Fine Tuning . . .

First off – let me state with no reservations that the paleo diet has helped me fantastically.  It managed to accomplish what no other diet I’ve tried over the last 20 years did – I lost weight and kept it off.

I recently had to go to a chiropractor, because I got a little too ambitious with a deceptively effective easy exercise – the Hindu Squat (to see an example of how to do one http://www.cbass.com/Furey.htm  ) and over the next day my lower back and hip muscles practically locked up. When I was at the chiropractor (who I’ve been seeing off-and-on since 2006) his jaw dropped and he congratulated me on how much different I looked.  He totally understood that the paleo diet has been helping, and he said my other exercises were putting the muscle in the right places.

So, I’m pretty much on track to taking back my life – with one exception.  The migraines and arthritis still get in the way of much that we’d call normal living.  However, my wife and I have already established that a healthy diet can do fantastic things for our bodies – she confronted and BEAT endometriosis using nutrition and chiropractic – so we decided to see if it would work for migraines and arthritis, too.

Turns out – going paleo for weight loss was a huge step in the right direction for that, as well.  My wife recently found Dr. Peter Osborne’s new book “No Grain, No Pain” (ISBN: 978-1-5011-2168-5 or ebook ISBN: 978-1-5011-2170-8) – and one of the big bombshells we got right away is that migraines AND arthritis can be caused by the EXACT same thing – a gut made unhealthy by the use of NSAID pain killers.  Which I used very heavily in the first 15 years after the surgery on my bone tumor – back when I didn’t know any better.

The good news is that the book also said that the unhealthy gut is reverseable, with the right diet controls.  First on the list was getting rid of all grains – which is a lot harder than it sounds.  Grains are EVERYWHERE these days – thickening agents in canned soups is just one example where you wouldn’t think to look. Another is instant coffee – all of them. If your meats are raised on grains, you’re still getting grain in your diet even if you try to avoid it.  HFCS is also a trigger – and has the additional warning that it is one of the vehicles by which you’re putting poisonous MERCURY into your system.

Oh, I got a bit off track.  Anyhow, the book has 3 sections – part one covers the science behind the program, part 2 tells you what you’ll be doing, and part 3 has a diet and menu plan to put you on the track to hopefully the best health you’ve ever had.  We aren’t quite at the level of starting the 15 day challenge yet, but we’re taking steps in that direction.  Finding a reliable source of grain-free meats is tough – at least around here.

Walt Whitman’s health advice rediscovered . . .

US Poet Wat Whitman wasn’t always a successful poet.  During the years before he became successful, he wrote a series on health tips under a pseudonym, and that series (originally published in 1858) was recently rediscovered in a digitized library archive.  You can learn more here:

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-36177820

(For what it is worth – Whitman would have probably endorsed the PALEO diet!)

 

Soylent … green?

My wife found the following website, and sent the link to me:

https://www.soylent.com/

FYI: it is advertising a new product, available in the US and Canada, that looks to me like a milk substitute, based on soy protein and oils.

My personal consideration about it is the use of soy protein – I’ve read enough research to realize that soy is converted by the body into estrogen.  For women, it is likely to be a primary cause of fibroids, endometriosis, and breast cancer.  For men, obesity, “moobs”, and prostate/testicular cancer.

There are three hormones at play here: estrogen, testosterone, and progesterone.  Women need a careful balance of estrogen to progesterone; while men need to keep estrogen and testosterone in balance.  Perhaps “balance” is the wrong word, because the amounts needed for optimum health are far from equal.  But the point I’m trying to make here is that when you consume something that your body converts to estrogen, it absolutely WILL throw out those ratios of hormones your body produces naturally.

Something to think about.

Beating Insulin Resistance . . .

A condition called insulin resistance is at the heart of many (if not most) of today’s chronic diseases.

This includes type 2 diabetes, heart disease, obesity and others.

Unfortunately, up to a third of people currently have insulin resistance, and this number may reach 70% or higher in those who are obese.

Simply put, stopping insulin resistance may be among the single most important things you can do to optimize your health.

Interestingly, insulin resistance can be dramatically reduced with simple lifestyle measures.

