- butter and mct in coffee
- 2 ground beef sliders on gluten-free bread, cole slaw, few tater tots
- frozen yogurt with blackberries and a few m&ms-corn tortilla chips (3-4 servings), salsa, cheese
- 1 tbsp honey and a date
- goat kefir, goat yogurt, 4T potato starch blended into 1/2 frozen banana
One of my favorite panels at PaleoFX 2014 this year was “Building Not Burning Bridges in the Paleo Movement.”
- Support Farmers and Farm to School initiatives.
- Bring newcomers into the fold by going after specific life issues like helping with weight loss or PCOS. Offer a short term cure first to bring them to Paleo.
- Post more local and seasonal recipes. Talk and blog about where you get your food and who your farmers are. Focus on sustainability
- Support the Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund.
- Say only things about Paleo that people can’t disagree with. Politicians do this!
- Support Paleo vendors who make Paleo friendly products
This morning, I mixed a teaspoon of Bob’s Red Mill potato starch into a half cup of full fat goat milk kefir and drank it up. I’m already getting more used to pungent taste of the Kefir. I’m still waiting for the gassy bulletproof explosion or crazy sex dreams that I’ve been warned about. So far neither has happened.
In the afternoon, my new probiotics arrived: Primal Defense Ultra and Prescript-Assist. I haven’t researched these probiotics much. I’m following the leaders at FreeTheAnimal on this one. They really look like soil when you break them open.
I was so excited about the new probiotics and lack of gas that I had to make another kefir drink for dinner. How does “kefir gut bomb” sound?
- 4oz kefir
- soil-based probiotics broken open and sprinkled in
- 1tsp potato starch
- 2oz leftover bulletproof tea (black tea, butter, mct oil)
Mix with immersion blender for frothy goodness.
Breakfast: 4oz goat milk kefir, 1tsp potato starch, 2oz butter, 1/2oz MCT oil
Lunch: 2oz sprouted almond/mulberry trail mix, 2oz butter, 1/2oz MCT oil
Dinner: 5oz lamb, homemade broth, 4oz goat milk kefir, 1tsp potato starch, 2oz sprouted trail mix
Snacks: 1/3 bar of dark chocolate, 2oz semi-sweet chocolate, bag of seaweed snacks, few tsp honey, some macadamias, more sprouted trail mix
Ketosis: Based on the ketostix, I was in a strong ketosis in the evening after dinner. In the late evening I snacked on some semi-sweet chocolate chips and was not in ketosis in the morning.
Weight: Down 0.8 lbs from 215 to 214.2 between day 2 and 3. (I’m a 5’8″ male for reference). Today is also weekly measurement day for me. 242 inches total for 8 sites.
GI: Amazing on both day 2 and day 3. Zero gas and great BMs with good volume after a month of IBS-D like GI distress. On day 2/3 at only 2 tsp PS, the credit here goes more to my restricted food choices rather than the potato starch.
FBG: 86mg/dL in the morning of day 3. This is a great number for me. After a night with some sweet chocolate I might see a swing in either direction but not today. Don’t worry I plan to test this with much bigger PS+carb intakes.
I dipped a toe into the potato starch craze yesterday.
1/2 tsp of Bob’s Red Mill mixed into half a cup of full fat goat milk kefir. I used an immersion blender to mix it. Helps give it a nice froth.
Results: No gas, no bloating, and healthier digestion this morning than I’ve had all week.
Much more to come. I moved up to 1 tsp this morning. Soil-based probiotics should be arriving in the mail tomorrow.
- Identify what sort of metabolic damage I have
- Identify a way of eating that will generally keep my blood glucose as low and tight as possible.
“Test your blood sugar first thing in the morning after fasting for at least 12 hours. Drink a little bit of water just after rising, but don’t eat anything or exercise before the test. This is your fasting blood sugar level.
- Test your blood sugar again just before lunch.
- Eat your typical lunch. Do not eat anything for the next three hours.Test your blood sugar one hour after lunch.
- Test your blood sugar two hours after lunch.
- Test your blood sugar three hours after lunch.
…. On the third day, you’re going to do it a little differently. On step 3, instead of eating your typical lunch, you’re going to eat 60 – 70 grams of fast acting carbohydrate.
Then he sets some ideal results (mg/Dl):
Fasting blood glucose: <86
1 hour post carb meal: <140
2 hours post carb meal: <120
3 hours post carb meal: baseline
Some observations after a year of playing with the glucometer and 50 strips. I used about 25 strips in 2013 and another 25 in 2014. All numbers are mg/dL:
- My average BG in 2013 was 92 without much carbohydrate restriction. Highest BG was 115.
- My average BG in 2014 was 84 while restricting carbohydrates to <50g on most days. Highest BG observed was 95.
- 3-5 days of low carb dieting seems to drop my fasting blood glucose into the 60-70 mg/dL range
- When eating carbs with each meal, BG seems to float around 100-110 throughout the day
- When restricting carbs, BG seems to stay much closer to 80.
- When restricting carbs, the day after a 250g-300g refeed my BG can vary greatly. It might be 10 points higher than average or it might be 10 points lower than average the next day.
