Author Topic: Round 2: From addiction to recovery  (Read 73109 times)

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Offline Paleo Donk

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Re: Round 2: From addiction to recovery
« Reply #25 on: January 10, 2010, 09:45:11 am »
Two other important notes that I've forgotten. I've lost 8-10 pounds and am down to 178-180 and look noticeably leaner. This is just about the lowest I've been in at least 5 years with the highest being just south of 200. So I've never been this strong at this weight which is pretty exciting. Also, my fingernails are the longest they have ever been. I've never used nail clippers and have chewed them ever since I can remember. I have purposefully tried to not chew them but I think its a strong possibility that they are growing faster and are stronger as well. I've literally never had fingernails so its pretty weird looking down and seeing some white at the tips.

I think I'm somewhere around 12-15% body fat and would like to get down under 10 so maybe another 4 percent or 7 pounds of fat. I think man has evolved to be in the 8-10 percent body fat range. I am consciously eating slightly less than normal of what I feel like but its not too bothersome and isn't really giving me much trouble now. My strength is still increasing nicely so I will be continuing to eat this way for the time being. When I went ZC last year I ate cooked steaks multiple times during the day, more or less thinking that it was going to be very hard to put on weight. I did lose a little weight but never got down to where I wanted, though I did drink occasionally.  Perhaps the weight loss is all water and glycogen and it will come back naturally so we shall see fairly soon.  I'm mainly eating one large meal a day of raw meat, though I have seared the outside a couple times. I still love the taste of cooked fat.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2010, 09:54:40 am by Paleo Donk »

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Re: Round 2: From addiction to recovery
« Reply #26 on: January 10, 2010, 10:41:50 am »
One story that explains retention of strength while losing weight is that if you eat a low enough carb diet, the body uses stored fat for energy, and the first fat to be used was that inside the muscles, including the heart muscle.
BTW, fat inside the heart was first observed during autopsy of U.S. soldiers who were killed in the Korean war.

Offline PaleoPhil

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Re: Round 2: From addiction to recovery
« Reply #27 on: January 10, 2010, 11:26:37 am »
Two other important notes that I've forgotten. I've lost 8-10 pounds and am down to 178-180 and look noticeably leaner. This is just about the lowest I've been in at least 5 years with the highest being just south of 200. So I've never been this strong at this weight which is pretty exciting. Also, my fingernails are the longest they have ever been. I've never used nail clippers and have chewed them ever since I can remember. I have purposefully tried to not chew them but I think its a strong possibility that they are growing faster and are stronger as well. I've literally never had fingernails so its pretty weird looking down and seeing some white at the tips.
Yes, on LC raw Paleo the nails tend to get stronger, the whites whiter, and anxiety and nervousness tend to decrease so the disappearance of nervous habits like nail chewing tends to occur.
>"When some one eats an Epi paleo Rx template and follows the rules of circadian biology they get plenty of starches when they are available three out of the four seasons." -Jack Kruse, MD
>"I recommend 20 percent of calories from carbs, depending on the size of the person" -Ron Rosedale, MD (in other words, NOT zero carbs) http://preview.tinyurl.com/6ogtan
>Finding a diet you can tolerate is not the same as fixing what's wrong. -Tim Steele
Beware of problems from chronic Very Low Carb

Offline Paleo Donk

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Re: Round 2: From addiction to recovery
« Reply #28 on: January 14, 2010, 07:02:04 am »
The struggle with energy is continuing without any signs of getting better.  I feel very disconnected with heavy brain fog during the day and have no real motivation to help the students with their research project.  I'm essentially volunteering right now at a private school and in a few months will look for more permanent work. My cravings for carbs, especially fruit are still around and perhaps greater than before.

I'm still mixing in cooked foods like I did on Sunday when I pigged out on an meat heavy buffet I was invited that was free. I felt very tired after I ate. I'm guessing mixing cooked and raw is still better than plain cooked. I'm not really stressing about sticking to all raw and realize I will slip up quite a bit and this is a process. I still heavily favor the taste of cooked meats - I had ten or so small cooked chicken skewers last nigt that I just couldn't stop eating. When eating raw I generally do not feel like eating much even after just a few bites, but I finish the steak always as it seems the right thing to do and I'm not eating that much to begin with.

