The Magnesium Experiment

I’ve decided to try something for 30 days. I’ve recently had testing done that shows I have a lot of systemic inflammation – the precursor to lots of chronic diseases.  I remember Kevin Cottrell did a guest blog post on Jack Kruse’s site about reducing inflammation.  He used multiple forms of magnesium and combined it with Cold Thermogenesis (aka freezing one’s ass off) and within a month dropped is hs-CRP from 5.4 to 0.44.  At the time I thought to myself that those were impressive results but we don’t know which of the two interventions he did simultaneously actually had the impact.  Was it the magnesium?  Or the freezing off of his ass?  It sure would have been nice if he would have separated out the two and tested after each one.

Well, I’ve already tried freezing my ass off (see posts from 4/15/12 through 6/22/12).  I didn’t actually do specific testing before/after to measure the effect of CT on my body, so I can’t say that it didn’t lower inflammation – maybe it did, but if it did the improvement was temporary – my hs-CRP results in March and again in November were both 8-point-something.  I know I didn’t lose weight though, which was my primary objective.  It was expensive to implement because my tap water wasn’t very cold, it was time consuming, and it was incredibly uncomfortable during the re-warming period.  Not something I’m willing to try again.

What I am willing to do though is take 30 days and bombard my system with lots of magnesium to see if that has an effect. Two days ago I got a Magnesium RBC test (should have the results soon) and I already have my hs-CRP baseline (13.58). I’ve been following the Magnesium Advocates group on Facebook.  It seems low magnesium can have many dramatic consequences, including anxiety attacks, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and systemic inflammation.  I’m just starting to learn about the scope of this mineral’s effect on our bodies, but I know enough to know that I’m probably deficient.  Apparently it’s very difficult to get enough magnesium naturally in food/lifestyle because the soils that grow our food are depleted and we’re just not spending much time in the ocean (or near it).  For my experiment I’ll be using Mg drops, Mg oil, Mg oral supplements, and epsom salt baths, per Morley Robbins Protocol for Restoring Magnesium.

I’ll test again when I’m done and report back.

In the meantime, take a look at my blood sugar now:


Wow…nice highs and lows there!  I think it’s safe to say I’ve (literally) crossed the line over to Type II Diabetes at this point.  Not formally diagnosed, however.  I refuse to go to a doctor and go on prescription meds if there’s something I can do to fix this.

So here’s my overall plan.  I’m pretty much done looking for some guru to tell me what to eat.  I’m going to eat what makes my body feel best –  a high protein breakfast, and pretty much an elimination of white carbs (wheat, corn, rice, any kind of flour, and most sweeteners).  In the past when I’ve done this I don’t have the highs and lows in mood and blood sugar.  It’s something I can live with. I’ve eaten this way for months at a time and my blood sugar and hs-CRP were still high, so I don’t think this is going to confound my magnesium experiment. I’d like to keep juicing (mostly vegetables with some fruit added for flavor) because I’m just not interested in eating fruits and veggies every day and I know I need those micronutrients.  However, if my blood sugar doesn’t come down at the end of this 30 days, that’s gone too.

For exercise I’ll be riding my bike and doing yoga when the urge hits.  Nothing organized or stringent.

I’ll blog as I go with updates.


I’m probably going to be quitting my job.  It’s too much.  I made the effort to talk to my supervisor about it Friday and was told how good I have it because OTHER companies are worse.  Maybe in Silicon Valley everyone is so driven to work work work because everything is so flippin expensive so no one has a choice but to work themselves into the ground.  Perhaps its a cultural thing.  Personally, I don’t want work occupying this much of my time and mental/emotional energy.  I prefer to have hobbies and sleep.  So the job hunt begins.  We have a lead on jobs back in the Midwest in an area that probably isn’t getting a lot of applicants.

I’m trying a different approach to Paleo – high fat, moderate/low protein, and low carb.  I got the idea to do this from an excellent commenter on a previous post (thanks, newtopaleo) and also from a facebook question/answer on Jack Kruse’s Facebook wall yesterday.  Here it is:

Question:I am re-listening to your Jimmy Moore encore podcast and you mentioned HS-CRP as a tool to see if you are eating too much (of the wrong kind of) protein. If someone has a regular CRP (not HS) of less than .1 can they go to town with natural proteins without stimulating the mTOR pathway that you and Doc Rosedale disagree on?

Jack:  Protein and fat are critical for mammals………fat is best but protein is used in the Leptin Rx to break the cravings caused by carbs via NPY. Fat works too but when you use 80-90% fat diets people trying to make a change in fuel have trouble going from sugar burning to 100% fat burning……..protein use is stepped down approach

Hm….Interesting.  I’m sure somewhere in the volumes of Jack’s blog he discusses this, but I’ve never seen it.  What I know from him is that I should be eating 50-75g of protein in the morning.  Well, ok…I’ll give this a try.  I know I’m not a sugar burner anymore…so this shouldn’t be so challenging.

