Monday, October 29, 2012

exhausted but happy

Got back to Houston at 9 last night, and were we tired!  After a good night's sleep i'm ... still pretty drained out.  :-)

We ate a lot of unaccustomed carbs over the weekend.  It's just ONE weekend though, and neither of us will be so thrown off our preferred diets that we will be derailed for any period of time.  The french bread and barbecued oysters were delicious, but we're now ready for steak and avocados.

In the car, my daughter and i talked a lot about nutrition, and she's got some good plans about taking the wheat out of her kids' diets as well as her own.  I've got some low-carb baking to do today, before i head for home tomorrow!

Friday, October 26, 2012

...and on to NOLA

OOOH, gonna be dining on oysters tonight!  :-D  My favorite restaurant town....  Some people crave the bread pudding, but strangely enough i find it easy to resist, compared with the seafood!

And a shopping list of things you can't get very many places!  Praline "extract" ... an Indio doll for my friend, to protect her computer as mine does for me  ;-) ... really fresh Community Coffee ... pickled green beans for Bloody Marys ....


Thursday, October 25, 2012

two days on the road

Safely arrived in Houston (during rush-hour) last night -- my timing could have been a lot better!  :-)  I took the long route, so i could drop in on a friend in Kansas and hand-deliver her Halloween gifts.  Until i arrived here, i didn't eat anything really evil, but what i took in the car could have been better (like my timing); i've felt waterlogged for 36 hours.  Highway + ham + cheese = mistake.

Last night's dinner was wickeder (!) than it should have been too, but i was HUNGRY.  As i'm still feeling puffy, i'll fast on creamed coffee till dinnertime -- tonight it's a lovely pot-roast i brought with me.  That doesn't mean i'm not doing some cooking during the day, though; i'll be making a couple of different low-carb breads and a batch of almond butter, ... and anything else i can think of to tempt the grandkiddos' appetites.

To my delight, my daughter wants to go wheat-free!  :-D  She's taken to buying real butter and whole milk, and making every effort to choose the best versions of what processed foods they still use.  They're a busy young family, and i sure don't blame her for not doing everything from scratch!  It's too bad we live so far apart, as i could easily make larger batches of what i concoct and share them....

So the short time i'm in town, i'll be baking.  Not just the coconut bread L asked for, but my signature hazelnut bread (unfortunately, i forgot the chia seeds) ... and i think i'll make some cookies!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

vacation ... from supplements!

While packing i lined up all the little bottles and jars on the bathroom counter ... and decided to leave most of them there!  It will be interesting to see if i miss any of them.

The only things i brought along were my thyroid glandular, betaine HCl, melatonin and coconut-oil capsules.  I intend to eat plenty of seafood in NOLA, so i expect that my mineral requirements will be met well, and the betaine is along for the purpose of helping me digest them as best i can.  The coconut oil is an emergency fuel, in case my meals end up too light in fat -- it may sound funny, but when i eat away from home it's known to happen!

It'll only be a week -- i think i'll survive!  ;-)

Monday, October 22, 2012

a good practice

Last night, my new fencing jacket and shoes got their initiation, and it turned out WELL.   I didn't have as much knee pain as when i tested out the Vibrams.  My "muscular energy" seemed good, which implies that all the little energy-factories were chugging along happily burning fats/ketones ... or whatever they wanted to burn.  My "rate-limiting" parameters were that i was functioning on less-than-optimal sleep, and that i'm old and out of shape.  ;-)  And i sweated like a pig!  Good workout!

This morning i WAS a bit stiff!  I drank my morning java in a very hot bath, and now i can feel that i worked my legs and right arm, and various torso muscles.  It's too bad i won't have a chance to do it again for a week and a half, but my twice-delayed trip will interfere.  I'll just have to make myself do series-es (what IS the plural of series?) of advances, retreats, lunges and ballestras to remind my legs of their new responsibilities, and to work on the tightness in my right shoulder which i don't remember being an issue when i fenced before.

I'm not fooling myself about improving my "game" very much -- i'm not expecting to take the senior fencing world by storm!  :-)  But as Mark has always pointed out, getting exercise is not nearly as beneficial if it's a chore rather than PLAY ... as it ought to be!

