The McXperiment Results

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As discussed in the first post on this topic, my girlfriend and I decided that it might be worth experimenting to see if her daughter, Emily, would have her fixation on McDonald’s relieved by a 3-day McBinge.  Like everything in life, it was both success and failure, with both positive and negative outcomes.  It no doubt provided some very intriguing and thought-provoking results to ponder, and some good insights into the nature of the human psyche and its relationship to food and beyond.

We did this experiment in wondrous Cortez, Colorado, home of lots of ancient Indian ruins, including the famous Mesa Verde, and not one but TWO humorously-named liquor stores… “Package Liquors” and “Box Liquors.”  Nuff said.  The McDonald’s there?  To die for.  It has the Play Palace of Play Palaces adjacent to a vacant lot full of diseased Prairie Dogs.  The staff was as sharp as a bowling ball, usually only able to get 2 out of 3 items we ordered on the tray.  It would have been easier to make my own damn McFlurry.

The good news is that 3 days of McDonald’s chow was more than enough to make her completely and totally disgusted by the food, especially with a little encouragement to “finish eating before you play.”  This phrase always makes whatever food a kid is eating less attractive, but unfortunately is what most parents say about eating “healthy foods,” which adds to kids’ disgust with them.  Likewise, making a kid do something in order to eat will make them dislike whatever they had to do to be able to eat.  Alfie Kohn said it best in regards to the Pizza Hut “Book It” program, a program where kids earn free pizza by reading books.  He claimed that making kids read to obtain a food reward is a good way to create a bunch of obese kids that hate reading!

Anyway, we literally spent 10 hours over a 3-day period at McDonald’s.  Emily apparently has an endless appetite for chasing kids up and down those seemingly-boring and redundant plastic tubes at Play Palace.  And letting her have hours of fun at McDonald’s at the cost of our boredom only seemed to magnify her adoration for the non-edible portion of McDonald’s.  It was a good lesson.  Not everyone stops doing what they are doing because they just spent a lot of time doing it.  Putting Emily in front of a tv makes her want to watch more tv.  Even 6 weeks of 10-hour days in front of the tube at her dad’s was apparently not enough to quench her thirst.  I too find that the more television I watch the more difficult it becomes to do pretty much anything else.  Likewise, she never seems to tire of swimming.  So you can’t just assume that all thirsts are quenchable.

But we were relieved to discover that the food has nothing to do with the McDonald’s experience for her.  By the 2nd day she said, “I hate french fries.  I don’t want any more french fries.  They make me tired.”  From that point on she actually wanted the apple slices.  She may be the first kid to ever eat a McDonald’s apple slice by her own volition.

By the 3rd day she wouldn’t even touch her chicken McNuggets, and was having some gastrointestinal issues (we all pretty much were!), that will be forever known as the infamous McShart (a term that requires full American slang fluency to understand – I won’t go into detail.  It was unfortunate that she was wearing a white skirt though.  That much I can say).

I actually had this same experience as a kid with Taco Bell (minus the shart).  My family lived in suburbia with no fast food joints for many miles.  Then, at age 12, a giant galleria mall came and spread its commercial fungus practically up to our doorstep.  Our family ate like Ricky Bobby’s for months.


Then one day, halfway through a bean burrito, I became inexplicably disgusted, put it down, and have only eaten there 3 times in the last 22 years since.

So, as promised, here is some video footage – an exit interview on day 3 of the McXperiment just prior to making like a bird and getting the flock out of there.  Hope this experiment has been both entertaining and thought-provoking beyond just food.  It certainly has been for me.

48 Comments

  1. To be fair, the McNuggets stopped being tasty after they took out that pink sludge, so I can see how she tired of that quickly. I get tired of it after two nuggets. But I’m glad your experiment worked.

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  2. Well, glad that’s over. I once sat in a McD’s play place for 3 days in a row to gauge adult/child interactions for a graduate soc paper. What I found was interactions based on quantity (finish your buger, do you want another, you only ate half). Asking qualitative type questions, “do you like McNuggets” “how are the fries,” (or something to that effect), there are no environmental supports for that structured my McD’s so she told the truth. Food sucks, I’m only here to play.

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  3. shart: a small, unintended defecation that occurs when one relaxes the anal sphincter to fart (blend of “shit” and “fart”) – Urban Dictionary

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  4. How the hell am I supposed to take this seriously? I can’t stop laughing at “Package Liquors” and “Box Liquors”!!!!

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  5. Alfie Kohn was wrong about my husband! His love of reading started with that pizza program:). He still loves pizza, still loves reading.

