Thursday, January 30, 2014

this too shall pass

Even when "cheating" -- as I did a bit over Christmas and on our trip to N'Orleans -- I still keep a technically low-carb diet going.  I didn't record my intake in FitDay, but i'm experienced enough to know that I was usually under 50g carb, and ALWAYS under 100.  I'm finally getting back into good function on VLC, but it hasn't happened overnight.

At every step of getting back into ketosis, one makes one's body MAKE ADJUSTMENTS.  All one's tissues that CAN have to get used to running on fats/ketones again.  Oh, it's a LOT easier than it was the first time, but there are still days when one isn't functioning as well as when ketosis was our usual state.

Lots of little annoyances happen -- changed sleep-pattern, changed bathroom habits, changed energy levels....  If one isn't expecting them, these things may convince the ambivalent among us that low-carb is not right for them.  Without passing judgement, I have to say that I think they're expecting too much, too quickly.

Especially in the winter, when most people seem inclined to make their diets more austere!  Wooo has described in detail, and in terms of which i'm no master, that our bodies are designed to conserve energy and fat mass when day-length becomes shorter and temperatures drop.  Winter is the time of year when one should be careful of one's diet, YES -- but to expect it to reduce on a regimen that isn't STARVATION (which carries with it many nasty side-effects) is just unrealistic.

But all the little adjustments our bodies make -- encouraging different microbiota to thrive and cutting back on others, for instance -- are changes for the good that we need to have patience with, and persevere with the diet we know is best for us in the long run.  In the last few weeks, I've had to readjust through bloat and fog, weariness and untimely energy, to get back to where I was before my husband retired last spring!  (We're getting to where we don't have to eat exactly the same things at exactly the same times -- necessary when you have two very different phenotypes going on....) 

Even when you've BEEN chugging along nicely in ketosis, the body is SO good at slipping back into glucose-fueled mode, that a little dietary carelessness can be like drawing the wrong card in Monopoly -- "go to jail.  go directly to jail.  do not pass Go.  do not collect $200."  You have to make that transition to ketone-burning again.  I've done this more than once, though, and the payoff in the end feels so good, it's worth it.

Just remember the tricks that help you make the transition.  Don't wait till you're sleepless at 2 am to take your melatonin -- take it an hour before you want to sleep.  Don't try to get too much exercise while in transition because it's stressful -- wait till your energy improves.  Get your early-day blue light.  Put a spoonful of tallow (specifically, TALLOW -- I don't find other saturated fats do the same thing) in a cup of bouillon to make bathroom visits shorter.  Have patience with yourself over brain-fog.

You'll get over it if you are willing to take the time.  The benefits are worth it.

Monday, January 27, 2014

lying or ignorant

For years now, I've heard the "experts" insist that goitrogenic vegetables are FINE as long as you cook them!  I mean -- vegetables are S0-0-0-0-O good for you!  It would be dangerous to restrict non-starchy vegetables (even though the paleoids snicker at those who insist that GRAINS are important sources of nutrition and shouldn't be limited).

Experience proves the contrary.  Which is why I respect doctors who present and stick by what they find to work in clinical practice ... but not "the other kind."

I was doing great, "coming down" from my nutritional excesses in N'Orleans!  Within a very few days I was in ketosis again.  THEN a neighbor invited us over for a group dinner and I "sinned" again (why do some people actually take pride in "making" us eat things that are bad for us?).  I felt really (physically) horrible for a day or so, but some fasting brought me back to the place I was before, and I am now solidly back in ketosis.  J cooked the main course at dinner last night (an Indian dish of cod with a yogurt sauce), but "let" me cook the cauliflower, which needed to be used.  I made my faux Party Potatoes dish, and it WAS delicious.  But he put a huge mound of it on my plate, and I STUPIDLY finished it.

NEWS FLASHcauliflower and the rest of its tribe are goitrogens.  They're goitrogenous raw.  They're goitrogenous cooked.  They're REALLY goitrogenous fermented.  Short version, they're FUCKING GOITROGENS.

I woke up this morning after sleeping the clock around.  I was cold.  I was dopey.  I was suffering from a big hairy nightmarish lack of thyroid function.  I ate ONE CUP OF COOKED CAULIFLOWER, and did nothing else that would have lowered it.

So don't listen to gurus who proclaim, SURE you can eat all the leafy green vegetables you want!  They're healthy!  They're low-carb!  They're loaded with vitamins and minerals and antioxidants and all those lovely dietician-approved phytochemicals that everyone wants to sell you in pill form!

