13. January 2015 · Comments Off on How I eat · Categories: Food

About four years ago I read a Swedish diet book called “Matrevolutionen” – translated: “The food revolution”, all about the Low-Carb, High-Fat (LCHF) diet.  Since then we’ve moved our diet over to what I would call “Liberal LCHF”.  I say “Liberal” because we eat small amounts of pulses and root vegetables, that the hardcore LCHF-ers would frown upon.

Just before Christmas the English version of this book was finally released.  You can read about it on the author’s blog, here: http://www.dietdoctor.com/food-revolution-finally-english

LCHF in Sweden is becoming more accepted as more and more research points to the invalidity of the old fear of fat.  But it’s still kindof controversial.  So why do I do it?

1. Because I’m in a high-risk group for type-2 diabetes, and my blood sugar on a high-carb diet is a source of total misery

There are enough cases of type-2 diabetes in my family to put me in a high-risk group.  I also know now, with the benefit of hindsight, what a high-carb diet was doing to my mood.  Every day at 4pm my blood sugar would hit rock bottom and I felt like crap.  At one of my jobs with an all-too-accessible vending machine this time of day became known as the four-o-clock-choc, because I would be heading for a snickers bar every afternoon.  After a few months at that job, I could no longer fit the clothes I bought for the interview.  Years later after having my second child, 4pm became the point where I would sit down on the floor and cry, because I clearly couldn’t handle two children and still make dinner and keep the house reasonable and what kind of a useless person was I anyway?

2. Because eating starches gives me IBS

I used to think I was lactose intolerant, because I would have slightly less stomach pain if I avoided lactose.  It turns out I’m basically starch intolerant.  I can eat as much dairy as I like now, as long as I keep starch to an absolute minimum.  Wheat is the worst of all, with other grains close behind, and rice and potatoes coming in third.  Occasionally I eat small amounts of brown rice or potatoes, or oats.  Too much of these things and I’ll spend the whole evening massaging the brick in my stomach and wondering why I did such a stupid thing.  But the difference is that I used to lie in bed and massage the brick in my stomach every single night.

3. Because it shook off that last bit of post-pregnancy weight

I didn’t have a huge amount of weight to lose, but it was so easy to lose it this way.  Combined with the removal of my IBS bloating, it felt like I had a whole new body.

4. Because in general, I just feel better.  A lot better.

I’m very rarely hungry, very rarely crave sweet things, and hardly ever snack between meals.  I have no idea how many calories I am eating, and I don’t care.  A little fat keeps me feeling full for longer than a lot of carbs do, and my blood sugar never tanks so my mood is much more stable and I’m a nicer person to be around.

In practise I don’t think that I even eat that much fat – I take full-fat cream in my coffee instead of milk and sugar (and I thought I would never be able to drink coffee without sugar!), and we have a tendency to eat creamier, cheesier evening meals.  If I need a snack I’ll have nuts, or vege sticks, or a piece of cheese, or yoghurt with nuts (we buy the highest fat turkish yoghurt we can get, which is 10%).  We don’t eat more meat than we used to (it’s not Atkins) but we do eat more vegetables (win-win!) and less fruit (and other sources of unecessary sugar).

But the best thing, the very very most bestest thing is this: it is not a diet.  It’s a lifestyle change, and once you get used to it, you just can’t entertain the notion of going back.

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