Week 25 – Speedo Glove Pool Exercises

What I Learned in Week 25

Overall: Introduced a new starch (potato) + adding more rice to my diet, Speedo glove pool exercises, and coping with the pain while my muscles gain.

Speedo Glove Pool Exercises

I recently purchased some Speedo exercise gloves to help resistance in the pool.  Below are exercises suggested by Livestrong and Speedo:

Speedo Glove Poole Exercises

Speedo Glove Poole Exercises – Lateral Raise & Body Rotation

  •  BICEPS CURL AND TRICEPS PRESS – This combination of two traditional weight training exercises targets all of the muscles in your arms. Stand in shoulder-deep water with your hands by your sides and your palms facing forward. Keep your elbows tucked into your ribs, and bend your arms. Keep your hands open and your fingers spread to maximize resistance through the water. Raise your hands to shoulder-level, and then turn your palms down, and press your hands back down to your sides. Continue bending and straightening your arms for the duration of your set.
  • CHEST AND REAR FLIES – This exercise will strengthen your arms, front and rear shoulders, upper back, and chest muscles. Stand in shoulder-deep water with your arms extended out to your sides at shoulder height. Turn your palms forward, and spread your fingers. Sweep your arms forward until your hands meet. Turn your thumbs down, and then sweep your arms back to the starting position. Reset your hands and repeat. This exercise generates a lot of power, which may push you off balance. To avoid this, lean against the side of the pool or stand in a split stance for extra stability.
  • SIDE RAISES – Side raises target your shoulders and are very similar to the traditional strength training exercise, side lateral raise, which is commonly performed using dumbbells. Stand in shoulder-deep water with your hands by your sides. Spread your fingers to maximize resistance. Raise your arms out to the side and up to shoulder level. Lower your arms back to your sides, and then repeat. You can also perform this exercise by raising your arms to the front. This variation also targets your shoulder muscles.

My Health in Week 25

  • Overall:   Adding rice & potato plus my 2nd week of getting into the exercise regime has it’s ups and downs.  Listed below are the exercises and how I’m holding up.
  • Exercise:
    • Chiropractor 3X per week:  Neck warm-ups and wobble chair go usually well & depend on how I’m feeling that morning.  Adjustments vary on light to heavy depending on how my neck and shoulders are doing + my energy levels. Head weights for 10 minutes are working out fine. Traction for 20 minutes is by far the hardest thing I’m going through.  Now that I’m up to the maximum, my jaw and neck hurt and increasingly hurt as the week progresses.  This is not to say what they are doing is wrong, it’s just that my neck and shoulder area is very weak and that exercise is very tough on it.  It gets so bad that getting up out of bed has become even more difficult because my neck is so worn out I can’t pick it up easily as I lift myself out of bed. Traction against the wall for 10 minutes is fine and I get an ice pack during this time to help out my neck.  This exercise is really great for pushing my shoulders back.  On Monday, 7/9, I did this exercise lying down and it was much tougher to do (especially with a 6″ foam block on my back – I have back pain due to that on 7/10).  Something tells me they won’t put me lying down again for awhile.
    • Head weights 2X per day for 10 minutes each (1X in the evening if it’s a day at the chiropractor) – usually not a problem, but from Thursday on, I developed a mild groin / right hip problem due to sleeping incorrectly throughout one of the nights.  So the head weights (usually the evening one) are tougher to do & I need to be more careful.
    • Walking as far as I can outside (currently around 10-20 minutes).  Same issue as head weights listed above.
    • Pool exercises on days not at the chiropractor.  Times range from 1/2 – 1 hour and consist of exercise gloves, walking / high-stepping, push-ups and pulling legs in/out / side-to-side to strengthen core.  Pool exercises are really helping me out as they are the only time I can lift up my legs high and do ab exercises I normally cannot do.
  • Potato, More Rice and Corn Starch:  Added 1/2 a red skin potato on 7/5 & the other half on 7/6.  Besides adding rice in the morning, I added it to my meal at Chipolte on 7/7 and ate frozen Yogurt – so far, so good.  And, unlike the previous week, I’m not getting as many of those stabbing pains whenever gas travels through my intestines.  7/9 I attended a healthy food class over at Whole Foods.  One of the dishes contained corn starch and I gave it a try.  It’s only been one day, but it doesn’t seem to affect me either (at least in small doses).
  • Sleep:  I’m waking up 1-2 times a night, but dealing with pain from my right hip throughout the night (feels more like a mild groin injury) due to sleeping incorrectly (I had no idea until I woke up & felt the pain).  I go to bed at 10pm, get up around 1am needing to go to the bathroom quickly (this has been happening for months) + I take 1 ibuprofen.  Then around 4am I take 1 ibuprofen, 1 probiotic, and fish oil and finally get up at 6:30-7:30am.  The 2nd time I wake up, I usually pass out and wake up around 5am.
  • Supplements:  Probiotics, Vitamin D3, Magnesium (Gluconate), HCL (1-2 times per week), digestive enzymes, and Maine Omega-3 fish oil are my standard.  I’ve added Chromium Picolinate and Vitamin B-Complex – most of supplementation is done at breakfast time.
  • Current Areas of Concern: Neck and shoulder pain from chiropractic exercises (pulls me back to proper alignment) & AS (pulls me forward out of alignment) battling each other, evening time crashes (tired, sore all over – feels like the flu each night), right hip / groin area hurts and makes it harder to sleep.
  • Areas of Improvement:  Exercising and most of my body keeping up with it, added more starches without an issue (hello potato!), and getting a few more hours each week for work.
  • Enbrel:  It has been 20 1/2 weeks since my last shot.
  • My lowest weight was 130 lbs. and a BMI of 18.15.

