The Starch Solution – Day 10

I’ve been feeling overall really good.  Eating this way – low fat starch, fruit, and veggies – is way easier than I expected, and I actually love what I get to eat. I don’t even miss the fat at this point.  I did eat at someone’s house yesterday and brought a dish – a 3-bean salad – so I’d definitely have something there I could eat. I’m pretty determined to stick to this.  I have a ton of energy and my husband tells me my mood is better.

This is the second time I’ve been on a low-fat diet to kick my blood sugar’s ass.  I did this last year – it wasn’t a plant-based diet at that time, and I was eating a lot of dry chicken breast, white rice, and fruit.  I felt a lot hungrier then than i do now. I probably could have added more starches then but I wasn’t in the habit of thinking that way.  It would be an interesting experiment – eating a low fat vegan diet and then adding in lean meat to see the effect on health markers.  Who knows…maybe I’ll even do that.

My fasting blood sugar has dropped to under 120 every day.  Post-prandial blood sugar is still over 200 sometimes – higher when I eat bread or tortillas, and lower when I eat simple whole grains or legumes.  Weight is down a couple pounds, and I’m not counting anything – calories, grams – nothing.  I eat until I’m satisfied.

I did take a step backward one day this week after I ate a banana.  I have a history of not tolerating bananas well – maybe because of the histamine in bananas? – and I was hoping that had passed since the last time I had one a year ago.  Nope, still made me feel terrible – angry and tired, like my brain was inflamed.  No more bananas.  It took about 36 hours after eating it before I felt good again.

Plan of Attack

I’m very much back on track now…inspired by my last set of not-so-hot labs.

My short term goals are as follows:

Maintain a higher-carb, lower-fat diet in order to reverse my type 2 diabetes and reverse my abysmal lipid panel.  Rationale:

  • Lower fat to address high blood sugar (<20% of total calories, or in the neighborhood of 40-50g/day).  My dabbling in low-fat eating in the past month or two suggests that Ray Peat may be on to something when he talks about the Randle Cycle.  He says glucose oxidation is impaired by a high fat diet and/or fatty acids in the blood stream.
  • Higher carb in order to reduce stress hormones (namely, cortisol) (>250g carbohydrate) – Nearly all in the form of simple sugars – no starches, as those make me depressed, with the goal of eating at least a 2:1 carbohydrate:protein ratio.
  • High calcium intake (nonfat dairy, most likely), low phosphate intake (less meat).  I’m going to shoot for a 1:1 calcium:phosphate ratio.
  • I’m not going to make any effort to restrict calories.  That’s stressful and no fun.

Change my supplement routine to include the following:

  • Aspirin 100mg 3x/day
  • Niacinamide 100mg 3x/day
  • Vitamin K2 1mg 3x/day
  • Cynoplus (T3/T4 combo) increased from 1/4 tab daily to 1/4 tab 2x a day.  I may increase further in a few weeks, but that’s it for now.

The aspirin reduces inflammation.  Niacinamide inhibits the release of free fatty acids into the blood, and vitamin k2 ensures that blood clots normally despite the aspirin, and that calcium goes into the bones rather than the soft tissues.  Cynomel provides thyroid hormone that I don’t seem to be making enough of (evidence: total cholesterol of almost 300).  I’ll continue to take Vit D (5000 IU), Vitamin A (2500 IU), and Magnesium Glycinate.

Knowing that I have a tendency toward poor planning and then eating whatever’s available, I’m going to create some accountability for myself with this blog.  I’m going to post a screenshot of what I enter into Cronometer every day.  Here’s today:


This will make it difficult for me to rationalize eating things that don’t support my goals.  Also it’ll force me to take a critical look at what I’m eating each day so I can learn from it and do better.  Today, still too much meat…instead of chicken breast I should have had more dairy or something with gelatin in it.  At the time I just wanted to stop feeling hungry – a big dose of meat does that well.  Time to learn new strategies.

Macro % today:

  • Protein: 30.9%
  • Carbs: 50.4%
  • Fat: 18.6%

More to report tomorrow.

Weird Stuff

The last few days I’ve been sick again.  It was odd though – not your typical cold or flu brought home from Kiddo’s day care.  It was just a sore throat.  Again.  I’ve had a lot of really bad sore throats lately.  And now, another wave of the worst sore throat I’ve ever had in my entire life.  So bad that I was crying this morning, unable to talk or swallow without stabbing pain.  So finally I went to the doc.  I hesitate to go to a doctor because my insurance is pretty bad and it usually means spending a couple hundred dollars.  Today I didn’t care though.  I was in pain!

So the doc asked me a bunch of questions:

Doc: “Are you taking any prescription meds?”

Me: No.  (<– Lie, I’ve been taking my husband’s Lisinopril, an ACE inhibitor for high blood pressure.  I haven’t taken it for a couple days though.)

Doc: “Any pain in your ears?”

Me: Yeah, a little bit now that you mention it….

Doc: “Have you ever had mono?”

Me: No. Why, do you think this could be mono?

Doc: No. Ok, we’re going to do a strep test. (Inserts long awful stick into my mouth and makes me gag.)  Be back in 10 minutes.

** Insert easy listening or otherwise non-offensive instrumental music here **

10 minutes later:

Doc: Well, the strep test came back negative.  But here’s something that may be going on.  Your uvula looks a little swollen.  That’s that thing that hangs in the back of your throat.  You might have uvulitis.  (Hands me a sheet detailing the causes, symptoms, treatments of this odd malady.)  Often it’s a side effect of some medications, but it can happen for other reasons, so just ignore the part on there that talks about medications.

I look at the sheet…and it seems uvulitis can be a side effect of taking ACE inhibitors…and it names 3, including Lisinopril.  No other medications or medication types listed.  Just ACE inhibitors…and Lisinopril.  The sheet he gave me says that if taking one of these medications you should discontinue it and from then on consider yourself allergic to that medication.

Well huh.  No more Lisinopril for me.

He prescribed a steroid medication and antibiotics.  Now, 12 hours later I feel awesome.  No more sore throat, no more fatigue.  Back to normal.  I love that doc.  Thanks, doc for helping me even though I lied and said I wasn’t taking any prescription medication.  Sorry about that.  I’m a bad patient.

Also, they took my blood pressure at the office and it was 136/78.  That’s much lower than my own monitor has been telling me.  Last time I went to the doc for one reason or another it was high – I’m sure this isn’t my imagination.  Maybe the Peat principles are helping my blood pressure after all.  Or maybe my BP monitor just sucks.

In other news, I’m not scared of diabetes anymore.  I’ve learned there are things that can be done to lower blood sugar, including….wait for it….wait for it…

….taking T3!

Yes, not only does it lower your LDL cholesterol and reignite the hormonal cascade that has been on siesta, apparently it also lowers blood sugar.  I’ve found a few studies here and there but need to do a more exhaustive review of the research literature on this.

Ok.  Going to eat some orange juice gelatin and go to bed.