The Lectin-free diet is a bust – for me, at least. If you’ve been following my story, you know that at one point my weight was just a couple of pounds short of 250. To get that under control, I started the Paleo Diet, and lost nearly 60 pounds. Well, when we switched to the lectin-free diet, my weight went back up to 230. The solution, then, seems to be that the best diet for me is the paleo, sometimes also called the Caveman Diet. So, we’re switching back.
I’ve written before that one of my fitness challenges is the existence of a huge tear in the upper abdominal wall, which several different doctors and fitness instructors have told me makes exercising my abs dangerous. Yet, through the years that I’ve carried this trouble, I’ve found no way around the problem.
Until very recently.
About 3 months ago, I began to wonder if something like the old-fashioned women’s girdles might offer enough support to the hernia to allow me to exercise. I kept this suspicion to myself, because I don’t want to spend money on anything – ANYTHING – without a good chance that it’s worth the cost. I’ve been burned too many times. So, I tried to research the idea myself.
Then, about a month ago, my wife came to me with the revelation that she’d read an actual medical journal article about a trial of this very idea – with incredibly positive results. That was when I first shared with her what I’d been looking into, and I agreed to try it. She found an adjustable girdle with velcro fastening that I could place high enough to support the heria, and I began.
I had to start slow – I haven’t exercised my abs in over 25 years. But, as I built strength and endurance, I also started to see a physical change. I haven’t lost much girth, perhaps an inch, but I do see definition starting to form in the muscles, which is encouraging.
I’m feeling a bit vindicated at the moment, over the whole “Lectin Free eating” idea. But, it isn’t the idea itself that has me grinning, but a thought I remembered having as a kid.
If you were like me, your parents probably did two things: told you to take a multi-vitamin every day, and told you that drugs were bad. That was probably the end of the similarity between us, because when I was a kid, my family got our vitamins from the local drug store.
I admit that this is very simplistic thinking, but to my childhood understanding, if drugs were bad, why were drug stores legal? If vitamins look like drugs, why take them? Shouldn’t people be able to get all the nutrition they need from the food they eat?
Well, it turns out that the “Lectin free eating” idea was a huge chunk of the missing data. You see, if we never damaged our intestine, most of our standard health problems would probably never happen to us. So, that 10 year old (me, a very long time ago) was right – we can get our nutrition from our food, at least as long as we’re not deliberately eating things that work against us.
Well, it’s time to slam on the breaks, for me anyhow.
As my wife and I approach the one months mark of the lectin-free program, we have had mixed results from taking Dr. Gundry’s Total Restore product. I have no problem with that – it was fairly obvious that I was in worse shape than my wife to start with.
No, what is giving me pause is the price of continuing. When we ordered the first shipment of the product, we paid about $130 for 3 bottles – a 6 week supply with both of us taking it. I knew that was an introductory price, but I did not expect for the refill price to be over $190 for 3 bottles. Which is just what we learned it would be when we started getting ready for our spending on bills that needed paying yesterday.
As for the diet part, I’m going to continue with it. If nothing, that makes the grocery shopping a lot easier for my wife, so it’s worth doing just for that. However, the Total Restore is an expense I can’t justify, at least not right now. We have a lot of other needs, and they all require spending money. This one will have to wait.
Lectin-free, Week 3 update . . .
Well, this is exciting. Not really. This is currently my 3rd attempt at posting this update. Firefox is giving me fits today.
There hasn’t been much change from last week, as far as physical symptoms go. What has changed is that the local weather has gotten so hot during the day that I can’t sleep, making doing our laundry at night a serious challenge. I think I’m going to have to adapt a “1 load per day, just before sunrise” type of program to get through the summer.
Going lectin-free is proving to be a more difficult challenge than we had hoped. Some of our basic staples have lectins in them, and finding substitutes is a continuous experiment. For example – sweet potatoes can substitute for Idaho potatoes in some things, but sweet potatoes make lousy hash browns. They don’t cook right. Rutabaga has an unusual flavor, but will do a good job as a potato substitute.
Anyway, we’re still trying to meet the challenge. Life is Strange.
If you found your interest peaked by my previous post about leaky gut and removing lectins from your diet, this will be an update to that.