Auto-Immune Diet Daily Routine – Three to Five Months

Included below is the Ankylosing Spondylitis / Auto-Immune Diet Daily Health Routine I created for Month Three (3) to Five (5).  For the latest version, please visit my daily routine.

My Daily Auto-Immune Diet from Month 3 – 5

Miscellaneous Components

  • Supplements, Digestive Helpers, & Raw Food + NSD / LSD (at least until 8/8/2012)
  • Chiropractor from Dec. 1st, 2011 to Jan. 31st, 2012.  Back on program Mid-April 2012.
  • Complete Blood Count (CBC) + Other Vitamin Test (Look at “Allergy Tests”) after mid-April – make sure it’s done by LabCorp.
  • Calories: Need 2220+ calories per day (Calculate BMR X Lifestyle)
  • Fat:  I need 49g – 86g of fat per day
  • Protein:  I need 70g of protein per day (1/2 my weight)
  • Since the start of the 21-day reboot, the medication I take is Enbrel (last taken Feb. 7 – Day 21 of reboot) & NSAID-based products (masks pain + inflammation) as needed including Ibuprofen & Naprosen.


Lunchtime & Afternoon:

Dinner & Evening:

Week 22 – Metametrix Test and Hair Analysis

What I Learned in Week 22

Overall:  Due to recent test results (listed below), I must now eat starches to balance my system.  However, this goes completely against the theories of the No / Low Starch Diet, NSD / LSD, (no grains, 2nd row) which my diet was originally based from.  Since it can take 3-4 days for symptoms to fully manifest, here is what happened after I ate the rice:

  • Took a nap after eating the rice and felt instantly better – more mobility, less pain, and more energy (allowing me to do some things I haven’t done in months).
  • Morning after my nose feels stuffy, but the pain has not increased.
  • Afternoon and evening the stuffiness went away and continued feeling better than I was before I ate the rice.
  • Tomorrow I will eat the other half of the rice & some more spinach for lunch and see if the “feeling better” trend continues.
Brown Rice and Spinach

My 1st Starchy Meal in 5 Months – Organic, Gluten-Free Jasmine Brown Rice

Hair Analysis Test

Results came back from Doctor’s Data on my hair analysis test and showed low levels in all heavy metals except Mercury.  Mercury showed up as medium (80th percentile).  From here, it’s been suggested that I take the urine heavy metals test since it gives a more accurate measurement by swallowing an agent (pill for example) that picks up the heavy metal(s) and then you urinate it out.  If confirmed for Mercury, I would need to take a test of the blood-brain barrier & then IV Chelation.  Also, it’s been suggested I take the metal fillings from my teeth (I have two) before the Chelation.

