Chia Seeds

I referred to Chia Seeds in another BLOG post as part of my refeeding strategy for ending extended fasts.

Chia Seeds are one of those SuperFoods which should be a part of our diet. They provide a lot of fiber and very few calories. One ounce (about 2 tablespoons) contains 139 calories, 4 grams of protein, 9 grams fat, 12 grams carbohydrates and 11 grams of fiber, plus vitamins and minerals.

For Low Carb folks the 12 grams of carbohydrates are before subtracting fiber so the net carbs are 1-2.

To use them I soak the seeds in water (1/4 cup seeds to 1 cup liquid) until they take on a chewy texture reminiscent of tapioca pudding, about 20 minutes. Soaked chia seeds can be refrigerated for up to 5 days, so you can make a big batch at the start of the week.

I eat them one day before ending a longer (more than 7 day) fast. I also eat them three hours before refeeding. I usually eat them with a dill pickle which acts as a Sodium bomb.


Mexican Food

Had Mexican food last night. Did well. Here’s how I did it.

  1. No chips/salsa.
  2. Ordered fajitas. Forget the name of it (Vallerta Fajitas maybe?). Had chicken, beef, chorizo and shrimp. Very oily/greasy. Included onions, green peppers, cauliflower, broccoli. Tasted good. No chips/salsa.
  3. No rice.
  4. No beans.
  5. No tortillas.

Blood sugar 2 hours later was 95 (pretty much normal for me).

Coffee and Insulin Resistance

Wasn’t too sure about what the title of this article should be. I was tempted to make it Coffee and Blood Sugar but I really need to adjust my thinking since Blood Sugar isn’t the problem, but insulin levels are.

The general concept that lowering Insulin levels also lowers Insulin resistance in the cells makes good sense. The problem is that there’s no available instrument I can use to determine Insulin levels. The only measurement I can do easily is blood sugar levels. Insulin kicks in when blood sugar levels rise. Carbs cause blood sugar to rise and Insulin to kick in. That’s the advantage a Low Carb diet brings to Insulin Resistance.

So why coffee? I have not been a fan of coffee. My preferred drink of choice is Diet Mountain Dew. Lots of caffeine and a taste that I used to like. It now tastes too sweet to me since I have gone LCHF. To replace the caffeine I have taken to drinking coffee. It started innocently enough. Drank some of the horrible coffee at work. Spotted a jar of instant coffee at Trader Joe’s and it was better than the stuff at work. Researched through a friend at work K-cup machine and actually purchased a Bella Single Cup brewstation.

Took this to the next level and actually started adding Ghee to coffee. Not too much, maybe a half teaspoon. I drink 2 mugs (12 oz each) of coffee a day. I’m adding maybe 50 calories to my day during what was previously a fast time. But since those calories are fat rather than carbs it’s not affecting my ketosis.

But all of this begs the question. Have I done myself a favor by trading something I like for something I am just beginning to learn to tolerate? Certainly it’s a more grown up thing to drink coffee but is it a more healthy choice?

By my own testing with my blood sugar meter Diet Mountain Dew really didn’t drive my blood sugar one way or the other. But there’s the question of what it was doing to my Insulin levels.

But, what does coffee do to blood sugar and Insulin? I see a small rise in my blood sugar when I drink my black coffee. And that’s what the literature says happens (Associations between the intake of caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee and measures of insulin sensitivity and beta cell function).

There is some evidence as well that the effect on Insulin Sensitivity is a temporary effect and that the longer term effect of coffee on Insulin Sensitivity is in fact a good effect (Caffeinated Coffee, Decaffeinated Coffee, and Caffeine in Relation to Plasma C-Peptide Levels, a Marker of Insulin Secretion, in U.S. Women):

Intakes of caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee and caffeine in 1990 were each inversely associated with C-peptide concentration in age-adjusted, BMI-adjusted, and multivariable-adjusted analyses. In multivariable analysis, concentrations of C-peptide were 16% less in women who drank >4 cups/day of caffeinated or decaffeinated coffee compared with nondrinkers (P < 0.005 for each). Women in the highest quintile compared with the lowest quintile of caffeine intake had 10% lower C-peptide levels (P = 0.02). We did not find any association between tea and C-peptide. The inverse association between caffeinated coffee and C-peptide was considerably stronger in obese (27% reduction) and overweight women (20% reduction) than in normal weight women (11% reduction) (P = 0.005).

C-peptide is proportional to Insulin although it has a longer half life. It looks as if this may be part of the reason that coffee is a good choice for diabetics. It may raise blood sugar in the short term but lower insulin resistance in the longer term.


Status – 2016-09-06

My week long mini-stall ended. Down several lbs. Total on work scale is 26 lbs in 5 weeks. Probably more than 30 lbs since I wasn’t weighing myself that first week.

