Losing It

Excess body fat, that is.

Down 10.5 pounds as of this morning, since I started following Weight Watchers (WW) online program 3 weeks ago.  Truth be told, I have signed up for WW in the past but was unable to stick with the plan because I couldn’t tolerate any fruits and vegetables…and without produce this plan is near impossible.  What I like about it is that it’s really 100% positive – there’s no shaming or punishment for missteps.  There’s also no need to count calories or grams – I just put the food eaten into the online tracker and everything is assigned a points value based on nutrient composition. You can eat anything at all and still be “on plan” as long as you can work it into your points.  I have 30 points a day to “spend” however I want.  Fruits and vegetables are nearly all 0 points, so there’s never a need to be hungry.  Just eat.  There are also an extra 45 points per week to spend on anything at any time – so if I eat something that isn’t awesome there’s a forgiving points cushion there to catch me.

To give me more incentive to exercise I have also joined StepBet.  From their website:

StepBet is a fitness game that motivates you to be more active. Players “bet” on themselves to meet their personalized step goals during every week of the game, and win money if they do. The cash prize, accountability, and community support help you become more active while having fun!

If you hit your personalized step goals for the entire game, you split the pot with the other winners. That means you get your bet back plus a profit.

So I have 6 weeks of walking ahead of me with $40 on the line.  My Fitbit will report back to StepBet folks.

I also signed up for a DietBet (same company).  I’ve bet $100 that I’ll be down to 199.6 pounds by March 4th.  I’m within 2 pounds of that now, so I’m pretty sure I’ll make it.

Here’s what I ate yesterday:

today

I’d like to be clear once again that until I started taking Culturelle Probiotics, which dramatically altered my gut flora, I was unable to eat whole fruits or vegetables, starches, or fibers without becoming incapacitated with depression.  Now that my gut is working normally (maybe even optimally) I can eat these things and stick to a diet plan like WW.  Weight loss may come down to a certain macronutrient balance or even Calories-In-Calories-Out (CICO) – I don’t know for sure – but I do know that if you can’t tolerate healthy foods it’s much more difficult to make a long term change.

I think the probiotics also reduced systemic inflammation, causing hormonal changes (e.g., reduced cortisol) that are now allowing body fat to be released.  I spent months and months eating low-carb (even no-carb at times) and not understanding why other people I knew were able to lose eating that way while I didn’t.  I think my body was inflamed due to gut dysbiosis, putting me in a constant state of stress and making weight loss impossible.  It’s also possible I was just eating too much, but I was listening to hunger cues and never eating past that.

So…bottom line…maybe weight loss is as simple as CICO – but until my body was able to tolerate healthy low-calorie foods, a CICO approach wasn’t possible for me.  If you’re having trouble losing weight, I strongly recommend taking a good look at what may be going on in the gut.

Oxtail Kale Stock

I made this vegetable/oxtail broth this week, and I think I’ll be making it repeatedly.  It’s based on this recipe from Terry Wahls site for Kale Soup.  I incorporated Peat’s ideas into it: consuming the broth of well-cooked greens rather than eating the greens themselves, and also making stock from oxtail.

Raw_oxtail-01

Fortunately our local Walmart always has oxtail for $5.99/lb (weird, considering I can’t find it anywhere else – even at the local independent butcher).

I throw about 2 lb. of oxtail in a crock pot on low with enough water to cover them, for 3-4 hours.  I drain the resulting stock into a big stockpot and then simmer the same oxtails again in the crock pot with fresh water, for another few hours.  Meanwhile I get the kale soup cooking on the stove using the first batch of oxtail stock, to which I add the following:

  • 1 lb Kale, washed and chopped (I just but a 1 lb. bag of cut-up kale, prewashed)
  • A few stalks of celery, chopped.
  • 1 yellow onion, coarsely chopped.
  • ½ cup chopped carrot
  • 2 cloves chopped carlic
  • 32oz low-sodium chicken stock (whatever brand is labeled “organic” at the supermarket)
  • 2 tsp dried basil
  • 2 tsp dried thyme

