Saturday, March 3, 2012

Food Insecurity While Fat

Towards the end of last month, there was no money for food. I became disabled and had my weight gain during the first life crash, I am even kind of more frightened as to what may happen THIS TIME as a second one appears to be looming. By the way poverty strains relationships and chips away at quite a bit of other things.

When one has food allergies and the food pantry gives you tuna, dairy products and endless boxes of macaroni and cheese you cannot eat, that's a problem. And no, they do not listen to any special requests. I even ended up basically having someone bring me food from a soup kitchen during one weekend.

I found myself eating a few things because they were what I could get. One thing I have noticed is many thin people I know their homes are full of endless food, they can eat whenever they want. They do not have to worry about the food not being there, when they want it to be. When I used to visit church members and other friends and see the pantries full of real food it used to astound me.

What always gets me is it's always the meat and fresh fruit and vegetables that disappear first leaving endless starches. The starch and carbohydrates are numerous while everything else disappears. You can only eat so many beans while being a diabetic. I end up eating too many noodles when we are poor, stretch out meat or tomato sauce to flavor some cheap spaghetti. I even bought some processed meat which was on sale but turned out to be a mistake health wise. Images of fresh salads went through my head which I really wanted as I opened up my pathetically empty refrigerator.

I find myself having a harder time coming up with good or healthy meals. I tell my husband let's just skip that meal, but he says "you are diabetic"! A few times I find myself scrounging. I haven't been eating at regular meal times again, I have been eating too late at night because we have to scrape our last pennies together to eat. The groceries are getting more expensive, far more expensive. Imagine trying to avoid MSG, high fat and endless food allergies that make you sick? If I could just buy cheaper frozen food it would be a win-win, but just will not work.

You know its weird to me, why am I so fat? I am not even secure in food. Even today I am thinking make sure to save this and that in the refrigerator since we went grocery shopping yesterday. I am finding it harder to do decent meal planning.

This may sound weird but when I am food insecure I fear gaining weight. It is even hard to explain that one to people.

See "Food Insecurity and Subsequent Weight Gain in Women"


  1. Hi, I agree it's hard. I swear the prices at the grocery store go up every time I go. I do couponing, not because I want to but because I have to. I know, 80% of coupons are for pure garbage and I won't buy that stuff. But, there are lots of good coupons out there too. Usually for eggs, canned tomatoes, frozen vegetables, rice, butter, almond and coconut milks, and household supplies. Getting houselhold stuff cheap/free has really helped because I can put that money towards groceries. For a family of 4 I have a grocery budget of $80/week and I almost always stay within budget.
    I think that some of the most healthy and nutrient dense foods (and cheap) actually get passed up because people believe they're unhealthy. We've been told that high fat meat, eggs, liver, butter, etc. will kill us and make us fat and unhealthy. So people have switched to the more expensive lean cuts, avoid organ meats and whole eggs and look where it's gotten us?!. Thankfully, this is starting to come to an end. Whole eggs are okay to eat again (Even Dr. Oz says so, haha). And, more and more doctors are rejecting that fat ever had anything to with weight, heart disease, high cholesterol...It makes me angry to hear that people out there are going hungry because they think they shouldn't buy cheaper cuts of meat or chicken thighs with the skin (which are super cheap) or other nutrient dense foods that are very affordable for even the lowest incomes. Our great grandmothers would roll over in their graves to see what people eat and avoid eating these days. I switched our family over to a high fat, REAL FOOD diet a couple years ago and everyone is healthy now (not always true, we all had some issues, mine being the worst) and we're still getting healthier. Some of the cheapest and most nutrient dense foods I've found are Eggs (I coupon for these and stock up. Land O Lakes and Egglands Best almost always have sales/coupons making them cheap or free) Liver (natures vitamin and it's naturally cheap) None of us really like liver but eat it a few times a month because it's so healthy :), Whole chicken (with skin) or chicken thighs/legs which always go on good sales. I make a roast chicken once a week and we eat one or two times from it then I make nutrient dense chicken broth with the carcass. High fat ground beef, 85% or 80% usually goes on sale for $2-$2.50/lb ( we eat a lot of ground beef, haha, sweet potatoes, carrots and onions, kale (always ridiculously cheap here and one of the best anti-inflammatory, nutrient dense green veggies), butter (I coupon for and watch sales then stock up on a few lbs because we go through a lot) and frozen vegetables are a staple here. Birds Eye frozen veg often have coupons and great sales making them $1 or less for the big bags. I stock up on frozen spinach, broccoli, green beans and peas. Frozen vegetables are great nutrition wise and are better than "fresh" off season overpriced crap on the shelves in the winter. (I hardly ever buy off season produce. I eat whatever's in season and cheapest to get the most nutrition for my money). I don't know where you are, if you have grocery stores that compete so they have good sales or if they double coupons. These things make it easier but even if you don't watch sales or use coupons I still think it is completely possible to eat a healthy, nutrient packed diet on a tight budget or food stamps. We just have to question, what exactly is healthy? Who are we going to trust to tell us what to eat? Clearly government recommendations are gettting us nowhere and messed things up incredibly since the 50's when the low-fat, low cholesterol dogma started.