Friday, October 19, 2012

balancing those low-calorie days

I accidentally "under-ate" on Wednesday, so as i was dozing off to sleep with my stomach growling that night, i promised myself a high-calorie count the next day, to confuse my metabolism.  So yesterday, i ate significantly more -- and unfortunately, i seem to have overshot the fibre mark again.  I feel like i have a rock in my gut.

It's not easy to balance a diet when one has food sensitivities, metabolic challenges, and special nutritional requirements!  Some days (the low-energy kind), i don't blame people who say "the hell with it" and send out for pizza!  Eat like the pyramid says, do what the doctor says and take those yummy statins, forget improving your life and sit on that sofa with a bag of chips and a coke watching the latest popular reality show....

NO.  Even when i feel crummy, i've got way too much stubbornness to cave it!  Not to mention, popular television bores the hell out of me.  And i f'ing HATE pringles.

Mercifully, my husband is coming back in town tonight, and i can look forward to being babied around a bit.  He asked what he can cook for me this weekend -- i need to decide!  :-D  No salads or high-fibre veggies, that's for sure.  Maybe meatloaf -- he does that REALLY well.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

stress, thoughts, and a vestigial headcold

I was stressing to an unusual degree about my upcoming trip to Texas for a living-history event.  All sorts of things that i need to do cropped up at the eleventh hour.  I caught a cold.

And an unusual cold it is.  It feels like a virus wrapped in cotton-wool:  numb brain, low energy, head and body aches, rough throat, and the kind of sinus drainage that does NOT come from allergy ... but all in a vague fashion -- not acute.  Nevertheless, i think that normal cold treatment is in order.  REST.  I'm delaying my trip, then driving straight to Houston before going with my daughter to NOLA for Halloween weekend.

Goes t' show ya!  The lifestyle changes which have protected me from illness (including the flu) for the last few years aren't effective against that endogenous saboteur called STRESS.

And stress is largely self-inflicted.  Unconsciously so in the case of diet and nutrition (in most people), semi-consciously from choices we feel we can't avoid, or fully-consciously-but-resentfully when we know we shouldn't procrastinate/worry/work too hard/stay in a bad situation, etc ... but have a hard time breaking the habit.  The first two are my buggaboos.  I have too many interests, and can't stay on top of all i want or need to do.  A deadline appears, an unexpected task pops up, and voilá -- stress.

I sometimes think that putting a name to it has made it worse.  People "in the old days" had plenty of stress, but approached the situation from a different point of view.  In the western world, the troubles of life were often looked upon as a test of faith sent by "God," ridiculous as it appears to the modern science-based mind.  Individuals were encouraged to bear up courageously with the promise of heaven as their reward, but if they failed their test ... well, then they deserve their bad fate, don't they?  Talk about a rigged system.

But now we try to solve our problems rather than just cope, sometimes with the aid of pharmaceuticals and other little helpers.  We feel like ALL problems have a solution, or should have, and we're not willing to just let go.  We no longer look on life the same way.  We also allow cultural myths to dictate what life OUGHT to be like, and THAT is largely BS.

There are all kinds of recommendations on how to reduce stress, and most of them are great in theory ... if difficult to actually PRACTICE.  If you can sit down and meditate when your brain won't stop enumerating all the things you need to get done ... you're a better man than i, Gunga Din.

There have been some terrific ideas in the blogs recently!  (Of course, i'm speaking of MY BLOG LIST, not other people's! [wink, nudge])  Kindke, Fred, and Sid (on a non-dietary subject) -- great points made!  And just like the political situation here in the US, when some things are SO CLEAR to "us," what the hell is the matter with the thinking processes of those other people???  How CAN people who are stuck in an outworn world-vision become unstuck?

Monday, October 15, 2012

an experiment

Despite being a scoffer at the type of person who, like Jerome K Jerome, could fancy himself the victim of every malady he ever read about ... i firmly believe i have a problem with lithium.  I think the mechanism is through the autoimmune connection -- lithium exacerbates autoimmunity.