And I just let it simmer for 2-3 hours.  If the Kale isn’t covered I’ll add some water and leave the top off of the pot to let the steam escape.  After a few hours or so I strain out all the solid stuff.  When the next batch of oxtail broth is done I add that to the vegetable stock.  I let the whole thing cool a little and then put it in the fridge for the night.  The next day I scraped the layer of fat off the top.

image

The last couple of days I’ve been having a mug or two of it before meals.  I also put it in the rice cooker instead of water to make to rice more nutritious – it’s mild in flavor so it doesn’t overpower anything.  All the goodness of kale without the poisons!  Or the icky taste!  and all the gut-healing goodness of gelatin without the icky taste of the canned stuff.  (<– sorry, if you’re a fan…I’m just not.)

Anyway, I’m no chef…and no recipe writer.  I just thought maybe someone else might like this.  It’s really tasty, low calorie, low fat, and high in nutrient density.  I would put the whole thing in Cronometer to break it down but I have no idea how many servings there are in the recipe.  Maybe next time I make it I’ll calculate that and update this post.

Now go eat something nutritious.

High Carb Low Fat – Day 7

Fasting blood sugar this morning: 125.  Heading in the right direction.

Hot flashes – almost gone.  Had 1 early this morning, and one about 5 minutes ago.  I completely skipped the niacinamide today in order for my body to stop doing whatever weird thing it was doing. I was feeling achy yesterday and today, as well as fatigued and a little irritable earlier today – around 7:00PM all of that stuff went away.  I’m wondering if the problem may not have been the niacinamide itself but some extra ingredient in the tablet. I did go ahead and buy pure niacinamide powder and received that in the mail yesterday…but over the past week I’ve been taking these tablets because I already had them. The ingredient list on the bottle states that it also contains “cellulose, stearic acid, silica, and magnesium stearate.”  I’m suspicious because niacinamide has a very short half-life, like it can be measured in minutes (about 45).  250mg was not a particularly big dose, even 3x a day.  I just don’t think the niacinamide itself would have continued to be problematic all the way into today.  Oh well…I’ll be increasing slowly to see if the hot flashes and other symptoms return. Starting tomorrow I’ll be using pure niacinamide powder – no weird ingredients.

Macros and nutrition today:

crononutrients

I really felt like I needed more fat today, so I did have a little more than I’m shooting for these days.  Fat was 27% of calories.  Calcium to phosphorus ratio wasn’t awesome today – I was about 600mg of calcium short of a 1:1 ratio.  Carb to protein ratio was not quite 2:1 – I was short about 30g of carbohydrate.  I could probably just go drink some juice…but that’s getting silly.

Liver for dinner tonight.  I have to say, soaking liver in milk makes it so much better.  I got out of the habit of doing that for a while and liver was starting to really bother me – the smell, the taste, plus sometimes I’d feel nauseated after eating it.  Then a few weeks ago I started soaking it in milk for a few hours while it thawed in the refrigerator, and then rinsing the liver before cooking it.  No more icky smell and the taste is milder.  Today I actually ate it raw.  Just easier that way sometimes.  Washed it down with a cold glass of milk.

Till tomorrow.

Update: I woke up at 12:30AM hungry, so I added 1/2 cup of orange juice and 1oz cheese to the above totals. It might make sense for me to post these the following day, to ensure all food consumed is accounted for.  But really….by the next day I don’t want to think about what I ate yesterday.

High Carb Low Fat – Day 6

Fasting blood sugar this morning: 135.

Well, hm…

This morning I had a message waiting for me from a friend who read yesterdays blog post, in which I commented that I was having hot flashes since increasing my thrice-daily dose of niacinamide from 100mg to 250mg.  She informed me that niacinamide shouldn’t cause a “flushing” response and that what I was experiencing was likely a stress response.  Niacinamide inhibits the release of free fatty acids from the cells, allowing the body to gradually detoxify itself of stored polyunsaturated fats. Ray Peat says this is a good thing.  Well, if there are fewer fatty acids released into the bloodstream, you need enough fuel in the form of food (specifically, sugar) or the body turns on stress hormones (adrenaline and cortisol) to break down proteins/muscle for fuel.  In other words, if you’re going to take large doses of niacinamide, you better be eating a lot of sugar – and you probably need to be able to store it well to be used throughout the day.  I guess my 2:1 ratio of carbs to protein wasn’t enough.

