The official Whole30 book states that by this time I will most likely be experiencing Tiger Blood, which they explain is akin to waking up in the morning feeling like someone “flipped on a switch and turned on the awesome”. Today I woke up with a cold. Instead of experiencing amazing workouts, a clear mind and exuberant energy, I am lethargic, achy and sniffling. The fact that I came down with a winter-cold doesn’t surprise me, the last week or so my heart has been beating in over-time. Yesterday I may have stumbled onto the why.
I had originally chalked up my pounding heart to low-blood sugar. It was mostly in the a.m. after fasting all night, so that seemed to make sense. After a few more days passed, I didn’t believe that could still be the cause. Instead, I assumed the racing heart was a result of anxiety, as what I was feeling every morning felt pretty much like a panic attack. So I sat. I breathed. I sat. I watched it. I breathed. I was determined to be patient and gracious with myself.
Yesterday morning I awoke clear, and happy. TJ had returned and was re-committed to Whole 30 with me. I had had a great time with a girlfriend the night before (even being sober at a bar!). I had a fun week planned. My body was feeling good, and my handstand was so solid the day before. Despite all this, within minutes of being on my cushion my heart began the crazy pounding. I sat with it. I accepted it. I repeatedly told myself it was okay. When the timer beeped, I took my pulse. It was 100 beats per minute. I walked to the bathroom and lifted my shirt in front of the mirror. I could see the space above my xiphoid process visibly pounding. I thought –I may be a tad nervous about all the tasks I need to complete before I get the kids to school and myself to the office, but I do not feel the level of anxiety that my body is showing. What can possibly be going on?
Prior to yesterday I had never heard of the word ketosis, but ketone test strips, a chat with Green Plate Kate, and a visit to my Herbalist (who is also a licensed nutritionist) confirm that I’m in a state of ketosis and it’s not a good place for me. Ketosis is the state of burning fat instead of glucose. For many people this adrenaline rush and depletion of fat storage is a dietary goal. (Could this be “tiger blood”?) For maybe 20% of the general population this means rapid heart rate, palpitations and an induced panic-like state. I can’t take cold medicine. Lidocaine put me over the edge for a full day the last time I had a procedure done. This experience is along the same lines, but multiplied by 1000.
Protocol: Eat more carbohydrates. Drink more water. Balance my electrolytes by infusing water with Himalayan sea salt. Eat more fish protein too. Done, done and done. Tonight I made myself a gourmet dinner of tuna fish salad and two trays of sweet potato fries. I’m satiated and hopeful that tomorrow morning will be a more grounded and less sniffly one.
The journey continues.