Too many members of my family have developed thyroid problems while living in Arizona -- a place notorious for high levels of lithium in the soil and water.  When i was living in Salt Lake City (where there is also a goodly amount of this mineral), i started to develop slight "essential tremor," and the quantity of my conventional thyroid (Armour) dose hadn't changed in years; nor had my diet.  The tremor didn't change until i started using sea-salt exclusively in my cooking, living here in a major river valley (where there is generally more lithium in soils) ... when it got worse.

Why do some us seem to have a problem with it and others seem to benefit by getting more?  Allow me to quote the doc in the second link, above -- "This has not been studied."  There's obviously a shitload of stuff that hasn't been studied, when it comes to lithium.  They know it can reduce testosterone, but they don't know what it does to female hormones (and women receiving lithium treatment are five times more likely to become hypothyroid than men are.  FIVE TIMES).  Although it's found all over the body (and concentrated in some organs), what it does in every one of them is NOT KNOWN.  As the doc said, "this will take a lot more research to determine; research of the kind not easily funded, because there is no pharmaceutical company in a position to make money...."

I've identified a few ways to help myself detoxify.  The rest of the chili is going into the freezer and ditto for the cheese.  I'll also be using plenty of refined salt and taking my mag-zinc supplements more religiously, drinking lots of RO water, avoiding other dairy foods and nightshades (which are particularly good at concentrating lithium from soil and water), and using aspirin instead of ibuprofen if painkillers are called for. 

Next time i'm in AZ -- because there's no way to avoid visiting your mother* -- i guess i'll be drinking Aquafina....

*  well, actually, there IS ... but i'm not going there.  ;-)

Sunday, October 14, 2012

and some confirmation

Googling "PubMed" along with "lithium" and "thyroid" found me LOTS of hits.  Probably the most interesting i've read so far was this recent study, which looked at naturally-occurring lithium in drinking water.  Sure enough, they found correlation with markers of impaired thyroid function.  Not proof of my hypothesis of course, but support.

(Funnily enough, they were puzzled that higher urinary selenium was associated with better thyroid markers; they seemed to think that it should be used up, not passed out!  Did "repleteness" not occur to them?)

I did find something else that seems significant here (besides the fact that lithium can damage the heart, skin, kidneys and pancreas as well as the thyroid) -- turns out that older people can't handle the doses that younger people can.  "Elderly individuals require lower doses of lithium to achieve similar serum concentrations as those in younger adults. ... There is also a difference in lithium tolerability with age, and the prevalence of hand tremor with lithium increases with age. In the elderly, neurotoxicity clearly occurs at serum lithium levels which are considered 'therapeutic' in general adult populations."

Add to this, "there is evidence that lithium has effect on glucose metabolism and has the ability to increase the release of glucagon. Studies have suggested that lithium treatment may impair glucose tolerance or produce frank diabetes in certain patients, and the risk is higher in patients above the age of 40 years."  And some "scientists" were thinking it's a great idea to add lithium to water supplies, in order to improve mental health....

Mercifully, the folks who did these studies were a bit brighter.  Far from thinking that increased lithium is good, the first set concluded that paying more attention to levels in drinking-water is "highly warranted."  And considering what the second bunch said, i wonder how much worse the results of the drinking-water study would have been if the median age of the participants had been greater, rather than the mid-30s it was.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

OH ... MY ... GOD

"High levels of lithium in neuroendocrine tissues have been reported from autopsy data on both wild animals and human beings not known to have been either treated with lithium or excessively exposed to it.  These high levels in the necropsy material approximate those of lithium-treated patients and suggest the influence of geographical differences in the lithium levels of local foods and water."  (from "The Relation of Selected Trace Elements to Health and Disease," by U.S. National Committee for Geochemistry. Subcommittee on the Geochemical Environment in Relation to Health and Disease)

...I spent my morning pursuing the INTRIGUING idea i came upon last night -- that a heretofore ignored pathway leads straight from lithium intake to thyroid pathology ... completely unrelated to psychopharmacology!  And the more i read, the more all those little ravelled threads work back to a piece of whole cloth.

