Author Topic: Rob's Journal  (Read 4552 times)

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Offline Rob

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Rob's Journal
« on: August 29, 2010, 12:05:48 am »
Well, I am working at getting myself to raw paleo, and struggling, so I thought I would start a Journal to track my progress and possibly receive useful feedback on my struggles.

Current status:
  o 42 years old.
  o Significantly over weight.
  o Adrenal Fatigue (confirmed with spit test).
  o Mild hypertension (controlled with prescription).
  o Mild depression and intermittent anxiety.

History: Misdiagnosed sleep apnea in late teens led to 15 years of trying to treat apnea symptoms with anti-depressants. During that time I gained a tremendous amount of weight, and actually became quite depressed. The med-go-round of antidepressants, which continued even after a proper apnea diagnosis led to additional weight gain.

In 2007 I was taking an antidepressant that resulted in 50 pounds of weight gain in 6 months. Blood pressure went from normal to extremely high (180/110). Frequent intense headaches. Doctor prescribed 3 BP meds. Within 6 months of this, my cholesterol skyrocketed (over 350), and I developed Type 2 diabetes. I was placed on 2 diabetes meds.

The diabetes diagnosis scared the crap out of me. I started doing my own research. Discovered the BP meds created an increased risk for diabetes. Discovered the raw vegan claim that diabetes was curable. Became a raw vegan overnight. My doctor then tried to put me on statin meds for the cholesterol, which I already believed to be a huge danger. I asked about waiting for 30 days to check the impact of the diet. He said no. He was fired on the spot.

Within 30 days I was off the diabetes meds and blood sugar was always normal. Within 90 days I was off of 2 of the 3 BP meds, and down to a half of a pill on the 3rd. Over the next 9 months, I lost almost 70 pounds (from my peak weight of over 350) but fear a lot of it was lean muscle. During these 9 months I became vitamin b12 deficient and probably greatly worsened my adrenal fatigue.

My triglycerides were normal though, as was A1C Hg, and my total cholesterol was at 135.

I then added raw red meat into my diet, but my diet was largely raw vegan still. Over the next 16 months, as a raw omnivore, I was struggling with a high stress lifestyle, and was eating RVAF augmented with occasional cooked meals and far too frequent ice cream binges. I remained grain free (except rice) during this period. I also regained about 35 pounds of my lost weight.

My diabetes remained controlled. My triglycerides remained normal. My cholesterol crept back up to around 220. I suspected the refined sugar not the meat for causing this increase in cholesterol.

At my most recent adrenal function test, I learned I was no better after a year of very expensive supplement. I then did the research to discover that sugar is the enemy of adrenal fatigue, and found my way to Aajonus' writings. I bought his books, and the Paleo blueprint book, and read them. I realized this was my next stop in my quest for health: a raw paleo lifestyle.

As my greatest health concerns are adrenal fatigue, general fatigue, and weight loss, as well as stabilized mental health and a desire to eliminate that last half of a pill I take for my BP, I think my initial approach is to try to restrict carbs. I am not thinking zero carb, but <100g/day.

I had done a VLC diet a la Atkins in the late '90s, and lost a lot of weight, but the second time I tried the Atkins style diet I ended up with kidney stones, and have heard of other dangers involving the kidneys on this diet. I am researching that topic now as it might apply to RLC.


Offline TylerDurden

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Re: Rob's Journal
« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2010, 12:24:57 am »
You've done much the same journey I did re adrenal-fatigue/burnout etc.. If only I'd gone in for rawpalaeo in childhood.

As regards, RVLC, that makes sense. Many people, myself included, do not handle raw,zero-carb at all, and are forced to go back to raw, omnivorous.

1 word of warning!:- do NOT expect instant results. The info re adrenal  fatigue/burnout makes it clear that as much as 2 to 5 years is needed for a full recovery, (assuming recovery is possible if glands are not too damaged).  Of course, I was a bloody fool as I didn't know anything about the subject or I would have long ago heeded the standard online advice to eat foods as unprocessed as possible.
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Offline Rob

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Re: Rob's Journal
« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2010, 12:37:59 am »
OK, so here is my first entry, only moments after making the first post.

