Nutritional Ketosis Day 60

I LOVE spices. For me spices make a meal, period. You can have the same basic meal, but by changing the spices and herbs combination, you get completely different experiences.

Spices and herbs are also nutritional powerhouse; they are recognized for their antioxidant power and anti-inflammatory properties. Some of them are even used for medicinal purposes and to stimulate the immune system.

Weight loss potential of spices to boost metabolism and promote satiety, is also documented. For example, capsaicin in peppers is believed to have metabolic boosting properties (ginger too, boost metabolism). In addition, if the food you eat is flavorful and satisfying, there is a good chance you will eat less and consume fewer calories.

I like to make my own seasoning mix, because I know that there are no sulfites and preservatives and premixed spices makes the cooking less complicated and time-consuming. I often skip the salt and add it when I cook.

Cajun seasoning is a good basic one to keep around. It can be used on anything: kale chips, any meats, fish and seafood and can be even mixed with Greek yogurt to make a dip for crudités.

Recipe #1 (original, boost metabolism, very hot)

1/4 cup (60 ml) salt

1/4 cup (60 ml) cayenne

1/4 cup (60 ml) paprika

1/4 cup (60 ml) garlic powder

1/4 cup (60 ml) ground black pepper

2 tablespoons (30 ml) onion powder

2 tablespoons (30 ml) dried oregano

2 tablespoons (30 ml) dried thyme


Recipe #2 (modified, super anti-oxidant, milder)

30 ml (2 tablespoons) paprika

15 ml (1 tablespoon) ground bay leaf

15 ml (1 tablespoon) onion powder

15 ml (1 tablespoon) dried basil

15 ml (1 tablespoon) dried oregano

15 ml (1 tablespoon) dried thyme

5 ml (1 teaspoon) garlic powder

5 ml (1 teaspoon) cayenne pepper

Salt and pepper

I use a lot of spices on my food and the mixes are fairly hot to some people, use less cayenne for milder taste. Garlic and Onion are High FODMAP (fermentable = gas/bloating) so you can replace it with chives if you want. I sometimes put all the spices in a clean coffee grinder and reduce to a fine powder.

Weight this Morning: + 0.2 lbs

Weight Loss Total (Starting day 45): – 9.2 lbs

Today I had: Water with apple cider vinegar (with the mother), cayenne pepper and salt and sparkling water. I also had some black tea sweetened with xylitol. I had some blackened Cajun Haddock (again, but it’s so good!) with sriracha sauce and tofu-shirataki spaghetti noodle with an olive oil/butter sauce. That’s 900 calories for today.

Cajun seasoning is delicious with white fish.

Cajun seasoning is delicious with white fish.


Nutritional Ketosis Day 50, Coconut oil Detox Day 6

Yesterday, I had 1800 calories with the coconut milk + oil mix and it was difficult to get all the calories in. Today, I tried my best and the most I could get in was 10 Tbs of oil with 200 ml of coconut milk. I could have water faster today and I would have been fine with no hunger. I have never experience this level of “totally not hungry at all”.

I’m actually a bit shocked that I am losing weight this far into the ketogenic experiment. Now I wish I started monitoring my weight from day 1 of the nutritional ketosis experiment.

My conclusion for now is that at 20 g of total carbs and 60-70 g of protein per day might create too much insulin release, for me, to allow significant utilization of stored fat. Or it could be the detoxification produce by the coconut oil, or both. Or something else.

Weight Loss this Morning: – 1.4 lbs

Weight Loss Total (Starting day 45): – 7.8 lbs

My symptoms for today were: A small headaches and earache. I feel that my ear is slowly getting better. The nausea is getting stronger everyday and I had bloating in the small intestine region and some spasms. I had a tummy ache during the night, and felt some acidity. Weird. I had good energy today and no hunger.

I decided to increase my sodium by the end of the day, to see if it could help with the nausea, it did, instantly. I will increase the amount of salt I put in my water (I make a pitcher of water with salt, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice and cayenne pepper in the morning to drink during the day).