If you are new to the leaky gut idea, please see my previous post. I have a link there to a website run by a former world-class cardiac surgeon who now focuses his practice on healing instead of surgery. He explains, far better than I can, what this is all about. Just realize that, according to him, symptoms of leaky gut can include brain fog, arthritis, migraine headaches, chronic fatigue, obesity . . . .
Now, to the update.
It has been just over 2 weeks since my wife and I started taking the daily supplements recommended for this program. My wife saw almost instant benefits – she told me on day 3 that she’d already noticed that her nearly-constant craving for refined sugar was almost gone. After a week she told me that when she wakes in the mornings it isn’t a struggle to get out of bed anymore, she wakes with more energy and mental sharpness. The two together have her convinced that this was a definite move in the right direction, for her.
My results would best fall into the category of “proof that one-size definitely does not fit all in health care”. I’m not saying this has failed to work for me, just that at the 2 week mark my results are far less spectacular. If anything, my mental fog has worsened. I’m constantly tired, and get confused if I have more than one thing going on at a time.
So, what makes that a positive result? Let me regress – to the results of my doing the paleo diet. When I started the paleo diet, I weighed 248 pounds, at 5’8″ tall. I was just short of 100 pounds more than what I weighed when I got discharged from the US Army in 1982. Without exercising, using the paleo diet my weight dropped to 190 pounds. However, with all of that weight loss – my abdominal girth did not decrease AT ALL. I’m now convinced that this is, perhaps, the greatest proof of my having leaky gut – and that all that girth is due to toxic waste that had built up around my intestines.
I’m not sure if this qualifies as proof, but one thing that has changed is the smell of my waste when I go to the bathroom. Of course, I’d be lying if I told you it didn’t smell bad before, but now it is so offensive that I wait until the last possible minute and hold my breath as much as possible until the event is over. Passing gas can clear the living room – of our cats!
I’m choosing to take this as an indication that my body IS trying to process that toxic waste, and flush it from my body as quickly as possible. It is just overwhelmed by the scope of the job at this point, but continuing should eventually get me over the hump.
At least that is what I’m thinking right now.
Not so long ago, I posted that I’m done chasing the recovery of my lost ability. I’ve been seeking a way to reverse the physical decline of my body, which began 37 years ago with a bone tumor, for so long it seems to be the only thing I’ve ever done sometimes. You could call it my career. The only thing I’ve pursued longer would be spiritual growth. I’m frustrated, and tired.
However, I recently saw a video made by a former cardiac surgeon – Dr. Steven Gundry, MD. He worked at Loma Linda University Medical Center until he had an epiphany – that he was just putting bandaides on conditions. He realized he could do more good for his patients by helping them to NOT NEED surgery. Foremost on his mind was the fact that, despite doing “everything right” he himself was 75 pounds overweight and heading for cardiac trouble.
Well, he tells the story far better than I could. You can find it at http://www.thenewgutfix.com
Anyhow, after seeing that video, I shared it with my wife – and she agreed that his description of the “typical patient” with the problem he now treats – with NUTRITION alone – was a total description of how I’ve been feeling the last few years. Everything – chronic fatigue, joint pain, migraines, brain fog, memory lapses – it is all just symptoms of a leaky gut. And he’s figured out how to repair it without surgery. So, making an exception to my former declaration, we’re going to give this a shot.
Yes, “we” – my wife has several of the same symptoms, so she’s going to do the regimen with me. With a little help from the gods, perhaps we will both soon be in the best health of our lives.
Sorry I haven’t been writing much the last couple of weeks. My body hasn’t felt right for a while.
Besides the arthritis acting up with every change in the weather, I’ve also been coping with lack of sleep, low energy, and a few other minor things. I was happy to attribute this to the process of trying to lose weight, but then my wife found something that pointed in a different direction.
It seems that one nutrient has some sort of affect on all of those symptoms. Pantothenic Acid – which is one of the B Vitamins.
Here’s where the mystery comes in, though. Pantothenic Acid is in virtually everything. If you eat it, and it’s a whole food, it probably has this vitamin in it. So the question becomes – how does one become deficient in a vitamin that is everywhere? My best guess is that something is causing my body to not metabolize the vitamin properly. But, having no training in biology or chemistry, I have no clue what that would be.
Still, we got some supplements and I’ve started taking them. It’s too soon to know how much relief this will eventually give me, but it has already helped some.
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.