This explains my still-high fasting blood sugar, despite eating low fat for 5 days now.  Stress hormones are turning on and staying high overnight because my body is out of fuel.

Well, I got this information this morning, and set about to eat lots and lots of sugar today to see if I could turn off the hot-flash stress response.  But today, despite eating 100 grams of sugar more than usual, I continued to have the hot flashes.  So maybe my body isn’t storing glucose effectively yet.  Maybe my current physiological state can’t handle that much niacinamide without invoking a stress response.  So tomorrow it’s back to 100mg 3x a day.  I felt fine on that dose.  I predict my fasting blood sugar will be under 120 again within 2 days.

Here were my macros today:

crono

And my nutrient breakdown:

nutrients

The nutrients look a whole lot like they did yesterday.  Actually, that’s how they look just about every day.  Almost enough folate and potassium, short on manganese, and everything else looking good.  I checked into sources of manganese – looks like spinach is a good source.  Other than that, there’s nuts, fish, and a bunch of other things that are high in PUFAs.  I’ll make spinach tomorrow.

Updates

Some updates on all things me:

1.  Started weight training.  I really like it – it’s the first time I’ve lifted weights with an actual program designed by an actual professional trainer – usually I just go to the gym and meander around the circuit training area.  I’m lifting 3 days a week for about an hour each time, and I’m already getting stronger – after only a full week.  I’ve had to bump up the weights on several of the machines I’m using.  I didn’t think I’d care about getting stronger – I mean, if I can pick up my kid how much stronger do I need to be?  Turns out it makes a big difference.  Like, already I notice it’s easier for me to physically get out of bed – I need to do a sit-up motion to get up, which used to be hard.  Now it’s getting easier.  I know, pretty weak, right?  It’s been about 24 years since I’ve lifted weights.

So my trainer asks me, “Are you sore?” to gauge how hard I’ve been working.  I want to tell her yes, but the truth is, my muscles are not sore.  They’re fatigued and I’m working my ass off at the gym, but for some reason my muscles aren’t that sore.  When I’ve done resistance training in the past my muscles were sore for days, so I’m not sure what’s different now.  I’m supplementing aspirin when I can remember, but not every day…maybe muscle soreness is the result of something I currently don’t have in my diet?

2.  I decided to tell the trainer that I’m not going to follow her stupid diet.  She gave me a diet that recommended starches for breakfast and lunch and no carbs after 4:30PM.  Wow.  I tried that for a couple of days.  My mood was terrible after eating oatmeal for breakfast, and I was too tired to do anything but lie down.  Also, no carb after 4:30 and my heart was pounding with adrenaline by 9:30 at night.  Not going to work.  Also, she wants me to have less than 1500 calories per day.  That just wasn’t enough food.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned lately, it’s that nothing is more important than feeling alive and happy every day.  I have that now.  It’s the direct result of eating simple sugars (fruit and honey), lean protein (I just don’t like gelatin, but I’ll try again at some point), saturated fats, eggs, salt, dairy, liver, seafood – a nutrient dense diet low in PUFAs.  Oh, and of course my progesterone.

3.  My weight is oddly stable. For the last 9 days, it doesn’t matter how much I eat, how much I drink, how much I work out, my morning weight is always exactly 208.8 lbs (94.7 kg).  Exactly.  To the tenth of a pound.  Isn’t that weird?  My whole life my weight has been up and down a pound or two a day….but now it’s so stable it’s freaking me out.  I’ve eaten 1600 calories one day and 3000 the next…doesn’t matter.   One day I made homemade gluten-free bread for my daughter and husband (well, homemade from a mix) that was so good I ate like 4 slices of it with butter.  Completely defied my no-starches rule.  I was really full.  The next day?  208.8.  Well, at least I’ve stopped gaining.

