Crazy Train

All Aboard the Crazy Train.  Guess who’s conducting.

I’ve had some stressful things come up.  I’ve been crying and worrying.  I thought all the crying and worrying was because of the stressful things.

Nope.

Let me back up a bit.

I was eating simple sugars as my primary source of carbohydrates for 2 or 3 months there, from January or February through April of this year.  Occasionally I’d have starches and I’d invariably regret it, because it would almost always make me unbearably depressed.  A few days later, after being off of them again my mood would improve.I realize this isn’t normal, and have accepted that there’s some bad stuff going on in my gut, including lots of serotonin being produced and released into the bloodstream when I eat starches. In March my serotonin level was 155 (range 11-204) – fairly high.  And that was on a GOOD day.  Hence, the depression that is always just under the surface.

Well I felt GREAT eating sugar, but it seemed that doing so was making some of my labs worse, so I decided to stop and to instead eat starches.  It was rough going – depression, irritability – these things became commonplace to me again, after feeling so much better for a long time.  There were some days that felt a little better, but in general I struggled during those few starchy weeks.

About a week ago I noticed my 4-year old becoming more anxious and telling me she’s scared of me when I yell.  She became unwilling to let go of me when it was time to say goodbye in the morning. She was crying more and was startling more easily.  I realized I had to stop with the starches again.  It was more important that my daughter have a sane mom than for me to have triglycerides in the normal range.  Today, at least.  So after 3 weeks of eating them, I again stopped.

I’ve been back to sugars again the last few days.  But I haven’t been able to regain that sense of calm.  I’ve been crying and sad – less aggressive maybe, but still depressed.  My dad is having health problems, which scares me, and things are changing in my work life.  I thought these stressors might be putting me over the edge.  It was in this frame of mind that I wrote my last two posts, and called to make a doctor’s appointment, thus giving up my quest for unmedicated health.

I figured maybe 3 weeks of eating starches had raised my serotonin so high that now I couldn’t cope with life. Today, while unable to concentrate on my work, I started researching Cyproheptadine, an antihistamine that Ray Peat says can be effective at reducing serotonin.  It’s not without side effects though – most commonly sedation and sometimes weight gain.  Neither of those sounded good to me, which is why I’ve hesitated to try it thus far.  Then I came across a thread from a month or two ago on my Facebook Ray Peat group.  Someone asked the group if there was a NON-SEDATING way to reduce serotonin.  One person suggested black tea, saying it was helpful for her in that respect, and a couple others agreed.  Worth a try, right?  I went to the store and bought some Luzianne iced tea bags – iced tea is double the strength because you’re likely to water it down with ice cubes after it’s made.

About 20 minutes into this cup of tea I started feeling like myself again – able to concentrate, to sit up straight, clear headed and emotionally stable.  Happy even!  What a relief.  Now I know the depression wasn’t due to life circumstances (though of course they’re on my mind)…because they haven’t changed.  They’re still there.  My dad’s still not well, and my work is still stressful.  But now I feel like I can cope again.

Black tea.  Serotonin reducer.

I know it’s not the caffeine that made the difference because I’ve been drinking coffee and swallowing caffeine tablets on top of it, trying to muster enough energy to get through the day.

Depressed?  Drink black tea.

I’m so going to cancel that doctor’s appointment.

Meds

I’ve got a doctor’s appointment on Monday.  I’m going to bring the labs and data I’ve collected and see if they’ll prescribe meds for me without having to do additional (expensive) testing.  Life has become stressful again.  I’m giving up.  Bring on the Metformin and the beta blockers.

Maybe at some point I’ll be able to lose weight and get off of these medications.

I’m unable to do this right now.

Pausing the Obsession

I need to take a break from my obsession with “health” (or whatever it is I’m doing). I’m going to stop measuring things for a while.  I have a couple of life things that need my attention right now, and I can’t afford to spend my time gazing at my navel.  Plus, my health has gone downhill since I started all of this 2 years ago.

For now, I’m going to focus for a while on my family and my work.

Not gone, just on pause.

