Tag: diet

And, so it begins …

I’ve been waiting for this day for quite a while. Well, okay, for like two weeks. But, those two weeks seemed like forever ago. You’re probably wondering why I didn’t just start — like — two weeks ago?

Well, two reasons — one, I didn’t want to NOT have cake on my birthday and, two, the 16th would mark 90 days before my trip to Greece. I wanted to use those 90 days as motivation to follow my new diet regime. Plus, those two weeks kind of gave me some time to mentally and physically prepare for the new lifestyle change.

This past weekend I added some glutenous foods temporarily back into my diet — mainly because I knew I was going back on a strict gluten free diet soon and because I wanted it — I won’t lie. Pizza, pasta and of course cake — were some of the examples of what I enjoyed over the weekend.

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Luckily when I eat gluten I don’t get super sick like those with celiac and other gluten sensitive diseases. In the moment I am fine, but depending on the amount of gluten I eat, usually within a half hour or sooner I start feeling it. I feel it in my energy and mood levels and it’s honestly just not fun. But, get me in the moment of eating pizza or pasta and I am a happy clam!

But, isn’t that pretty much life with any food?

That’s a post for another day.

Anyways, I am ready to start this thing. I’m excited to see happens with my energy levels, thyroid and body. As with any diet I like to document it with ‘before and after pictures.’ So here are some lovely half naked pictures of myself to commemorate this dietary occasion …

CLICK TO ENLARGE — CLICK AT YOUR OWN RISK

I have so many half naked pictures of myself in these poses on the internet that I don’t cringe at them. Though I have wonder if I posted a picture of my naked chest on Instagram  if it’d get flagged for being against their terms and conditions? Either way, I am going to update those pictures every 30 days. I’m hoping to see some big differences.

I also weighed in at 279.8, which kinda surprised me — I only gained like 8-9lbs. in the past two weeks. But, I know a lot of that will drop off quickly, because yesterday I ate quite a bit of food being my birthday and all. So I probably gained more like 5-6lbs.?

Either way — 279.8 is the starting point.

My goal is to get to 250 or lower before November 15th when I leave for Greece. I feel fairly confident I’ll get there. That’s about 2.5lbs. a week, I know I’ll be able to hit at least for the first 4-6 weeks.

But, I’m not sure how much I want stress about the weight compared to focusing on the diet and making sure I get myself in my needed ketogenesis range to burn fat. I am so new to this ketogenic stuff, but I know I’ll get there. I might be bumbling and stumbling with it for the first couple of days, so I hope get into a good rhythm with it fast.

One thing to help aid myself in the new diet I bought myself Christopher McDougall’s book “Natural Born Heroes” He’s also the author of “Born to Run” — one of my favorite running books. This is a pretty recent book — came out last April — and I didn’t hear about it until yesterday from my brother-in-law.

But, after hearing him talk about the book and then reading the description the book, the book is PERFECT for my nightstand. The book basically tells the story of athletic prowess of three Cretan resistance fighters in WWII. McDougall delves into what made these Cretans these amazing endurance athletes — including their diet. Which was basically paleo/ketogenic in nature.

Why this appeals to me so much is not just because of the diet or that it’s based in Greece. But, it’s specifically based in Crete, which is where my Papou — my Great Grandpa — was born and raised. In fact I am probably more Cretan than Greek. But, that’s a long complicated story that I’ll leave for another day.

But, the fact that I’ve got Cretan DNA within me really draws me toward that book. If a ketogenic diet can help me achieve an nth degree of what’s talked about in McDougall’s book, I’m excited to see what happens to me. It really excites and fills me with hope that this is going to work.

Anyways, I’m excited to be forging forward with this new diet lifestyle. And, I especially can’t wait to read my new book either. Here’s to the next 90 days! Here’s to Greece! Here’s to my health!


Just call me KETOshua from now on …

I don’t know how these formal announcements go. But, I guess there’s no other way to put it. I am going to be doing the Keto Diet.

I’m not sure how this is going to affect my life? I won’t lie, I’m not exactly sure what I am doing? I just know that I want to do it and from those I know (and trust) they had nothing but good things to say about a Keto based diet.

