Day 3 of the Sunny D

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It’s day 3 of the Sunshine days. Things are all well and good with the exception of my friggin’ bloated stomach. I knew better than to throw beans in my soup, but didn’t want to short-change Fuhrman and his bean-lovin’ ways. He loves beans enough to earn himself a name like Joel Sanchez or Senor Fuhrman.

There was a radical change in the blood sugar tests this morning though. I busted out the 83 mg/dl and felt pretty solid. Then I passed the finger-pricking device over to my lovely carnivorous tigress and she threw out a 78 mg/dl reading. I was so proud. I wept, mostly because of the finger pain though. Eating all these plants has made me very delicate and sensitive.

My favorite food so far is without question the traditional-style chappatis. Like the Hunzas and Sikhs of Robert McCarrison’s nutritional lore, I grind up whole wheat berries in a Braun “coffee grinder,” make a quick dough, and roll out a flat tortilla-like concoction while speaking in an Indian accent and singing various songs off of the Slumdog Millionaire soundtrack. I’ve got several of the dance sequences from the Bollywood ending down pat. Speaking of pats, I miss butter, but I’m getting along without it I suppose.

I was also hugging a package of uncooked St. Louis-style ribs that I’m planning on cooking up for some buddies a little too close.

No, just kidding. I’m doing just fine without meat.

By the way, I don’t expect any massive, life-changing conclusions to come of this experiment. I’ve already decided to at least elaborate upon Fuhrman-style dieting for Diabetes in my upcoming eBook on the subject. There’s no question that it’s worth mentioning. It’s worth much more than mentioning actually, and I love the way in which it turns the carbs = insulin = diabetes theory of Atkins, Eades, Taubes, Lutz, etc. on its head.

This personal adventure in diet is more to gain familiarity with recipes, tips, and ways to make the diet more doable. It’s highly unlikely that Fuhrman has ever even tasted low-fat vegan fare that compares to what I’ve come up with in the last 72 hours. I mean, for crying out loud, I had chili-rubbed grilled yams mixed with gooey baked apples and a Vietnamese-style cucumber salad with fresh mint for dinner. For vegan fare, it was stupid good.

And for those that think there is tremendous irony in having the Sultan of Saturated Fat endorse and even kinda like (in a weird sorta way) Joel Fuhrman’s Eat to Live, the two of us have much more in common than you might think.

How does this sound to you? Did Fuhrman write this, or did I? It’s hard to tell:

“You may already know that the conventional ‘solution’ to being overweight – low-calorie dieting – doesn’t work. But you may not know why. It is for this simple yet much overlooked reason: for the vast majority of people, being overweight is not caused by how much they eat but by what they eat. The idea that people get heavy because they consume a high volume of food is a myth. Eating large amounts of the right food is your key to success…”

How about this one?

“To lump refined and unrefined carbohydrates together is inaccurate and misleading.”

More tomorrow night. Stay tuned buckaroos. May peace and love come into your heart!


  1. Yo Sun,
    Hang in there. It’s taken a couple of days to wrap my head around this but I’m totally behind you. I blew off both Barnhard and Fuhrman early on because of their veg slant, but I’m checking them out again.

    While I do GREAT on high-fat, my hubby just stays chubby with higher-than-me blood sugar and abdominal weight that won’t budge no matter how low the carbs go. (Actually he’s a big woosy – I mean delicate flower – like you and I could only get him to do the finger-prick one day.) I was shocked by how high his readings were, though.

    Figure out how low you can go with the blood sugar, then gradually add back protein/fat a la Atkins carbs? This is too cool – you can keep doing 180’s!

    I’m feeling the love and looking forward to the book.

  2. Lisa,

    I'm leaning towards recommending about a month on this phase, then adding back in fats – particularly coconut oil and a little butter, and then completing the diet by adding in small amounts of protein.

    People do tend to get stuck on low carb, backing themselves into a bit of a corner. My girlfriend's first blood glucose reading was a whopping 107! I couldn't believe it. She's been an uber low-carber for over 3 years.

  3. Great podcast today, Matt. You seemed unusually focused. I know in the past you've attributed extreme lo-carb to high focus, but may it's just the extremism in general for a while can produce a high -degree of mental focus? Just sayin.

    I've made chapatis myself, but never ground my own wheat berries. That sounds good. Also for Bollywood, you can not go wrong with Shahid Kapoor who is the king of Indian rom/com musicals. I mean Sunshine, seriously how can you resist this:!.jpg

    I posted this on an earlier comment section, but it seems like the discussion has moved here, so I'll repost:

    It was in response to my whining that I can never eliminate booze, caffeine, sugar and vegetable oils for more than a few days separately and almost no time when you combine all four restrictions.

    "Don't get discouraged lil' Jenny. You hang in there little trooper. Try altering your carbohydrate levels and keeping them really consistent to see if that can buy you a window to overcome your cravings for more than a few days."

