Summer Recap Part II

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Well, I’m not going to totally go off on my summer diet. I did want to give a few basic details for all those interested.

For the first time in several years, I did decide to experiment with a little ice cream. I chose Haagen Daz because of the short ingredient list and lack of indigestible substances such as Guar Gum, Carageenan, and/or Xanthan Gum. On my days off I would intentionally do a high-calorie day like that recommended by Scott Abel. It may have helped me maintain muscle mass, just like Season 2 in which I ate a half dozen doughnuts for breakfast every day, but the idea overall was probably pretty dumb – especially using ice cream, a food that I’ve known to be my primary nemesis for over a decade.

In fact, ice cream was one of the first things I ever eliminated from my diet at age 21. I was extremely addicted to it and felt very uncomfortable being at its mercy.

In the fashion of a competitive eater, I would eat huge quantities of ice cream with otherwise full meals. My greatest caloric achievement was polishing off a full quart (two pints) of Haagen Daz with a large meal.

To my surprise, the ice cream did seem to have a phenomenal effect on my skin. I had always thought of any sugar-containing substance as being skin-deadly, but the ice cream made my skin unfathomably soft, moist, and clear. This effect was enough to keep me toying around with it a little bit.

As mentioned in a podcast over a month ago, the ice cream caught up with me. Eventually, I started to get that sugar irritability and my joints started to ache. It took me many years to cure my joint pains. Don’t worry though. It’s been over a month since I’ve had ice cream, and the joints are back in tip-top shape. I never really got addicted to the ice cream either, which is a great sign.

I did eat far more fruit than I have in three years though. It was nice and refreshing. It didn’t seem to bother me like it had in the past, causing massive problems with hypoglycemia and emotional instability. An apple or banana here and there was about all I had interest in. I did notice that the fruit was much harder on my teeth – something that’s easy to notice when you intentionally limit tooth-brushing to twice per week in order to monitor dental changes.

But was it the fruit or was it me? I have my suspicions it was me, and that my glucose tolerance, although greatly improved, is still not optimal. The consumption of fruit seems to give me a blood sugar spike that leaves blood and saliva with a higher sugar concentration. This, I believe, is the primary culprit behind tooth decay, candida overgrowth, rapid aging, and many other cascading metabolic disturbances.

A bear foraging for berries and raiding the neighborhood apple and peach trees for a month straight, stopping only to sleep, and never brushing its teeth isn’t ridden with tooth decay. Neither is Doug Graham. A human without insulin resistance should be able to do that, but I believe this tooth pain to be a sign of a little insulin resistance still lingering.

Other than that my diet was normal, only I really tried to eat big and eat more carbohydrates. It was truly unrestricted, with the exception of limiting refined sugar. Even pizza was on the menu quite often, and treated me exceptionally well. I’m not saying pizza is the superfood of the century, but when a body is in need of more carbohydrates, even white flour topped with processed cheese can be beneficial. As usual, potatoes were my primary staple, followed by whole grain breads.

If I had to estimate, I’d say the macronutrient composition of my diet was 50% fat, 40% carbohydrates, and 10% protein. My saturated fat intake, by percentage, was probably 50%, as my primary staples were double and triple cream cheeses, butter, and pork fat. Towards the end of the summer I started hitting curry really hard, with probably 65% of the fat derived from saturated fats.

I did have some veggie-oil-based PUFA’s though, eating the occasional French fry (which I’d banned from my diet for the previous five years or so), and a few handfuls of chips. This is where Barry Sears, Sally Fallon, and Ray Peat would take me out back to the shed and shoot me.

Now it’s time for more good food (Panang curry, roast pork, cream, and brown rice mostly), good rest (reading books like a fiend), and good sleep (9 hours goes by like a blink of an eye right now) before my next dietary experiment begins. You guys are gonna cringe when you find out what I’m about to do next. I’ll give you a hint. I’m headed to the Pharmacy later to pick up a blood glucose meter – my first purchase from a Pharmacy in 7 years!

21 Comments

  1. Since your feeling experimental:)

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  2. Absolutely. How did that go? I plan to mention it in my upcoming diabetes eBook. Give me details…

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  3. ingrid:
    Care to share your experience with the raw milk, er, fast/diet? If I recall correctly Matt talked about raw milk fasting in a blog post, but I don't think he said he has ever tried it.