I found an interesting quote about sodium and adrenals/cortisol:

“You see, on a relatively low carb diet, unless you take in more salt, blood volume shrinks. The body then responds to this dehydrating by making more adrenalin and other stress hormones. Including raising cortisol.” Stephen Phinney, MD, PhD

Today I had: Water with apple cider vinegar (with the mother), lemon juice, cayenne pepper and salt and sparkling water. I premixed, with the immersion blender: 200 ml of coconut milk and 10 Tbs of coconut oil with 4-5 drops of vanilla extract, xylitol and stevia. I divided the resultant sweetened “milk” in 2 equal portions and made with it: a Coffee Latte with cinnamon at 4 pm (16h) and ate the plain milk/oil at 8 pm (20h). I also drank some Detox tea, to help with elimination. That’s 1550 calories for today.


Nutritional Ketosis Day 42; 6 weeks-in and Fully Keto-adapted

Today it’s a great day; I’m graduating from Ketosis University. I can take the training wheels off because I’m fully keto-adapted at 6 weeks in.

When people are transitioning into nutritional ketosis their serum uric acid levels go up because the kidneys are busy disposing of unused ketones on top of the regular uric acid load. Over 4-6 weeks, the body adapts more and more to being in ketosis. As you get keto-adapted, a lot of your tissues will switch to ketones for fuel; less of it will be flushed out by the kidneys. This adaptation process results in the serum uric acid dropping down to a level at or below where it was before.

TMI Warning!

It is known that when you start a ketogenic diet, your urine will start having a distinctive odor (ketones). Last week, I noticed that it had subsided. The first thing that came to my mind was: “I must be fully keto-adapted now”. Yay!

TMI Over

I’ve attempted keto-adaptation several times before but was never successful until now. I have reflected and looked back in my food log to figure out what was different. I have found big and small things.

I think the thing that made the biggest difference was that I focused on keto-adaptation instead of weight/fat loss, at least for the first 6 weeks. That is why I haven’t discussed weight/fat loss much; I haven’t weighed myself. I just calculated my protein needs based on lean body mass (between 60-70 g of protein), picked a carbohydrate target (less than 20 total carbs) and calculated the calories to hypothetically maintain my goal weight (2000 cals) and started with that. I have been eating between 1800 and 2000 and by doing that, I lost about 2 sizes.

My reasoning is that I didn’t want to put too much stress on my body and my mind ie, low-calories and keto-adaptation at the same time. I have decades of stupid yo-yo dieting behind me and I feel it has left me in poorer health than I should be, and probably at the same weight I would have been. I decided it was over, I just want to be health physically and mentally.

I believed that once you can regulate you appetite (for me it’s by intermittent fasting, limiting carbohydrates, eliminating trigger foods like grains and dairy and taking some supportive supplements) you can settle at a healthy weight permanently without feeling deprived all the time, which is my next goal for this experiment.

Today I had: Coffee, water with apple cider vinegar (with the mother), cayenne pepper and salt. I had two matcha-ginger-coconut “milkshake”. I added xylitol and cinnamon to my coffee. I made ice cubes with crystal light and used them in sparkling water. For dinner I had beef tenderloin with a red wine and balsamic vinegar reduction. I also had a drink made with 1 oz of rum, couple of ice cubes made with grapefruit low carb juice and plain sparkling water. That’s 1800 calories for today.

Sorry for the bad lighting!

Sorry for the bad lighting!

Nutritional Ketosis Day 30

Hunger is faint, and rarely present. I didn’t eat before dinner. It’s really hot and humid weather wise here; I think it might be part of it.

Still on track with the 8 Tbs of coconut oil and lower protein around 63 grams per day. I also increased my vitamin D intake three days ago, which is supposed to help with hunger and weight loss.

Quotes from Dr. Michael F. Holick, PhD, MD. THE leading expert in Vitamin D:

“Vitamin D is in a class by itself; its far-reaching effects on the body are aligned with how hormones act to influence metabolic pathways, cellular functions, and the expression of myriad genes.”

