Day 22 to 6 Months – Week 9

Although I normally post on Tuesday, week 6 was definitely not a normal week.  While I found bouts of feeling “normal”, I also had inconsistent sleep (usually got up 3 times per night, every night), my body locked up one night while laying on my side (had to be pulled up out of bed by someone else in order to get out of bed…at 3:30am), developed a Canker Sore (probably due to my immune system), a swollen / sprained foot, trying to gain weight, difficult chiropractic visits (once finished I felt like I got done with a boxing match), and LOTS of information to sift through.  Without further ado, here are some of the things I found out:

Advice I’ve Received in Week 9

  • Is it better to eat vegetables raw or cooked?  VIDEO from Dr. Furhman
  • Proteins, calories & fat – increasing the healthy way (great advice for athletes who question a whole foods diet):  VIDEO from Dr. Furhman
  • Adding meats back in my diet, I need to remember what organic vs. natural means.
  • Inspiration:  The latest video, “Hungry for Change” from the “Food Matters” team is free to watch until the end of the month.
  • What’s the right balance of food?  Besides Furhman’s “Eat to Live” & the low-starch diet (LSD), I’ve learned about the GAPS diet (discussion on NSD forum).  GAPS have emphasis on fermented foods including yoghurts and vegetables and bone broth.  It also allows for starches such as certain types of beans, also bananas (ripe only), and some root vegetables.  There are others (vegan, vegetarian, etc.), but these nutritional lifestyles seem more appropriate for my body type & lifestyle.

 My 1st Desert Since the Diet – Chocolate Azteca (Mi Pueblo)

Mexican Chocolate Mousse Tart drizzled with macadamia cream and garnished with berries.  It was delicious & (I think) no flare-ups!

Other Foods Tested & No-Flare-Ups:  Small cup of chili (ground beef) with black beans, yogurt, soybeans / edamame, fish & chicken.

