Thursday, January 26, 2023

As a Health Coach, I need Nutrition Help

Back in December I began eating carnivore.  This was not for the long term, I am going to be carnivore for the rest of my life because it is the only way to eat. It was to work on some health issues I was experiencing, fatigue and gut issues mainly, to see if this style of eating would have a positive impact. My plan from the beginning, I would eat this way until my body told me otherwise.

Over all I have been feeling great! More energy, most of the fatigue was lifting, leaned out from losing the inflammation especially in my mid section which was good weight to lose and my gut issues are better, work to do still, on the path.

The negative side effects I was beginning to experience: I began not sleeping good, too low in carbs for my Irish, Polish, Russian carb loving genes. several things were going into this, but I know my sleep is impacted when I don't eat enough and I am too low in carbs. My heart rate was higher than it should be. Fatigue, forgetfulness were beginning to come back. 

The other big struggle I was having, back in my day, I struggled with anorexia. It was a response to stress and control of pain during some crazy times in life. I began experiencing the same pain I had in my stomach when I was deep in anorexia. It is not pleasant. It is a deep, empty stomach pain, beyond I am really hungry, it is true pain. Not because I was back in my anorexia struggles, I am not. It was something I was beginning to experience. I was also starving in the mornings. I would coach for several hours and then do my work out in this deep, fasted, stomach pain state, I was experiencing more soreness from workouts than normal and decreasing energy in the gym. No good.

I saw my functional medicine FNP-C, who is helping me with my thyroid and arm, and told him what was going on. That I was eating carnivore, feeling great, but here is some of what I was struggling with. The empty stomach pain, the fatigue coming back, soreness in the gym, not sleeping great. The conversation went something like this: 

Fantastic Jen you are eating that much protein. Protein is great for you, builds muscles, keeps you full for longer periods of time, provides vitamins and minerals. But do you realize that even if you are eating 125 grams of protein, which is around 1 gram per pound of body weight for me, I don't step on a scale guessing at my weight, you are only consuming 500 calories a day from that protein. 

Yeah, that was my light bulb moment. I had never thought about this, how little actual calories this was. My goal was the protein, finding better health.

He proceeded to tell me I would need to be eating at least 4 times this amount of protein to get the calories in I need. I am not really wanting to eat that much protein. I love my beef, so tasty, but I don't want to eat that much meat.  

I was instructed to begin weighing my food, which I do object to as a norm, and tracking it, which I frequently track, no big deal. Then let him know how far under I was.

Let's just say I was under eating significantly. Not intentionally, I am not back in my anorexia or ortho-orexia struggles. It was where I was ending up focusing on so much protein and all the fat I eat, butter, coconut oil, whole eggs. I am eating a good amount of food, it isn't enough for me or enough carbs, I was around 50ish grams if I was lucky, that isn't enough for me, with my genetics, being a woman and training load. 

My goal is to maintain as much muscle mass if not grow muscle, especially being a woman in my 40's, I need to keep as much muscle on my body as possible for long term health. I have worked very hard for the muscle I do have, don't want to lose it by undereating. To maintain health over the long term, support my thyroid health.

With these goals and knowledge of my undereating in mind, we re-evaluated my food and came up with a new plan. I have begun implementing this new plan. It is going to take several weeks to build up and see how my body begins responding. I need to put on a bit of weight again which will happen with eating more food. After several weeks, we will re-evaluate, see how I am feeling, how my body is responding and what adjustments need to be made going forward, if any. 

Luckily, we caught this early and I didn't lose too much weight, which I can do very quickly and end up in trouble. The symptoms were there telling me something was up, I wasn't tapping into them fully. I don't do good when I am left to my own demises. I need someone to help keep me in balance and objectively look at my food for me so I don't fall off the deep end. Even when doing something like eating carnivore. I have a "coach" who is helping me.

Yes, as a health coach, I need a coach, someone to be accountable to, who can look at things objectively and help me see where I am struggling and need to make changes. 

I am still eating animal based, shooting for a higher protein intake, adding in more carbs and overall calories for my health. This is the benefit of having a coach work with you, we are objective on the outside and see things from a different perspective. Coaches are here to help. If you need a coach to help you with your food, I am here to help you. Let's talk. 

In gratitude and kindness,                                           


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