Author Topic: New to raw paleo, looking to fix adrenal fatigue, bone density, stomachaches  (Read 10317 times)

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Offline nummytummy

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Hi! I'm new to the whole raw paleo diet--in the past I've been some form of gluten-free lacto-ovo-vegetarian to ovo-pescatarian (egg+veg+fish), but living in a land-locked country doesn't make seafood a very fresh and readily-available food possibility.

i recently had issues with adrenal fatigue and a medical check showed i have osteopenia (precursor to osteoporosis) and low calcium levels in the blood, which shouldn't be happening at my age since i'm still quite young and far from menopause. i also have/had hypoglycemia and low blood pressure with the dizziness and fatigue that comes with it. since then i started taking supplements (cod liver oil, B, C, Mg, Zn, Ca) and i also started deliberately eating a lot more seafood and a few weeks ago had some cooked meat (chicken liver, beef) and more recently raw meat (beef, lamb, rabbit liver) and raw eggs and egg yolks.

I noticed that the seafood definitely helped my energy levels, especially shellfish such as mussels (had them cooked, was craving them for days and ate them in a frenzy) and oysters (raw and amazing, felt an immediate zing of energy), but since they're so hard to come by, i've started to eat raw land meat too. after the first week or so, i felt my energy levels go up and my blood sugar levels balance out, but now i'm starting to feel quite tired again, and i've been getting stomach aches and sometimes diarrhoea after eating the raw beef. does anyone have any advice for me? i don't know if my body maybe has reached a saturation point with the meat for a while--i've never felt so much like i needed a lot of it, but i know now from experience that it's good to eat some. i'm just not sure why now it's giving me stomach aches and seems to be making me feel less energetic, when it seemed to be helping just the week before. any advice?

Offline TylerDurden

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People don't generally get issues with raw beef unless it's grainfed(even grain-finished beef can be an issue for those intolerant to all grains). It could be a detox; if it's only temporary, then detox is likely.

When I first started going rawpalaeo, my digestive system was so badly damaged by decades on SAD diets, that I even found raw, ground meats a bit more difficult to digest than other RAF foods, and I had to be careful not to eat too many raw muscle-meats in 1 sitting. My solution was to go in, temporarily, for the softer, more water-rich organs like raw liver/kidneys etc. Soon I was able to handle any raw meats.



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Offline nummytummy

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The beef I bought was organic, but I don't know if that means grain-finished in this country (Czech republic). I'm still a beginner with all this so I haven't had time to locate good 100% reliable sources of grass-fed meat.

The funny thing is that I ate pretty much the same thing about 2 weeks ago and felt fine digestively, plus more energy. But the past 4-5 days I've been getting more and more tired and now I can't seem to digest anything properly. At first I thought it was bad food combining (eating raw meat/fish and then having some fruit less than a few hours later), but today I just ate the raw meat and it's just as bad as ever, if not worse.

I don't know if indigestion stomach aches after eating a food would be considered detox. It just seems like bad digestion or food poisoning to me. Has anyone else experienced this? And if you did have some actual detox (not sickness or food poisoning) switching to RAF, then what was the detox like?

I don't mind the taste of raw meat; I was already used to sushi, loved the oysters, was fine with raw beef and even had raw rabbit liver and didn't mind the taste at all, and I felt like the raw meat was helping my energy levels, which was fantastic after struggling for months with fatigue--but after feeling like this for days (weak, stomach ache, nausea, curled up on the couch unable to go out or do anything because of it), I'm about ready to throw in the towel! And I'm pretty sure it's the raw meat because I felt sick yesterday after eating it until I diarrhoead everything out, and I felt fine this morning up until I ate some raw beef by itself.

Why would I have this reaction now when I didn't have it in the beginning? I had some raw egg yolks a few days before, could that be the culprit? But I've already had that before without any adverse effects.

I'm really disappointed because I've struggled so much with food in the past (can't tolerate gluten or dairy; more recently experienced bad effects with nightshade veg--tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, aubergines; lack of energy from too little protein and mineral/vitamin deficiencies from a primarily vegetarian whole-foods diet), and I thought I'd found the answer with RAF, but my body seems to be seriously rejecting the raw meat right now.

Confused and tired and feeling sick. :( help me please.

Offline cherimoya_kid

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Try some different types of raw meat, and maybe some raw fish/shellfish.

Offline TylerDurden

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Well, my own detox symptoms involved mild flu-like symptoms(warm forehead, slightly runny nose, huge feeling of fatigue(but in a good way not like pre-RPD chronic fatigue symptoms I'd had before the diet). These would last 2-7 days and occur once every 3 to 4 months, and decreased in terms of severity, duration and frequency, until they stopped after c.2-3 years on RPD.

Oh, and I had a very strange detox at the very start of the diet. For the first 2-3 days of switching immediately to raw meats/raw fruit, I got intense green diarrhea lasting two or three days, and meant I had to go the toilet/bathroom at least once every half-hour, getting up throughout the night etc..  It was just a one-off, obviously necessary to get rid of the various chemical/preservatives in my body from past junk-food.

If you are having so many problems, you might consider checking in with a doctor. That is, while an RPD diet is indeed very effective, some people whose digestive etc. systems are too seriously damaged sometimes feel the need to supplement with probiotics(EM products), or HCL etc.; others might come to the diet with severe vitamin-/mineral-deficiencies and might need a short-term supplementation of artificial vitamins/minerals until they can get used to RVAF diet foods and properly recover.
« Last Edit: April 07, 2010, 03:23:16 am by TylerDurden »
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Offline Arthas_

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Welcome.