    Personally, if I were to ever do a fast/cleanse, that's the only one I would consider. I've done a water fast once, and 2 fruit fasts and don't plan to do either ever again – frankly, they've always been dreadful, and the fruit ones were actually worse than having no food at all. And I only went ~3 days each time! Raw milk though, we all know that's a much different story, so let me know how that went!

    Matt:
    I like the direction you're taking, especially in seeing the apparent irrelevance of things like phytic acid, enzyme content, omega-3:6, CLA – all that stuff that a WAPF newcomer will undoubtedly become obsessed with (that is, mislead by). Obviously these things all have some bearing (not saying these things are myths, and don't actually exist), but I strongly believe that for most people with health problems, these things will not be the answer.

    My own experience that I base this on:
    —My diet used to consist of raw, quality meat, sauerkraut, kefir, sprouts, coconut, soaked nuts, veggie juice, and as my only cooked food, grains. Took me 3 months of this to realize how awful it made me feel.
    —Right now I eat cooked meat, cooked eggs (whites at least), cooked veggies, I cook with ghee and coconut, and don't sweat it on soaking grains and nuts. I make an effort to keep my milk and olive oil raw; that's about it (I only eat fruit raw too, but just cause it's tastier that way). All signs of health are improving, 'bout 1 month in.

    I haven't had pizza in over a year, but I sure side with you on this one – not much to worry about, despite the fact that you're not getting precious enzymes.

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  4. so what kind of food would Matt Stone not touch with a 10" pole?

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  5. If Matt was burning Michael Phelps type calories, I say eat anything that's not nailed down.

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  6. I thought you may have been doing some crazy amount of hiking, or the likes to be downing 4-5000 calories a day!

    I think 8 minutes to 24 minutes of some kind of physical activity will help the metabolism… not 7 hours a day!!! Of course you will run down your body!

    Can't wait to read what you do next!!

    troy

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  7. Buck and Matt: On the raw milk diet I felt lethargic, had very stable moods, and dramatic weight gain (10-15 lbs at least; I stopped checking the scale as it got demoralizing). I felt both fat and happy. The lethargy was intense – I wanted to sleep. The diet calls for bed rest and it sounded wonderful, but I have a toddler and it wasn't practical for me. I'd read that a daily enema is one of the steps, I avoided that. I did do colon hydrotherapy (which was interesting to the practitioner in that my poo turned white). I stopped at 2 1/2 weeks because of the boredom of drinking milk and restlessness with having to be near the house or carrying raw milk on me at all times. That, and I felt healed, and less interested in staying on it. The bloating and abdominal weight gain was pronounced: I looked at felt heavily pregnant. I've been off the cleanse for three days, and my energy level is great – I feel very strong (muscles in particular, not just energy-wise). I started the milk diet after having a series of tests run: adrenal stress index, calcium/phosphorous levels, etc. – I find those results out on Tuesday. As I took the tests the day before going on the milk diet I'm tempted to run them again now that I've ended it and see how/if they're different. What I've eaten since then has been seared buffalo steak, saurkraut, creamy grits (Matt's recipe is great). That or a salad with flax oil, raw cheese and veggies and toast with butter. If anyone else tries it that has three weeks to spare and can do bed rest, I'd be curious to see how it goes!

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  8. Ingridknits,
    if you don't mind me asking, about how much milk did you drink per day–and did it vary at all?

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  9. Chloe: I drank around two cups every hour for 12 hours a day.

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  10. I would guess that a sudden 4000 calories a day would be daunting for someone's weight for sure (you know, if health inclined). And that much liquid of course.
    Just a thought- I'm pretty sure it'd be difficult when drinking every hour since that makes the digestive system constantly work and work and work. Is that what is recommended – to drink 2 cups every hour? It just seems like an odd recommendation if it is one.

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  11. I've done a raw milk fast… only for three days though… thats as long as any fast or cleanses i've done has lasted.

    I only drank 12oz three times a day though… sometimes i added a couple raw egg yolks. I always seemed to feel better after just three days.

    troy

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  12. Thanks Ingrid,

    Great feedback. Great to hear you felt happy and better afterward. You know I'm tryin' that one of these days! That's some serious quantity too. I'm so proud!