The past 3-4 months have kinda sucked for me. And, I’m just not where I wanted or planned to be physically — and subsequently emotionally — with my training. I was really planning on some great training, but after my sprained ankle those plans were really derailed. My weight-loss stalled and even following a clean gluten-free diet — didn’t do much for me.

And, honestly, the past couple of weeks it’s put me in a funk. So, I’m looking to shake things up for a number of reasons. Let me list the ways …

1) I want to lose 20-30 lbs. before November 15 (that’s when I am heading to Greece)
2) My ankle is healing nicely and I am starting to get back into a workout rhythm. 
3) I need a challenge — something hard that I can work towards.

So, yeah.

I’m tackling this in a few ways. First off, I am not starting now. As much as I want to, I am starting it on August 16th, which will be 90 days before I leave for Greece. I like working on 30 day fitness cycles.

Secondly, August 15th is my birthday. Who in their right mind wants to start a diet ON or BEFORE their birthday? Especially a diet that pretty much eliminates carbs? A birthday cake-less birthday is almost as depressing as pretty much any Sarah McLachlan commercial.

Though the thought of a bacon birthday cake does interest me.

And, thirdly, I never start a diet on a Monday or first day of the month. It’s stupid. And, if you want to fall into perpetual dieting all you have to do is wait until next week or month. But, that’s a post for another day. And, probably something I should put in my book.

Anyways, as I said, I have NO idea what I am doing. But, luckily for me, I have the internet. So, I’ve been Googling lots about the Keto Diet. I’ve found some good stuff here, here, here, here and of course you can’t reference anything from the internet without referencing Wikipedia. I’m pouring over this stuff this weekend and probably for the next couple of weeks until I get the hang of the diet.

Do I think this is a cure all to my problems? Of course not. But, in dealing with my Hashimoto’s Disease I love how compatible it is with my diet restrictions. And, I feel like there isn’t MUCH to change from my current diet other than monitoring my ketogenic levels.

In addition to all this prepping I decided to rename my fitness Instagram account @fight4phat to @ketoshua (it kinda makes me sound Asian, huh?). It’s just a play on words of my name and Keto. Cute, I know. But, I have started networking and following a number of keto accounts in hope for support and meal inspiration.

So, I guess you can I am all in, eh?

Make sure to follow me on Instagram. I’ll post some on PhatJosh over on the Facebook. And, I plan on checking in here on the bloggy blog as well.

But, I am planning on having a few “free” meals before starting the diet. I feel like I need to have another “Farewell to Carbs Tour” with some nachos, popcorn and of course my birthday cake on Tuesday.

So, if you’ve had any success on a keto diet — or non-success — I’d love to hear what you have to say about it. Drop a line in the comments below.

Oh, yeah, and follow me over on the Instagram as well …

Living with Hashimoto’s: The Next Phase

It’s hard to believe that we’re in March already. I’m thankful for that. I hate January. And, I’m not too fond of February either. The whole thing February has going for it is that it lingers around for only 28 days or so.

I just hate the winter months. I hate the winter blues. I hate the snow. So much hate. You’d almost think I’m one extra winter month away from joining the Dark Side. Thankfully not. December manages to warm my soul with Christmas.

Anyways, I’m plugging a long with my Hashimoto’s Disease.

Just a short recap of this journey — I was diagnosed back in late November, lived in denial of the diagnosis in December, came to terms with it in January by going gluten and dairy free and then went somewhat militant in February with the diet.

I did an elimination diet and hyper focused my food to a list of 33 things. For the most part I did really well with it. I won’t lie — I didn’t stick to it 100% during February. When I was in Las Vegas I ate foods that weren’t on my list — but, I was 90% gluten-free and dairy-free during the trip (there were a couple times when I ordered food that I forgot to be UBER specific about no dairy or gluten … luckily, I didn’t get too sick, though I felt it).

Anyways — I feel good about the progress I made this past month. It was tough eliminating many of the foods I love and enjoy — namely eggs and bananas. But, I stocked up on plenty of steak and sweet potatoes which I will always love.

Oh, and avocados.