Starch Madness…Over and Out

I’m done with eating starches for a while.  In the last couple of weeks my daughter has started to express more anxiety and needs constant reassurance.  I think she’s hearing my negative, anxious talk and internalizing it – I’m inadvertently teaching her that the world is a scary and dark place, because that’s how it often feels to me lately. Or maybe I’m scaring her, being so emotionally up and down.

I’m going back to eating sugars for carbohydrate.

Screw my labs. I miss being happy.

Bicycling: Effects on Fasting Blood Glucose

Ok, I’ve been bicycling for 7 days now, attempting to lower my fasting blood glucose (FBG).  Before I get into whether or not this is having the desired effect, let’s look at my history of using this particular exercise to reduce FBG.

In the Spring of 2011, a good 9 months before entering the online world of nutrition gurus, I bicycled every day for a couple weeks.  At this time my blood sugar was in the pre-diabetic range.  I was eating a standard American diet (SAD), probably not much sugar, some starches, some processed food, diet coke every day, still eating gluten.  Here were the effects at that time of bicycling and tracking calories:2011 Blood Sugar

Now, I don’t recall exactly what “tracking calories” meant – I didn’t have a blog back then so I can’t revisit those dates and see what I was doing.  Knowing me though, I was trying to stick to around a 1500 calorie diet.  As you can see from the graph above, bicycling + tracking calories was a good thing – my FBG was in the 90s within a few days and in the 80s within about a week and a half.  I was biking for about 30 minutes at a time on flat terrain, moderate intensity – just enough to sweat and breathe a little harder but not enough to be exhausted. I stopped because I got sick (I don’t remember what with) and the temperatures outside soared to over 110 degrees.  Got out of the habit and didn’t restart.  Maybe because my diet was consistently making me depressed.

Fast forward to September 2013 – my next experiment with biking.  Here’s a graph of my FBG then:

2013 blood sugar

This was a month before I began my Peat-inspired lifestyle.  Fasting blood sugar at the time was mostly in the pre-diabetic range (under 126) with occasional higher spikes.  I began a “lower-cal diet” and bicycling, and continued with that for almost 2 weeks. “Lower-cal” at that time meant shooting for 1500 net calories (after exercise).  I remember being kinda hungry – but I didn’t really spend a lot of time researching low-calorie high-nutrient high-satiety foods at that time.  About 50% of my calories were in the form of fat, 25% protein, 25% carbohydrate.  Other than that, nutrients weren’t really on the radar yet.

During that time my blood sugar stabilized around 100 (a good 15 points lower), with dips into the 90s as early as 6 days into the program.  If I had continued the trend may have continued.  I stopped because my focus at that time was weight loss, and I wasn’t losing.  My temperature and pulse were dropping, and new-found information from Ray Peat world made me think my metabolism might be suffering.  So I stopped.

Ok, so now let’s look at today.  I’ve been bicycling with NO dietary change, for 7 days now.  As in the previous exercise programs I’ve been biking for 30 minutes or so, medium intensity, flat terrain.  Let’s look at the data:

FBG May 2014

Blood sugar is….remarkably stable.  And unchanged in the last week. NO CHANGE.  It may have been unrealistic for me to aim for the 90s within two weeks, considering my baseline level is higher now, but I would hope to see at least SOME movement in the right direction.

So what’s missing?

Well, the previous two times I biked regularly I was also counting calories, shooting for around 1500 calories per day.  Over the past week I haven’t been monitoring what I eat at all.  My weight is down a pound or so and I haven’t been overeating, but I haven’t been counting anything.  I tend to eat around 2200 calories a day when not attempting to reduce, so it’s safe to say I’ve been consuming at least that much.

So it appears that for me, blood sugar management is going to involve not just regular exercise but also a reduced-calorie diet.  I don’t know if it has anything at all to do with eating low-fat….just low-energy (calorie).  I’ll have to research ways to stay full.  Hunger has always been the obstacle to me sticking to a reduced calorie diet.

I’ve started counting calories today.  Will continue on with bicycling.

Score one for conventional wisdom.

