My fabulous stretch of fabulousness crashed. I felt so good for about 4 or 5 days there, which I attributed to pregnenolone, as that was the one thing that I added. And then, I got depressed.
It began during a Zumba class.
Ray Peat fans will scold me for going to a Zumba class, or for participating in any form of cardio for that matter, but I did it knowing the risks. During the class – that’s right, DURING the class, I started getting abdominal cramps – the ones you get before you get your period. To be clear, I was just finishing my period. And from that moment on I felt tired, lethargic, and depressed for the next 4 days. So what was the problem?
Here are all of the things that could have possibly gone wrong:
1. My pregnenolone high ran its course. I did take another 300mg (a typical weekly dose) on Monday, and it didn’t make things better. So I don’t think that was the problem.
2. Free fatty acids (FFAs) released during Zumba class, which included estrogen that is stored in the fat cells. This is a distinct possibility, and is one of the reasons Peat recommends avoiding strenuous exercise. The FFAs containing PUFAs (….and estrogen) can be damaging if they’re released faster than the liver can process and eliminate them.
3. I didn’t take my DIM and Calcium D-Glucarate for several days. This is possible.
4. I was eating starches and not eating raw carrots. The more I pay attention, the more I realize that starches are not my friend. Peat would say they are food for bacteria, which increases endotoxin and/or serotonin in the bloodstream. Raw carrot is antibacterial and decreases endotoxin. I have found it very difficult to give starches up, but I have a new trick up my sleeve that I learned just yesterday. More on this in a moment.
5. I drank alcohol. Just a couple glasses of wine on a couple of different days, the last of which was Sunday night, the night before I started feeling crappy. There’s something about the fermentation process that can increase estrogen in the body when you consume alcohol. I’ll have to give it up for a while again to see if it makes a difference. In the past I didn’t feel much different just from abstaining from alcohol.
So…many forms of misbehavior, and my health tanks on me again. I shouldn’t be surprised. Yesterday (Friday) I was starting to feel better. I reversed most of the above to remedy the situation and it worked. Then yesterday I ate starches again and didn’t eat any carrots, and had a glass of wine. Today I feel like crap again.
Lessons learned: Take my supplements, stop with the starches and the wine, eat carrots, stop with the Zumba. Got it.
Not much of a mystery after all.
Oh and here’s my secret regarding starches, thanks to a thread on my Ray Peat Facebook page. With starches we tend to eat salt…so assuming carbohydrate (sugar) intake is adequate, perhaps a craving for starches is really a craving for salt. I tested this today while I was feeling very tempted by potatoes that my husband and daughter were eating. Instead of having potatoes, I microwaved a couple ounces of cheese and sprinkled it heavily with salt. It completely killed that craving for starches. So now I’m asking myself before I eat something…do I want something salty, sweet, or savory? Usually the answer is salty. Sometimes sweet. And if I pay attention and follow through my cravings seem to go away.