The Keto Diet Experience

Photo by Jonathan Borba on Pexels.com

Introduction

The Ketogenic (or Keto) Diet consists of high fat, moderate protein, and very low carbohydrate intake. A sample macro-nutrient profile for a Keto diet is around 70% Fat, 25% Protein, and 5% Carbohydrates. Macro-nutrients are Fat, Protein, and Carbohydrate; any food you eat will fall into 1 (or more) or these nutrient categories. There are many different schools of thought on an ideal marco-nutrient ratio for Keto, but the general principles are very low carbohydrate intake, and a majority of your calories coming from fat.

Contrast Keto with the marco-nutrient ratio of My Plate.gov, which is around 75% carbohydrate (see grain, vegetables, and fruits) with the remaining allocation to “protein” and “dairy”.

For my Keto experiment, the only macro-nutrients I am going to count will be carbohydrates and protein. My target carbohydrate intake during my keto diet is going to be 20 grams per day, which is a recommendation I picked up from pod caster and author Jimmy Moore (here is Jimmy’s website). Jimmy recommends starting at 20 grams per day to find your carbohydrate tolerance while on Keto. Is 20 grams per day realistic for me? I don’t know yet, but I will found out.

To keep protein intake “moderate”, I am going to set a target cap of 90 grams of protein per day. The general RDA (recommended daily allowance) of protein is .8 grams per kilogram of body weight. I weigh around 90 kilograms as of starting the program, and I am going to set my protein a little bit higher because I exercise 5 days per week. Based on a 2,000 calorie diet, 90 grams of protein puts me at around 20% of calories from protein, which falls within the range for Keto.

Why moderate protein on Keto? Protein and amino acids are essential for cell structure, function, regulation, and other important metabolic functions. If you consume more protein than is required to meet these functions, your body will convert the extra protein into sugar (glucose) via a process called Gluconeogenesis. This extra blood glucose will end up being stored as fat, if it is not used for energy during exercise/activity.

Will I be eating 2,000 calories? Maybe more, or maybe less? I have no idea, and I have no intention of counting calories (or fat intake) for my keto experiment. Based on the goal of achieving nutritional ketosis and using fat as fuel, I will count and set a cap (see above) for carbs and protein intake.

The Keto Diet and Fat as Fuel

Why are people interested in the Keto diet anyway, isn’t eating too much fat bad for you? This blog series will not get into the topic of dietary fat recommendations, however I do acknowledge that the Keto diet goes against what most of us were taught in school when it comes to “healthy” food groups and percentage of macro-nutrients. The main objective to a Keto diet is to train your body to use fat (in the form of blood Ketones) as fuel, rather than blood glucose (sugar).

For my experience with the Keto diet, I am not going in with any weight loss or body composition goals. I am more interested in documentation of how I feel, and if this style of eating helps me sustain energy levels for work and exercise. As with my previous series about Whole 30 and Anti Inflammatory Diet, I will include some before and after stats just to help view the whole picture of any benefits that I experience.

*Important to note, I will not be measuring blood sugar or blood ketone levels during this Keto Diet experiment. As such, I will have no way to demonstrate whether or not I am in ketosis, and my results will be purely based on how I feel.

The Keto Diet and Frequency of Meals

The nature of the Keto Diet and using Fat as fuel naturally lends itself to intermittent fasting, or going longer periods of time between meals. The main reason for this is that higher fat meals (which are low in carbs) do not trigger a significant production/high levels of insulin, and spike in blood sugar. The steep rise in blood sugar and high insulin production associated with a high carbohydrate meal results in significant peaks and valleys when it comes to energy level, and hunger cravings.

Photo by Lukas on Pexels.com

Using Fat (ketones) as fuel, lends itself to lower blood sugar levels following a meal/in between meals, and as such does not result in the intense hunger cravings associated with higher carbohydrate meals. The body’s response of insulin and blood sugar following high carb meals can also contribute to what people refer to as “the food coma” following lunch time. The food coma is a sluggish feeling during the hours following lunch, often resulting in someone reaching for a snack, or afternoon coffee to summon enough energy make it through the end of the day.

The Adaption Period

Since you are training your body to use fat (rather than sugar) as your main fuel/energy source, there will be an adjustment period when shifting to a Ketogenic Diet. Depending on many factors, your adaptation phase can take anywhere from 2-6 weeks (or longer). While your body may technically enter Ketosis within a short period of time, it will take a longer period of time following the Keto Diet to become “Keto/Fat Adapted”. This Healthline Article goes into a little more detail about the adaptation phase.

