Something New

New potatoes, that is.  I just ate 13 oz of them.

I’ve decided to try the potato diet.  Nothing but potatoes for a week or so…let’s see how it goes.  Why would I do this?  Because I just don’t feel good.  Ever.  Paleo seems to be letting me down.  I’m not thriving.  Despite being virtually unemployed, my life feels very disorganized.  Hell, it IS disorganized.  It’s not just a feeling.  I used to be a compulsively tidy person.  Now I’m a mess.  I feel tired all the time.  I don’t know anymore how to feel better.  Sure, it could be a cortisol problem (don’t have the money to test right now) and it could be a thyroid problem (ditto) but it could also be that eating meat and fat for over a year isn’t making my body work well.  My blood pressure and weight continue to be high.

I tried Paleo/Leptin Rx.  Felt better than eating grains but now it’s not making me feel good.

I tried Epi-Paleo.  Felt hungry, plus it was really expensive.  I could afford it I guess if I ate stuff out of a can, but I’m not sure I want to expose myself to a lot of canned goods (i.e., BPA).

I tried high fat, moderate protein, low carb.  Felt hungry.

I tried high protein, low carb, low cal.  Felt hungry and unsatisfied.

I tried juicing.  Got tired of cleaning the juicer, but more importantly I didn’t have time to get good at it.  I may try this again.

I tried CT.  Didn’t make a difference.

I tried BHRT.  It made me fatter, gave me heart palpitations, and screwed up my period.

I haven’t tried the potato diet yet.  So let’s go.

Why am I doing this?  I was swayed by this guy’s story (20 potatoes a day for 60 days).  I found myself interested in this thread over at MDA.  And I watched a documentary over the weekend about Gerson Therapy, called The Beautiful Truth.  It details the work of a dude named Gerson in the 1920s who came up with a system of treating people with various ailments, including cancer, with great success.  His method basically involves a vegan diet, lots of organic vegetables, and coffee enemas.  Yeah, sounds awesome.  Not really.  But there’s a clinic in Mexico that was highlighted in the film.  At a cost of $11,000 for a 2-week stay, attendees of this clinic get the full Gerson Therapy.  I know someone who attended this clinic and has now outlasted his life expectancy by 4 years.

I don’t see myself going full-on vegan, but I really do need to keep trying other things.  Paleo made me feel good initially, and I probably do still feel better than I did prior…but that level of good is no longer good enough.  I want to feel vibrant.  I want my mind and body to feel organized again.

So I’ll keep you updated on my ongoing experiments.

Day 1

  • Fasting Blood Glucose: 101
  • Weight: 200.2
  • Waist measurement: 43.5″
  • Blood pressure: 135/83 (the lowest its been in a while)

My goal right now is to eat only potatoes with just some simple seasonings (salt, pepper, spices).

Hope

So what’s been going on the last two days?

The Good (I’m really excited about the Good):

  • I found a physician’s assistant (PA) that does BHRT using the Wiley Protocol.  Her office is about 2 hours away from me  The best part about it is that she’s covered under my insurance!  I didn’t expect that.  Maybe this won’t be as expensive as I thought it would be.  The other awesome part is that I have an appointment scheduled for Tuesday.  I don’t know yet if she has a problem doing BHRT for someone who is still menstruating (Dr. K thought this might be an obstacle for me).  I do have an email in to her so I hope to hear back before I make the trek over there.  I’m glad I put a hold on the CT – if new labs are ordered I want them to be real…not swimming with estrogen from detox.  In fact, I may not have stopped soon enough.
  • Stressors are gradually exiting my life. We just got rid of a car I didn’t like (it was a gas hog) and bought a used Prius.  Yeah!  Sell house – check.  Sell car – check.  Find more time in the day to get things done – check.  Start doing yoga – hm…maybe today.  Get consulting work done – er…avoid.
  • My food journal has been really helpful.  The most useful part is the checking in an hour or two after eating to see how I’m feeling.  I didn’t used to do that, and now I’m identifying patterns I might have missed before.  Examples:  Dairy = GI issues, I’m tired after most meals, regardless of the quality of food (hello, adrenal fatigue), and green tea makes me hungry.  Hm.  Very interesting.
  • Got the Hormones webinar working over at Dr. Kruse’s site.  It’s really pretty chock full of information.  Haven’t had time to listen to the whole thing yet.  Maybe today during Baby’s nap.

