Diary of a low carb dabbler – Part 3

Helen Kilding with Ella and Tom

In the first installment of the Diary of a low carb (or LCHF dabbler), I talked about who I am (a physically active and breastfeeding pescatarian, who regularly falls off the glucose cliff) and who I want to be (a sub-3 hour marathon running Super Mum)!

In the second installment I reported back on a great first 3 days. Stable blood sugar levels, enjoyable exercise, tasty meals. But on Day 4 something changed. After the usual one feed in the night, I woke up around 6.30 am, keen to go for a short run but already feeling a bit “low”. Without knowing what else to do, I did what I’ve always done in this situation and ate half a banana, fed the baby and set out along the beach. But whereas the banana would usually do the trick, not today. I felt sluggish, a bit light-headed and my supposedly easy but brisk 30 min run became a hard and slow 25 min jog (with a stitch at one point too). Not a great start to the day. A YCBNS breakfast and a 10.30 am hot chocolate restored my mood (and energy) but by midday I was ready for some lunch, the thought of which wasn’t particularly inspiring. I was highly tempted to stop at the sushi shop but determined not to fail at the first hint of trouble, I mixed up some tuna and lots of mayo (I’m going to turn in to a fish at this rate) and put it in a salad (yes another bloody salad).

I noticed today that I’m drinking more water; partly to stop myself drinking Pepsi Max, and partly to check first whether I’m hungry or just thirsty. But today was monumental for more than just drinking more H2O…..today, for the first time in 22 years (other than on two occasions when I was pregnant and my body was craving iron), I ate meat! Now this might not be strictly connected with the LCHF experiment, I’ve been toying with the idea for weeks, but maybe that’s because I’ve been toying with the idea of LCHF for weeks. By eating meat (in this case in a Bolognese sauce with a tiny portion of spaghetti and topped with cheese) I would get a good hit of fat, I wouldn’t have to have fish (again!), and my family could have the same meal for the first time in ages. It was quite nice.

Eating meat again after such a long time might seem a bit drastic, so it’s probably important to know why I haven’t done so for so long. I’m sorry to say that it’s not that I’m an animal lover; more the opposite really. I don’t really like animals (I’m a bit scared of them to be honest) and I think they’re dirty, so why would I want to eat them? Now fish on the other hand I quite like so I’m happy to eat them.

So why the sudden change of heart? New Zealand has very few meat substitutes and more and more lately I’ve been feeling the lack of variety in my diet and wanting to be able to eat the same meals as my husband and friends. I’ve always known that the extra iron would be good for me and the high saturated fat content of red meat, which might traditionally have been a reason to put me off, is not an issue according to LCHF advocates. For the moment, I can’t see myself eating sausages or chicken (they’re foul!! and too high risk of food poisoning) or any other white meats, so I’m not going to say I’m a meat eater again; it’s probably just a case of more “dabbling” at the moment!

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Richard David Feinman

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