I am interested in losing weight, of course…and I think I’m going to try to accomplish this by drinking skim milk rather than eating cheese.  Also, I’m going to trade out heavy cream for skim milk in my coffee.  Those two things account for a lot of my daily fat.  I don’t want to count calories anymore.  I did that for a week for my trainer, and it made me feel like eating a pizza.  It’s more important to be emotionally healthy around food than to track every calorie.  I don’t want to be obsessed with this stuff.  It’s only a PART of my life.

Did I mention that I feel really good almost every day now?  Now if my mood is low or I feel tired I can usually directly attribute it to something I did differently than usual, like eating starches or experimenting with a new supplement.  Before Peat-ing I was tired, depressed, and anxious most days.  I never felt “happy”.  Then after adopting some of Peat’s recommendations I started feeling better in the mornings – not every morning, but a lot of them, and in the afternoon I’d go back to feeling low-energy.  Now almost every morning is delightful and a few times a week I feel great all day long.

I had some labs drawn last week….getting Peat-inspired labs is kind of a hassle.  I ordered labs for serotonin, parathyroid hormone, hs-CRP, and prolactin from Life Extension.  Went to the lab with my requisition, and the tech tells me that to test serotonin they need a “special tube” and that I’d have to go over to the “main lab” 12 miles away for that draw.  Ok…so I went to that lab instead. Then a few days later I got a call from Life Extension – they told me that the blood they drew to test my parathyroid hormone didn’t contain enough plasma…so I’d have to go back to have it retested.  Huh?  Not enough plasma?  Where’s all my plasma?  I haven’t had the retest done yet.  Anyway, they promise results in 10-14 days – I’ll update with results when I get them.

I’ve got my husband eating less PUFA, using red lights, taking aspirin and vitamins K, D, E, and A, and eating liver.  He keeps walking around saying he feels great and doesn’t know why.  haha.

Updates and Things Learned

Ok, a few updates first…

1.  Had Vitamin D testing done.  Back a couple years ago Jack Kruse told me that I’d know for sure if my daughter was going to have hormonal problems (like myself and my mother) by testing her vitamin D level to see if it was low.  So I bought an at-home test from zrtlab.com.  Didn’t realize I needed 12 friggen drops of blood though, and I could never bring myself to administer the test with her itty bitty finger.  So I finally decided to use it on myself.  My vitamin D level is currently 67, after about 5-6 months of supplementing 10,000 IU about 4 days a week.

2.  Acute health problems are better now.  Finally, after several consecutive colds, I’m almost all better.  It’s been over 3 weeks.  Its been difficult to evaluate all the Ray Peat inspired interventions when I’ve been feeling like crap for other reasons.

3.  High blood pressureAs I mentioned in previous posts, my blood pressure has been particularly troublesome lately.  It’s been going higher and higher – yesterday at one point it was 160/106.  Holy Schnikeys!  It has increased since following Ray Peat’s recommendations to add salt to everything, in an effort to cause a hormonal change that would result in lower BP.  Unfortunately, this has not been my experience. I think what’s going on is unrelated to the salt, however, and is instead related to consuming so much liquid.  Today I didn’t add salt to anything, and the first half of the day I didn’t drink a ton of milk/OJ/coffee – instead I ate cheese, and a little OJ, and no coffee.  Well, my BP was down to a more respectable 136/88 without medication this afternoon.  Then before dinner I drank 16oz of milk and had a small meal…and I was REALLY full.  Now my BP is up to 159/98.   I tried to add magnesium: oral supplements, magnesium oil, epsom salt baths….Sometimes BP was a little lower afterward, but usually it went even higher.  So my conclusion….I’m DONE with all of the following, until further notice:  adding salt to beverages, drinking meals, supplementing with magnesium.  I’ll continue to salt food to taste, but that’s it.

In other news, I’m still a little in love with Dr. Ray Peat.  I listened to 2 of his interviews yesterday (this one and this one) and the man is brilliant.

