Cold Bath #4

No time to write today, but a quick update.  Got the big tub set up in the basement, and it was fabulous!  Much roomier.  Had a 20 min bath last night, water started at 57 deg F, and was 61 a the end.  I was able to submerge to include upper back and arms (but kept hands out).  Felt good.

Blood sugar is back up again…could be released toxins I suppose, causing inflammation.  Haven’t had mood problems (or just a wee little one yesterday, but I was also hungry) since adding Progesterone a week ago.  My hunger increased yesterday – I could only go 4 hours instead of 6 after breakfast, without eating.

Have to go to work.  Wish I had a couple more hours in the day.

 

Cold Bath #3

I’ve been trying different approaches to the cold baths.  The first day I did what is commonly known (among CTers) as the “Croak Soak” – that’s where you put a small amount of warm water into the tub – say, an inch or two – and get in, and then you turn the cold on full blast and let it fill up while you’re in the tub.  This is supposed to be a good way to tolerate the cold, because the warm water floats on the top so your dry warm body gets touched by warm water first, and then progressively colder water as the tub fills up.  I didn’t feel good doing this method.  The cold felt like a scary monster looming, about to pounce on me.  I know that’s a bit dramatic, but it felt like no fun, creeping up on me like that.  I was trying to use visualization to imagine the cold was healing energy.  Yeah, that didn’t work.

For the second bath, as I mentioned yesterday, I started with 90 degree F water and gradually made it colder, till it was 65, and then soaked in the bath at that temp for a while.  This was slightly more tolerable than the Croak Soak, but not much better.  It was the cold bath equivalent of taking a bandaid off very…very…slowly.

Yesterday I tried something different.  I got this idea from a forum post, in which someone said something like, “It doesn’t matter how long you sit and stare at the water.  It’s going to be a shock any way you do it.  Just do it.”  So yesterday I just turned on the cold and filled the tub.  It was 59 degrees F.  Then I got in.  First I stood in it for about 10 seconds, and then kneeled down for about 10 seconds, and then sat down.  Yes, it was a shock for about 30-45 seconds total, and then it wasn’t anymore.  It felt great after that.  Numb and easy.  I sat for only 15 minutes up to my waist – could have easily stayed in longer, but I had to put baby to bed – and listened to a podcast on my iPod.  The “Just Do It” method is by far my favorite.

So here’s some exciting news.  As I’ve mentioned, our bathtub is pretty shallow.  It’s impossible for a typical adult to be completely submerged.  My husband is going to set up a tub in the basement for me.  He was all set to build it, but then found this on Craigslist:

It’s a 150 gallon watering tank.  I knew living out in the sticks was going to pay off one day.  Being used, it’s only $80, compared to new at about $200.  I’ll take pictures as we get it set up.  He says he can rig it to circulate cold water using an old refrigerator.  This I have to see.  I’m so lucky to have such a supportive spouse.

In other news…I’ve been sleeping a LOT lately.  Like 9 hours a night.  My appetite so far has not yet been affected by CT – I still get very hungry 6 hours after my BAB, and cannot skip meals.  I got my new fitness book in the mail yesterday – The Slow Burn Fitness Revolution – recommended by a dear commenter.  I don’t know when I’ll have time to read it, but having it is a starting point.  Folks in the Amazon Reviews say it’s a great workout, and requires only one session per week.  That’s right up my alley!

Must go.  Till tomorrow.

Colder, Longer, Better

Second cold bath last night.  This time down to 63 and able to submerge more of my upper body too.  It wasn’t as hard to be in the water as the first time.  I tried a different method.  I used my daughter’s bathwater (90 degrees F) and just got in, added some cold water, and let some of the warm water out.  Every 5 minutes or so I’d do it again, until it was down to about 63 degrees F.  I was in the coldest water for about 15-20 minutes.  That’s the coldest my tap gets.  I’ll have to add ice at some point, and probably also get one of those tub-drain cover things, to make it deeper.  (OMG, it’s only $5.  I’m ordering one right now.  Yes, right in the middle of this post.)  Before the ice though, I’ll work on extending the length of the bath.  I suppose I should also get a compression T shirt, as recommended by Dr. K.

Anyway, the bath.  The water is not cold enough that I go completely numb, and maybe it makes sense for that reason to go even colder.  I do find it to be challenging to get positioned correctly so that my hands and feet are out of the water, while still maintaining as much skin in the water as possible.   How the heck do people wear hats and gloves and socks without getting them soaking wet?  These CT folks are certainly much more graceful and physically adept than me.  I’ll try – don’t get me wrong – but I’m expecting to make some messes.  After my bath last night my hands and feet were cold till I went to bed 2 hours later, but I was determined not to bundle up – to let my body figure out how to warm itself.   I warmed up at some point while sleeping.  I actually remember waking up to a heat surge at one point – it felt really good.

