Beginnings and Endings

My time for writing has become very limited.  I apologize to anyone who has emailed me for not responding quickly.  I’m fatigued and not feeling well, and most hours of of my day are spoken for.  I work full time and then play Mommy for 4-5 hours every night.  At that point I’m usually ready for bed.  The only time I have for myself is [ok, seriously?  As I was typing this my daughter woke up, came out of her room, and climbed onto my lap.  Apparently the only time I have for myself is never!].

So we’ll have to get to the point.  No time for dilly dally.

Bye bye Ray Peat.  My high blood sugar, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high triglycerides, low energy and low libido are just not that into you anymore. Thanks for the progesterone and the anti-PUFA information.  I’ll take that with me.  My body doesn’t handle all these carbohydrates well, and it’s about time I faced that.  I’m dealing with constant bloating and fatigue whenever I eat any dense source of carbohydrate now.  I can’t say that eating a Peat-inspired plan caused this, but it didn’t prevent it or fix it.  I suspect Peat is right about a lot of things, but I don’t think he addresses gut health adequately.  No carrot salad is going to clear this up (I’ve tried it).

I’ve moved on to something else. I’ve found a functional medicine practitioner to work with (or rather, she found me).  I’ve started working with Amelia Luker through Nourish Balance Thrive.  She’s an RN who studied the Kalish Method, which is apparently a respected functional medicine approach.  I’ve already had my initial consultation with Amelia and my nutrition coaching session with Julie Kelly, and testing supplies are on the way.  They routinely do the testing I’ve wanted to do for a while, but money got in the way, as well as my inexperience with interpreting results.  I have the money now, and these guys seem to be good at the second part.

So far I’ve been very impressed with the Nourish Balance Thrive team.  They’re professional and tech savvy, they seem very personable and competent in their areas of expertise, and everyone’s on time.  When they say they’ll call me at noon, they call me at noon.

Anyway, I’m back to a low-carb nutrient dense diet, avoiding everything that bothers me, which is most carbs.  In the meantime I’ll be getting tested with an Adrenal Stress Profile, an Organic Acids Urine Test (to test for nutrient deficiencies), and stool problems.  Amelia and Julie will help me develop a diet and supplement protocol based on the results.  So far I feel good low carbing again.  Blood sugar swings have lessened considerably.  I’m not constantly needing to eat.  Appetite is dropping.

I’ll report as things go on.

Unrelated but interesting.  My daughter suddenly decided she doesn’t want to drink milk anymore.  So she’s been off milk for a week.  Suddenly the constipation she’s had since she started drinking milk a year ago is gone.  Amazing.  She’s eating cheese with no problem, which suggests to me that it’s the lactose in the milk (as opposed to the casein) that’s the problem for her.  I ordered some Lactase drops in case she wants milk again.  I’m reluctant to discontinue dairy completely because a) she loves cheese, and b) it’s got lots of calcium, and I don’t think I can get her to eat enough dark leafy greens to make up for it.  So this is the plan for now.  The Peat folks always like to say try different kinds of milk till you find one that works for you – Well, we’ve tried many different kinds and never found one that didn’t constipate her.  Conventional, organic, grass fed, lactose-free, goats milk.  We don’t have access to raw milk and I’m not sure I’d give that to her anyway.  I guess it’s weird that lactose-free milk didn’t seem to make a difference.  Anyway, we never found an acceptable milk and she never developed the appropriate enzymes to deal with drinking milk (if that is, indeed, the problem).  Probably because there’s a gut issue that’s unaddressed.

I’m rambling now. Time to go be Mommy.

Peat vs PHD: A Comparison

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

and…

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

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

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

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

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

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

Peat says fructose has been wrongly maligned:

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

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

And regarding the effect of fructose on obesity:

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

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

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

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

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

I Heart Intuitive Eating

Stopping measuring everything was the best thing I’ve done for myself in months.

Beginning 2 days ago, I only measure the basics upon rising – fasting blood sugar, temp/pulse, and weight – and then no more measuring for the rest of the day.  The purpose is for me to start making decisions about what and how much to eat based upon how I feel, not based on how many grams of protein I need to get in or how many calories I have left before I feel really bad about myself.  Since I stopped measuring everything my ability to interpret body’s signals is becoming very clear.