“Fat cells, too, have vitamin D receptors, and fat cells can be more metabolically active (burn more calories) if they have more vitamin D. People tend to think that fat cells are like inanimate blobs of lard when in fact they are active participants in the process by which your brain learns that you’re full and don’t need to take another bite of food. When you’ve had enough, fat cells secrete a hormone called leptin that allows you to push away from the table. A lack of vitamin D will interfere with this appetite-suppressing hormone whose job it is to regulate your body weight. And we all know what an unchecked appetite can lead to: weight gain and a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Speaking of which, vitamin D deficiency has also been shown to exacerbate type 2 diabetes, impair insulin production in the pancreas, and increase insulin resistance.”

Today I had: Coffee, water with apple cider vinegar (with the mother), cayenne pepper and salt before 6pm (18h). For diner I had some chicken strips, prosciutto and a curried mayonnaise made with ½ cup refined coconut oil. I had some red wine with that. That’s 1500 calories for today.

Prosciutto is not in the picture, I had to add it after to up my protein.

Prosciutto is not in the picture, I had to add it later to up my protein.

English: A glass of red wine.

Spanish red

Nutritional Ketosis Day 27

I suspect that my recent hunger episode was related to lack of sleep instead of issues with the diet. I’ve slept two solid nights and the hunger has subsided. Less than 8 hours of sleep per night, negatively affects several important hormones that directly regulate our appetite and metabolism.  In long-term research studies, shorter sleep duration is associated with increase risk of metabolic syndrome and higher BMI. Yikes!

I will make sure I get a solid 8 hours of zzzzz’s and I will try to lower my dietary intake by 100-150 calories, to see if I get hungry. Only the quantity of dietary fat will be affected. It’s the equivalent of about 1 Tablespoon of added fat. The other macronutrients will stay the same; which is protein between 65-70g and total carbohydrates to less than 20g.

In theory, my body should compensate the calorie gap by burning body fat without too much hunger signaling.

Today I had: Coffee, green tea, and water before noon. In the afternoon I had: 55g of coconut oil and 85g of creamed coconut with spices mixed in without sweetener. For diner I had haddock with greens sautéed in red palm oil. That’s 1800 calories for today.

Red Palm Oil makes everything orange!

Red Palm Oil makes everything orange!

Nutritional Ketosis Day 26

I decided to reimplement a more “disciplined” intermittent fasting regiment to try to help with hunger and stored fat burning.  I will not have any calories before noon, then have the coconut fat in the afternoon and have my normal diner before 8pm (20h). I had the mix coconut oil/creamed coconut again today; so far so good.

One thing I find really helpful with hunger is to drink coffee, green tea, and adding cayenne pepper and ginger to my oil during the day. When you are hungry, it’s your body telling you it needs fuel. Those substances slightly increase fat burning and provide extra available fuel to your cells, which helps control hunger pangs.

I also find that a ginger, cayenne, cardamom and black pepper (in my spice mix) and fennel and peppermint herbal tea helps with digesting the oil.

Today I had: Coffee and water before noon. In the afternoon I had: 55g of coconut oil and 85g of creamed coconut with spice mixed in without sweetener. For diner I had 5 eggs and 8 slices of bacon. That’s 1950 calories for today.

Omega-3 Eggs and Bacon

Omega-3 Eggs and Bacon


Nutritional Ketosis Day 23

I’ve used 8 Tbs of coconut oil today but tomorrow I will mix the oil with some creamed coconut (which has a bit of fiber and protein) to see how it feels. At dinner, after two bites of the meat, I wasn’t hungry anymore. I waited and was able to eat all the meat, without really being hungry for it, but I needed the protein.

I’m still experiencing “detox” symptoms. I’m looking forward to see what is going to happened with the coconut oil experiment; I already noticed an improvement with my digestion and the swelling in my sinuses has gone down dramatically.

There is also an improvement in my body composition, I lost fat and I have more definition. I’m loosing fat but I feel strong and energetic, which is a very different experience from all the low-calorie diet I have been on. My skin texture and color is really nice and I noticed my nails are strong and health. A high quality fat diet improves the absorption of most nutrients and I can see and feel it in my body.

Today I had: Coffee, peppermint tea, water, 8 Tbs of coconut oil and spice mix and for diner I had leftover lamb reheated in its cooking juices and red palm oil. I had some kale chips and a black tea with ginger after diner. That’s around 1900 calories for today.

Lamb reheated in its cooking juice (fat removed).

Lamb reheated in its cooking juice (fat removed).