Some things I’ve learned are important (for me, anyway) when following Peat’s nutritional advice:

  • My meals must be balanced.  They have to include carbs, protein, and fat for best results.
  • For me, meals should be small – a couple ounces of protein/fat and 2-3 times as much sugar/carbs.
  • Meals must be frequent – like, every 2-3 hours.
  • For me, starches are out.  I don’t feel good when I eat them – my mood changes and my metabolism lowers.
  • It’s amazing what you can learn if you take your temperature and pulse before and after meals. (More info on this below.)
  • I’ve learned that regardless of what I eat before bed I make stress hormones the second half of the night.  Peat says that it can take some time for the liver to adjust and be able to store enough glycogen to sleep 8 hours without stress hormones kicking in.
  • I’ve noticed throughout my day that when the stress hormones are about to kick in I get slightly more irritable, I feel colder, and I stop wanting to talk to people.  What’s cool is since I’ve been eating sugar I am MUCH more interested in talking to people and playing for long periods of time with my little girl.

I took notes on Peat’s latest KMUD interview, which became available a few days ago.  It was a call-in show, but a lot of the content of the actual interview focused on Hashimoto’s, and later on the significance of temperature/pulse taking.  Disclaimer: These are not direct quotes from Ray Peat; this is me paraphrasing – and by definition that means it’s my interpretation of what RP said.  Also, I only listened once, so don’t quote me.

Here are the notes I took while listening.

Regarding Hashimoto’s:

  • Hashimoto (in Japan) became interested in this because people in Japan have a very iodine-rich diet which blocks the function of the thyroid gland, which causes an increase in TSH to overcome the blockage.  Rising TSH makes the gland work harder as the organism shows signs of decreasing thyroid function.
  • If part of the body is stressed, the immune system is called in.  What we call an autoimmune disorder is just the immune system trying to clean up a mess.
  • Measuring the “severity” of the disorder by how many antibodies are present is misguided.
  • What we really want is to get TSH down.  TSH itself causes many of the symptoms of hypothyroidism, increasing inflammation.
  • T4 (Thyroxine) is the standard treatment for Hashis. This will suppress the TSH, though some people need T3 to suppress the pituitary.
  • Women have more thyroid disease than men – estrogen interferes with the liver’s ability to convert T4 to T3.  If liver isn’t converting effectively and you give them T4 to treat the hashi’s you’re going to exacerbate their hypothyroid state.
  • Therefore with women it’s likely to be better to treat with “complete hormone” (T4/T3 combo, I think he means.)

Re: Pulse/Temperature

  • Hypothyroid (which I’m going to call “hypoT”) people have low tissue metabolism – circulation to extremities can be relatively poor – therefore when taking temp also note how cold your extremities feel.   If your temp is at all low and your extremities feel cold, your metabolism is probably low.  Same if you can’t eat many calories without gaining weight.
  • Healthy people should evaporate about 2 quarts of fluid in a day.  HypoT people tend to retain water.
  • Pulse and temp of fingers/toes in a cool room are more sensitive indicators than temp alone.
  • An ideal measure of metabolic rate would be measuring O2 input and CO2 output.

Interpreting temperature/pulse:

  • High starting (basal) temperature and then temp falls after breakfast = Stress hormones overnight.  RP says he’s seen this in someone who alternated between depression and mania.  When manic, not sleeping much, her temp would fall (adrenaline).  RP suggested she take T3 to keep pulse/temp steadier throughout the day.  Within a few days she stabilized.
  • High temp and normal pulse rate = Cortisol could be high in order to get enough heat to the extremities.  If this happens, adrenaline is lower to allow heat to escape.  If temp falls after you eat, pulse will get slower still.
  • Low starting temp and it falls further after breakfast = stress hormones plus hypothyroidism.
  • Low starting temp that doesn’t change after eating = probably didn’t eat the right things.  If you get enough sugar, protein, nutrients, and if the thyroid is functioning at all the liver should start producing T3 and warm the body up.
  • Low pulse that rises after breakfast = “T3 is going up from eating some carbohydrate and increasing their general energy, their blood is circulating more.”  RP has seen this most often in women when higher estrogen is blocking thyroid.  They get cold when they get hungry.  When they eat they warm up, pulse increases.
  • High pulse that rises after breakfast = Too much protein, not enough carbs to balance it.  If you already have hypoglycemia, this makes it worse and causes a surge of adrenaline.  If you feel good when the pulse goes up, good things are happening in your body.  If it doesn’t feel good that’s from eating too much protein in relation to carbohydrate.
  • High pulse which is lower after breakfast = That’s the carbohydrate lowering the adrenaline.  Temp goes up, pulse goes down.  This is good.
  • If your temperature hasn’t stabilized by 10-11AM = In a hypothyroid person (especially woman with high estrogen and low progesterone) temp/pulse might both fall later in the morning, or adrenaline may kick in with fast pulse.
  • If temp doesn’t reach 98.6 or pulse never gets over 70 in the afternoon = probably not optimal, blood tests might show some problems – might have high TSH indicating that you’re driving endocrine system very hard.  When things are running smoothly endocrine system doesn’t have to work very hard, tissues do all the work.
  • RP says he’s worked with fat people who would wake up every hour/hour and a half.  RP got them to set alarms to wake themselves up before these wake time and eat carbs.  Within a week they were sleeping through the night and they began losing weight.  They were increasing their blood sugar.  The Dawn Phenomenon (high fasting blood sugar) is the stress hormones rising at night.
  • On average people have the greatest ability to resist stress, recuperate from injury if temp/pulse is a little above average.