In fact, thiol-containing vegetables cause more problems than they could possibly resolve.  Not just for people with "thyroid trouble" -- anyone who benefits from a low-histamine or failsafe diet is well advised to stay the hell away from cruciferous vegetables aka brassicas.  Especially, don't eat them fermented!  I grit my teeth every time broscience recommends home-made sauerkraut or kimchee....

Thursday, January 23, 2014

stress and busy-ness

I've been on the busy side, since returning from N'Orleans.  There's ALWAYS a good deal of house-upkeep to do when you've got this much space in a building that's 118 years old, for one thing ... and a long-haired dog that sheds adds his own special contribution.  Then there's the day-to-day kitchen activities which never end.  Laundry.  Shopping.  Mending.  Creativity.  Study and research.  Social life.  Reading, watching, relaxation, recreation.  None of this is intrinsically stressful to me.

It's inopportune interruption, unpleasant surprises, and people who feel the need to act like inconsiderate, selfish jerks which can make a burden of certain activities and interactions.  We may or may not have to put up with some of this stuff....

I completely unfriended someone on facebook yesterday.  Most of the time, if a real-life acquaintance is making him/herself obnoxious, I just block the posts I don't want to see; this way, I can still wish them happy birthday but otherwise not have to deal with their dumb ideas and abrasive communications.  But this woman had rejection coming!  And since I DON'T know her "IRL" it was easier to just cut her loose.  Bye-bye ... have a good life ... good riddance!

Instant lower stress.  People like that, you never know when they're going to turn from supportive to viciously aggressive.  A pleasantry rubs them the wrong way, and they suddenly show claws and teeth.  I don't need that shit.

It's a puzzle to me why intrinsically good people can get really nasty about defending their "compassionate viewpoints."  Not even against people fighting against them -- just the existence of a contrary viewpoint brings out the rattlesnake in them.  A perfect example is how those compassionate vegetarians viciously assaulted Lierre Keith.  True, she pointed out that their non-animal-food diet is responsible for the killing of a lot of little animals anyway, and that their plant-based diet is dangerously deficient in nutrition, but REALLY....

Are these people who build a kind-and-gentle philosophy trying to create a personal world in which every child gets a trophy and nobody is ever at fault, but bad things happen to good people so every bad thing that happens to them PROVES they're a good person; where the fact that things in the real world don't result the same way as their brand of logic says it SHOULD, so the actions of the real world are faulty in some way, but their logic is impeccable....  Is C so emotionally fragile that she feels she'll crumble if her phantasy-world isn't upheld by the beliefs of everyone with whom she comes in contact?  I DO know people who seem to be convinced that their philosophy is the only possible Truth, but they tend to be hyperreligious yoyos, not ostensibly intelligent people.  ...Yeah, I need Sidereal or Minijumb to explain the mindset to me!

Got "friends" who only bring you down, who insult you indirectly and cause you to tense up at the thought of interacting with them?  There IS a way to feel instant relief (and I DO feel it)....

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

explanations for my findings

We got back home yesterday evening.  So considerate of J Stanton to have a new post out with a discussion of something I observed in myself!  :-)

There were a few meals during our trip when I ate EGREGIOUSLY.  Coincidentally, after them, I was inclined to wait quite awhile before wanting to eat again.  A bunch of mice were put on a comparable regimen, and whaddayaknow, they experienced something akin to what I found.  Intermittent fasting is MOST obviously helpful when the diet is far from optimal.

Read the Gnolls post -- it's another of the "a calorie is not a calorie to your body" series, which in my opinion is as good as the "why are we hungry" collection.  Stanton has pointed out many things like eating the same amount of food at different times of the day result in different energy utilization, and eating the exact same foods processed differently, ditto.  See, mouse and rat studies CAN be useful!  ;-)

I ate similarly over the yuletide holidays while visiting my daughter in Houston -- sometimes I was very good, and sometimes VERY bad -- and the difference in outcome is the same as I experienced last year when we spent our Christmas season on a train trip to Seattle.  All the enforced walking in N'Orleans and the historic area where we stayed in Washington made me burn a LO-O-O-O-OT of glycogen.  The ordinary activities of life in a place where I worked and played, but didn't WALK PLACES, caused the excess carbs to be stored instead.

