High Fat/Low Cal – An Experiment

I got discouraged by high hunger and inability to reduce protein or calories, which was resulting in very slow weight loss.  So a few days ago I tried something new.  I ate fat all day long. And guess what – I can’t say the hunger disappeared completely, but it dropped so low I was able to keep overall calorie intake very low:

3-2-16 diet.png

I know peanut butter is not an ideal food – I make it a little better by pouring off the peanut oil and mixing in melted coconut oil.   But the point is I’ve struggled for years with reducing calories because of hunger.  Hence, my fatness.  Once I reduce the insulin-generating foods significantly (protein and carbohydrates) I’m able to eat much less. I did this 2 days in a row and lost 4 pounds (down a total of 6 now).  Here was day 2:

3-4.png

The last 2 days I’ve increased calories to over 2000 and haven’t lost any more, but haven’t gained anything back either.  I’m considering alternating 2 days of very high fat/low calorie with 2 higher-calorie days for a while.  Today is another high fat/low cal day.  All the while I’ll be continuing LCHF.

Now that I’m pretty sure it’s protein that’s been keeping me hungry I’ll be adding vegetables back into my diet.  Hey here’s a fun keto tip…Did you know that sauteed radishes taste a lot like fried red potatoes?

2016-02-29 14.32.58.jpg

I make them with a lot of butter or bacon grease (ideally from grass-fed beef bacon, if I have it), salt and garlic.  Fry them until they’re soft and some of them are browning (about 10 minutes).  I would probably cook them a little longer than the ones in the picture.

A 16-oz bag of radishes is dirt cheap ($1-2), has 72.6 calories, 3.1g protein, 15.4g of carbohydrates (7.3 of which are fiber), and 0.5g fat, and has the following micronutrients:

radishes

Obviously the macro/calorie load shifts when you add a bunch of fat to the pan.  And that’s what makes them so delicious.   Best of all I can eat a whole bag of radishes cooked up like this without noticeable endotoxin problems (e.g., depression) and without any impact on my blood sugar.  I can’t say that for potatoes.

Hey one last thing on the topic of eating straight oil and calling it a meal.  I have been feeling great on the days I do this – focused, high energy, great mood.  I’m not sure if it’s the MCT oil itself or the reduced brain fog from having lower insulin.  I’ve been smiling for no good reason.  When you catch yourself doing that it’s a wonderful thing.

 

Not Done. (And labs).

Yeah, I’ve decided to come out of retirement.

That last bout of depression was the worst I’ve experienced.  Not the longest, but the most severe.  I don’t know what’s going on with me.  Things are a bit better now.  Just milldly depressed. Thanks to friends who commented or emailed…I appreciate your support.  I really don’t mean to be this drama mama.  In real life I don’t seek the spotlight at all – I’m content for no one to notice me in the room.  I’m really not all that dramatic.  The blog is a reflection of what’s in my head though…it’s a side of me that no one in my real life gets to see. I guess there’s depression drama in my head.

I have a doctor’s appointment on Monday.  She’ll be checking the labs she ordered and seeing how this beta blocker is doing for my blood pressure.  I’ll also be talking to her about whatever the fuck it is in my abdomen that’s pushing against my ribcage for the last few months.  This might result in more (and expensive) tests, and that’s just going to have to be ok.

So how did I do?  Metabolic panel first:

metabolic panel 7-1-14

The diet I’m currently following is 95% starch free – I’d say most days I eat none, every few days I might have a bite or two of something with starch in it.  Also, it’s 95% free of glucose and fructose.  Very little juice, fruit, or table sugar.  I’m eating mostly protein, fat, and vegetables, leaning harder on the vegetables and bone-broth based soups than I used to when low-carbing.  I’m getting most of my carbohydrate calories from milk (lactose) and vegetables, around 100g of carb a day.  My diet when I had these labs done was about 50% fat, and the rest split between carbohydrate and protein.  When I became severely depressed, I had eaten a couple of bananas (they’re high in potassium, trying to bring down blood pressure).  No more bananas. Stupid starch.

Ok, let’s see what’s changed over the last couple of months:

Blood sugar and Hb-A1C are a bit improved but still high.  Not high enough to be considered diabetic though (diabetic = 126 on the fasting glucose, and 6.5 on the Hb-A1C, according to the values that came with the labs).  The far right column on the chart is the current lab “normal” ranges, which vary a bit from the previous lab I used.  The doc ordered these, so I used their lab.