Serotonin

It’s 1:44AM.  Having a hard time sleeping because of all the GI distress currently going on in me.  Sounds like thunderclouds in there.  Let’s list the possible culprits:

1.  On the advice of a commenter, I had 2T of unfiltered apple cider vinegar before and also after breakfast.  It made me feel all heart-burny and not very good.

2.  Had probiotic AFTER eating breakfast today, instead of before.  But seriously, that was like 19 hours ago.  Wouldn’t any effect from that be done by now?

3.  I ate a couple of red potatoes out of the fridge with salt but no butter.  Less digestible, according to Peat, than eating them with fat.

4. Ate a bunch of gluten free pretzels.  Gluten free junk food, really.  But I’ve done this before and didn’t feel this way.

It was 7:00PM this evening and my blood sugar was 200.  Went for a bike ride, despite massive bloating, to bring it down.  Half hour later it was down to 123.  Success.

I’ve been thinking about a comment made on yesterday’s post.  Something along the lines of, “Maybe stop obsessing and things will right themselves.”  (<– only said better than this.)  I mused on that during my bike ride and while lying in bed tonight unable to sleep because of all the commotion in my gut.  Maybe I should just stop worrying about it, get on metformin, get on blood pressure meds, buy some fat girl clothes and get on with my life, right?  Think of all the time I’d have.  I wouldn’t be on Facebook learning about what Ray Peat has to say about X.  I wouldn’t be writing this now instead of trying to sleep.  I wouldn’t have spent $12 on Paul Jaminet’s book.  So why do I keep doing this?  Is it just the quest for the truth about health?  Is there even any chance I can be healthy again?

One thing I get out of this is folks to talk to.  Since moving 3 times in one year in 2012-13, to three different states, I don’t have real friends anymore.  I’ve left all of them.  I have people I swing by and see when I’m in town, or whom I text on their birthday, but I don’t have friends anymore.  Trying to figure out my health gives me a community of sorts – not a real community or anything, but people to talk to about stuff.

Crap…I think the gastro distress is raising serotonin and making me morbid.

Or maybe I’m sad for real.

Things just seem really hard right now.  My enjoyment of life seems to be chronically low.

I feel like I need help.

Starch Almost Killed Me Today

True story.  Today I was on the road for 5 hours, round trip.  Before making the return trip my family and I ate lunch at a Chinese buffet.  Not ideal health-wise, I know, but I made the best of it. I ate some seafood (shrimp, scallops in butter), a teeny tiny hot dog with bacon wrapped around it, some beef dish (avoiding the PUFA-laden sauce as much as possible), and 3 sections of a California roll.  They looked like this:

sushi

Only, 3 instead of 4.

I love sushi with the white-hot intensity of a thousand suns.  Not eating starches for several months there was tough for me in part because I love sushi so much, and sashimi just doesn’t do it for me.  But I digress.

I had 3 pieces of California roll.  Now, how much rice do you suppose is in 3 pieces?  Maybe a quarter cup?

After lunch I got in the car to drive the 2.5 hours back home, my little girl in the back seat. About 30 minutes in I was fighting to stay awake.  FIGHTING.  At one point I almost dozed off behind the wheel.  I haven’t done that for years, despite frequently driving long distances like this.  Gee….I wonder why I was so tired…I mean, I slept well last night, as I usually do…I had a couple hundred milligrams of caffeine in me this morning…so weird…Hm.  Oh yeah…THE RICE.  THE DAMN RICE MADE ME SO TIRED I ALMOST FELL ASLEEP BEHIND THE WHEEL.

I haven’t felt the need to take mid-day naps for months until I started eating starches.  Now, like clockwork, I eat something starchy and within 45 minutes or so, I’m exhausted.  My muscles feel weak, my eyelids heavy.  All I can say is, thank goodness for this song, which helped to wake me up again.  I had to turn it up really loud and car-dance to avoid further life-threatening sleepiness.  I hope my daughter didn’t listen to the lyrics.

So…starches aren’t working out for me.