    There are so many variables when it comes to human psychology, there’s no way to predict any outcome. For sure my little one is like Emily, the more TV he can watch, the more he wants to watch. The more I limit it, the less he asks for it. The key is limiting without the emotional bullshit. If the parent has a good relationship with the child, establishing and maintaining boundaries isn’t felt as a negative.

    When it comes to the food however, I’m not surprised that it’s worked out.

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  6. A few words…Wonderful experiment Good Sir. I figured she’d get tired of it. The sharting…well, that’s a given I guess. Talledega Nights is freakin hilarious. The song at the end of your interview is funny too, I’ve seen Super Size me so many times wowzer…”Just do some pushups, make it bacon baby, make it bacon” or somethin along those lines, Lawlz. Rockin Row MitDonodes. Package and Box Liquor hahaha. I must say as a child I was kinda chubby and I super craved McDonalds for the food. I could eat a lot too. Double quarter pounders, the 20 piece McNuggets, ya, but I didn’t get it enough to get tired of it. Sometimes I would get heart burn so bad, I bet a could fill a cup up with saliva. It was terrible. I was prescribed nexium as an early teen, didn’t take it though. Pisses me off that a fuckin doctor would give that to me. Excuse me. Anyhow, good stuff Matt as always, I love you dude hahaha. I think I should’ve got 3 10 inch cheesesteak sandwiches from Mr.Hero rather than two cuz I’m still hungry. Darnit, guess I’ll have to make some food. You called me a pussy that’s hilarious!

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  7. Awesome. Now I’m wondering if the same approach will work for my son’s obsession with lollies. I’m not sure if I’m brave enough to try it. What if it’s like tv and play palaces? And what if the health effects are worse than shart?
    (I’m new around here and love reading your stuff Matt… you’ll probably be hearing more from me)

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  8. Has anyone heard of or read the book “French kids eat everything “? A friend has started implementing all the principles & her kids are eating gourmet food they would have never touched before. They are not snacking at all between meals & almost never ask for junk food or McDonalds anymore.

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    • Oh wow, another top notch sounding foodie book. Will have to scope it out.

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    • Bringing up Bebe is another great one in this regard. The French know what they are doing when it comes to teaching kids to eat well!

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  9. The oldest kid finally found a job. Yes, he joined the ranks of teen McWorkers. As one of the many benefits of being a McWorker, he gets a free meal with every shift! Woohoo!

    We literally have not touched McDs in years (blech), or fast food at all, actually, but I’m at the point where he’s gotta make his own choices. The thrill of eating McDs every day has not yet worn off for him. Sigh… But his skin doesn’t look so good, so here’s hoping he’ll figure that one out on his own. Or maybe it’s all the PUFAs in the air.

    Pre-health nazi days, I was one of those Moms that made their kids finish their McDs before playing, although I always cringed whenever the words “You have to eat first” came out of my mouth. It never felt right forcing a kid to eat that stuff.

    The younger ones, who are not corrupted by the free-ness factor, never ask to go to McDs. They prefer Indian and Thai restaurants. My kind of kids.

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  10. You are one crazy son of a gun. I literally laughed out loud and borderline choked at the ‘Mcshart’ reference, and I’m not even a potty humor person. Interesting story though because my aversion to Mcd’s came about a totally different way- I have always been pretty crunchy and ate very well at least 80% of the time, but I did find the occasional nugget to be pretty delicious if not kind of queas- inducing. However, about 8 months ago I saw a picture online of what looked like a strawberry milkshake being squirted out of a machine, turns out it was their ‘nugget base’. Basically they run the whole chicken, blood bones and all, through a processing machine, then use ammonia and other chemicals to bleach and deodorize it- which of course they don’t list in the ingredients- before shaping it into nuggets and deep frying it in PUFAS. Yum. I quit them cold turkey after that, but, funnily enough, my husband was experiencing his first hangover in a while the other day (every once in a while he forgets he is a white married banker and tries to pretend he can still live out his frat boy days- never ends well) and he really wanted some nugs. I tried a bite of one of them plus a fry to see if they were still yummy, and they literally tasted like chemicals to me.
    Having said that, I could probably abstain from sourdough bread smeared with butter for 2 years and our sweet reunion would still be a party in my mouth, but getting the Mctoxins totally out of my system made them completely unpalatable to me. Real food FTW!

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  11. I used to self-regulate so well. I wasn’t a health food person at all. I remember I’d go to McDonald’s though and get a cheeseburger, small fry, and a water. Was all I wanted. This was years ago. I’d eat fast food but a lot of it was gross in my opinion. Wendy’s used to make me physically ill and getting hot food at Dairy Queen was just a mistake.
    You know what I used to cook for myself? Cottage cheese mixed with pineapple. Egg on toast with butter. A bowl of cereal. Mac and cheese. Jack’s pizza. Still trying to find that balance between supporting my food values, taking what I think are the most important nutritional aspects, and truly just letting go.