Carbon Dioxide (CO2) is better now, at 26.  I attribute this to bag breathing.  I haven’t done a lot of it, but for a week or so I did it once or twice a day, while trying to normalize my blood pressure. It didn’t help my blood pressure, but seems to have made a difference in CO2 level.  I’ll continue that once a day.  Traditionally people breathe into paper bags when they are hyperventilating – I’ve been using plastic gallon-sized “food and bread bags” from my local supermarket.  Not as noisy as paper, and not as rigid as Ziploc bags.  You just make a seal over your mouth and nose with the bag and breathe normally, in through the nose, out through the mouth, until it becomes a little difficult to breathe – at that point the oxygen is about depleted, and it’s time to stop.

BUN/Creatinine ratio is slowly dropping, probably because I don’t eat as much meat as I used to.  I still eat it every day, but it used to be every meal.  Now a lot of my protein comes from dairy and bone/oxtail broths and soups.

Everything else is unremarkable.

Ok, now for the lipid panel:

lipids

Again, this is about a month into eating 100-120g of carbohydrate daily, with very little fructose/glucose or starch in my diet.

  • Total cholesterol dropped almost 50 points.
  • Triglycerides almost halved.
  • HDL up from 30 to 42.
  • LDL able to be computed now.

I guess I don’t handle carbohydrates well.  More veggies, less carbs. When I eat this way I feel good.

The recent depression has been related to eating starches, as usual.  They’re off my plate permanently now.  Or until I can figure out why that happens and fix it.

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.

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.

RS + Probiotics – Day 3

I thought I’d give a quick update.

I started with a small little teaspoon of potato starch 2 days ago, combined with probiotics, once a day.  So far so good – no change in anything perceptible, which is a good thing considering the negative effects I’ve had in the past.  I think I’ll give it a few more days of this and then maybe try to increase, either to one teaspoon of RS 2x a day or one larger dose.  That’s when all hell broke loose last time though so I hesitate.  Maybe I won’t do that.  I’ve now talked myself out of it.  This is how I am.

I stopped eating *so much* sugar.  I still eat some – like, yesterday I ate half a bag of M&Ms and one of my daughter’s Rice Krispie bars (poor planning, eating found-in-the-car-food), and a couple of Hershey’s kisses throughout the day, plus a glass of OJ.  Other than that I’ve been eating like a “normal” person – little planning, eating what feels right.  Still not eating things like wheat, corn, legumes, PUFAs, or other things that just seem bad for me for one reason or another, but not obsessing over it.  It’s kind of a relief from the dietary micromanagement.

My fasting blood sugar the last 2 days as been 113 and 116.  Rarely in recent history is it that low.  I attribute it to not eating so much sugar.

Since I wrote my last post about my new RS + Probiotics experiment I’ve gotten a few emails/messages from some concerned readers.  What about the risk of SIBO?  Or the risk of increased lactic acid caused by certain strains of bacteria?  These are good questions.  I don’t know the answers.  I can say that after weighing my options, this seemed like the best one.  If I screw up my health further I’ll look back on this and know I was doing the best I could.

Interestingly, I’ve been eating some potatoes and rice and my mood has been fine the last few days.  I doubt the probiotics have had an effect yet, but I’m wondering if maybe certain starches like these are fine for me and more processed starches (g/f bread, g/f pasta) are the problem.  Not sure why that would be – I seem to be doing ok the last 4-5 days as long as I avoid those.  Not exactly smiling for no reason or anything….there’s some anxiety, but no depression.  I can live with it.

I’ve been reading about Paul Jaminet’s Perfect Health Diet.  First impressions from his website are that he’s a really decent person, willing to share his knowledge and really trying to help people. I know earnestness doesn’t fix diabetes, but it’s nice to spend time at his site….gives me the warm and fuzzies.  I’ll be reading more.  He seems to have one foot in the resistant starch camp, but is firmly in the pro-digestible starch camp along with intermittent fasting.  Some of his ideas seem to be summed up here, specifically with regard to weight loss:

I prefer to train people in proportions and amounts. Proportions — try in your mind dividing your plate until four equal quadrants containing (1) meat/fish/egg, (2) sugary starch like potato, (3) sugary in-ground vegetables (beet, carrot), fruits, berries, and (4) low-calorie vegetables (mushrooms, spinach, tomatoes, onions, celery, asparagus, kimchi, etc). Then flavor things with a sauce combining fat (eg butter, sour cream, coconut milk), acid (vinegar, pickle juice, etc). Use less fat if you’re trying to lose weight. Eat enough to avoid any significant hunger while fasting 16 hours per day.