Metametrix Test

The Organix Profile provides a view into the body’s cellular metabolic processes and the efficiency of metabolic function.  Basically if you’re lacking in nutrition, this test will help find the problem areas.  Here are mine:

  • Fatty Acid Metabolism high – it won’t absorb DHA / EPA fatty acids in my body correctly.  So all that fish & Omega-3 supplements I’ve been taking haven’t been working.  To balance, I need carnitine (found in steak / beef) & B2.  In fact, I need a B-Complex to balance out my B-Vitamins.
  • Carbohydrate Metabolism Very High – Because I’ve been on the low-starch diet, I haven’t been eating nearly enough carbs.  It’s so bad, I was diagnosed with Ketosis – basically the biggest reason I got so skinny & underweight; I turned whatever fat (which I didn’t have much to start with) into energy. For me, fruit isn’t enough – I need a starch.
  • 5-Hydroxyindoleacetate is high, I need to eat more turkey since it has the Tryptophan (stuff that makes you sleepy after Thanksgiving turkey dinner) that I need.  My breakfast consists of ground turkey almost every morning so I’m OK here.
  • Picolinate is high, I need to lower the protein and add in the carbs.  Again, I’ll need a starch to balance this out.
Now that you’ve heard all the science stuff, here’s what’s going on.  I am headed to Ketosis because I’m not eating any starches like rice & potatoes.  My protein levels are too high creating an acidic body (and increasing bacteria).  My fatty acids are not being absorbed and my antioxidants are too low due to protein levels.  Combine that with the idea from the USDA Food Pyramid below and you’ll see that I need starchy grains.  According to my food intolerance tests, the only thing I can choose from now is rice and potatoes.  And thus why I went out to Publix right after the phone call, picked up organic, gluten-free jasmine brown rice and had it for lunch.  Although this is a huge risk for me since it goes against my original diet plan of NSD / LSD (no starches), it’s one I had to take.  And, so far, the risk is paying off.
 USDA Food MyPyramid Food
To recap, here’s what I need to take:
  • Rice and potatoes (take small dose, test for a few days)
  • B-Complex supplement
  • Multivitamin that does not include iodine

Chiropractor Spinal X-Rays

Without going too much in-depth, my spine has seen an overall dramatic improvement in my lower back area and doing OK for the neck area.  However, I am still too weak (especially the neck) and they are going to put me on a protocol to build me up.  Here are some of the important X-Ray results:


X-Ray Lower Back 6-8-2012 | 45% difference than November 2011.  Discs are fat and it’s where I need to be.


X-Ray of Neck 6-8-2012 | 35% difference than November 2011.  Needs work & strength training, good improvement.

My Health in Week 22

  • Overall:  Continue to wear my Sole Support orthotics as directed and found a great place where you can put your orthotics in sandals (I bought NAOT FOOTWEAR MIKAEL since it allows you to replace the insoles with your own orthotics – make sure to ask if these do that since I bought them at a Natural Comfort Footwear retail store), seeing big improvements since eating the rice on 6/18, and sleep continues to be the same.
  • Sleep:  As with many other previous weeks, I am still waking up twice a night.  I go to bed at 10pm, get up around 1am (take 1 ibuprofen), then around 4am (take 1 ibuprofen, 1 probiotic, and fish oil), then finally get up at 6:30-7:30am.
  • Current Areas of Concern:  Neck is still weak and shoulders are still sore, but much better after eating the rice.  Nighttime is still the “achiest” time of day but I’m finishing this blog up at 10:15pm and can still keep going – woo hoo!  Ankles still swollen and probably won’t improve until I get really used to the orthotics and strength training.
  • Areas of Improvement:  Continuing ibuprofen regiment to reduce inflammation & pain.  Only needed to take 1 nap a day since my energy has increased & pain decreased.  I still have work to get done and tests for the potato and rice aren’t complete, but I am turning a corner here.  That finish line is getting really close!
  • Enbrel:  It has been 17 1/2 weeks since my last shot.
  • My lowest weight was 132 lbs. and a BMI of 18.46.

I want to end this blog from a song that’s been resonating in my heart.  I feel that John Mayer’s “Shadow Days” lyrics describe me and my situation very well:

I’m a good man, with a good heart
Had a tough time, got a rough start
But I finally learned to let it go
Now I’m right here, and I’m right now
And I’m open, knowing somehow
That my shadow days are over
My shadow days are over now