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    • I really dig your approach and your comments Aaron.

      Letting go is not an easy thing to do, and I’m don’t think I would have ever done it if I hadn’t gotten sick. It’s been amusing to watch my health slowly improve while doing the things I once considered “bad” or acting in a way I would have called lazy or undisciplined.

      I used to think health was like a balance sheet and that if I just did more “good” things (raw foods, meditation, breathing exercises, veggies, sunlight, grounding, etc.) and less “bad” things (processed foods, sugar, lack of exercise, etc.), I would be guaranteed good health. It turns out it doesn’t work that way. During my initial “letting go” period I thought maybe none of that stuff even matters. After all, I was doing everything right (or so I thought) and I was getting sicker. But I’ve since come to a more grounded perspective that all that stuff really does matter, but it’s not up to my mind to decide how to implement, or not implement, those things. I just go with what feels right — simple, but not easy, considering how many reasons and fears we humans carry around with us! I trust that that spontaneous feeling that is coming from my body is taking into a account it’s side of the story, i.e. how will I (the body) react with this given food or thing.

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      • I too am experiencing these improvements from what I once thought was making me fat and feel like shit. I seem to be letting go pretty easy these days though, I just stay away from pufas and whole grained type of stuff, even beans most of the time. Some Kurt Harrisy stuff, but with highly processed grains and a much higher carb intake =) and without enough offal. But there are these turkey paninis at Circle K that are so freaking good, they have a thousand ingredients, but I’ll eat them. I have just glanced at the food label, and I’m sure its whole grain too. It’s over priced, and I’m sure if I really tried I could make something better for much cheaper, but hey, that’s what Americans like me do sometimes. I also try to just eat a good variety of things, and try to be intuitive as possible. So far, so good. God the relief…

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  12. My parents never let me drink soda or even “fruit drink” growing up except when we went out to eat or at parties. Only milk, juice and water at home. Junk food was reserved pretty much only for parties. We ate cookies, but only a couple at a time and most of them (but not all) were homemade. I don’t remember being drawn to McDonalds or other junk at all. We only ate it when we went on road trips and there was no alternatives. They loosened up by the time I was in highschool and I was allowed to eat crap if I wanted to, but I had a balanced family dinner each night. I have never been a big fan of chemicals and junk. Even when recovering from my ED and being starving and wanting to eat anything, it was pretty much always real food. I think parents set tastes very early on, like infancy.

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  13. Whenever i watch junior masterchef it makes me cringe in shame,not only bc those kids have mad cooking skills but also bc they just dont give a rats ass about going out to dinner and macro’s they actually can make whatever and just stand there not even wanting to touch/eat the food…..or so it seems. That for several years has always been a mystery how most cooks can pull that off,though you see really lean ones and then really obese ones.

    Regard8ng the experiment i recognize a lot of it within myself. I actually know that the food at for instance the chinese buffet really doesnt taste that great,mostly just salt&sweet yet i keep on making the same mistakes looking out to it,mostly the dessertbuffet:( bc of external factors&habits for a big part too,just like the playpalace is the trigger(and no its not about the playpalace for me,though ive noticed one of the restaurants has even a playstation). Apart from intense cravings despite knowing way better,its also kind of the fact that ‘its the weekend and i want to do&eat something special’(as it is my only outlook in life at the moment bc i just cant seem to move forward),bc i like eating amongst people yet being on my own. So much things are programmed into ones life,just like wanting something to snack on when at the movies etc.(which i havent done anymore for about 2years yet i sometimes keep looking in anguish at people sitting there with their m&m,ben&jerry,popcorn or whatever….then i just sip some more on my green tea which i sneaked in.)

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    • Chinese buffets are second only to McDonald’s in how nauseous you feel afterwards- do you have a decent Thai restaurant anywhere near you? You can still get that carby/sweet/salty thing going but the food tends to be a lot less greasy and more veggie based- lots of coconut milk curries and things like that too, so you get the satisfying healthy fats. Hope that helps!!!!

