January 04, 2020

Carb Intolerance Test: Four Days Down, 10 More To Go

Has it been two weeks yet?! (whine whine whine, complain complain complain)

This MAF Carbohydrate Intolerance Two-Week Test (I'm just going to call it the CI test for short) is driving me crazy, and it's only Day 4 of 14. (Jerry is feeling the same way)

The sugar cravings, headaches, thoughts that revolve around nothing but food, brain fog, snapping at people I care about because I'm so irritable, and the worst part... extreme exhaustion for no reason at all. It's hard! I know that these things are "normal" when cutting carbs like this, but good grief... I don't know how people make this a lifestyle!

The only reason I haven't quit yet is because I know it's only for two weeks. (Well, and because I made a big old post about it and I'd be too embarrassed to quit now.)

It's only been four days, and I'm super tired of eggs for breakfast. For lunch, I typically make a plate of parmesan cheese slices (my favorite), some cherry tomatoes, and almonds. Today I had almond butter and carrots instead of the almonds, and I had some olives, too.

A huge challenge for me about this whole CI test is that I don't love meat. I will eat it, but I usually like tiny pieces of it mixed in with things like rice or pasta, because I don't like just eating a chunk of meat--like, I never eat chicken breasts or steak or anything like that--and when I eat veggies, they are usually mixed in with things, too (like a stir-fry).

I made an exception on Thursday, though, when I cooked a version of chicken parmesan--a chicken breast with homemade marinara, parmesan cheese, and mozzarella cheese. And a side of Brussels sprouts sautéed in coconut oil. I really liked the marinara and cheese, but I had a hard time eating the chicken. I just cut it into really small bites. As you can see, I loaded on extra sauce to mix with the chicken! haha

Yesterday, I made chili without beans, and it was REALLY good. The house smelled amazing, and it felt like a food I would make on a typical day, and not just for this two-week CI test. I added cheese, sour cream, and avocado.

Today, I'm going to make Mahi-Mahi. I used to make a really good pretzel-crusted Mahi-Mahi but today we'll see what it tastes like without the pretzels, haha.

Yesterday, I had absolutely ZERO energy. Which was unfortunate, because I also had a MAF run scheduled: 12 minute warm-up, then 30 minutes at a heart rate of <133 12="" bpm="" cool="" down.="" dressed="" energy="" even="" for="" get="" hard="" it="" minute="" muster="" p="" run.="" so="" the="" then="" to="" was="">
I decided to do it outside. Since I knew I was going to be doing a lot of walking, it would be a pain to constantly have to increase and decrease the speed of the treadmill so frequently. I think I'll have to do that for a while, until I'm able to jog the whole time without walking (other than walking during the warm-up and cool down).

Thankfully, it wasn't nearly as cold as Wednesday's MAF test. The "run" went pretty much the same, though... I walked for the warm-up, slowly building my speed until I hit 12:00 minutes; then I started jogging as slowly as I possibly could, in order to maximize the time I was jogging before my heart rate hit 133 bpm. The second my Garmin beeped that my heart rate hit 134 bpm, I slowed to a walk. Repeated this for 30 minutes. Then I walked slower and slower for 12 minutes as a cool down.

One thing that I noticed when I was "running" was that I was able to jog for longer periods of time between walks. On Wednesday, it was roughly 30 seconds of jogging; yesterday, I had several jogging segments that were over one minute. As far as my pace, however, the average pace for Wednesday's run segment (not counting the warm-up and cool down) was 16:05. Yesterday, it was 16:07. I think I was just jogging slower so that I could go farther before walking.

The average time I spent during each jogging segment for the MAF test on Wednesday was 30 seconds. Yesterday, the average was 48 seconds (I only counted the first 30 minutes of Wednesday's because yesterday's was only 30 minutes long total). Wednesday, I had to walk 29 times, where yesterday, I had to walk 20 times.

This may not mean anything yet, but it's the kind of data I want to look at while I keep moving forward. I can't wait for the day that I can jog the entire thing without any walk breaks!

I'm aware this post sounds completely whiny because I'm not loving this two-week CI test so far. The MAF "running" is great! But the CI test... ugh. I'm going to stick it out just to see the results of this experiment, but I really hope I can at least feel more tolerant of it soon!


  1. Check Pinterest for some cauliflower rice, zucchini noodle, cauliflower pizza type recipes. Some are pretty good. You can do this!

