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:


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.

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.


I tried doing spot-CT yesterday.  Did it twice actually – the first time in the morning for 45 minutes, and the second time in the evening for an hour.  I basically created an ice sandwich with a spandex-y shirt on first:

…then two of these ice-mat things that I got at Walmart wrapped around my waist:

…and over that, a weird waist-wrap thing I happened to have lying around that looks a little like this:

It stayed in place nicely.  In both cases my skin got pretty pink and skin temps measured in the low-to-mid 50s.  It certainly was easy and felt good.  I imagine I’ll be doing it again.

I’ve been sleeping like a crazy tired person lately.  Over the weekend I slept 10 hours Friday night and then 10 hours again Saturday night.  I would have kept sleeping in both cases, but I was awakened by babykins.  I’m not sure what CT is doing to me.  I like to think it’s doing some serious repair and I need to be in a near-comatose state for the repair to occur…because otherwise all that sleeping is just a waste of time!  I got things to do!

Mood has been very good lately.  I stopped taking the DIM temporarily because I kept having minor headaches since I started it.  We’ll see if my mood stays good.

Back to the bath later today.

CT, Coffee, and Mood

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

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

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

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

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

Leptin Rx: Week 6, Day 2

I’m still following the Leptin Rx protocol, but I have to admit, I’m feeling a tad bit discouraged lately.  Maybe poor mood is a symptom of my hypothalamus remapping itself and becoming a highly sensitive and well-functioning organ, just like the day I was born!

Yeah, maybe.

And now for today’s good/bad segment…

The Good:

  • No hunger/cravings.  Don’t care much about eating.
  • Relief from being thirsty – I went over to Dr. K’s site to look for answers.  Here’s what he says in the comments of the “My Leptin Rx” post:

When you reset the hypothalamus it can effect our serum and urine osmolarity too for period. Most people usually complain of higher thirst.

And later, in response to a guy who felt he was drinking too much water:

…you need to drink water at 40 degrees…….all the time.

Over on the Leptin Rx FAQs post, in the comments, someone asks, “I have been having a problem with extreme thirst. No matter how much I drink, I feel thirsty and my tongue feels thick and sour.”  His response:

big thirst not satisfied by drinking is tied to Mg and or Zn issues……I’d suggest you add those in. The biggest issue is your water is not cold enough…….see to it your drinks are at 40 degrees and I bet when you start drinking cold water your thirst will go away. Why? Cold induces ADH a hormone in the posterior pituitary that controls water balance.

Another question, further down the comments: “What would caused increase thirst on the reset?”   Answer:

…rewiring of the posterior hypothalamus.

Anyway, drinking colder water did the trick for me – after 3 or 4 days of guzzling excessive room-temperature water and not feeling satisfied.   Hm…if I didn’t know better, I would think this guy knew what he was talking about.

The Bad:

  • Sleep is still irregular.  Last night I felt hyped up and couldn’t sleep until 11:30.  I did manage to sleep through the night (well, until I had to get up at 5, anyway).
  • Bad Cooking – I pretty much ruined an expensive grass-fed roast yesterday.  I just don’t for the life of me know how to cook meat well…and I really need to learn if I’m going to be spending this much money on food.  I tried to cook it in the crock pot – actually I’ve tried to cook the last 3 in the crock pot, with different settings/heats/durations – each time it comes out overdone and dry.  Clearly I don’t know the strength of my own crock pot, nor do I understand the concept of time.
  • Not losing weight, and aside from an initial improvement, my clothes aren’t getting loser.
  • My mood is…well, meh.  I have the longest-ever PMS going on right now.  I even took a pregnancy test – it was negative.  So, waiting…oh so patiently…for this to pass.
  • Fasting blood sugar is all over the place – in the last 3 days it’s ranged from 99 to 128.  Whatever, blood sugar.

I really just need to be patient.

I don’t wanna.

But really…what are my options?

Leptin Rx: Week 4, Day 5

I feel like I have a lot to say today.  Maybe I just have a lot of energy so I’m feeling chatty.  I think it’s interesting that when I was just eating low-carb I felt tired all the time and had all kinds of cravings.  Here are the difference as I see them between my low-carb lifestyle (a la Atkins) and now:

  • Low Carb:  I ate something early in the morning but was usually hungry again by 9:30AM or so.  I don’t think I was eating enough.
  • Now: I’m eating as soon as I wake up, between 50 and 75g of protein.  I start getting hungry about 6 hours after eating breakfast. If I can’t eat right away though, it’s no big deal.  I can put off hunger for 1-2 hours by drinking water.
  • Low Carb: I was also kind of eating low fat.  I still believed animal fat was evil, so I was eating a lot of low-fat boneless skinless chicken breast.  I was worried that saturated fat caused heart disease, so I went easy on the butter too.
  • Now: I’m actually adding fat to my green tea.  It’s insanity!
  • Low Carb: No tropical oils.  Saturated fat was evil.
  • Now: I’m downing coconut oil and Nutiva’s Coconut Manna at an amazing clip.  I calculated I consume about 3 oz per day of the manna, and 2-3 Tbs a day of coconut oil.  Yay for healthy and nutritious saturated fat!
  • Low Carb: I was snacking all the time.
  • Now: No snacks. 3 meals. Period.
  • Low Carb: I was tired all the time.  I came home from work and wanted to sleep.
  • Now: I have a ton of energy.  I wish I had more waking hours to do all the things that are interesting to me right now.  I have to prioritize.
  • Low Carb: I drank cans of diet soda or coffee with sugar-free sweetener throughout the day.  I didn’t like drinking water.  I needed a lot of caffeine to stay awake and alert.
  • Now: I have 1/2 of a caffeine pill in the morning (100mg), and maybe some green tea in the afternoon.  I sometimes forget the caffeine pill and I’m fine.  I do still like caffeine though, and feel a little better if I take it.
  • Low Carb: With all the caffeine in me from the diet pop, I usually didn’t feel like going to bed until 11 or 12…and I was losing sleep all week because of it.  My mood was foul a lot of the time.
  • Now: I go to bed when I’m tired, usually around 9:30 or 10:00.  I miss the time I had to myself when I stayed up late, but I do feel better throughout the day, not being so sleep-deprived.
  • Low Carb: Lots of cheese
  • Now: About 1oz of cheese 3-4 times of week.  Otherwise no dairy.
  • Low Carb: Lots of nightshades
  • Now: Very few nightshades…maybe 1-2 oz of chopped tomatoes that show up on a salad at a restaurant 1x a week.  Dr. K. says nightshades cause a leaky gut.  I have a personal problem with the term “leaky gut.”  Why don’t they call it “leaky intestine” or “leaky colon.”  Then maybe it wouldn’t sound so “woo” like.

I do have much more energy now.  I now come home from work and have the energy to play with my daughter – for 2 hours sometimes – whereas I used to need a nap or a long break from social interaction.

Mood.  My husband and I were just talking about changes he’s seen in me since I stared eating a Paleo diet and following the Leptin Reset.  He said to me, “You have no idea how crazy you were.”  Apparently my mood swings were fairly extreme.  I don’t remember it that way, but…well, he’s probably right.  And I was taking antidepressants then.  Now I’m off of the meds and feeling positive every day.