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      • Autophagy? Does that mean you think you might have an autoimmune condition? Trust me I suffered from low thyroid, weak adrenals and tons of vitamin and mineral deficiencys in my very early twenties and went from being a happy energetic (and skinny) person to being weak, depressed, a totally inability to regulate my weight, and not having a clue what was going on in my life. I would cry to my then-fiancé that I just felt like I had no control of my life. The only person who finally took my health issues seriously was my wonderful naturopath, and between what I learned from him, some WAPF principles (but no I do not eat organ meats, very little meat actually, and I don’t fear the phytic- the biggest benefit there was learning about healthy fats and probiotic drinks like kombucha and kefir to replace diet sodas) and of course this blog and Diet Recovery, I am on the path to feeling much better. But I hope you go easy on yourself and don’t feel guilty for wanting treats a few times a week- I think food IS comforting, especially to women- maybe people would argue that but I think you and I can both testify it’s true! So don’t feel guilty. My heart aches for you because I know what it was like to feel so out of control of my health and well being, and so afraid of everything I ate for so many years! Your body is precious and you need to be gentle with it :) Dont feel shameful or nervous about feeding it! Get enough sleep, go for walks, eat carbs and fats, and know that there are people who have never met you but are sending prayers and blessings your way.

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        • Thank you for your kind words Edubs! I meant autophagy as in the body being able/having the time to get rid of it’s unwanted ‘guests’.
          I wish nothing more than to have a good naturopath to get me or at least guide me out of this mess,but alas I haven’t found one over here who is experienced in nutrition as well recognises all these weird patterns&cycles I subtly notice more&more. For instance the las couple of years,also when I was still ignorant regarding it all,I have this cycle (mostly during summer July/August) where I get all of these stressed,anxious,feeling like an angerball thoughts and progressing towards nighttime I get more relaxed,positive,able to rationalize everything,wanting to do stuff etc. (for instance when I lay in bed,I fantasize about all these healthy meals I’m gonna make 3times a day,exercising happily basically experiencing it all as one big fun adventure.)

          Then when the next day starts,for instance this morning I take my supplements and take off to go to some stores for errants(all the while doubting if I should go to a breakfast buffet in Aachen,but I can relevate that I must not do that to myself) then I head back to another part of the city to buy some organic arugola lettuce and 2herrings at the market,bc before eleven at a certain store with bistro youll get green tea for €1 a can and I like sitting there with some teas eating the ‘breakfast’ I’d just bought and snuck in(I know,it’s kinda rude thing to do). When done I feel good and go on my way to get some more groceries and then the weird thought/mood patterns,cravings etc. begin. They usually also are around the same time and disappear again according to what I’ll do at a certain moment.(it can be drinking something,taking some salt,some vit.c,going into a cool store so many possibillities….so thats why I’m also scared as hell to eat,bc when I sit down I can eat&eat&eat….well at a buffet bc at home when my plate is empty it’s done.)

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          • I would recommend classical homeopathy. It sounds like there is a lot to balance, and I think it goes way beyond food.

          • My comment was directed to Dutchie. It’s not showing up as a reply for some reason.

          • Hmmm….happened to me too

    • Dutchie I feel like your body is just craving sugar and/or carbs and/or just calories in general and you seem to be kind of fighting it. You know better? Do you though?

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      • Well the Chinese buffet restaurant problem has been taken care of I guess by the universe (of which I’m kinda glad.)
        Today when I was finished eating and finishing my can of tea while chatting a bit with people at a table next to me, I went to get the paycheck.
        The waiter suddenly wanted me to pay for 2persons as apparently eating there is limited to a certain timeframe which I had surpassed. So I told him I wasn’t gonna pay for 2 persons as I didnt know about the timeframe bc no one ever told me. So,we got kind of in a quarrel and now I’ve been permanently denied access to come ever eat again over there.
        However there is this other place over here,but I’ve learned they thicken their sauces with a wheatthikkener so that’s a no-no,besides I find the staff over there really unkind for which I’m not gonna pay.

        Also I’ve noticed that my sense of taste has changed….if you’ll abstain long enough from it. Later in the evening I went to the BurgerKing and ordered basically a bare whopper,but they accidentally still put mayo on it. Wow! what a revelation….not only did A) I find that the meat is totally tasteless (I really cant believe some Paleofolks ordering bunless hamburgers over there and at the McD,though I must admit that I find BK has some teeny tiny more ‘quality’ burger than McD,bc I’d rather starve or IF than have a tasteless burger) but B) as I tasted some of the mayo,which I ate with virtually everything previously,I got so nauseated by the ‘creaminess texture’,while for instance I can handle whipped cream fine,that I just left the burger as it was. Also fried foods now taste so disgusting,as if I can only taste the rancidness of the vegetable oils!

