In the last week or so I have been forced to reckon with the fact that my cholesterol is high and the keto diet that has enabled me to dial in my blood sugar–may be the culprit that is creating chaos in a different area of my bloodwork. Since I ultimately may have to choose between the lesser of two evils, I have decided to tweak my ketogenic diet to see if my elevated cholesterol may be due to specific items within this diet rather than the entire way of eating. Here are the steps that I have taken:
No added saturated fat-I’ll still eat meat and cook with coconut oil but I haven’t been adding fat that’s not strictly necessary, and I’ve cut back on meat in general.
No dairy– I hate not having cream in my coffee but at least now I can taste the coffee since I’m drinking it black.
More olive oil– this translates into more vegetable and greens since I’m not doing shots of olive oil alone…
More nuts– I had been eating a lot of Macadamia nuts a few months ago but I got lazy and switched to meat and cheese. Now I’m eating them again as well as almonds and walnuts.
More fish– I am primarily eating sardines and smoked herring (simple tinned variety, nothing fancy)
More vitamin D– this is an important component for processing cholesterol so I’m on 5000 iu daily
More exercise and sleep– right now I’m not doing any really hard training but I am doing a minimum of 30 minutes daily dedicated exercise and going to bed and getting up earlier.
While it’s still early days, I wanted to share some preliminary results. In short, it seems to be just as good if not better in terms of my blood sugar control–which is a huge benefit. I am more sensitive to my insulin–which is particularly noticeable in the AM when I am taking 2 units to cover my entire breakfast (unlike 4 in the past) and seeing literally NO spike and no crash. I am still drinking my coffee (black) but no infusion of coconut oil and cream seems to make the insulin work better. My energy and clarity are still good although not quite as over the top as when I was adding lots of coconut oil. That stuff really helps crank up the energy!
I suspect that I am in a milder state of ketosis and thus the effects are less pronounced. I plan to increase the coconut oil again when I am in a position to take on a major athletic event and need the energy. It’s similar to the concept behind a TKD (Targeted Ketogenic Diet) only I am not splurging on extra carbs around workouts–but saturated fats. Not sure if that will work but I suspect that maintaining “low carb adaptation” will enable me to ramp up ketosis at need.
In other news, I am doing my best to achieve and maintain momentum in my creative work despite having what I would consider a limited pool to draw from as we are still biding time on the east coast waiting to leave (next week!) In addition to my climbing and video goals, I am doing a 365 photo project too–I figure that it only makes sense since I am going to be living through a camera lens anyhow! I’ll let you check out the first two episodes of the AdventureRx vlog below and if you like them make sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel. I am really looking forward to having more to shoot and I am always open to questions and topics that you’re interested in.
I think we have a tentative meetup in Joshua Tree this spring too–I will keep you updated as we get more definitive dates in mind. Are you stoked? Last February we had a great turnout with climbing, bouldering, hiking and camping. I think we could have another awesome time together if anyone is interested in coming out for a weekend!
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