You can measure blood sugar and blood ketones (if you feel so inclined) to help determine if you are in ketosis, however adaptation is going to be more of a feeling than a measurable number. If you are Keto/Fat adapted, you should experience less hunger between meals, fewer (if any) cravings for sugar/carbs, more sustained energy and focus, all while staying in ketosis. From this example, if you jump right into the Keto Diet and measure blood ketones to demonstrate you are in ketosis on day 2, but you still have intense hunger cravings in between meals, you are probably not adapted to using fat as fuel.

My Adaptation Process

It is important to note if you are planning to follow along with my blog posts for informational purposes, at the time of writing this post I have spent around 2 months conditioning myself for fat adaptation. In July, I completed a Whole 30 program, and I have just finished a month following an Anti-Inflammatory Diet. What does this 2 month period have in common? No Grain, Added Sugar, Alcohol, Legumes during this time period. During the final week of my Anti Inflammatory Diet, I also experimented with more Keto type meals, and intentionally kept carbs lower.

I feel it is important to provide the context that I will not be starting my Keto Diet and at the same time rapidly transitioning from the Food Pyramid/My Plate diet which recommends grains at every meal. Jumping into Keto with both feet coming out of a Standard American Diet (SAD) would lead to a very uncomfortable adaptation phases, and I dare say a lower likelihood of compliance.

Keto Diet Yes and No Foods

Another principle followed by most who subscribe to a Keto diet is incorporating real food, and cutting out processed food. Based on the need to limit carbohydrates, and incorporate real food, here are some examples of food and drink on my no list during Keto:

  1. Processed/added sugar
  2. Artificial sweetener
  3. Grains
  4. Starches
  5. Legumes
  6. Alcohol
  7. Dairy, besides butter and hard cheese (most other dairy has high lactose)
  8. Processed oil (vegetable oil, canola oil, trans fats, etc)

Fruit will be in the “use sparingly” category, being mindful of the naturally occurring sugars and high carb content.

Here are some foods and drinks I will be consuming on a regular basis:

  1. Leafy greens
  2. Cruciferous vegetables
  3. Other vegetables (monitoring for sugar and carb content)
  4. Avocados
  5. Healthy added fats (Olive oil, Coconut oil, Avocado mayo)
  6. Eggs
  7. Hard cheese
  8. Coconut
  9. Seaweed
  10. Olives
  11. Meats
  12. Fish
  13. Nuts and nut butters
  14. Bone broth
  15. Tea
  16. Coffee
  17. Water

Structure of posts

I will include posts as a summary each week which will include meal logs (with carb and protein levels), my exercise log for the week, challenges, and tips. Look forward to updating you on how it is going, comment if you have any thoughts or questions!

Anti Inflammatory Diet- Week 3

Sliced Garden Fresh Tomatoes

Benefits Noticed this Week

I have felt continued steady energy this week, and mental sharpness and focus. Another benefit has been (generally) good quality sleep throughout this program. I recently obtained a smart watch, which has a feature to track sleep quality; this will be interesting to track during the final week of my anti-inflammatory program.

Challenges this Week

Getting completely back into the onsite work flow and commute to work was a challenge this week, in terms of timing in my routine and food prep. My solution was to continue what worked last week, which was having a coffee with coconut oil on my way to work, in order to help me fast longer and effectively eat one meal per day (without getting ravenously hungry). Any change to routine and requirements of your life comes with challenges, and so far the solutions I have tried for these challenges are working well.

Another challenge I noticed was related to my intermittent fasting and exercise routine. I found that on Tuesday when I deadlifted, I was more hungry by the time it was time for my meal as compared to the other days of the week. In addition to being more hungry, I found myself wanting/craving the potato chips that were left over from my wife’s sandwich (as you see from my meals log, I had the chips).

I’m not sure if the deadlifts revved my metabolism more, but I am interested in tracking this as a possible trend. Normally, I eat a meal relatively soon after weight training, which is just a habit from my days of being an athlete. My routine the last few weeks puts my workouts at around 6 am, and my meals around 4 pm. I plan to keep my one meal per day routine going, so I will monitor my hunger levels on lifting days vs cardio. In general, I have found it very easy to extend my fast after a walk or a run, as compared to how I felt on deadlift day.