        So,yeah….time&time again I more&more get pressed on the fact that Paleo&homemade real food is way tastier&better/healthier and probably way cheaper. However I keep stumbling&being crippled by the fact that I must now start to eat&gain in full consciousness at home with homecooked food. Still struggling with the fact what a ‘normal eating pattern’ consists off,;as in 3meals,IFing,not feeling normal though the irony is that at the buffet I only eat heaps&heaps of salad,some steamed broccoli&baby bokchoy,yet eating only green veggies at home with my proteine feels ‘not normal’and I keep being anxious&conscious about the quantities of veggies and also fat and a little less concerned about proteine which is usually fills about onethird/half of my plate :s (Maybe it’s the fact that at the buffet it’s feels like normal bc there’s more color on the plate as in different kinds of colored lettuces,sometimes some lost grated carrot inbetween and then ofcourse the redness of the Babi Pangang sauce I use as a ‘dressing’ though I only take the sauce and not the roasted pork.)

        So,as I said I’m kinda glad I now am denied access to the place permanently and more&more being pressed on the fact that food at virtually all places does not taste that great at all,that gets covered up by ‘addicting HFCS” sauces(that is when there’s no wheat,fructose/HFCS at play bc that really screws with my sense of taste and especially satiaty though I still eat way too much eating out,especially at buffets.)
        I’m learning the lesson over&over again,evrytime settling a bit deeper into my brain,however what does freak me out is that as I said I must now do this consciously but there’s also no “special thing bc it’s weekend/sunday” anymore,so I now must really try to find other ways to cope with time/boredom/cosiness especially on Sundays and learn to be okay with being&eating at home and also going places and not caring about wanting to eat/dine over there as part of the experience of the daytrip,I must really learn to disconnect those mental/habitual patterns.
        (I think out of boredom I want to go to the gym more than 3days,I just don’t know what to do there anymore as I can’t go back to the hours of cardioing I did in the past though it did last longer. Now with these 3Stronglifts exercises,when I’m finished it feels like I’ve done nothing and as in ‘I just got there and am finished already,it probably took me just as long to bike to the place as I’m inside’)

        Does anyone have any experience,tips or whatsoever regarding that? eating patterns/what’s normal,mealprep,anxiety&die-off,getting molds etc. out effectively,curing food intolerances(bc ‘just eat the food’ doesnt work for me),not being scared that you’ll start to eat more bc of exercise(though it doesnt feel like I’m exercising hard)&cravings even healthy foods&the ‘getting fat again’issues?(I still envy the boldness&carelesness,naivety and possitivity regarding food(and macro’s&quantities&body image),exercise,mealprep&frequency and living life of the girl in the video-link I posted in another thread.Whenever I see/hear newcomers now asking for good informational sites about Paleo,I sometimes feel like begging them to not do it…..though obviously more people are way better at letting stuff go than I am being ‘cursed’ with my highsensitivity)

        Someone at another board suggested I should do a Whole30….are there people on here who’ve done this or are doing it.And what was/is your experience?
        (bc at first glance it seems kinda monotonous,I constantly see the same foods; avocado,olives/olive oil/homemade mayo,nuts,chickenbreast,tuna&salmon,pork/bacon,eggs in meals paired with lots of the same veggies of which most nightshade&onion(which I’m still on the fence on if I can handle them. Well onions unfortunately not,I get bloated)

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  14. When I went on a restrictive diet, I missed fast food so much.

    Now that I’m eating more freely (and reacting less for the most part), I missed fast food initially, but I’m realizing how little variety they have…and how little I care for it. It’s nice to have that freedom of choice, and it’s nice to pretty much never want it. Haha.

    Same goes for pizza actually. I really really really wanted it towards the very end of my restrictive diet. Finally got it and ate a bunch of it…and then never wanted to eat it again. It wasn’t even really satisfying either. Glad it’s out of my system.

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  15. Btw Matt…that might be a fun next experiment if ever needed! Go to fastfoodplaces (or diners or whatever) and let the ‘testsubject’ eat the meals completely stripped from sauces(& maybe salt).
    I’ll bet they’re very quickly over their ‘love’ for that food,once they experience the meat or whatever actually is tasteless and sauces are being used to cover that up.

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  16. haha… Cortez is my hometown! Everyone has down syndrome at that mcdonalds. Diane and i went there a couple months ago when she was craving a number two.. i was like what the hell i’ll get some mcnuggets… none of its good after the third bite!

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  17. @The Real Amy I’ve seen several Homeopaths&naturopaths,but they only left me with high bills and no improving help. I’d love for specialized someone to get me out of this mess bc it’s becoming harder&harder to handle on my own and it’s totally getting out of hand.