I ate half a pound of raw beef liver today packaged from a 20 pound bag of meat that I get sent from slankers. I don't like raw ground beef much at all, almost feel nautious when I eat it and one time got a fever for several hours just after eating it. Not sure if the gb was the cause but I haven't had a fever like that in a couple years. So the liver was detestable, almost unedible but I forced it down and almost gagged once. I was going to eat a whole pound but I couldn't make it through and just chunked the rest. Right now I'm planning on only having liver a few times a month. I'll add in other organs in the future.

I also want to add in some suet but slankers was out. I ordered several different cuts and will probably be sticking to the chucks as they are the cheapest and decently fatty. The new york strip I had yesterday was incredibly lean, but very edible, though not particularly yummy with almost no visible white fat marbled in. Perhaps I am fat deficient at the moment.

Pysically, my nails are just about the only positive thing at the moment. My skin looks dry, gray and ashy, my face is broken out a bit (I've had some acne my entire life) with a pretty big pimple on my eyebrow. My throat is a bit sore and I have an annoying sore on the outside of my lip. I also have a decent amount ear wax build up. I've always thought I've had more ear wax than normal and have had significant problems with them when diving even in shallow water. I've even had them clog up like swimmers ear after an intense session of soccer or basketball. My nose has also been lighty constantly clogged for the last several years especially now. My lips are also chapped as I've always had problems with licking them in the cold which tends to make them much worse. These are all just minor nuisances but together they add up.

I worked again, this time attempting a warm up on the treadmill. I started a slow job and after a quarter mile felt a dull ache in my upper chest around my heart and quickly hopped off. I've never really ran for the hell of it, just lift heavy but in rehab a couple months ago I started runnning and had great stamina so I'm not sure whats happening here. Im definitely not going to push it, just let it go. I might play some bball or tennis and see if there is a difference.

Overhead Press
95x5
115x3
135x2
140x4
140x2

I scheduled myself for 140x5 and thought there was a good chance at me pulling off 145x5 but I didn't have it in me.  I thought my good improvement from the bench would carry over to press but it didn't.

Hang Power Clean
95x3
115x2
135x2
155x1
175x1
185x1
205x1
215x1 PR

I felt tired doing these but still managed a 10 pound PR, though I don't think I've tested myself fully yet with these. Still nice to show improvement on a mediocre day at the gym

I did some squats with just the bar to rehab my knee and some rows and curls for back and biceps.

Offline Paleo Donk

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Re: Round 2: From addiction to recovery
« Reply #29 on: January 14, 2010, 07:07:25 am »
One other thing to note is that I've refrained from masturbating for more than a month now, which is probably 2-3 weeks longer than I've ever gone since I started. I haven't had sex either and am purposely not trying to get into a sexual relationship for the forseeable future. I really want to concentrate on feeling better. I want sex to just be, no cravings. Its hard to explain but can't really put my mind into elaborating right now. Perhaps later.

Offline jessica

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Re: Round 2: From addiction to recovery
« Reply #30 on: January 14, 2010, 08:32:43 am »
hey, your zits, sore throat and ear wax make me think you should try some raw sauerkraut, kimchi or kefir/yogurt(if you can do milk) to get some probiotics into your system.  i am sorry it does not sound like you are having a very good time with your diet having a better effect on your mood, health or energy.  do you like raw fish?  half a pound of liver is quite a lot to eat at once!  if you ever have one again maybe just chop small chunks and freeze them so you can have less quanitity but more frequently.  zinc would be excellent to heal your lip, liver is good source, sucks you chucked it, oysters are also an excellent source...

Offline cherimoya_kid

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Re: Round 2: From addiction to recovery
« Reply #31 on: January 14, 2010, 09:36:53 am »
One other thing to note is that I've refrained from masturbating for more than a month now, which is probably 2-3 weeks longer than I've ever gone since I started. I haven't had sex either and am purposely not trying to get into a sexual relationship for the forseeable future. I really want to concentrate on feeling better. I want sex to just be, no cravings. Its hard to explain but can't really put my mind into elaborating right now. Perhaps later.

Be careful with your prostate. I know a lot of guys who have done harm to their health by avoiding all ejaculation. 

Offline Paleo Donk

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Re: Round 2: From addiction to recovery
« Reply #32 on: January 15, 2010, 08:22:58 am »
J, you might be on to something with the probiotics but I've never tried them and don't have any digestion problems right now so I'll stick with the simple plan for now. I barely notice anything when I eat raw meat. I'm up for changing things up but want to wait to reach(hopefully) some stable point. I still have 2 pounds of liver. I didn't know how much to eat at once and was planning on eating the whole pound. Half a pound didnt sound like much.