I have been working on getting myself to a LC raw paleo diet for almost a month, and I am struggling.

My current goal: RVAF, <100g carbs/day.

I have had some disruptions, such as 2 day long business meetings where the food was served in the meeting. There was very high professional/social pressure to eat the provided food. I did my best to keep to raw plant food (salads and fruit), cooked seafood, and yogurt. Over all, still better than the bread-centric and refined-sugar foods my colleagues were eating. And some travel which was conducted very last minute with no ability to pre-plan, where I ate cooked meats with salads, and some store bought pemmican/jerky/nuts/cheese on the road.

Regardless of these recent disruptions, I have been struggling to keep to 100% RVAF. I am having a hard time getting good raw animal fat in a way that is both palatable and digestible.

Typical foods I have on hand:
  o Raw eggs (free range local).
  o The remnants of a side of beef (grass fed, pastured, no hormones/atibiotics, local).
     - I have some ground, and a lot of steaks. No organs.
  o I have tried some raw cream.
     - Delicious, but doesn't agree with me.
  o I have some bison back fat.
     - Tastes ok, not very "comforting"
  o Coconut Oil
     - As raw as that can get
  o Raw unfiltered local honey
     - Used VERY sparingly

In addition to this, I get a share form a local CSA (which I joined while eating my mostly plant diet). I don't eat the corn or potatoes, but I do eat the small amount of fruit I get, and most of the other veggies that can be eaten raw. They are locally grown and organic.

So where is the problem? Well, when I run out of fruit and veggies for the week, I find myself craving foods that are more soothing at some point in the day.  Usually fatty. To this end, I usually turn to nuts or peanuts. On rare occasions Raw Pumpkin Seeds will cut it. I can find myself bingeing on nuts, eating a 9oz can of mixed macadamias and cashews with sea salt in a single sitting. A serving of back fat does not leave me feeling satisfied in the same way. The nuts seem to give me instant energy, and the back fat seems not to.

I am not sure if I am still acclimating to a low carb lifestyle, and will be on vacation this week. I will make an effort (starting tomorrow, I already had the nuts for breakfast) to have a week of just RAF and see if I can start to work through these cravings.

Offline Rob

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Re: Rob's Journal
« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2010, 08:30:07 am »
Today was day 1 again of a recommitment to getting to a 100% raw RVAF diet with a goal of keeping totla carbs <100g/day.

For breakfast I had a 14 oz rump steak. Delicious. A little mustard and sea salt, as it was tasting pretty bland.

In the afternoon, around 3:30, I started getting a huge craving for nuts. I can't tell if this is a fat craving or a salt craving, but I really want to get away from nuts. Thinking it might be the lesser of 2 evils, I decided that maybe some raw dairy would ease the cravings. The thought of the back fat I have just turned my stomach. So I ran out for some raw cream, and while there got some other dairy from my local raw dairy provider. I got some quark with herbs, and some whole milk yogurt. I didn't notice until after I had some that the yogurt was pasteurized. The rest of the dairy was raw. I had a few ounces of the yogurt. 8 ounces of the cream with a TBSP of raw unfiltered honey, 2 egg yolks and a TBSP of raw cacao powder mixed in. It was like a chocolate milkshake. I had a little quark and that led to bingeing on the quark, as the herbs seemed to get addictive to me immediately. I then spent the evening with diarrhea. It did kill the craving for the nuts though, so I think it is a fat craving, not a salt craving.

I am having a hard time getting to a point where the back fat is satisfying and enjoyable. I wonder if it is just tough on my digestive system. I clearly need to continue to avoid dairy, but I need to do something to get in animal fat until I can eat the back fat regularly.

If anyone has any experience struggling with this transition, I look forward to any advice.

