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Eating carb report card

I really appreciate the Ketogenic Mediterranean Diet  and have been on it – in my customized fashion– for maybe 10 months. 

After being diagnosed with Diabetes II 18 months ago I get to monitor myself at close quarters.

The KMD is a version of a Low Carbohydrate Diet

I don’t take a vitamin supplement but I do take daily high dose fish oil mainly for pain relief from Fibromyalgia. After dealing with a weight loss plateau I now stay off all grains and find that I cannot tolerate dense carb vegetables nor legumes. 

I eat them and my blood sugar will at least rise 1-2 mmol.

The problem with low carb eating is the ready substitution of meat to make up for the caloric shortfall. I try to keep my meat consumption down in line with traditional Cretan cuisine and like them I eat a lot of olive oil. (The Cretan average consumption — under their Mediterranean diet — is 22 Kgm of olive oil per year per person). 

I love the stuff.

Induction caused an attack of gout and when I shifted my carb intake down further I got another dose of gout. 

So I’m a high Uric acid type with a family history of gout.

So be prepared. Diet changes are always a precursor for an optional gout attack (if you are unlucky).

After lossing a kilogram a month ( 10 kgm over a year )I hit a plateau but am now losing weight after cutting back on what was a daily serve of high carb — a slice of bread or Basmati rice.

I don’t suffer from hunger pains.  I love the culinary challenges and excitement of generating and discovering new meals under this regime. In that quest I am much taken with the foods of Sicily and Spain although I’m proficient across the menus of the Arab world.

Of late I’ve been eating olives almost daily and have upped my cheese intake and have always consumed Greek style yogurt. I cook with yogurt (eg: curries) and use it as a base for desserts (eg: berries and yogurt). I also use cream such as in au gratins; and en route have learnt to respect the humble pumpkin and cauliflower (which almost substitutes for rice). I’d like to eat sweet potatoes and legumes but they blow up my blood sugar readings and are maybe too carb dense for me. My snack foods are nuts — peanuts in their shell and almonds. I also like preserved meats…as a treat.

I drink two glasses of wine per day.

My blood workup is improving but it is too early to tell how much this diet is driving these results outside the blood sugar levels. I’m trying to deal with fluid retention issues but I doubt that this diet as yet has impacted on that issue for me.

My main goal — now that my blood sugars are stable — is to lose more weight and I expect i can at least lose another 5-6 kgm under this regime. I am physically active and exercise but this does not impact on my weight at all (as Gary Taubes points out in his books). It never has.

Am I suffering for my commitment? No bread, no potatoes, no sugar…? No I’m not. I love this food but am really challenged if I have to eat away from home.Even with family and friends it is so hard to explain what I’m not eating and why. So away from home my carb intake goes up.

I began this journey by dropping my carb intake from an societal average of around  200-300 grams of carbohydrate per day to something around 110-120 gms. I do better lower than this and would think I’m now eating maybe 50 grams or less on average per day. Once you exclude the high carb stuff that’s easy to do.

Low carb eating has changed my life and Steve Parker’s dietary template has given me something to format my daily menus around as well as a series of clear perpectives to strive for.

I’ve eaten 'Mediterranean’ for four decades but always tending towards the high end of  the carb scale — pasta, couscous, rice, bread etc — and followed a Glycemic Index dietary approach for years. But really that was insufficient to impact on my health and with ignorant doctors advising me I sailed through “Pre-Diabetes” to Diabetes II quicker than it is fair (esp with family history of Diabetes). If I had known then what I know now — going back a few years — my health would be much better today.

The GI stuff trained me of course to respect the carbohydrate  I put in my mouth, but I think GI eating is a false god.

So listen up peoples: consider going down this route.

What I'm Not Eating
  • Bread. Cereals. Pasta. Rice. Flour.Cakes.Biscuits.
  • Potatoes. Corn. 
  • All fruits except berries, cantaloupe and paw paw.
  • Sugar. Honey. Sweets/Confectionery. Beer.
  • Dried fruits. 
  • Legumes.
What I'm eating more of than previously
  • Cheeses (esp hard cheeses and Fetta), Cream,  Greek yogurt , Olives, Olive oil.
  • Smoked and preserved meats like bacon and sausages. 
  • Fish (when I can afford it)
  • Pumpkin, Eggplant and Cauliflower. Berries.
  • Herbs and Nuts
  • Even more green salads
  • Anchovies.
What I eat -- or try to eat -- daily 
  • Wine
  • Greek Yogurt
  • Berries
  • Tea with milk.
What I ration
  • Meat.
  • Eggs.
  • Wine.
What I have for breakfast
  • Expresso coffee - short black.
  • Olives plus cheese plus a preserved/smoked meat  or
  • Berries and Greek yogurt  or
  • An egg dish.
What I have for lunch
  • Green salad  with tuna, egg, or cheese or
  • Soup   or
  • Dinner leftovers.
Dinner is always a culinary journey...


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