I've been reading on copper/zinc imbalance. Its seems you could have copper toxicity. It may explain your digestion issues and adrenal fatigue.

Many of my health problems i guess are due to copper toxicity. I have neurological issues (ADD and others), and compromised fat digestion also. It's all improving on my raw ZC diet. I take lots of supplements though: magnesium, potassium, vit D and A, zinc, vit C, taurine, MSM. I also megadose niacin due to skin issues. Apparently it could take years of dedication to resolve the copper toxicity thing.

Here's a link you may find usefull: (please check it out)

http://www.westonaprice.org/Copper-Zinc-Imbalance-Unrecognized-Consequence-of-Plant-Based-Diets-and-a-Contributor-to-Chronic-Fatigue.html
« Last Edit: April 06, 2010, 10:41:30 pm by Arthas_ »

Offline nummytummy

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i took a break from eating raw meat for a while and then ate some lightly cooked rabbit liver with onions and butter this morning. i kept it down and didn't feel queasy after, then went to sleep and slept for a long time. when i woke up i felt much better than i have in days, and later made myself a seaweed soup with seaweed, fermented fish sauce and gelatin, because gelatin is supposed to aid digestion.

and just this evening i located the halal butcher shop in town and ventured by--a brand new experience for me, since i'd not cooked or eaten meat for so many years and when i have tried to buy meat here, i was always put off by how putrid the normal butcher shops here smelled--like a mix of rotten flesh and bleach, not appetising at all. plus they never had the cuts of meat i actually wanted--here it's basically pork everywhere and some pasty looking chicken, and the beef never had any bones in it for soups. anyway, this halal place was amazing. i was taken to the back to their enormous meat locker with freshly butchered mutton and beef carcasses, and everything seemed really fresh. they had me point out what i wanted, then chopped it up for me, asked me if i wanted the fat with it. i said yes. and it was (in my opinion) amazingly cheap. just over 3kg of a rack of mutton for about 8 euros.

plus i asked if they had any organ meat, like liver or kidneys and adrenals, and they said yes, come tomorrow at 7pm. i was in awe.

when i got home i just stuck it all in the fridge. it was really all too much for me. then i got up the courage to do something with it. i really wanted to make a bone soup stock. i figure my digestive tract is out of whack from years of eating allergenic foods, (undiagnosed and untreated celiac from infancy up until early adulthood), so i'm trying a version of the GAPS diet, which is mostly based on bone and cartilage based soups, healing for the digestive system. so i was digging through my 3 kilos of chopped up rack of lamb looking for the bones--disappointingly few; i guess they thought i didn't want all the bones. but meanwhile i decided to taste some of the fat raw. and it was so creamy and not chewy at all, unlike the raw beef fat i'd had. then i tried some of the meat, and it was also so beautifully soft and tasted really fresh and clean. i only wanted to eat a bit, because i didn't want to overdo it, especially after my experiences of this past weekend, but i just kept eating it raw, straight off the bone. and so far i feel fine. what a revelation.

maybe the beef i had was bad. or grain-fed or grain-finished, despite being labelled organic. but just the smell of it when i was tossing the rest of it out today made me feel queasy again. and it didn't even smell off or like it had gone bad at all. but i'm really impressed with this halal butcher's. and it'll be great to have some fresh adrenals to eat, especially with my adrenal issues, it seems like the fastest way to heal.

does anyone know how to eat bone marrow from lamb's ribs? do you just suck it out? i'm really new to all this. any tips are appreciated.

and Arthas, i think you're spot on about the copper-zinc imbalance. i've read articles about it, including the link you sent me, and i've been trying to rebalance my zinc levels. that and a suspected broad-spectrum B-vitamin deficiency is one of the main reasons i decided i need to eat meat again, after years of being mostly more or less vegetarian. i also started to take a lot of supplements once i realised all this about the zinc and B-vitamin deficiency causing a lot of my health and psychological issues, but then i thought that it would be better to get those nutrients from real foods. and just my reaction to eating oysters of immediate giddy energy food-high is probably a sign that i need more zinc in my diet.

i do also think that i might have a mild issue with some heavy metal toxicity--i've been around my fair share of broken thermometers and also literally up to my elbows in photographic darkroom chemicals before--not exactly the best thing for the body and good health. the last broken thermometer was rather recent, and coincided i think with a significant worsening of my health. i'm thinking of doing some kind of chelation with cilantro and brazil nuts, but i want to wait until my health and energy levels improve a bit more and stabilise before i start to mess with that kind of thing.

but thank you for the suggestions, everyone! it's really helping, i think, trying different meats, and trying to find the best quality meats for my body.

and tyler and arthas, i think i will continue with the supplements and keep observing how my body responds to them. i think i got really out of balance with all the stress and not eating a good enough diet. i don't have a doctor here and i've had a hard time with doctors in the past who tell me i'm healthy (before i was hit with full-on adrenal fatigue, i was exercising often and regularly and not eating any junk, so have my weight, blood pressure, fat and cholesterol levels and heart rate in the "athletic" range), despite my symptoms to the contrary, so i've taken it upon myself to improve my health in whatever ways i can. more or less it seems to be working, but i sometimes get these really frustrating setbacks, like i did this weekend.