Know what else isn’t working out?  Free-wheeling it with my diet and hoping it all falls into place.  My [lack of] health is past that point, I’m afraid.  The last few days my mood has been all over the place, my temper has been short, I’m tired, and my motivation to do things like play with my kid is very very low.

So new diet plan (4.0?):  Every. Single. Thing. I eat needs to be high in nutrient density.  No more doing the minimum necessary to get in all my nutrients so I don’t feel guilty eating the stuff I really want to eat (I’m looking at you, grilled cheese on gluten-free bread).  Now the ONLY things I’ll be eating will be high in nutrient density.  I’m going to assault my body with micronutrients so it doesn’t need as much food. If my inability to tolerate foods is killing me and/or making me want to kill others (stupid serotonin), I’ll just have to reduce the quantity of food.

I might even eat berries.

No more starches for a while, except maybe at night when I don’t need to be productive afterward…and when there are fewer hours left in the day for me to pick fights with jerks on Facebook.

Biking is going well though… Went for a ride at 6:30AM after a breakfast of 3 scrambled eggs and no carbohydrates.  Felt awesome.  Unfortunately, it was downhill from there.

There’s always tomorrow.

New Plan 3.0

I’ve been eating starches for almost 2 week now, and they make me feel like taking a nap. Every time.  Some of the common reasons folks get tired in the middle of the day are sleep deprivation, lowering of stress hormones, and food intolerance.  Hm…There’s no way I’m this sleep deprived.  There’s no way my stress hormones are super-high and the starches are lowering them, thus revealing my “true fatigue” (cuz if that were the case, sugar would have made me sleepy too). There’s no way I’m intolerant of every kind of starch…is there?  Is it possible white potatoes, sweet potatoes, rice, oatmeal, and gluten free bread/pasta are all making me tired because my body is completely intolerant to all of those foods?  No.

I don’t know why this is happening, but it sucks.  I can handle about 1/4 cup of potatoes with a meal before I get too tired to function.  And even then I don’t have much energy.

So my conclusion – for now – is that I won’t find the solution to these problems in my diet…because EVERYTHING (with the exception of maybe milk and dill pickles) seems to be killing me or killing my enjoyment of life.  Or both.

So here’s my new plan:

I’m going to focus instead on exercise.  The last time I got in the habit of bicycling every day my blood sugar improved dramatically, dropping to within normal ranges within a week. I stopped because it got cold outside and because I was afraid my slowing pulse meant my thyroid wasn’t happy.  Things are more dire now….because now I have diabetes, for realz. Uncontrolled diabetes.  A couple days ago my fasting blood sugar was 155 – not an all time personal record or anything, but too flippin high.  When I first started eating starches my fasting blood sugar dropped to between 110 and 120 for a few days (don’t know why) – now it’s above 130 every day.

Yesterday I started biking.  I biked today too, and will tomorrow.  And the next day.

So what to eat?  For now, mostly Peat-friendly foods, without much of a plan. Someone on Facebook linked to this interesting study about saturated fats causing greater insulin resistance than monounsaturated fats.  They found that among people who ate less fat than the median (I think it’s less than 37% of calories, but I’m not sure and don’t have the full-text of the study), monounsaturated fats (e.g., olive oil) promoted insulin sensitivity, while saturated fats caused greater insulin resistance.  Can’t say I’ve ever heard that before.  I do eat about 40% of my calories in the form of saturated fats right now, so it may be a good idea to try substituting some olive oil, and reduce fat overall.  So that’s what I’m going to do. I’m not going to be crazy about it, but I’ll stop adding fat when its not necessary, and swap out some of the saturated fat for a while.  Olive oil has more PUFA than either butter or coconut oil, but that’s just going to have to be ok.  For now.

I predict my fasting blood sugar will be in the 90s within 2 weeks.

My resistant starch + probiotics experiment continues.  I’m so scared to up my potato starch intake because of the extreme GI distress it caused me before.  But I must.  Maybe tomorrow.

If my blood sugar isn’t under control within 1 month, I’m going to see a doctor and get medication.  I feel like my time to noodle around has run out.

