Week 23 – Insoluble and Soluble Foods

What I Learned in Week 23

Overall:  This week I’m learning the importance of having all food groups.  The starch is needed to bind the nutrition within my body and I’m seeing results of that this week.  To help keep things binding while the stuff exits, I need to focus more on soluble foods.  Included below are those soluble foods I can have + my daily diary on starch.  According to the No Starch Forums, I should have a flare-up if I eat this much starch.  But as you can see below, I don’t have any major spikes in health this week.

Insoluble and Soluble Foods:

Soluble fiber dissolves in water. Insoluble fiber does not. To some degree these differences determine how each fiber functions in the body and benefits your health.  These information tables show us what is insoluble and what is soluble.    Let’s look at rice and potatoes for example:

  • Brown Rice (1/2 cup cooked): 1.4g fiber, 1.3g soluble, .1g insoluble
  • Potatoes (1 small):  2.4g fiber, 2.4g soluble, 4,8g insoluble

For me, I need much more soluble fiber in my diet.  So I would eat more rice than potatoes. Why is soluble fiber so special? Because unlike any other food category, it soothes and regulates the digestive tract, stabilizes the intestinal contractions resulting from the gastrocolic reflex, and normalizes bowel function from either extreme. That’s right – soluble fiber prevents and relieves BOTH diarrhea and constipation. Nothing else in the world will do this for you.

Update – November 9, 2012:  One of the most effective soluble “foods” for me is acacia fiber and I take it every morning to help “bind” my system.

Other foods that I can have that are soluble:
  • Apple (with skin)
  • Banana
  • Blackberries
  • Grapefruit
  • Kiwi Fruit
  • Tangerine
  • Orange
  • Psyllium Husk (highest)
  • Pinto & White Beans (need to test)
  • Artichoke
  • Asparagus
  • Green Peas
  • Okra
  • Edamame
  • White Rice

Testing Rice:  Due to recent test results, 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.  Symptoms can take 3-4 days to fully manifest, and here are the daily events of what happened after:

NOTE: neck / shoulder and various pains fluctuated between mild to none, hips, ankles, and spots throughout body are hardest to move after getting up from a sitting position, and sharp pains of gas happen after a main meal is consumed (I’m assuming it’s adjusting to the rice).