The chapter on lithium in the publication i quoted above gave me all kinds of interesting information:  how lithium abounds in certain types of rock; how it easily moves into soils and waters; how it is taken up and concentrated by plants, especially nightshades; how easily it absorbs in the bodies of animals and preferentially concentrates in "the thyroid, uterus, placenta -- probably the pancreas -- the midbrain, adrenals, and ovaries."

It's a happy coincidence that a lot of the evidence of high soil and water readings for lithium come straight from Arizona, where two of my nieces grew up and developed hypERthyroidism, and one of my sisters (their other aunt) was just diagnosed hypO.  OBVIOUSLY, some people are ultra-sensitive to thyroid damage, and they just by-the-way happen to live where large quantities of lithium are in everything local they eat and drink....

Family predilections aside, we have some objective FACTS to consider.  People can consume megadoses of lithium unknowingly, through their food and water intake.  Once absorbed, this mineral can concentrate in various organs where all sorts of negative physiological affects can result.  If taken for a limited period of time, these affects MAY be temporary, OR they may be irreversible.

AND NOBODY HAS EVER CONSIDERED IT IMPORTANT TO FIGURE OUT WHAT THIS STUFF DOES IN THE BODY.  ...But then again, thyroid problems are overwhelmingly a woman's problem, aren't they?  All we need to do is throw synthetic thyroxine at her, and she's "fine" -- or cut/burn out her thyroid, THEN dose her with Synthroid....

Or is it because most people with thyroid problems are fatties, and it's always been okay to marginalize THEM?

Friday, October 12, 2012

yet another mineral to study up on

LITHIUM!  ...But ya know what, it's harder than hell to find out exactly how much is in common foodstuffs!  One website says, grain is a major source and beef is not, and the next site states it vice-versa.  :-(  I searched for hours for a chart listing generalized quantities, and there seem to be NONE.  (And they'd have to be generalized, because soil and water samples vary significantly from place to place.)

It's truly impressive -- the lack of knowledge about what this stuff does in the body!  In large doses, lithium can be very effective in mental disorders, but what it does in the "normal" brain and body is still a bit of a mystery.  Certainly it's known that lithium can damage the thyroid, and there's a list of nasty overdose symptoms, but descriptions of mechanisms are sadly incomplete.

Nevertheless, i feel that this might be a very important substance when it comes to thyroid problems.  One site i found revealed that THERE at least, they know what this stuff does -- "lithium increases intrathyroidal iodine content, inhibits the coupling of iodotyrosine residues to form iodothyronines (thyroxine [T4] and triiodothyronine [T3]), and inhibits release of T4 and T3."  Hmmmm....  It's no wonder that lithium administration can cause either hypO- or hypERthyroidism.

Having properties similar to sodium and potassium, and other minerals too, there's a lot of evidence that lithium interferes with all kinds of processes pertaining to them.  In another place, i was reading about how lithium interacts with various supplements, herbs and spices, exacerbating some and limiting others.  This site simply has some good general info....

Well, obviously i need to spend a lot more time reading up on the stuff.  My preliminary impression is that it isn't really NEEDED by the body, but can be put to use the way other "natural medicines" are.  The danger looks like it comes from our not knowing nearly as much about it as we should.  ...And i STILL suspect it of being one of the elements in food that a thyroid-challenged person should beware of!

doing it wrong, yet again....

I'm starting to have a real problem with another resident of the blogosphere....

If people want to give low-carbing a REAL chance to benefit themselves, they do it in a manner recommended by the "experts" -- you know, those with real experience.  If they want to "debunk" any part of the system, they design their own diet.  AND THEY ALWAYS DO IT THE WRONG WAY.

Might as well be goddamned politicians, the way they bend right and wrong....

the trouble with weight loss

In my case, it's not just an issue of going out and buying new outfits.

