Fit-2-U blog

brought to you by Collette Pryer

Crumpets are not a good breakfast….or lunch

Crumpets

I decided I wanted to write this blog as I would like to share my experience with you. This has changed our lives and this may perhaps change yours. I am tired of seeing adverts of “fad diets” and “loose 30 pounds of belly fat in a week” etc. I wanted to share something that has actually worked. Before I start though, this was not about loosing weight. This was about cutting out something that we knew was bad for us. Sugar. In all forms.

Please note, I am not preaching or trying to convert. 

About 4 months ago I was chatting to my amazing (yes amazing) chiropractor/osteopath/ART guy about nutrition and I was telling him that I was not the best example for my clients regarding nutrition. We were chatting about what each of us has for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Breakfast for me was crumpets! With butter and peanut butter. YUM I said. Lunch would then maybe be some more crumpets or scrambled egg or even some of those cheeseballs (basically orange flavoured air) you can get at tescos. Dinner would then be a veggie and fruit smoothie to counteract all the non nutritional foodstuffs I had chucked down my throat that day. Of course snacking would involve the nutella jar. A good few spoons or some nutella on a cracker or even, yes you guessed it…on a crumpet! Being very diplomatic and not wanting to show his absolute horror at my eating plan, he just nodded and said something along the lines of “well you are very active”…. Take from that what you will.

Obviously I wanted to see if he ate something similar to me (sure). Just an FYI, my chiro is well over 6 foot and not an ounce of fat on him. Well, breakfast for him was something like 2 babybells, some salami or cold meats and coffee with cream. Huh? Lunch was then some more meat and fats and maybe some dark chocolate and then dinner was some sort of veg and meat. I was intrigued. I knew I was not eating correctly but this sounded like something that didn’t sound that great either. Loads of fat…. Everything I had learned in my PT course and in life told me that’s not healthy. He then recommended I read “Why we get fat-and what to do about it” by Gary Taubes.

Gary Taubes Book

And so I did. In 2 days. Granted, it wasn’t a long book (about 140 pages) but it was FASCINATING. It turned everything on its head. Every argument he makes is backed up scientifically.

Did you know that the original food pyramid that came out in the 1960’s doesn’t look like the one now. Grains and carbs were not on the bottom tier in the draft……(until the agricultural industry got hold of it). The US obesity epidemic started shortly after…

In a nutshell the book shows through research and science (every report and experiment is backed up) that sugar is what causes us to get fat, and not fat itself . The moment you put any type of sugar into your mouth (bagels, pasta, cereals, chocolate, bread etc) insulin is produced, fat is taken from blood stream and stored in fat cells.

The First 17 days

I was almost converted before I had started after reading the book….

I looked at my diet, my lack – sorry laziness – with cooking and decided I wanted to give this book a chance. It went against everything I had learned but I reasoned that if it caused any problems I would just come straight off it.

I spoke to my husband Rich, about maybe putting into practice Gary’s principles. Which basically meant cutting all carbohydrates and anything with refined flour and sugar. He had been wanting to do this for quite sometime (paleo type diet) but wanted me to come around to it on my own rather than him tell me to. So we started in June.

I had been fuelled on carbs. Now I wasn’t eating carbs. There was no fuel coming in. And I had to go running with clients, cycling and general exercise. I felt AWFUL. I couldn’t pick my feet up, I was low in energy. I was not impressed. What they tell you when you embark on this way of eating is to not exercise for about 2 weeks. The reason: Your body which is fuelled by carbs is not being fuelled by it any more. The body now has to learn to use fats as the fuel (this is called Ketosis). This can take some time. For some people it takes 2 weeks, others it can take a month. However, my job is exercising so I had to put my head down and deal with the lack of energy. For me, it took 17 days to kick in. It was incredible. The 17th day of this way of eating I ran to a client expecting to feel lead feet and legs again when suddenly I could run!!! I was almost back to my old pace and I didn’t feel like I was piggy backing my client instead of running next to them.

Sugar is a class A drug. We all say this kind of jokingly. But when you go through something like this you realise the hold it has on you. You do go through cold turkey. In the first month I went to the grocery store just so I could stand in the bakery and smell the foods. My mouth used to water at just the mention of anything containing something with sugar. I dreamt about minstrels and doughnuts. When people say “I would miss pasta too much to do follow this way of eating,” it’s not the pasta per se, it’s the sugar in the pasta that you will miss. The feeling it gives you when eat it and shortly after as well.

Rich and I were regimental in the first month and didn’t want to have any slip ups. We knew if we weren’t we would probably have stopped. On our one month anniversary we had something we had been craving since we started. I think mine was some minstrel type chocolates. By now our taste buds were starting to come alive and things that had a slightly higher sugar content were tasting awfully sweet. We noticed that the taste of all real food was heightened.

What changes had we noticed in the first month?