  • 6/18 – 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 6/19, 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.
  • 6/20 (2 days after 1st rice) – Woke up and left leg is doing shooting pains again.  Went to the chiropractor to “mirror image” me & fix the issue.  I ate another portion of similar size at noon, went to sleep for two hours and got up hurting and tired.  Evening time was not too bad, but still limping from the left hip.
  • 6/21 Woke up at 2:30am and had to go #2 badly.  However, I was feeling much better when I woke up and it continues to be better throughout the morning.  Hips are much better than yesterday, but still limping a bit.  Ankles (especially right) keep swelling up throughout day.  Took a small walk around 7:45pm.
  • 6/22 – Went to bed at 10:30pm, got up at 1am, 2am, 4:30am, and then finally 6:30am.  Left leg is starting to get shooting pains again & feet continue to be swollen throughout the morning and day.  Chiropractor at 10am then 1/2 cup brown rice at noon with some chicken & spinach.  Pains throughout body / tired and took a nap (due to chiropractor – this is typical).  Woke up and feeling better but still limping.  Evening time was able to pick up groceries at WalMart & then go to dinner where I had a 10oz. steak.
  • 6/23 – Only woke up once and the swelling in the ankles has come down (due to the L-Carnitine in the steak?) & still limping in the morning.  Went to the pool at 11:30am & then felt the best I’ve felt all week – no shooting pains from the hip & upper-body pains are diminished.  Took a nap and got up without limping as much as I used to.  Went to see the movie “Brave” and sat for 2 1/2 hours (50 minutes of commercials!) and felt the pain in my hips throughout the movie.  Ate big fajita (no tortillas) at Moe’s and was able to go to Whole Foods and got done around 9pm.  My ankles were really feeling it towards the end, but movement helped with the hips.
  • 6/24 – Got up twice throughout the night as usual and woke up with some hip pain (the usual, hardest to get up but gradually gets better).  Ankles continue to swell up but the pain is still not as bad as before I had that steak on 6/22.  Took a nap at 12:30 and pain is mainly felt in the ankles when I walk around too much.  Ate 1 cup of brown rice with spinach & salmon around 3pm – feeling slower / little more tired (but then again the weather has been rainy all weekend long).  Late afternoon vacuumed, watered neighbor’s plants & did some small housework.  Evening time must be paying for it (night time is by far the worst time for me) – right shoulder blade aches, ankles swell (iced 3 times today), and left hip doing a shooting pain getting out of the chair.  Overall just feel drained and achy.
  • 6/25 – Got 9 hours of sleep & woke up twice; feeling better than last night (had evening & morning BM that might have helped).  Ate less at breakfast and kept feeling great throughout morning and chiropractor (adjustment & traction were the easiest they’ve been in months).  Took a nap and woke up with some pains & limping (but not as bad as last night) as I forgot to take an ibuprofen.  Evening time better than last night even after having dessert (almond butter, black currant jam & chocolate coconut ice cream in a small bowl).
  • 6/26 – Woke up three times and tried to lie on my side after the 1st time I woke up.  While I got 1 1/2 hours from it, I paid the price until the morning.  Left hip was acting up again (most likely due to the chiropractor) but has gone away mostly after putting on the orthotics and walking around some.  Energy levels seem to be the same as the past few days / mornings.  Eating a smaller portion of breakfast is helping out my stomach.  Busy work day, but I was able to get a nap in.  Eating nuts & seeds throughout the day.  As the day progresses, I don’t feel right.  And as usual, it amplifies after 8pm – feeling like I have the flu (slow, tired, hard to think and achy areas).  I was able to get in a small walk in the evening.
OVERALL SYNOPSIS:  Although you see many fluctuations, there were no flare-ups of any kind.  My body is rebuilding itself and things just take time to fix.  Going to the chiropractor helps me in the long run (i.e. used to have shoulder blade pains, but they’re gone due to traction, larger disk space in lower-lumbar spine) but can hurt me / make me sore hours after I do it and/or the next morning.  But the symptoms are decreasing (i.e. time length of bad hip decreased from 8 days to 2 days to the same day).  The starch from the rice has done a good job binding the nutrients that I need.  Examples are overall increased energy, fats don’t pass through my body, and swelling decreasing.  I wouldn’t be surprised if my SED rate (inflammation rate) has gone down.  But, I’m still not there yet and need to constantly monitor my condition throughout each day.
Brown Rice and Spinach
Typical Rice Meal + Protein – Organic, Gluten-Free Jasmine Brown Rice

My Health in Week 23

  • Overall:  Fluctuating but improving is my overall theme this week. Sole Support orthotics are working to help when my hip gets bad, but the high arch is not good for my ankles (I go barefoot for that).  We had a tropical storm “Debbie” go through Florida and had numerous days of clouds, rain & wind.  Combined with the ups & downs of my health, it’s been a pretty lonely and depressing week.  I look forward to the sun and doing a fun activity on Saturday.
  • Sleep:  As with many other previous weeks, I am still waking up twice a night (sometimes once, sometimes 3 times).  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:  Hips / ankles are still sore / swollen, energy levels plummet at night (feels like a mild flu each night).  I long for a good solid night of sleep.  Neck is a little harder to turn to the right and difficult to get up out of chair & the bed.  Weight has dropped again, but I’m investigating ways to build that back up with starches & good fats.
  • Areas of Improvement:  Continuing ibuprofen regiment to reduce inflammation & pain (alternating times throughout the day as pain is the least then).  Only needed to take 1 nap a day since my energy has increased & pain decreased.  Had the best chiropractic adjustment / traction on Monday in months.  Just landed a few new projects for work & we’ll see how I can cope sitting in the chair longer (standing isn’t much of an option since the ankles swell up quickly).
  • Enbrel:  It has been 18 1/2 weeks since my last shot.
  • My lowest weight was 129.5 lbs. and a BMI of 18.12.

Day 22 to 6 Months – Week 19

What I Learned in Week 19

Overall:  The 1st week where I stopped using eggs among the many other foods that I cannot eat.  At the same time battling with my left hip for over a week, limping every day.  Days were spent mainly at home by myself and just existing, except on my birthday.  A very good friend came by and helped me out, spent quality time and made my birthday special.