for now i'm just going to take it slow and ease into the meat-eating until my body can handle it better.

but thanks again! i'm feeling a lot better now. i'll keep all of you updated on my progress. :)

Offline Hans89

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A while ago I had some problem with digestion that *might* have been similar to yours. Actually I posted about those problems on here: http://www.rawpaleoforum.com/primal-diet/salt-and-hydrochloric-acid/msg30838/#msg30838

After this, I could only digest things when I took A LOT of salt. Then I had a craving for cooked food. So I bought some blood sausage and ordered some pig's blood (non-organic, non grass-fed, but the only blood I could get a hold of.) For a week or two, I cooked some food occasionally, like rice noodles in bone stock with some veggies and ate that with fish sauce and coconut oil. At first, I also ate that sausage and some cooked tongue, but the cooked meat did me no good, so I ate my meat raw with salt.

 I also ordered some HCl tablets, but it took a long time till I got them. By then, I was back on almost 100% raw taking only very little salt, about a grain a day, and my digestion seemed to have improved a lot. By now I guess it's fine. I tried the HCl, but my digestion was already better by then. I didn't feel any difference from the HCl. Now I'm trying very low carb, eating only meats and eggs and drinking water with an occasional grain of salt. I still have some flatulence, but I hope I can heal my guts like this.

I just hope that that event will never reoccur, because it was one of the most painful times I've ever had in my life.

Offline nummytummy

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After this, I could only digest things when I took A LOT of salt. Then I had a craving for cooked food.

That's interesting, because I put quite a bit of salt when I made the rabbit's liver with onions, and I also felt like I needed to eat cooked food, particularly bone broth. I even dreamed a few days ago of going to a butcher's and asking for beef bones (which they generally don't have here) and then the butcher actually found some for me and even offered to crack the bones open so I could eat the marrow. Funny dream, because I've never actually eaten bone marrow before in my life, or found any regular butcher shop around here that carried beef bones.  -\

After the liver this morning, my digestion seems much improved. I only had two brief moments of queasiness, when smelling the beef again before I tossed it out (but this could just be psychosomatic) and when eating some grapes (which was maybe also psychosomatic since I'd had grapes a few days ago before I started feeling sick). But otherwise I seem to be digesting things normally. Had a solid bowel movement. I don't know if it's the cooking, or the nutrient-rich liver, or the salt. I coincidentally also added plenty of sea salt to the mutton bone broth.

I did read the whole thread where you posted about feeling sick and having indigestion possibly due to not enough HCl, Hans. Interesting possibilities. For now I think I'll stick mostly to bone broth and organ meats and eat the raw meat and fat when I feel like I can stomach it. But I think it's good that I finally sourced some good grass-fed fresh-slaughtered meat and organs. The lamb's meat, by the way, is so fresh that it's bright bright red, and the fat is pure white. I've never seen meat from a grocery store look like that, not even organic. I'm sold on halal. If they carry eggs I'd be apt to buy them there too, but I forgot to ask today.

By the way, after eating the soup and plenty of mutton fat, I felt fantastic, nearly euphoric--a huge change from how I was feeling this time yesterday and all weekend and most of last week. Amazing. A revelation.
 :P

Offline sven

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About a month after I started raw paleo spent about a week with diahrea and indigestion.  By the end of the week all I could eat was jello.  Lost 5 pounds in the process.  After the discomfort was over I returned to my diet and everything was fine got my weight back in 3 days... be it an infection or detox its long over now. So I would try to keep with your diet now that you're feeing better.  Good luck

Offline nummytummy

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well I'm still trying to take it slow, so I don't have another bad reaction that would turn me off to raw meat (I don't think I'd be willing to try raw beef again for a long while). I'm mostly eating the mutton with the fat included in a mutton bone broth. it seems to stay down and i don't seem to be having a problem with fat digestion so far. we will see. *fingers crossed*

one question i have is if anyone else has experienced a feeling of being 'wired' to the point of irritability (in the mood, not in the bowels). i noticed i felt really wired last night when i went to bed, and i woke up this morning and ate some more meat and bone broth and then felt myself beginning to be quite irritable. could this be something with the meat stimulating my adrenal glands to produce more cortisol or hormones? my mood improved after i ate some fresh grapes with the seeds.

just wondering if this could be an effect of the meat proteins and fats being assimilated into my body, especially since i'm still new to eating meat and not used to eating large quantities of it consistently, especially with a lot of fat included. i'm pretty sensitive to foods in terms of how it affects my body and my mood, and this kind of irritability isn't something i've really felt before except when i was put on birth control for a month (years ago) and had my hormones all out of whack. that's why i feel like it might be affecting my hormone production or glandular system, probably in a stimulatory way.

thanks again for sharing all of your experiences. it's very helpful for a beginner like me.  :)

Offline needs_and_wants

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Try sedating or tracing your triple warmer meridian backwards, as it governs the operation of the adrenal gland. Usually when im feeling a burnout or a sudden stress response this sorts it out...