  • Skin didn’t need to be moisturised (from all the fats coming through the skin)
  • Weight loss, more muscle
  • No side effects that anything with grains give you like gas or bad tummies while running  (this was my problem)
  • Taste of food
  • Less cravings

BUT the biggest change was we were starting to loose the emotional connection to food. We weren’t waking up in the morning and thinking “ooooooo, what am I going to have for breakfast” . Food was starting to become more a fuel then something that would occupy head space. There were also no sugar lows. When your sugar drops and you get hungry a lot of people get ratty. Temper shortens and you get grumpy. However, after being on this for a month, Rich and I now found that when we were hungry we wouldn’t get snappish, we just got tired. There was no more emotion attached to the food.

We have now been on this way of eating for 3 months. We decided that after getting through the first month that when we were invited to people’s houses for dinner parties, bbq’s or birthdays etc, we were not going to say no to anything that was offered. We eat like this in the privacy of our own home but we didn’t want to be that couple who were saying no to the food served up on your plate that someone had lovingly prepared. So yes, we have had carb days but the easiest part of this way of eating is that you just go straight back onto it the next day. Nothing is messed up.

3 months later – Cholesterol Test

I decided that with the large amounts of fats that I was eating I wanted to check my cholesterol. The science in the book made me believe that what I was doing was right, but I just wanted to be sure. So about 3 weeks ago I took a test. In a side story, someone I am close to had their cholesterol test done and the result was a 7. This is a high number for cholesterol. I had told this person about our new life style and they were “appalled” at the amount of fat we were eating. Any-ways, this person’s diet was what we would normally think of as text book. Lean meat, no fat and lots of veggies. However, every evening he would eat nearly a slab of chocolate as pudding. He is active and slim so it didn’t really show physically as unhealthy.

I went for my test and came back as a 2.3. This is a really good number. (My good cholesterol HDL’s were on the high end of the scale and my bad cholesterol LDL’s were on the low end of the scale). Hmmmmm .

Those results kind of sealed it for me that I am doing the right thing with this way of eating. This is not for everyone and it was really difficult in the beginning. Very. I felt like I was really on some sort of cold turkey. But, I am so glad that it has worked out for us.

The person above has since cut out a lot of sugar in his diet and his Cholesterol has dropped down to a 5. (He didn’t change anything else).

This was never about weight loss for us. This was about eating correctly for ourselves. The bonus is the leanness and the increased muscle mass. I find food now is not something I think about anymore. It used to be on the brain constantly before we started this way of eating. I totally believe that was the sugar’s hold on me.

I have cooked more now in 3 months than I have in my whole life. I made flourless and sugarless muffins the other day. They had strawberries inside. They were unbelievably good. But that’s for another blog….

This may be a controversial blog, hence my disclaimer in the beginning that I am not trying to preach or convert. Just wanted to share my story.

Sugarless 🙂

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19 thoughts on “Crumpets are not a good breakfast….or lunch

  1. I fully agree. I did 6 weeks prior to a holiday and got in the best shape of my life. Didn’t think about munching and felt perfectly content eating meat and veg for breakfast and lunch. For dinner i had meat and veg usually with some kind of tasty sauce to spice it up. Steak and veg with bernaise sauce, salmon and veg with creamy sauces etc. Fill up on veg and stop having the cravings.

    The only problem was the increase in cost of my diet. The whole reason we love carbs is because they are so cheap for the amount of energy you get out of them. But worth it if you can organise yourself and plan healthy from the start of the week.

  2. Thanks for the comment! It has indeed got more expensive so we end up buying in bulk. That eases the cost a lot. However you do find you also start eating less as well.

  3. russell on said:

    Yes! I have also tried a similar diet, and it’s magnificent. I am about to get back on it after something of a lapse. Re costs, it’s the protein in the diet that tends to cost a lot of money, but as you say you can buy in bulk and freeze. What is your take on beans? They are a good source of protein and not expensive, especially if you buy dried in large bags. They do contain carbs but I gather they are not too bad for insulin generation due to high fibre content? Or are all carbs out for you? Thanks!

    • Hi Russell. Thank you for taking the time to comment. Unfortunately the costs of meat (good meat) are a little bit of a deterrent to this way of eating. In answer to your question, I’m not a big fan of beans so I don’t have them in our current diet anyway. I think even if I did like them, I would probably try stay off them. I don’t want to sound zealous at all about this way of eating and if someone served them up to me at a dinner out I would definitely eat them, but I think at home I would steer clear of them. Thanks for your interest. Good luck for starting out again!

  4. Your method of eating is a good technique for weight loss but it is important to make sure your diet consists of a great deal more vegetables than anything else. The body doesn’t require meat in order to survive but it is a good way to boost your vitamin intake from time to time. The downside to eating a lot of meat, is it increases your bloods acidity levels tremendously and in order to counteract this, the body has to find and use internal resources (not fat) to return it to normal levels, which include leaching away bone density. Once the body can’t find anymore resources to balance the blood levels against acid, things like cancer and heart attacks begin to creep in.