    Buck,

    Thanks for WAPF insight. I agree. Most of their tangents are insignificant and paralyzing. Glad to hear you've lightened up and are feeling better.

    There's no food that I wouldn't touch with a 10-foot pole. I would have to be on my deathbed to take prescription meds though. Keep in mind, I'm a dietary adventurer. For health, I still recommend not touching caffeine, refined sugar, vegetable oils, and alcohol until you've healed your body of whatever's ailing it. After that, you can loosen up and live your life a little. Health obsession is unhealthy!

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  13. I'm curious to know how the 180 Degree Health community feels about a class of herbs refered to as "adaptogens." In spite of eating healthy and heartily all summer, I was unable to bring my resting daytime temperature above around 98.0F. About a month ago I began taking Eleuthero (siberian ginseng), Ashwagandha, and Rhodiola Rosea. Over the last week and half, my oral temperature finally rose to about 98.6. I have no way of knowing for sure whether the adaptogens were to thank for sudden improvement; I have continued eating healthy, so its possible my body would have repaired on its own even had I not begun taking adaptogens. But I do feel as if they have made a positive contribution to my well being in recent weeks. With all the talk about naturally healing the endocrine system for improved metabolism, I'm surprised to have observed so little discussion about adaptogens. After all, the claimed therapeutic benefits of adaptogens are supposedly derived from their ability to nourish the endocrine system and bring hormonal systems into balance.

    What does everyone think about adaptogens. Snake oil? Never heard of them? Good/bad experiences?

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  14. Never heard of adaptogens myself.

    Question to Matt/all:

    How much refining does it require to make sugar bad, or is it bad even if eaten directly from the sugar cane?
    Ive seen sugar at health food stores that is not refined so heavily as the white stuff you buy at regular grocery stores (and its not bleached or anything either). I dont remember specifics, but the refining process is only half as long (at least according to the back of the sugar package) and they keep the molasses in the sugar (or re-add it in later) which is supposed to have nutrients, I believe. Any opinions on if this sugar is just as bad or not quite as bad as regular refined white sugar?

    -Drew

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  15. There is turbinado which has some of the molasses added back in for coloring. There is also Rapadura which has all the molasses added back in. Rapadura is usually smaller granuals and they dissolve much more quickly and "stain" anything you put them in brown. They also have a far more pronounced molaases taste than turbinado. While WAPF would say Turbinado is just white jugar colored a bit and rapadura is OK because it contains all the nutrients of the whole sugar cane, my own experience has given me the opinion that rapadura has a similar effect on my blood sugar as white table sugar.

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  16. It's fun to read about your summer diet and I'm glad you ate LOADS of carbs while doing all that hiking. Such a small percentage of protein is surprising and yet, I suppose that is what is most practical while hiking.

    I'm feeling totally bummed today as I just came from a long week-end of eating and drinking wrong. My body temp and digestion are really feeling the effects. It seems that I can never eliminate sugar, caffeine, alcohol and vegetable oils at the same time and never for more than a few days per individual "evil." It's starting to frustrate me because though I have seen improvement in my health I'm not able to be consistent enough to heal. I really wish I could go into some kind of daily life detox that would strip me of the access to all these things. Is there something I should be eating more of so that I crave these things less?

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  17. Drew,
    Yeah, I think those sound less offensive than white sugar – like heavily refined white sugar- just because there's less of a chance it has all the extra stuff (like the bleaching and other added random things to make it last longer, look better).
    There's like a lot of stuff.. "raw cane sugar" and the "raw liquid cane sugar" and molasses and brown sugar and whatever. I'm not incredibly informed on much of the sugars at all. Probably becauseeee I'd rather just go for something like honey; which is for sure a lot more natural at least.

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  18. 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.

    Sugars with nutrients seem like they must be better than sugar with no nutrients. It's been said by, I think Taubes, that sugarcane field workers did not develop tooth decay. Those who ate refined sugar did. Clearly there is a difference, as most of us instinctually know.

    Adaptagens could very well be a great tool in the toolbox of someone seeking metabolic healing. My disillusionment with the supplement industry in general, as well as 'holistic/alternative' health care have always kept me on the skeptical side of that fence. We certainly welcome your comments on 'em though Timmy.

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  19. "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.

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  20. I use adaptagens sometimes. One I've used on and off for years is Schizandra.

    Reply

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