I’m so tired from eating starches – even just 1/2 cup of potatoes or rice – 15g of carbohydrate – that I find myself avoiding them.  Low carb is no good for my thyroid.  High sugar no good for my triglycerides.  Out of time, out of ideas.  If exercise and olive oil don’t fix this very soon I’ll have to give in.

Peat vs PHD: A Comparison

Ok, I finished the Perfect Health Diet (PHD) book by Paul Jaminet and his wife, Shou-Ching Jaminet (I notice she doesn’t get much credit in PaleoLand, but she’s the co-author and also a Ph.D.). I was drawn to it in the first place because they advocate a moderately low-carbohydrate diet (just enough carb to meet the body’s needs, which they say is around 600 calories or 150g per day), and that a good chunk of those carbs should be starches, which I’ve recently started eating.

I thought it would be fun to compare the recommendations made by Ray Peat and those made in the PHD. First, let’s look at the similarities.  They both recommend a whole-food diet, liver once a week, shellfish once a week, and both caution to avoid PUFAs, grains (though both seem to make exceptions for rice), and legumes.  Peat says keep PUFAs low – real low – like 1-2% of your dietary calories low.  The PHD says under 4% is probably ok. Potatoes seem to be ok with both of them.  Both say that saturated fats are awesome – butter, coconut oil, and cream being fabulous in both camps. Both are fairly noncommittal about non-starchy vegetables: Peat says they’re ok if they’re well-cooked, but I get the distinct impression he finds them fairly optional, and the PHD says you can eat around a pound per day of non-starchy veggies, but there’s no firm guideline.  They say, “Eat vegetables to taste – they are nourishing and add flavor to meals – but don’t consider them a calorie source.” (PHD, KL 3217). Both recommend getting lots of your nutrients from liver, shellfish, eggs and bone broth.

Ok, that’s about where the similarities end.  The greatest areas of disagreement between Peat and the PHD are with regard to calcium/dairy/phosphorus, fructose/sugar, and Omega 3s.  Peat strongly recommends getting enough dietary calcium to maintain between a 1:1 and a 1:2 ratio of calcium to phosphorus, ideally closer to the former. His views on this topic are expressed well here:

A diet that provides enough calcium to limit activity of the parathyroid glands, and that is low in phosphate and polyunsaturated fats, with sugar rather than starch as the main carbohydrate, possibly supplemented by niacinamide and aspirin, should help to avoid some of the degenerative processes associated with high phosphate: fatigue, heart failure, movement discoordination, hypogonadism, infertility, vascular calcification, emphysema, cancer, osteoporosis, and atrophy of skin, skeletal muscle, intestine, thymus, and spleen (Ohnishi and Razzaque, 2010; Shiraki-Iida, et al., 2000; Kuro-o, et al., 1997; Osuka and Razzaque, 2012). The foods naturally highest in phosphate, relative to calcium, are cereals, legumes, meats, and fish. Many prepared foods contain added phosphate. Foods with a higher, safer ratio of calcium to phosphate are leaves, such as kale, turnip greens, and beet greens, and many fruits, milk, and cheese. Coffee, besides being a good source of magnesium, is probably helpful for lowering phosphate, by its antagonism to adenosine (Coulson, et al., 1991).

The PHD barely mentions phosphorus.  A search of the Kindle version of the book indicates it’s mentioned 7 times within the body of the text, each time as part of a list of nutrients (e.g., “magnesium, calcium, and phosphorus…”).  There’s no discussion at all about potential deleterious effects associated with high phosphorus intake.  It’s interesting because overall the PHD does a great job of describing deficiencies and toxicities of all of the main micronutrients.  They didn’t touch on this one though.  The calcium/phosphorus ratio recommended by Peat is one of the things I’d never heard before I began studying his work.  He says that calcium gets blamed for a lot of negative effects in the body when phosphorus is the real culprit.

