Monday, August 24, 2015

Ketogenic + Restless Legs = Insomnia ... Um, No!


Okay, I have been eating ketogenic for five days now. I have gotten through the carb detox headaches and have settled into a macro plan of 5% carbs (no grains), 20% protein, 75% fat.

The upside is that I like the idea of limiting my body of all of the glucose which will help my minor health conditions.

But there are definitely downsides!

The first is that I am having a hard time getting in enough fats under the strictures of the diet. Who knew it would be hard to eat fats? The real problem is that the fats I want to eat then include a consumption of protein and/or carbs and then throws off my percentages. Still working on that one.

The bigger issue is that for the past couple of nights I have had trouble sleeping, and I have had restless legs.

Sleeping is one of those things that I do well. I go to bed at the same time every night (for the most part) and get up at the same time each morning. I can fit in a 15-30 minute power nap in the afternoon and have no trouble going to sleep at night.

But I have noticed a direct correlation between this new eating plan and my sleeping. And that is just something I cannot accept.

I mentioned in my last post on this topic that I am not one to jump on a diet bandwagon. I am a pretty firm believer in moderation. I also know that I need to get my carbs under control and know that grains are the major culprit.

It has not settled very well with me on this ketogenic diet that you have to limit your fruits so much. To me that is not balance. But I was willing to go with it if I was reaching my desired results of having a healthy body to host healthy cells.

Last night, after a good hour of being wide-awake and very restless, I got up and ate a couple small spoonfuls of almond butter and a swallow of real milk and went back to bed. And I fell right asleep and slept comfortably the rest of the night.

I am missing carbs, and not from a craving standpoint.

My body is missing carbs. My body, at this point, needs more carbs than I am eating to get proper sleep. And because I am not eating in enough moderation I am also lacking desperately in potassium and magnesium, which medically causes restless leg syndrome and leg cramps. I am taking a magnesium supplement which will take care of that issue. But potassium supplements are trickier and you really just need your levels to be obtained from food.

I am not abandoning this way of eating. But I am going to make a modification.

I have been trying to eat around 20 grams of carbohydrates a day (versus the 150 grams I used to eat). I am going to stick to that in my normal planning of my daily foods. But before bed I am going to eat a banana, to give me those carbs and help with the potassium levels, and drink a warm glass of coconut/almond milk blended with tumeric and some type of sweetener (I am thinking chocolate/carmel popcorn seasoning .. yum!). That will have me between 50-60 grams of carbs a day, with no grains, and I think it's just what I need to do.

It's always amazing how when you start to follow a school of thought that it is easy to get brainwashed by it and then even fearful to veer from the strict guidelines. It's amazing how with just a few days of following this way of eating I am freaked out over every carb gram I consume.

That is not healthy.

I have a body to protect and right now it is telling me that I am eating too few carbs. So I am going to listen to my body and adjust my levels.

(It reminds me of when I started giving the kids probiotic gummies each day. Brynne had always had stomach/regularity issues, and Eli had his own variation of a normal gut with no stomach problems. After about a month we had two separate nights where Eli was up all night, and I mean all night, with excruciating stomach pain. We thought it might be his appendix. It occurred to me, out of the blue, after the second night that the only change in him had been the addition of the probiotic. I stopped it immediately and he has not had one problem since. Brynne has taken it consistently since that time and it solved her stomach issues. The point? Just because science tells you that you should do something for good health reasons does not mean it will work in every person's body! We are all different! If I don't up my carbs and potassium level naturally then it would be like me telling Eli at that time that, "Yeah, I know you are in extreme pain, but the health professionals say probiotics are good for you so you are just going to have to suffer." I would never do that to him, and I am not doing it to me!)

I'll keep you updated.

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