Basically, there was still plenty of food to love and enjoy.

Now that my 33 days are over I have been reassessing my diet. I plan on adding back bananas and eggs slowly and less frequently. But, also being deliberate of when I eat them. Basically, I plan on focusing on eating bananas and most fruits around my workouts and runs to help give me a natural boost so I am not as dependent on caffeine or energy boosters (ie-5 Hour Energy, Preworkout, etc).

As you can see below I have made another list of 33 foods. I like this idea of 33 foods and focusing on them for the next 33 days. Because I know if I stick to those foods I’ll feel good, have the needed energy and stamina for my workouts and runs.

That’s the beauty of this list. If I defer from it — I feel it. That’s both a motivation and fear. A good fear though. Because, I want to feel 100%. I want to lose weight. I want to feel “normal” again.

And, I have felt a difference the past month. I had more energy during a lot of my long runs and races, especially during my ultra. I feel faster. I feel slimmer. And, I feel the difference in my clothes too. I love the feeling.

But, with the progress I’ve made, I have made a few changes I felt during my last month. Stuff, I am either eliminating or adding — because I want to see how my body reacts or acts with it back or in my diet.

For instance, I am swapping out the rice for brown rice. If I am going to eat rice I might as well get some more nutritional benefit from it, right? I am also adding Daiya — or vegan cheese — well, dairy-free cheese on the list. I need that on the list. Sure, it’s processed and I want to keep the food as non-processed as possible, But, I need some semblance to cheese.

Anyways — check out the list below.

In addition to the food list, I am also being more specific on my eating schedule. I’ve been reading a lot lately on intermittent fasting and I am adding that into my diet. No, it’s not an everyday thing, but it’s something I am planning on doing three times a week — Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday.

Basically, I won’t eat or drink calories until 2pm those days. Water, yes. But, no food. This was something I tried doing last fall, but after my diagnosis I just kinda stopped doing it. But, I really like the idea and science behind — especially with how it is suppose to help rev up the metabolism.

There are a number of differing intermittent dieting methods and the one I will be doing is based off the Bulletproof Diet. But, unlike the diet, I am not doing it everyday. I am doing this for a couple of reasons — I hate jumping straight into a strict diet (because I hate the ‘all or nothing’ mentality) and I am planning on exercising in the mornings that I do eat before 2pm. I fear not giving myself enough calories on those days.

In 33 days if I feel better on my fast days — then maybe — MAYBE — I will look into doing more fast days during the week? But, we’ll see after I assess everything next month.

Oh, you will notice I do have one ‘FREE CHOICE’ on the 33 list. That’s basically one dairy and gluten-free food of my choice that I can have — regardless of whether it is on my list or not.

BUT

And, it’s a big but. It’s not something I can freely choose each day. It’s a once a week choice. So, this could be dairy-free sherbet, a Slurpee, a slice of gluten-free banana or whatever tickles my fancy. But, it’s one serving and once a week, that I will consume around my weekend races and long runs.

You might be throwing some shade at that choice and I get that. But, I need some variance. And, I do much better on diet and food plans when there is some kind of variance. Plus, I made up this diet regime — so I am kinda making the rules as we go here.

So, if you are going to judge me, please judge me more on my inability to properly match my shirts and pants. Because that is probably the biggest problem I have with my life at this very moment.

Anyways, here is the food list and my workout routine for the next 33 days …

(CLICK TO ENLARGE)

Anyways — if you have questions or suggestions — I am always open to them. This journey is still very much brand new to me and while there is a guideline on what works for people in my same shoes — everyone doesn’t fit in my shoes.

So a lot of this is trail and error, success and failure and everything in between.

Fun stuff.

Day #1: Hashimoto’s 33 Elimination Diet

Well, it’s been a whole day without eating a banana. I won’t lie — I’m a little sad. But, I survived.

As noted last week, I am doing an elimination diet of sorts for my Hashimoto’s Disease. It’s not straight from a doctor, specialist or dietitian. It’s a system I came up with myself.

The foods on the list are all from Hashimoto’s Disease plans. I based it off a number of diet plans I read online. I then cross-referenced those lists with the elimination diet my sister and Mom are doing for their Hashimoto’s and made my own elimination diet.