  • Food Intolerance Tests – If you don’t know already, food intolerance tests tell you whether a food works with or against your body.  Some tests cover a small, but thorough, range of food intolerance while others cover a vast amount.  Food allergies can be triggered by even a small amount of the food and occur every time the food is consumed. People with food allergies are generally advised to avoid the offending foods completely. On the other hand, food intolerances often are dose related (SOURCE).  Listed below are some of the tests you can choose from:

    • Cyrex Test (Array 4)
      – Recommended by Dr. Joseph (my ND / Chiropractor up in Venice), I took this test and found out I was allergic to eggs, milk, milk-based products, and most of the grains listed.  The video above explains why the Cyrex test is much more comprehensive than other food intolerance tests.  It took almost a month to get the results back, but has since really helped increase my energy levels.  I personally recommend this test.
    • Mediator Release Test (MRT) – A much wider spectrum of food intolerance testing that claims 94% accuracy.  It tests 150 different foods and food additives and is able to detect specific food chemicals which the ELISA IgG test is not able to do.
    • Do It Yourself / Anti-Intolerance Lab Tests:  As stated on their site:  The correct way to assess a suspected food allergy or intolerance is to begin with a careful record of food intake and symptoms over a period of several weeks. Symptoms such as swollen lips or eyes, hives, or skin rash may be allergy-related, particularly if they occur within a few minutes (up to two hours) after eating.  Although nearly any food can cause an allergic reaction, a few foods account for about 90% of reactions. Among adults these foods are peanuts, nuts, fish, and shellfish. Among children, they are egg, milk, peanuts, soy, and wheat.

My Health in Week 19

  • Overall:  From 5/20 and on I’ve been fighting (what I think is) a pinched nerve with inflammation in my left hip.  It’s made me limp every day, it’s quite painful (shooting pains) and it makes me very tired.  The removal of eggs has helped somewhat, but nothing noticeable since the hip pain is so bad.  The pain was so bad that on Friday 5/25 I went for an X-Ray on both my hips.  Thank God there are no fractures.  On 5/30 I was fitted for Orthotics in hopes that will help relieve the pain long-term and received a “mirror image” adjustment from the chiropractor.  On 5/31 that was followed-up by another adjustment and I’m happy to say that it’s really helped me out.  I don’t limp nearly as much, but still have to deal with pain & fatigue (especially at night).  Plus the removal of eggs has given me more energy and mobility.  I’m still not there, but gained ground after this difficult week.
  • Tests:  On 5/29 I’ve re-submitted my Metametrix test and added a hair analysis test for heavy metals that could be in my body.
  • Current Areas of Concern:  Right side of neck (still improving but not there yet), left hip has been really bad this week (but quickly improving after 5/30),  swollen ankles are still there and my feet feel like lead sometimes, I still cannot get a full night of sleep and get exhausted after 7pm.
  • Areas of Improvement:  I’m starting to remove the ibuprofen during the day and use it from 7pm throughout the night.  As stated above, I’ve seen gains this week and hopefully throughout the weekend I can exercise some more to build up strength.
  • Supplements:  My supplements now only consist of Probiotics, Vitamin D3, Magnesium (Gluconate), HCL (1-2 times per week), digestive enzymes, and Maine Omega-3 fish oil.
  • Enbrel:  It has been 14 1/2 weeks since my last shot.
  • My lowest weight was 132 lbs. and a BMI of 18.49.

Week 18 – Healthy Cooking Oils, Food Intolerance Cyrex and Immunity Balance Tests

What I Learned in Week 18

Overall:  On Tuesday, 5/22, I received the majority of my tests back and in this post I will be sharing a few (there’s too much information to go through this week).  Also, I was talking with my neighbor about cooking oils and did some research for the healthiest / best cooking and non-cooking oils to use.

  • What are the “healthy” cooking oils to use?

    Before you shout EVOO!, consider when you’re cooking and when you’re adding on to your favorite dish.  When oil is heated to a high temperature, it reaches smoke point. The bluish smoke that can then be seen means the oil is close to burning and is the temperature at which fats and oils begin to break down. Nutrition and flavor degradation occur at these temperatures. The chemical composition of the oil changes, sometimes with effects that are harmful to health. A low smoke point means the oil should not be cooked with at all, or only slightly. A high smoke point oil should be used for cooking at higher temperatures, for example pan frying (SOURCE).

    For those on the no-starch diet, they prefer to use coconut oil when cooking.  When not cooking, EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) works quite well.  However, you should always consider alternatives based on the heat of what your cooking.  Here’s a list of cooking oil smoke points that range from high temperatures of 200 to over 500 degrees without degrading the oil.

