The Great Garlic Experiment – Day 4

Eating the garlic is getting easier.  I’ve learned to chew with my back molars – it keeps the sting of the garlic away from the parts of my tongue that are most sensitive.

I still don’t stink. My daughter did say to me tonight, “Your breath smells like I want to eat it,”  but I had literally just finished my garlic for the night.  So still, it’s not coming out of my pores or anything.  I must be a super garlic metabolizer!

Nothing out of the ordinary regarding digestion.  Maybe a little more bloating/gas.

Oh, here’s something interesting.  I’ve been eating starches every day since last Friday.  On Friday I had 2 pieces of bread (regular, glutenous bread).  I was on the road for work and didn’t pack enough food for the day, so I had a roast beef sub from Subway (no mayo, so at least really low in the PUFA department). I fully expected this to make me depressed, but it didn’t.  Sometimes it takes a couple days of consecutive starch eating to feel the effects, so I was happy about that.  The next day I didn’t eat much in the way of starch, but I think I had something.  Then each of the last 3 days I’ve had a couple servings of g/f bread and/or rice.  And no depression.  NO DEPRESSION.

In fact, I’ve been feeling fatigued and today around 6PM the fatigue sort of lifted and I started feeling more energetic.  I mean, like doing things I don’t even have to do.  It’s not often I feel that way.  The first 3 days of the Great Garlic Experiment I slept a lot.  Not all day or anything, but an extra hour or two each night, plus I took at least one short nap each day.  Today – no nap, plus I’m still up at 11:20PM.  Not much in the way of caffeine today – just 100mg in tablet form around 10:00AM.  No coffee or tea.  So there’s been a shift in my energy level.

My regimen each day is now as follows:

  • AM (before breakfast) – 1 probiotic and 1/2 teaspoon inulin powder dissolved in water
  • AM (after breakfast) – 2 large (or 3 small) cloves of organic domestic garlic, crushed and soaked in water for 15-20 minutes, drinking the water and chewing the cloves
  • PM (after lunch) – 2 large (or 3 small) cloves of garlic (prepared the same way)
  • PM (after dinner) – 2 large (or 3 small) cloves of garlic (prepared the same way)

Something seems to be working so I won’t mess with it.

Oh, and I went to 2 different fancy stores today looking for a different brand of organic garlic, since I fully expected to feel sicker than I do, which makes me wonder if the garlic I’m using was irradiated at some point.  One store had nothing organic, and the other store had the same brand I’m already using.  So it’s this or nuthin.

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:

sushi

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.

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.

I Am a Robot

Huh…I guess I lied about that whole needing a break from blogging thing.  Oh well…I’m sure that’s neither the first nor the last time I’ll do that.  So damn moody.

And speaking of moody, I’ve been learning that I’m a complete and utter robot, and that so much of the discomfort I feel in life comes down to two things – not having enough sugar in my diet and not having enough progesterone in my body.  For long periods of time I’ve been an irritable, tired person — increasingly over the past 2 years, but I’ve had serious bouts before that.  It wasn’t until I learned of the joys of consuming simple sugars that the fatigue started to dissipate, after many months of low-carb.  And it wasn’t till I tried progesterone supplementation (specifically Progest E) that I realized I’m not a jerk.  The estrogen in me is a jerk.  Or maybe the prolactin.  Hard to say – I think they’re in cahoots.

Now, when I get hungry/tired/cold, I drink orange juice or eat sweet fruit, and within 10 minutes I’m satisfied, alert, and warm.  (Juice does the trick faster.)

When I find myself being a bitch, thinking Ray Peat is an idiot, or hating something about my life, I take 6 drops of Progest E and within 20 minutes I’m calm, nice, and happy.  And a much better mom/wife.

It’s fairly amazing.

So next time I’m on here complaining about something, just tell me to go drink some juice and hit the progesterone.

I now accept that I have no free will.

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).

Goals

CB #20 yesterday – 61 deg F to start, 63 at the end of 30 minutes.  I do really like when it’s colder than that…but it was still nice.  I really crave these now.  After the bath and putting the baby to bed I went to bed myself and slept for 9 hours.  It was delightful.

I’ve decided to create a list of health goals and post them in my sidebar.  Maybe I’ll have some time to do that today.