The Bad

  • My blood sugar started climbing again as soon as I stopped doing CT.  It’s now over 100 again.
  • I’ve really started paying attention to the ways in which I’ve come to accommodate adrenal fatigue.  I just take a caffeine pill every day…as if that’s normal.  IT’S NOT NORMAL TO NEED STIMULANTS IN ORDER TO FUNCTION.  Oh sorry…didn’t mean to yell.  Sometimes I have to yell at myself because I can be…well…a little avoidant.  Also, the hypoglycemia that I’ve been battling for the last few years – another symptom of adrenal fatigue.  I used to just eat my way through it and now I’m trying very hard not to snack.  I think the CT may really help with this, in the long term, and I’m looking forward to getting back to it.  I also need to learn to manage stress…first of all by staying away from stressors, and secondly by dealing with it better when it’s unavoidable.  Currently I do neither.
  • I started chugging green tea (as Dr. Kruse recommended to me)…but I started feeling hungry all the time.  Like, 2-3 hours after my BAB I’m getting hungry.  I don’t  understand it.  I had the same experience when I was drinking coffee…and I’m pretty sure it was high quality coffee.  Nobody else I know gets hungry from drinking coffee and drinking tea.  Why do I?  I don’t know.  I asked Dr. Kruse on his forum why this might be and the answer was “stimulates cortisol.”  Hm…well, caffeine pills don’t do this to me, so it’s not the caffeine.  I don’t know…but I know I don’t like it.  Avoid.  I’ll probably go back to drinking water and take yet another supplement in the form of green tea extract.  What the hell…what’s one more pill.
  • Still having a weird reaction to putting a hold on CT.  Hot flashes and sweating mostly, but also crying about things I don’t normally cry about.  It is 100 degrees here so I don’t know how much that’s contributing…but my temperature regulation definitely appears to be off.  It’s like my body is saying, “I’m ready to go!  Where’s the water!”

Time to go and enjoy the 5 more minutes of me-time before Baby wakes up.

I’m really excited about Tuesday!  I hope the PA will work with me.

Hormones, Parenting, and No CT

I skipped CT last night.  I felt tired all day yesterday and after a long day of driving, socializing, and toddler-care, didn’t want to do anything resembling being responsible.  So I watched a not-bad movie about food addiction, and then went to bed.  I barely had the energy to get under the covers.   Serious fatigue.  The hormonal madness wasn’t over yet either…had a fight with my husband (94% my fault).  At least it was short.  Unfortunately I think I inadvertently taught my daughter to curse.  It really sucks, losing it like that.  I’m trying to get my health in order as much for her as for me.  More, actually.

I baked up a couple pounds of cod yesterday and ate it for dinner and also breakfast today.  I has about 1/3 as much omega 3 oil as salmon, so I may not be buying it much in the future, but I had it already thawed and ready to go.  Anything to boost my cold tolerance.  I suspect the problem I had a couple days ago is less about omega 3s and more about hormones, though – specifically, low progesterone.  That’s what causes all the mood symptoms associated with PMS, right?  I really need to fix this hormone issue.  It’s affecting my relationships, and my ability to enjoy my life and my job. That’s how much these few days a month sucks.

I’m also feeling very deprived of alone-time and time for things I think are fun and relaxing.  It seems very much like I have too much to do – all work and no play makes Lanie a dull girl. Not sure what to do about that.

Baby’s tugging at arm to go do a puzzle with her.

Gotta go.

Any parents reading this?  At what point in a child’s development does a parent get their life back a little?