Tip of the Week

Sleep! Pay attention to your sleep, try to get at least 7-8 good hours nightly. Getting enough quality sleep will enhance everything you are doing related to your well-being (including keeping chronic inflammation low); lack of quality sleep will have a detrimental impact. My (brief) tips related to sleep are:

  1. Set yourself a routine. Include the time you start winding down in the evening, the time you go to sleep, and the time you wake up as part of your routine.
  2. Make sure your room and your bed are comfortable, and remember temperature can be a factor in comfort.
  3. Make sure your room is completely dark.
  4. Try blue light blocking glasses an hour or two before bed. Blue light from the lights in our homes, TVs, phones, and other screens can make it harder for your body to wind down and go to sleep.

Meals

Sunday

Morning: Coffee and water.

Around 10 am: 2 spoons of peanut butter, 2 spoons of chia seed pudding, coffee with coconut oil.

Around 12 noon: Green tea

Around 3:00 pm: 3 handfuls of cashews, 1 spoon peanut butter.

Around 5 pm: Slow roasted salmon with a lemon garlic dressing, tomatoes, asparagus, small side roasted potatoes.

Monday

Morning: Coffee and water

Around 7:30 am: Coffee with coconut oil and salt.

Around 9 am: Iced green tea with powdered ginger and lemon.

(During all fasting periods, plenty of water).

Around 4:30 pm: Coleslaw made with cabbage slaw mix, chopped garlic, sautéed hot peppers (salt and pepper over the mix), dressing with avocado mayo, lemon juice, turmeric powder, ginger powder, Sriracha sauce, sesame oil. Canned salmon with Sriracha sauce. 1 serving Greek yogurt. 3 spoons of peanut butter, 1 glass iced coconut milk.

Tuesday

Morning: Coffee and water.

Around 7:30 am: Coffee with coconut oil and salt.

Around 9 am: Iced green tea with lemon 🍋 and ginger powder.

Around 4:30 pm: Bowl of coleslaw, 2 cans of herring, 1 serving of plain yogurt with green powder, 4 spoons chia seed pudding, 2 handfuls of potato chips.

Wednesday

Morning: Coffee and water.

Around 7:30 am: Coffee with coconut oil and salt.

Around 9 am: Iced green tea with lemon and ginger powder.

Around 4:30 pm: Bowl of coleslaw, 3 fried eggs with cheddar cheese, 4 spoons chia seed pudding, 1 serving plane yogurt with greens powder, 1 can of sardines in olive oil.

Thursday

Morning: Coffee and water.

Around 7:30 am: Coffee with coconut oil and salt.

Around 9 am: Iced green tea with lemon and ginger powder.

Around 3:30 pm: 3 egg omelet with cheddar cheese and garlic, Coleslaw, can of sardines, can of herring, 4 spoons chia seed pudding, glass of coconut milk.

Friday

Morning: Coffee and water.

Around 7:30 am: Coffee with coconut oil and salt.

Around 9 am: Iced green tea with lemon and ginger powder.

Around 4:30 pm: 3 egg omelet, chopped garlic, fresh tomatoes, basil, cheddar cheese, 3 spoons of chia seed pudding.

Around 6 pm: 12 oz Ribeye Steak, broccoli 🥦, Coleslaw.

Saturday

Morning: Coffee and water.

Around 8:30 am: Coffee with coconut oil and salt.

Around 10 am: Ice green tea with salt.

Around 3 pm: Air dried Kale chips (whole bag).

Around 6 pm: 5 Guys Bunless Cheeseburger with lettuce wrap, pickle, tomatoes, grilled onions and mushrooms.

Favorite Meal of the Week

The Bunless Burger!

Exercise

Sunday

Mowing the lawn, around 2.5 miles, around 1 hour.

Monday

Morning stretch and foam roll, around 50 minutes of walking.

Tuesday

Morning Stretch and Roll.

Deadlifts: Work sets 205×5, 225 x 5,4,4,3; Ab wheel roll 6 sets of 6-8 reps; pull up bar hangs.

Wednesday

Morning stretch and roll, around 5 miles of walking at work.

(Exercise routine was interrupted by sleep interruption, kid issue).

Thursday

Morning stretch and roll.

