Information and support for low carb and gluten free eating.
Michael's picture

Mood, Food, and Cravings

Found a couple of interesting things today - possibly related to chronic tryptophan deficiency.

Chronic Tryptophan Deficiency and Carbohydrate Cravings

Brain serotonin (5-HT) levels may interact with use or intake of alcohol, morphine, amphetamine, and cocaine [37,50,57]. It has also been argued that craving for carbohydrates may be influenced by levels of brain serotonin. The major hypothesis of this type is that ingestion of carbohydrate (in the absence of protein) increases the availability of the serotonin precursor, tryptophan, thereby raising the level of brain serotonin. In view of the role of low levels of 5-HT in depression, the increase in levels caused by carbohydrate ingestion is particularly reinforcing to depressed individuals and this leads to self-medication with, or craving for, carbohydrates.

Chocolate cravings

LowCarbForLife's picture

Physical Blood Test Results

On July 4, 2014, I went to the Lab and submitted my blood for my physical.

My results are as follows:

Standard Range 60-99 mg/dL - My Value 90

Fasting Lipid Panel - Cholesterol
Standard Range <=239 mg/dL - My Value 227

Fasting Lipid Panel - Triglyceride
Standard Range <=199 mg/dL - My Value 63

Fasting Lipid Panel - HDL
Standard Range >=45 mg/dL - My Value 62*

Fasting Lipid Panel - Low Density Lipoprotein Calculated
Standard Range <=129 mg/dL - My Value 152

TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone):
Standard Range 0.10-5.50 uIU/mL - My Value 1.10

ALT (Alanine Aminotransferase), Serum
Standard Range 0-36 U/L - My Value 10

Creatinine, Serum, with Glomerula Filtration - Creatinine
Standard Range <=1.11 mg/dL - My Value 0.66

Creatinine, Serum, with Glomerula Filtration - Glomerular Filtration Rate
Standard Range >=60 mL/min - My Value >60

CBC (Complete Blood Count) without Differential Rate - WBC Count
Standard Range 3.5-12.5 K/uL - My Value 5.2

CBC (Complete Blood Count) without Differential Rate - Red Blood Cells Count
Standard Range 3.60-5.70 M/uL - My Value 4.65

CBC (Complete Blood Count) without Differential Rate - Hgb
Standard Range 11.5-15.0 g/dL - My Value 13.2

CBC (Complete Blood Count) without Differential Rate - Hematocrit
Standard Range 34.0-46.0% - My Value 39.8

CBC (Complete Blood Count) without Differential Rate - MCV
Standard Range 80-100 fL - My Value 86

CBC (Complete Blood Count) without Differential Rate - RDW, RBC
Standard Range 12.0-16.5% - My Value 13.7

CBC (Complete Blood Count) without Differential Rate - Platelets Count
Standard Range 140-400 K/uL - My Value 145

Vitamin D, 25-Hydroxy
Standard Range 20-79 ng/mL - My Value 27

* Above standard range

All of my tests were within range except my HDL. Apparently my "Good Cholesterol" is not as good as it should be!

I just turned 55 in June and I am extremely pleased with my test results!

LowCarbForLife's picture

Another Learning Experience!

Sorry for the long absence but I felt like my entire life was revolved around my diet, and I needed a break!

After wanting to reach my ideal weight and getting as close as I was, I began following the Paleo diet. I then began eating more fat thinking it would be more filling. I did well initially, but I began over eating and just like every other "diet", I began feeling deprived. The one thing about CALP is that I never felt like I was following a diet because I never felt deprived. I included the foods that I wanted which kept me satisfied each and every day.

Beginning Thanksgiving of 2013, I quit stepping on my scale and I also began eating more food than I needed. For the most part I followed the guidelines of CALP, but my carbohydrate portions were not balanced with the rest of my meals leaving me to gain some of my weight back.

When I stepped on my scale last month, I discovered that I had gained 20 lbs. The clothes that I could still fit into were way too tight and that is all it took for me to resume CALP, and CALP alone. Looking back, I allowed myself to become distracted by focusing on my weight instead of my health and derailed myself for the last time. The good news is that I have already begun losing some of the weight that I gained. I also began exercising by walking my dog a minimum of four days each week.

Sugar is still my carbohydrate of choice but with summer here I am consuming my sugar in the form of fresh fruit and nuts, which are both extremely satisfying to me. No doubt that I am a carbohydrate addict and I feel so much better following the guidelines of CALP! Click here to continue reading, or leave a comment »

LowCarbForLife's picture


At this point in my weight loss journey, I have come to the conclusion that the one thing that I really need to do is to change my expectations. I have lost an enormous amount of weight and because I am so close to my ideal weight, I will never give up on trying to reach it but I don't want to feel as if I am a failure if I don't. I need to continue to remind myself that I was obese for over half of my life and at the age of 54 years, I am in my golden years. I have been fortunate to reach a normal weight, and even though my scale fluctuates, I have been able to maintain it.

