Another 24hr fast

I just did my 2nd 24hr fast after a week. It was actually much easier this time unexpectedly. No hunger pangs at all, it was like 3pm and there wasn’t any hint of any sign of hunger.

Broke the fast with some bone broth, then added steamed veggies and ended with fried cauliflower rice with ground beef and some pork rinds. I ended the meal with a small piece of steamed purple sweet potato and butter to cap off the meal.

Just like the last fast though, evening becomes a problem when it comes to sleeping. I am wide awake at the time when I am usually in bed.

I would want to do a meal prep for tomorrow but I have a vendor meeting by lunch so the next home meal would be in the evening. Let us see how I go.

1 month into Keto

A month later and I have released at least 8Kgs and plenty more to go. I have accepted my new normal and it gets easier with all this WFH setup making it convenient to control what I eat and at what time.

Blood pressure has normalised for the first time though I have yet to see it down without taking any medications.

Food craving so far has been minimised to zero on some days. I have been thinking of food but I couldn’t really tell what food to I really want. It’s actually more like playing with the idea of what keto recipes I could try out. Still thinking of doing that Keto chocolate flourless cake I saw on YouTube.

Not a day will go buy that I won’t eat veggies, either blanched Bok Choi or sautéed spinach. Bacon has become my best friend together with pork rinds for snacks and eating them guilt free its fantastic!

My lifecyckel biohacking kit has arrived, I will write a review after a month of use.

1st 24hr fast

Yes I have finally done it! My first 24hr fast done! Started at exactly 5:30pm Sunday and ended 24hrs the next day Monday. Nothing earth shaking, there wasn’t any of those none sense thoughts that I will die or feeling dizzy. In fact, I was even curious if I can push it a little further but I guess that can be done on another day.

No hunger pangs, the entire day I was just taking in water, coffee and tea. By the time my 24hrs was up, I was already preparing to cook dinner and started off with some bone broth to ease myself as I break my fast. An hour later I enjoyed my first and only meal for the day which is sautéed bitter melon with tomato, onion, garlic and egg. Added a few pork cracking, it was heaven.

I was able to finish 2 bitter melons without a need for dessert. I was satisfied with what I had so far no weird stomach side effects.

However, today I added something new again to my biohacking stack. My lyfcycle biohacking kit just arrived and I tried out Lion’s mane. I don’t know if my brain is all of the sudden switched on because I am usually sleep by 10pm but as I am writing this blog I am sort of fully awake. I am unsure if its Lions mane has caused it.

Tomorrow I will be trying out the rest of the extract and will start observing. Fun times ahead.

Distaste for Chicken

This is good, I’ve pumped out 3 blogs in a single day. Bad part is I have scheduled myself to do some work related stuff over the weekend that I didn’t get myself to do. The internal battle of sharing something on my health journey won so here it is.

Sitting at 103Kgs for a week now. Still ahead of my 1Kg/wk loss plan by 2Kgs but at this weight hanging on now for a week, there was a moment I am starting to get worried until I heard this amazing line mentioned in the podcast:

“There is no limits, only moments of plateau”

I just have to stay on this one and eventually the body would just give in and let it all go. Still steady on the daily routine of bulletproof coffee in the morning and first meal but lunch time. I am starting to realise something, my distaste for chicken is getting stronger. At lunch time I cooked a whole organic chicken as a Korean soup dish. Simple dish of just stuffing a whole chicken with a bag of herbs and soaked glutenous rice and that was it. Ate a bunch of book-Choy throughout the afternoon and ate within the 6-hour window.

It felt like I was force feeding myself of eating what I cooked which I wouldn’t normally do. I have been becoming very observant with what I am thinking about food. Noticing that I am still eating food out of habit and not really out of hunger for most of the time. Last night I had the option not to eat dinner after 6pm but my wife said to think about it as I might go hungry later that night so I did. It was a clean meal with kale and cauliflower rice.

After the meal, I started thinking what would’ve happened if I just didn’t eat. This afternoon I have been contemplating with the idea of fasting for 24hrs. I have done typically 18-20hrs but have not attempted a full 24hr. I am actually planning of doing it tomorrow during my 5:2 day as it would be the perfect day for it.