  2. I think there is a book you would really enjoy reading called REAL FOOD by Nina Planck. In fact, now that I'm thinking about it, it was the very first book I read on this subject and I thought the author was crazy at first (bacon and eggs and butter, no way! Surely I'll drop dead immediately if these things pass my lips!). The book details her upbringing in an idyllic environment (family farm, everyting homemade and fresh) and how she rejected her eating habits as a grown up to become a low fat, vegetarian type and how this affected her health...It's a fun book to read and is packed with great nutrition advice (should be available at the library).
    I hope you don't mind me writing books in your comment section, LOL. I just feel for you and can relate to you and want to share how I have pulled myself out of a similar black hole of health problems, hopelessness, and financial stress. I know how hard it is but I do believe (to a certain extent) that things are what you make of them. And when things aren't going right you have to re-evaluate and question what you beleive to be true. I spent years running up against the same wall, thinking I didn't have enough money to "eat right", or blaming myself and all my health problems because I couldn't stick to my so called "healthy eating" enough. I have major eating issues to this day because of all the bad advice I was getting and all the beating myself up over not being perfect. But, I'm getting better. It was never my fault. I should have questioned all my stupid doctors nutrition advice sooner. Better late than never though! Good luck, stay strong, it's never as hopeless as it may seem.

  3. Hi Kate,

    Yeah the prices are getting pretty high, and it's always the healthiest stuff that is the most expensive, while the cheap, overprocessed crummy mostly carbs are the things they give coupons for. With the eating, I still want more medical exploration as I am keeping weight on, even when the food due to illness got reduced, and that is kind of scary. How do you find coupons for things that are not garbage. I never can find any coupons for anything good except maybe some almond milk once. It sounds like you are doing pretty good to feed 4 people on 80 bucks. I reject the low fat is always good thing, but I am stuck eating low fat, because the higher fat foods is causing some medical problems, of course with higher fat meats one can cook them in a way to get the fat off like the chicken thighs. I think some good fats are needed like avacados too. With me if you saw the food allergy article, I am having a harder time, because of so many multiple food allergies ranging from eggs, to dairy to no potatoes and no fish.
    I do not think eggs are harmful and miss them. I used to love hard boiled eggs, there the digestion just isn't working. I do not think chicken with skin is a bad thing, I crockpotted two turkey thighs yesterday for dinner. Yes we have tons of apples, carrots, onions, celery in here. Probably everything I cook has some carrots, onions and celery. I do have to eat special non-dairy butter and stick only with almond milk. Frozen veggies are good too, you are right about that too. I am having difficulty with , no printer to print out the online ones, maybe it would be worthwhile to go to the library and print some cupouns out but then I have the cost there of 20 cents a sheet.
    I don't buy all the advice about what is healthy. I think diet food is garbage, if you read all the chemicals that have been added. I lean towards Schwarzbein eating [special PCOS diet] as much as I can do. I think the foods with the higher good fats take longer to break down thusly less hunger.

  4. I would like to check out that book, REAL FOOD. I know when I can get ahold of the REAL stuff, I feel much more satisfied and better, when we have open fruit and veggie stands when my eating is the best during the year. I do not think bacon and eggs is harmful. Due to my insulin resistance, I can't just eat some crackers and a bowl of cereal and call it a day, I will be hungry hours later. That breakfast of cereal and toast I ate as a kid was the worse one I could have eaten.