Goblet squats: 35 lbs- 8,8,8,8,8; Kettlebell Swings: 53 lbs- 10,10,10,10,10; Pull ups: 6,5,5,4,4; Push ups: 10,12,13,11,10; Total Gym row: 12,12,12,10,10; Concentration curl: 20 lbs- 10,10,10,8,6

Friday

Morning stretch and roll, 4.9 mile run, no walk breaks, around 51 minutes total time.

Saturday

Morning stretch and roll, some walking at work, mostly active rest day.

My Compliance Grade

I give myself another 99% compliance this week, my one slip up was potato chips on Tuesday. Although potato is not a grain, chips are typically fried in vegetable oil, which is pro inflammatory. I’ve still been feeling great about getting enough servings of anti inflammatory foods and drinks each day. Looking forward to finishing strong next week!

Anti Inflammatory Diet- Week 2

Anti Inflammatory Coleslaw-Take 2!

Benefits Noted this Week

My energy levels sustained very well this week, even during a demanding time of the year at my day job. I found the chia seed pudding to be an excellent addition of dietary fiber and healthy fats, quick and easy to make and eat.

Also, I have had chronic pain in my shoulder for many months, the best I can trace it back to was sleeping on it funny. The issue has not significantly interrupted my exercise, however it was always present. This week, I noticed that I was not experiencing the chronic pain! There is not enough information to state that it is cause and effect that the anti-inflammatory diet reduced this pain (I have also been doing stretching and therapy), but, definitely a benefit to be logged.

Challenges

The main challenge this week was a change in work routine due to the time of the year, for me this involved going in to work more frequently (rather than working from home primarily) and working on the weekend. I met these challenges by slightly adjusting my volume of exercise on certain days, and using coffee with coconut oil to help extend fasting and not need to pack meals to bring to work. The extended fast helped save me time, and also varied my meal routine.

Tip of the Week

Chia seed pudding is a great way to have a few bites of nutrient dense food as a snack, or to accompany any meal. Chia seeds are rich in fiber, omega 3 fatty acids (helping the omega 6:3 ratio), and also have some protein. Soaking the Chia seeds in liquid or making a “pudding” makes them more palatable and digestible, since they absorb a lot of liquid in their natural state (I would not recommend eating a spoon of Chi seeds dry out of the pack). Chia seed pudding is very customizable, and fits well with anti inflammatory eating.

Meals

Sunday

Morning: Coffee, water.

Around 9 am-Coffee with MCT Oil

Around 12:30: Salad with local lettuce, tomato, cucumber, hot pepper, canned herring, greens powder, dressed with olive oil, salt and pepper; 3 spoons chia seed pudding, made with chia seeds, coconut milk, turmeric, fresh ginger, cinnamon, black pepper.

Around 6 pm: Chicken with lemon 🍋 caper butter sauce, sliced fresh tomatoes with garlic, basil, olive oil, salt and pepper, air dried kale chips.

Monday

Morning: Coffee, water.

Around 7:30 am: Coffee with coconut oil.

Around 9 am: Iced green tea with lemon and grated ginger.

Throughout the day: Water (on all days with a long fast)

Around 4:30 pm: Soup with diced canned tomatoes, fresh tomatoes, ground beef, mixed pepper, union, carrot, garlic, hot pepper, spices, beef bone broth; bowl of anti inflammatory coleslaw with cabbage slaw mix, onions, sliced jalapeno, garlic, grated carrots and ginger, fresh tomato, salt and pepper, dressing with avocado mayo, lemon juice, sriracha sauce, sesame oil, turmeric powder.

Tuesday

Morning: Coffee, water.

Around 7:30 am: Green tea with turmeric, fresh lemon and ginger

Around 10:00 am: Soup with diced canned tomatoes, fresh tomatoes, ground beef, mixed pepper, union, carrot, garlic, hot pepper, spices, beef bone broth; 3 spoons of chia seed pudding; 1 serving 2% plain Greek yogurt.

Around 10:50 am: Avocado with salt and pepper.

Around 12 noon: Cup of green tea.

Around 2:30 pm: 3 spoons of peanut butter; salad with lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, green powder, coleslaw, dressed with olive oil, salt and pepper.

Evening: Herbal tea

Wednesday

Morning: Coffee and water.

Around 7:30 am: Coffee with coconut oil and salt.

Around 9 am: Iced green tea with lemon and grated ginger.

Around 6 pm: Bowl of soup (see above for ingredients) with a serving of Greek yogurt; bowl with avocado, tomatoes, green powder; 2 spoons chia seed pudding.

Thursday

Morning: Coffee and water.

