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.

4 thoughts on “Starch Almost Killed Me Today

  1. Thats been my experience as long as I can remember. Even as a kid a high starch meal would make me too sleepy. I am guessing the insulin response is higher with starches than OJ/honey. Peat says the potassium in OJ blunts the insulin response also hence less fattening.

  2. Hi there.

    I just thought that I’d delurk and offer some hope; you sound a little frazzled here. I’ve been following your health journey for a while now, with an almost morbid fascination since your trials almost mirror my own. I had a singular event at the beginning of last year, commonplace enough, but reacted rather badly. Health declined, gained 12kg almost overnight, insomnia, fatigue, sweats, reactions to food and all the fun stuff followed.

    Here’s what worked for me: I found someone I trust and who loves me unconditionally- my folks, and stayed at their place for a month. Helps that my mom is a really good cook- I ate whatever she cooked, with one modification of course, I had her replace vegetable oils with ghee. Did I lose weight? No. (Funnily I didnt gain any either, though I pretty much ate everything she put in front of me.) Did my health problems resolve? No. What changed was my attitude, I stopped obsessing about my health. The deafening roar of contradictory food advice over the internet just quietened down. I stopped supplements- I still take one Vit K if I feel a coating on my teeth, but it’s more of an absent minded afterthought than an a strict regimen of 25+ odd supplements to be taken at regular intervals.

    And yes, now I eat and drink whatever I please.

  3. Hm…that’s interesting. Potatoes have potassium too…and they’re less sedating for me than rice.

  4. Hey Sam – thanks for de-lurking. I’ve thought about giving up the pursuit. I don’t think anyone’s going to cook for me, but I understand the principle behind what you’re saying. Turn off the computer, go fly a kite or read a book instead. Maybe you’re right.

    I’m probably not going to do that though, because this is who I am. I’m a scientist by vocation and in spirit. I want answers. I want to know what works. I am frustrated, and a little desperate. But this is what’s interesting to me.

    I hope you keep reading. I never really know who’s out there. Glad you are. 🙂

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