I have an "event" today for which i need to dress in American Civil War era clothing (advertising the Chatillon-DeMenil House's annual event, "A Death in the Family: Death and Mourning in the 19th Century").  It's ALWAYS a good idea to start getting dressed well in advance for something like this, if you don't often wear the ensemble; i put on my drawers, i put on my chemise, i put on my best corset ... and it's too big!  I put on the OLD corset i made a number of years ago ... and it's ALMOST too big.  DAMN.

Doesn't matter if a lot of things are a little large, but a corset HAS to fit.  It, with help from the chemise, holds everything in place*.  The ideal mid-nineteenth-century silhouette is completely different from the modern one, and only period-correct underclothes can make that happen -- that's why good living-historians dress authentically down to the skin.  Wanna know why the 1993 production of "Tombstone" LOOKS so much better than all the ones that came before?  They realized that just decorating the surface is inadequate.

Well, the good news is, there are two dresses i haven't worn in a long time which will again see the light of day.  Bad news ... i'm going to have to make a number of other things, INCLUDING new corsets.

*  the corset pushes the girls up while the chemise keeps them from escaping out the top.  corsetry 101:  in the back where the laces are, there's supposed to be a gap from two to four inches -- the two halves fasten together in the front, but should not meet in the back.  when you hear about the 18-inch waist of a young lady ... that's a stretch of the truth.  her corset has a waist-size of 18 inches, but her measurement is closer to 22.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

"gateway drug ... to CARBS"

:-)  I changed the emphasis in this quote a bit, for dramatic effect.  Unless i'm much mistaken, it needs to be attributed to Dr. Mike Eades.  I made note of it when i first read the words, as important to the scheme of things in my life.

The gateway drug to carbs is ALCOHOL.

I'm not sure of what all the mechanism includes, but part of it is simple disinhibition.  The fact is so well-impressed upon my brain, it isn't easy to sneak up on me with forbidden temptations but i can rationalize to myself under the influence of a couple of glasses, and give myself permission to eat questionable things.  Sometimes -- not often, thank heavens -- the things are downright, unquestionably WRONG for me.

And THIS is the best reason to keep "bad" foods OUT of the house.  Who knows what dark mood, bad event, or simple "liquid overindulgence" might trigger a run for the cheetos?  If they ain't there, it's easier to avoid them.

Yesterday, the shipment from the Concannon wine club arrived, and i had to open a bottle to make sure it shipped all right.  ;-)  Two glasses in, a pizza sure would have tasted good, but i was too strong to be tempted to order one.  The stash of hotel popcorn that i'll be taking to Texas with me, later this month, was less resistable.  At least it had palm oil instead of hearthealthypolyunsaturates....

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

HUNGRY today!

After doing all that unaccustomed moving around last night, my appetite is more urgent than it's been in a long time!  I assume i used up a lot of muscle glycogen, and my body is finding it a challenge to replenish it.  GOOD.

Encouraged by Robb Wolf to follow my workout with a LOW-carb meal, i had sardines and chardonnay, and cream in my coffee before bed.  This morning i held out on black coffee till noon, but after my grassfed burger i was still not sated.  Hmmmm, unusual.  I took a shot of coconut oil and was satisfied till ... all of three-thirty!  More unusual still.  Just finished an early supper of filet mignon with butter, and tried a small piece of the sourdough rye-n-injun bread i made for my husband (but doing without wine).  We'll see how the appetite goes during the evening.  ...AND see how the scale reads in the morning.

My decision to fill my water bottle with cold licorice-root tea last night seems to have been a good one.  There's a tiny bit of naturally-occurring sugar in the stuff, making it pleasant to rehydrate and also helping my liver with the glucose supply.  I tried using my Vibrams in place of fencing shoes, but i'm not sure if it will work -- the front foot (that points forward) was fine, but the back foot presents the arch-side to the opponent, and it wasn't getting the support that conventional shoes provide.  I'm gonna have to think about it....

before you go BELIEVING....

...that your doctor is omniscient, take this article as your grain of salt!  For all intents and purposes, this guy -- this HONCHO -- says, Okay, i was careless with my record-keeping, but i swear to god i didn't commit FRAUD!

I don't know about you, but i'm inclined to withhold credulity.