Here (courtesy of Authority Nutrition)  is a detailed guide to insulin resistance and how to beat it.

http://authoritynutrition.com/insulin-and-insulin-resistance/

Substitutes for bread . . .

I would be the last person to say that there is any one style of eating that would be right for everyone, so if bread (or grains in general) are not a problem for you, don’t stop eating them just because I said so.

In keeping with my post yesterday (40 teaspons of sugar), it should be noted that many commercially available breads have added sugar in them, as well as heavily processed wheat products that are nearly devoid of all natural nutritional value.

However, if (like my wife and myself) you need to quit using breads, you may also have discovered (like us) that doing without bread is VERY limiting.  If this applies to you, you will be glad to know that Authority Nutrition recently addressed this in a blog.  Here is the link:

http://authoritynutrition.com/10-ways-to-replace-bread/

7 nutrients you can’t get…

There are 7 important nutrients that you can’t (at least not easily) get from plant based sources.

http://authoritynutrition.com/7-nutrients-you-cant-get-from-plants/

This is one of the (many) things I do like about the Paleo Diet – while making sure you get plenty of veggies and tubers, you still eat meats.  I feel that, at least for me, this is the best diet plan around.

BONUS:  Here is a link to a report on how much Vitamin D you need in order to prevent bone disease and a host of other problems.

http://authoritynutrition.com/how-much-vitamin-d-to-take/

The Paleo Diet…

I’ve mentioned in a few previous posts that I’m currently using the Paleo Diet program, and over the last 5 months I’ve lost about 30 pounds.

There is one place that I go back to, over and over, to consult if things are good or bad.  Let me state for the record that I do drink coffee and do use free-range bacon jerky.  I also use butter for cooking.  All of that is covered on this site:

http://authoritynutrition.com/paleo-diet-meal-plan-and-menu/

which, as the URL suggests, also includes a sample menu to help you get started.  This isn’t just about weight loss, it’s about putting your life in order to live a stronger, healthier, more active life – and the Paleo Diet can be one successful part of that goal – for some people.  I would be the last person to say that it will work for everyone.  I don’t believe in such things.

10-Day Detox Diet – Results and conclusions

I have now concluded the 10 Day Detox Diet, and thought I should give you some sort of final report.

First, as with all diet and exercise programs, the AMA and the CDC would want me to strongly encourage you to make sure your primary care physician has deemed this to be an acceptable risk for you before you begin it.  That said, I did not consult any physician, both because my wife was here with me the whole time and because I’ve always had a hyper-awareness of my body and what was going on within it.  The bone tumor I had when I was in the Army – I knew there was a problem 2 weeks before it showed up on the first x-ray.

If you are primarily focused on maintaining or improving your health, you would be hard pressed to find a home-based nutrition program on a par with this one.  You don’t need a lot of expensive concoctions – it’s mostly just good food and high-fiber drinks.  You are supposed to take a liquid multi-vitamin on a daily basis, but I just mixed it into the breakfast smoothie without problems.

If you are trying to detox for environmental reasons, this program opens up your body to eliminate those toxins the the most efficient manner possible.  All those trips to the bathroom I previously reported were not a fluke – they were specifically how your body should detoxify.  There is no other way to move the toxins out fast enough to prevent your body from reabsorbing part or all of them.  That said, if you have any other reason for wanting to detox (such as a chemical dependency or substance abuse) then you should seriously be under full-time supervision when you detox, because of the high chance of other body problems occurring.

As for my mid-point weight loss, that was probably due to the fact that I started the program at least 70 pounds over my ideal weight.  At the start of the program, I weighed 246.7 pounds, and I’m 5’8″ tall.  When I wrote the mid-point report, I weighed 230.8 pounds.  At the conclusion, I weighed 234.8 – and I think I gained the 4 pounds because I stopped taking the fiber drinks before meals due to the discomfort after the avocado disruption.  Even so, I still lost about 12 pounds, so I’m quite happy with the results on that front.