CK, valid point but I'm assuming that my body will know what it needs to do and expell the semen when it needs to go. I haven't had a nocturnal emission(this is what they called it back in 7th grade health class) yet, but I trust my body on this diet. If holding back ejaculation was harmful then monks would have all sorts of prostate problems.


Today has been better and I feel somewhat decent right now. I ate close to a pound of cooked ground beef at little family get together last night. Again the taste was amazing and I couldn't help myself. I felt pretty tired quickly thereafter with a decently bloated gut and could feel my body working harder to digest the mess I had given it. There was bits of cheese along with a few leaves of salad and even fried pork that I ate as well that surely contributed further.

The sore on my eyebrow worsened overnight and slightly blurred my vision in the morning. Thankfully it decreased throughout the day and I can barely notice it now. Today was one of the first days where I actually somewhat enjoyed my lunch and wanted to finish the meat. I had been mainly forcing the raw meat down. I ate 1.6 pounds of slankers chuck steak raw. Chuck seems to be my favorite cut so far as the fat is marbled in and I don't have to worry about the outer rim fat attached to the tendons(?) that give me problems swallowing. Chuck is also one of the cheapest cuts and I will probably be placing an order for 20-30 pounds more of it soon.

Offline cherimoya_kid

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Re: Round 2: From addiction to recovery
« Reply #33 on: January 15, 2010, 09:35:58 am »


CK, valid point but I'm assuming that my body will know what it needs to do and expell the semen when it needs to go. I haven't had a nocturnal emission(this is what they called it back in 7th grade health class) yet, but I trust my body on this diet. If holding back ejaculation was harmful then monks would have all sorts of prostate problems.


The heck with monks.  You're not a monk.  Get some energy work and other training that will allow you to potentially keep the blood and fluids in your prostate and surrounding area flowing, then maybe try it.  Seriously, I can point you at a forum full of people who've messed around with this.  About 30% seem to really end up with long-lasting issues. I'm not saying it  can't be done, but you haven't mentioned any training that would help you keep a healthy prostate.

For me personally, the only way I was ever able to avoid ejaculation was when I was eating a raw vegan diet.  It's pretty easy, on such a diet, relatively.  Eating lots of good-quality raw animal products makes it nearly impossible, at least for me.

Offline Paleo Donk

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Re: Round 2: From addiction to recovery
« Reply #34 on: January 15, 2010, 10:38:58 am »
How do you propose I train my prostate?

I view sex differently now, or at least am trying to. The last couple years before rehab, my mind was filled with sexual fantasies nearly every night. My mission every night was to come home with a different chick or at the least try to get mouth herpes. I had no control. I derived so much worth from being with women. There was no better feeling in life than attempting to go after women.  I failed much more than I'd like to admit but the times I had success were incredible, well at least for one night.  But like most everything it was never enough. I don't care for chasing this type of high ever again.

I'm trying to retrain my mind to be patient and quiet and free of extremes. So far this diet is helping me do this with respects to my nails and shirts. I easily have 20+ shirts that have absurd amounts of holes at the next line where I have incessantly chewed them to pieces because of my anxiety while I play poker or workout or just nervous in general. I haven't barely put my shirt in my mouth this past month. Same with my nails. I've never had nails my entire life. I have chewed and eaten so many of my nails and have had way too many ingrown infected nails to care fo. This has ended for the time being. To me this is freedom. I am feeling a bit more at ease.

I want the same thing with sex. I have a borderline sex addiction that I am rather uncomfortable with that has possessed my mind. I believe in the right relaxed state of mind regardless of how healthy I may be with my diet that sex will come naturally when I'm ready.  Just because this diet gives me great healthy sperm and attracts women more doesn't mean I am going to take advantage of it. Thats exactly what I'm trying to avoid. I don't think I would be happy at all even if I could pick out the most beautiful women to sleep with every night.  Perhaps its fantasy (or im fooling myself) but I'm looking for more than that. If I can control myself from eating junk food I can control myself from chasing women.