http://naturalmedicine.suite101.com/article.cfm/sedate_the_triple_warmer_meridian
"Sedating the Triple Warmer: Use the opposite hand to touch the outside edge of the eyebrow, furthest from your nose. Then pass your hand back (away from your face), over and around your ear, down the back of your neck, across the back of your shoulder, and down the outside of your arm and the back of your hand. Touch the fourth finger (the “ring finger”) at the base of the nail.
Now repeat this motion, gently, at least three times on each side of your body."
feel, beyond the limitations of the mind, through the eyes of the soul

Offline nummytummy

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Hey, I just did it, and I feel immediately much better! Blissful and clearer-minded, not so wired. Amazing. Thank you. *I need a bliss smiley to put in here*

Offline nummytummy

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I'm off to the halal butcher's to pick up my organ meats. I'm also thinking of picking up zucchini and string beans and parsley to make some bieler's broth. does anyone have experience with bieler's broth and the healing effects? i'm interested to see if it would help my adrenals and maybe improve my digestion. i'm only concerned because i read that it's potassium-rich and i read somewhere else that generally people with adrenal fatigue have too much potassium and not enough sodium in their bodies.

i was also craving chocolate for a bit after eating my lamb with plenty of fat. i'm not sure why, since i don't usually eat chocolate and totally cut it out of my diet over 6 months ago.

anyone with experience with bieler's broth?

thank you!!!

Offline RawZi

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    Were you eating meat before you tried to go paleo?  I may have a theory.  Are you absolutely sure you need the bone broth?  What are the bones' source?  Do you add salt or other ingredients?  How are you with eggs?

another bad reaction that would turn me off to raw meat (I don't think I'd be willing to try raw beef again for a long while). I'm mostly eating the mutton with the fat included in a mutton bone broth. it seems to stay down and i don't seem to be having a problem with fat digestion so far. we will see. *fingers crossed*

one question i have is if anyone else has experienced a feeling of being 'wired' to the point of irritability (in the mood, not in the bowels). i noticed i felt really wired last night when i went to bed, and i woke up this morning and ate some more meat and bone broth and then felt myself beginning to be quite irritable. could this be something with the meat stimulating my adrenal glands to produce more cortisol or hormones? my mood improved after i ate some fresh grapes with the seeds.

just wondering if this could be an effect of the meat proteins and fats being assimilated into my body, especially since i'm still new to eating meat and not used to eating large quantities of it consistently, especially with a lot of fat included. i'm pretty sensitive to foods in terms of how it affects my body and my mood, and this kind of irritability
"Genuine truth angers people in general because they don't know what to do with the energy generated by a glimpse of reality." Greg W. Goodwin

Offline nummytummy

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Well, RawZi, I can give you a rundown of my entire diet history, if that would help you "flesh out" your theory. *pun fully intended*  ;D

*** And I did answer your questions, and as succinctly as I know how in my long-windedness, but at the very end in the last paragraph. So if you're short on time or patience, just skip to the very end.  ;D ***

I'm not absolutely sure of what I need right now, except I know that fresh, good quality animal foods seem to be helping me with my energy levels, and has pretty much cured the really horrible hypoglycemic symptoms I had before (dizziness, shaking, weakness, feeling faint, needing to eat something every 2 hours or so). Beyond that, it's hard for me to say what my "ideal" diet is, and in fact I'm not sure there is any kind of ideal diet. Right now I'm trying to achieve some kind of balance, because I think years of eating a certain way, or years of eating certain foods and not others is what got me into this predicament of un/health in the first place.

I also know that eating this soup is the first time I've had a decent appetite in ages, and since obesity is not one of my problems (I tend towards being thin and nutritionally deficient rather than overweight), I see that as a good sign, when I'm finally eating again with relish. I'm also trying not to be too dogmatic about food, because I think I've had this problem before, and tend towards slightly disordered eating (i.e. mild orthorexia), to the ultimate detriment of my health.

So since I'm giving up the vegetarian/pescatarian food dogma, I'm trying to stay open-minded and eat more balanced, healthful and nourishing foods without getting myself stuck in another dietary dogma that might eventually, over the course of years, lead to some long-term nutritional deficiencies. But I'm willing to try anything. I'm not really squeamish about food, or meat, despite not having eaten much of it for years, and in fact I much prefer *real* meat on the bones, and fattier dark meats, or organ meat to the "cleaner" (and I've always thought tasteless) cuts of meat like boneless skinless chicken breast or even worse, processed meats like sausages or cold cuts, and even when vegetarian I was always disgusted by those processed soy or wheat gluten fake meat products. *horror*

So, anyway, I'm just looking for something that works, and that helps me restore my health and energy levels.

That said, I'll give you a run-down of my dietary history and related health issues. I'm sorry that this is going to be long, but you can skim, and the summation of it is that I've had ear-infections and allergies since childhood, wasn't properly breastfed and have probably been celiac/gluten-intolerant since infancy but didn't realise this until early adulthood so probably did a lot of damage to my gut, and that I went vegetarian (with eggs, dairy and occasional fish) from the age of 18 to about 20, and then again from about 23-ish for the past 5 or 6 years or so, with various periods of ill health, which I now attribute to long-term mineral and vitamin deficiencies from not eating meat for so many years.

Birth & Infancy: I was a colicky baby, which was not helped by my mother terminating breast-feeding and giving me infant cereals from the age of 3 months (at the doctor's advice). My baby self apparently couldn't digest this or the baby formulas, evidenced by continual vomiting and diarrhoea, so my mother fed me on homemade baby foods of mashed steamed vegetables and fruits, and then eventually adding rice and meats.