    Ketosis can also be dangerous in some cases, there are plenty of documented articles that show risks of this kind of diet if it’s done long term –

    http://www.privatehealth.co.uk/news/july-2009/the-dangers-of-ketosis-30770/

    On the other hand I whole heatedly agree with your statement about cutting out sugar and refined carbs. Sugar/carbs converts into fat in the body and once you cut it out, most people start losing weight and feel considerable better.

    For people who can’t give up their bread, I recommend eating sourdough bread and wholemeal flatbread/wraps, as both are low in carbs (providing you get real sourdough and not just sour flavored bread). The fermentation process involved in making sourdough eats away at the carbs and unlocks the nutrients in the bread, making it a much better alternative than regular bread, providing you don’t go crazy with it.

    I thoroughly recommend watching the film ‘Hungry for Change’, as it provides considerable insight into food and it’s effects on the body.

    http://www.hungryforchange.tv/

    • Hi Rob. Many thanks for your reply. I agree with you about the veggies. We try to have veggies with almost all our meals. Even breakfast. A lot of the mornings we have spinach omelettes. And we need the fibre from the veggies. Nothing like roasted cauliflower and crispy broccoli and grilled asparagus! Yum!
      In regards to Ketosis it is a functional aspect of fat-based energy metabolism, induced by prolonged fasting or a low-carbohydrate diet. In ketoacidosis, the body fails to adequately regulate ketone production causing such a severe accumulation of keto acids that the pH of the blood is substantially decreased. Ketoacidosis is most common in untreated type 1 diabetes. In an article by Gary Taubes he interviewes Dr Richar Veech – a Ketosis expert and this is what he said:

      “When I interviewed ketosis experts, however, they universally sided with Atkins, and suggested that maybe the medical community and the media confuse ketosis with ketoacidosis, a variant of ketosis that occurs in untreated diabetics and can be fatal. ”Doctors are scared of ketosis,” says Richard Veech, an N.I.H. researcher who studied medicine at Harvard and then got his doctorate at Oxford University with the Nobel Laureate Hans Krebs. ”They’re always worried about diabetic ketoacidosis. But ketosis is a normal physiologic state. I would argue it is the normal state of man. It’s not normal to have McDonald’s and a delicatessen around every corner. It’s normal to starve.”Simply put, ketosis is evolution’s answer to the thrifty gene.
      We may have evolved to efficiently store fat for times of famine, says Veech, but we also evolved ketosis to efficiently live off that fat when necessary. Rather than being poison, which is how the press often refers to ketones, they make the body run more efficiently and provide a backup fuel source for the brain. Veech calls ketones ”magic” and has shown that both the heart and brain run 25 percent more efficiently on ketones than on blood sugar. …”

      There will always be conflicting messages out there, so I appreciate your comments about ketosis and vegetables. I wasn’t that specific in my blog about them as didn’t want to get too bogged down in the science of it all, hence me flogging the book a little so that people could read the science for themselves. Or not. 🙂

      • Hi Collette, thank you for your interesting blog. I too feel shaky when I dont have my carbs, but now know to persevere. What about low fat yoghurt – I like to have yoghurt, a banana and nuts for breakfast – what is your opinion on this please.
        Best,
        Liesl

      • Hi Liesl

        Thank you for your comment about the blog. In regards to your question about your breakfast – Low Fat yogurt (or low fat anything) has had all the goodness taken out of it (fat) and had sugar instead put into it to make it taste good. Historically we thought that low fat was good for us. It really isn’t. If you really feel like you can’t live without the yogurt then I would go full fat. Do not be afraid of fat. Sugar is the problem.
        In regards to the banana, I wouldn’t make it a staple. If you off to do some exercise or you have just come back from doing exercise then yes, go for it. However there are other fruits that just have so many more nutrients in them then bananas. Blueberries are a good example.
        Nuts are great (almonds, cashews, pecans, walnuts). Don’t go overboard, but yes, a lovely addition to your breakie.
        I know its hard to let go some of the foods that we really love. That first month of going sugar-less was AWFUL! But, I promise, promise, promise that you will reap the rewards if you go through with it. You will eventually not be driven by them or long for them.
        As an alternative for breakfast, you could have something like eggs and bacon, or ham and cheese omelette, or scrambled eggs and salmon with some rocket.
        I had no idea how much sugar was in anything when I started. So what I would do was I would check the ingredients on the back of the product and if sugar is over 1g then I knew not to use it.

        I hope this helps. Please feel free to ask any more questions you may have.

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  12. Crumpets are not the problem and if you spread just one teaspoon of marmalade on the top, instead of tons of butter, plus one fresh fruit..well that’s a perfect breakfast recipe! Believe me!

    • Thanks for the comment. Unfortunately crumpets and marmalade are full of sugar. The butter would be the best thing on that plate. So not really the perfect breakfast unfortunately. They do taste nice though.

  13. That is fantastic news. I lost 4 stones on LCHF but over Christmas ate quite a lot of carbs & sweet stuff, bang, on went a stone. I’m so disappointed. Gone back to LCHF & am a bit lifeless at the moment & was a bit worried but seeing your blog explains why perfectly, thank you.

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