I could call 2012 my own Year of Diet and Supplementation. I learned what i SHOULD eat, what i CAN eat, and what i'm best off staying the hell away from (may the gods of grammar forgive me). I learned what supplements are essential to my well-being because i obviously don't absorb them well. Finally, i learned what foods do practically the whole job in making me feel like a properly-functioning human being.
My REQUIRED foods actually make for a very short list: grass-fed beef or lamb, wild-caught fatty fish, raw oysters and liver. Everything else is garnish.
Iron is especially necessary to me, a life-long hypothyroid, and one of the quickest ways to send me into Mama Grizzly mode is to whine about iron-overload -- CONTEXT CONTEXT CONTEXT! ...Okay, i feel better. Through long experimentation, i've determined that i don't absorb iron well FROM FOOD. I absorb it just fine when i take a supplement on an empty stomach with cooperating supplements like selenium, B12 and C. Iron is one of the minerals necessary to convert T4 to T3. As a small child AND in my adulthood, moron-doctors prescribed Synthroid for me and i did not thrive. It's easy to see why, with my absorption issues.
But a highly interesting thing happened during my exploration of liver-based cuisine -- day after day i forwent my iron supplement and day after day my hair-loss diminished. The four before-lunch supplements i used to take can ALL go on the back burner. All i have to do is eat liver on a weekly basis. Did i say i don't absorb iron well FROM FOOD? Amend that to "from ORDINARY food."
When i discovered raw oysters -- yet another thing i love N'Orleans for -- i noticed right away that i felt a glow of contentment. Every time. I go through a half-dozen or more raw oysters, and i sit back relaxed with a smile on my face, regarding the world around me with a sense of benediction. Much is made of eating animals snout-to-tail, and i heartily commend it, but eating raw oysters is eating the whole animal all at once, in one convenient bite -- EVERYTHING is in there!
About the grass-fed ruminants (with their butter) and wild fatty fish, i think anything i say will be completely redundant ... except to note that i can safely omit the K2 supplements i've been taking, and i can save the cod-liver oil for when i'm traveling, too. I don't even need to have laxative substances around, for the rare occasions when i eat too much vegetable matter and get stopped up. From Donaldson (of Strong Medicine) i learned that "by regulating his intake of caribou fat, he [mankind] can have as many bowel movements as he pleases." And it works. I am now saving all the drippings from my GFburgers, doing a quick-and-dirty clarification of them, and adding some to my coffee from time to time. The resulting drink is bouillon-like in flavor -- i like it better than with unsalted butter, though that has its virtues too.
Now that i'm armed with my new-found "personal superfoods" i also plan to stop supplementing CoQ10 or acetyl l-carnitine. I never have FELT any benefit from them. It's actually possible that i am able to absorb/synthesize SOME THINGS properly....
So a whole schmear of the bottles on my side of the bathroom counter are going bye-bye! I'll wave them adieu with thanks for a job well done, for most of them have helped me a LOT -- they're just redundant now. The other half of my collection is staying .. but more on that later.