Around 7:30 am: Coffee with coconut oil and salt.

Around 9 am: Iced green tea with lemon and grated ginger.

Around 5 pm: Coleslaw topped with lettuce and avocado, 2 spoons peanut butter, 3 spoons chia seed pudding.

Evening: Herbal tea.

Friday

Morning: Coffee and water.

Around 7:30 am: Coffee with coconut oil and salt.

Around 9 am: Iced green tea with lemon and grated ginger.

Around 6 pm: Burrito Bowl from Chipotle with steak, sautéed vegetables, salsa, guacamole, sour cream, cheese, extra avocado, tomatoes, hot peppers (I added), 4 spoons peanut butter, 1 glass coconut milk.

Saturday

Morning: Coffee and water.

Around 7:30 am: Coffee with coconut oil and salt.

Around 9 am: Iced green tea with lemon and grated ginger.

Around 6 pm: Bacon cheeseburger salad with lettuce, tomatoes, avocado 🥑, blue cheese, pickle burger patty, blue cheese crumbles; 3 spoons chicken seed pudding.

Favorite Meal of the Week

Bacon Cheeseburger Salad!

Exercise

Sunday

Around 30 minutes of walking, stretch, foam roll

Monday

Morning stretch and roll, around 50 minutes of walking.

Tuesday

Deadlifts: 205×5, 225×4,3,3,2, 205×5; Ab roll wheel 6 sets of 6-8; pull up bar hangs

Wednesday

Goblet squat: 35 lbs x 8,8,8; Kettlebell swing: 53 lbs x 10,10,10; Pull up x 6,5,6; Push up x 12,12,12; Total Gym row x 10,10,10; concentration curl- 20 lbs x 10, 10, 10

(Note-number of sets dialed back today due to changes in work schedule Wednesday-Saturday)

Around 7 miles of walking at work.

Thursday

Morning stretch and foam roll, morning walk, waking at work (around 6 miles for the day).

Friday

Morning stretch, 4.9 mile run, no breaks, around 54 minutes total time. Around 4 miles of walking at work.

Saturday

Around 4 miles of walking at work.

My Compliance Grade

I give myself a solid 99%, my one ingredient that made it in for pro inflammatory was the bacon in my salad on Saturday. Always got my anti inflammatory food and drinks in each day, looking forward to next week!

Anti Inflammatory Diet- Week 1

Iced Seltzer with Fresh Grated Ginger, Lemon

Benefits Noted This Week

I feel a continuation of the mental focus and sharpness I did during the Whole 30. As mentioned in my introduction post, I had just completed a Whole 30 program immediately prior to trying this anti-inflammatory plan. Digestion feels great, probably partially due to all of the creative uses of ginger (a noted digestive aid).

Challenges This Week

My initial challenge (I thought), would be 4 servings per day of anti-inflammatory foods. I addressed this challenge by stacking at least two anti-inflammatory ingredients together in foods and drinks. For example, grated ginger and turmeric powder in green tea, and the anti-inflammatory coleslaw listed below (around 5 anti-inflammatory ingredients, even more paired with a salad).

Unexpected challenge, lots of turmeric can stain your teeth… after a cup of tea, my 3 year old son told me my teeth are yellow, and I should brush them.

Tips of The Week

Grated Ginger! Get yourself some fresh ginger (organic if possible), if it is in a big batch, freeze some of it for later. I have been grating ginger in to hot tea, iced tea, iced water/seltzer with lemon, and Coleslaw. It provides a nice spicy flavor, along with anti-inflammatory benefits. Peel the ginger by cutting the skin off with a knife or peeler, and then grate. Start off with a little bit to see what your taste is, I have been using about an inch long piece at a time for beverages.

Anti-Inflammatory Cocktail

Prep your meals and shop for ingredients in advance each week. I do not make myself a day by day plan so I have some flexibility, but if you do not make a plan for each week, you may run out of ingredients and make poor choices. Along this topic, remove foods on the inflammatory list from your home if you are trying to cut them out, why be tempted? If you don’t have them immediately within reach to consume impulsively, you at least have to go out to the store and buy them, hopefully giving yourself time to think through the decision.