Weird CT and Ice Cream

My CT experience was weird and not good yesterday.  Water was 49 – 50 deg F (as usual), but it felt so cold and uncomfortable I couldn’t even get in all the way.  I could only get in and submerged up to my ribcage and I could only stay in for 10 minutes.  It was just too uncomfortable.  When I got out the skin that had been underwater was bright pink.  It’s usually pink but not THAT pink.  What does it mean?  It was pretty disappointing.

I may have a clue, actually.  I was reading on Kruse’s forum that some women find as they get late into the luteal (post-ovulation) phase of their menstrual cycle they become less cold tolerant. I suppose considering my current luteal phase is never-ending (16 days late today!), that might have something to do with the fact that I have relatively fewer good CT experiences lately.  I’m thinking about taking a pregnancy test.  I’m pretty sure the lateness is due to messed up hormones though.

I’ll probably give the bath another try today.  If it sucks, I may take a break till Aunt Flo shows up.  I also haven’t had seafood yet this week…usually I have salmon 4-5 times a week.  Can my O6/O3 ratio get messed up that badly in one week that it would affect my ability to tolerate cold?  Don’t know…but going to cook up the fish currently in my freezer and rule that out.

Yesterday my hormonally-driven mood swings were way bad.  It’s a pretty crappy experience when that happens.  It seriously feels like my life is awful and that the people in it are to blame.  Even when I have the awareness that I’m PMS-ing and that every month I go through this, it still really feels like that.  I was so irritable and I was crying at work.  I told so many people off in my head that later in the day when I was feeling better I felt like I had a lot of apologizing to do…even though I didn’t because it was all in my head.  It’s impossible to hide it when I feel this way.  My mouth has a motor all its own that I can barely control…spewing venom all over anyone who dates to tread near me.  Even my husband (who usually gets the brunt of this, poor guy) was getting annoyed with me…he knows exactly what’s driving it and he’s usually quite tolerant of my moods.  Oh well…for some reason I started feeling better around 3PM yesterday (yes, after 10 hours of this moody nonsense…) and I felt fine the rest of the day.

In the midst of my hormonal mayhem, I had a serious craving for vanilla soft-serve ice cream.  My husband and baby had met me at work for lunch, so we went over to DQ and I got one to share with my little one.  I wanted it so much that I didn’t even feel guilty about it.  At least I didn’t eat the cone…just the ice cream.  Sharing an ice cream cone with her was the best part of my day.  She loved it so much, and rarely gets sugary stuff…It was delightful.  It was my first ice cream of 2012.  It’s one of the few things I miss about my old unhealthy lifestyle.

Action plan for today:

1. Go back through my blog archives and see if there’s evidence to support the late-luteal-phase-cold-intolerant theory.

2.  Finish reading my book about slow-motion once-a-week weight training.  I’m actually really excited to try it.  It’s just been lower on my priority list than work, sleep, CT, and baby.  And that’s pretty much 24 hours.  Just have to force it in there!

3.  Make fish.  Eat it.

Can’t Even Have Cheese with my Whine

CT last night was 35 minutes at 50 deg F.  It felt cold and then it felt good and then it felt cold and then it was a long time warming up.  I give it a 3 on a scale of 1-5.

Thought for the day: Liverwurst…maybe not the ideal breakfast food?  I mean, it’s like lipstick on a pig, really…it’s still a pig.  At 5:55 AM.

I’m having serious hormonally-driven mood swings the last couple of days, alternating between crying and hating my job to being sort of ok again.  Looking forward to getting the ol’ cycle started again.  C’mon…enough with the forever between periods, body.  I prefer you get more predictable and stay there.  Yeah, right.  I’m 42.  Not likely.

I don’t think I have anything else to say today.  If I did it would just be complaining, so I’ll give it a rest.

 

 

The MSG Rant Continues, Grass Fed Meat, and Cold Baths

Well, there isn’t a pickle in my entire town that doesn’t have MSG in it.  Too bad…we like pickles around here.  No wonder we like them so much.