Also due to this diet, I’m maintaining the caffeine reductions I made.  I continue to brew a daily pot (10 cups) of herbal tea in the pot I formerly used for coffee.  I now use instant coffee in the morning, and limit myself to 3 cups after I awake.  Sometimes I get by with only 2, and that is also alright.  I still struggle some with not feeling the energy I would like to have, but I think that as my body adjusts to the lowered caffeine level my energy will bounce back.

I have tried a great many diets over the years, and this one gets high marks for doing exactly what it said it would do, and making the menu specific enough to be easy to follow at home while varied and tasty enough to keep you interested.  Other than vitamins or the fiber supplement, you likely already have everything you need to succeed with this diet.  Just please, do yourself a major favor and read the entire Blood Sugar Solutions: The 10 Day Detox Diet book before you begin, so you know exactly what you should be doing before you start, and what to expect.

Update on Health Care and Weight . . .

Just a quick addendum to what I said yesterday about the Ayurvedic program.

After doing a little bit of searching, I found out that the reason we couldn’t BUY “clarified butter” locally is simplicity itself – as in, it’s incredibly simple to MAKE.

Really, the process is a lot like making Beef Bone Broth from scratch, which we already knew how to do. So I had my wife stop at the grocery store on her way home from work last night, and pick up 2 pounds of unsalted whole butter.

All you have to do is melt the butter over VERY LOW heat, and skim off the bubble-ish parts with a breakfast cereal spoon. When you’ve got it all melted, and all the floaty stuff skimmed off, very slowly pour the clear yellow liquid into a container that you can cover with a tight lid, watching for a “residue” on the bottom of the pan. Do not pour the residue into your container if you can avoid it. The clear yellow liquid will harden as it cools, and that is your “clarified butter”.

Diet and weight loss . . .

I’m fat.  In fact, by the standards used today, I’m morbidly obese.  That somewhat scary term simply means that I weigh more than 50 pounds more than my ideal weight.  I’m 5’8″ tall, and have a medium build.   My target weight should be around 155 pounds to 175 pounds.  I currently weigh in at 240 pounds, but when I tell people that they look at me incredulously and ask, “where are you hiding it?”

I’m not hiding it – it’s here.  A lot of it is a fairly obvious “beer belly” – a term I hate, by the way, because I don’t drink beer.  But the incredulous inquirers do have a point: My pants are only a size larger now than they were when I left the US Army 30+ years ago – at a lean 155.

I’ve talked to my primary care doctor.  I’ve talked to the nutritionist he referred me to.  I’ve talked to weight management counselors, physical therapists . . .  and I’ve read books and articles on macrobiotics, vegitarian eating, portion control, fasting, pacing, juicing . . .

None of it has worked for me.  There is one reason why, and it’s the giant pink elephant in the room.  It’s terribly obvious to me, but nobody else wants to acknowledge it because it is an automatic barrier to the success of whatever approach they pitch at me.  I’m a disabled veteran – I had a bone tumor in my left leg, and that bone has been permanently structurally weakened.

Imagine building a bridge across a half-mile wide river, and the central girder on the left side of the bridge was manufactured wrong and can only stand 10% of the weight it was intended to.  What is going to happen to that bridge when rush hour traffic hits it?  During the first 3 months after the surgery to treat my tumor, I was hospitalized an additional 10 times for stress fractures related to my not believing the limitations imposed on me.  I believe them now.

That’s what’s wrong with my leg now.  Instead of being able to stand the stresses of all the normal activity I used to do, I’m now limited to “No pushing, pulling, or lifting over 30 pounds” AND “no walking more than 1 mile per day TOTAL” – that includes trips to the bathroom and the kitchen.  Let me tell you, it’s amazing how small one mile is when you carry a pedometer around the house for a few weeks.  I have one of those “Cory Everson” resistance cable type home exercise machines, but it seems impossible to do enough repetitions with only 30 pounds of resistance to either burn fat or build muscle.

So, the next time you see someone in the store, or on the beach (which won’t be me, I don’t live anywhere near a beach) who is heavy, don’t automatically think that they are just lazy or don’t care about how they look.  Some of us care a LOT – there just isn’t anything we can do.  Because we are trying.