Childhood: Frequent headaches and stomach aches, extreme motion sickness and vomiting whenever I got in any kind of moving vehicle, was always very skinny and short, and grew and gained weight VERY slowly (I'm the shortest one in my entire extended family, and people always mistook my 3-years-younger sister as my twin, because she was nearly the same height from our respective ages of 2 and 5, and eventually outgrew me when I was 10. But she was a healthy baby from birth, while I was always skinny and underweight. Needless to say, I never caught up. haha). I had frequent ear infections and was put on antibiotics many times, also had my ears pierced but they'd always get infected and close up. I had horrible hay fever and dust and pollen allergies from a young age with mostly sinus symptoms. By the time I was 9 or 10 I'd developed allergies to cats (mostly sinus, itchy eyes) and nickel (skin contact dermatitis with itchy hives).

Grew up eating a mixture of traditional Korean foods--rice, vegetables, beans, seaweed, eggs, tofu, chicken, beef, pork, a bit of fish but I didn't like it as a child, was often given whole raw eggs to eat as a snack food in childhood, and lots of fresh fruit--and occasionally more American-style convenience foods of macaroni and cheese, pasta, pizza, bread, sandwiches, jello, milk (switching from 2% fat to skim when we were in elementary school), and some bad school lunches, which I generally found disgusting. Even as a kid, I tended to eat healthier and disliked sweet carbonated drinks and most fast foods, and I wasn't picky about most foods except I didn't really like seafood and nuts for some reason.

Adolescence: I started to notice that I'd have diarrhoea at school by around 10am if I'd eaten a breakfast of wheat cereal and skim milk. I chalked it up to lactose intolerance. I had a slew of psychological issues, some probably related to food, but mostly related to other things. I loved bread and pasta; Italian food was my favourite, but I'd get really stuporific after eating a big pasta meal, and even feel a bit "drunk" after eating some pasta and aged cheese. In retrospect I think it was a combination of wheat addiction, symptomatic of gluten intolerance, and a candida overgrowth.

I decided to go vegetarian at age 18. I never liked eating meat all that much even as a child growing up, and finally decided to go veg probably as an instinctive rebellion against the fast-food meat-eating society I was raised in. As a compromise to my parents, who were worried about my health, don't believe in food intolerances and maintain to this day that I should eat EVERYTHING, I started eating seafood, and kept eating eggs and dairy products. The only kind of meat that ever I missed when I went veg was always bone broth, either from beef tailbones or from whole chickens with the skin and bones, but fat skimmed off, which my mother cooked for us growing up.

College: A year of dorm food completely destroyed my health, which was never entirely solid to begin with. By the end of my first year of college, I was sick, weak, fatigued, sleeping 16 hours a day or more and waking up shaky and dizzy and completely unable to maintain my schoolwork. The cause of this was a terrible dorm food diet centered around carbs and grains, mostly pasta, pizza, bread and cereal, supplemented with salads, cheese, yogurt, eggs, occasional canned tuna, ice cream and an occasional sugary cafe latte. The food quality was so bad it was nearly impossible to have a feeling of satiety. I gained 10 pounds the first year (on an already small frame, 5'3" averaging 110 pounds). Finally I decided enough was enough, and that was when I discovered the internet as a source of health and nutrition information. I concluded I was hypoglycemic and needed to eat less protein and cut out all sugars and simple carbs. That's as far as I got then. I started to eat meat again, and a lot of cheese. My symptoms improved to about normal within a month or so. I went to a doctor, who looked at me like I was wasting her time, was utterly uninterested and unhelpful and said, well if you feel better, keep doing what you're doing.

Then I began to be sensitive to other foods and vomited after eating a fresh nectarine, which I attributed to food poisoning from another source. It happened again, but I still didn't make any connections. The following year I'd occasionally get nauseated and weak and vomit after eating certain foods. I'd switched to whole grain breads. At some point I read about celiac disease and it dawned on me that I was mostly puking up after eating foods that contained wheat. And after a week or two of consistent diarrhea after eating large quantities of plums and peaches in China, which I initially attributed to the greasy food there and the unhygienic conditions, as well as some other more minor incidents, I finally connected it with my post-nectarine puking incidents and realised I was probably allergic to stone fruits such as peaches, cherries, nectarines and almonds. I decided to try to find a doctor and went to the famed Dr. Mercola, who talked to me about eliminating grains and sugars and dairy (as I was lactose-intolerant) and all processed foods and to add a lot of vitamin supplements, digestive enzymes and probiotics. I took his advice, then talked to my parents and showed them my test results from some blood tests and a hair mineral analysis test. My medical doctor father went into a rage and said it's all bullsh** and that it was the stupidest, most unscientific analysis he's ever seen, and that all of my food intolerance stuff was just in my head and that I should stop acting stupid and just eat everything on my plate. My mother was equally oblivious/unsupportive, was horrified at the amount of (vitamin) pills I was taking, even though I felt a significant improvement in health from them, and continued to cook me things like pasta and cheesecake for my birthday and take it personally if I didn't want to eat it.