When I first started CALP, I joined a few support groups and in order to join I had to set a weight loss goal. Initially, I chose 125 lbs., but then I thought it was unrealistic because of my age and the fact that I was going through menopause, so I changed it to 140 lbs. The reason I chose 125 lbs. as my first goal was because it was a weight that I was happy with when I was a young adult. The reason I changed it to 140 lbs. was because it was a weight that my body used as a set point back then, and it was also the weight that I was before I became pregnant with my first child and never came close to reaching again.

I have tweaked my program a few times and even though my tweaks have been successful and resulted in weight loss, I have not been able to maintain the weight loss that I was able to obtain from them. I am extremely comfortable with following CALP and even with the tweaks to my program, I will continue to follow it. As far as I am concerned it has been a positive learning experience that I am grateful to have found. I am not perfect and I do indulge at times, but I feel better about myself than I ever did, and that is priceless!

LowCarbForLife's picture

Recipe Links

I have been collecting links for recipe sites and have been adding them recently. They can be found at the bottom of every page on this site!

I hope you find them as informative as I have!

LowCarbForLife's picture

11.19.13, Low Carb Diet Journal

My weight dropped a quarter of a pound and I weighed 141-3/4 lbs. this morning. I am so tired of watching my scale bounce up and down but the reality of my situation is that I lost a lot of weight eating exactly what I want and I am still able to maintain it!

I enjoyed several cups of decaf coffee and added heavy whipping cream to each one of them. Because I had coffee leftover from last night and my husband made me a fresh pot this morning, I did not keep track of how many cups I drank.

I have been doing a lot of reading again lately. I know that the weight I have gained came from my over eating at a buffet for three days in a row. For some reason I could not get enough cheesecake and not only did I eat it three days in a row, but I had one piece the first night and then I had two pieces each night after that. It just proves to me that I still have a problem with sugar and when I avoid it, I don't seem to miss it. With that said, I just got a coupon from Cold Stone Creamery for a buy one, get one free. Since it expires in mid December, my next indulgence will be ice cream. Good thing it is located an hour away.

Because I know that I eat too much protein for my current weight each day, I am going to try another experiment. My plan is to eat protein and vegetables for lunch, and for dinner I am going to make me a salad. I will include an avocado as my carbohydrate, and add my protein choice to it since I know that I will not eat as much as I do when I eat it as the main part of my meal.

For lunch today, my husband defrosted some of his homemade broccoli & cheddar cheese soup. Since it contains both protein and vegetables, I believe it was an excellent choice to start my new experiment. I enjoyed a bowl and even though I did not feel as if I had enough, I was satisfied and did not have anymore. Click here to continue reading, or leave a comment »

LowCarbForLife's picture

November, 2013 - CALP Low Carb Journal

This will be my daily journal for the month of November.

My weight was 137-1/2 lbs. today. Needless to say, I was pleased with my results since I lost one whole pound since last month.

I am still following CALP, except I do drink more than one cup of decaf coffee with heavy whipping cream each morning. The guidelines of CALP allows one cup of coffee with cream within fifteen minutes, but I do exceed that each and every day. I am still following a high fat, high protein, low carbohydrate diet under the guidelines of CALP except I don't always want or need carbohydrates with my Reward Meals (RM) besides vegetables.

I am still eating a gluten free diet most of the time and the only time I do eat wheat/gluten is when I have flour tortillas as a part of my RMs. The only time I eat wheat/gluten is when I have taco salads or our homemade empanadillas, but I don't have either one of them very often. Avoiding sugar continues to remain easy for me and I am still not missing it at all. I will continue to love the freedom of CALP and eat what I want since the guidelines allow me to choose anything I want as part of my RM each day.

Began CALP on 3/03/08
Began Exercising 4/14/08, spotty but working on getting back into the habit .
Beginning Weight: Approximately 236 lbs.
Beginning Clothing Sizes: Top-Men's Size XXL, Pants-Size 20W
Current Weight: 137.5 lbs.
Current Clothing Sizes: Tops-Size Medium, Pants-Size 4

Weight Loss Results:
2008: 3.04-N/A, 4.01-N/A, 5.06-218, 5.27-213.25, 6.27-209, 7.22-205, 8.03-203, 9.03-200, 10.04-196, 11.03-194, 12.02-188 – Lost 30+ lbs.

2009: 1.03-187.5, 2.02 & 3.02-183.5, 4.01-185, 5.02-182.5, 6.04-180.25, 7.01-176.5, 8.02-176, 9.02-173, 10.01-173.5, 11.04-175.25, 12.01-170 – Lost 17.5 lbs.

2010: 1.01-164, 2.07-165, 3.02-162, 4.01-161.5, 5.01-160, 6.01-157, 7.01-158, 8.01-156, 9.10-154, 10.01-154, 11.01-158, 12.01-155 – Lost 9 lbs. Click here to continue reading, or leave a comment »

LowCarbForLife's picture

10.24.13, Low Carb Diet Journal

My weight is the same, 139 lbs.