  2. Katie make sure you are getting enough salt, magnesium and potassium. What you are describing is Keto Flu. Or drink Gatorade. Best!

    1. I have also heard that a couple swigs of dill pickle juice works wonders!

  3. You're exhausted because you body uses carbs as fuel. Ketosis is a starvation mode. Please eat sensibly and balanced and take care of yourself! My opinion is this is just another societal fad, remember Paleo? What happened there?

    1. But this is just a test to see if she is sensitive to any of the carby foods, as she adds them back in I'm sure she will be able to tolerate several and will return more balance into her diet. Anytime you are testing for sensitivities, whether it be gluten, sugars, or any allergens, you have to cut them all out first to establish a baseline.

    2. Low carb diets have been around a long, long time, so I disagree with it being a fad on the whole. There are simply new spinoffs. I definitely feel much better on a low carb plan, but I cut out mostly starchy carbs and consume lots of green veggie carbs, since they are higher fiber and water. It's not the diets themselves that make it hard to stick to the plan, but rather the easily and cheap availability of processed foods with lots of sugar. Everyone should develop a plan that works for them and makes them feel good, rather than listen to all of us about what works and doesn't :) my favorite book is the natural hormonal diet, and it works super for me.

  4. I feel the same way as you regarding low-carb - I can't see it being a long-term lifestyle. I also have the same aversion toward big chunks of meat that you do (although I love veggies). But my brother does keto on and off, so I've tried a fair number of keto dishes over the last couple years.

    There are a few low-carb dishes that I like, but I find I usually have to increase the veggie content rather than the meat content in order to enjoy it. My sister makes a great zucchini ravioli that I really enjoy (strips of zucchini stuffed with ricotta and herbs, and then baked with more cheese). I've also enjoyed a good eggplant lasagna (you can also use pepperoni instead of ground beef to make it more pizza-y than lasagna-y). If you want to go the spiralizing route, I find carrot "noodles" to be the most hearty and satisfying of any of the veggie noodles (zucchini, spaghetti squash, etc.)

    Cauliflower rice is surprisingly good and satisfying. You can make it easily in a food processor if you have one, or just grate it on a box grater; or you can buy it pre-shredded in a lot of stores! From there you can use it with any stir-fry, casserole, curry, etc. where you would normally use rice. It's not the same, obviously, but it does the trick.

    Stuffed peppers can also be really nice. A red pepper stuffed with pork carnitas, cauliflower rice, jalapenos, and lots of cheese would be delish!

    One of my favourite websites for recipes is Budget Bytes. They have a list of low carb recipes here - maybe you'll find some inspiration... https://www.budgetbytes.com/45-budget-friendly-low-carb-recipes/

    Good luck! You can totally do this - and after two weeks, you'll never have to do it again.

  5. What about almond crusted mahi mahi? Good luck with this!

  6. It would be hard for me to do the CI test for two weeks too. I'm thinking about trying it though. I hope you start feeling better.

  7. Eat lots of veggies except potatoes corn, beets, carrots. Drink 1/2 your body weight in water in ounces. Get plenty of sleep. Eat leftovers for breakfast Or have a protein shake.

  8. If you have a zoodle maker, zucchini noodles (sauteed for a few mins in olive oil) with marinara and some grated parmesan on top is delicious! I actually like it better than pasta!

  9. Salt and electrolytes, that's how I do it. Almost 8 years now. Once I figure out my binge foods (nuts, grains, sugar and some food emulsifiers- xantham and guar gum) then no low carb flu.

    Good luck and make sure to supplement with salt and electrolytes while transitioning.

  10. Maybe you can try Shirataki spaghetti 0 carbs 0 calories , in my opinion I think they taste great! It's a root veg from Japan.

  11. 1 lb grad turkey, 1 egg, 1.5t ground thyme, 1-2t garlic, 1 grated carrot, 1 grated zucchini, salt and pepper. Makes 4 burgers OR....you could make little meatballs, so smaller portions of meat. Delicious. Good luck! The only way I got through that flu was with milk or beans. Kudos to you

  12. You need to supplement with electrolytes to avoid the headaches and other symptoms. You can make your own with flavored water and No Salt. It has the potassium and magnesium you need. Just avoid sugary drinks to get the electrolytes.

  13. Hi, is that the title "The Natural Hormonal Diet"? I'm intrested, who wrote it? Thank you.


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