The PHD talks about the effects of too much calcium, citing studies that indicate 600mg per day is adequate and maximizes bone health (PHD, KL 5175).  It goes on to say:

Calcium supplementation was a mistake.  The true culprits in osteoporosis are deficiencies of Vitamin D, Vitamin K2, and magnesium.

and…

Studies have found that supplemental calcium increases the incidence of strokes and heart attacks by over 30 percent and increases the overall risk of death by 9 percent. One analysis concluded, “Treating 1,000 people with calcium or calcium and vitamin D for five years would cause an additional six myocardial infarctions or strokes and prevent three fractures. (PHD, KL 5183)

It goes on to blame calcium for brain lesions, the promotion of biofilms, and hypercalcemia.  Apparently this study found that calcium balance occurs at an intake of 741mg/day – that’s the amount of calcium retained by the body each day. So that’s what the PHD recommends – about 700mg/day, in the form of bone broth, green leafy vegetables, maybe some dairy.  The PHD was kinda wishy washy on the dairy thing.  They didn’t give it a section in the book, which I find odd.  I mean, “Alcohol” had it’s own section. Lots of people eat dairy and to not really acknowledge it doesn’t make sense to me.  Plus in the beginning “Milk” is listed among the items to avoid, “…but DO eat fermented or fatty dairy products: butter, sour cream, ice cream, cheese, yogurt,” (PHD, KL 198).  I should avoid milk (and sugar!) but ice cream is ok?  Kinda loopy.

Ok, so Peat says we’re gonna die if we don’t get enough calcium, and PHD says we’re gonna die if we get too much.

Another big area of disagreement between these guys is with regard to fructose. The PHD says fructose is only bad in high doses or when eaten with PUFAs – but since most Americans eat a high-PUFA diet, it’s a big deal on a societal scale.

Fructose appears most problematic when study subjects are obese or overweight and when they are eating diets high in polyunsaturated fat.” (PHD, KL 3904)

The PHD goes on to say that fructose is toxic to the liver and causes metabolic syndrome, diabetes, endotoxemia, poor blood lipid profile, high uric acid (an aside: my uric acid went DOWN on a higher-fructose diet), gout, kidney disease, obesity, liver disease, cognitive impairment, and retinopathy.  Still though, they recommend up to 25g of fructose per day, and at most 10g per meal.  The dose makes the poison, apparently.  Keep your PUFAs low and a little is fine.

Peat says fructose has been wrongly maligned:

Many people lately have been told, as part of a campaign to explain the high incidence of fatty liver degeneration in the US, supposedly resulting from eating too much sugar, that fructose can be metabolized only by the liver. The liver does have the highest capacity for metabolizing fructose, but the other organs do metabolize it.

If fructose can by-pass the fatty acids’ inhibition of glucose metabolism, to be oxidized when glucose can’t, and if the metabolism of diabetes involves the oxidation of fatty acids instead of glucose, then we would expect there to be less than the normal amount of fructose in the serum of diabetics, although their defining trait is the presence of an increased amount of glucose. According to Osuagwu and Madumere (2008), that is the case. If a fructose deficiency exists in diabetes, then it is appropriate to supplement it in the diet.

And regarding the effect of fructose on obesity:

Starch and glucose efficiently stimulate insulin secretion, and that accelerates the disposition of glucose, activating its conversion to glycogen and fat, as well as its oxidation. Fructose inhibits the stimulation of insulin by glucose, so this means that eating ordinary sugar, sucrose (a disaccharide, consisting of glucose and fructose), in place of starch, will reduce the tendency to store fat. Eating “complex carbohydrates,” rather than sugars, is a reasonable way to promote obesity. Eating starch, by increasing insulin and lowering the blood sugar, stimulates the appetite, causing a person to eat more, so the effect on fat production becomes much larger than when equal amounts of sugar and starch are eaten. The obesity itself then becomes an additional physiological factor; the fat cells create something analogous to an inflammatory state. There isn’t anything wrong with a high carbohydrate diet, and even a high starch diet isn’t necessarily incompatible with good health, but when better foods are available they should be used instead of starches. For example, fruits have many advantages over grains, besides the difference between sugar and starch. (Emphasis his.)