Lets Talk About Week 1 [Video]

Meals

A few general notes about my meals and structure of eating:

  1. “Coffee” always means black coffee when listed.
  2. “Water” always means reverse osmosis filtered water, unless otherwise noted.
  3. I practice intermittent fasting, meaning eating meals in a specific window of time. Usually, I will eat in a 4-6 hour window, and fast 18-20 hours (with slight fluctuation).
  4. When I list “Greens Powder”, this is a powder made of dried greens of various types, which I use in place of a multi-vitamin.
  5. As I write this post, I have just completed a “Whole 30” program, so any benefits noted should be viewed with this context in mind (I am not starting from square one/making a dramatic shift in my diet).

Monday

Morning: Coffee, Water.

Around 8 am: Green tea with turmeric (all in 1 teabag), grated fresh ginger added.

Around 9:30 am: Seltzer with fresh lemon, grated ginger.

Around 11 am: Coffee with a spoon of coconut oil

Around 3 pm: 3 spoons of Peanut Butter (no added sugar)

Around 4:30 pm: Salad with lettuce, tomato, cucumber, olives, green powder, smoked herring, garlic, jalapeno peppers, dressed with Olive Oil, salt and pepper; Anti Inflammatory Coleslaw made with broccoli slaw mix, scallions, grated carrot, ginger, garlic, sliced jalapeno peppers; dressing made with avocado mayo, sriracha sauce, lemon juice, turmeric powder, sesame oil, salt and pepper.

Tuesday

Morning: Coffee, Water

Around 8 am: Green tea with turmeric powder added, grated fresh ginger added.

Around 11 am: Green tea with grated ginger, and a spoon of coconut oil.

Around 12 Noon: Salad with lettuce, olives, avocado, sardines, greens powder, Coleslaw (from Monday), dressed with olive oil, salt and pepper.

Around 2:30 pm: 3 spoons of nut butter (no added sugar), cup of green tea.

Evening: Cup of ginger and turmeric tea (all in 1 teabag).

Wednesday

Morning: Coffee, water.

Around 7:40 am: Green tea with turmeric powder added, grated fresh ginger added.

Around 11 am: Canned Herring with sriracha sauce.

Around 12 noon: Salad with lettuce, olives, green powder, coleslaw, avocado, dressed with olive oil, salt and pepper.

Around 4 pm: 3 spoons of nut butter.

PM: Ginger and Turmeric tea (1 tea bag)

Thursday

Morning: Coffee, water.

Around 8:00 am: Green tea with turmeric powder added, grated fresh ginger added.

Around 12 PM: Coffee with Coconut Oil

Around 5 pm: Salad with lettuce, olives, green powder, coleslaw, avocado, canned salmon, sriracha sauce, dressed with olive oil, salt and pepper.

PM: Herbal tea.

Friday

Morning: Coffee, water.

Around 7:30 am: Seltzer with lime and grated ginger.

Around 10 am: Coffee with coconut oil.

Around 1 pm: 2 egg omelet with green powder, sliced jalapeno peppers, avocado, with a side of sauerkraut and olives.

Around 6:30 pm: Steak tips with sautéed pepper, mushroom, onions, side salad (dinner out).

Saturday

Morning: Coffee, water.

Around 7:30 am: Iced Green tea with lemon and grated ginger.

Rest of the day, food and drink TBA (posting in the morning).

Favorite Meal of the Week

Anti Inflammatory Coleslaw

Anti Inflammatory Coleslaw! Made with 2 bags of broccoli slaw mix, grated carrot, grated ginger, 3 cloves of garlic, 1 sliced jalapeño pepper, chopped scallions, salt and pepper over mix; dressing made with 3/4 cup avocado mayo, 2 tablespoons Sriracha sauce, 1 teaspoon turmeric powder, juice half lemon, sprinkle of sesame oil. Mix all together, tastes even better the next day! I chose this meal because it really fits well into the theme, tasted great, and I got lots of meals out of it!

Exercise

Notes on exercise:

  1. I am not designing an exercise routine to be anti inflammatory.
  2. My reason for logging exercise during this program is so you are able to see both diet and exercise as part of the whole picture for any benefits I note for myself during the program.

Monday

Morning stretch and foam roll; about 50 minute walk, around 2.5 miles total.

Tuesday

Morning stretch and foam roll

Deadlifts: Work sets- 205×5, 225×3,3,3,3; Ab wheel roll, 6 sets of 6-8 reps, pull up bar hangs

Wednesday

Goblet squat: 35 lbs- 5,8,8,8; 2 Hand Kettlebell swing: 53 lbs- 5,10,10,10; Pull up: 5,6,5,5; Total gym row: 10,10,10,10; Concentration curl: 20 lbs- 8,8,8,8; Pushup: 12,10,10,12

Thursday

Morning stretch and foam roll; about 50 minute walk, around 2.5 miles total.