Random questions from callers:

  • A caller asks about the effects of radiation re: Fukushima – Keep your metabolic rate up – this accelerates the repair process faster than the injury.  Stress creates signals from the injured cells that travel through the rest of your body.  Progesterone and thyroid are protective against radiation.  Magnesium is the element that is most closely involved in repairing radiation damage after thyroid is activated.
  • Caller asks if Valerian (for sleep) is habit forming – RP says it’s a safe thing to take but it can be habit forming.

Will update with blood pressure results while implementing my new plan.

Vitamin E and Thoughts So Far

The article I read today by Dr. Ray Peat is entitled Vitamin E: Estrogen antagonist, energy promoter, and anti-inflammatory.  Here’s my paraphrasing of the article:

Vitamin E prevents inflammation and oxidation.  It functions as an antioxidant in many environments.  Government and industry have been “hiding, destroying, or ignoring” information about vit E for a long time. Industry controls the journals and funding for research, and in the 1940s vitamin E research was having a negative effect on the synthetic estrogen industry.

In 1933 physician R. J. Shute was studying preeclampsia (a circulatory problem in pregnancy).  Vitamin E had been found to improve fertility, whereas estrogen was causing problems (infertility, miscarriage, excessive blood clotting).  Shute and his sons considered vitamin E to be antiestrogen and prevented clotting diseases. The Shutes started giving vitamin E to treat circulatory diseases in general – hypertension, heart disease, diabetes – all did well with large doses of vitamin E.

The estrogen industry wasn’t happy.  They started marketing estrogen as “The Female Hormone”.  Lies were told.

Not much vitamin E research was allowed to be published.  To accomplish this, vitamin E was called dangerous and worthless.  JAMA published an article about the toxic nature of vitamin E.  The journal also sported cigarette ads.  And estrogen ads. (OMG…Really!?!?)

Estrogen makes implantation of an embryo difficult (This is interesting because this, in part, is why I couldn’t conceive without medical assistance.  They gave me large doses of progesterone to make my uterus “sticky”.  It worked.)

In the 1940s vitamin E came to be defined as an antioxidant, preventing the oxidation of unsaturated oils. The medical establishment said animal studies weren’t relevant to humans and so discounted vitamin E’s significant benefits.

The estrogen industry started promoting themselves for preventing miscarriages.  The meat industry started using PUFAs for fattening livestock.  Ironically, at the same time, vegetable oils were marketed for humans as being “heart healthy.”

Big Food discouraged anti-PUFA research.

PUFAs and estrogens are additive in their damaging effects, and are antagonized by saturated fats, progesterone, thyroid hormone, vitamin E, and aspirin.  There are enzymes that would be helping us moderate our stress response, but because we’re eating PUFAs these enzymes actually promote inflammation.  Progesterone helps counter this.

Inflammation is increased by estrogen, and decreased by vitamin E.  Estrogen causes leaky capillaries and blood clotting.  Vitamin E does the opposite.  Clotting leads to fibrosis, Vitamin E prevents/cures this.  More examples are given, but in general, estrogen does lots of icky things and vitamin E has the opposite effect.  PUFAs magnify estrogen’s effects.

