Tuesday, June 9, 2015

A whole new world

A few weeks ago, I took on the seemingly simple task of maintaining a "low carb" diet for my brother in hopes of gaining control of previously uncontrolled Epilepsy. There are two diets used in the hopes of controlling Epilepsy when medications do not. The first is the Ketogenic diet, which I admittedly know very little about, the second is the Modified Atkins (described as a less restricted form of the Ketogenic diet) which is the plan we're following. 
   The point of both diets is the achievement of "Ketosis." According to The Charlie Foundation the diets work by being "high in fat, supplying adequate protein and being low in carbohydrates. This combination changes the way energy is used in the body. Fat is converted in the liver into fatty acids and ketone bodies. Another effect of the diet is that it lowers glucose levels and improves insulin resistance. An elevated level of ketone bodies in the blood, a state known as Ketosis, leads to a reduction in the occurrence of epileptic seizures." 
    For my brother, who henceforth will be referred to as CJ, while maintaining a caloric intake of 1,600 to 2,000 calories, he is allotted 60 grams of protein, no more than 20 grams of net carbohydrates (Net Carbs being total carbs, minus fiber) daily. Additionally because CJ is already pretty significantly underweight, where as traditional Atkin's dieters have body fat to burn, we have to supplement as much fat into his diet as possible. Though as we have discovered, not all fat is created equal, and certain fats (i.e. olive oil and avocado) are significantly more desirable than others.   
   Over the course of the last few weeks, we've gone through a lot of recipes (and a brief phase of repeated fried eggs, Atkins shakes, and Atkins frozen dinners immediately after my son was born.) Some of those recipes were really good, even my husband enjoyed them, and he's a self-proclaimed food snob. To be fair some of them were bad... like REALLY bad. Think, "You know, why don't you go get a frozen dinner tonight instead." bad. But of the decent and good recipes, a lot of them are really worth sharing. So enjoy my ever evolving cook book, and feel free to leave your own favorite low carb recipes!


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