For example, I can now recognize two distinct kinds of hunger – hunger for sugar and hunger for a meal.  The hunger for sugar feels like a slight twinge of irritability or fatigue along with a need to eat something which I feel most in my mouth or head.  Hunger for a meal is a deeper feeling, kind of hard to explain, but it makes me feel hollow – like I really need to fill myself up.  I’m still learning to tell the difference in the moment, but when in doubt I have a few ounces of orange juice and if I’m still hungry 10 minutes later I eat something more substantial.

Also what’s great is I am learning how to control my energy levels.  If I eat too much meat I feel tired.  I now know that’s because eating protein out of proportion with sugar raises cortisol and lowers thyroid function.  Also, there’s lots of phosphorous and tryptophan in meat – a precursor to serotonin, which increases my nemesis, estrogen.  A few days ago I ate like 8 or 9 ounces of meat at once (I was worried about it spoiling and didn’t want to waste it.  Sometimes I’m such a tight wad) and within an hour I needed a nap.  When I woke up I felt all estrogen-y – sore breasts, irritable.  It’s clear to me why eating all that meat on paleo/low-carb gave me such a flat affect and made me tired.  Since then I’m becoming vigilant about having fruit or orange juice first – before protein – and only having 2-3oz of meat at a time.  If I do this my energy is high and my mood is good.  Dairy and gelatin are sources of protein that don’t make me tired.  And by the way, dairy no longer gives me asthma.  That’s over.

I’m going to continue on this way for a while – I know I probably won’t lose much weight eating whatever I want and when I want without counting calories, but right now my objective is to learn what my body needs.  Maybe after a couple weeks I’ll count something again.

Resistant Starch and Oranges

There’s been a lot of discussion about Resistant Starch (RS) in the Paleo world lately, most of which has taken place over at Free the Animal.  I haven’t read all of the posts, threads, and comments relating to this topic, but I’ve read enough to pique my interest.  RS is basically the isolated starch from potatoes and other foods that is resistant to digestion in the body – it behaves in the body like a fiber rather than a typical starch.

Many people seem to be having very good results with supplementing with RS (mostly, in the form of potato starch), and there is research backing the anecdotal results.  Most commonly, folks are lowering their fasting blood glucose and are increasing their body’s ability to tolerate other carbohydrates without causing a big spike in blood sugar.  Well, that sounds exactly like what I need, right?  Other benefits I’ve read about include lowering cholesterol and improving markers of thyroid function (specifically, increasing body temperature).  Additionally, when you eat it, it passes undigested (resistant!) into the large intestine where favorable bacteria have a field day and crowd out pathogenic (bad) bacteria. Lastly, it reportedly regulates bowel function – if you’re constipated it gets things moving.  If you’ve got loose stools (or even parasites, according to one report) it firms things up.  Last advantage – it’s dirt cheap (like $3 a pound) and widely available.  I got a bag at the store across the street.  The only negative side effect people seem to be posting is extra gas, but most folks indicate that resolves after a couple of weeks.

Well, my husband and I both decided to give RS a try.  He’s insulin resistant, and I’m certainly having blood sugar management problems of my own, so we’re most interested in finding a way to improve in this area.  Before starting we got a baseline of our body’s ability to tolerate carbohydrates.  About a week ago, first thing in the morning, we each ate an 11 oz. baked potato with nothing on it but salt.   Then every 15 minutes for the next 3 hours we took blood sugar readings.  Here are our baseline results:

Potato Baseline

Mine is in the blue – as you can see my blood sugar was over 200 for well over an hour, topping out at 255, and took a long time to recover.  Sorry, body, but that’s kind of diabetic.  David’s was better but still got fairly high (189 at the one hour mark), but he was back to normal after an hour or so.  So here’s our plan:  Start supplementing with potato starch, give it a month or 6 weeks (research seems to indicate it takes 4 weeks for your body to respond fully to supplementation), and then do the test again.

We also had lab testing done this week, including fasting insulin and the “Comprehensive Wellness Profile” offered by Direct Labs, my favorite place to order labs without a doctor censoring me.  I should have my results this week – I’ll post when I get them.  We’re going to get another set done in 6-8 weeks after supplementing with RS.  Additionally, we’re testing fasting blood sugar every day.