    I actually believe the low fat, high carb go eat a bagel stuff they told me in the 90s worsened my weight. I have to watch the fat now due to gallbladder or digestive issues, and well, still, think they went way overboard.

    I do not mind you writing long comments, always like when people share. I am open to anything that may help me. I feel like I have hit a wall and having a hard time improving things so whatever will work I am open to. :)

  5. Hmmm, if you don't have a printer that does make it harder. Most of the good food coupons I find are in fact printables. Most of the good coupons in the paper are for household or personal products, which does help some because the savings in these categories can go to groceries. Still, just watching the sales and stocking up when things are at their cheapest is a major help. I set up a cash system for groceries at $80 a week so the weeks when there aren't good sales I will actually spend less and we will eat from what we have stocked up on then on the good sale weeks I'll have more money (rollover from slow weeks) to stock up at the cheapest price. This applies mostly to meat/veggies/ some canned stuff. So, I'll always have a good supply of meats and veggies in the freezer. The kids don't eat that much though. If it were just me I think I could eat really well on about $30/week.
    I saw you can't eat fish, and dairy but I didn't know about the eggs (that sucks!) and you can't even use butter? I know most that are allergic to dairy can still do butter because there's no lactose and extremely little casein. It's seems like the food allergies came later in life? Has anyone told you that this is from a leaky gut or are these autoimmune reactions? Possibly both things at play there. Did you find when you were gluten free that your other food sensitivities got better? There are a few different diets that can help heal leaky gut. The GAPS diet is one but is very strict. Primal/Paleo is similair, easier though and also has been shown to help. The main thing is getting the grains, sugar, legumes out of the diet. These things are gut irritants, cause inlammation and cause the tight junctions of the gut to seperate and allow proteins from the foods we eat through (hence "leaky gut"). When this happens our immune systems will recognize these proteins as foreign and start causing a reaction every time that food is ingested, and a food allergy or intolerance is born. Often, and with time on a proper diet food allergies can be reversed. A lot of celiacs who are also dairy intolerant can end up eating dairy again after some time gluten free because the irritant (gluten) was removed and allowed the gut to heal. Gluten isnt the only gut irritant though. It's unfortunate. Grains are so cheap and easy but they are horrible for most people, we're just not adapted to eat them. Eating probiotic foods is a major help to leaky gut as well. You can buy probiotics but I think it's better and much cheaper to make your own saurekraut or other fermented foods. I also cannot eat much dairy, I get skin rashes from it and I think it's very insulinogenic anyway. Not good for PCOS, and Diabetes.

  6. I think you're right to still be seeking answers from the medical professionals but I wouldn't hold your breath that you will be able to find someone who actually knows how to help or that they will have any new answers for you. Doctors who really care and know how to help are rare. I've found it's best to take my health in my own hands.

    "With the eating, I still want more medical exploration as I am keeping weight on, even when the food due to illness got reduced, and that is kind of scary"

    Well, it is scary and frustrating but you already know you have chronically high insulin levels. That is an answer in itself. Why aren't doctors working with you to lower your insulin? Have they suggested metformin? not that I beleive in drugs but something should atleast be suggested to help lower insulin levels. Do they give any diet advice? Let me tell you, way back before I even knew I had PCOS and high insulin I knew I didn't ovulate and was "infertile" though no doctor ever told me what was wrong. I didn't care about all that or children, I just wanted desperately to lose weight. I started a rather extreme diet and cut my food down to just barely enough to have energy for the day, also started walking 5 miles almost every day. I did this for about 2 months and was the most determined ever to lose weight. I. never. lost. a. single. pound. I was baffled but now know it's no mystery. The high insulin would not allow my fat out of storage. No matter what. I did, however, decrease my insulin just enough to ovulate, pop out one little egg, get pregnant...with twins(identical)...which is the only reason why I, with PCOS, insulin resistance and pre-diabetes(at that time) have two kids...basically starvation and extreme activity. My point is that the reason you're not losing weight on reduced calories is most likely just the high insulin and it's not uncommon. (I had a miserable pregnancy, developed gestational diabetes, developed cysts, and grew hair everywhere during my pregnancy and that's when I was finally diagnosed with PCOS...not fun at all) Now, I know that all I had to do was go low carb and some light activity and I would have lost weight. NOW, I ovulate and my cycles have returned to almost normal, insulin is high-normal but it's finally under control and that's why I have been able to lose weight. My advice would be to keep seeking out a doctor who will work with you but don't wait to start making changes. Buy the most nutrient dense food you can afford and cut out as much grains and sugar as you can. Slowly start reducing carbs, very slowly, your body will not like it and you have to retrain your body how to use stored fat as energy which I can't really tell you how long that will take. For me it was a couple months but it may take longer for you. Also, get as much low intensity exercise as you can comfortably do as this greatly helps decrease insulin levels by increasing sensitivity and lowering blood sugar. The most important meal to eat low carb is breakfast since your body is already in a fasting state from sleep this continues a fasting like state and reduces hunger and helps prevent hypoglycemia. Best wishes, Kate.