Vitamin E lowers concentration of free fatty acids (FFAs) in the bloodstream, many of which are PUFAs.  Vitamin E destroys linolenic and linoleic acid, which would otherwise go on to become problematic.  The requirement for vitamin E decreases as PUFAs in the diet decrease.

Tocopherols (vitamin E) have been marketed in different ways over the years – changes in mixtures, impurities.  One study found a mixed tocopherol preparation to be superior to others.

It’s better to avoid PUFAs than to try to take tons of supplements that counter their effects, considering the inconsistency of what’s on the market.  PUFAs cause cancer.  Studies indicate that restricting calories extends lifespan.  This may be because doing so prevents the lipids in the organs from becoming more unsaturated over time.  Cells that are “deficient” (lacking PUFAs) are resistant to injury.

Excess insulin or prolactin or not enough vitamin E increases enzymes that produce unsaturated fatty acids in the body. Excess insulin and prolactin are involved in many degenerative diseases.

Supplementing vitamin E is not as effective as avoiding PUFAs (He said it more than once so I’m guessing this is important!)

Liver is a good source of vitamins A, E, and K.  Makers of synthetic vitamin A campaigned in the 70s to get people to stop eating liver, saying that natural vitamin A was toxic.  Actually their stupid supplements were toxic.  (Ok, I added the word “stupid”).

The takeaway message: Vitamin E mitigates some of the damage caused by estrogen and PUFAs.  Still, it’s better to avoid vegetable oils altogether because vitamin E can’t undo all the damage.  Eat liver.

Dan Wich came up with this awesome Vitamin E reference page, so you can see what you’re getting if you choose to supplement.  A lot of folks in the know seem to like A.C. Grace’s Unique E.  I think I may order some immediately.

So let’s talk about how things are going so far with my Peat-inspired lifestyle:

The Good

  • Eating a lot of sugar does not seem to affect my blood sugar. Amazing!  It’s contrary to everything I’ve ever heard about sugar!  Don’t get me wrong, I still pre-diabetic, but I expected things to get worse and they’ve gotten slightly better.  Last night I ate about a cup of Haggen Dazs vanilla ice cream about a half hour before bed in an effort to prevent stress hormones from kicking in overnight.  My fasting blood sugar this morning was 109.  Two days ago I ate some gluten-free pizza (with crust made with brown rice flour) and my FBG the next day was 128.  Hm…Eat fructose or table sugar = lower blood glucose.  Eat starches = high blood glucose.  I don’t claim to know why this is the case…just that it is.  Maybe I’ll read/summarize Peat’s article on diabetes tomorrow.
  • My body has no problem with orange juice now.  I guess it just took some getting used to after 2 years of being afraid to eat fruit.  Even store-bought juice is ok.
  • Some acne started showing up on my face yesterday – Peat says this is a common consequence of increased metabolism, as the body goes through nutrients faster.  I was curious to see if eating liver (high in Vitamin A) would have an effect.  Today, the acne is less inflamed looking and smaller.  It seems to be going away –  just like he said it would with adequate Vitamin A. Cool!
  • The folks who follow Peat are largely scientific-minded, curious, and generous with their knowledge.  I feel like I’m among really great people.

The Less-Good

  • I’m really not sure what to eat.  I miss hot food.  OJ and milk are delightful and all…but it’s freaking snowing out.  I don’t want a cold glass of milk.  I want toast!  I want macaroni and cheese!  I’ll figure it out.  At least coffee is encouraged.  I think it’ll help to make bone broth.
  • I wish Peat was a little more thorough with his referencing in his articles.  He does have extensive references at the end of each article.  However, in my opinion, a well-referenced article includes little numbers placed appropriately throughout the article so it’s clear which reference applies to which bit of information.  He just lists all of them at the end.  At some point I’ll go through them, but it could have been a little easier.  Currently it’s not clear how much he’s referenced from other sources and how much he’s pulling out of his memory…or even out of thin air.  Still, his articles are referenced, which is more than I can say for SOME PEOPLE on the interwebs making diet and lifestyle recommendations.

More to say tomorrow.