One thing that annoys me about specific diet plans is the plethora of specific foods one should and shouldn’t eat. To me it makes the food lists rather overwhelming. Not to mention the grocery list — longer.

The 33 Diet is created to simplify the diet. I make a list of 33 food items and stick to those foods for 33 days. It sounds rather limiting, but when you combine it with fruits, veggies, meats, oils and seasonings — you’re also creating a list of ingredients for a number of other dishes.

My 33 Diet list is specific to my needs on this elimination diet. But, after a month I am going to swap out some foods with bananas and probably eggs to see how my body reacts to them. If they agree with me — they’ll probably stay on the list.

Going gluten and dairy free can be expensive — and by focusing on 33 food items I am narrowing down my grocery list. There’s really no need to stand in the aisles reading every label when you know exactly what’s on that list.

Plus, this challenges me to cook more — and be creative with it as well.

Sure, it will be a challenge, but I am up for it.

And, as the graph in this post says — this diet can be applied to any diet need or restriction. This is a guinea pig run for it, but I’ll for sure keep you posted as carry along the next 33 days or so.

But, I’m still alive — so that’s a good start, right?

A photo posted by The Runcast (@theruncast) on

The Hashimoto’s 33 Diet

The Hashimoto’s 33 Diet is a diet based a number of Hashimoto’s and autoimmune diets research online (you can find some here, here, here and here). From these diet plans I carefully constructed a list of 33 foods that would benefit my condition, promote weight-loss and increase my energy levels.

This is a minimalist approach to my diet. And, the idea comes from a conversation I had with a friend a few weeks ago. We were talking about the Project 333 minimalist fashion challenge and wondered if that same concept could be adapted to our diet.

This is the byproduct of that conversation.

There’s no scientific claim that these 33 foods alone will fix or cure my Hashimoto’s Disease. The diet works with a mentality that works best for me. If the food is not on the list – I don’t eat it. I’ve found in the past that work well with absolutes when it comes to constructing diet plans. I like a black and white approach.

Besides being a clear cut approach, this list hopefully promotes creativity in my cooking and use of the foods on my list. I chose foods that could pair well with other foods — or be eaten by itself (for the most part). I want to be able to cook something nutritious with little to no effort — with the ability to also make dishes that are elaborate and with much effort.

About 95% or so of the items on this list are all gluten-free, diary-free and non-processed foods with a strong preference toward organic items. These attributes are recommended in most autoimmune and Hashimoto’s protocol diets.

Of these exceptions — two are processed. They include my Isagenix IsaLean Shakes. A non-gluten, non-dairy shake I usually start my morning off with that has helped a lot with my energy levels, etc. — and Larabar Bites.

Also it should be noted that I kept rice on this list though it’s not entirely recommended on all Hashimoto’s lists. Yes, it is a grain, but it is also gluten-free — and with all the running I am doing from now until April I wanted to keep this on my list as a pre-race food, because I do better with some good carbs in me before a race. I just don’t anticipate eating it that much — and who knows … I might not use it at all? But, it’s on the list.

Anyways — like the Project 333, I plan on keeping this list for a minimum of three months. Then in April I’ll make another list of 33 foods. Whether it’s similar or different depends on how my body reacts to this diet protocol.

This might seem like an odd approach. Which I agree — it kinda is. But, for me — it works. I don’t see it as any different to the many autoimmune and Hashimoto’s Diet plans out there. I like this approach because it minimizes on the shopping and calls for fairly simple foods — sure the coconut oil and milk is a but out there. And, then of course the Kombucha.

But, it’s fairly budget friendly.

I am excited to see how this effects me. I am excited to see how it effects my energy levels, stamina and running. By keeping the foods simple and mostly unprocessed — I know I’ll see improvements.