Because I think it’s important to follow SOME kind of plan or theory, I’ve chosen (for now) to follow the Optimal Diet designed by Jan Kwasniewski.  The idea is to eat about 80% fat.  Here’s some more info:

When first implementing the diet, a specific weight ratio of 1:2.5-3.5:0.8 between proteins, fats and carbohydrates is recommended. This works out to about 12% protein, 80% fat, and 8% carbohydrate in caloric percentages. People with ideal weight are advised to use a 1:3.5:0.8 weight ratio, while those that are overweight are advised to use a 1:2.5:0.8 weight ratio.

As a starting point, I’m going to shoot for 60g protein, 150g fat, and 48g carbohydrate.  This is 1782 calories.  I don’t know if calories matter or not.  We’ll find out.  I’m going to see how I feel on this quantity of food, and go from there.

This morning I ate 3 eggs with 2T butter and a small sausage link.  Here are the fitday stats on this meal:

  • Cal: 547
  • Fat: 48.3g
  • Carbs: 2.9g
  • Protein: 25.6g

Will update later.

Consult Tomorrow

My 43rd birthday is Thursday.  To celebrate another year of living, I scheduled an educational consult with Dr. Kruse.  It’s tomorrow afternoon.  I can’t wait!

I’ve had in the back of my mind that I’d like to do a consult with him in a couple months, after another round of labs.  But I find myself feeling discouraged now and letting the dietary protocol of the Leptin Rx slip here and there as a result.  Plus, Kruse offered a 2-for-1 incentive:  book a consultation for this week and he’ll do a follow-up consult for free at some point down the road.  Since I was going to do it anyway at some point, it’s as if this is the bonus one!

So last night I wrote up my medical history, my family’s medical history, got all the labs together that I’ve done so far, and sent them off to him.  I’m hoping I can figure out a way to record the session because I’m sure he talks a lot faster than I understand when it comes to physiology.

He may reiterate the same advice he’s already given me, and that would be fine, but at least it would be considering the whole picture, including labs.  I just feel like right now I’m stabbing in the dark, unsure what to prioritize.  Do I get my hormones looked at?  Look into BHRT?  Do I find an endocrinologist or an anti-aging doc?  Do I find the time to learn yoga and meditation so I can handle stress better?  Do I follow the autoimmune (AI) dietary protocol even though I’m not AI yet?  Do I just shut up and keep plugging away as I have been and accept it’s going to take a while?  Are there supplements I need (or ones I could quit)?  I’m hoping he can shed some light, and then I can start looking for a local doctor to help me take action.

En route to my visit with family I did some research on weight lifting.  Dr. K. recommended I use very heavy weights with very low reps.  The book I have appears well-researched, but it uses a different method (one set of slow reps to exhaustion, but not necessarily very heavy and not low reps).  I’d like to ask him tomorrow if there’s a person or program he recommends.

I promised my husband and myself that I’ll take whatever action Kruse recommends, regardless of how hard or expensive it is.  He’s the only doctor I trust at all, and there’s nothing more important to me right now than getting healthy.

CT, Hormones, and Beer

CT last night was 35 minutes at 52 deg F.  It felt pretty good.  It’s interesting to me, the way my body seems to be responding to different temperatures now.  I was half-submerged in what I thought was 50 degree water, and said to myself, “This feels warmer than usual”…I double checked, and indeed it was 2 degrees warmer…not enough that it should make much difference.  But throughout the soak I felt cool – not numb.  Just like it was a month ago in 60+ degree water.  I guess if you want that glorious numbing feeling you have to keep dropping the temperature…?  Pretty soon I’ll just be lying on a slab of ice asking my husband to lower a second slab of ice onto me.  “Thanks, honey…gotta get numb, you know, or it’s just not as much fun.”

Also interesting is how I respond to warmer temps nowadays.  I hesitated to start CT because I was afraid becoming cold-tolerant would make me less heat-tolerant.  Well, that’s not the case.  I have about the same tolerance for heat that I’ve always had (which isn’t much).  I’ve always done better in cooler temps than warmer ones, and I hate the feeling of being hot.  That hasn’t changed.  But it certainly hasn’t gotten worse.  It’s about the same.

I just realized I haven’t had my period for 6 weeks.  Hm.  What’s up with that?  I was messing around with over-the-counter progesterone in May, and I’m not now…maybe my body is re-balancing itself.  Speaking of re-balancing, my husband has become a big fan of MY doing CT.  Last night he informed me that I’ve been downright easy to get along with for “weeks now.”  He’s a big fan of Jack Kruse, needless to say.  I’m gradually introducing him to healthier eating and supplements…you know, as if I have all the answers…but his labs say he’s getting healthier, eating paleo plus some dairy and drinking gluten-free beer.  I doubt the beer is helping, but at least he’s off wheat.  We make gains where we can.