Got an order in from US Wellness Meats yesterday…Mmmmmm grass fed bacon.  That’s seriously good stuff.  Also got liverwurst in an effort to get organ meat into my diet.  It’s really good!  My 2-year old loves it.  Score!

CT yesterday was a 40 min CB at 50 deg F.  It felt great.  I’ve noticed I’m starting to be able to tell when a cold bath is going to feel good and when it’s going to feel cold and crappy.  Like, my body feels different – fuller, warmer, maybe? – when it’s going to feel good.  If I feel a little cold or a little “empty” (regardless of what I’ve eaten) it doesn’t tend to feel so good.  This is hardly scientific, but it’s a start to making CT more predictable.  I’d say it feels good about 3/4 of the time.  About 1/4 of the time it’s very hard to get in and I start feeling uncomfortable sooner.

Felt good all day yesterday, eating at home, everything grass fed/pastured/homemade.  Mood was good, and felt energetic.

Stupid MSG.

MSG

CT yesterday was a 30 min CB, 49 deg F.  It was cold and I didn’t love it.  As usual, I’m not sure why it was so unloveable.  Brrr.  At the moment I’m in the middle of Spot-CT-ing my waist.  I plan on doing this for an hour.

So as I mentioned yesterday, I started keeping my food journal to help identify which foods work really well for my body and which ones don’t.  I got the idea for it in this pdf I was reading called the 3 Simple Techniques to Start Healing Leaky Gut Today, by Karen Brimeyer, who apparently is a functional medicine practitioner (but not a doctor…which may be to her credit, considering the doctors I’ve been treated by). So here’s her sample food journal:

After only 2 days of this it’s already been illuminating.  I find that I feel tired after some meals and not tired after others.  What’s the difference?  It appears the difference may be MSG.  For example…yesterday I had KFC grilled chicken for lunch.  No sides, nothing fancy…just grilled chicken.  In the morning I had been energetic and focused at work, at got a lot done.  In the afternoon I felt apathetic and tired and had trouble concentrating.  So I looked at what I ate…and it was “healthy” fast food…slathered, I’m sure, in MSG. If not for the food journal, I wouldn’t have bothered to take a closer look and try to problem solve my afternoon fatigue.

Last night I had organic chicken for dinner with a dill pickle spear.  Afterward I had heartburn (which is uncommon for me, but also I haven’t really been paying attention before this) and I felt hungry an hour later.  Huh?  How could my organic chicken have MSG in it?  Well it probably doesn’t…but the pickle!  I ran over and checked out the ingredient label, expecting (naively) to see “cucumbers, dill, salt.”

Here’s what the label says: “Fresh Cucumbers, water, vinegar, salt, garlic, spices, calcium chloride, sodium benzoate (preservative), natural flavors, garlic oil, polysorbate 80, tumeric.”  Hm….those “natural flavors” are suspect, according to numerous sources including this one, that says this phrase could be code for MSG.

So I’m becoming aware of the extent to which MSG is in EVERYTHING.  I feel best when I buy organic and cook at home.  I guess I knew this was true, but I didn’t really know why.  It’s the MSG.  I wonder what exactly it’s doing to me that’s making me feel tired, apathetic, and hungry?  What’s it doing to my insides?

I’m going to make a much greater effort to avoid  products containing MSG from now on.  Sometimes it’ll be impossible…for example, every time I go to any restaurant, ever.  I’m simply not going to give up being a social animal every day for the rest of my life.  But maybe I can find ways to work around the MSG problem, at least most of the time.

Weight Loss and Leaky Guts

Saturday’s CT: 40 minutes at 49 deg F.  Felt good throughout.

Sunday’s CT: None.  Felt like taking a day off.