    Thanks for the encouragement and sorry 'bout the whine-age. Should I alter them up or down? My guess is down. As the temps drop here, I've been craving carbs like mad though. I've been looking hungrily at that open box of raw pasta in my kitchen. I've been fantasizing about meals I ate in ireland that pretty much consisted of mashed potatoes, carrots, turnips and prodigious quantities of butter.

  4. just wannted to stop in and say that i love the blog. i just discovered it about a week ago and am currently reading your metabokism e-book
    this is gonna be quick cause i'm holding my sleeping baby in one arm while i type!
    from what i've gathered going through your blog, you seem to believe that cavities and crowded teet are not due to a lack of fat, but instead to the consumption of refined foods…..if i read and remember right.
    my story is that i was raised on a strict macrobiotic diet (which means no refined foods, but hardly any animal fat either). i had super crowded crooked teeth and as a teenager visited the dentist to fill at least 4 cavities a year.
    i'm interested to know whether you think this is due to the macrobiotic diet?
    thanks for the blog, it's keeping me on the internet way too often theses days!

  5. I just re-skimmed Barnhard's Program for Reversing Diabetes.

    PLEASE keep plugging away at your experiment and that Diabetes book.

    Barnhard's going on about saturated fat causing high cholesterol and pushing soy milk and tofu is too much to take.

    I'll re-read Fuhrman but wait for the e-book before deciding to do anything crazy with our diet.

  6. Peter, the "Hyper-Lipid" guy has this take on why low-carbers can counter-intuitively have somewhat higher blood sugars than one would predict.

    "A LC eater has a FBG of 5.5mmol/l, technically pre diabetic, but blood insulin is 3.5 IU/ml. This is VERY low. Glucose is in very short supply but blood glucose is maintained by physiological insulin resistance, ie the muscles are full of triglycerides assembled from free fatty acids (NEFA) from lipolysis. The LC eater has breakfast, with enough protein from his eggs or particularly casein from his yoghurt to raise insulin from 3.5 IU/ml to 5.0IU/ml. This inhibits lipolysis enough to reduce NEFA in the bloodstream, intramuscular triglycerides fall and muscle insulin sensitivity returns. There's minimal glucose coming from the gut and so plasma glucose drops to between 4.0 and 5.0mmol/l, probably nearer 4.0mmol/l. It fluctuates between 4.0 and 5.0 after and between each LC meal. In the early hours of the morning there is a growth hormone surge and NEFA from lipolysis peak early morning to give insulin resistant muscles and an elevated FBG.

    MEAN glucose over 24h will be in 4 point somethingish, HbA1c will be between 4 and 5%. INSULIN will probably average out around 5-10 IU/ml, averaged out over 24h.

    A SAD eater has a FBG of 5.5, prediabetic, because he is prediabetic. His muscles and liver are permanently and pathologically insulin resistant. His pancreas is cranking out 50 IU/ml of insulin to just keep that FBG in the 5.5mmol/l range. He eats bagels, jam and a large mocha for breakfast and his blood glucose hits 15mmol/l. His pancreas ups the insulin output as high as it can get it, perhaps to 150 IU/ml and just manages to to get blood glucose back down to 5.5mmol/l before lunch. Lunch is pasta and the cycle repeats.

    Mean glucose over 24 hours will be between 7 and 12mmol/l. HbA1c might just hover around 7%. INSULIN will average 100 IU/ml over the 24 hours.

    Helicobacter lives on the hydrogen from flatus, so is present in far too high a number for health in our flatulent carb eater and chronically irritates the gastric lining. Insulin-like Growth Factor-1 (IGF-1) receptor is over expressed and converts disorderly proliferation of gastric mucosa in to gastric cancer. See here.

    Insulin acts on IGF-1 receptor to achieve this transformation.

    A high carb eater with FBG of 5.5mmol/l implies chronic hyperinsulinaemia, 24/7 and is looking for something to die from.

    A LC, very high fat eater with a FBG of 5.5mmol/l implies they haven't had breakfast yet. They are not going to be hyperinsulinaemic at any stage. Unless they eat a bagel instead of their normal bacon and eggs that is. If they do this their blood glucose will hit 10mmol/l before insulin can shut down lipolysis and get the muscle accepting glucose.

    It's NOT the FBG of 5.5mmol/l that matters. It's what that means about insulinaemia if you are eating a rice based diet. It's bad. The Kitavans eat a sweet potato based diet, are not insulin resistant and have FBG of 3 point something."

    Curious if you agree with him?

  7. I thought you had a research problem, Sunshine. Try looking up some of Furhman's laughable citations. For example, he repeats that Campbell claim that animal protein causes cancer based on one study where rats were fed enormous amounts of casein. I wouldn't take anything he says as remotely credible. Go ahead and experiment with whatever you want, but you might be better to find someone with at least an ounce of credibility to follow.