My blood sugar is under 100 again today.  Maybe having an infection (the flu) was the culprit after all.  Maybe my body was still fighting the infection – even for the week since I stopped experiencing clinical symptoms – and now it’s completely resolved.  I’ll keep testing and see what happens next time I get sick.

As far as detox symptoms from the CT, I’m seeing a little here and there – some GI symptoms, some face-color-flushing, some mood symptoms (<–just last weekend, none since supplementing with Progesterone).  Certainly nothing I can’t manage or even forget about, at this point.

My sleep is good …but I’ve been sleeping a lot, and it’s really cutting into my R and R time!  I put the baby to bed at about 8:00, sit with her till 8:30 or so, go to bed around 9:00 and read till 9:30 or 10:00, and then sleep sleep sleep.  Last night I slept 8-9 hours.  I guess this is good for me, but it seems like such a waste of time.  I used to really enjoy those hours from 8:30 till 11:00 or so!  Maybe that’s why I was becoming so unhealthy.

I know I’m on the right track now.

Baby on Board

A week ago we took the grains and dairy out of our daughter’s diet.  I was listening to a Jimmy Moore podcast with guests Stacy Toth and Matthew McCarry – the authors of Eat Like a Dinosaur: Recipe & Guidebook for Gluten-free Kids. Stacy was talking about how they raise their kids Paleo, and how their youngest has always been Paleo and is the happiest, most sunshiny of all children ever.  Well, my daughter being in the midst of the “terrible twos” makes that sound just delightful.

I got to thinking about the Terrible Twos.  It’s kind of like colic (which she also had)…nobody really questions it.  They just think it’s a normal part of development, and that most kids outgrow it.  Yes, well…there are a lot of things I’m questioning now.  Just like high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and high cholesterol shouldn’t be considered a “natural” part of aging, maybe colic and the terrible twos shouldn’t be considered a natural part of childhood development.  I mean, why would it benefit a child, evolutionarily speaking, to alienate their parents and caregivers when they’re still extremely helpless and vulnerable?

Anyway, my husband and I agreed to do a 2 weeks trial of no wheat (no gluten, really) and no dairy for her.  For milk we’re substituting almond milk (also tried coconut milk but she didn’t like it).  Instead of wheat/grains we’re baking with almond meal and just feeding her whole foods, including starches like sweet potato.  We started this last 6 days ago.  She’s been getting over being sick so it’s hard to tell exactly how this has affected her so far, but I will tell you that for the first few days she had some emotional upheaval like I’ve never seen from her before.  Like, she would be sitting around calmly and then get a really frustrated look on her face and just start writhing around on the floor, whining.  Usually when she gets upset it’s because she doesn’t get something she wants…not just for no reason whatsoever.  Weird.  Yesterday, however, she was like a different child…completely sweet and calm and alert.  I’m interested to see where this will lead us with her.

My mood is still very stable and positive since I started the progesterone cream.  I did get my lab results for my estrogen/progesterone retest from ZRT labs.  It was a salivary test, completed on Day 19 of my cycle.  It’s likely to be a little FUBAR though, because my cycle has been irregular.  I ended up getting my period on day 20 of my cycle last month.  So I’m taking all of this with a grain of organic salt.  Anyway, this time my estrogen AND progesterone came back low.  On the previous test my estrogen was high and progesterone low – but I was taking a DHEA supplement, which raises estrogen.  I found out I don’t like DHEA, discontinued it, and tested a week later (probably too soon).

So on one test my E2 was too high, and on the second my E2 was too low.  On both tests my progesterone was too low, and on both my Progesterone/E2 ratio was too low.  So according to both tests I’m lacking progesterone and it makes sense to supplement (yay for jumping the gun and being right!).  Because my E2 was low, I’m not going to supplement with DIM or Glutathione (I think that’s what it’s called)…the supplements that help metabolize excess E2.  We’ll just proceed along these lines for now, and see how it goes.

Did some face dunks last night…this is probably what I’ll do when I don’t have much time…just to keep the cold in the picture.  Dr. K linked to an article on facebook yesterday about how face dunking into very cold water can sort of “reset” you when you’re having a seriously emotional moment.  I’ll have to remember that.

Off to work now.

Chilly Bath #1

First cold bath yesterday.  It was 66 degrees F and I could barely stand it!  Submerged up to waist, for about 15 minutes.  I plan on taking this slowly…for no other reason than it’s really flippin cold!  I should mention that after about 4 minutes I was used to the water and it felt great…warm even.  It was just that initial shock of cold.