Odd data points today:

  • Weight is up a pound today to the highest it’s been since March.  Hooray!  (<– not for realz.)
  • Blood sugar is FABulous at 86 this morning…hm…well that’s nice.
  • Waist measures 39 – down an inch from last time I measured a couple weeks ago.  The rest of my measurements are unchanged.

I notice my biggest and most unpleasant detox symptom from CT seems to be fatigue.  It’s not every day and it doesn’t seem dependent on what I eat or how much I sleep…so I’m guessing it’s detox.  Also my sleep is all over the place – less predictable.  For the most part I’m sleeping really well – too much, even, instead of the nice and steady 10PM-6AM I had going prior to CT.

No CT yesterday.  Took a break in order to get some other things done.  Back to it today, probably.

No more bulletproof coffee for me.  I made it on Saturday and had it along with my BAB.  Too damn much food.  I was just too full.  Apparently there isn’t enough room in me for that much food AND coffee with butter and CO.  I keep trying to find a way to fit it into my diet because it tastes so good…but I haven’t found that yet.  I guess I’ll stop trying for now.  Bye bye coffee machine…you’re about to go the way of the toaster.

I was just browsing YouTube and came across this lovely video.  It has nothing to do with health, fitness, weight loss, or CT.  I just like it and thought I’d share:

All I’ve ever cared about much is helping people. I used to think I could do that by counseling people – being a therapist. I wanted to work with people who had body image problems and eating disorders…mostly because I know how painful these issues are and I know how many people suffer. My first step in becoming a helper and a healer was supposed to be to heal myself…so I’d know how to do it…and then to use my counseling skills and license to go help others. Unfortunately Jack Kruse changed all that. He showed me that my problems weren’t psychological at all…they’re physiological. My emotional eating and the body-hatred that stemmed from it aren’t about my parents not hugging me enough, or about feeling lonely most of my life. They’re about eating the SAD – a diet that leaves people literally starving inside, despite eating plenty of calories. In fact, depression (including feeling lonely much of my life) could very well have stemmed from poor nutrition, not the other way around.

I now feel emotionally healthy, with regard to my diet and body. This is because I learned that my problems couldn’t have been helped – I wasn’t to blame. It wasn’t a character flaw that made me fat. It was bad information.  I feel like it’s my purpose in life now to get myself healthy and then to help others get healthy. I don’t know how this is going to look yet. I don’t know if it’ll be a job or if it’ll be how I spend my free time. I do know it’ll happen though.

In Hot Water

A quick set of updates before I go off to work…

In my microcosm…

  • Freezer appears to have died already.  Got a good solid day of use out of it though!  Oh well…these are the risks we take with craigslist items.  Not sure what my plan will be going forward re: ice.
  • I am now declaring a moratorium on using “hot” or “cold” in the titles of my blog posts.
  • I’m no longer avoiding coconut manna or oil.  I was really hungry yesterday.  I’m done screwing around with my diet.  No more attempting to follow the Leptin Reset and “kinda” restrict calories too.  If I don’t lose weight after 6 months of the Reset and CT then I’ll declare it ineffective for weight loss.  In the meantime, I’m just going to do what I have to do for my body and not try to deprive myself – by following a ketogenic Paleo template and eating as much as my body needs to not feel hungry.
  • Had CB #18 yesterday.  Water 62 deg F for 30 minutes.  Felt cool throughout the time, but not cold.  I don’t feel chilled afterward at all – just sort of like my body is air conditioned.  The CBs have just become part of my routine now.

In the Paleo Macrocosm:  Jack Kruse is in the hot seat again.

He’s being called a liar for things he seems to have put on Facebook which clearly are not true.  He insists his Facebook page was hacked.  You know, even if JK does lie, he could still be a brilliant/crazed individual with amazing insight into human physiology.  I choose to believe this.

For the last 3 months that I’ve followed Dr. K’s advice I have been FREE of emotional eating.  That has been the greatest accomplishment I can imagine, after 20+ years of struggling with it.  Jack Kruse and his Leptin Reset protocol has helped me to feel better most days, taught me how to take control of my own health, and has ENDED my emotional eating.  My labs are improving, I’m off all of my prescription medications, I have energy to play with my daughter now, and I feel optimistic about my health and future in a way I didn’t back in January.  Even if this all ends up poorly, I feel grateful to have found Dr. K. and I’ll continue to follow his dietary and health recommendations.

Taking It All In: A Look at the Data

I think it’s time to take stock of how things are going so far.  Because I find my feelings about things to be unreliable and to change about as quickly as my moods, I’m going to rely on the data.