  7. Kate, I will try the library, maybe the cost quotient will work itself out or maybe I can find a friend to print some off. Hmm something to think about. I figured the good stuff was found in online while its mostly sweets and grain filled snacks in the papers. I agree about looking for sales, my organizational skills could be better. I do try to keep some extras but some short months we burned through. I make a LOT of soup, that keeps us going. No I can't use butter, there is a soybean brand I use of margarine and another one free of fish oil and any dairy I use but can't think of the name right now. NO eggs, not even in baked goods or recipes.
    Butter I used to be able to tolerate and yogurt but not anymore over last couple years. I have read a bit about the autoimmune stuff, my doctor wanted me to try gluten free to see if it would improve things but it did not.
    When I was gluten free, it actually seemed some of the food sensitivities got WORSE, if anything. In fact I could then handle small amounts of dairy or fake cheese with caisen but not anymore. I definitely need to research these diets, I suspect I could have a leaky gut-mal nutritioned situation. They do test vit levels which were low but improved over last couple years but vit D was very very low and remains so. My B vitamins were in the basement, and they gave me shots, and now I do not need the shots but not sure why now. Sugar does irritate me, I do try and avoid sugar as much as possible. Probably still have too many noodles, but there are so many foods on the can't eat list, what would be left?
    Even meats are limited because of the fat quotient.I think everyone is eating too many grains, because they are cheap and easier, and not enough vegetables. Also have the belief more fermented and other foods are needed as well, and the fermentation which is rare now, all false chemicals now instead actually served a role in digestion and helped break things down. Read this book on feremented foods, was very interesting, wish I could remember title, but its at the local library. So its interesting you mention it. Skin rashes, yeah eczema going to town. Got two big rashes, one thats been on neck off and on for 5 years,and on lower forearm.
    I am seeking more answers probably outside medical establishment. Was glad to have a doctor that was not upset over my outside use of colloidal silver on a boil.
    More and more I think they can only do so much, and right now, I am of the mind to just do what I can do and not torture self over the rest. This includes walking and some daily exercise and trying to eat the best I can afford and put together. Past that....well let chips fall where they may. I did examine my recent medical records, and the conclusions were PCOS across the table, but remember even the doctor who found the high adrenal hormones, and high cortisol telling me even if we found a tumor source for these things {Cushings Syndrome instead of Pseudo Cushings} you probably could not survive the treatment. He told me try and live life the best you can, advice I have taken though at times I do try to figure out the health puzzle on occasion. It is best to do what can for yourself. Definitely the high insulin levels are part of the puzzle, dark skin patches all over etc and playing an integral part in the lower metabolism and even hunger problems. My hunger problems were more out of control even before I figured out the white flour/sugar makes you hungrier stuff.