  8. Deb,
    I think I can take from what you posted from Peter's blog that insulin and blood sugar seem to be complicated least, that's what it seems like, ha ha.
    Does Peter ever mention, though, Japanese people or any culture who eats grains? I haven't read enough of his blog to know if he's mentioned other cultures high carb eating diets.

    Anyway, I think we should be a little more discuss-ive with classifying insulin and blood glucose as "if one is good, so is the other!"
    And of course, question what is normal.
    It'd be really cool to know if every single culture had the same range of blood glucose..or if they were all different..or the same insulin measures. I believe Matt (I'm loosing track of which post is which at this point) has written of Meads(? yeah?) saying that the blood sugar was always around 85 in his patients or some shit. Haven't we seen before that technically some cultures should have had atherosclerosis..(because of their arteries being plagued with plaque)? So I think we should question the medical community more on what's good and bad, or what's technically unsure. I am guessing Peter is a good person to read up on about the more medical-jive.

  9. PAGE! not Meads..what the hell.

  10. Page arrived at that number based on thousands of patients that he studied. The medical community calls a fasting glucose of 60 to 110 as "normal." 85 was something that he found to be perfect – a sign in the blood of what constitutes homeostasis and good health. Page was not some Jag-off that sat around reading medical journals and boasting about how much dark chocolate he can eat. He was the real deal. Perhaps the greatest practicing doctor in American history.

    The anti-protein garbage that Fuhrman relies on as some kind of unequivocal proof is from Campbell et. al's China Study. The rat study with casein is what gave Campbell the heads up that such a thing might be possible. That study did find that the amount of protein in the diet of the Chinese did correlate pefectly with rates of degenerative disease. There are so many flaws in this conclusion though it's hard to even talk about it without laughing. All they would've had to do was throw in the neighbors to the North – Mongolia, and the correlation would have been shattered. Plus, with low protein in the diet, less die of degenerative disease because more people die in their youth from what a high-starch low-animal product diet causes according to Robert McCarrison – gastrointestinal and respiratory problems. Diarrhea and upper respiratory infection are the primary causes of death in the 3rd world.

    Kate –

    I've concluded that metabolic disorder causes crooked teeth and cavities. Many, but not all metabolic disorders are caused by refined sugar. Other common causes are pollutants, stress, or in your case – malnutrition. The everyday diet must contain animal source nutrients – particularly Vitamins D, K2, and B12.

    Lisa – Don't worry, when I write the Diabetes eBook, it will actually make sense and not be chock full of misinformation about saturated fat and cholesterol. Plus, unlike Barnard, I will emphasize real carbohydrates and real foods. That's why I like Fuhrman. The guy is on track with a lot of stuff, is very passionate, and gets results that seem better than Barnards refined carb/fake soy meat product version.

    Deb –

    Maybe Peter is onto something. Maybe he is just reaching for something as well – to explain why low-carbers have high fasting glucose levels. From what I understand, having high fasting blood sugar ain't a real good sign. It's typically the liver secreting glycogen and the body being resistant to insulin and therefore incapable of storing it away properly. The bottom line though is that high fasting blood sugars are synonymous with metabolic chaos until irrefutably proven otherwise.

    A healthy person would probably be fine on a low-carb diet. Weston A. Price found lots of tribes on diets that weren't primarily carbohydrates. But most people that run to low-carb have insulin resistance, and it's very clear that low-carb diets worsen insulin resistance. People dig themselves into a deeper hole.

    FYI – Traditional Eskimos were also found to have perfect glucose metabolism as compared to others who were fasted into a ketogenic state prior to Glucose tolerance testing. Eskimos also passed no ketones in their urine despite being zero-carb.

    Oh yeah, and Jenny –

    That picture is phenomenal, but you ain't seen sheeit until you've watched "Indian Thriller" on youtube:

    It's so funny it can be dangerous to watch it.

  11. sunshine:

    "Page arrived at that number based on thousands of patients that he studied. The medical community calls a fasting glucose of 60 to 110 as "normal." 85 was something that he found to be perfect…"

    I don´t know where that 85 originates but on page 31 in "Your Body is Your Best Doctor" Page writes "The ideal toward which the method of regulation is directed is to maintain the blood sugar level at 100 milligrams,…"

    I always wondered about that high figure but it´s in his book.

    "From what I understand, having high fasting blood sugar ain't a real good sign."

    It´s not as simple as low FBG = goood, high FBG = baaaad. While eating a SAD-like diet that might be true. A HF/LC-diet will always result in high FBG. It´s just a physiological necessity getting insulin resistant when carb intake is low. Glucose is in short supply so only the king (=brain) is allowed to get some.

    "Traditional Eskimos were also found to have perfect glucose metabolism as compared to others who were fasted into a ketogenic state prior to Glucose tolerance testing."

    Do you have a reference for that?

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