Monday, October 8, 2012

low-carb performance on trial

An hour ago i got back from my first fencing practice as a "low-carb athlete."  You may laugh now.  :-)

I didn't have a good firm idea as to how i'd do, or feel!  Last time i was in a salle d'armes, i belonged to the carb corps!  I wondered if i'd run through my glycogen in one bout and end up a big puddle of mush on the floor, or if maybe i'd get light-headed or dizzy.

I needn't have been concerned.  Yes, i did tire soon, got a little out-of-breath, and felt a bit of pain in the bad knee.  I wasn't as nimble as i used to be -- but i didn't expect to be, either.  All in all, it turned out well.  As i drove home, i had that "exercise is good!" feeling, but by the time i got to the house i was HUNGRY.  I had a tin of sardines and a short glass of wine, then a cup of decaf with cream for dessert.  Now ... i'm pleasantly sleepy, with the realization that tomorrow i'm going to have some body aches.  I just used a whole flock of muscles that haven't had a good workout in quite awhile.

It's good to be fencing again!!!

mistaken dietary ideas

I was reading along in Dr. B.G.'s blog this morning when the lightbulb went on over my head.  Forgive me for getting excited about such an elementary revelation, but after all it IS monday....

BTW, happy Thanksgiving, Canada!  :-)  Eat something "evil" for me!

Back to where i was before i so rudely interrupted myself:  ...she was talking about a paleo diet improving health markers even in the absence of weight loss, when my brain woke up a bit upon seeing the H-word.  There's nothing like having a chronic problem, for sharpening up the eye-to-brain circuits, allowing even a similar-LOOKING word to bringing the mind to attention.  Yep, she DID say "hypothyroidism," not something similar-but-not-to-the-point.

She listed it as a contributor to chronic high insulin.  Since thyroid hormone has, as one of its many jobs, that of helping to escort glucose into cells for burning as energy, it makes sense that a shortage would allow too much sugar to lurk in the bloodstream, necessitating more pancreatic effort to clear it.  Could this be the MAIN reason hypothyroids have trouble losing weight, because YOU CAN'T BURN FAT IN THE PRESENCE OF SIGNIFICANT INSULIN?  Could it be that the lowered metabolism infamous in hypothyroidism is pretty much moot?  Remember how Wooo showed that metabolic rate isn't broadly correlated with fat burning/storing?

Hypothyroid people have been as misled as diabetics, concerning how they should nourish themselves! The way you can boost thyroid levels in "normal" people is NOT a good guide for OPTIMIZING thyroid production in those of us who are thus challenged!

OUR goal should be to reduce our NEED for higher thyroid levels!!!  An' ya wanna know what makes us require more hormone?  One big thing is the same substance that makes people need more insulin.  Another thing is stress.  Be nice to yourself.  (Eat bacon ... not safe starches.  OR fruit.)

Sunday, October 7, 2012

"processed" ain't the problem

...SPECIFICS are.  Processed WHAT?  Yesterday i spent an hour "processing" the eggs which my raw-milk lady brings me ... into deviled eggs.  Know what?  They're better now.  They contain more fat (coconut and avocado oils from the home-made mayo) and salt than they did before, and they're delicious.

So when people lay the blame on the refined-ness of the modern diet, they're aiming at the gun-hand of the man-shaped target down there at the end of the shooting range, not the target that's more likely to TAKE OUT the opponent.  The problem is not refining the wheat, it's eating the wheat in the first place.  The problem is not the canola oil (or corn, or soybean, or....), it's trying to make an "edible" out of a lubricant!

Friday, October 5, 2012

"the REST of the story"

I read lots more blogs than i have on my own list -- but there are a few reasons why some aren't there.  Certainly the largest group is made up of sites i'm not particularly familiar with; i might have read a couple of examples from bloggers out of hundreds of posts, but until i find their information consistently helpful i definitely won't recommend them ... yet.  There are also a bunch of sites that i agree with a lot, but not ENOUGH.  Several of the ones i've removed from the list fall into this category, and i consigned them to limbo because just a FEW of their ideas are SO "wrong" (for me) that i consider their advice problematic.  Hell, the big reason i write here is to pass along what WORKS for me, and potentially for those with similar challenges!