I've actually had a chance to put all this into practice. I have been hanging out regularly with a girl from work since before christmas. We hit it off immediately and it quickly got to a point where we could have copulated. I spoke up though and told her where I was coming from and she respected my thoughts and so backed off. I still couldn't help the sexual flirting and did it constantly. It took a while but the last few days I have completely refrained from the sexual innuedos and feel so much better for it. My mind is more at peace with the situation. When we first met all, my thoughts were seemingly always on sex and it was harder to concentrate on the conversation. Its as though my thoughts can flow easier if I can control the extreme desire for sex.

I'm not sure where I've gone with all that rambling or if it makes any sense. I feel great about the direction I am going even if it is pretty slow and a little painful for the time being.

Maybe I will become a monk. I read an article in discovery a while back that stated buddist monks are naturally the happiest people on earth. They did some intense brain scans of sorts that apparently showed measureable results that this is so.

Offline cherimoya_kid

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Re: Round 2: From addiction to recovery
« Reply #35 on: January 15, 2010, 11:03:22 am »
How do you propose I train my prostate?



Look, I'm not saying you can't refrain from sex for a while.  I'm just saying, sex is like anything else.  Refraining from it completely can have unintended consequences. 

I don't know, I'll have to think on this and get back to you.

Offline djr_81

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Re: Round 2: From addiction to recovery
« Reply #36 on: January 15, 2010, 11:41:07 am »
While I respect CK's opinion on abstinence (and do agree wholeheartedly under normal circumstances) I think you're making the right choice in the beginning of your recovery. As your diet heals you you will find you have a better equilibrium and can pursue a sexual relationship without it getting out of hand but right now you're in a fragile state and your addiction could easily overwhelm you. Best to center your mind and let the rest follow. :)
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Offline Paleo Donk

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Re: Round 2: From addiction to recovery
« Reply #37 on: January 15, 2010, 09:10:41 pm »
Thanks djr, that simplified my entire mess into one sentence. I'm not going to abstain forever. A few months won't hurt. I'd rather be in a much better place mentally before getting into a relationship. I can already feel some of the benefits from trying to live this way right now.

Offline cherimoya_kid

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Re: Round 2: From addiction to recovery
« Reply #38 on: January 15, 2010, 11:09:15 pm »
Thanks djr, that simplified my entire mess into one sentence. I'm not going to abstain forever. A few months won't hurt. I'd rather be in a much better place mentally before getting into a relationship. I can already feel some of the benefits from trying to live this way right now.

That's great, just don't go overboard with it.  Not that you would, it's just that I'm hypersensitive to that because I've seen it go way wrong.

Online TylerDurden

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Re: Round 2: From addiction to recovery
« Reply #39 on: January 15, 2010, 11:17:29 pm »
All I will say on this sensitive issue re sexual activity, is that it's quite common for people not yet recovered from RPD issues to feel overly sexual and to have issues, no doubt due to issues re weakened glands. After being fully healed, one's sexual stamina is actually  significantly improved, but one doesn't get pornographic urges etc. to any real extent any more. That is, urges get more controlled, but sexual stamina gets far better.
"What is the point of growing up If you can't be childish sometimes..." - Tom Baker as Dr Who.

Offline PaleoPhil

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Re: Round 2: From addiction to recovery
« Reply #40 on: January 16, 2010, 08:40:45 am »
When it comes to diet and other health practices, monks are some of the last people I would emulate. I had a friend who was a monk and engaged in bread-and-water fasting, celibacy, silence for 6 days of the week, and other abstentions that his order required. Not long after he started the fasting his teeth rotted and had to be extracted, his hair fell out in clumps, he experienced hallucinations and became gaunt and people started calling him "Ichabod Crane," and when he eventually, mercifully died it was a slow and horrible death from cancer. Even when he was really ill with cancer he refused to try a healthier diet and said he just wanted to die and be with God (he was seriously depressed by that point). I read his autobiography after he died and it revealed that he and his close relatives had had a litany of the diseases and syndromes of civilization and the monk diet and lifestyle was thus particularly catastrophic for him.
>"When some one eats an Epi paleo Rx template and follows the rules of circadian biology they get plenty of starches when they are available three out of the four seasons." -Jack Kruse, MD
>"I recommend 20 percent of calories from carbs, depending on the size of the person" -Ron Rosedale, MD (in other words, NOT zero carbs) http://preview.tinyurl.com/6ogtan
>Finding a diet you can tolerate is not the same as fixing what's wrong. -Tim Steele
Beware of problems from chronic Very Low Carb