Anyways — here is my list of 33 …

Meat, Poultry & Fish

Beef (1)

Chicken (2)

Pork (3)

Leafy Green Vegetables

Lettuce (4)

Spinach (5)

Cruciferous Vegetables

Broccoli (6)

Cabbage (7)

Root Vegetables

Sweet Potatoes (8)

Yams (9)

Squash (10)

Carrots (11)

Fruit

Grapefruit (12)

Oranges (13)

Lemons (14)

Peaches (15)

Apples (16)

Berries

Grapes (17)

Strawberries (18)

Blueberries (19)

Olives & High-Fat Fruits

Avocados (20)

Green Olives (21)

Fermented Foods

Sauerkraut (22)

Kimchi (23)

Rice & Grains

White Rice (24)

Herbs & Spices

Salt (25)

Pepper (26)

Fats & Oils

Coconut Oil (27)

Olive Oil (28)

Liquids & Drinks

Coconut Milk (29)

Kombucha (30)

Water (31)

Processed Foods

Isagenix IsaLean Shakes (32)

Larabar Bites (33)

Medications, Vitamins & Supplements

I am not counting my medications and supplements on my list of 33, but I feel like it’s important to share with you to help understand the whole picture.

90mg, Armour Thyroid
Zhou Thyroid Support
Vitamin D

Again, the goal for this diet is three-fold —

  1. Help temper my Hashimoto’s Disease and promote a healthy thyroid.
  2. Promote Weight-Loss and overall health.
  3. Promote creativity and ingenuity in my cooking.

I might tweak it a bit before Monday, But, I will periodically chime in throughout the process. Most likely weekly. I will be starting this officially on Monday, January 29th and go until Saturday, April 29th — which is three months. I will then assess the outcome, make a new list of 33 foods and go from there for another three months

Simple enough, right?

I’ll be posting more about this diet and outline soon. Stay tuned.

Keeping it all in the family …

I’ve been slowly getting a hang of this Hashimoto’s “thing” as of late. Transitioning into the new diet has been a work in progress. My doctor gave me a list of foods I should avoid and eat after my diagnosis. A good chunk of that list was avoiding gluten and dairy products.

And, I won’t lie — that’s been the hardest part. Actually, not so much gluten — because there are some pretty good gluten-free options these days. But, dairy free? Tough, tough, tough. It actually amazes me how many things do contain dairy in them — milk, cheese, butter, etc.

I can live without milk. Butter? Sure, if I have to. But, cheese? Um, yeaaaaah … I swear I’m comprised of like at least a quarter cheese. Living in a family full of Greeks, I grew up with a constant supply of Feta in our fridge. Then there’s my love of nachos and pizza — which consists of cheese. I feel like at times I could give Liz Lemon a run for her money on night cheese.

Needless to say, I love cheese.

I love it.

So when I went hunting for pizza last weekend, I found a gluten-free option WITH vegan cheese. I’d like to say it was good. But, yeah, not a fan. Which totally breaks my heart. Because pizza is my soulmate — and I feel like we’re losing that loving feeling.

But, that’s what I have been trying to focus on the past couple of weeks — just trying out foods that work for my diet and hopefully finding something I like. I was tempted to jump right back into a Whole30 or autoimmune diet, but if I’ve learned anything about dieting in the past — you’ve got to ease yourself into it.

So that’s what I’ve been doing for the past month.

But, this past week my sister and mom were officially diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Disease as well. They’re going to a specialist that they’re paying a pretty penny for, who’s giving them a specialized diet to follow. It starts with a month long autoimmune reset diet that slowly adds back certain foods. The idea is to reset and then listen to your body and what helps or damages it.

Though I was planning on transitioning into my own autoimmune diet plan I found online — but, out of curiosity and intrigue I am planning on following their diet plan. Granted it’s not specific to me, but it’s pretty basic and easy to follow across the board.

The best way to describe the diet is a mixture of Whole30 — but a bit more strict. It cuts out your gluten, dairy, sugar, grains, a good portion of your high glycemic foods, eggs, nuts and pretty much every processed food you’d be tempted to eat. And, the focus in on whole unprocessed foods — veggies, low glycemic fruit — and even coconut products like coconut butter, yogurt and milk.

It’s legit.

After four weeks of this diet you then slowly add back in foods like eggs, certain fruits, grains and some nuts — basically going into an autoimmune diet plan (one that resembles what I was planning on originally doing). The idea is to figure out what the body is reacting to negatively and to also help correct a leaky gut — something that is apparently correlated with Hashimoto’s?