Offline miles

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Re: Rob's Journal
« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2010, 08:55:14 am »
Easiest way is to only eat meat first, just as it comes. No plant food either. Then if you feel you could do with more fat, have some backfat/marrow/trimmings etc... Get used to eating like this first for a bit. Just decide you will only eat the raw meat/animal fat and nothing else, but at first for first 2 days maybe atleast, only eat the meat as it comes so you get to feel what you need. It is never that urgent that you need to rush out to the store the moment you get a craving. If you just eat it for a few days as it comes, you will feel that you are doing well still and it is not such an urgent decision, and you can then make a better judgment. So then, after a few days if you feel like it, try adding different fat-sources alongside your meat, after you've eaten it(only from animal like trimmings/backfat/marrow/suet etc..). Then, once you're comfortable like this, and you see that you do well this way and any other cravings are not urgent/important, and you are comfortable in what you're eating already, then try adding some other stuff, like whole fruits, raw shell-on nuts, raw honeycomb, raw dairy etc, as you feel like it, but knowing now that you don't need them, and you can make better decisions.
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Offline Cinna

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Re: Rob's Journal
« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2010, 10:03:50 am »
Angeline had a good tip on how to consume more animal fat: http://www.rawpaleoforum.com/health/chronic-kidney-disease/msg42164/#msg42164

I always blend up raw flesh - fish, organ meats, muscle meats, etc. With raw egg yolks, I stir them in a glass with lemon and water and do the nose holding routine, or sometimes just swallow the egg yolks whole. A typical day includes a fish shake (I consume fish every day) followed by 1 tsp of raw, fermented cod liver oil. I drink one other shake that is often a combo of muscle and organ meat (rotating the organs), but sometimes just one or the other. Some days I have the egg yolks and some days not, depending on my hunger. I aim for a high fat/adequate protein/low carb diet, so I eat a lot of fat. It's difficult for me to eat raw animal fat plain, so I make a hearty, fatty bone/vegetable broth and then stir in raw bone marrow and/or raw butter when it's still warm enough to lightly melt it, but not (hopefully) cook it. I'm going to try suet, but haven't felt that motivated to order some yet. Most days I eat a salad of lettuce, cucumber, and celery (or some other low carb veggies) with olive oil, lemon and spices. Some days I just snack on plain raw veggies. I drink homemade beet kvaas (which I love), or eat homemade pickles or homemade sauerkraut (for probiotics). Most days, I lightly steam some vegetables and eat them with lots of raw butter (this makes it easier to eat a lot of fat). I find that eating a high fat (as opposed to high protein) is very satiating and eliminates my desire for sweet and/or starchy foods.

It's not 100% raw, but you'll be getting more animal fat - especially if you find the broth "comforting," you'll be able to eat more of it. I think the broth is a great idea for transitioning (I've been too lazy to try it yet). You could even throw in the CSA veggies that you don't eat raw. :)

It's really easy to go overboard with nuts, especially if you love them. Maybe gradually cut back on nuts, but if you're going to eat them, I would pass on the salted (and roasted/non-raw) nuts. If not, consider rinsing some of the salt off at least. If you're interested in making nuts more digestible, soak raw, organic nuts. If you don't like the taste of soaked, try soaking them and then dehydrating them to make them crunchy again. It sounds like a bit of fuss, but if you really love nuts, this might work for you. (I haven't tried this personally yet, but I think about it a lot and when I get a dehydrator, I'll try it!)

Also, I noticed that if I fill up too much on less optimal stuff (nuts), I don't have as much appetite for optimal foods (meat/fat) - I know that that's so obvious, but sometimes the obvious still surprises me! ;)  It has helped for me to focus first on my optimal "priority" meal (meat) and eat as much of it as I can (even if it's not a lot). And LATER if/when I'm hungry again (and so not in the mood for priority leftovers, but something more comforting/familiar), I will eat less-priority foods.