    For instance yesterday again. I went to the gym and did my 3Stronglifts exercises(though I still wouldn’t call it like that as it doesn’t feel like exercise at all since there’s no weights on) bc I felt good(the day after the Chinese buffet incident) and afterwards I was really craving some arugola lettuce with 2herrings so I did buy some&ate it. At first it felt good and then anxiety etc. kicked in again. Long sztory short….it ended up about me going to a restaurant again,eating lots of mixed lettuces with some kind of sugary dressing,some raw green pepper&steamed broccolli and some salmon&tuna followed by a couple of servings of softicecream&whipped cream. Being the stupid f*ckin’ moron I am,I should’ve gone home and call it a day! Instead I walked a bit around and ended up at a Greek restaurant where I had a meal of 3pieces of meat with lots of tzatziki with a sidesalad with classic vinaigrette and a banana with vanilla icecream&whipped creamdessert (twice)…..and followed shortly afer that around midnight I had a beeftaco pizza topped with lots of lettuce&some cucumber and lots of vegetable-oil garlic sauce. I had such a full hard belly and felt so sick when walking home…thinking about the slightest food or smelling probably would’ve made me throw up immediately.(That’s what I was kinda fearing,though it wouldve been gone easily that way.) I came home,had one big poop and then went to bed knocked out and woke up around noon……feeling like wanting to kill myself for what I’ve done yet again.

    I know Matt wrote a lot about ‘food addiction and extreme diets’,this might be true in lots of cases. However I think in my case it’s the wrong organisms constantly driving me towards the wrong foods while giving me ‘relaxed,happy&calm fealings” on a very short term,bc I guess I simultaneously am making them stronger&depleting the body of nutrients,thus the adrenals kicking in to combat the critters/toxins which gives one “stressfull&anxious thoughts&feelings” again which leads to giving in eating&wanting comfort foods again. And so you’ll keep getting going on&on into these repetative negative cycles which are becoming harder&harder to break out of everytime. My theory is that this is an overlooked yet vital keyfactor in obesity and ‘food-addiction’.(So @KamRan I’d wish your experience would work for me,but I unfortunately find it doesn’t :’( )
    Bc I feel disgusted and wanting to kill myself writing down what I ate in a matter of a couple of hours yesterday….and no I don’t think bc it was what my body needed,yes some vital nutrients probably but I guess they are not to be found largely in those foods.(never ever in my entire years of exercising and I guess even pre-exercise did I stuff away that much food.). The irony of it all is that I must really gather all my strength together to not go and eat a pizza again,bc “I daydream” about the delicious soft&doughy bread crust. I wish,according to BobDean’s own comments that my health would improve,however my body is giving me signs that it does not like it this way bc all my unconscious symptoms back in my days are back and even with a bigger vengeance! ….looks as if I’ve lost weight but its bc I’m totally dehydrated,thirsty,dandruff,lots of itchy&flaky skin&scalp,thick white stripes on my toenails(which I already have for quite some years),numb fingertips,some days I have these thin coated bits on my tongue,sweaty armpits,battling huge cravings again even though I’m actually not hungry. So maybe there’s truth in all the GAPS theories regarding die-off and ‘anxiety/depression/restlesness’,thus being a good thing?
    I really don’t know what to eat or do anymore,no specialized help to guide me……yet it’s all becoming more exhausting having to deal with it all,trying to muster my willpower back together etc.

    @BobDean I actually once Skyped with Matt a while ago,but I guess this is even an too daunting task for Matt to take on. (For which I don’t blame him).

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    • I also experience bladder,also in relation to digestion, problems lately….even though I’m clearly dehydrated,my fluids go right through me as pee and I sometimes literally have to run for the toilet in order to not pee my pants.It also seems that apart from the body,my gut doesn’t seem to absorb it. Sometimes it helps if I’ll take in some Himalayan Salt than the need to pee stops,yet other moments it has an adverse effect needing to get to the toilet really fast!

      Lately part of my left gums also hurt and sometimes bleed when I brush them. It seems like I’m declining physically more&more in regards to eating whatever one feels like….

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    • Hmm, it looks like you are not eating enough carbohydrates at all, and plus dreaming about pizza dough is a big clue. I was thinking that if you have trouble digesting complex carbohydrates, how about fruit and small amount of starches, like some boiled potatoes instead of all those useless salads.

      I’m 100% convinced your symptoms are not due to gut microorganisms. It’s most likely due to sugar regulation and hormonal imbalance. Your anxiety is probably due to hypoglycemia, and in such cases you also loose lots of magnesium.

      For me, it’s important to combine carbohydrates with protein, otherwise…

      Also, have you tried edible clay for digestive issues. It’s really soothing for diarrhea.

