Progress is being made

It’s been a little over 7 weeks since I started a ketogenic diet. I am doing fine and, after losing 20 pounds, I am halfway to my goal.  All I have to avoid is Halloween, Thanksgiving, and December! If I can drop another 20 pounds in seven weeks then the New Year will be wide open. But, I expect the rate I lose per week will start to slow down so I will be happy to drop another 20 pounds in 12 weeks or so.

The hardest part of the diet has been finding the right balance of fat and protein in my meals. I am trying to keep below 2000 calories total per day, split between 40 grams of net carbs, 144 grams of fat, 135 grams of protein, and 0 grams of alcohol.

Two problems I have found are sodium levels and potassium levels. The recommended daily sodium level is 2300 mg and I find I am easily coming in above that daily and often 2-3 times that daily. And high sodium levels are tied to high blood pressure. On the other hand, with potassium – associated with lowering blood pressure, among other healthy affects – I have to guess what the levels are. Food processors don’t note the potassium levels on their packaging and I often have to navigate the inter-webs to get an idea of what the potassium levels are. I am using the MyFitnessPal app to track my food and they do allow me to edit the nutrient section of the foods to add potassium but I don’t know for sure how close I am coming to the actual totals. Fortunately, food labels will be changing in the next two years and potassium will be included on the label. The recommended daily potassium intake to 3500 mg per day. a lot of the foods I am eating, meats and cheeses, are high in potassium but I don’t hit the 3500 level very often. Maybe I am reaching it in reality but I don’t have the numbers to back it up.

Another general problem has been calculating carbs. I am trying to limit my total carb intake to 40 grams net. Included in the overall carb number is dietary fiber and sugar. Dietary fiber is not absorbed into the body and will just pass through the system. So, dietary fiber doesn’t add to the calorie total and should be subtracted from the carb total. My food tracker doesn’t allow this automatically.

My main meat is pork. Between bacon (low sodium), pork chops, pork roasts, and pork sausages, I get a lot of fat and protein, and a lot of sodium and potassium(I think). I have also added salmon, cod, and tuna to my diet.  I usually have a salad with cucumbers, celery, tomatoes, spinach, lettuce, and Parmesan cheese, with an oil and vinegar dressing. Broccoli and cauliflower are good vegetables. When I  am dining out, a nice rib-eye steak (8 oz) will do. I have also found problems with getting the nutrient lists for some restaurants which again leads to the google search for ‘what am I eating?’

I have found a number of low-carb recipes to try.  I just made a Cabbage and Sausage dish that was very tasty. A Cauliflower and Ground Beef Hash worked very well. A Cabbage and Beef Stir Fry turned out well, too.

Unfortunately, Elaine is on a low-sodium diet and our food choices do not overlap very often so I have to be careful on the quantity of food I make at one time. Tasty as some dishes are, six days of leftovers can be a bit too much.

Hmmm. Maybe I should try to make a Cole Slaw as a salad. That would be a low carb, high fiber, high potassium, high fat (with mayonnaise), and low sodium food. Just don’t add sugar.

 

The Colorado Ballot

I have some interesting choices to make regarding the Colorado ballot this year.

Amendment 69 is to set up universal health for Colorado residents. While I support the concept, the wording of the amendment is such that there isn’t a lot a flexibility setting things up and tweaking parts to make it workable. So I will have to vote NO this time around. I think it would be better to set up a referendum to order the State legislature to implement a universal health care program so the details could be addressed properly.

Amendment 71 is an amendment to amend the amendment process in Colorado. It currently requires 5% of the number of voters who voted for the Secretary of State in the sate of Colorado to get an amendment on the ballot. This would change that to require at least 2% of the voters in each State legislative district to get an amendment on the ballot. I can see in principle that this helps distribute the amendment process across the state and stops the larger urban areas from dominating the amendment process, but, to require all 35 districts to sign up to get the amendment on the ballot seems too restrictive. I would approve if 2/3 of the districts were on board with an amendment, 100% seems a bit unrealistic.

And there are two propositions to set up party primaries that are open to unaffiliated voters. This doesn’t seem right. Colorado political parties currently use caucuses to select their slates.  You have to be a registered member of the party to caucus with them. And the parties are supposed to pay for the caucuses themselves. The primaries are for the parties to select their slates under the auspices of state and county funding. Why do you want to allow people who are not affiliated with the party to be involved with the selection of the party’s candidates? And why should the state be funding the activities of private organizations? Proposition 107 covers the presidential primary. Proposition 108 is for non-presidential primaries and  does allow the party to opt-out of the open primary.

Some choices to make. All the other amendments and propositions look good – Minimum Wage hikes, Tobacco taxes, Medical aid-in-dying.

In Colorado we have 22 parties vying for the presidency on the ballot and another 6 that are registered write-ins. So there are a lot of choices. The annoying part of all those parties running for President, though, is that very few to none are putting up candidates for any other offices at the local, state, or federal level.  (The Senate race has 7 candidates/1 write-in, and the District 5 Representative race has 3 candidates/1 write-in.) You have to dig deep to find those write-ins.

Tomorrow I vote.

 

 

 

 

Prescience?

Paul Krugman mentioned this a month ago:

Oppose the Putin regime, and you’re likely to be imprisoned or dead.

Donald is learning from his master.

 

http://nyti.ms/2c4NVZi

Visiting National Parks

I’ve added a link on the Travelogue sidebar to show the National Parks I’ve visited over the years. I still have a lot to get to.

(I don’t think that the park in American Samoa will be gotten to.)

Oh Good

I see that a new nutritional label will include Potassium. I think that will be very helpful. Needs to be implemented by 2018.

I am concerned that I am coming in at 1000 mg a day below the recommended 3500 mg of daily Potassium, even while eating high-potassium meats.