I woke up today with a blood sugar of 92. I also went to bed last night at 92. Two hours later I was at 120. Still, nothing to fret about there. Two hours after that and I was at 108. Homeostasis – the body works very hard to establish a set point.

Dinner last night was pretty good. Went to Applebee’s and had the Shrimp ‘N Parmesan Sirloin Steak.


Asked for some butter for my steak. Slathered the butter like it was a slice of cheese on the steak. It was awesome.

My two sides were the garlicky green beans (7 net grams of carbs and 15g of fat) and fire grilled veggies (8 net grams of carbs and 13 grams of fat). Both were really tasty but not something I would have normally ordered. Watched everyone else at the table eat breaded fried food. I felt like the winner.

Had about a half a Coors Light and it tasted like crap so I gave it to one of my over 21 kids to finish it off. Probably another couple grams of carbs for a total of around 20 grams for the day.

I think I have been eating too much protein. I probably should be eating something like 75 grams of protein a day. That’s close to what I ate yesterday. Felt like a good number to eat.


Status – 2016-09-05

Still at it. Blood Sugar has been great. Woke up to the highest number I have seen in a while (121). Funny, but I would have been excited to see that as my daily high any other time. Has been dropping all day and is now at 106. My average has been 110.

I broke down and bought a new OneTouch Ultra 2 meter since it has a connector for downloading to my computer. Bought it at Walgreens for $20. Also, bought a USB cable for the meter from ebay (a little cheaper than the one on the OneTouch site).

Weight is down a pound or two this week. Not much of a drop but there’s a normal leveling out at a month or so in. Add to that the weight that I was stalled at was my 1992 weight that I was at for a while in the past.

Still doing LCHF eating. Last night I had two substantial steaks. Unfortunately, they had the fat cut off them when I purchased them. I did supplement them with butter – a nice slice each. Had my usual pile of green olives, some parmcrisps and some pork rinds. Made sure to drink my Apple Cider Vinegar before dinner as well.

I think that the reason my blood sugar was up just a bit today (and still in the very safe region) is the two steaks I had yesterday.  They were a total of 400 Kg. That is 76 grams (684 cals-63%) from fat and 100 grams (400 cals-27%) from protein. Good thing I added the butter.

Still doing the IF. Right now it’s 1:30 PM and I haven’t eaten since yesterday at 5-7PM and I don’t feel hungry in the slightest.

Two of my sons are doing Intermittent Fasting. One is also trying LCHF at the same time.

Daily Status – 2016-08-29

Today is the third day I have been off Metformin. My Blood Glucose numbers have tended up but not horribly. About 10 increase. I am no longer seeing numbers from 95-115 and am now seeing numbers from 105-125 instead. Not too bad really. If the upward trend continues I will add back in Metformin. If it flattens out I will stick with removing Metformin. If Metformin reduces gluconeogensis by 33%, I really don’t see it in my own numbers. I should be seeing numbers that are 33% higher not 10% higher.

Work scale shows I am down 23 lbs since Aug 5th. I started about July 31 (four weeks now). Not sure what my initial weight was but my guess is that I am down about 30 lbs so far.

I am going out for dinner with the kiddos tonight so it will be out to somewhere that I can do LCHF easily. We have done Jimmy John’s (order the lettuce wrap and the JJ Gargantuan) as well as Five Guys Burgers and Fries (skip the fries and order the burger “bunless”). Harder to find suitable choices at places like Applebee’s.

Still doing the Intermittent Fasting (IF). Yesterday I ate from 5 PM to 6:30 PM with a final snack at 8:30 PM of some ParmCrisps.


Are Chicken Wings a LC Choice?

I was eating a lot of chicken wings thinking they are Low Carb. And when it comes to carbs, they are. Well, sorta. Here is the nutritional information for chicken wings. Note they took away the skin which has fat.


A wing without skin has 43 calories where 24 of the calories come from Protein. 15 Calories come from Fat. That’s only 35% of calories from fat. Not LCHF at all. That’s LCHP, not the goal for a diabetic.

What happens with the Protein? Suppose you have 6 wings. That’s 36 grams of Protein. But half of that gets converted to Glucose. That’s 18 grams of carbs (equivalent).

Leaving the skin on helps quite a bit. It is the best part after all. Here’s the wing with the skin.


Fat is 5.4*9=48.6 calories from fat = 60%
Protein is 29.8 calories from protein = 37%

A half dozen whole wings is 44 grams of protein with the glucose equivalent of 22 grams of carbs. No wonder I used to need to pump under such a protein load. It wasn’t spread out like my carb load was. It would last around twice as long. But it still had a load for Insulin response.