I want to discuss a supplement that I used on both these trips, too, but I haven't had anything but coffee and water since lunch yesterday, and i'm dying for a great big breakfast steak.... 

Friday, January 10, 2014

full belly, sore feet

J and I just got back to our hotel room and are sitting around en dishabille*.  AHHHHH!

We're in New Orleans again at last.  This is SUCH a great city!  It's been about three years since he left the job that introduced us to it; I paid a visit here with our daughter about a year and a half ago, but he hasn't been back before now.  NOLA (and especially the French Quarter) remains the warm, charming town full of outrageously good restaurants that we fell in love with, back in '08.

This morning we ate a wonderful seafood omelette and had a delightful chat with our server.  We visited a number of bars and eating-houses with the friends we rendezvous'ed with, and had terrific cocktails made and served by a really interesting variety of people.  Our supper was at a restaurant with an excellent reputation with locals as well as visitors, and our waiter, again, contributed to the pleasure of the experience.

How can anyone not love this town?  Make an effort to meet everyone halfway, and they'll not only meet you but take an extra lap around the earth!

Okay, okay -- so I ate a little of the French bread, and several fork-fuls of potatoes!  They were outstandingly good, and I enjoyed every bite.  I also walked innumerable blocks, and i'm sure I worked off the unusual amount of carbs I consumed.  That's what we base our intake on, isn't it -- the amount of exercise we get?  The virtue of old cities is, you don't DRIVE to where you're going, you WALK; and studies show that denizens of places like New York are leaner than (say) Midwesterners because nobody gets a car out to go a quarter-mile....

I HAVE stayed away from the sugary cocktails that are famous here.  I had black coffee with my omelette, white wine with my cheese, and red with my lamb chops and haricots verts.  At those funny little dives we visited, I usually ordered what Robb Wolf calls a Norcal Margarita -- tequila and soda with a twist of lime.

So i'm reporting in to you with a full belly and sore feet.  And EVERYTHING has been worth it!

Greetings from New Orleans, everyone!  A city which I wish all of you might visit someday!
* I can't be sure my French is acceptable, but I have to try, here!  :-)

Sunday, January 5, 2014

twelfth day of Christmas

Back before the days of Christmas movies and cheap electric light strings, the holiday itself began to be celebrated -- surprisingly enough -- at ...

wait for it...


Of course, preparations had to begin significantly in advance, especially in large households that expected to do a great deal of entertaining, or (in the old world) where the manor dispensed a goodly amount of seasonal largess.  A good Christmas pudding needs to ripen, after all!  In small, less affluent households where the gifts would have been hand-made, in secrecy, i'm sure the preparations were begun well before the time when they were needed.

But the celebration itself wasn't the excessively-long lead up to a climax and abrupt drop-off it is today.  Pity....  Nowadays we have a frenzied period of getting ready, of baking and confecting, of shopping and decorating, wrapping, packing, mailing, entertaining and being entertained (or not -- at office parties for example!).  Christmas morning comes and the biggest event is quickly over -- present-opening!  The only major happenings left, Christmas Dinner and maybe a church service, tend to be an anticlimax to most.  Then it's over!  I was shocked the first time I saw a denuded tree, sporting the depressing remains of a few bits of tinsel, lying sadly on the curb on the day after Christmas, but it's too common now to impress me.  In our family, we used to take the tree down on New Year's Day, but traditionally I believe it was considered unlucky to remove decorations till Epiphany.

No wonder so many people are refusing to observe Christmas anymore!  It's a stress-generator, a huge waste of money, and a cheesy flaunting of materialism, the way it's usually "celebrated."  There is no sitting back and enjoying the good trappings of the season -- there's always something more one is obliged to do, until it's over, and then it's OVER.  I HATE "modern Christmas." 

However, I LOVE the old Yuletide, the Christianized solstice holidays, whose faint echoes we can still perceive behind all the cartoon-character ornaments, cheap chocolate candy, and artificial versions of traditional winter greenery.  I love Christmas cookies (low-carb these days, of course), mincemeat, hot Tom&Jerry, eggnog, my version of "party mix," and -- a sacred tradition which is NEVER low-carbified -- my grandmother's recipe for "English Toffee" (actually, it's what the cookbooks call Nut Crunch, like a Heath bar on steroids).