Online TylerDurden

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Re: Round 2: From addiction to recovery
« Reply #41 on: January 16, 2010, 05:43:43 pm »
When it comes to diet and other health practices, monks are some of the last people I would emulate. I had a friend who was a monk and engaged in bread-and-water fasting, celibacy, silence for 6 days of the week, and other abstentions that his order required. Not long after he started the fasting his teeth rotted and had to be extracted, his hair fell out in clumps, he experienced hallucinations and became gaunt and people started calling him "Ichabod Crane," and when he eventually, mercifully died it was a slow and horrible death from cancer. Even when he was really ill with cancer he refused to try a healthier diet and said he just wanted to die and be with God (he was seriously depressed by that point). I read his autobiography after he died and it revealed that he and his close relatives had had a litany of the diseases and syndromes of civilization and the monk diet and lifestyle was thus particularly catastrophic for him.
  Some orders of monks were quite the opposite, indulging in lots of  foods and making wines etc.
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Offline PaleoPhil

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Re: Round 2: From addiction to recovery
« Reply #42 on: January 17, 2010, 12:40:46 am »
  Some orders of monks were quite the opposite, indulging in lots of  foods and making wines etc.
Oh, this monastery made food and wine all right. The problem is, one of the staple foods they made was bread made with the wheat, barley and oats they grew and they forced their monks to go through long periods of fasting on it. They didn't fast all the time. Sometimes they ate hearty, but it was lots of grains and vegetables that they grew. He said they even often ate candy, though it was usually just a piece or two each. Later on my friend became a hermit monk living on very little money and he unfortunately ate lots of canned beans and very little meat, so he further damaged his health. He fit the stereotype of the ascetic monk, except that he talked a lot. It's hard to imagine how he maintained the vow of silence 6 out of 7 days of the week in the monastery.

He was diagnosed with lupus late in life, one of the chronic autoimmune diseases of civilization. He was completely oblivious to the dietary connection between such diseases and diet. It was heart-breaking reading in his autobiography his glowing descriptions of the very foods that had sickened and killed him:

"I had my first experience in combining WHEAT, OATS, BARLEY and the rest. To see all those little grains pouring into the hopper and load after load going to the granary was a thing of sheer beauty."

"Most folks like a good chicken dinner, at least now and again, but in a pinch they will eat BEANS. Will Rogers was an old cowhand, and he enjoyed a good dish of beans. Describing a good meal once, someone inquired what he would have for dessert. His answer was to the effect that there was no room for dessert, and if there was, he'd have some more of the wonderful beans."
>"When some one eats an Epi paleo Rx template and follows the rules of circadian biology they get plenty of starches when they are available three out of the four seasons." -Jack Kruse, MD
>"I recommend 20 percent of calories from carbs, depending on the size of the person" -Ron Rosedale, MD (in other words, NOT zero carbs) http://preview.tinyurl.com/6ogtan
>Finding a diet you can tolerate is not the same as fixing what's wrong. -Tim Steele
Beware of problems from chronic Very Low Carb

Online TylerDurden

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Re: Round 2: From addiction to recovery
« Reply #43 on: January 17, 2010, 05:30:59 am »
I'm aware that many monk orders avoided meats, but from what I've read and seen, vegetarian diets tend overwhelmingly to be healthier than diets high in cooked animal foods. I only have to look at  the older generation I come across, in this regard.
"What is the point of growing up If you can't be childish sometimes..." - Tom Baker as Dr Who.

Offline klowcarb

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Re: Round 2: From addiction to recovery
« Reply #44 on: January 17, 2010, 06:09:07 am »
I would agree that a whole foods vegetarian diet COULD be healthier than the typical cooked animal foods diet, only because the latter would tend to have a lot of processed carbs and processed animal products in it.  When I was a whole foods vegetarian, I was quite serious about it, as I suspect many are.

I would place the health of a cooked pure animal foods diet (i.e. cooked ZC) over a whole foods vegetarian diet, however.