So let me tell you briefly, and with as little TMI as possible, about my own experience so far taking potato starch.  I decided to simply stir it into a quarter cup of water or so – some people mix it into yogurt or kefir to get extra gut-health benefit.  The recommended dose is 4 tablespoons a day.  Research indicates more is not better, and less than 1 Tbs has little or no value.  I started with a teaspoon a day, to see how my digestive system was going to respond. The teaspoon test went fine…increased it to 2, and then 3 teaspoons over the next two days.  All of that went well.  Then I decided to try a tablespoon.  Well, that didn’t go well.  It felt like there was a war in my intestines for about 24 hours (and perhaps there actually was).  It was painful and I was in the bathroom a lot the next day.  So I started again, smaller.  3 teaspoons a day.  Now I’m up to 4 doses a day of 1.25 teaspoons each.  No problems.  My husband has had no problems other than a little gas – and he’s already up to 4 tablespoons a day.   From my reading, my response is unusual – almost no one is reporting serious GI upset, but it was really bad for a day there.  I wonder if the more unhealthy your gut is to start, the more “cleaning house” needs to be done.  Maybe that distress meant I’ve gotten rid of some bad guys hanging out in my gut.

Anyway, this post is getting long.  Here are a couple really good links on Resistant Starch supplementation and benefits:

On another topic, I’ve again embraced Ray Peat’s dietary wisdom.  On a whim I decided to try eating whole oranges with protein, having had a hard time with hunger and blood sugar regulation when I drank juice.  The whole oranges keep me satisfied a little longer (I get hungry after 2 hours instead of 1), but I can tolerate that.  Also, my blood sugar is under 130 an hour later.  I’m not sure if it’s the resistant starch having an effect or if it’s eating the fiber of the orange that slows the release of sugar into the bloodstream, but it any case I’m going to keep doing it.  I have so much more energy eating fruit than I do when I eat starchy foods or skip carbs altogether.  So I’m going to keep it up.  Also going to get some lights (like this with this) in the next day or two…cuz Ray Peat said to:

Light, especially the red light which penetrates easily into tissues, activates the formation of new cells as well as their differentiation. It affects energy production, increasing the formation of mitochondria, and the activity of the DNA methyltransferase enzymes. Red light accelerates wound healing, and improves the quality of the scar, reducing the amount of fibrosis. The daily cycling between darkness and light is probably an important factor in regulating the birth and differentiation of cells.

My many N=1 experiments are going to be very confounded: lights, reducing PUFAs, Resistant Starch, eating fruit sugar again, etc etc…all of it is going to leave me wondering what’s working and what isn’t.  Fortunately, my husband is ONLY changing one thing –  the addition of RS – so we’ll have a good idea of how well it works in a month or so.

Happy New Year, and thanks for reading!

Bye Bye Dairy

I haven’t had much milk at all in years, but seemed to tolerate it well as a child, so when I saw that Ray Peat recommended it (in large quantities!) for nutrition and weight loss, I didn’t hesitate. Bring on the milk.  I drank between 8 and 16 oz and started eating several ounces of cheese a day.

Fast forward 2 months…it occurred to me yesterday that my 7-week long stint of wheezing, coughing and phlegmy-ness might not be a side effect of having a child in daycare after all, but rather might be related to drinking milk. I’d heard of this happening, but never had that experience with milk myself.  So I decided to hold the milk/cheese for a day and see what happens.  Well, 24 hours later, no more coughing and my voice no longer sounds like it’s underwater.  I’m cured!  But wait…what if I just got better because of the passage of time?  I mean, colds go away too over time…maybe it was a coincidence.

So I decided to use a reversal design.  Drink more milk and see if it comes back!  So this morning with my eggs I had 16oz of 2% milk and an ounce of cheese.  And guess what happened.  Within an hour my cough was back and I was again hawking up phlegm and hitting the inhaler.

So suddenly I have an intolerance to milk?  WTF?

I looked it up and found this article. Apparently I have the perfect storm of phlegm production related to dairy intake.  If you have asthma (yup) and you drink A1 milk (mm-hm), and inflammation is present (indeed it is), dairy can cause excess respiratory track mucus production:

This association may not necessarily be simply cause and effect as the person has to be consuming A1 milk, beta-CM-7 must pass into the systemic circulation and the tissues have to be actively inflamed. These prerequisites could explain why only a subgroup of the population, who have increased respiratory tract mucus production, find that many of their symptoms, including asthma, improve on a dairy elimination diet.

So now it seems I’ll be taking a big step back from dairy too.  I gave it up before, I can do it again. I’m not going to go out of my way to pound expensive goat’s milk (which apparently is A2, not A1), but maybe some goat cheese here and there would be ok.