Other sites i read are on other bloggers' lists, and i only click the link if the title sounds interesting (a lesson:  make titles interesting*).  Therefore, i come across a LOT of writings which advocate dietary practices that i KNOW are deleterious to MY health, and probably that of quite a few others as well.

This is why i'm compelled to write so often in response to other bloggers' posts -- i can't stand reading those sincere, heart-felt messages full of BAD NUTRITIONAL ADVICE!

So, when i read a post just now, extolling the virtues of one of those hearthealthywholegrains (not wheat), it made me tense up all over.  The nice vegetarian dietician lady was telling her readers how to choose and prepare a meal of a less-processed grass-babies.  She didn't even advise to disable the antinutrients, or recommend avoiding the kind that can't be thus improved.  :-(

Now, i KNOW these particular grass-babies are deleterious to my health.  I did a careful elimination-retrial-elimination, and it was almost as bad as wheat when it comes to joint pain.  So i have to conclude that, to carbohydrate-sensitive people (like me) who have autoimmune problems with wheat (like me), should stay the hell away from ANY grain that contains ANY degree of gluten, unless an elimination trial shows its side-effects are bearable.  Like me.
*  not something like ... oh, for instance, "daily quote" or "surprise of the day"....  there's nothing compelling in those at all.  ;-)

Thursday, October 4, 2012

just updates

I'm all excited -- i checked out a fencing club in this area, and it looks like the people there will be fun to play with, so i ordered myself a new jacket this morning.  WOOOOOHOO!  :-)  I'm gonna fence again!

This sport was my LIFE when i lived in Oklahoma the first time.  Of course, that was also THIRTY years ago!  I know i'm going to have to baby my knee around; it's distinctly possible that when i fenced before, i predisposed Ralph to the injury i'm suffering with now.  A fencer's knee on the sword-arm side takes a lot of strain if s/he isn't careful.  I'm grateful that my original coaches were very picky about how we moved, otherwise i could be in worse shape.

This is the incentive i need to do my bike-tabatas regularly!  Yoga, too.  Fencing is an asymmetrical activity -- it's important to balance out.  When i did it before, is when i first added weights to my fitness routine.  ...Boy, does it seem like a long time ago!

A few days ago, i ordered and read (thanks be to Kindle for PC) that "low-carb performance" book.  Truth be told, i found it disappointing and lacking in useful content.  It seemed to be written to convince a "CW athlete" that LC is possible, not to give helpful advice to a low-carber.  But i'll go back and see if i can glean some actual tips....

It will be interesting to see how my body does the old moves with an entirely different fuel system.  Then, i was in the full throes of a high-carb diet -- our whole club was -- the first book i owned on nutrition was "Eat of Win"!  I'm wondering if ginger- or licorice-root tea will be the best thing to put in my water bottle?  Hmmmm.


I've been waking up with a headache the past couple of days.  I can't tell if it's caused by allergy or posture or oxygen shortage caused by covering my eyes with a pillow to keep light out.  However, it's an incentive to finally spring for the light-excluding window shades i've been thinking about for awhile. I tried a sleep-mask, but it makes me all sweaty about the eyes and nose, and i hate that!

Otherwise, i'm getting back to normal at last.  I vow, WHEN we go out for meals next week ('cause it's gonna happen), i WILL NOT order a starchy side-dish, nor will i consume more than a half-cup of veggies at a meal!  The pleasures of the palate are not worth the bodily discomfort!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

potty mouth

The scale is down a LITTLE from yesterday, but more progress is to come.  Right now, i'm here to talk shit about vegetables!


Just like with the Salad of Doom a few months ago, the increased "good" vegetable fiber i had over the last week is STILL making me feel weighted-down.  The paleo world is inclined to damn the insoluble fiber from grains -- it's like taking a wood-rasp to your villi, they say -- but to praise in very CW-like fashion the soluble stuff in fruits and vegetables.  My colon begs to differ.