Offline PaleoPhil

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Re: Round 2: From addiction to recovery
« Reply #45 on: January 17, 2010, 12:19:21 pm »
I'm aware that many monk orders avoided meats, but from what I've read and seen, vegetarian diets tend overwhelmingly to be healthier than diets high in cooked animal foods. I only have to look at  the older generation I come across, in this regard.
I'm only sharing what his actual experience was. He was a big time grain and bean eater who fared very poorly. This fits in perfectly with the RPD model (cooked grains and beans are neither Paleo nor raw), so I'm not sure why you have a problem with this. Surely all RPDers can agree that bread and water fasts, which are not uncommon in monk circles, are not a healthy practice. They contributed to the destruction of the health of my friend, which I will never forget.
>"When some one eats an Epi paleo Rx template and follows the rules of circadian biology they get plenty of starches when they are available three out of the four seasons." -Jack Kruse, MD
>"I recommend 20 percent of calories from carbs, depending on the size of the person" -Ron Rosedale, MD (in other words, NOT zero carbs) http://preview.tinyurl.com/6ogtan
>Finding a diet you can tolerate is not the same as fixing what's wrong. -Tim Steele
Beware of problems from chronic Very Low Carb

Online TylerDurden

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Re: Round 2: From addiction to recovery
« Reply #46 on: January 17, 2010, 07:05:13 pm »
I'm only sharing what his actual experience was. He was a big time grain and bean eater who fared very poorly. This fits in perfectly with the RPD model (cooked grains and beans are neither Paleo nor raw), so I'm not sure why you have a problem with this. Surely all RPDers can agree that bread and water fasts, which are not uncommon in monk circles, are not a healthy practice. They contributed to the destruction of the health of my friend, which I will never forget.
  Oh, I was just thinking of 1 or 2 more  hedonist monk orders in the Middle-Ages who didn't mind feasting here and there. I knew that monks routinely fasted in terms of avoiding meats fish etc. for long periods, but I hadn't realised that they were expected to only consume bread/beans-and-water except in the most closed of orders. Maybe it was  more common than I realised.
"What is the point of growing up If you can't be childish sometimes..." - Tom Baker as Dr Who.

Offline jessica

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Re: Round 2: From addiction to recovery
« Reply #47 on: January 17, 2010, 09:04:44 pm »
it is weird you guys are talking about monks in paleodonks journal, i will share my one monk experience that kind of ties in and maybe gives him a few ideas?

i worked on a farm and studied under a monk who was originally a collegiate rugby play(he was a really strong man, large frame, HUGE JAW! excellent features, excellent specimen really!) surfer and also had had a past of abuse and womanizing.  he was reformed from that, celebate and raw vegan and seriously as docile as a puppydog, although behind his eyes you could still tell there was something or atleast used to be something incideous....what sucked was he was already on a diet that could not provide his body with the proper protein for the amount of work we did(12-14hr days on a farm no motorized tools, manual haul of supplies(dirt, algae, compost, produce, hay) miles at a time) and although he was a highly intelligent it took him a very long time to get out a comment, to complete ideas, and the less he ate the more dim he would become.  when he would eat it would be like 5000000lb's of fruit, nuts, salad and oil and then his stomach would become bloated and he would have guilt for being "glutonous" and then fast again!  it think that fasting and extreme diets like this are OK in the short term and perhaps can help rid the body and personality some extreme traits that are really just a result of hormone, histamine and cortisol levels, but that one must eat meat and fat to feed the brain!!  he definitely cured his agression and womanizing and was a beautiful generous soul(which he was all along, just out of balance!)  i think in the long term they put the body out of balance much more

you have to think that most monks do not do much physical labor when fasting because they are often in the practice of prayer and meditation at that time so they dont require much more then water to keep hydrated

Offline PaleoPhil

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Re: Round 2: From addiction to recovery
« Reply #48 on: January 17, 2010, 09:42:04 pm »
 Oh, I was just thinking of 1 or 2 more  hedonist monk orders in the Middle-Ages who didn't mind feasting here and there. I knew that monks routinely fasted in terms of avoiding meats fish etc. for long periods, but I hadn't realised that they were expected to only consume bread/beans-and-water except in the most closed of orders. Maybe it was  more common than I realised.
Sure, as I said earlier, this monastery grew many of their own foods and likely also feasted at times and even "frequently" ate candy. My father told me that their fasts were actually just bread and water--no beans. The beans were a food he personally enjoyed, unfortunately. I don't know much details about their fasts, but I can check into it further with my father, if you like. I didn't realize that any Christian monasteries still had such severe fasting practices until I learned about what he went through. Not all monks reacted as badly as he did, of course. I was surprised that the monastery didn't exempt him from the rigors of the fast, given his poor response, but from his autobiography I learned that he actually looked forward to the annual Lenten fasts they did and viewed the suffering as a way of getting closer to God:

"I used to like Lent when we fasted. I got weak in the knees with the rest of them, but held my own. .... Then, too, in the reciting of the hours of the Divine Office, I very frequently, and with little or no effort, had a very vivid image of my suffering Jesus come to my mind."

