Solving A Mystery

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.

7 thoughts on “Solving A Mystery

  1. Thats too many confounding factors. I guess you were trying to burn calories to lose weight. Long walks probably better. Increasing muscle mass is key but easier said than done. Muscles munch on FFA throughout the day so bigger the muscles the leaner you can get.

    If you can handle some greek yogurt you can put salt and sugar in it plus some gelatin. Very filling and tastes like dessert.

    At some point you will never want alcohol again.

  2. Hello,

    I was wondering if DIM and Calcium D-Glucarate were … peat friendly supplements? My cycles have been so bad and the carrot is not enough (at least is seems).

    I’m also realizing that I might have to give up starch. Beside feeling bad, it seems my GERD is out of control. I was thinking I had to go back on the specific carbohydrate diet again 😦 but I might just eliminate starches and keep the sugar (meaning white) and see if that is enough. I hope so.

    Thanks for your post! and I hope things improve for you.

  3. You’re right – too many confounding variables. Hence, the mystery! haha.

    I was trying to burn calories but I also really like dancing, so I was trying to have fun as well. I’m going to be starting a resistance training program at my gym this week. I’m having a program written for me by a trainer, so hopefully bigger FFA-munching muscles are in my future.

    I do eat yogurt and haven’t tried adding salt. Fructose, yes. That’s yummy. I don’t know about salt. I’ll try it.

    Thanks for the link on booze. Will read it now. I already don’t care about alcohol as much now as I did when I was low carb. I don’t miss it now, but I really missed it then. I’m sure it has something to do with sugar intake.

  4. I don’t know if they’re Peat friendly…I’ve never heard him mention either of them, so I’d guess not. Estrogen is a big enough problem for me that I’m throwing the whole kitchen sink at it right now. At some point I’ll go without the DIM/Calc D-G to see if I notice any difference. Peat would probably say progesterone and vitamin E are the best defense against high estrogen. I’m doing those too. (Try Progest E if you haven’t yet. It’s made my cycles a non-issue.)

    The hardest part of giving up starch to me is giving up the warmth of the food. A Peat diet tends to be kind of cold (OJ, dairy) and liquid-centered. Potatoes/rice are such a nice contrast to that. However, I do notice I’m much more lethargic and depressed after eating them. I just need to give em up for a while and see if things improve. Give that a try with me!

  5. Ok, so no potatoes or sweet potatoes (I’ve been off grains a while). But I’m keeping squash and rutabaga (otherwise I’ll starve!) 🙂

    And I get to eat fruit and sugars for carbs? trying to get some gut and hormone relief.

  6. Awesome. Yes, orange juice is ideal (as opposed to the whole fruit), particularly if you’re having gut issues. Dietary fiber (which is in whole fruit) is food for gut bacteria, and if your digestion is even a little slow it can lead to increased bacteria in the small intestine, which causes more problems with GERD, serotonin, and endotoxin. Simple sugars (not starches) are pulled into the bloodstream higher up in the small intestine, and aren’t in there long enough to feed bacteria. You’ll probably feel a lot better the fewer starches you eat. I’m going to challenge you on the squash and rutabaga though – see how you feel with just those, but if your digestive issues continue you might try to find a substitute. Please report back and let me know how it’s going!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s