Thursday, February 21, 2013

It's Time for a Party!

Yes, folks! It's time for a party! (And that's a good thing, because this has been a hard week around here, and I could use the extra cheer!)

And the cause of our merrymaking?

Cause of Celebration #1.... We Survived a Blizzard!

Okay, the snowfall may not have "technically" equaled the exact definition of blizzard... and the snow may not have happened exactly at our house (or anywhere nearby)... but I stick with my original claim. If snow can mean a blizzard, then we had a blizzard. And furthermore, I survived it. So there.

In all seriousness, the valley did indeed see SNOW yesterday, which is nothing short of miraculous here in the valley of the sun. It has never happened (to my knowledge) in the ten years we've been Phoenicians. I didn't see any of it, but I saw plenty of Facebook pictures last night, as well as getting to drive through some of the post-hail/post-snow whiteness as I drove to Scottsdale last night. Absolutely gorgeous!!

Cause of Celebration #2.... My Blog Manager Is Fixed! 

Quite a while ago, I posted that I was having problems with my blogger blog-reader manager function. We found that it actually was a bug in my account - a bug shared by quite a lot of others - and we were quite unable to fix it. Thus, although I could subscribe to blogs in my reader, I could not unsubscribe from them - ever. At the end, I finally had something like 190 blogs in my reader. It was a nuisance!

Yesterday, however, we finally received a tip on how to circumvent this problem, and as of now it seems that the problem is finally FIXED! Hallelujah! I spent all of my free time last night blissfully deleting blogs from my reader - to the tune of something like 100 blogs deleted (*singing songs of joy*). It was absolutely marvelous. I deleted blogs that I've lost interest in, blogs that are no longer active, and quite a few blogs that, due to spiritual and personal growth over the past couple of years, I now find somewhat repugnant. It has felt absolutely marvelous to shake off that mental clutter and the monkeys that have been hanging around even though I have long outgrown them. It was a lovely feeling.

And now, the original purpose of the party...

Cause of Celebration #3.... Another Dietary Milestone! 

I have completed six months on the Very Low Carb (VLC) Diet! Woo hoo! I'm so excited to be at this point!

At this point, the diet is not at all difficult. It's extremely restrictive, yes, but now it is just a way of life. I have developed a repertoire of recipes (still under development), I'm used to mixing VLC cooking for me and somewhat more standard cooking for the family, and I'm used to taking my own food to every party, potluck, and gathering. It's not as difficult as it looks from the outside (thanks to the grace of God!).

Reporting In...


I feel better than I ever have! Also, I find that now that I am accustomed to the diet longterm, I can go for longer amounts of time without eating, and not suffer nausea as a result. All postpartum nausea is gone as well (as it was within a few weeks of starting the diet).

Weight Loss

Unfortunately, I am stalled about 10 pounds short of my target goal. This may be due to breastfeeding, or a longer-than-usual plateau, or I may need to add intermittent fasting or increased functional movements to get to that goal.

However, where I am is fine with me, and I am not planning on trying anything to go any further. I'm completely happy with how far I've come, I feel much better, and I'm satisfied!

This has been my first experience with weight loss (serious weight loss, that is), and it's been a thoroughly interesting experience. Here are a few things I've learned:
- The VLC diet is the first method that has had any effect for me. Typical recommendations of low fat, move-more-eat-less, etc., have done nothing. 
- As I've read on so many nutrition blogs, weight loss really is in the kitchen. The weight that I have lost has been 100% through diet - I have not added any additional exercise to my daily routine. 
- Weight loss is slow! I had expected that a few weeks would do the trick, but no, it's quite a bit longer than that (bummer!). I had to settle down for the long haul. 
- Weight loss includes plateaus - after steady weight loss, one will stick at a certain weight and stay there for some time before continuing to lose. I experienced weight loss plateaus every five to ten pounds. 
If You're Wondering Why I'm Doing This...

Newcomers to the scene may not know why I am doing the VLC diet. (Hint: It's not weight loss.) I started my researches into this diet several years ago, when I read the following article:

The Low-Carb Gynecologist

This article is an interview with a Florida fertility doctor (reproductive endocrinologist) who uses the very low carb diet to treat infertility problems and increase rates of spontaneous conception (thus reducing the use of IVF technologies). This is a great article - please go and read it!

(*crickets chirping*)

The part of the article that stood out to me, of course, was the following:

WD: I was also interested in hearing more about your experience with morning sickness and the effects of a low-carb diet. Could you tell us more about this? Also, any thoughts on why this happens? 

 MF: As we continued to expand our thoughts about VLCD and fertility/pregnancy, we began to extend the nutritional approach into pregnancy. We know that pregnancy hormones dramatically worsen insulin resistance that is responsible for the condition, gestational diabetes. If insulin resistance is worsened, then reactive hypoglycemia is worsened. One of the biggest symptoms of hypoglycemia is nausea. So, in response to this, we have counseled our patients on the diet in pregnancy and have found a dramatic reduction in nausea. We recommend snacking every two hours in pregnancy.

Continuing in these researches, I have spent the last few years reading and self-experimenting to find out if this diet has any effect upon hyperemesis. The jury is still out! But you can read about the results (so far) of my experiment here.

Next stop... Nine months!!! See you all then!


  1. So neat you got to see snow in Arizona!
    Me....well, I live in Vermont - we get lots of it here :)

  2. boo. We didn't get a bit of snow down at our house... Celebrating with you on all these fronts, none-the-less!

  3. Janet - Yes, I imagine you are quite tired of the snow by now! Here, it's always a novelty! (First time in ten years!!)

    Heather - Thanks for visiting! Hopefully next time we get snow we'll both get to actually experience it!

  4. Hi,

    Could you send me the diet sheets?

    Also, how do deal with food aversions in pregnancy while on this diet. I had two HG pregnancies and had severe food aversions, especially to meat. Do you force yourself, does it make it worse if you eat something that seems unappealing? Thanks for your help!

    1. Hi, Lindsey! Diet sheets sent! Let me know if you don't receive them!

      Regarding pregnancy food aversions:

      Wow, do I know what you mean. They're tough, and you really can't work past them when they're that strong. It's just not possible.

      The benefit of the VLC diet has been, for me, greatly reduced nausea/vomiting, which has also lessened the level of food aversions. While most things still sounded awful, I could usually find something that worked - and then I would just eat that thing for as long as it lasted. I found that having more manageable nausea levels meant that workable foods lasted much longer - usually for several weeks (rather than days or hours). Here are some of the things that worked for me at various times:

      Cheese and nuts
      Scrambled eggs
      Cheese and (cucumber) crackers
      In-and-Out hamburgers

      It's really just a matter of finding something high-fat/high-protein/low-carb and then going with that.

      Best of luck!!

  5. Thank you so much. I really appreciate this blog as it has given me hope that we can add to our family. We are going to start ttc next year and I will keep you updated on my results. Good luck with the remainder of your pregnancy!

    1. You are very, very welcome! I am thrilled to hear about your TTC plans, and I definitely hope the best for you. In November I'll be publishing a big "summary post" of everything I've learned, and I'm hoping it will be helpful to everyone. If you have time, take a look at the other components that I think have been super-helpful - like adding lacto-fermented foods, or adding supplements like magnesium and DHA. The links are all under "Various Lines of Thought on HG Prevnetion" on the left sidebar. Good luck!!! And blessings on the journey!!


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