If I fill up on less-priority foods, I have little to no appetite for the optimal/priority meal - then I can only eat a little of it or I might even skip it because I don't have the discipline/motivation/appetite to force it; and if it's a very new food to me and I feel squeamish (or just not hugely craving it because I haven't warmed up to the taste and/or because I'm not very hungry), it's quite easy to skip the "challenging" albeit healthier meal and just eat more less-priority foods - so then I never get in the best meal for my well-being (I have/had a history of depression). If the optimal/priority meal is not the first thing I eat, I make sure that I don't eat too much of anything else so that I'm committed to my priority meal when I do have it. I think I'm getting better at this. My goal is to gradually increase the amount of the optimal meal(s) so that I will eat less of everything else. I'm doing this gently and kindly because when I was doing it not-gradually, I was driving myself crazy.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2010, 10:35:55 am by Cinna »

Offline Rob

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Re: Rob's Journal
« Reply #6 on: September 03, 2010, 07:06:19 am »
Well, my worst fear seems to be coming true. I think I have a kidney stone. Last time I was low carb (atkins diet in mid-late '90s) I ended up with kidney stones. Now I think I have another one. I have found references to low carb and kidney stones being correlated, but only in studies with children eating cooked food to control epilepsy. Anyone know what is at play with kidney stones in the raw paleo world? They really hurt, and I am dreading the next couple of days if this is a stone moving through my ureter.

I am going to re-read Aajonus' kidney stone remedy right now...

Offline Rob

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Re: Rob's Journal
« Reply #7 on: September 16, 2010, 05:42:10 am »
OK, the kidney stone was either a false scare, or I successfully dissolved it drinking the unfiltered raw cider vinegar. Either way, it only hurt for part of the path a stone typically travels when I pass them.

I am getting better at staying raw, and staying low carb at this point after falling off the wagon a little at a labor day picnic with all kinds of yummy foods from my childhood. I just couldn't say no to all of it. I managed to keep myself restrained though, and didn't go crazy. I also had my burgers cooked 20 seconds per side on the grill so they were mostly raw.

I did have a hotdog, some potato salad and some baked beans though. ANd a little ice cream for dessert.

Back on my trying to get onto my meal plan, I am still eating bits and pieces form my farm share, mostly raw. I sautéed some onions last weekend and had them with some lightly cooked eggs as a treat. Beyond that, I am keeping at the raw and at the low carb (<100g/day).

I would say I am at least 90% raw by calorie at this point.

Getting better at getting more animal fat in. I have learned I can't eat much at one sitting yet. That is my problem. I eat it at breakfast (bison back fat) until it no longer tastes good. Then I have some more at lunch, or not depending on how I feel and what I crave.

Drinking a lot more water again (about a gallon/day) as I am really living in fear of the return of kidney stones. I can tell I'm inadequately hydrated as I am having allergy symptoms, and these go away when I am hydrated. I am also starting to notice I am needing more salt. Woke up with leg cramps last night. They were mild, but it is a clear indicator.

Anyone reading this have any thoughts of getting good potassium while trying to stay low carb?

Offline Rob

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Re: Rob's Journal
« Reply #8 on: October 04, 2010, 04:55:33 am »
OK, I am still struggling to get raw animal fat in me. I just don't enjoy the raw back fat I have, nor do I find it satisfying. As a result, I am finding myself drawn to nuts and cheese to get enough calories/fat. Argh. I keep making myself eat the back fat several times per week to try to develop a taste for it. I hop I get there...

Raw meat is a breeze. I tried grinding some raw steaks and raw backfat together. It was disgusting. So I cooked it rather than throw it out, and it was delicious. I don't want to start cooking as a rule, but am I better off getting raw animal fat that has been cooked over eating nuts and cheese (neither of which are available raw near me)?

Offline miles

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Re: Rob's Journal
« Reply #9 on: October 04, 2010, 08:04:20 am »
Why do you have to force-feed yourself fat? Why not just eat the meat and the fat which is with it? If it was good for you do you think your body would tell you it's horrible?
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Offline Rob

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Re: Rob's Journal
« Reply #10 on: October 05, 2010, 02:42:54 am »
Well, I need to get calories somewhere. I can't eat too much protein, as it is not a good idea. This means eat more carbs or eat more fat. Since I am trying to lose weight and recover from adrenal related issues, I chose for a low carb approach. This means I need more calories form fat. I am getting enough protein. My body seems pretty good at regulating protein needs, but not very good at handling raw fat yet. I am still craving raw fruits and veggies. I know these keep me from attaining a healthy weight, as I was raw omni with a lot of fruit and veggie for a year before trying to get to raw paleo.

Hopefully I'll acclimate to raw fat sooner than later.

 

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