I love my recording of medieval Christmas music, savored while sipping one of my seasonal drinks (or just a nice glass of wine), with that pine and bayberry scent wafting in the drafty air -- my 118-year-old house has its original single-pane windows, a "gravity" furnace and no working fireplaces, but its original, authentic Victorian details only add to the ambiance!  I love the look of the tinsel-garland and colored lights wound around the bannisters of the front staircase.  I love the candlelight flickering from the sconces up the back stairs.  I even love the vintage music which Sirius radio plays, as I work in the kitchen.  I love the sights and smells and sounds of the season, as they come filtered into my home.

Now it's the end of the traditional holiday season, and while everyone else in this country seems to be focused on football, i'm intent on wringing the last drops of Yuletide atmosphere.  Here in St. Louis, we're "enjoying" the same winter storm that's freezing and blanketing in snow so much of the country.  Somewhere around a foot of snow has collected in the yard, and it's still falling thickly.  Tomorrow, the 6th of January, i'll be putting away the limited amount of decoration I put up before we drove to Houston to be with our grandchildren for Christmas.  But till then -- and maybe even after, i'll be relishing my idea of what a winter holiday ought to be ... eggnog in hand, and with my thousand-year-old carols playing in the background.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

happy birthday, blog!

Today is the second anniversary of my blog's "birth," and spans the most significant learning experience in the course of my 58 years! 

I've learned how to "cure" my ills with diet and supplements.  I've learned that, save the first two months of my life, most of what's been wrong with me has been MALNUTRITION, even though I also have a few nasty genetic inheritances which predisposed me to metabolic FFF-ery*.  I've learned that Conventional Wisdom is anything BUT.  Always remember, Common Sense is that which tells us the earth is flat....

I've learned that ketosis is not only an excellent tool for weight control, it's also a powerful agent of mental and physical wellness.  That which evens out blood-sugar and normalizes fasting insulin, by doing so protects the most delicate and important organs of the body.  Conversely, what disrupts our barrier-organs lets in the enemies of life ... and the quality of what remains of it.

I've learned not only that those healthywholegrains AREN'T, but that the foodstuffs which EVERY diet's proponents can agree to be cornerstones of bodily health can be the worst destroyers of all.  Even colorful, leafy, low-starch vegetables have a dark side, and to some of us they're the very devil.  Those probiotic, fermented plant foods that are the darlings of primal-paleo-WAPF aficionados?  To the histamine-intolerant they are SATAN.

Balance and moderation are fine for the already-thriving.  The experiences of that jock who did the Overeating Experiment have clearly shown that although there are some body-composition differences between very-high-  and very-low-carb diets in the very-healthy population, not much REALLY changed VISIBLY with him.  (What happened to his innards is likely a different story.)  An "unbalanced" and "immoderate" diet has been a godsend to ME.

I've learned how very individual we all are.  Although I remain an enthusiast for reading reviews of others' experiences, a lot of us are stubborn outliers of the norm.  And it's all about chemistry!  From SNPs to neurotransmitters to hormones, there IS such a thing as a unique snowflake -- or at least, each snowflake is rare enough to be ALMOST unique, for all intents and purposes.

I've learned that having a safe place to vent is a valuable safety valve -- the difference between an intention-required site and ranting on facebook (for the world to see) is significant!  I can bitch about ANYTHING (anyone?), and my "nearest and dearest" aren't likely to know about it.  ...I need to memorize that quote about a prophet having no glory in his home town....

Most of all, I value this experience for teaching me how I can fix my own life and health.  Our society is so authority-obsessed, we've been brainwashed to think that a yearly checkup actually helps us remain WELL.  Nothing could be further from the truth!  The state of medical education and the industry is such that practitioners are taught to test for indicators of trouble in apparently-healthy people, and to take numbers of dubious significance (and ONLY those numbers) as Holy Writ.  A non-issue (like TC over 200) is "helped" with drugs of proven harm, and a TSH of 3 is considered just fine.  Mammography is popularly looked on as preventative, and not a CAUSE of harm as it is in many cases!  I TRUST THE MEDICAL PROFESSION LIKE TRUST LAWYERS.

I started writing a blog to share what worked for me, because at the time I wasn't finding that kind of information from others in the same boat.  Since then, I've found a multitude of sources, some helpful and some not.  But the virtue of the internet is in the richness of information from "ordinary people" like me -- gone are the days when only a chosen elite get to publish what they believe!  THAT is a cause for celebration!

*  thanks to Wooo and Cow for the expression that means ... well ... you can guess.  ;-)