- 60-70 feels different depending on how many days I have been since a large carbohydrate load. The day after a refeed I might have cold hands/feed and be tired at 65. 3 or 4 days afterwards it might not bother me at all.
- 5.4 in November 2012
- 5.2 in May 2013
- 5.5 in December 2013
I want to provide only well-researched or quantitative material on this blog. I took a year off blogging to try and achieve those things and to be sure, it’s not going well. So I’m back anyways and I’ll be sticking to things I excel in: personal experience based on sketchy data and speculation.
Since I’ve been gone I’ve been:
- Trying out the Precision Nutrition Lean Eating Program
- Taking an organic chemistry lecture and lab to help me better understand the science of nutrition
- Experimenting with the “Perfect Health Diet” and long diet break in 2013
- Experimenting with a cyclical ketogenic diet in 2014
- Working on my digestive issues
- Focusing on my sleep
- Exploring different emotional and psychological strategies
- Meeting Mark Sisson at PrimalCon Lake Tahoe and Chris Kresser at his book signing in Berkeley
- Attending meetups in the San Francisco Bay area ranging from Paleo to Biohacking to Futurism
In an earlier post, I describe a blood test I took in November through WellnessFX. With only a few changes, I have been able to improve some of these markers in just 4 months.
As a reminder, here was my action plan to improve some of the markers:
- 8 hours of sleep every night, measured with a Zeo Sleep Manager Pro
- Betaine HCL and Super Enzymes to better absorb foods
- Bio-Kult Probiotic for better digestion
- Liver Detox support
- Vitamin D supplementation
- Low carb whole foods diet based on combination of a few diets: GAPS Diet, The Paleo Solution Diet, Weston A Price / Nourishing Traditions, and the New Atkins / Low Carb Performance
- Exercise 4x/week using Mixed Martial Arts and Starting Strength weight lifting
I switched to a moderate carbohydrate diet based off The Perfect Health Diet in early 2013. Otherwise I have followed this plan quite well. I also lost about 5 lbs.
I had a follow-up test done at the end of March and saw some great results. The second test was not through WellnessFX, but I mocked-up my new scores alongside their original graphics.
During my WellnessFX consult in November, my practitioner tipped me on to the idea that the low cholesterol that I have had all my life could be the result of malnutrition. While my physician was not on board with this idea, I was concerned enough about my low HDL and low testosterone to make a change.
For those of you unfamiliar with the idea that cholesterol might not be such a bad thing, I’d recommend this article by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride: “Cholesterol: Friend or Foe?”. Dr. Mercola also has an article on this topic: “The Truth about High Cholesterol”.
I was already eating copious amounts of saturated animal fats. In order to improve digestion, I eliminated Gluten from my diet and adding Now Foods Betaine HCL and Now Foods Super Enzymes. With these two changes, I was able to raise my total cholesterol by 28%. My new HDL-C score also takes me out of a high risk area for cardiovascular disease. This increased total cholesterol should provide my body more building materials to create testosterone and other hormones.
Increased Vitamin D
Vitamin D supplementation seems to be one of the favorite topics of the Paleosphere and my WellnessFX practitioner felt I should be supplementing. I used these Green Pastures Cod Liver Oil and Life Extension Vitamin D3 supplements to increase mine 62%. I do also make an effort to get sun exposure each day. Unfortunately with the winter temperatures that sun only seems to hit my face, head, and hands. I may add brief weekly tanning into my wellness regime.
There is another possibility here which is that my low cholesterol was preventing my body from generating sufficient Vitamin D.
Regarding Vitamin D supplementation, Todd Becker makes an excellent point here about how this supplementation could be a bad thing in his post at gettingstronger.com: “Why I don’t take Vitamin D supplements”. I have to say that I was not amused by getting the stomach flu and a two-week cold over the past few months. I am also in favor of the most natural way of fixing a problem. In his other excellent post “An Alternative to Vitamin D supplements”, he suggests calorie restriction, intermittent fasting, brief strenuous exercise, and general hormetic stressors (such as cold showers) as alternatives to Vitamin D supplementation.
Elevated Liver Enzymes
The final piece of the puzzle during my WellnessFX consult was my Liver Enzyme levels. My practitioner felt my liver was working overtime to process toxins in my body and suggested Apex Energetics Clearvite-SF, a protein powder designed to help detoxify the liver. I will confess that this sounded like some new age voodoo magic to me – I am still not comfortable with the generic word “toxins.” In addition, each serving contains 15g of carbs which did not jive with my low-carb diet. What I did do was take a Thorne Research SAT capsule each morning. This product contains Silymarin (milk thisle), Circumin (tumeric), and Cynara (artichoke) – all of which are purported to help the liver.
As you can see from my updated test results, some of my Liver Enzyme tests improved and some worsened. My action now is to double my dose of the SAT and further reduce my alcohol intake .
I found a great resource “When and How to evaluate mildly elevated liver enzymes in apparently healthy patients” that also describes Liver enzymes in much more detail.
I would also add that my physician was not concerned about these scores. I’ve had some slightly out of range Liver enzymes scores like these since my first blood work over a decade ago (they blamed Ephedra back then!) yet I am still keen to try and improve them.