The Medieval reasoning for Lenten fasting was strange and similar to the later strange views of Dr. John Harvey Kellogg:

Fasting during Lent was more severe in ancient times than today. Socrates Scholasticus reports that in some places, all animal products were strictly forbidden, while others will permit fish, others permit fish and fowl, others prohibit fruit and eggs, and still others eat only bread. In some places, believers abstained from food for an entire day; others took only one meal each day, while others abstained from all food until 3 o'clock. In most places, however, the practice was to abstain from eating until the evening, when a small meal without meat or alcohol was eaten. Even now, the Orthodox Churches continue the practice of avoiding all animal products including fish, eggs, fowl and milk sourced from animals (e.g. goats and cows as opposed to the milk of soy beans and coconuts) for the entire fifty-five days of their Lent.

During the early Middle Ages, meat, eggs and dairy products were generally forbidden. Thomas Aquinas argued that "they afford greater pleasure as food [than fish], and greater nourishment to the human body, so that from their consumption there results a greater surplus available for seminal matter, which when abundant becomes a great incentive to lust."[Fasting and abstinence, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lent#Fasting_and_abstinence]


Here's a similar bit about Kellogg's views:
"Some of his work on diet was influenced by his belief that a plain and healthy diet, with only two meals a day, among other things, would reduce sexual feelings. Those experiencing temptation were to avoid stimulating food and drinks, and eat very little meat, if any. Kellogg also advocated hydrotherapy and stressed the importance of keeping the colon clean through yogurt enemas." [John Harvey Kellogg, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Harvey_Kellogg#Views_on_sexuality]

In reading his autobiography I see that symptoms of sensitivity to Neolithic foods were present early in his youth (it was apparently a family problem, as he reported that his brother also suffered from chronic health problems) and his diet throughout his life sounds like it was very poor. He was a poor cook, so in addition to beans he often ate boxed macaroni and cheese in his hermit days.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2010, 09:49:10 pm by PaleoPhil »
>"When some one eats an Epi paleo Rx template and follows the rules of circadian biology they get plenty of starches when they are available three out of the four seasons." -Jack Kruse, MD
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>Finding a diet you can tolerate is not the same as fixing what's wrong. -Tim Steele
Beware of problems from chronic Very Low Carb

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Re: Round 2: From addiction to recovery
« Reply #49 on: January 17, 2010, 10:09:22 pm »
Thank you all for the interesting monk discussion! I'll add my thoughts now but perhaps it would be better suited in a new thread dedicated to monks or meditation.

While clearly the monastic diet seems highly suboptimal and their logic a little blurry, I think their attempt at simplicity is something enviable. I've had the chance to go to several Greek Orthodox monasteries and even a nunnary or two, some in Greece some in the US. There is an absolutely gorgeous monastery in southern Arizona between Phoenix and Tucson named St. Anthony. Its one of the most pristine, perfectly arranged assortmeny of worship cathedrals and chapels along with palms and other desert plants that you will can eve imagine. There are something like  40 full time monks there that work the grounds which include acres of lemon, olive and other fruit trees.

I spent a few hours walking around, taking the tour, buying a couple books at the store but couldn't help thinking how much everything cost. This outrageously extravagent place has probably cost easily more than 10 million to build. You'd think one or two places of worship would be more than enough but they keep building more and more every year. It just doesn't seem like money well spent or at least money spent that falls in line with monastic philosophy.

All the monks I encountered were thin, some weakly emaciated and soft spoken for the most part but looked content. Their hours are ridiculous, I forget but I believe they sleep for three or four hours at night and then a couple more in the afternoon. They have services for several hours(5+) each day praying for the world. It seems so incredibly painful to be a monk. You can actually stay with them for a few days, so maybe one day I'll jump in and see what its really like. Need to make some pemmican at first.

Also to add - the Greek Orthodox have an insane amount of fasting days. I think its up to half the year. But these arent total fasts I believe just from meats and cheese, though somehow shellfish is fine.

 

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