I can say my own experience of eating sugar (mostly fructose/glucose in fruit juice and honey) did not result in fat production – my weight was stable the entire time I avoided starches. So score one for Peat. However, I was hungry all the time. And in the past week or two of eating starches it has NOT been the case for me that they stimulate my appetite. I can forget about eating now for the first time in months – what a relief.  Starches do make me sleepy though.

Speaking of which, I’m getting tired…time to wrap this up!

The last big area of disagreement seems to be regarding Omega 3 fatty acids – should we eat salmon and other fatty seafood or not?  Peat says NO, PHD says YES (once a week).  I’ll go into this in greater detail in another post. I have more reading to do on this topic.

My conclusions (for me): I think I’m going to keep eating dairy.  Peat makes a better case.  And I think I’ll avoid fructose – not because of what the Jaminets have to say, but because I don’t particularly like fruit and I don’t miss it at all…and because it did seem to mess up my lipid profile to a point that I’ve become concerned…but seriously, I’m pretty broken.  It probably doesn’t take much to tip those scales into the danger zone.  As for omega 3s – the jury is still out. So dairy is a YES, with phosphorus limited relative to calcium intake.  Fructose, for me, is a NO. But just cuz I don’t like it. You go ahead. Just keep your PUFAs low and you’ll probably be just fine.

RS+Probiotics – 1 week review

Ok, one week down – here’s what’s going on.

I feel fine. I’ve been taking 1 tsp potato starch in water and using it to wash down a probiotic supplement each morning, first thing.  I think if I take it on an empty stomach the bacteria will be less likely to proliferate in my small intestine.  I’ve also been eating cooked and cooled potatoes every day – mostly because that’s what I have on hand, but I’d also eat rice. I’ve all but eliminated sugar and fruit from my diet – just a little orange juice here and there as the urge strikes.  I don’t really like fruit (except OJ), so that’s fine with me.  I don’t miss sugar – my carbohydrate needs are being met by the potatoes.  I really love potatoes, so this way of eating is much more appetizing to me than endless sweet food and drinks.

So far so good I guess. I’m lacking energy and I don’t feel like talking to anyone, but I’m not crying and saying “I suck” every 20 minutes the way I do when I’m really depressed.  So I guess starches don’t have such a powerfully bad effect on me the way they did before.  I don’t know if it’s because of the RS+probiotics, or if it’s just because this is the first time I’ve eaten starches every day so my body (or gut) decided to just surrender and accept them.  (<–Not a very scientific explanation.)  Maybe my gut just needed to be given a consistent diet of the bacteria that naturally hangs around on starches, in order for me to tolerate them.  It’s been literally years since I’ve eaten starches every day.

I have been having moments where I feel a great sense of well-being.  Still lacking energy though.  Like, I don’t feel like taking my daughter to the park right now, despite it being a beautiful day.  Poor health is bad for family relationships in many ways.  At least I don’t have crazy hormonal outbursts the way I used to before I learned about progesterone.  So big picture, things are improving.

I’ve been reading Paul Jaminet’s Perfect Health Diet book. He and Peat agree about some things – PUFAs are bad, carbs are good.  However, Jaminet says carbs should be in the form of starches and insists that fructose be limited, and white sugar be avoided altogether.  He makes a good case for including Omega 3 fats in the form of seafood (not supplements), and the entire book is well referenced WITHIN THE TEXT (I’m looking at you, Ray Peat and Jack Kruse) so I can tell exactly where he’s getting his information.  His stance on dairy seems to be mixed – he’s pro-butter but anti-milk (haven’t read why, yet).  Sometimes he says to do stuff because that’s what our ancestors did so it must be right, and other times he makes exceptions (butter, cream, chocolate).  Paleo philosophy falls a bit flat for me – I don’t blame Jaminet for that.  It’s all of em.

In general I really like his approach and will probably be implementing many of his recommendations.  The jury is still out as to Omega 3s…but I’m likely to add some salmon back into the diet once a week.  One day when I’m feeling a little more spunky I may get into the details of that decision.

For now, I’m feeling a little dull but I’m not hungry.  Eating sugar, I was always hungry.  This is a nice change.