  8. I am on Metformin, have been for years. Now for diabetes but was put on it even while pre-diabetic. That does give me an idea though to ask doctor to test where the insulin resistant levels are now at. Wow with all the walking and starvation. Hey when I had my weight gain, I was walking 2-3 miles for FUN, and had jobs where I was on my feet all day, and still so many weight problems.
    You are right the high insulin keeps the weight on. I had one doctor tell me I had the worse case of PCOS probably even in the country judging back then by the numbers, there was even a high pitiuitary hormone, I can't remember the name of it anymore. I was glad you were able to have children despite your health problems, sorry it was so hard. They warned me to avoid pregnancy, because I have so many bad health problems, but always considered myself "mostly infertile". I am too old now to fix the health -have a child quotient, and have other issues such as the financial that play into that decision. Am glad you were able to get cycles more to normal. I still have an occasional one, 2-3 times a year?
    Thanks for your advice. What do you think of the carbohydrate withdrawal? Did you face that? Do you see complex carbohydrates that take longer to break down as still a problem? What is your approach to fruit? too many carbs? or sugars? It's one of the easiest things for me to digest.

  9. Hi again, I just learned that with printable coupons you can actually have some of them mailed to you. When you go to print it goes to something called a bricks page and if you press the help button I guess you can fill out a form with your address. Maybe that will help you, I've never tried it but may start to cut down on the ink I use. And, yes, being really organized about it is the only way to do it. I can't imagine if I just went shopping once a week and got everything I needed at that time regardless of sales. Actually, I used to do this and the bill wasn't pretty. Now I shop at 2-3 different stores and usually 2x a week which is a little harder (I group shopping trips together) but my bill is 1/3 what I used to pay so it's worth it.

    "Probably still have too many noodles, but there are so many foods on the can't eat list, what would be left? Even meats are limited because of the fat quotient"

    Meat and Vegetables. My diet isn't as restrictive as yours but just meat and vegetables make up most of my diet. I eat some dairy, eggs, white rice(very small portions), fruit(also very small portions), and sometimes legumes or nuts, and coconut products and those things make up the remainder of my diet but everything revolves around meat and veggies. Most of my lunches are leftovers from the night before or salad with whatever veggies I have and some leftover chicken or cut up deli meat. It's so simple and uncomplicated; I think that's why I have been able to stick to it so well. I couldn't handle it if there was too much work involved, LOL. What do you mean when you say meats are limited because of the fat? Do you have trouble digesting it? Fat is the one thing that you can eat that doesn’t affect blood sugar or insulin and will keep you satiated. Even though my diet by bulk (or weight I guess) is mostly meat and veggies, by calories it is mostly fat. Anywhere from 60-80% of my calories come from fat. It was hard in the beginning. My body was not used to that much fat, If I ate too much I would feel a bit queasy so I had to take it slow . I think that a couple things could be going on…the Metformin may be messing with your digestion. I researched Metformin quite a bit when it was offered to me and found the most common complaint is digestive upset and not being able to digest “fatty” meals. Has the Metformin helped lower your insulin levels? Another thing could be low stomach acid from long term antacid use (and I think this was my problem, not sure if this affects you). I had horrible heartburn and took antacids every day for years until a few weeks into this style of eating and heartburn disappeared. When I stopped taking antacids my digestion got better although if I eat grain and sugary foods for a few days in a row heartburn will come right back….like around the holidays, haha, I’m not perfect and don’t need to be either. This diet is pretty forgiving:).