I’ve been doing the Leptin Reset Rx since February 7th, 2012 – a little over 3 months ago.  I’ve been practicing Cold Thermogenesis in one form or another on a near-daily basis since April 14th, 2012 – almost 1 month.  I follow a high-fat, high-protein, low-carb diet and eat probably less than 20g of carbohydrate a day (but I don’t count).  The carbs I do eat come from non-starchy vegetables such as lettuce, spinach, broccoli, and cucumbers. I don’t count calories, but if I did I would guess I’m eating somewhere around 2000 calories a day.  Three meals, no snacks.  I drink only coffee, tea, or water.  Mostly water.  I can easily go 5 or 6 hours without eating – sometimes longer.

Financially, eating a high-quality protein-heavy diet is more expensive.  Prior to going Paleo I was a coupon queen – I bought whatever was on sale and we ate a lot of junky processed food.  If I didn’t have a coupon for it or it wasn’t on sale, we probably didn’t buy it.  Quicken tells me that our grocery bill has gone up 57%.  We spent $514 per month on groceries, on average, for our family of 3 (which includes things like diapers, beer, and cat food – just anything you buy at the grocery store).  We now spend $806 per month on average, for groceries.  I don’t buy nearly as much at the grocery store now – a lot more of it comes from the local farmer’s market or online.  Most of what we eat now is grass-fed beef and pastured eggs, organic produce, wild-caught salmon and other seafood, and organic coconut oil/cream.  I just decided to stop worrying about money and start being concerned with our health.  What better to spend money on, really.  It’s been liberating actually, giving up the micromanaging of money.

So how are things going so far?

My weight is largely unchanged (no pun intended). Not loving that. I have a body fat analyzing scale – I bought it during my coupon-mom days so I’m not sure about the quality of it, but the results are not encouraging as of this morning:

Date Weight Body Fat Water Muscle Calories Bones (lb)
1/27/2012 192.8 46.1% 33.9% 25.0% 2535 21.4
3/17/2012 189.2 44.1% 35.8% 25.9% 2508 21.4
4/3/2012 186.8 43.8% 36.1% 26.1% 2490 21.4
4/29/2012 186.2 43.8% 36.0% 26.0% 2485 21.4
5/12/2012 187.0 44.4% 35.5% 25.8% 2491 21.4

Hm…if I didn’t know better, I’d say I’m getting less healthy, based on the above results.  Yes, I’ve lost a couple pounds and a little body fat…but not much.

Ok, more data.

Here’s my fasting blood glucose over the last 8 months.  Gee…looks like I’m not doing much better here either.  The Leptin Reset resulted in better managed blood sugar, but CT seems to opened some floodgates.   Is this a process I’m working through?  Dr. Kruse would say stick with it, I bet.

I’m not going to spend money on blood testing again till my fasting blood glucose comes down (which would indicate to me that whatever toxin dumping is going on has abated).  But seriously…is it toxin dumping if I’m not losing weight?  Isn’t the whole idea of toxins being released via CT that you’re burning body fat and the toxins stored in the fat are being released into the blood stream?  Is it a toxin dump if my weight is staying the same?

One more set of data:

Measurements 2/7/2012 5/4/2012
neck 15 15
upper arm 12 12
bust 38 37
waist 42 40
hips 44 42
thigh 26 25
calf 15 15

Measurements are improving a bit.  Nothing to write home about, after 3 months, but better than nothing.

Last time I was complaining about not losing weight, Dr. K. posted on my blog that I needed to do CT and lift heavy weights.  I started CT that same day.  I have not yet started lifting.  Maybe that’s the next step.  I’ve just been short on time and even learning how to do this and figuring out exactly what weights I need sounds like a big task.  Geez, quit whining and just do it!


Had CB #14 yesterday.  Water temp: 55 deg F (after adding 22 pounds of ice), duration: 30 minutes.  Skin temp: 90 deg before, 58 deg after.  It felt colder this time.  Not terrible, but harder to acclimate to.  It was 10 minutes before I was completely submerged and feeling no discomfort.  I had eaten a high protein/fat meal about an hour prior, but I wasn’t full.  It seems like when I’ve eaten more at the prior meal that CT is more comfortable.  I have no data to support this.  Maybe I should collect some!

Ok, so my plan going forward:  Start reading the book I bought on lifting weights, and continue with the Leptin Rx and CT.  I’m going to start getting more of my protein from seafood, per Dr. K’s recommendation, and I’ll probably start eating more veggies.  I know I’ve said this before, and what gets in the way is having none prepared.  I need to plan ahead more.  My goal is to create an overall calorie deficit without hunger.

I’m going to stick with this for a while. It’s foolish to buy into society’s quick-fix mentality, when it took me years to damage my body with the Standard American Diet and poor lifestyle decisions.  Trying to be patient and content with small improvements.