He seems to generally favor a diet that is 30% carbohydrate, 15% protein, and 55% fat.  More research is in order, on my part.

I’m getting my bike prepared for daily exercise (weather permitting). (<–Listening to you, Karin).  Hope to start as soon as it stops raining.  I do love my bike.

Experiment: Resistant Starch + Probiotics

It’s time for me to stop avoiding starches. I just can’t imagine a life of getting all of my carbohydrates from sugar (and my body has rejected that idea anyway). Today I started my second resistant starch (RS) experiment, this time combining it with highly-recommended probiotics:

The three probiotics I’ll be using:

Assuming all goes well I’ll be starting with 1 capsule a day, maybe attempting 2 a day, basically alternating brands to increase exposure to the various strains of bacteria they contain.

Yes, I know in the discussion following my previous RS experiment I referenced a study that suggested that potato starch (PS) could cause physiological problems with long-term use due to persorption of large starch particles clogging arterioles throughout the body.  But you know what else causes problems long term?  Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high triglycerides, and low HDL…all of which I already have for sure.  I’ve decided the possibility of trading a few of these current problems is worth the risk. Also, there are many forms of resistant starch – potato starch just happens to be dirt cheap, widely available, and very effective for many who try it.  I may start with that because I already have it, and then transition to something else, such as green bananas, banana flour, or plantain flour.  I’ve attempted to research the particle sizes of these other forms of RS, but there’s not a lot of (free) information out there.  At some point analysis becomes paralysis, and you just have to take a chance.  Of course, real food can also contain resistant starch – I’m supplementing to begin because the resistant starch in the PS is concentrated and I know what I’m getting.  I have damage to fix – no time to mess around!

I’ve hesitated to embark on another RS experiment, not just because of the persorption issue, but also because I felt really bad last time I tried it – headaches, severe gastrointestinal distress, depression, symptoms of high estrogen.  These symptoms cropped up when I attempted to eat more than 1 tsp of PS at a time. Folks in the know seem to think this is because my gut bacteria is not good.  I have had 2 rounds of antibiotics within the last 12 months, so this wouldn’t be surprising. I’m keeping the dose low at first and introducing the probiotics.  I’ll increase the quantity of RS over time.

Before starting this experiment, I arranged to have my gut biome analyzed through the American Gut Project as a pre-test baseline.  In 3-6 months I’ll get the results.  Then in a few months I’ll get a follow-up test done to see what changed. Wouldn’t it be interesting if my gut biome was stellar and I still felt like crap?  hahaha

I just took my first dose of Prescript Assist, combined with 1 teaspoon of potato starch. One itty-bitty teaspoon.  I hope my gut cooperates.

Stream of Consciousness

After eating starches for a few days – some potatoes one day, a cup of brown rice pasta another day, and some homemade gluten-free bread another day, I spent the last 4 or 5 days being depressed, irritable, and tired.  I turned off the starch spigot 2 days ago, and last night I finally started to feel better.  Still have a short fuse though.

My body is sick.

I started feeling sick around December 2012 (here’s a random post from around that time, but there are many like it), when I was in the midst of a very stressful time in my life and was trying to maintain my health on a low-carb diet.  I now realize that that was just stupid.  The human body needs carbohydrates for fuel – especially when it’s stressed, as stress devours nutrients.  Low carb folks don’t realize this, however, because they do fine – great, even – for 6 months or a year, they lose weight, it’s all very rewarding.  And then at some point it catches up.  They’re cold all the time, they stop sleeping well, they become tired and their bodies stop fighting infections well.  I lurk over at Jack Kruse’s site sometimes and of the 5 or 10 long term followers still hanging out in the forums there, most are having worsening health problems.  They refuse to question the good doctor though.  They believe him when he says it’s their “zip code” that’s the problem (all of the EMF, you know), and several of them are planning out of state moves – uprooting their kids, quitting their jobs.  Because Jack Kruse said to!  They’re ignoring all information to the contrary, blaming themselves for their health problems rather than blaming the TERRIBLE ADVICE THEY’RE GETTING.

EAT SOME CARBS, DAMMIT!

It’s easy to sit and judge from outside, but I know I’ve fallen into the same trap.  I’ve gotten caught up in what someone is saying and I stop listening to the messages my body is sending.  I followed the low-carb path out of habit long after it stopped feeling good.