Went to the chemist as well and bought myself Krill Oil supplements on add on to my arsenal. Also MCT, gosh they’ve increased their price from $26 to $29. I am waiting on my bio hacker kit to arrive from Lyfcycle of mushroom extracts. Also waiting for my Yerba mate tea bags in the mail.

I am however excited about the Qualia Mind stack that my daughter will be getting for me. I have so many things I really want to try out in this biohacking season of my life.

Powershell from PC to your Azure Tenancy

The journey to AZ 104 has begun, my trial account is about to expire and about to move into a pay-as-you-go account and I would need to have some conversation with my wife regarding possible charges on the credit card as I do my labs. Moving from learning Cisco (routing and switching) to Microsoft Cloud has some mind shifts involved but if there’s one thing I am glad is that the use of CLI or in Microsoft’s case Powershell.

As part of the requirement in learning Azure, I have to learn Powershell commands. No problem except there’s just new commands I have to familiarise myself with. There are no auto-complete capability (sad) so would just have to live with it. So in this blog will be sharing out to use powershell to connect your PC to your Azure tenancy so you don’t have to click the cloud azure icon whenever you need to access powershell to run a cmdlet.

Step 1:

Make sure your device runs at least version 4 and you can find out by typing the following commend:

My PC was running at version 5 so no issues with that one.

Step 2:

Install the powershell module to allow you to connect to your tenancy by typing Install-Module AzureRM. In my case, since I don’t have full admin rights on my laptop I had to add the scope command as you can see from the screenshot below. Once that is done, you should be all set for the module to install.

Click either Y or A to agree on the installation from the repository.

Step 3:

You can then go ahead and start importing the module and connect to your Azure account.

Step 4:

By the way, before you can see the account information in powershell you’ll be asked to enter your credentials.

Step 5:

To make this account persistent the next time you log it. You can enable the context autosave feature.

Step 6:

Once you are logged in, you can start running powershell cmdlets to your Azure tenancy.

Passed the AZ 900 from Home

As per the title, I just passed the Microsoft Azure’s AZ-900 exam or also known Microsoft Azure Fundamentals. It is an entry level exam much like the CCENT for the CCNA if you ask me. It was my Microsoft certification as well as taking a proctored exam from home. I will cover two things in this blog, the first one being my thoughts on the exam itself and taking a proctored exam from home.

AZ 900

I have been eyeing a MS cloud exam since last year, I believe the first mention of it in my blog was back in Feb 2019 which back then was called AZ 100. A few things in my personal life have happened primarily since I’ve moved into a Solutions Architect role initially doing Voice and Unified Communication that shifted a number of things that I was used to doing, particularly moving away from Networking and my goal of learning more cloud based technology. The career change made me reconsider all my hopes into getting my CCIE number as I am not seeing any value of it at the time.

Fast forward a year later, we got hit with Covid and that really changed the world. Vendors such as Fortigate and Microsoft have been really kind to offer online courses even certification vouchers and I saw that as a chance to take. I signed up for the two-day on-line training class which upon completion you receive a voucher to schedule an exam within 90-days after completion. Since all on-line courses were available on weekdays, I had to screen record everything in the background until I had time to go over the videos. Yes, you would have to attend the live (aka recorded) sessions in order for you to get your voucher.

The Exam

Since this was my first Microsoft related cert, I would not be able to give a fair comparison to any other MS exams, it is a bit different from the Cisco exams that I am used to where there were performance based items. Though it was expected that for the Fundamentals exam, you are not expected to learn any admin/operational skills and the cert is pretty much meant for someone who is either starting out in becoming an admin, sales, decision making role where hands on wouldn’t be a requirement. I would say, having hands on experience would greatly help specially cementing core concepts most specially if you are so familiar with any on-premise infrastructure.

From memory I got roughly around 30+ questions, mixed of multiple choice, drag & drop etc pretty much the same types on a Cisco certification I’ve gone through before. The way Microsoft word their questions is really on point and easy to understand. I guess they’ve changed a lot because I’ve heard from people who’ve done MS exams that previous exam questions were so vague with answers so close to each other. This is something that I never experienced.

Unlike the Cisco exams (unless it has changed), you can actually go back to the previous items. Overall the exam was really fair though unlike my previous Cisco exams, I barely passed on this one but hey…a pass is a pass.

Taking a proctored exam from home

This was another first for me, I understood why they advised to check in at least 15minutes before your actual exam as there are a few steps involved before you even get started with the actual exam.