I haven’t talked much about my diet lately.  I’m still following the Leptin Rx diet protocol, which involves 3 meals/day:

BAB (big ass protein/fat breakfast):  Today I had about 8 oz salmon for breakfast (wild-caught, for maximum Omega 3 benefit) and 2 pastured eggs cooked in coconut oil, and about 1/4 of an avocado.

Lunch:  Usually a salad of some kind, typically lettuce and chicken, sometimes with hard-boiled eggs, bacon, cucumbers, black olives, or other things.  I try to avoid commercial dressings but yesterday I had about a tablespoon of ranch dressing.  If there’s oil and vinegar available I’ll use that.  Sometimes lunch is a fast food hamburger with no bun.  I know this isn’t ideal, but sometimes a salad doesn’t cut it.

Dinner:  Meat and vegetables, usually.  Last night I had leftover grass-fed roast beef.  Forgot to eat vegetables.  I also had some Nutiva Coconut Manna.  That stuff is great in a pinch – delicious, high quality fat.

And lots of water.  It’s about all I ever drink, except occasionally some tea while I’m at work. Much simpler than the 5001 snacks per day I used to require.

Ok…must go to work now.  This blog is really my only hobby these days, for lack of more time.  I’m glad its here.  Thanks for visiting!

April Blood Sugar Update

So this is weird, I think.  Take a look:

My fasting blood sugar was happily rolling along, averaging under 100 for the first time in years.  Then I started CT and got the flu (at least I think it was the flu) in mid April, and now my numbers are high again.  WTF?  I’ve recovered 100% from whatever it was I did have, so I can’t really blame being sick for my continued high fasting blood sugar readings.  So it must be the face dunking?  Weird.

In other news, I have had no mood swings since starting the progesterone a few days ago.  If I can make it through the next 2 weeks without telling my husband he sucks at something I’ll be home free!  I wish I was kidding.  I’m no fun when my hormones are out of whack.  Thankfully he has a very strong sense of self-esteem, and he insists he still loves me.  Still haven’t got my hormone re-test results back from ZRT labs.  Maybe today.

Last night I did some face dunking.  I forgot to mention that the last 2 times I’ve done this I’ve used a snorkel.  We just happened to have one lying around!  I guess I should stop complaining about all the clutter in the basement.  Anyway, our tap water is relatively warm compared to other people reporting on this stuff, but with ice packs added to the water it typically starts out around 52 degrees F, and I’ve been doing 4 or 5 1-minute face dunks.  With a nose clip and snorkel this seriously barely feels like I’m even under water.  It’s more like being outside on a cool day.  Very tolerable.  I get bored after about a minute and come up to check temps – skin temp gets down to low-mid 60s.  One thing I’m noticing is that it’s harder for me to get to sleep after I’ve done CT in the evening.  I think it must raise cortisol.  I feel very alert and productive.  Once I finally go to sleep I do sleep well, but I wasn’t having much trouble sleeping to begin with. I’m not sure what to do about this – seems that for me CT in the morning would be better…but I can’t picture myself drawing a cold bath at 5AM before work.  It may come to that, I suppose.

Must go to work now.  Maybe this week I’ll use my cool Cryo Cuff to spot-ice on the way to work.

Hormones

Wow…yesterday was really a bumpy ride.  My mood was very hormonally driven, but when I’m right there in the middle of it it feels like the world just completely sucks.  I was really depressed yesterday.  I looked around and watched my little girl sitting on my husband’s lap as he was playing with her and teaching her to match picture cards to one another.  The sun was shining through the window, and Jack Johnson was playing happy surf music in the background.  The 5% of me that wasn’t toxic with hormones looked around, saw this nice domestic scene, and knew the problem had to be inside me….there was simply no evidence that my life sucked.

Yesterday was day 8 of my cycle.  Too early for ovulation or PMS…so I suspect it may have been a toxin dump issue.  This is what I was afraid of, with the CT…that extra estrogen released from fat cells into my system would start wreaking havoc on my mood and relationships.  So last night, right after my CT session, I started using Progesterone cream.  I had to supplement with Progesterone when I was trying to get pregnant, and then during my first trimester.  It was in much higher doses – like 200mg three times a day.  This is about 20mg two times a day, and it’s topical so I’m not sure how much actually gets absorbed.

Just got my little sweetie out of bed.  It feels great to see her today and the world feels like a benevolent place today.  Hormones are extremely powerful things.