I started my day with two cups of decaf coffee and added heavy whipping cream to both cups.

My husband made us a whole chicken for lunch and after adding the smoke chips, he smoked it on the barbecue. When it was almost ready I made us each a salad. Mine included romaine lettuce, celery, cheddar cheese, jack cheese, and some of our homemade vinaigrette dressing. When the chicken was ready, I grabbed a breast and wing and put them on my plate. I started eating my salad and when the chicken was cool enough, I ate it with the remainder of my salad.

My husband and I went to town and when we were at the store, I picked up some flour tortillas and olives so I could make the empanadillas. I gave my mom my dough press so we stopped at the Kitchen store and picked one up on our way home.

I made the empanadillas by adding the pastele meat and an olive to the tortilla and then I used the press and turned them into meat turnovers which we call empanadillas. My husband melted the lard and as soon as it was ready he began frying them. After they cooled down, he ended up eating four of them. Since I could not resist the way they looked and smelled, I ended up eating one with extra pastele meat.

Since I caved in and ate the flour tortilla, exceeding my twenty grams of carbohydrates, I am no longer following the Atkins induction. In the end it always comes back to how much I love the freedom of following CALP, so that is what I will continue to do.

Thursday, 10.24.13

139 lbs.

Breakfast: Coffee w/cream
Lunch: Salad of romaine w/celery & vinaigrette, chicken breast/wing
Dinner: Empanadilla w/pork & sofrito

Beverages: coffee, water
Carbs: flour tortilla, tomato sauce
Other: cream, dressing
Protein: chicken, pork
Vegetables: bell pepper, celery, cilantro, green onions, tomatoes


LowCarbForLife's picture

LCHF/Atkins Induction

I have been doing a lot of reading the last few weeks. Some of the books I have read include “Good Calories, Bad Calories” and “Why We Get Fat and What to Do About It”, by Gary Taubes. I just recently finished “Dr. Atkins' New Diet Revolution”, 2002 edition.

Because I want to lose another ten to twenty pounds and have found it impossible to lose it and keep it off the last two years while following The Carbohydrate Addict's LifeSpan Program (CALP), I have slowly found myself following a high fat, high protein, low carbohydrate way of eating. Except for eating three meals a day as the Atkins diet suggests, my new way of eating is very similar.

Yesterday, 10.13.13, I decided to begin following Dr. Atkins two week induction phase. I now know that I can easily go without wheat and sugar, so my two weeks will be up before I know it. Dr. Atkins book suggests I eat three times a day but I am happy with the way I have been eating for the last five and a half years while following CALP, so I will limit my carbohydrates to 20 grams of vegetables and continue with what has been working for me.

The one thing I look forward to is after my two weeks of induction, I will begin the next phase of my Ongoing Weight Loss (OWL), which will then lead me to find my Critical Carbohydrate Level for Losing (CCLL). Eventually, I will find my Critical Carbohydrate Level for Maintenance (CCLM), and the rest will be history. Since all of these steps take weeks to figure out, I am curious to see how long it will actually take me to reach my CCLM!

I believe I have finally stumbled on what I have been searching for!

LowCarbForLife's picture

10.05.13, Low Carb Diet Journal

My weight dropped an entire pound and I weigh 138 lbs. It is really nice to see my scale continue in the right direction and I will attribute that to my new way of eating. I am pleased that I was able to eat sugar on a daily basis and still lose weight throughout my CALP journey, but it really does make sense that in order to lose more weight, I could not continue to eat sugar everyday.

The last time my weight reached the 130s, I was keeping track of my calories. I have always loved the freedom of CALP because I never had to count anything, so calorie counting by measuring and weighing my food got old real fast. Just like all of my temporary diets in the past, as soon as I resumed eating the amount of food that satisfied me, my appetite increased and it did not take long for my weight to go right back to where it was before I began counting calories.

I have been successful in maintaining my weight the last two years but I still have a belly flap. CALP has been working well for me but in order to reach my ideal weight I had to make other adjustments to my diet. By following a low carbohydrate, high fat, high protein diet, I am able to follow the WHEN diet, “When Hunger Ensues Naturally.” I continue to follow the guidelines of CALP, but I have reached the point where I don't need any carbohydrates, other than the carbohydrates in my vegetables, to be happy with my meal.

I never thought I would be able to eliminate sugar from my diet, but now that I have these past few weeks, I don't miss it at all. Just like wheat, sugar is addictive to me. I know that once I start, it is all I can think about and I even have to force myself to stop eating it. Because I don't want to become addicted to it again, I will enjoy sugar on occasion but I certainly don't need to eat it on a daily basis anymore. Click here to continue reading, or leave a comment »

Looking for CAD/CALP diet info or exercise DVDs?
Check out our Recommended Products or Product Reviews pages.
Syndicate content