My Health in Week 9

  • I Have Hypoglycemia:  Hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, uses hormones to keep your blood sugar in a normal range. But a long-term health problem that needs treatment can cause blood sugar to drop too low.  I usually refer this as a sugar drop – I get jittery, the sweats, achy (inflamed), short-tempered and sometimes nervous.  DEFINITION & SYMPTOMS It’s also an adrenal disorder that has too much/little cortisol that increases inflammation.
  • Hypoglycemia Test & Fix:  First, I know I’ve had sugar drops in the past + my mom has it, but never knew it could lead to chronic inflammation until my consultation with Dr. Jeremiah Joseph.  On 3/16 I switched my diet – breakfast was my normal smoothie (1/2 fruit, 1/2 veggie) and was still quite inflamed.  During lunch, however, I had a large 12 oz. portion of salmon along with 2 sides of broccoli.  Afterwards I felt much better than breakfast.  Dinner consisted of fajitas (w/o the wraps) – again more meat & veggies.  Two things happened here:  my blood sugar normalized and I introduced more protein in my diet than I did for almost the whole week.  Not only does this follow the Hypoglycemic diet, but the low-starch diet (LSD discussion).
  • Modifying the Diet:  Although I don’t have it all figured out yet, I need 20% of my diet in meat, find more protein sources, and combine meat while decreasing the dosage of the smoothie.  Currently, here is my list of protein sources (keep in mind I also need to maintain / increase my weight):
  • Almond butter – 7g protein, 180 calories, serving size: 2 Tbsp
  • Salmon – 34g protein, 241 calories, serving size: 6 oz.
  • BeansList of Protein (will start trying beans in the next week or two)
  • Edamame (Soybeans):  12g protein, entire bag contains 3 servings.
  • Kale, Spinach, & Swiss Chard – 1-2g protein, serving size: 1 cup (look up other veggies)
  • Enbrel:  It has been 4 1/2+ weeks since my last shot
  • My lowest weight was 138 lbs. and a BMI of 19.28.  To gain weight, I need to gain healthy fats.  Here are the things I need to do:
  • Daily calories 2220 X .20 (min) or .35 (max) = 444 (min) – 777 (max) calories of fat.  To get grams of fat, divide by 9.  444/9 – 777/9 = I need 49g – 86g of fat per day.  MORE INFO
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil on salads & edamame.  Contains 14g fat per Tbsp.  Look for organic and/or from one country producing it.
  • One Avocado contains 14.66g fat (9.80g monounsaturated / good fat)
  • Supplement Modifications:  Need to add in:
  • Magnesium Glycumate – 6-800mg. It will strengthen bones, muscle, and helps with 300 reactions per cell.  Individuals suffering from malabsorption conditions like celiac and Crohn’s disease will benefit from this form of magnesium.  AS has similar gut issues as Crohn’s.
  • Vegetable-based protein powder (can contain hemp or quinoa)
  • Apex Energetics Proglyco-SP 90 (regulates hypoglycemia’s blood sugar & adrenal glands).  Take 2 in the morning, 2 whenever during the day & 2 before I go to bed.
  • Removed Organic India’s Fiber Harmony Orange Flavor as the protein / meat is binding “things” just nicely.
  • Advil:  I stressed again that I need 2-4 Advil to keep me asleep over the night. While the ND would suggest not taking any medications, he mentioned that the recovery from sleep outweighs the issues with taking Advil.
  • TH1 vs. TH2 Immunology: Still reviewing the theory.  But a correct balance can reduce / remove the inflammation.
  • Daily chiropractic work:  Using the Denny Roll 1X/day should be sufficient as I progress.  I can add more once I get better.
  • Papaya Seeds:  I have been taking them everyday for 1 1/2 weeks with no effect.  Although it may not work for me, it could work for anyone who has intestinal worms in their system (no one knows if they do unless they take a probe to see or test).  The ND is fine with doing this.  MORE
  • Blue Fingers:  I’ve heard it before, but the ND confirmed I have Raynaud’s Syndrome.  It’s quite harmless and I only get cold quickly in air conditioned rooms.
  • Hair Thinning:  This could be due to my Thyroid, but mostly due to my Hypoglycemia / blood sugar issues.

What allergy tests should I take and how does insurance work?

  • Cyrex Test (array 1-4) – measures auto immune & cross-reactivity.  At this time, Cyrex Laboratories is not contracted with any insurance provider, including Medicare. Patients are given invoices/statements, which can be sent to their insurance provider for possible reimbursement.
  • Metametrix – Comprehensive testing – I choose what to test for (heavy metals for example).  I pay up front, they send the bill to insurance, and whatever Golden Rule covers is the money I would get back.  Their providers they deal with are Blue Cross / Blue Shield. 
  • Diagnostechs (Saliva Test) – SIGA test, cortisol & DHA levels.  Since Diagnos-Techs is a non-contracted provider with all insurance companies except Medicare, some insurance companies will send the reimbursement to the member. In this case, the patient will be responsible for forwarding the insurance checks to us or they can submit payment in the form of check, money order, or credit card.
  • The 25-hydroxy vitamin D test
  • Cholesterol Test – should be around 200 MG/DL
  • Thyroid – All panels, TPO & Anti-throid globulan

Day 22 to 6 Months – Week 6

Food for Week 4 (7 Weeks Since Start)

Fruits & Veggies Detail - Week 6

Uniqueness of Week 6

  • Making “Bread”:  Looks like I can use almond flour and/or coconut flour to make breads, crackers, etc.  The catch is to use this in small doses as too many almonds can lead to omega 3/6 imbalance and too much coconut flour can lead to flare-ups.  For me, I’ll probably visit these flours after the 6 months.  MORE INFO >>