I spent a summer eating what is probably in retrospect more or less a clean cooked paleo diet--no grains at all, no sugars except for the occasional slip, just meat, mostly cooked beef and chicken and seafood plus raw sashimi, and then a lot of vegetables, mostly fresh leafy greens, and fruits and nuts. I also got a lot of exercise and was probably in the best health of my life so far, lost the pounds from the first year of college. Then I went back to school, was very stressed, had little support from my family in terms of my health and diet, began to doubt that I was gluten-intolerant, started bingeing on things like wheat crackers, cereal and ice cream, then started purging, became bulimic, gained back the 10-15 pounds and was probably in the worst health of my life. I also lived with a Brahmin hindu vegetarian who forbid the cooking of meat in our flat. I compromised by going across the hall to our friends' place to cook fish. I still ate meat, but infrequently, and ate fish more often. But the bingeing on "forbidden" foods and purging was what really ruined my health.

After maybe half a year of this I decided enough was enough and started reading books on overcoming eating disorders. The most helpful were the ones by Geneen Roth. Using her advice about eating when you're hungry, stopping when you're full and listening to your body and giving your body what it wants, and also dealing with the deeper emotional issues masked by the disordered eating, I finally got over my unhealthy eating patterns. And I slowly learned to love myself and my body and to look at food as something to nourish myself, instead of as something to punish myself. A key revelation.

Post-college: I got into yoga, which did wonders for my health, but at some point along the way I also decided to go vegetarian again. I'm not sure why. Probably moving to the Czech Republic with its not-so-tempting-to-me food culture of eating lumpy grey meats with lard and flour thickened sauces and mushy flour dumplings really turned me off to meat-eating in general. And probably getting more into yoga also made vegetarianism much more appealing. So for the past five or six years or so I've been on a varying scale of a vegetarian to semi-vegetarian diet. I'd eat eggs and dairy (mostly cheese and yogurt) more or less consistently, with fish on other occasions, and very rarely meat, and only if it was a special occasion, and usually out of hospitality if I was a guest at someone's house for the holidays.

It also took me awhile to finally convince myself that I really shouldn't be eating wheat--since my parents had fought with me on this issue so long and hard it really took a long time and a lot of bad wheat-eating experiences, and some compassion and special cooking from an ex-boyfriend's mom who was one of the few people to tell me how important it was to not eat foods you're allergic to, it really took me a long time to convince myself that it wasn't just all in my head, and that I should be doing what is best for my health based on my own experiences. I've never had an official diagnosis of celiac disease or gluten intolerance, or a full food allergy profile. I've tried a few times, but I've never found a doctor who's willing to listen to me or give me a test. They just tell me I'm healthy since I'm not sporting any cancerous tumours, clogged arteries or infectious lesions, and basically tell me to leave them alone and stop wasting their time, or if they do anything at all, it's just prescribe some medicine for the digestive symptoms I tell them about, which I never take, of course. Now I've totally given up on doctors and take it upon myself to solve whatever health-related issues come up.

Recent history: Generally I've experienced significantly improved health, both physical and psychological, as long as I stayed off wheat. I've never been a heavy drinker, and I've never smoked (was always strongly allergic to cigarette smoke even as a child), generally avoid caffeine, even in green tea, and I was exercising regularly. I was and am more or less happy with my weight and have stayed slim with decent muscle tone, especially since completely eliminating wheat from my diet, except I tend to accumulate whatever fat I do have (not much, around the 18-22% range) around the midsection, which I learned recently is a sign of adrenal fatigue and liver congestion. About six months ago, I also decided to cut out all alcohol and chocolate and caffeine and dairy, because I realised that I really could not digest it properly and felt better without it. I also started to exercise more. I was eating a LOT of eggs, sometimes up to 10 in a day, depending on the day, and also sometimes canned tuna and sardines and cod livers, probably because my body needed more protein with all the exercise I was doing. I wasn't eating a lot of fresh seafood, even though I would have preferred it, because it's hard to find here, not good quality, and expensive. In terms of food quality, my diet was as clean as you can get here--I avoid preservatives and food colourings, trans and hydrogenated fats, and sugar and artificial sweeteners. But the produce I'm eating is not organic, because it's hard to find organic sources for produce, plus it's prohibitively expensive and not even fresh.

More recently, about five months ago, I had a lot of stress in my life, was unable to sleep more than 3-4 hours at a time at night (would wake up between 1-3 am and not be able to fall asleep, key symptom of adrenal exhaustion), which lasted for over a month. I also had little to no appetite, but I still forced myself to go about my daily routine, including exercise, which inevitably burned me out completely. By the end of that month and a half or so, I was dizzy, shaky, exhausted, with intense cravings for seafood and FAT and a kind of fermented soy (sort of like natto but different), always feeling either too hot or too cold, needing to eat every 2 hours, still light-headed and weak, peeing all the time and constantly thirsty and drinking water, but still dehydrated, and also with intense anxiety, and no energy to do anything, not even prepare food for myself to eat. I finally flew home and had a full hospital checkup, in which they told me I'm well on my way to having osteoporosis (not the best news to hear when you're still in your twenties with regular periods and doing load-bearing exercises like acrobatics) and should eat more dairy (which I can't digest). My liver SGOT levels were also exactly on the high borderline level of normal, and I regularly felt pain in my liver area, but the doctor dismissed this as insignificant. They also found bilateral dermoid cysts on my ovaries, but they're supposed to be inert (non-responsive to hormonal changes, not like PCOS) and apparently should not be giving me symptoms of any kind. The only good thing is that I ate well at home, a lot of seafood, including abalone and fish and shrimp, and also some beef and chicken and vegetables and fruits and kimchi.