I was feeling great on a Peat-inspired high-carbohydrate (high-sugar) diet for a few months.  I felt happy – free of depression and anxiety for the first time…ever.  It was great.  I thought anxious was my personality.  Nope.  It wasn’t.  I know that now because I’ve seen what it’s like to not have it.  The last time I felt that way was about 2 weeks ago.  I remember watching my daughter play and having that feeling – that great feeling of “there’s nothing wrong.”  Even my bad body image takes a break during these periods of time, which last only a few hours. I look back my diet log in Cronometer and around then I was eating a high sugar, moderately low-fat diet at the time, no starches.

Well, that’s great, except my diabetes is probably causing endothelial damage as we speak…and of course then there’s the rising triglycerides/cholesterol (read: impending heart disease).

I’m on a merry go round of silly dietary stuff. I’m pretty tired of tracking what I eat. It would be worth the effort if I was seeing some improvement, but…I’m not. I’m tired of looking around and seeing nothing I can eat that isn’t in some way making me more sick (except milk….hm….all-milk diet?).  I’m avoiding going to the doctor because I think what’s next for me is 2-3 prescription medications, none of which I want to take, because it feels like I’m giving up.  I broke my body (somehow) – I should be able to fix it!  I’m intelligent and determined!

But also tired of running into brick walls.

I’ve decided to start another resistant starch experiment.  I ordered – and received – the 3 probiotic products (scroll a bit to see the “Frequently Bought Together” section) recommended by RN over at Free The Animal.  I may use Dr. BG’s 7 step fix-your-gut protocol. I don’t know if I’ll be using potato starch or not.  Pros: It’s still in my kitchen cabinet and it’s easy and tasteless.  Cons: Possible organ failure related to long-term use.  I’m at the point now where I’m willing to roll the dice on this one.  Or, maybe I’ll find a resistant starch that has a smaller granule size, thus side-stepping the organ death thing.  Don’t know.  I’m not going to do anything though, until I get my gut critters analyzed.  A year ago I ordered a sample kit from the American Gut Project, out of curiosity.  Then I moved 3 times within about 6 months and never got around to using it.  Only problem is, now I can’t find the sample kit. Guess I have some house cleaning to do today.

What else…oh, the hot flashes stopped a couple days ago.  Don’t know why they started.  Don’t know why they stopped.

/stream of consciousness.

Results and Changes

Had a lipid panel done today, about 2 weeks after my last one.  Over the past week I did the following:

  • Aimed for a 2:1 carbohydrate to protein ratio.  I found this difficult because I don’t particularly like sweet food, so I fell short some days.
  • Aimed for a 1:1 calcium to phosphorus ratio, because Ray Peat says.
  • Ate no starchy foods, getting all of my carbohydrates from sugar (fruit, honey, juice, and white sugar)
  • Maintained a lower-fat diet (averaged 59g fat/day or about 24% of total calories, on average).
  • Took niacinamide and aspirin 3x a day
  • Doubled thyroid supplement (Cynoplus, a combination T3/T4) from a very small dose -1/4 tablet (7.5mcg T3 / 30mcg T4) to two 1/4 tablets per day.

The results of today’s lipid panel:

  • Total Cholesterol: 316 (first time ever above 300).  Shouldn’t increased thyroid supplement decrease cholesterol?
  • Triglycerides: 495 (a 3% improvement. I’m not impressed.)
  • HDL Cholesterol: 30 (lowest ever)
  • LDL Cholesterol: Couldn’t be computed because Trigs were so high (this was the case last time too).

So, not great.

Here’s a handy chart showing my lipid panels over the last 2 years, along with brief notes about my diet during that time:

lipid panels

So you don’t have to turn your monitor on it’s side, here are the notes that correspond with the different testing dates:

3/27/2012 – Low Carb/Leptin Reset

11/14/2012 – Low Carb + Stress (Moved to a new state, started a new and very stressful job, was doing the Wiley Protocol and supplementing estrogen + progesterone).

6/19/2013 – Low Carb, without following any particular plan.  When I ate carbs they were in the form of starches from potatoes and rice, some vegetables, no fruit.

12/30/13 – Ray Peat, low sugar – around a 1:2 carb:protein ratio.  I was fiddling around with eating fruit, juice, and sugar but I was scared by the effect it was having on my blood sugar.  It was about this time I realized I was diabetic and was afraid of eating more carbohydrates.

