Here I am posting sooner than expected about my SHAPE reclaimed experience because I find the whole process very fascinating. It’s only 3.5 days since my last entry, but they have been eventful days. I decided to add exercise in this week. The first day I decided to go on a hike. It's still summer in AZ, and my body didn’t much appreciate starting at 10 am. I have done this moderate hike many times in the past, but not for many months. It was 110F by the time I finished my 4-mile hike, and I felt like I was close to heat exhaustion. I assume that the low calorie and carbohydrate intake was also a factor. The next morning I had lost 3lbs.
The following day I was much more hungry than I had been so far. I was craving eggs and salsa and literally at eggs and salsa all day, as well as a little fruit. The following day I had gained 3lbs, very likely from the salt intake and recovering from the lost water the day before. Yesterday I went to the gym and decided to do 50 minutes of exercise on the elliptical and some TRX work. My energy was surprisingly high, and that indoor workout felt great. I was also happy to wake up this morning having lost another 2lbs. I ate a much more balanced meals yesterday, high protein, lots of veggies and a few fruits. I was busy earlier in the week and ended up putting off my progress urinalysis.
I did a urinalysis on myself today (this is something the doctor monitoring your program will do on a weekly basis). A significant finding on my UA was a large amount of ketones found in my urine. It is typical to have some ketones in the urine while on this program, but large ketosis is something I need to get my body out of quickly. Being in large ketosis means my body thinks I’m starving, even though I am keeping my calorie intake around 1200/day. As a side note, I also want to point out that there is no “one size fits all” on this program and typically we don't count calories. I like to use the “my fitness pal” app to look at the ratios of my macros and for easy tracking of my progress. Knowing that my body is in large ketosis early on makes it very easy to change with simple dietary modifications. I need to increase the fruit in my diet and take another sample in a few days. It is essential to get out of large ketosis quickly so that the body doesn’t start learning to store extra fat. This is a problem I have with other popular diets, without the monitoring it can be easy to get into ketosis and lose weight, but as soon as the person comes off of the diet and out of ketosis, their bodies want to hold on to everything put into it. Trace proteins were also found in the urine and isn't a worrisome finding. This could be as simple as having some muscle breakdown from exercise, but I do want to monitor this because ideally I want to be in the best state to recruit my fat stores as energy and not my muscle.
My PH also went from alkaline to acidic. This is also common early on in the program. Ideally, I would be somewhere in the middle, I added the SHAPE Reclaimed mineral PH drops to my water after starting and I may be using too much. I plan to start using the product just a couple times a day rather than with all of my water. The final finding was that my specific gravity decreased significantly. This indicates that my salt intake is too low compared to my water intake. While learning about this diet, one of the facts I learned is that typical Mortons table salt has only about 5% mineral content, other content being high in aluminum (also related to dementia in several peers reviewed studies). Himalayan Salt contains only 18%, Redmond sea salt 34%, and Celtic Sea salt 85% (more than ocean water, which is 70%). This is going to be a necessary modification for me going forward, and I plan to purchase extra Celtic Sea salt to keep on my shelf for patients who need it during this program (and in general as it is a much better source of salt). What an important part of this program to do the weekly urinalysis!
The drops and the urinalysis are such important components in the success of this program. I will be making the modifications and will be interested in seeing what changes in next week’s UA. Even though I am still trying to get into my groove, this journey has been very productive. Ten days into the diet program I am down 12 lbs, I am not hungry, don’t have cravings and (other than the overheated hike) I feel like my energy level is better than it was before I started.
I’m Dr. Angela Christopher, a chiropractor and the owner of AZ Spine Disc and Sport. Most of my life I have had the body I wanted from lots of exercise and a well-balanced diet. I have always been interested and enjoyed fitness and nutrition, and then three years ago my life changed. I embarked on a very stressful expansion of my business and my waistline. I competed in Ironman Arizona 11/2013 and slowly went from exercising 40 hours a week to ZERO. Recently I have found that aside from my scrubs and “work out clothes” nothing in my closet fits. Like many, I have gone through some many diet plans like the HCG diet and calculating macros and have fought through bouts of training for a few months with CrossFit or hiking, but nothing has lasted. I have recently felt so uncomfortable with the way I look, that I don’t even feel comfortable putting on gym clothes and going to the gym. It has made me not want to go out with my husband or friends in public or be in any pictures or face time, even with my young nieces. When I think about how much this has changed my life for the negative, I realized it was time to do something about it.