Friday

Morning run, around 4.9 miles, no walk breaks, around 56 minutes total.

Saturday

Mowing the lawn, around 2.5 miles, around an hour total time.

My Grade for the Week

I did not consume any of the listed inflammatory foods this week, so I give myself 100% when it comes to avoiding these food groups. I also found it fairly easy to get my 4 servings of anti-inflammatory food and beverages in per day as well. Looking ahead to next week, I want to try a new concoction to help me get some anti-inflammatory foods together: Chia seed pudding. I’ll give a walk through on how I prepare the pudding, and how to mix in anti-inflammatory ingredients. See you next week!

The Anti Inflammatory Diet

30 Days of an Anti Inflammatory Diet

Inflammation, friend or foe? Well, the answer is, it depends. This blog series is going to be a week by week breakdown of an anti inflammatory diet I will follow for 30 days. This diet is not a specific plan I’m following along with like Whole 30 last month, but I will frame out some guidelines I will be following (in sections below).

Disclaimer

Please note that I am undertaking this endeavor purely for experimental purposes. I am in generally good health, and I am not attempting to use diet as a therapeutic approach for a chronic inflammatory condition. Diet as a therapeutic approach for a chronic condition requires help from a professional, a food could be “healthy” or anti-inflammatory, but also cause allergy or sensitivity for certain people (for example).

All Content on this site is written for informational purposes only. Under no circumstances should this blog be used as replacement for professional medical, exercise, or nutritional advice. All information or ideas should be discussed with a licensed Physician, Healthcare Provider, Personal Trainer, or Nutritionist prior to implementation.

What is Inflammation?

There are two main types of inflammation the body can experience, acute and chronic inflammation. Examples of acute inflammation are swelling or bruising as a result of trauma, this is a natural and important bodily function for healing. A fever is another example of acute inflammation.

Chronic inflammation happens when an inflammatory response lingers for a prolonged period of time. Food allergies or sensitivities can be a source of chronic inflammation, if someone keeps consuming the particular food group they have the allergy or sensitivity to.

Autoimmune disorders can also be a source of chronic inflammation. Autoimmune disorders are conditions in which the body’s immune system mistakes cells and tissue as foreign invaders which need to be neutralized/eliminated. More information about chronic inflammation can be found here.

Foods Which Can Cause Inflammation

As mentioned above, any foods a person has an allergy or sensitivity to can cause an inflammatory response for that person. Below are foods that have been shown to contribute to inflammation, and therefor I will be avoiding as part of my diet:

  1. Added Sugar/High Fructose Corn Syrup.
  2. Transfatty Acids (spot these on a label by seeing the term “Partially Hydrogenated”).
  3. “Vegetable Oil”/processed seed oils. Please see my previous blog post for information on how to spot these oils.
  4. Alcohol.
  5. Processed Grain Products. (I will be entirely avoiding grain)
  6. Processed Meat Products (Bacon, Sausage, Lunch Meat, etc.)
  7. Fried Food.

Here is an article on some of the reasons why the foods above can cause inflammation.

Foods with Anti-Inflammatory Properties

Below are examples of foods and beverages which have been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties. My plan for this diet is to consume at least 4 servings of foods from this group per day as part of my plan.

  1. Fatty Fish (Salmon, Sardines, Mackerel, Herring, others). Fatty fish are high in omega 3 fatty acids, which help offset inflammatory effects of high levels of omega 6 fatty acids contained in processed oils.
  2. Berries.
  3. Green Tea.
  4. Ginger, Garlic, Turmeric, Cinnamon.
  5. Leafy Greens.
  6. Avocados.
  7. Broccoli.
  8. Hot Peppers.
  9. Cherries, Grapes.
  10. Tomatoes.
  11. Dark Chocolate.

Please take a look at this article for more information on the specifics of why/mechanisms of these food’s anti-inflammatory properties, I am keeping it simple for the post in list format.

Let’s Talk About It [Video]

Upcoming Posts

I will have a blog post each week, usually on Saturday, with a summary of my meals, exercise, challenges, tips, and benefits noted for that week. I am excited about incorporating more of these anti-inflammatory foods into my diet, look forward to providing updates as I go along!