Just like Donaldson said, when i'm eating a diet of meat and fat i don't have a retention problem -- my gastrointestinal system is like a greased chute.  I would be tempted to say that it IS a greased chute, except for the fact the fats are ABSORBED, not just sent straight through.  But although i'm eating my usual healthy quantity of nutritious satfats and omega-3s, they're not able to do ONE of their jobs ... because of the interference of the foods that Mark claims should be the major part of my diet.

If i ate "mostly plants" as ALMOST EVERYONE says, i'd be utterly miserable.  There's no excuse for needing additions of magnesium or probiotics or such aids to push out the waste-products!  Thank god i finished the soup last night, which was merely flavored with a small quantity of carrots, onions, celery and mushrooms -- today will be solid meat, fat and coffee, just what has a track-record of making me feel good!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

sometimes the old-timers got it right

Mike Eades has started an interesting series on his blog (about books that have inspired him), but as so often happens, it was a comment following his post which sent me off on a fascinating trail.  A book by a post-WWII doctor who discovered a way to combat polio before a vaccine existed -- like so many other "forgotten" health treatises, "Diet Prevents Polio" is a little gem.

But who cares, right?  This wasn't found or "proved" via a randomized, controlled, double-blinded, pharmaceutical-company-financed, metabolic-chambered SCIENTIFIC study, so it couldn't possibly be true....  (Especially because the big secret was a controlled-carb diet.)

still recovering

I had the guts to get on the scale this morning.  EEEEEEK!!!

Yep, i did worse than i thought, last week.  Noting i STILL have a little inflammation in my bad knee today, after two days of proper eating, i expect i can count on losing a bit more water.  But i'm rather shocked.  My servings of carbage were not many!  One evening i turned one baked potato into a twice-baked half for each of us; one lunch we shared some fries; one lunch i had some rings; one supper had moderate rice and corn.  Other dinners featured low-carb veggies like red cabbage, mushrooms and spaghetti squash.

But it just goes to show how VERY carbohydrate-sensitive some of us can be!  I'm going to have to figure out how to resist side-dishes when we go out for meals -- it's not like there are ANY innocent options in some places!

Monday, October 1, 2012

carbs and thyroids -- a challenge

My diet took a hit last week while my husband was working from home.  I'm not blaming him, mind you!  I simply find it harder to "behave" when we're eating out so much, and i'm also likely to have a glass or two of wine more than i should.  I consume dairy more often, too.

I woke up this morning sluggish and cold:  what does this mean, kids?  Very good -- something in the last week has either dampened my thyroid activity, or caused me to need more than i can readily produce!  Since yesterday's diet contained few carbs, metabolizing those shouldn't be the problem.  I haven't been neglecting my thyroid-supporting supplements.  My stress levels HAVE been a little higher than usual.  The weather has been on the damp side too, so candida/mold/yeast can be brought in for questioning*.  It's time to do everything right, so as to start hitting on all eight again.  That means ZC, low allergens, and limiting wine and spirits.

Now, sloppy-evidence-based science will sneer at my n1 conclusion, but ever since that evening when i had the first good-sized serving of carbs (rice) after my pure-diet January, and i woke up the next morning feeling chilly, i've been convinced that increasing carbs does NOT help to optimize thyroid function.  On the contrary -- my reading since then has made it quite clear that the more carbs in the diet, the more hormone the body needs to metabolize it.  In a euthroid individual, the body just cranks out more.  In me, it can't meet the demand, and i get hypo symptoms.

When "normal" people have been on a calorie-reduced diet (of any kind) and their thyroids have slowed down as a result, they WILL get higher function when they add more carbs, but THIS ISN'T FOR THE REASON THEY THINK IT IS.  Well, let them eat carbs till the cows come home if they want to -- but people with thyroid problems similar to mine should look on their recommendations with skepticism!!!

Extrapolating from the euthyroid population into the "suboptimal" group is just plain WRONG.  It causes us to put more stress onto our bodies than we can handle.  If you're hypo, i urge you to test yourself in the food-elimination way -- go VLC for a month, then give yourself a good jolt of rice or potatoes some evening.  See if you wake up with symptoms....
*  yes, i've been reading detective fiction again....