Skip to main content


Showing posts from June, 2014

What Is Atkins Induction? Part II

Last time, I addressed some misconceptions and pitfalls of Atkins induction. It's a simple diet, but it doesn't work with some current fads. First, a word of caution: if you take amphetamines, diuretics (including high blood pressure medicine) or diabetes medicine, you need medical supervision on Atkins induction. Low-carb diets increase your adrenaline (not good if you're already cranked up on amphetamines), flush out excess fluid (bad in combination with diuretics), and normalize your blood sugar (you can get a hypo with LC plus medication). If your doctor objects to your doing Atkins, just ask him or her to monitor you. You might say that low-fat, low-calorie diets haven't worked for you and exercise hasn't worked for you either, but you've given low-carb diets a lot of thought and want to do a two-week trial. If you use insulin, I'm sad to say you'll probably be on your own. I can't tell you how much to use, nor can anyone else on the inter

We're Highjacking the Lead

In the article, some prominent researchers point to the many flaws in the lipid/diet-heart/cholesterol hypothesis and blame refined carbohydrate for soaring rates of overweight and diabetes. Others urge caution in eating saturated fat. Ornish says eating meat will damage the planet. There have been many recent clinical studies exonerating LC diets, but the science has been there since Atkins wrote about his diet in 1972. The end is in sight for the disastrous experiment the government performed on America, and later the rest of the English-speaking world. *To highjack the lead is to take over the leading in partner dancing.

What Is Atkins, Anyway? A Definition and Pitfalls

Over the years, I've read some strange ideas about what the Atkins diet is: All meat A crash diet Not low-carb, high fat High protein An eating plan where you gorge yourself Wrong on all counts. A friend of mine was curious a few weeks ago about what it really was. I described it to her, and she can't stop raving about it now: Friend: What do you eat? Me: Meat, eggs, cheese, non-starchy vegetables, and fats like olive oil, mayonnaise, lard and butter. Friend: How much do you eat? Me: You eat until you're full. Friend: When do you eat? Me: Whenever you're hungry. You should also take some vitamins. There are more details, of course, but that's it in a nutshell. How does such a simple diet get so convoluted in people's minds? I blame fads in eating and thought. A trend now is to eat vegetables by the pound --no exaggeration. Dr. Atkins' Diet Revolution specifically says not to fill yourself with vegetables--that's a tactic of tradi

1972: Carole King, M*A*S*H and...Food for 2014?

I feel well enough to try Atkins induction again. The palpitations are gone, even without taking potassium. My energy level is back to normal--no more trucking on the treadmill early in the morning  to burn off nervous energy or emergency meat, cheese and mineral water stops after yoga. It's back to lounging around to Chopin and Debussy in the morning and stopping at the wine bar for pleasure. I'm using the original Atkins book: Dr. Atkins' Diet Revolution from 1972. While looking in the book for a way to make gelatin (which is allowed on induction, but Jello(TM) and products like it have questionable ingredients), I felt the earth move under my feet : those recipes from 42 years ago look delicious and they're mostly real food. It makes sense, though: the cooks who wrote the recipes probably didn't have had a palette used to low-fat food full of added sugar or a bag of tricks to make low-fat food edible. Anyone who writes a recipe called "Cottage Cheese and

Getting Over Palpitations

Note to new readers: please note I'm not a health care provider and have no medical training. If you have heart palpitations, I have no idea whether the following will work for you. Over the past several days, I've had a rough time with heart palpitations and feeling physically jittery. I was wondering if I was going to turn into one of those people who can't sit still. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but it would be a major lifestyle change. Kidding aside, something wasn't right and I really needed to get back to normal. I tried popping potassium pills like candy. I ate more. I doubled up on my iron dose. I went to yoga and even got on the treadmill at 6 AM yesterday. I tried the nuclear option of eating more carbs to stop peeing away minerals. Most of these things helped, but the problem kept coming back. A comment from Galina made me look up epinephrine, one of the drugs my surgeon used to anesthetize me Friday. First, the assistant at the surge