You want the secrets? You want the plan laid out for you? Well then here we go:
With people becoming more conscious of what they’re eating, where their food is coming from and how their food is raised/produced/farmed, there has been a positive shift in consumption of healthy foods. Wooo! More and more people consuming fruits, veggies, and nutritionally dense foods SHOULD be a great thing…..right? For the vast majority of people that are not prone to over consumption or taking things to the extreme, it’s a really good thing. But every coin has two sides. Let me try to explain.
Most people know that going out in the sun is a good thing right? Little bit of UV rays helps with Vitamin D production, increases mood, and a sun kissed glow because who doesn’t like a nice tan. But what happens when you stay out a little bit too long? For us pale skinned night walkers, an immediate burn. For the slightly more resilient of skin maybe a slight irritation. Stay out longer still and the situation gets worse for both sides of the spectrum. Keep in mind that what I’m referring to is just one session in the sun. Now imagine that you have over exposure to the sun chronically. What happens then? Permanent skin damage that probably looks like a tanned hide of a wildebeest at best case scenario and full blown skin cancer worst case scenario.
But that’s a common situation that most people have heard of before right? Too much sun is no bueno. But what if we look at something a little less innocuous, say staying hydrated. “What could possibly be wrong with drinking water” you ask? Well when you consume an average amount of water, NOTHING. It’s actually really good for you. Adequate water consumption helps with digestion, skin health, muscle function, and on and on. We are mostly water as I’m sure you’re aware. But let’s say we start upping the good ol’ H20 intake. Let’s say that you are just CONSTANTLY drinking water throughout the day. And I’m not talking about 12 oz water bottle. I’m talking about multiple jugs a day (sounds extreme I know but I’m getting to a point I promise). What happens then? The answer: hyponatremia. To put it plainly, hyponatremia is when you have a significant decrease in sodium levels in the body which result in nausea, headaches, dizziness, confusion and over all fatigue. Keep in mind that I’m talking about A LOT of water consumption over time. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t drink water!!!! Drink it! Drink it often! It’s good for you. And realize that it’s hard and unlikely to get yourself to the point of hyponatremia from excessive water consumption.
So let’s go back to the food point that was made in the beginning. I’m sure a lot of my health and wellness compadres out there can attest that they’ve been seeing more and more people are juicing, eating more fruit for breakfast, using it as snacks throughout the day, and adding flavor to the more bland foods that they don’t particularly like. I’m willing to bet that most of these people are having a hard time keeping their weight down and blood sugar levels in check. “But it’s FRUIT!!!! You can’t seriously be telling me fruit is BAD?!” I’m not. I’m saying that eating TOO MUCH fruit is bad. Let’s break it down.
You wake up in the morning and head over to your blender in the kitchen to make your breakfast shake or your breakfast go juice, or whatever you want to call it. Let’s assume that you throw in a scoop of your favorite protein powder for a little more substance. And then you begin to throw in the fruit: frozen banana, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, and a kiwi for good measure (an actual recipe that I’ve heard numerous times when working with people). The thing that people don’t realize is that ALL of those listed ingredients are LOADED with sugar. A quick search of macro nutrient break down (assuming 1 cup serving size) of each fruit gets us:
Banana 105 27 g 14 g .4 g 1.3 g
1 cup Raspberries 65 15 g 5 g .8 g 1.5 g
1 cup Blueberries 85 21 g 15 g .5 g 1.1 g
1 cup Blackberries 62 14 g 7 g .7 g 2.0 g
1 cup Strawberries 47 11 g 7 g .4 g 1.0 g
1 Kiwi 42 10 g 6 g .4 g 0.8 g
Total 406 98 g 54 g 3.2 g 7.7 g
Assume ½ Cup Servings 203 49 g 27 g 1.6 g 3.85 g
Although fruit in moderation is actually good for you (loads of vitamins, minerals and nutrients), too much leads to a sugar overload. Keep the sugar intake high for too long of a time and you end up with insulin insensitivity and ultimately type II diabetes. So can too much of a good thing be a bad thing? For sure. Be smart about what you put in your body, how you train and how you recover. Not sure how to do it all, meet up with a professional and let them show you the way.