Thursday, August 12, 2010

Day 2 of going low carb

Captain's Log, Stardate 08.12.2010

I started some new supplements and the program has me go on a diet that is low carb, gluten-free, and no sugar. A no sugar diet is supposed to combat potential insulin resistance, which often goes hand in hand with perimenopause and hypothyroidism, my own personal evil trifecta. I don’t have all of the symptoms of hypothyroidism—and none of the more serious symptoms—but because I have slightly elevated thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) levels, I thought it would be safe to follow a gluten-free plan for a few weeks, according to the program’s recommendations for people with hypothyroidism.

The going no sugar wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. I don’t eat many sweets because we’re getting such great fruit from our organic co-op, which includes low Glycemic Index (GI) berries. A couple months ago, I forbade Captain Caffeine from buying any more sweets—he can only eat cookies and desserts that he makes himself or gets for free—so our house doesn’t have a lot of sweet temptations right now.

However, the diet also suggests going low carb. I can get my carbs from fruits and vegetables, but few whole grains and starchy vegetables, and no refined carbs. I LOVE carbs. Yesterday was day 2 and it was terrible. Okay, well, not terrible, but Camy was not a happy camper, put it that way.

Going gluten-free isn’t as difficult as I thought it would be, because I’m allowed to eat (very) small amounts of complex carbohydrates like brown rice and quinoa. I think potatoes are okay if I watch portions and eat them with protein and vegetables to lower their glycemic load.

However, I know that depriving myself of pasta will be hard in the coming weeks. We eat whole wheat pasta, and I usually have more veggies and meat than pasta in the dish, but not being able to have it at all is going to be abject pain and suffering. Okay, okay, that’s probably melodramatic, but I absolutely adore noodles.

I really wanted brown rice or quinoa with my Indian lentils, and I couldn’t because I wanted to lower my carbs. I had to get by with a bunch of veggies instead. And I don’t care what people say, cauliflower does not cut it when I want quinoa or rice.

And then last night I dreamed about GIANT CHOCOLATE CHIP CHOCOLATE MUFFINS and PIZZA. In my dream, I found myself eating them mindlessly and then stressing because I had just broken my low carb/low sugar diet. Dream analysis, anyone???

Luckily, I haven’t had detox headaches so far from the going off sugar. I’ve been trying to make sure I eat the type of veggies that help sustain the detox pathways in my liver by eating crucifers, dark green leafy veggies, citrus, sulfur-rich foods, and “liver-healers” from the book The Fast Track One-Day Detox Diet by Dr. Ann Louise Gittleman, which I borrowed from my friend Tosca Lee. I’m not doing the Detox Diet, but the book has that great list of foods that help the liver complete both steps of the detox pathway when it neutralizes toxins in the body, which can help defray the yucky feeling when you’re in detox with all those toxins in your bloodstream.

I need to do this for about four weeks, I think. (Four weeks without French fries. Sob.) I think I will kill someone.


  1. There are some lovely noodles made with quinoa, since gluten-free is your goal . . . whole wheat noodles won't work for you right now. The corn noodles are good, but high carb, and we find the texture of the quinoa pastas much more palate pleasing.
    We like mixing quinoa or brown rice with the lovely veggies in season now, especially zucchini and squash, toss in chicken or fish and whatever seasonings sound good to you . . . yummy. It doesn't take much of the quinoa or rice to add the taste & texture you crave - a half cup serving works great for me. Dice a 1/4 to 1/2 avocado and serve on top . . . pretty & tasty!

  2. Gotta look for that book. Thanks for mentioning it.

  3. Carrie, I love quinoa! I didn't realize there were quinoa noodles! I'll have to go find some!

    Patricia--you're welcome! I got a copy on ebook, actually, if you don't want to wait to read it. The link above goes to the link to buy the ebook, and you can read it on the Barnes and Noble eReader program.