After some research I came to the preliminary conclusion that my liver was toxic. I did some castor oil packs and took Milk Thistle extract. I considered doing a full Hulda Clark-style liver flush (I'd done some a few years ago with positive results--got rid of intense itchy and painful hives and also eliminated my allergy to cats), but thought my body was too weak to handle it, so resorted to some gentler morning liver flushes instead. And I was eating some meat. This helped a bit, but I was still very weak and exhibiting severe hypoglycemic symptoms and brain fog.

I started taking cod liver oil, Ca, Mg, Zn, C, E, B-complex and sometimes spirulina, unsweetened sea buckthorn berry and cranberry juice and extra virgin coconut oil. I then did some more research and determined that my symptoms were caused by adrenal exhaustion. I tried various herbs and adaptogens, such as licorice root, eleuthero (siberian ginseng), Korean ginseng and gotu kola, but I found them too stimulating in my weakend state and that they caused anxiety and prevented me from sleeping at night. I spent a few weeks retraining myself to sleep early. This helped immensely in the healing process. I started taking Maca, which I've also read helps in adrenal fatigue and in balancing hormonal and glandular functions. It's the only herb so far that seems to give me some energy without overstimulating me, but I also started it very gradually.

I also discovered that the majority of my brain fog and a lot of my digestive symptoms went away after I eliminated nightshade vegetables (tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, aubergines) from my diet. This new food sensitivity was a huge disappointment, because I'd been basically living on tomatoes and peppers, loved aubergines and pretty much all Mediterranean foods, and when eating out here, my primary wheat alternative was potatoes, so this has really limited my diet, and I'm also a fan of spicy foods, but I can't seem to digest any of this anymore. I think this is due to long-term extended exposure to second-hand cigarette smoke (everyone smokes everywhere here, and indoor smoking is still allowed--so backwards, but what can you do, move away I guess), since tobacco is also in the same family as the nightshade vegetables. But once I stopped eating them, I had a massive detox, with flu symptoms and my sinuses clogged up and dripping for days, as if all the nasty goop was draining from my brain and my mind felt clear for the first time in months.

More recent history: I started craving mussels, found a way to order seafood fresh and relatively cheaply, steamed and ate them in a massive frenzy, and began to have some energy. I began to eat fresh seafood--mussels (steamed), salmon (raw or brined--gravlax or smoked), tuna (seared), oysters (raw and fresh and soooo good)--and got a lot of energy from it plus a remission of the hypoglycemic symptoms. Then I had cashflow problems for a bit, didn't have money for fresh seafood anymore, and was eating mostly vegetables and rice for a week. All my symptoms returned, including the debilitating exhaustion and shakiness. Then a friend came over and made me a beef soup with carrots and parsnips. After a two day weekend of eating that I felt like I could actually function again, and the hypoglycemic symptoms were gone.

This leads me to where I am now. I kept thinking about the raw oysters, which were pretty much the best thing I've eaten in a long time, in terms of taste and energy effects. And I started to think that maybe I should eat more flesh foods, fresh and raw. Also all of my symptoms seem to point to a deficiency of B-vitamins, especially B-6 and B-12, as well as a copper-zinc imbalance, with an enormous zinc deficiency, and a need for more fats and protein. Somehow I came upon the idea of eating raw meat for energy and to shore up my vitamin deficiencies. I tried it after the beef soup weekend. For a week or so I was eating raw (organic) beef and lamb and also cold smoked salmon and found positive effects energy and mood-wise. Then I started to feel sick, probably from some questionable organic grocery-store-bought beef that I ate raw. I finally threw it out and found the halal butcher place for fresh grass-fed lamb.

*** So finally in answer to your questions: The bones are from the grass-fed lamb. Long answer to your short question. The reason for the bone broth is that I was craving it, and it's also the one cooked land animal flesh food that I've ever retained a taste for over all my years of vegetarianism. And I added some onions, garlic, fresh thyme from the garden and salt. It seems to go down well and I feel good energy from it. Except for bone broth, I actually find that I prefer the taste and texture of raw meat to cooked. I generally find cooked meat too dry and chewy, and I also prefer fatty cuts, fat and organ meat to lean muscle meat. But it seems like my digestive system is still a bit touchy and is sometimes having a hard time with the raw, and an easier time with liquid nutrition in soup form (I don't have a working blender or food processor to make raw soups), or lightly cooked as with the rabbit liver I had yesterday morning. I've also read good things about bone broths in terms of mineral absorption, especially for calcium, and good results in bone healing and also healing the digestive tract, so I'm interested in those effects. With eggs, I think I tolerate them, but I think that the months I was eating a large quantity of them, I suspect I began to be sensitive to them, and cut them out along with the nightshade vegetables. I've eaten them since on occasion, but am still not sure how well I do with them. Coincidentally the days I got sick I was also trying some raw egg yolk with grapefruit juice and oil as a modified liver flush and some in the beef, which I'd seasoned as a sort of steak tartare, which is how I'd eaten it before two weeks ago with no issues, so I don't know what changed now, except maybe the quality of the meat. ***

So that's all in a really big nutshell. Thanks for reading. Any advice or suggestions are welcome. In the past two days I've found this to be the most helpful forum I've found so far for useful advice for health and nutrition. Thank you so much. I can already feel it's making a difference. :)