Definitely do the system test even before the day of the exam itself. This ensures that your PC meets the minimum requirements when taking the exam. You should have a good working webcam, mic and you won’t be allowed to use multiple screens. Speaking of mics, you won’t be allowed to use a headset for security reasons so be sure you have a good working mic and camera on your PC.

On the day of my exam, I decided to move to my Dell XPS laptop instead of my multiple monitor PC. Upon registration, you’ll receive a sms message asking you to log into another portal to take photos of your room. Once that is processed you’ll proctor will communicate with you via chat. In my case, my proctor asked me to move my camera to see my surroundings and asked me to move a few things in the room like keep pen holders and any items that he finds questionable. Since I was taking the exam in the same room where my multi-screen monitored PC was located, he asked me to show him that all the power plugs on the monitors were removed.

Once he was satisfied with everything, he wished me luck and the chat window disappeared and it proceeded to the exam itself.

What’s next

The ultimate goal is to get the MS Azure Solutions Architect Certification which at the time of writing would require passing the AZ-303 and AZ-304. There are no pre-requisite on taking these exams, however, I’ve decided I need a preparatory exam such as the AZ-104.

With that said so I guess it is off to the next exam…

Just thinking of food

Father’s Day happened yesterday here in Australia. Spent the evening with the family and had dinner at Grill’d. Apparently they can prepped your burger, in my case, my Wagyu burger to be Keto friendly. They’ve removed the sauce, I’ve added avocado and an egg and it was awesome.

After that, went home and was too keen to have a slice of my wife’s keto cheese cake. Best meal I’ve had so far this week. My last meal was close to 8pm and the following day it was my 5:2 day meaning I am limited to 600Kcal again as it was a Monday.

So today Monday, started off the morning with weight training while listening to Martin Garrix’s set at Ultra. Then gave myself some bulletproof coffee to start my day. My meal plan prep is on the kitchen bench to be consumed by lunch and dinner. This composes of eggs, sardines, tune, magic noodles and spinach.

My weight today went back down to how it was 2 days ago, it has gone up by a kilo but after yesterday it was down to 103.7Kgs. I am assuming being 5:2 day I am expecting good results by tomorrow morning.

However, today I have been just thinking of food the entire morning. I am not really hungry…or maybe I am…I am not sure. Now I am having my black tea to sustain me til lunch. It is weird thinking about food. It can be sometimes distracting but my mind is still pretty switched on and not foggy.

Let’s see how I go…

Bored with food

Something interesting happened today, I got bored with food.

Maybe its the fact that I am missing the sugar rush from carbs and straight up sugary foods, it has been either days or weeks since I’ve actually had something with sugar, rice or grain. It is just the fact that when I had my first meal after 16hrs of fast that I lost my appetite or craving for anything. I am not sure if that is a good thing but I’ve lost interest in cooking anything or crave for anything.

Sure all day I was telling my wife I want her keto cheese cake but deep inside I am not really craving for it. I did Keto carbonara which is typically one of my favourite dishes to eat with regular paste. Today I had it with Konjac Fettucini but after a few bites I felt like I was eating for the sake of eating. Today seemed like force feeding myself with the fear of getting into a low deficit that my body would get into survival mode and start holding on to the fat. But then again I am still far off from hitting my first goal.

Come evening I did have Kafir mixed with dark cocoa powder and a small cheese but that was it and before I end my feed, I cooked the left over ground beef in the fridge with onions and tomatoes, really simple but filling.

Maybe this boredom of food can help me tomorrow during my 600Kcal day tomorrow. More than any day, its Monday and Thursday that I needed that food boredom to hit me.

Work performance wise there was no instance of brain fog, in fact I was fully alert the entire day which is amazing. It even helped that I did some mountain hike in the morning to set me up for the day.

Sleepless maybe due to keto

I just press the start button on my iPhone’s stop-watch to start the timer of fasting and the mark of my last meal for the day. Today I fasted for at least 17hrs again before I enjoyed my first meal of sautéed mushroom, spinach and two eggs.

It was also my doctor’s appointment since 2 weeks ago. He checked on my weight which confirmed I was losing the kilos. I did mention I was doing a combo of his 5:2 and keto, obviously Intermittent fasting as well. I showed my macros on fitness pal app, seeing the 80% fat macro prompted him to say he won’t be doing any blood tests on me for at least 3 months since my cholesterol are going to give really high results which would not be good for my medical record. As long as I am seeing the results I should be fine. My doctor also changed my hypertension meds to something else.