Pretty soon I’ll be back to plain-old Paleo.  Minus the nuts.  And the chicken.

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).

Ups and Downs – Updated

Feeling a little discouraged today.  Could it be moodiness related to quitting the DIM two days ago?  Perhaps.  Cuz I didn’t feel so hot emotionally yesterday either.  Started taking it again today.  Even if it is responsible for a few minor headaches (of which I’m not really convinced), if it helps me handle CT detox issues, it’s worth it.  I think it’s time for a good/bad segment.  It feels like it might be mostly bad today, so lets start with that.

The Bad

  • Yesterday’s CT wasn’t fun.  It was 35 minutes at 49 deg F.  Nothing I haven’t done before but it just felt cold and not much fun.  I don’t know why – I was well-rested and had eaten a decent dinner an hour before.  Oh well…maybe there’s no obvious reason I’m less cold-tolerant some days. I’ve been trying to stay in 40 minutes now, and didn’t want to stay in past 35.  Hopefully today will be better.
  • WordPress has been acting up on Firefox:  I tried to blog earlier and it wouldn’t let me type anything into my post.  Gave up twice.  Finally switched to Chrome.  Thank you for being cooperative, Chrome.
  • Had labs done today.  Our local hospital does monthly cholesterol screenings, including a fasting blood glucose check, all for $30.  Not a bad deal, and no silly statin-happy doctor involved. So David and I went to have ours checked.  He’s been following a Paleo diet but not the Leptin Rx or CT.  I’ve been doing the Leptin Rx + CT.  His labs improved.  Mine got worse.  I know it was prolly dumb for me to test now, considering I’m still experiencing detox symptoms related to CT.  I thought since my blood sugar has been improved lately, maybe other things have too.  Well, no.  So I was hoping for a psychological boost and didn’t get one.  The worst part is this: I tested my fasting blood sugar before I left home and it was 92.  Then at the lab, 45 minutes later, it was 105.  Huh?  So now I’m wondering if my glucometer or test strips are unreliable.  I may have to get another one to do a reliability check.  In any case, Labs…bad.  Plus I had to delay my BAB which didn’t make me happy.  My body has become very accustomed to eating right away upon waking.

So specifics…Here are the sad numbers:

3/14/12 3/28/12 6/12/2012
Cholesterol, Total 238 222 250
Triglycerides 112 107 131
LDL Cholesterol 165 147 180
HDL Cholesterol 52 54 44
So my HDL dropped 10 points?  Can detox do that?  I sort of expected the LDL to rise…but the Triglycerides?  I ate some carbs 2 or 3 weeks ago…but other than that, nothing but veggies, meat, fat, and some nuts…and a little dark chocolate here and there.  How did my HDL drop?  Is it because I’m not eating as much coconut oil as I was for a while there?

Anyway…

The Good

  • David is watching the little one right now, which means I can go take a CB.  Bye for now.

Update: CB tonight at 49 deg F for 35 minutes.  Easier getting in and most of the time felt pretty good.  Still didn’t feel like staying in past 35 minutes though, and it took me a long time to warm up.  Oh well.  Keep plugging away.  Some days make up for the other days.

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!

Ok.

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.

Things Are Heating Up

Had CB #10 yesterday – only had time for 20 minutes, given my hectic schedule, but I could have stayed in for an hour, it felt so good.   The tub was 63 deg F to start, 64 at the end.  Skin temps were 86 to start, 64 at the end.  It felt SOOOOOOOO much better than the previous day.  I think eating a decent sized fat/protein meal shortly before CT is really important.  I couldn’t tell you why it’s important, but it certainly seems to be.  I’ve been watching Ruby on Netflix during CT sessions lately.  I can’t wait for today’s soak.

My husband is fixing up the basement for me so it’s more spa-like.  He’s clearing out clutter and adding nice lighting and decorations.  It’s really getting nice down there!  He’s been eating Paleo for 2 months – including alcohol and lots of 85% chocolate, so certainly not depriving himself – and he’s lost 13 pounds! He’s now in his ideal weight range.  Must be nice to lose weight easily.  I’ll report on my weight again after the current water retention is gone.