Offline needs_and_wants

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Hey, I just did it, and I feel immediately much better! Blissful and clearer-minded, not so wired. Amazing. Thank you. *I need a bliss smiley to put in here*

Cool!! its taken from Donna Edens book Energy Medicine, its a great read! She talks about how our ancestors would have instinctively known these things to manage their own energies and cure illness. definitely recommended reading..

http://www.amazon.com/Energy-Medicine-Balancing-Energies-VitalityUpdated/dp/1585426504/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1270714096&sr=8-1
feel, beyond the limitations of the mind, through the eyes of the soul

Offline nummytummy

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Cool!! its taken from Donna Edens book Energy Medicine, its a great read! She talks about how our ancestors would have instinctively known these things to manage their own energies and cure illness. definitely recommended reading..

http://www.amazon.com/Energy-Medicine-Balancing-Energies-VitalityUpdated/dp/1585426504/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1270714096&sr=8-1

Hey needs_and_wants! Yeah, it was really cool! I'm really interested in this kind of stuff. I'll order the book as soon as I can get someone to get it out here for me. Thanks for the recommendation!
 ;D

Offline nummytummy

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Another question (sorry I have so many questions about this--but I'm just starting) --

Has anyone noticed an effect of eating meat (raw and cooked) on energy levels and sleeping patterns? I've noticed that I would sort of get a hyperactive high and a lot of energy sometimes from eating the raw meat and even cooked meat and then would have trouble sleeping at night and end up staying much later than usual. Is this a common experience or is it just me? I'm thinking of limiting my meat consumption to the morning or to mid-afternoon at the latest because it seems to get me really wired to the point of not going to bed at night.

Anyone? And if you have felt this way switching to a RVAF/RAF diet, what are some good ways to get sleepy at night at a decent hour?

Thanks!

Offline nummytummy

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Well I didn't stick to my plan of not eating meat at night. I came home and just had to have some more bone broth and meat and fat along with it. I tried only having the lamb very lightly cooked in the broth, but found it a little too chewy for my taste--I actually prefer it raw, but I'm trying to go slow on my squeamish digestive system so that I don't lose my taste for another raw meat besides the beef.

I've been drinking down that soup (full fat, very oily) and eating the meat out of it for the past two days; the first bone broth I made was with the lamb ribs and the second was with beef tailbone plus the leftover bones from the lamb ribs for good measure. at first I was trying the very lightly cooked (still red inside) lamb meat that was just barely in the broth. But just now I pulled out some of the beef tailbone and all I wanted from that was the luscious yellow globs of fat from each piece. I just scarfed down all the fat like a naked warrior over a fresh kill and left all the meat on the bones and dumped it back in the stock pot.

I guess my body must be really needing fat. I feel satiated and happy and so much better than I've felt in ages after eating food. In fact I crave the meat fat and bone stock so much that I basically eat to my little heart and distended belly's content and after a few hours I'm hungry and ready for more. And I have no desire to eat any grains or sweets, even though my flatmates have left out bowls of special chocolate for everyone to eat. hahahaha. And I used to need to eat rice or some other starchy carbohydrate to feel full--but this was when I was eating a primarily vegetarian diet, before I discovered that you could be healthier and happier eating meats and fats.

Over the past two days I also ate some seaweed and fresh radishes and a beautiful delicious watermelon. And I made a modified version of the Bieler's broth with what I think are snap peas (couldn't find string beans), zucchini and parsley. But it really paled in comparison to my beautiful fatty meat broth. I only had a bit of the Bieler's and then went back to scarfing down soft chunks of fat.

So the good news is that my body seems to be doing just fine with digesting large amounts of fat, so far cooked. But I think the problem before was that the organic beef I'd bought from the grocery store was just bad. I still want to give my body some time before going back to trying raw, but for the time being I think the cooked soups are doing me good. At the very least I have a ravenous appetite and am eating food with relish. I also have improved energy levels and mood, and it seems like having the soup is helping me take in and digest larger amounts of proteins and fats than I would eating raw. I just didn't have so much of an appetite when eating raw meat. I'd just eat it because I knew I had to, to try to get better and have enough energy to get through the day, but I didn't have much of an appetite for it, though I didn't mind the taste or texture and even started to crave raw beef (before I got sick off it). I also had a much harder time eating and keeping down fats when they were raw (but this could also be that the beef fat was bad).

I think once my body is a bit more balanced nutritionally, with much fewer or less extreme deficiencies, then I'll be able to stomach raw meats and eat in a balanced way incorporating raw meat and fat in my diet. I just feel like right now my body can't handle it for some reason. Plus the comfort factor of eating warm soup after being sick to your stomach for days is really irreplaceable and reminds me of home. Home sweet home.

I love meat!

Or actually...

I love fat and bones! nyummy!

Offline nummytummy

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I'm back to eating raw meats, have been working them into my diet for the past few days. I find that some days I enjoy the fat and have no appetite for the muscle meats, and other days (like today) I only have an appetite for the muscle meat and not the fat.

My stomach queasiness seems more or less resolved--that said, it does seem that the raw meats sit differently in my tummy than cooked. The cooked meats seem to sit heavier and longer, but the raw seems to stir things up a bit more, if that makes any sense.

wish me luck and good digestion.
 :)

 

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