The scale has moved a couple pounds in the right direction.  I’m not sure why. I should note that when I got back from Seattle on May 30th, I weighed 190.  I figured I was retaining some water because I had been eating carbs.  Sure enough I was down to 187 the next day, and 186 the following day…about where I had been when I left.  Now I’m at 182, a little more than 2 weeks later.  Maybe the CT at the colder temps has dislodged the needle on the scale.  We’ll see if it continues.  The only thing I did differently prior to the 2 pound drop this weekend was drink some wine and eat some sweet potato chips on Saturday.  Hm…maybe I need more carbs?  If I stall again I’ll try it again and see if I get the same results.

My education on Leaky Gut Syndrome continues.  I know if I do have this (and I suspect I do), it’s not as bad as it is for some people.  But some things I’m reading suggest this could be at least partially responsible for fatigue, sleepiness after some meals, resistance to losing weight, and other chronic symptoms I’ve noticed in myself.  So now in addition to my Health Database I’m also keeping a Diet Database, to identify food intolerances.  I’m noting every thing I eat at every meal and then checking in an hour or two after the meal to report how I’m feeling.  Hopefully this will yield some interesting insights.

Let’s Turn My Whole Life Into Data

CB last night was 50 deg F for 35 minutes.  It was just alright.  Certainly tolerable!

I’ve started a database (using Bento on the Mac) to track the following aspects of my world every day:

  • CT experience
  • Sleep duration
  • Sleep quality
  • Mood
  • Diet
  • Energy level
  • How many hours before hungry (AM and PM)
  • Fatigue
  • Diet Missteps (stuff I eat that I shouldn’t eat)

I’m trying to determine what makes some days good and some days bad.  Why am I not hungry at all one day but I am hungry the next day?  Why am I sometimes tired after lunch and sometimes not tired?  Why does CT suck some days and rock other days?  Anyway, I’ve just begun to collect data, so it’ll take some time to identify any patterns.

I’ve also started reading more about Leaky Gut Syndrome.  I don’t eat dairy or nightshades very often, but I do maybe once or twice a week.  I was researching on the web and there’s a lot of conflicting information out there.   Dr. K. would probably say I have leaky gut issues (hence the low HDL).  But I’m wondering if I’m undoing 5 or 6 days of eating “perfectly” by having cheese on a salad once or twice…or by having onions mixed up in a recipe once a week.  How strict do you have to be?  IT’S NOT EASY GIVING UP EVERYTHING THAT MAKES MEAT AND LETTUCE TASTE GOOD!!!

Whew…I’m not sure but I think I just had a tantrum.

Oh well…out of time.

N=1 Continued, Plus Some Good Stuff

#$&*%*& computer…

Why would my computer suddenly become doggedly slow…just in the last 2 days?  Stupid automatic updates…

Oh hi!

Ok, because my computer decided it was in charge this morning, I only have 6 minutes in which to report my many emotions, successes, and failures today, in relation to the Leptin Rx, CT, and Paleo lifestyle on which this blog is based.  Oh crap…now I only have 5 minutes because I wasted a whole minute writing that sentence.

CT last night rocked –  30 minutes at 50 deg F.  I would have stayed in longer, but I didn’t have time – had to put babykins to bed, and some things I just don’t want to miss.  Yesterday as she was lying in the dark trying to sleep she told me about her day.  “Playground…sandbox…swings…fun…kids…eggs…cottage cheese…”  She makes it all worth it.  Anyway…CT.  So it felt GREAT yesterday.  Yay!  I love that!  And I needed it because the last two baths were not so fun.  Also yesterday I had a cool experience.  I wasn’t hungry at all.  All day!  I wasn’t hungry before meals but ate anyway, because if I miss a meal I don’t get another opportunity to eat for a long time.  But lunch and dinner were on the lighter side.  My BAB yesterday was 10 (yes 10) ounces of grass-fed beef (in the form of a roast), and 1 TBS coconut oil melted in hot tea.  It lasted me all day and was wonderful.

Here’s something else cool…take a look at my fasting blood glucose numbers:

This morning I was back to the 80s again.  Love that!  I hope my glucometer is accurate, but even if it’s not, the trend shows great improvement over the past few months.  Interesting how it spiked again when I started CT.  I love science!

Off to work.