A couple of days ago, I wrote about trying out Protein Fasting which I found out about on Dave Asprey's site. Now, I'd like to share with the rest of you, how the first try turned out. Before you read on, I'd like to tell you that I probably didn't choose the most optimal or the healthiest way to do it. Might have been PMS or whatever, but I chose to eat plenty of dark sugar-free chocolate instead of green vegetables. So, on to Protein Fasting Try 1:
The day started out as any other day: Got up early in the morning and hit the gym, in a fasted state. Well, the difference was, I didn't put any BCAA's into my drinking bottle. I wanted my protein intake to be around 15 g for the day what the Protein Fasting is about.
I was wondering if I was going to feel any different during the day, not having any protein and taking in way more carbs. I decided to stick to keto food, although I knew that the amounts of any carbs I was going to have were definitely going to kick me out of ketosis. I didn't stress about it, though.
First, I took this chance to eat a whole lots of berries. Plenty of strawberries have been turning red in my grandma's garden. Went over there and had my strawberry breakfast. OK, I admit, on the way out of the gym, I bought myself a bar of stevia-sweetened 85% dark chocolate, and ate half of it (oh well). Well, I definitely nurtured my sweet tooth on this occasion. I don't think that Dave Asprey encourages eating so much dark chocolate on a Protein Fasting day. I finished the rest of the bar in the afternoon (oh well, oh well). I'm going to have to behave better next week on the protein fasting day.
When I got home in the afternoon, I was feeling less hungry than usual. But I had to eat. And having had chocolate in the morning made me wanting more. Yes, I'm weak sometimes. But, I think the smoothie/pudding thingy I prepared was actually very nice and keto-friendly.
For making this treat, I took ½ of an avocado, ½ cup of coconut cream, a tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder, some stevia, a table-spoon of psyllium husks, and some warm water for the psyllium to react with. Blended all the ingredients together and had a nice chocolatey, and a filling snack. As you can see in the picture above, I put some crumbled sugar-free berry dark chocolate on the pudding (oh well!).
I felt kind of hyper during the day. I have no idea whether that was from all the coffee (had a bit more than usual) or a higher amount of carbs. Besides, I felt full, which I didn't expect not eating protein.
On the downside, I felt somehow bloated and couldn't get rid of feeling as if I was eating too much of everything. Must have been all the chocolate. But then again, I was having PMS (sometimes being a woman tends to complicate things). I've felt kind of guilty having had so much chocolate, mainly because I knew that eating it makes me crave it more and more.
For dinner, I prepared a low-protein meal again. I mixed together an egg yolk (which does contain a proper amount of protein), ½ cup of unsweetened almond milk, some garlic powder, ½ tablespoon psyllium husk, ¼ teaspoon xanthan gum powder, and ½ ounce truffle sauce. Mixed it all together, using an electric hand mixer, and poured it over shirataki noodles, fried on ½ tablespoon of ghee. The shirataki or "miracle" noodles can be a perfect meal for no-protein day. The sauce was highly improvised, as I couldn't use any cream because of the protein it contains. The result wasn't bad, mainly because of the truffle sauce (yum, I love truffles!). Together with noodles, I ate a bowl of lettuce, seasoned with olive oil and some vinegar.
In the evening, I had some strawberries, topped with a mixture of coconut cream and butter, sweetened with stevia, and flavoured with vanilla extract. Yummy.
Looking back, most of the food I ate on this day was sweet. I have to think about this, for it might indicate that my sweet tooth grabs every chance it gets to satisfy itself. Kind of concerning. 😉
On the bright side, I'm using the Protein Fasting days for re-learning to use coconut milk and cream instead of dairy. I should use coconut more often on the rest of my keto days. I don't think too much dairy (especially cheese) does me a lot of good.
Macronutrients for the day were: 138 g Fat (82%), 17 g Protein (5%), and blasphemous 92 g Total Carbs, of which 50 g were Net Carbs (13%).
The Day After
My sleep was awful. When I got up in the middle of the night to go pee, I was having a really annoying headache. Next, after a couple of hours of an OK sleep, I woke up from pain in my left leg's fingers. This is a mysterious condition I've been dealing with for years (read About me), which have mostly been gone since I switched to gluten and sugar-free food a year ago. And I pretty much forgot about it since going keto. So this sudden night pain was pretty spooky, I must say.
I had my alarm clock set to 7 am in the morning. I usually wake up by myself at 6:30. This morning though, I was wide awake at 5:30, but feeling exhausted. I couldn't fall back to sleep so I got up at 6:30, feeling as if hungover and all.
The scale showed almost a pound up since the morning before. I was pretty sure it was just water retention and would go away. But nothing bothers me more than feeling crappy, moody, and unproductive for the entire day.
Was it chocolate? Too many berries? To much non-optimal carbs for sure! Does very low protein intake contribute to feeling like crap the next day? I will have to see next week on my second try when I limit chocolate and fruit intake and go for more vegetables.
I couldn't hit the gym. Was simply too exhausted. I did go for a brisk 5-mile walk into the woods, though. When I got back, I went downtown craving protein and got myself some meat. Lamb and pork ribs. I didn't feel any improved focus or other benefits. I might have done this too wrongly, or this thing just isn't suited for me.
Hoping to soon forget the awful exhaustion, I'm planning on another Protein Fast day next week. I will have to stay away from chocolate and too much fruit (even if it's just berries!). And if the same thing happens, I'm probably not going to do 4 days of Protein Fast.
Additionally, I just found an another person's report on his Bulletproof Protein Fasting experiment. He's done it in a waaaay healthier and optimal way, and had better results. I should look up to him the next week, I guess. (Update May 2019: laterleating.com is not online anymore).
Two days after
I don't like to weigh myself every day, but this time I did, and the scale was almost 1 pound down, comparing to the number it showed on the morning of the Protein Fast. Plus, I slept great and had a great workout at the gym. And a very productive day!
Want to see how the second try went? Find out!