Post-Surgery: How it's Going

It's going both well and badly. My mouth is healing. It stopped bleeding after a day and the chunk my surgeon removed from the roof of my mouth (the size felt somewhere between a shotgun pellet and a pea) feels like it's mostly grown back. Both sites are still tender, though. I'm talking better; I could barely stand to move my mouth for a few days. And I'm down 4.1 pounds since I started Atkins induction a few days ago. But I spent an uncomfortable day today: my heart was pounding even though I was sitting at my desk having a slow day at work among pleasant coworkers. I popped potassium pills to little avail. My distress could have a few causes: Very low carb diet, which has given me palpitations before. Low blood pressure. Right before surgery--when I was about to have my mouth cut and sewn, and I needed a potassium pill to chill out--it was 97/60. Bleeding for a day and relaxing would have only lowered this number. Low blood sugar. I haven't taken my b

Pain Relief without Anesthetic; Atkins Induction Results

I've run into a problem with Atkins induction: my brand new shorts are now so loose on me that I can get them on without unbuttoning them. Truly, two days ago, nothing in my usual size fit. Cue the sappy violin music. Having to have your clothes taken in isn't the worst problem. What about dental surgery, though? Back in my Body for Life days, I ate a lot of carbohydrate and ended up with a bunch of cavities, a few of them at the gumline of my bottom front teeth. As much as I brushed and flossed, I constantly had plaque on my teeth back then. Even though I haven't had any tooth decay since starting LC, the gumline there (where my old dentist had to remove gum tissue to put in a filling) has receded and I've had bone loss. Gum tissue doesn't stick to fillings, so it just keeps receding. To avoid any further bone loss, my oral surgeon (the one who gave me my dental implant a few years ago after an accident) grafted some tissue from the roof of my mouth to the gum.

Doing Old-School Atkins

Last time I wrote about getting jittery and having a rapid heartbeat on VLC (very low carb). I cut way back on nuts a few weeks ago and felt remarkably better: more energy, and I can tell I lost a little weight because of the way my shoes and watchband fit. As I mentioned, taking a potassium pill helps the jitters and rapid heartbeat, and if it gets really bad, I can just eat a candy bar (we don't have safe starches at work). So for the first time, I tried Atkins induction. Why Atkins induction? It started with shorts. I'd been shopping for shorts and everything was very short (think Officer Jim Dangle on Reno 911 ), wildly patterned, ridiculous (where do you wear lace shorts if you're not starring in a Korean drama?) or knee length. There was even a high-waisted, pleated, acid washed pair from circa 1985. So when I saw a gray pair with sailor pant buttons, I bought them--even though they were pretty short (but not tight). Think Officer Dangle again. Being conscious of wea

Irregular Heartbeat on Ketogenic Diet

A commenter brought up something today that made me think of the radical view that we need to get rid of all industrialization and live like...I don't know what. Following herds that don't exist in any great number and living off the land with skills almost nobody has anymore? Living like Mennonites? Like gentlemen farmers, who (it has been argued) needed slave labor to have the leisure to pursue scholarship and culture? I have nothing against going off the grid if that's what floats your boat, but people who would, say, blow up dams to force other people off the grid remind me of a TV series called Death Note . In the series, a high school student finds a notebook that kills by heart attack anyone whose name is written in it. He starts writing the names of criminals in it because he wants to create a world with only good people in it. "So," someone predicts, "you'll be the only bastard." Sure enough, the student (Kira, taken from the English word f

Trolls Inspire Gift of Sheep

Dear Trolls, I can't thank you enough for trying to set me and my poor, misguided low-carb and paleo friends on the right path. It must be painful for you to read blogs and articles about eating things like bacon-wrapped shrimp , coconut chocolate tart , juicy barbecued ribs, and full-fat lemon ice cream . Nevertheless, you soldiered on to show us the way to vegan/low-fat/CICO/food reward/MMEL enlightenment. Your kindness and time and effort you've shown are appreciated. But I do have two things to say. First, you're wrong. Not to put too fine a point on it, but there it is. Nearly all of us have already tried eating less and moving more, or reducing calories and fat, and the community is full of former vegetarians. In fact, hunger and fat accumulation are driven by hormones. This isn't the gospel according to Gary Taubes, it's in endocrinology textbooks (see this and this ). High-carb diets aren't the answer to diabetes, a disease of carbohydrate intoler