  10. ” Do you see complex carbohydrates that take longer to break down as still a problem? What is your approach to fruit? too many carbs? or sugars? It's one of the easiest things for me to digest.”
    Unfortunately, our metabolisms are so damaged that even healthy things such as fruit can be a problem. The problem with the simple vs complex carb debate is that in someone with a damaged metabolism they both cause problems in their own way. When refined carbs are eaten this releases lots of insulin at once to take care of the dramatic increase in blood sugar so insulin is high, stores the sugar/carbs as fat and then the insulin remains high because of insulin resistance (too much is pumped out, this isn’t normal, it’s hyperinsulinemia) and this results in hypoglycemia and that shaky, foggy headed, must eat something NOW feeling. This is a cycle that is hard to break. Now, when complex or “slow” carbs are eaten the carbs are digested slower so there is no dramatic blood sugar or insulin spike but the insulin is still being pumped out and circulating in the body. Only now it’s for many hours of constant circulating insulin to take care of the carbs as they digest and turn to sugar in the blood stream. This is better than refined carbs but it still presents a problem for the metabolically unhealthy such as ourselves. This prevents insulin from ever dropping to safer levels, to levels where fat may be taken out of storage and hormones can balance. The objective is to get insulin down and the only way to do that is to limit all kinds of carbs. Keep the carbohydrate portion of any meal small and balance it with fat and protein. So, yes, fruits are healthy and great….but not for us, not for a while anyway. I can eat more fruit now than I could in the beginning without experiencing any swings in energy or blood sugar but I am in the process of healing my body and I still have to watch it. I would say keep fruit for now but go for lower sugar fruits such as clementine’s, kiwis, all berries, small apples, etc. (small portions) and avoid or limit higher sugar fruits such as bananas, pineapple, mango. In time, when you are doing better eating low carb reduce them even more until you can get into better metabolic health then you can start adding them back in(slowly)! But, for people like us with a genetic predisposition to diabetes, hormonal imbalances, high insulin, etc. we will never be able to eat lots of carbs, out bodies are just too sensitive to them. This has to become a “normal” way of eating (whatever that means, describing what most of what the population eats as “normal” and diets that veer from that as weird or abnormal doesn’t make sense either, haha)
    I experienced the low carb flu and felt pretty miserable for a few weeks but it passes. The extent to which you experience this is a direct reflection of how off base your metabolism is. Our bodies are designed to be able to switch back and forth between carbs, low carb, stored body fat for energy and the transition should be seamless. We have to retrain our bodies to do this and it’s like when you drop the carbs your body is sputtering and stalling like a car running out of gas when it *should* be able access it’s reserves. Our bodies don’t know what to do, they are broken (temporarily). Just be patient with yourself. Do something to take your mind off how you feel,…read, listen to music, take a nap, go sit in the sun and get some vitamin D, drink plenty of water or unsweetened tea and watch your blood sugar. As long as you’re eating enough protein and fat it should stay stable but if it drops dangerously obviously eat some fast carbs and then try again. You will get past it and breaking through to the other side where you have energy again and don’t have to be a slave to eating…ever. It’s a great feeling. I think I said this before but watch your blood pressure too if you are on meds because it will drop and meds can make that dangerous.

  11. I’ll have to think of some meal ideas for you that we love, and are easy that don’t have any butter, eggs, fish, etc. and I’ll post them a bit later. Also, try Marks Daily Apple site, there are tons of recipes and his definitive guides to fats, carbs, diabetes, are wonderful sources of information. Everyday Paleo is good as well for recipes.

  12. Thanks Kate for telling me about those Bricks pages, that is a good idea, I could do that right from home then, that is cool. Yeah the planning ahead and organization sometimes is very difficult. I am not the most organized person on the planet. LOL I am glad you were able to organize things so you could cut your bills down so much. Glad you are able to stick to meat and vegetables. I try to keep the rice down too. A little bit will go a long way. I can eat nuts and use almond milk, when I eat cereal--usually rice Chex because have digestive problems with a lot of the rest. I have been making more salads and using leftovers, and that has made for a better week.

    If meat has too much fat, I get sick, some things that made me sick for two days, was crockpoted cornbeef, pork roast, I avoid pork chops, fried chicken too. I can eat small amounts of bacon, but have to avoid very greasy pork sausage but can eat the turkey varieties but even some of those I boil then brown if they are too high fat. You are right fat is friendlier to blood sugar and insulin and keeps you full far longer. I am on Extended Release Metformin, that other kind I get very sick, I have to always make sure I have something in my stomach when I take it, I do not think it is doing favors for the bowels either. It does help my diabetes along with Januvia.I don't use antacids and really do not have heart burn problems though when I get bad IBS or digestive upsets if I delay the Bentyl too long, I can start throwing up for two days. They told me this could happen with IBS which kind of shocked me. With sugary foods, I don't eat too many sweets, may eat bite of someone else's cake or a cookie about once every two weeks but of course carbs have plenty of sugar too.