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      • @Msanjap then your conviction is wrong bc I very much suffer not only from gutdysbiosis but overall parasites/Funghi.

        I indeed have to have proteine with every meal….it’s the only thing that can satisfy me. Actually I like salad stuff…..at the buffets they indeed also had potatoes,fries,rice,sushi but I didn’t even look twice/cared about them.
        I virtually don’t eat fruits bc of the high fructose despite the fiber content..fructose is one of the major factors that cause me to derail,eat until my stomach is way too full/not being able to stop. I actually never been much of a fruit eater,except for when it came together in pie or icecream.

        Then it might be double whammy for me,bc parasites leech on zinc and magnesium too…that’s the problem.The more you supplement it,the more they can leech to grow stronger.

        Reply
        • If you’re concerned about parasites, you can easily do a cleanse from the healthfood store. Or take a supplement like olive leaf extract. Or do GAPS with adequate carbs (which will mean fructose). But I’m with msamjap. I think based on your posts, you have some hormonal imbalance issues going on, as well as disordered eating, and are not consuming enough carbs. Maybe even antidepressants would be helpful for you in the short-term (and I am usually anti-meds, but if the naturally means aren’t working…). It sounds like you suffer from a lot of anxiety and self-torment, and to me that is the #1 problem.

          Reply
          • Fructose is just a no-go for me.
            Antidepressants are also a big no-go (had some in the past but they really screwed me up,my body does not do well with chemicals/antibiotics in general.)
            I find that a lot of this anxiety,racing thoughts etc. are indeed caused by hormonal imbalances but also by feeding the wrong oganisms.

            For instance I’ve noticed that at the dessertbuffet I always ate softicecream with whipped cream,but also tiramisu which consists mostly of mascarpone cheese meaning more food for Funghi. However this time when I ‘just’ had icecream&whipped cream I was able to stop earlier and not go binge after binge .I always wondered about that,turns out most icecream over here contains HFCS but this icecream is basically milk(I think skimmed or semi-skimmed),probably lots of other stuff in it and sweetened with dextrose no HFCS….which as I understand it correctly,is glucose?
            (Which doesn’t mean it’s suddenly ok,bc I still can only consume it with a lot of dietary necessities.)

            Also if I’m careful and watch out to not consume sauces or other products with (wheat)flour (food for yeasts) in it I don’t get these ravenous bingeings either…….and no anxiety/stress(adrenals) simultaneously or afterwards.

            However I just don’t want to keep doing this to myself,especially also from a financial point of view….and devellop a normal pattern regarding whole foods,working out/gaining weight *gulp* but the mental pattern of ‘wanting to eat out’ is really strong and also all these mood disorders which sometimes are caused&also vanished by lots of other factors too….such as slow/no digestion,weather-temperature,mineral and/or Vit.C disbalances etc.

        • You know, i’m not saying that you might not have gut dysbiosis. I have it too, but it’s getting better by improving metabolism, something i didn’t believe would be possible while being under the Dr. Natasha’s (GAPS author) spell. If you are not regulating sugar properly and not producing all kinds of necessary hormones, including enough of T3, and many other substances that actually keep your gut in a good condition, then yes, you’ll have gut dysbiosis and what not.

          But i am trying to convey that metabolism is the first problem to fix, and it cannot be done by eating salads and protein. You simply have to increase carbohydrates.

          Maybe you crave simple sugars, like sucrose, and then you would want to eat potatoes. I don’t know what you consider “all the wrong things” to eat, but i am guessing the sugary candy stuff like that? Well, sucrose is really nice for improving metabolism and lowering cortisol.

          Whenever i’m not feeling well, i always have to have simple sugars first and then i feel like eating potatoes, rice and such in a real meal.

          How about eating fruits with cream instead of alone and along some protein, like cheese if you can? That way it wouldn’t derail you. And even drinking nice, good juice with your meal instead of salad. Salad is feeling you up, but not giving you what you really need. For some reason, i noticed that those who crave carbs also love salad like crazy.

          Just try to find ways to include more carbohydrates in your meals.

          So, what do you think?

          Reply
          • Thing is I don’t care much for potatoes and rice. (At the restaurant I can eat a lot of sushi,but it just doesn’t interest me.)

            Virtually all fruits are out bc of fructose and to be honest I don’t care much about them anyway. The only fruit I kinda like is banana. In the past I only loved fruits such as apple,in desserts such as apple pie. But like I said those high fructose foods do me no good at all….and not having had them in a while,also doesn’t make me crave them anymore.
            I love cheese,but I’m currently experiencing no good effects by it…probably bc it’s a mold/funghi feeder.