4/19/14 – Ray Peat, high sugar – 2:1 carb:protein ratio – I decided to jump in with both feet and start eating more carbohydrates. When this test was done I was eating high fat (90-120g/day), high sugar (over 200g/day, some of which were starches), moderate protein (about 110-120g/day).  Pressure under my left ribcage was making me concerned that something might be wrong.

5/2/14 – Ray Peat – high sugar (2:1 carb:protein), low fat (around 25% of calories), taking niacinamide/aspirin/increased thyroid to address scary lab results.

According to this, my body (well, at least my lipid panel) responds best to a low carbohydrate diet, with minimized environmental stress.  I can tell you I didn’t feel great eating low carb after a while – I felt tired all the time, irritable.  But maybe that was because I wasn’t getting enough nutrition – I wasn’t tracking my food back then – vitamins/minerals were pretty much off the radar for me. I wasn’t eating liver or taking progesterone then.

Of course, other things were worse then.  My BUN/Creatinine ratio for example, got worse the longer I was on low carb, and improved since then.

BUN

Maybe eating too much meat is stressful on the kidneys after all?

Let’s look at thyroid:

thyroid

Seems sort of unrelated to sugar intake, actually, and more related to environmental stress. When I had the labs drawn in 12/2013 I was experimenting with resistant starch.  I think that was stressful on my body – I know it was stressful on my emotional state. So that may account for the increase in TSH last December.  I know TSH isn’t the ideal measure for thyroid function, according to many people…but Peat seems to think it’s a decent gross measure, so good enough.

And of great importance to me is my blood sugar.  Let’s see the data:

blood sugar

This is a crazy graph, right?  There was definitely an increase in fasting blood sugar when I started following Peat and adding carbohydrates to my diet, but that’s to be expected.  Anyone can have “well managed diabetes” with a low carb diet.  I wanted to actually FIX my diabetes, so I was experimenting with adding carbs back in to see what it would take to do that.  From the graph it looks like the best things I did for my blood sugar were bicycle for 30 minutes a day and eat a low-fat diet.

Holy crap!  Just like my conventional doctor told me!  Exercise and eat a low fat diet!

hahaha

It does seem my current supplements are confounding things.  The graph shows that eating a low-fat high sugar diet results in lower fasting blood sugar…but not if I add niacinamide, aspirin, and increase thyroid.  Hm…interesting.  If I was a patient person, and if I really loved sweet food, I’d probably just eliminate the supplements I’m taking and go back to high-sugar/low fat for a while to see if that trend continues.

I’m neither patient nor in love with sugar.

And considering that I’m STILL having hot flashes – even while sitting right here, right now, I’m going to stop taking niacinamide, aspirin, and thyroid.  One of them is bothering me.  Later on I may try to add them in one at a time and see what I can tolerate.

So to sum up: It looks like the best thing for my lipids is low-carb.  The best thing for my BUN/Creatinine is low meat.  The best thing for my thyroid is low-stress.  The best thing for my blood sugar is low fat and bicycling 30min a day on flat terrain.  The best thing for my enjoyment of life – to not have to eat so much sugar.  I really don’t look forward to it.

So what kind of diet is low-carb, low-meat, low-fat, and lower-sugar?  Maybe one with dairy (mostly low-fat), some lean meat, lots of vegetables, some fruit (when I feel like it).  Plus avoid stress and get exercise.

I still love Ray Peat – he gave me progesterone, Vitamin E, red lights, liver, vitamin K, dairy, raw carrots, and taught me that estrogen, PUFAs and serotonin are bad guys.  I’m continuing on with much of what he has to say.  Just less sugar.  More vegetables.  More exercise.

I might as well retire the blog.  I have nothing original to say anymore.

So there it is.  That’s my new plan.

High Carb Low Fat – Day 8

Fasting blood sugar this morning: 117.  Nice to be below 120 again.  I’m not sure why but I have assigned 120 some sort of significance in my mind…I guess I was “prediabetic” for years and my blood sugars fluctuated between 100 and 120 – so when my fasting blood sugar is under 120 now it feels like I undid some damage.  I’m sure this is magical thinking.

Weight has been stable for the last 5 days at exactly 207.5.  I don’t know why, but since I started following the recommendations of Ray Peat my weight is exactly the same every day unless I eat starches…no ups and downs because of fluid retention.  Maybe it’s because I eat gobs of salt now and my body feels no need to retain water anymore.

Thermoregulation is still off.  Not as many hot flashes today, but still having them.  I wonder if it’s completely unrelated to niacinamide.  Maybe I’m in menopause!  All of a sudden!