  13. Kate if you can come up with ideas I would appreciate it. Thanks.
    I agree with harmed metabolisms even fruit can be a major problem. I try to eat the lower glycemic ones, seem to do best with grapes and apples but worse with bananas. I have insulin resistance definitely and deal at least once or twice a day with even severe hunger pain. I had some hit at 10:30, I ate some cereal with almond milk at 7:00 am or so and had to wait it out, since I had company but felt fuzzy, but went to go eat as soon as I could. So yeah I have gotten that must eat now feeling before. It seems we need to drop the insulin somehow to safer levels, and for the fat to be burned, makes sense. Usually I do not eat cereal, I usually have a protein in the morning, so I learned to never eat carbs alone but yes, it is something to watch. I never could just eat a carb for any meal alone and call it a day. I guess I was seeing if the same thing would happen with almond milk, which had me give up eating cereal even long ago, and well it happened where I had that sudden drop off.

    I know when I went gluten free, I had the carbs really reduced maybe too low as I felt ill and my sugars went up, I got the highest A1C during the most gluten free month ever, trying the last harrah, I wonder what caused that, too intense? Maybe. One thing I discovered is any severe dieting [last time on Weight Watchers] and not eating as much, or actually too little, the sugars go absolutely nuts, which seems not to make sense, but in me they do. I think my carb withdrawal is really bad. Definitely.
    try again. Interesting car analogy....LOL

  14. Hi, I wrote a really long reply earlier with meal ideas, recipes and all but I hit a wrong button and deleted it! oops, so here's the really condensed version which I'm sure won't be as helpful, LOL.
    Chili -minus beans and sugar. Any favorite chili recipe can be adjusted.
    Dirty Rice- this is where I sneak in liver so I forgive the rice :). I make it with a few chicken livers and ground beef. You can find authentic recipes online.
    Coconut Curry- great way to get healthy coconut fats in (hopefully you can digest those, coconut is really healthy and tasty, buy full fat) We use ground beef and peppers, onion, zucchini, peas, garlic and vindaloo curry powder but you can use any meat/veggies and any curry powder, just add however much you like.
    Taco salad- everything in a taco on an salad. Pretty easy. Add cilantro if you like it. Cilantro is a great cleansing herb.
    Roast veggies. Almost all veggies taste really good roasted but cauliflower with olive oil and herbs, and cabbage roasted in bacon fat is especially good.
    Most of the time I am a really lazy cook though and meals are any grilled/pan fried/roasted meats with just salt and pepper and vegetables on the side. I use whatever vegetables are in season and cheapest. One of our favorite meals in the summer is grilled steak or chicken with sliced tomatoes and cucumbers (some rice for the family but usually I don't have it or just a little). And sauteed Kale or swiss chard with garlic.
    Most recipes can be adjusted to exclude grains. Even spaghetti and meat sauce is really good over spaghetti squash or zucchini "noodles". It doesn't have to be complicated or take hours slaving over the stove.
    I experienced higher blood sugars at first as well. The problem is your insulin levels are responding rapidly to the low carb diet and they are dropping. However, the insulin resistance responds much slower so the lower amount of insulin isn't as effective at clearing the blood of sugars. The insulin resistant cells aren't responding and taking up the sugar. Your body needs that excess insulin to get the job done. Having high blood sugar is toxic to the body but so is having high insulin-just in different ways. This is why lowering carbs needs to be taken slowly (for those in our situations, not really for more metabolically healthy people)and the insulin resistance needs to be addressed at the same time. Reducing carbs, slow and frequent exercise such as walking, and fasting all help reduce insulin resistance. Maybe you cant fast right now but just slightly increasing the time between meals and increasing the time between when you last eat at night and when you first eat in the morning can help lower insulin. As long as the blood sugars are only slightly above normal then I wouldn't worry, it's part of the healing process. Drink plenty of water and do light exercise to lower them. Eating carbs will cause a rush of insulin and will lower the blood sugar but at what cost? If they are way higher than normal then you may just have to take this all really, really slow. I can't tell you, only your body can tell you at what pace to go forward. Years and years of metabolic damage will not be healed quickly. I have been doing this (admittedly off and on) for 2 years and have seen significant progress but I am still healing. It's still worth doing. Thinking back to how I felt 2,3,4 years ago...sends chills down my spine. Another point is I'm still teetering between "obese" and "morbidly obese"(not that BMI charts are worth anything) but even though I have lost weight a lot of my healing and progress has been independent of weight loss. I trust the weight will continue to come off very slowly but it's not the main focus. Good luck with trying again!