Kale Chip & Dehydrating Fruit

  • Dehydrated fruit & kale chips.  Kale chips had garlic, salt, pepper, and Parmesan cheese (didn’t have nutritional yeast on-hand).  Tastes good but too salty.  For the fruit, here are the preparation instructions & length of dehydration.  I tried oranges, mangoes, bananas, apples, and kiwi fruit.  Although all taste good, most people gravitated towards the mangoes and apples (add cinnamon for an extra kick in the apples).
  • Zyflamend – After attending an inflammation class on 2/25, I found out that the turmeric and ginger root were not nearly as effective as a supplement.  Plus they overpower the taste of my smoothies.  According to the doctor, she said “how much curcumin is in an actual turmeric root (or culinary turmeric powder).  Although the numbers vary, it’s primarily between 3-5% (some sources say as little as 0.6%, some as high as 6%).  That pales in comparison to the 95% found in supplements!”  I will update my daily routine to reflect these changes.
  • Concentrate vs. Pasteurized – Which is Better?  Consumers often favor not-from-concentrate over concentrated juice because they think it’s fresher.This is not the case. During the pasteurization process, the juice is heated, deprived of its flavor and stored in vats for as long as a year. When it’s time for packaging, orange flavor must be added so it seems fresh. Not-from-concentrate costs more, but it’s neither fresher nor more nutritious than juice from concentrate, as reported by the Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune.To make juices concentrated, they are put through all kinds of processes and then frozen in a slushy vat just like you see at your local 7-11 (only much bigger).  The process is more about removal of the juice than adding preservatives.  A great explanation of all these procedures can be found here.

My Health in Week 6

  • Red Meat:  On Tuesday 2/21 I tried red meat (sirloin – 3″ X 3″) along with grilled asparagus and two raw carrots with salsa.  Whenever you don’t eat red meat for over a month you realize how hard it is to chew and digest.  Plus the taste is nowhere near as good as it used to be and I felt a type of reflux (almost a burp, but not quite) after eating it.  After this experience, I don’t really see my self eating red meat anymore.  It just doesn’t make sense.
  • I had a pulled neck since the beginning of the week and had to take some Advil / ibuprofen to reduce the pain to manageable levels.  On 2/23, the pulled neck was greatly reduced and I’ve felt better on 2/23 than any day while I’ve been here in Venice.  I also purchased a water pillow on 2/27 to help relieve the pain while sleeping.  In one night I have seen some reduction in my neck, but it will take at least a few days to see if it all goes away.
  • Sleeping with Inflammation & Pain:  After the pulled neck, my daily routine works out quite well.  However, my issue is still sleeping.  The best times seem to be a day or two after I take Enbrel up to 7 days after that.  After that, the pain & inflammation greatly increases.  For example, I’m writing this paragraph on 2/25 at 3:30am (went to bed around 8:30pm exhausted) with heavy inflammation & pain around my entire mid-chest & back area.  Also the pain & inflammation has moved from my right hip to my left.  It seems I cannot sleep well without an NSAID each night (I took Advil when I wake up from the pain).  I went to bed at 8:30pm, got up at 3:30, went back to bed at 4:30am & woke up at 8am – my longest sleep since the start of the diet.  Each day afterwards, I’ve taken 1 Advil with food 1-2 hours before bed.  It’s allowed me to sleep 8-10 hours per night after 2/25.
  • My lowest weight was 142lbs. and a BMI of 19.85.

Notable Meals this Week

Shrimp Avocado Salad (Mi Pueblo)

  • I admit it, I messed up on this meal.  I forgot to tell them to remove the cheese & put the avocado dressing on the side.  Other than that, the meal will full of good ingredients – avocado, shrimp, mixed greens, tomatoes, sunflower spouts (I was surprised to see that), and some other ingredients that I can’t remember.  The great news – no flare-ups…whew!
  • Mi Puelbo also has an organic menu & juices / smoothies that I will try next time.  Make sure to ask for it as I never saw this menu coming in.
Synopsis of Meal:  Large enough portion for a lunch.  If you’re still hungry (I was, but not too much), add in a juice / smoothie.  I can’t comment on the taste because I had those extra ingredients.  I would assume that it would taste good without the cheese & avocado dressing.