With a shorter feeding window I was able to get some food eat like protein bar, celery sticks with guacamole dip,Tbps of peanut butter, bacon strips and some beef steaks not to mention bullet proof coffee. As I write all these down, I am curious what the scale would look like tomorrow. Energy level was excellent. No brain cloud at all just occasional boredom during the mid afternoon.

I did forget to mention that I had terrible sleep last night. Definitely it wasn’t even close to five hours of sleep. Hopefully tonight I will get better hours. I am not sure if that’s just due to keto or something else but for a time it really bothered me.

Keto and biohacking

The title should give it away…

Let me start off with the date of 17 August 2020, Monday. The day started off with a weird headache and after coming back for a quick lunch, I started to feel weird, hands sweating, a slight headache but nothing I could not handle. Looking at my smart watch, my heart rate was at 100+ at rest. It was until one of my colleague started to notice my hands are swollen to the point that I barely made a fist of them.

I immediately rushed home, strapped in my blood pressure monitor and there it displayed as I watch in horror the output 190/118. The highest blood pressure I’ve recorded so far. Thinking it might just be a once off, I tried again and it was still shooting at 185/110. I started to panic and called my wife. I started asking myself “am I in the middle of a stroke or heart attack?”. I rushed home while I went and called my GP, who advised I take another those of my hypertension meds and observe if my BP would go down. It did go down but not low enough to calm me down. A few more hours, it went all the way down to an acceptable 165/110, still relatively high but I’m out of the hypertension crisis level.

The next day, I went on sick leave and saw my GP. Stood on the weighing scale to realise I have a broken scale at home. Before I left I weighted in at 104Kgs, the scale in the clinic showed I was actually at 109Kgs, 5Kgs heavier than I thought. It was also the heaviest I’ve been in as far as recorded weight is concern. I have hit the lowest of the low when it came to my health and my GP has seriously warned me if I don’t take this seriously, I might get a heart attack or stroke within 5 years.

This wasn’t the first time I’ve been in this situation but it has never hit me like this before. I looked at my records and results from my previous visits and I’ve just gone from bad to worst and the best weight I’ve had recorded was at 92Kgs back in 2016. Reflecting what I did back then to make my weight go all the way down to 92Kgs and remembered it was the time I was doing the 5:2 regimen that my GP recommended to me.

The 5:2 is a type of diet where I choose 2 days in a week of my choice, I have to lower my food consumption to 600 Kcal. This in effect got me into ketosis or fat burning mode. Back then I was really losing the Kgs from 104 down to 92 in just a matter of weeks.

I decided to give that a go again this time, but I guess what will make this attempt different from back then is now I’ve also will be including some biohacking where now I am more bold in trying out protocols and supplements to get me in order. My goal is to lose 1Kg/week with the hope of shredding 20Kgs by the end of Feb 2021.

In saying that I will be devouting now a portion of my website in sharing my journey sharing everything that I’ve learned and will be learning. Putting into action everything that I’ve research from all the books I’ve read. At the time of writing I am close to losing my first 5Kg after just 2 weeks in a 5:2/Keto protocol. Let’s just say I’ve gone hardcore in my first 2 weeks.

This is also to say it hasn’t been easy considering that maybe one of the side effects is being still wide awake at close to midnight writing this blog, I am not sure if my brain has just gone overdrive or side effects of being in deep keto is losing sleep but we’ll see in the next few days.

So far last night I’ve learned the hard way that once I’ve got my body to get used to the low carb diet, I sneaked in a couple of ButterMilk chicken popcorn from Red Roaster, oh boy did I pay the price! My body did not like it and I became a temporary resident of my own toilet of the night. It was bad. Huge lesson learnt!

I will be sharing all the books that I’ve read and how I’ve applied them so far. I should’ve started this earlier as I’ve captured the hanger pangs when I was starting but now I’m on day 3 of my 5:2 so far those hanger pangs have been under control. In fact, I’ve set a personal record for the longest fast today at 20hrs before my first meal today. Hitting my goal of 600Kcal and fasted for 20hrs is a personal milestone for me as I’ve proven to myself that I can do anything if I put my mind into it.