So, I’m hot all the time now.  I always did run hot, but now it’s more pronounced.  It’s hard for me to be in a room above 70 deg F, and I don’t really trust myself anymore to determine whether or not something is an appropriate temperature.  I make my husband feel my daughter’s bath water for me, because everything feels too hot.  I’m burning up at night and he’s under the covers.  It’s very interesting.  So far its only mildly annoying…I just have to dress in layers, I guess.

I wanted to share a recipe I’ve been making a lot for my daughter.  It was really hard for her to give up bread and English muffins when we took wheat out of her diet.  I found a substitute that she loves.  It’s a twist on the Atkins Revolution Rolls.  It’s somewhat Paleo, but includes dairy.  Here’s the recipe:

Preheat oven to 300 deg F.

Ingredients:

  • 3 eggs
  • 3 oz cream cheese
  • 2 drops stevia (I’ve left this out and it didn’t make a huge difference)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar (it’s in the spice section, if you’re as new to cooking as I am)
  • 1/3 cup almond meal (ground raw almonds)

Separate the eggs into two bowls – whites in a big bowl, yolks in a small bowl.  Add the cream of tartar to the whites and beat with a mixer until the egg fluff forms stiff peaks.  To the yolks, add the stevia and cream cheese, and mix.  Then add the almond meal to the yolks and mix.  Add the yolk mixture to the whites and “fold” in, careful you don’t get rid of all the air in the whites.  (I found this video helpful for defining “stiff peaks” and “folding”.)

Bake for 35 minutes.  Delicious!  Kind of egg-y, but not unlike bread!

Back to work now.

CT Bath #8

…Keep sleepin, baby…give Mama a few minutes to write on her bloggy…

Oh hi!

Ok, CT yesterday: 30 minutes in 62 deg F tub.  I was actually looking forward to it because I was feeling all hot and bloated yesterday.  Have been eating too much salt and I’m retaining water at the moment.  Yuck.  Anyway, bath felt great.  I accidentally filled it a little too high so I couldn’t submerge completely. It’s not set up yet to drain and I wasn’t leaving the tub to find a bailing bucket. I have found a position that seems to get most skin under water (…you know, usually, when I haven’t filled it too full.)  It involves basically lying in the prone (face-down) position with knees bent and feet out of the water, head out of the water resting on hands (also out of the water).  Perfect position for watching movies on Netflix. Also I need to find water-proof headphones…I keep dropping mine in.  I’m amazed they still work.  Yay for Sony ear buds!

I’ve decided I’m going to look for a small freezer on Craig’s List, within which I can store gallon jugs full of ice, to cool down the tub every day before using it.  I don’t know if I’m patient enough to wait till after vacation to cool it down into the 50s.  I want to gradually inch down a degree or two at a time till I’m at 50-55 deg. F.

My husband is excited about what I’m doing.  He says it’s the best science experiment he’s ever been a part of.  I love that!  He’s been eating Paleo for a couple months now and gave up his statin medicine…no cold therapy yet, but I bet he would if my results were compelling.  In any case, he’s getting a lipid panel done next week.  I hope there’s improvement over the last one.

Started taking Bitter Melon supplements two days ago, two hours prior to CT.  It advertises as helping to lower blood sugar, and indeed my fasting blood glucose has been below 100 for the last 2 days.  I don’t think that’s why Dr. Kruse recommends it though.  He doesn’t give much of an explanation, but other bloggers say it activates Brown Adipose Tissue (BAT) in the cold.  Hm… Yeah, I don’t know!  But I do know that I don’t know.  And I suspect some other people know.  So I’m going to listen to them.  Cuz they sound smart.

The beef bacon (nitrate free) from US Wellness Meats is wonderful.  Way less salty than commercial bacon and doesn’t put off so much bacony smoke though the house, for some reason.  Delicious too.

I am having some detoxy stuff going on the last couple days – stomach/GI stuff mostly, a burst of mood stuff here and there (but it’s not severe or long in duration).  The itchy skin has passed.  My skin looks great – no acne yet.

I did take my measurements, to account for my pants falling off me every day.  It appears that since I started the Leptin Reset in February I’ve lost 2 inches off my waist, 2 inches off my hips, 1 inch off my chest (around the ribcage…I didn’t measure the girls), and 1 inch off each thigh.  I didn’t measure before starting CT (wish I would have, but I didn’t think of it).  I will tell you though, that I didn’t notice my pants getting too loose before CT.  My weight is up a bit right now because of water retention…but I do think the CT is doing something.  We’ll keep plugging away and see what happens.