Here are my macros today:

crono

Too much protein, but I just felt like eating meat today.  So I did…but it messed up my carb:protein ratio.  Fat % was good today at 21%, calcium-phosphorus ratio was shy of 1:1 by about 200mg calcium.  Overall, pretty good day.

So now, to avoid unwanted additives, I’m using bulk aspirin powder and niacinamide powder 3x a day.  I’m not sure how other people do this without feeling burdened by it…I mean, do they bring their little milligram scale to work with them and measure out their teeny tiny quantities of bulk supplements on their lunch break?  Definitely not as convenient as tablets.  Well, I came up with my own method so I only have to measure and dose once, first thing in the morning, and I can pair it with other nutritious food.  First, I get coffee brewing.  While I’m doing that I get out my little milligram scale and 3 pint-sized jars.  My coffee maker makes 24 ounces of coffee (it’s little). (Note: I make weak coffee so in my nutritional breakdown, above, I only record 12 ounces, even though I drink 24 ounces of coffee). 

Ok, so I get a bowl out.  I pour all 24 oz of coffee into the bowl, and add 3 tablespoons of honey and a heaping 1/2 teaspoon of salt to the coffee, and stir until dissolved.  Then I fill each of the jars half way with the coffee mixture. Then I measure out my aspirin and niacinamide and add them to each of the 3 jars, as well as a drop of Vitamin K2.  So now each jar contains 8oz of coffee, 1T honey, 1/6 t. salt, 100mg aspirin powder, 100mg niacinamide powder and 1mg K2.  Then I fill each jar up with skim milk.  Finally I put lids on each jar and shake them up.  Done!  Then I drink one in the morning, one at noon, and one around dinner time.  I do shake them again before drinking because the supplements don’t dissolve fully. They taste like sweet-salty coffee flavored milk.  It’s really good if you like sweet/salty combination foods.

So that’s my solution to the pain-in-the-ass bulk supplement situation!  I’m going to be bummed if it turns out I shouldn’t be pairing aspirin or niacinamide with coffee or milk for some reason.  I’d get over it though, so definitely tell me if that’s the case.

High Carb Low Fat – Day 7

Fasting blood sugar this morning: 125.  Heading in the right direction.

Hot flashes – almost gone.  Had 1 early this morning, and one about 5 minutes ago.  I completely skipped the niacinamide today in order for my body to stop doing whatever weird thing it was doing. I was feeling achy yesterday and today, as well as fatigued and a little irritable earlier today – around 7:00PM all of that stuff went away.  I’m wondering if the problem may not have been the niacinamide itself but some extra ingredient in the tablet. I did go ahead and buy pure niacinamide powder and received that in the mail yesterday…but over the past week I’ve been taking these tablets because I already had them. The ingredient list on the bottle states that it also contains “cellulose, stearic acid, silica, and magnesium stearate.”  I’m suspicious because niacinamide has a very short half-life, like it can be measured in minutes (about 45).  250mg was not a particularly big dose, even 3x a day.  I just don’t think the niacinamide itself would have continued to be problematic all the way into today.  Oh well…I’ll be increasing slowly to see if the hot flashes and other symptoms return. Starting tomorrow I’ll be using pure niacinamide powder – no weird ingredients.

Macros and nutrition today:

crononutrients

I really felt like I needed more fat today, so I did have a little more than I’m shooting for these days.  Fat was 27% of calories.  Calcium to phosphorus ratio wasn’t awesome today – I was about 600mg of calcium short of a 1:1 ratio.  Carb to protein ratio was not quite 2:1 – I was short about 30g of carbohydrate.  I could probably just go drink some juice…but that’s getting silly.

Liver for dinner tonight.  I have to say, soaking liver in milk makes it so much better.  I got out of the habit of doing that for a while and liver was starting to really bother me – the smell, the taste, plus sometimes I’d feel nauseated after eating it.  Then a few weeks ago I started soaking it in milk for a few hours while it thawed in the refrigerator, and then rinsing the liver before cooking it.  No more icky smell and the taste is milder.  Today I actually ate it raw.  Just easier that way sometimes.  Washed it down with a cold glass of milk.

Till tomorrow.

Update: I woke up at 12:30AM hungry, so I added 1/2 cup of orange juice and 1oz cheese to the above totals. It might make sense for me to post these the following day, to ensure all food consumed is accounted for.  But really….by the next day I don’t want to think about what I ate yesterday.