  • Purchasing the right type of oil can get tricky too.  For one, don’t pick an oil that has come from more than one country.  If it has, there’s some additional processing and reduces / removes the healthy benefits.  If you don’t know, just pick an oil with the USDA Organic label on it.  Also, try to find olive oil stored within a glass container and not plastic as plastic leeches chemicals into the oil.

My Health in Week 18

  • Overall:  In the beginning of the week I was was getting around 7 hours of sleep and now I’m able to get back to my 10 hours on average (along with mid-day naps).  Symptoms from the previous week have changed slightly and the swelling of my feet have decreased.  Combination of travel and taking a long walk (for me) have really hurt my left hip this week.  Chiropractor suggest special orthotics that contour to my feet while standing and walking.  Because the arches of my feet are out of line / not strong enough, these shoe inserts will provide the correct posture and correct the feet, ankles and pressure on the knees and hips.  I start getting my feet scanned on Tuesday.
  • Tests: In this post I will focus on my Cryex Test and some results of my TH1 & TH2 (immunity) tests. In a nutshell, the Cyrex test measures gluten-associated  sensitivity & cross-reactive foods.  Included below are the foods that I react to.  Get ready, it’s a long list:

Cyrex Test – List of Reactive Foods

  • Cow’s Milk
  • Casein (Alpha & Beta) – Basically any dairy product.  Bye-bye butter, ice cream, etc.
  • Oats
  • Yeast
  • Coffee
  • Sesame
  • Buckwheat – Grain / Cereal
  • Sorghum – from what I can tell initially, it can be used as a substitute for Gluten.  If you know more about this, please comment below.
  • Millet – cereal/grain used as a flour and in some beers.
  • Hemp – Grain / Cereal
  • Aramanth – Grain / Cereal
  • Quinoa – Grain / Cereal
  • Tapioca – In breads & puddings / shakes.
  • Teff – Grain / Cereal
  • Eggs – SHOCKER!  I’ve eaten eggs almost every day for 15 years.
  • Corn

Cyrex Test – List of Acceptable Foods

Overall:  Being on the Low-Starch Diet, I have avoided all these foods (or had small quantities) except eggs.  For me, I switched my morning breakfast of eggs with ground turkey.  This one switch not only removes the food intolerance, but an 8oz. chicken/turkey chub / roll gives me almost all the protein I need for the day.  I cook it with spinach / kale / swiss chard / leafy vegetable I have along with tomatoes and sweet peppers in oil.  The ND told me that removing the list above should give me more energy and less inflammation after a week / maybe two weeks.

Th1 & Th2 – Balancing the Immune System:

Without going into details, there is scientific proof that your body’s immune system can be balanced with foods.   For now, I need to focus on Th1-based foods.  They include:

Th1 Foods/Substances

  • Echinacea
  • astragalus
  • licorice root
  • beta-sitosterol (found in avocado and pumpkin seeds)
  • ashwaganda
  • panex ginseng
  • mushrooms
  • chlorella
  • grape seed extract
Th2 Foods/Substances
  • Green Tea/Black tea
  • resveratrol – red wine (can’t have due to yeast), red grapes, cocoa powder, dark chocolate
  • pycnogenol – Only buy as a supplement.  A natural plant extract from the bark of the maritime pine tree which grows exclusively along the coast of southwest France in Les Landes de Gascogne.
  • genistein (fava beans and soy beans)
  • quercetin (found in capers, apples, red onions)
  • curcumin (found in Indian Spice Turmeric)
  • Current Areas of Concern:  Right side of neck (still improving but not there yet), left hip has been really bad this week, lower spinal area and shoulder blade area is negligible, and swollen ankles are less.
  • Areas of Improvement:  I can get up out of bed without my rope but it’s been harder this week than last and I’m able to sleep on a harder bed.  Also I’m taking less ibuprofen (especially during the day).
  • Supplements:  My supplements now only consist of Pylicorin (will end next week), Probiotics, Vitamin D3, Magnesium (Gluconate), HCL (1-2 times per week), digestive enzymes, and Maine Omega-3 fish oil.
  • Enbrel:  It has been 13 1/2 weeks since my last shot.
  • My lowest weight was 131 1/2 lbs. and a BMI of 18.43.