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Nutritional Ketosis Experiment Week 2: I test the limits!

baconIf you read my previous post (My Ketosis Experiment) you will notice that I transitioned to this style of eating rather easily because I’ve been a low carb eater (under 100 grams) for many months. And I had very few undesirable transition “symptoms.” In fact, I found it to be a fun if not, pleasurable experience. I really enjoyed discovering how my body felt as I became keto adapted.

What’s New in Week 2

So the difference I noticed in the second week is that I drastically increased my exercise and noticed plenty of strength and power during workouts. Right at the beginning of week 2, I thought, “Hey why not test the limits?” I had been avoiding spin class (one of my favorite workouts) at the start of my keto journey and decided to try it out while in full ketosis, a morning class in a fasted state. It was a hour class, which is challenging keto-adapted or not, but noticed I felt pretty strong (winded slightly probably due to a lack of cardio over the past 2 weeks) but I was able to finish the class without being totally wiped and exhausted. It was a good kind of tired, like when you really push yourself. That really gave me the confidence that my body and physical activity level I preferred could handle keto.

My worry was that I might be extremely sore the next day or too exhausted to exercise for the rest of the week, but that turned out not to be an issue either. If fact, later that week, I continued with  my BodyPump group strength classes and actually increased my weights! So I was gaining strength, not weakening.

What I ate

Breakfast of champions:  Cauliflower “oatmeal” with cinnamon and flax. Occasionally I had bacon and eggs, but the cauliflower is my preference because the fiber really fills me up, it takes a long time to eat and I love the fact I’m getting a sulfur rich cruciferous vegetable in at the start of the day.

Lunch was frequently leftovers, but sometimes some form of salad or chicken salad made with homemade mayo or Caesar dressing.

Dinner was frequently some type curry spiced coconut creamed spinach or cabbage and onions with chicken, ground turkey, or beef curry (was on a curry kick that week!)

Snacks were frequently macadamia nuts or coconut butter, and a chocolate Vitamin D chew if I felt like I was missing chocolate. Or a little piece of 85% dark chocolate would do the trick.

Monkey Wrench- Taking a Vacation at the beginning of Keto

The week ended with a bang- a trip to Colorado for a week and a whole new experience of dealing with Keto while traveling, dining out and exercising at altitude! I’ll cover the trip in my next post of Week 3 on Keto, but some interesting things I noticed right away:

I didn’t have any altitude adjustment issues. I’ve traveled to higher elevations before (over 6000 ft) and have had headaches or weakness, but had none of this on the trip.

I found it relatively easy to fly and travel and eat keto. I packed macadamia nuts, salami slices, coconut butter and 85% dark chocolate for the plane ride and to keep in the room. I had eaten my cauliflower breakfast before getting on the plane. (otherwise, if I had less time, I would have cooked some bacon the night before and brought it with me to the airport). Because of my keto-adaptation, I was able to hold off on eating a decent lunch until very much later in the day and ended up getting a nice antipasto dish at a Mediterranean restaurant (good cheese, olives, salami, prosciutto and almonds) and a nice green salad on the side as well.

Main Take-Aways for Week 2

  • I found I could tolerate more exercise (including some cardio) than I expected
  • I noticed strength gains in my weight lifting workouts
  • I started to see more consistent moderate levels of ketones in my urine
  • I could adequately prepare and engage in travel with minimal inconvenience (packing key low carb, high fat snacks)
  • I was easily able to find meals on menus or make requests to stay low carb
  • I had no altitude adjustment problems and did not lose my ketones from dining out

Stay tuned for Week 3 of Keto- where it all gets crazy: pushing the carb tolerance limit, having alcohol, hiking at altitude and a hormonal shift become major players in maintaining my keto-state.


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