I’m not a doctor so don’t ask me what that correlation is. When my mom was explaining this, I just smiled and nodded my head like I understood.

Anyways, I could go straight into the autoimmune diet, but I want to try this “reset diet” for a couple reasons. One, it wouldn’t hurt. And, two, I’d like to help support my mom and sister in doing it within them. There’s strength in numbers, right?

I am excited for my sister to be doing this. She’s had difficult struggles with her thyroid over the years — through weight and pregnancies. It’s taken a toll on her and I can see that excitement of hope on her face that there is a solution to these problems she’s had. Something I can totally relate to.

I will blog a bit more about the diet next week. I might post the list of approved and unapproved foods. But, I will also be posting the autoimmune diet plan I am using once I go through these next four weeks.

Just cutting out what I have so far has made a difference to my energy levels as of late. My energy is not all over the place. I don’t have crashes as much as I used to. And, it’s been easier waking up in the morning for me.

But, what excites me about that — is that it will get better in time. Especially as I really zone in on the diet and specific foods. I can’t be any more optimistic about the future and what this year will hold in regards to my health, running and overall self.

The Focus on 2017 …

I love this time of the year. I specifically love the week between Christmas and New Year’s — for a number of reasons. Not only is it a time for slow work flow. But, it’s a time of reflection of the year past — and the year ahead.

Regardless of the year behind me, I always love looking ahead and planning for the year ahead of me. It’s a time of self-reflection, self-inventory and goal setting. It’s a time of optimism and excitement for me.

I just really, really love this time of the year.

So as I reflect on 2016 and look forward to 2017 — a few things come to mind. One, I’m better understanding my health. I’ve got more concrete answers and better defined solutions to help me regain some of athleticism of the past. Knowing now I have Hashimoto’s Disease is a HUGE step in the right direction.

I have felt the past couple of years that as hard as I try — my health problems have pulled me back from where I want to be. I don’t necessarily want to set new PRs or get six pack abs — I just want more stamina in my running, feel faster and be slimmer. I know those aren’t very defined goals, but not having those consistently for the past 2-3 years — I miss those feelings.

But, now knowing how to tackle those issues — I feel extremely optimistic about 2017. I feel like this is the year to get those back. And, I really do feel like this is that year. I look forward to runs down American Fork, Big Cottonwood and Little Cottonwood Canyons with the energy, stamina and speed I want to feel.

That is happening.

Of course this reality will take a lot of effort on my part. A lot of that change will be happening in the kitchen as I cut out the requisite gluten and dairy from my diet to minimize the effects of Hashimoto’s. But, that’s going to also require the effort and focus of my training as well. And, I am ready to accept that.

It’s just going to be really tough.

But, I have three main focuses in 2017 when it comes to my running and health. They are (in no particular order) …

  1. Be within 10-12 races from my 180 race goal at the end of 2017.
  2. Cut out the gluten and dairy from my diet to give my thyroid a fighting chance.
  3. Get that elusive sub-2:30 half marathon time by Revel Big Cottonwood in September.

Now, these aren’t necessarily goals. I do short-term goals year round, but I like to take the time before a new year to refocus or refine those to help meet my long term goals.

My main long-term fitness goal is to get a sub-two half marathon time. I’m not stupid nor unrealistic to think that’s going to happen this year. That’d be nice. But, there’s a few things in my way to achieving that goal.

One, I run too many races. I need to train deliberate and specifically for my goal time. Two, I still need to cut probably 20-30lbs. and strengthen my core to make the feat physically possible for me. And, three, I need to set milestone and smaller goals to get me to that goal time.

Hence those three focuses.

I feel like if I really focus on those three things I could give myself a shot at my sub-two in 2018, especially after I am done with my 180 races in July. A run down Big Cottonwood or Payson Canyon in the fall could render that goal. Or at least a shot at the goal.

Either way — I just need to be smart and deliberate about it all. And, I feel like I am moving in that right direction.

 

So, what are some of your goals or things you are looking to work on in the upcoming year?