I also want to review my list of ailments that I posted about a couple months ago and see there’s been any subjective progress on them.  Here’s the list, with current updates:

  1. High fasting and post-prandial blood sugar (the post-prandial is only high when I eat carbs.  On my current diet only the fasting is high).  Update: Still higher than it should be but better than when I started.
  2. Allergies (seasonal and pets) – Update:I haven’t been using my Visine much, which I usually use year-round thanks to my furry friends.  Allergies certainly aren’t gone though.
  3. Plantar fasciitis (pain in the soles of my feet when I first get out of bed or first stand after sitting for a while) Update: I don’t notice this much anymore.  When I do notice it it’s because I’m looking for it, and it’s minor.
  4. Excess body fat.  My current BMI is 31.9.  That puts me in the “obese” category.  I have always thought the BMI scale was full of shit, but it’s certainly true that I’m overweight.  Update: Unchanged
  5. PMS, including some pretty severe mood swings. Update: Better.  Mood swings don’t last hours, they last minutes, and I can catch it in the middle of the mood swing (usually) and stop myself from doing damage.
  6. Low sex drive. Update: Slight improvement, but still not swinging from the chandelier.
  7. High total cholesterol (for what this is worth, which probably isn’t much).  Last time I had it tested before I started taking Lipitor it was around 273.  Then I went on Lipitor.  I’m off now.  Stupid statins.  Stupid Big Pharma.  I think I’m having one of those PMS mood swings right now, by the way.  It’s a good day to complain about everything that’s wrong with me! Update: Last time I tested my total cholesterol was 222 – better!
  8. Fatigue – before I started the Leptin Rx, this was my biggest complaint.  Turns out just eating the right diet fixed it, but I want to put it on here anyway so I don’t forget this is where I’m coming from. Update: Still way better.  I rarely feel like I don’t have energy to do the things I want to do anymore.
  9. Acne – not a whole lot, just enough to bug the crap out of me Update: some acne these days, but still not much.

Cheers for now.

Leptin Rx: Week 5, Day 7

So what’s going on for me…

The Good:

  • Not hungry
  • No cravings
  • No snacks necessary or missed.  I love that food now has taken the back seat in my life, where it belongs.  It now fuels me rather than runs me ragged.  I used to think about food all the time.  I used to worry about being out and about and having my blood sugar drop.  I used to bring a whole cooler of snacks and diet pop with me to work.  Now…nothing.  I just eat my meals and I’m done.  No middle of the night hunger pangs (well, except this one weird day).  Just 3 meals and done.
  • Almost 5 weeks with no soda – diet or otherwise.  I’m not sure why that was so hard to do before.  It really does taste kind of crappy once you’re off it for a while.

The Bad/Neutral:

  • Sleep is just so-so.  Last night was better, but I still woke up in the middle of the night.  I was able to go right back to sleep.  I just feel like I’m sleeping lightly lately.
  • I miss going to bed with my husband.  I think for years I’ve been losing sleep so I could go to bed when he goes to bed.  Late.  Also I like being up late.  Since I started the Leptin Rx I always go to bed earlier, and therefore always alone.  My health has become more important to me than that aspect of my marriage, I guess.  And it should be…because over the last few years my health has done plenty of screwing with my marriage, in the form of a low sex drive, mood swings, depression, fatigue…none of that is good for any marriage.  Maybe I’ll ask him to come to bed and keep me company for a while while I wind down at night.
  • Fatigue and mood swings – some nasty ones the last couple days.  I think it’s hormonal.  My period’s late.  It’s been off schedule for the last year though.  Get here already, would ya?  Let’s get past the P in the PMS.
  • A little confused – The comments over at Dr. K’s site are making me scratch my head.  Now he’s saying no exercise is necessary to become optimal…whereas before he was recommending HIIT (high intensity interval training) once you’re Leptin Sensitive.  I guess once you’re doing Cold Thermogenesis (CT) there’s no longer any need to exercise, in order to be optimal.  Hm.  Well, ok.  I wonder what else I won’t need any more if I do the CT.  I think Dr. Kruse is great, sharing his ideas and theories with the world…for free, especially, which lends to his credibility in my opinion.  But I do find him confusing.  I suspect his own practice and CT training has been evolving over the past 6 months, so comments he made on the Leptin Rx post last June may no longer reflect his current opinions.  Guess I’ll just keep reading.
  • Sub-clinical cold symptoms for the last week – just enough to be a little annoying at night, but not enough to miss work or even take medicine.  Maybe it’s allgeries, which have also been driving me crazy.  My eyes have been itching every day.
  • Weight has returned to 187.  Haven’t lost anything in about 3 weeks.  I do know that’s not the point of the Leptin Reset.  Sure would be nice though.

I was reading about Tim Ferriss, who also recommends ice baths for fat loss.  This guy is no doctor…just a smart dude who has tried a lot of stuff on himself, and has written a book about it.  His explanation of the benefit to using cold is much shorter than Dr. Kruse’ – Ferriss says,

I interviewed a lot of brown adipose tissue specialists (BATS) and became pretty interested in the hormone adiponectin, which you’ll be hearing more about soon. You can tweak it using cold and speed up the fat loss process.

He also recommends taking cinnamon in coffee for a “lowered glycemic response” to whatever you’re eating, stating that some folks lose 2-3 pounds of fat in a week by replacing the cream in their coffee with cinnamon. Sounds like a stretch, but I thought I’d try it.  Had it this morning in my tea.  Tasted really good, actually.  Like Kruse, Ferriss also recommends a high protein breakfast first thing in the AM.  Here’s a site for people following his plan.

Guess I’m out of stuff to say.  Not feeling great lately.  Hoping it gets better soon.