It's cheap and easy and you can't OD on this stuff.

So what happened this month?
  • I didn't lose much more weight. I hover around 178 compared to my high school goal of 172. I notice on low-carb diets, weight loss tends to stagnate at times. I'm not worried or interested in it to be honest. It's not a primary goal for me.
  • I got my hair cut and my barber said my hair had grown significantly and that it was thicker. I personally don't notice this, because I don't really pay much attention to my hair. But I thought it was interesting she noted it. I'm curious if my grays will disappear as others have seen, but that doesn't seem to have changed. I don't really care about grays, but it would be an interesting thing to happen.
  • My dandruff is entirely gone. Possibly the most interesting result of this experiment. I've had dandruff since my hair started thinning. Maybe starting around age 22 or so (so almost 30 years). It had gotten progressively worse over the years from being an annoyance to something I needed to actively deal with. Remedies included boar brushes and yogurt scalps rubs which kept it in check. But now the dandruff is just gone. Period. I don't see any way to explain this other than the elimination of plant foods.
  • Energy levels remain stable and high. I'm solid all day.
  • I think I'm sleeping better. I tend to get 7-8 hours more frequently now, and I don't feel tired when waking up. Jury is out on this one, but it feels different.
  • I started working out and I feel significantly stronger, recover faster post-workout, and feel less debilitated by workouts. First, I just feel strong. Really strong. Something is different, but it's hard to quantify or describe. Second, I'm ready to work out the next day. I don't actually do this. I feel breaks are important. But I feel I could. Normally I need a 2-3 day break to really feel back to normal. Third, I have very little soreness the next day. Normally after a new muscle is worked out it gets very sore for me. Almost to the point of pain. I worked out hard my first workout and the soreness the next day was maybe 25%-50% of what I'd normally expect. It was gone by day 2 which is normally when it peaks.
  • My GI system has settled down. I don't have any issues anymore except if I eat yogurt. Yogurt causes trauma-inducing constipation. It never did before. It's awful. I have to completely avoid that stuff.
  • Cravings are still minimal EXCEPT a daily craving for steak. I crave a grilled steak like my life depends on it. I consume them now. Everything I can chew. Only the bone and tough gristle go in the garbage. Sugar doesn't cross my mind. Bread doesn't cross my mind. I haven't thought of pasta in a month. I can look at them and agree they would taste wonderful, but I have to mentally focus on them to think that. That thought doesn't pop up on it's own anymore.
  • I tend to run warmer now. My wife is constantly cold whereas I never feel it except when I wake up. 
  • My skin is less dry and less oily. Depending on the time of day I can have both. My skin just seems more stable and normal.
  • Headaches seem nonexistent. I'm not sure how much I can state this. I don't get a lot of headaches and they aren't intense. But I do get them. And I suspect they may be related to nut intake. Anyway not 1 small headache since eliminating plant food.
  • I still get stiff joints in the morning. I was hoping this would disappear completely. It's now and again. It does seem less but it hasn't vanished. 
I still believe I'll probably stick with this diet after the 4 month mark. I imagine I'll cheat here and there (Xmas) but overall I find this actually easier than Keto/LCHF/Paleo. Why a more restrictive diet would be easier is not obvious, but it really relates to the lack of cravings. I'm fine eating meat 24x7. I would like to incorporate more variety. Especially liver/pate. I enjoy it and maybe should make my own. I'd also like to start grinding meats because then I can incorporate liver and other things very easily.

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