CT, Coffee, and Mood

Face dunking last night was an improvement over the previous time – I used ice packs to get the temp of the water lower (around 50 deg F), and also used a nose plug – much more comfortable than focusing all my energy on not inhaling water.  Apparently face dunking is supposed to trigger the Mammalian Dive Reflex which makes it easier over time to hold your breath under water.  I’m thinking about using a snorkel next time, and I’m thinking this would be fine because really…who cares if I can hold my breath under water for very long?  I’m not swimming the English Channel or anything.  Anyway, I’m still kind of enjoying the cold face experience…actually kind of looking forward to it.  It does get a little painful at the lower temps, but I figure that’s what has to happen for change to occur.

There’s not a lot of information on Kruse’s site regarding how many times to dunk or how often.  I’m getting that the idea is just to initiate chronic exposure over time.  I’m considering what my next step will be.  Our bathtub is pretty shallow…I like the idea of soaking better than the idea of cold showers.  I don’t know.  I’m not in any huge hurry.  I’ll probably take it slow and start with cool baths in a week or so.

NASA scientist Ray Cronise, in some of his comments over at Freetheanimal, says that you can cold adapt and get health benefits even in an 80 degree swimming pool, and that the more extreme cold temps aren’t necessary.  I’m going to look into the pool temperature at our local indoor pool.  Might be a way to get the ball rolling anyway.

Coffee.  No more coffee for me.  I had some coffee this morning that I suspect is pretty high quality. I got it at the local farmer’s market – it’s from a high altitude single-grower in Honduras, wet processed, and machine dried – just like Mr. Asprey’s famous stuff. Anyway, after drinking it (at the tail-end of my BAB) I just felt hungry.  I still feel hungry, 2 hours later.  It’s been 2.5 hours since I ate like 800 calories, and now I’m hungry.  I’d rather just take my happy little caffeine pill as I’ve been for the last 2 months, and call it a day.  Why the hell would coffee infused with butter and coconut oil make me hungry?  Whatever, body.

Mood.  I’m not enjoying my life much right now.  It’s feeling like a big fat drag.  Nothing feels fun.  It’s all just a bunch of crap that I have to do.  I want to feel happier.  I’m not sure if it’s my life circumstances or my low-grade long-standing depression that makes me feel this way.  I hope it’s the latter…that’s possible to change with CT.  The former is harder to change.

Making the Time

No CT yesterday…by the time I was done with my day (9PM) I was just too tired to even think about the cold.  I’m going to have to come up with a way to incorporate this into my daily life in a way that it’s not just an afterthought, or left till I’m too tired to deal with it.

I finally contacted the Bulletproof folks…there was a “glitch” and they didn’t send out my order for extremely overpriced coffee.  Would I still like it?  No, please just refund my money.  Thanks.

My weight is down to 184.8.  Started the Lepin Reset on 2/7/12 at 192.8, so a net loss so far of 8 pounds.  Let’s see…8 pounds in 75 days…At this rate I’ll be at my goal weight on June 17th, 2013!  Hm.  Let’s see if CT will speed that up a bit, shall we?

CT – Week 1, session 3

Tried face dunks yesterday.  I didn’t do a ton of them, and the water wasn’t an ideal temperature, but I just wanted to try it and I was tired.  So I just got a bowl and tried it.  It actually felt really good!  I think I could like this.  The water was in the high 50’s when I started, in the low 60’s when I finished.  Skin temps got down to high 60’s – face pink but not red.  I do need a nose clip though.  Also, ice to get the temp down a bit more.

I was thinking of going rogue and doing cool baths already but then I red the following comment exchange on Dr. K’s blog last night.  Someone asked:

I’ve been taking 7 minute baths in 44 degree tap water for a week now, with my hands and feet and head mostly out of water. … this morning i tried to hold my head under as long as possible even though i was getting head freeze and did it several times after the 7 minutes of full body soaking. afterwards i got really light headed for and freezing for about 2 hours. i then saw a youtube video on preparation for cold water swims and this guy was saying that the vagus nerve when exposed to cold water will lower heart rate very quickly and can cause this. the remedy, he says, is to splash your face a bit first. i thought it was a fairly extreme reaction, considering the 7 minutes with head out and hat on has gotten significantly easier in this week of experimentation. just wondering if you have any comments on the head dunking thing, and if the CT will work fine without the head getting cold adapted. thanks in advance.

His answer:

My protocol calls for face dunking as written on 2/11/2012. The vagus nerve is not the one that needs training first off the bat with face dunks. It is the trigemininal nerve and once you do this you do not have to worry about the cardiovascular affects of the cold on the heart generally. This is why the protocol is written the way it is.

 

Dude is smart.  I’ll just do it the way he recommends.