            Actually,I think it’s not necessarily about carb quantity entirely. I just can’t seem to make myself eat 3nutritious meals at home,while working out,gaining (healthy) weight/muscle etc. Be&eat happily like most Paleo/Primal folks do,viewing it as an adventure.
            There’s just something……the consciousness of preparing the meals(and knowing about the macro’s etc.)&deliberately gaining process, that terrifies me. So,I keep going round&round in these circles of doing stuff to try to ‘postpone/reverse’ fat storage etc.(Also at the moment the weather over here is humid&warm by which I feel not hungry for most of the day….until evening comes,weather cools down a bit and I sometimes can find myself ravenously hungry……and wanting to go to restaurant bc it’s cosy sitting&eating at the terrace outside.*sigh*:’( I have no balcony or garden.)

            Like I’ve mentioned several times; I really wish I could talk to/had someone like the girl in the video for support,help,tips,ease of mind.

      • Do you mean that Bentonite clay stuff? I’ve read about it…..most days I’m constipated and actually like to have some splurges of diarrhea (though I know it’s not a good sign. Actually the entire theory of diarrhea&malabsorption as being the cause of why people with malabsorption are always lean is a load of shit IMO……all people I know with Crohns,UC,IBS and chronic diarrhea are hugely obese to the extreme of being really fat!)

        Reply
    • Hey, i just remembered that Ray Peat mentioned in one of his writings that dandruff and, of course all skin problems, are symptoms of vit A deficiency, and hypothyroidism. I’m familiar with GAPS, and i’m telling you from my experience, if you want to destroy little good that’s left of your sugar regulation, then do it. Most people on gaps who think that gut organisms control how youfeel or cause sugar cravings, will avoid fruit, and that’s a road to even further damaged sugar regulation.

      Have you checked out east and west healing guys?

      Reply
  18. Dear Dutchie,
    You need to stop being so hard on yourself. I feel so sad for you when I am reading through your comments. But I know how you feel because I’ve been there. It has taken me a very long time, but I am getting to the place where I can say that I like myself. I think that I am great just the way I am, my thoughts aren’t crazy, my words aren’t crazy, I am a good person, valid and with valid thoughts. You need to love yourself. You sound like a very smart person, with a longing to enjoy life, so stop beating yourself up every time you eat “so called bad food”. Instead, just eat whatever you eat, enjoy it, and move on to the next fun thing that day. Even if you eat too much, just say oops!! But don’t hate yourself for it; forgive yourself knowing that your body just wanted a good amount of food!

    Obviously, I’m not a doctor. But I would love to see you love yourself :) life is short, so love and respect this body you have and let it enjoy life!!
    Much love sent your way :)
    Sarah

    Reply
    • Thank you for the kind words Sarahjane.
      I really wish it were that easy of eating whatever but as I described it’s unfortunately waaaayyyy more complicated than eating whatever as it over&over becomes clear to me that I’m ‘being steered towards certain food&cravings’ by all the wrong organisms. However I don’t expect most people to understand,luckily for them,bc they never had to deal with these kinda things. It’s also becoming more&more obvious to me,that all my emotions/moods/thoughts etc. are largely directed by these organisms and/or them dying or growing,nutrient depletion etc.

      Today I came across this blog&article about parasites/funghi&molds:
      http://grayson-youarewhatyoueat.blogspot.nl/2012/08/parasites-root-of-all-evil.html

      but I also lately fit all of these symptoms again of Type2Diabetes,which back in the day I suffered from these symptoms too though I wasn’t conscious of them and I remember my naturopath saying to me ‘that I was on the verge of sugardisease/T2′.
      http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/info/diabetes/diabetessymptoms.php#.UCxr6USTsiI

      …so yeah it feels like I’m being punished in life bc I never smoked,drank alcohol,used drugs or whatever.I also notice that when these things occur,I find myself not wanting to eat healthy anymore,as in cook at home but instead want to go eat out everywhere and just workout/exercise.
      So today I wasn’t hungry for most of the day,lethargic,fatigued,thirsty,sweating bc of the humid heat etc. and kept thinking “I must not do this to myself anymore,also bc I financially just can’t afford it”(I literally try to sell stuff,rob the last pennies on my savings account etc. for dining out….just like a real junk).
      All goes well….until at a certain point,where I once again ended up eating outside at the terrace of the Greek restaurant:’( I tried to keep it somewhat healthy,as I had salmonsteak and some veal liver with the complementary side-salad which I barely touched. I guess the tzatziki did me in once again,as in fed the wrong organisms,bc before I touched that stuff I was eating&thinking “well,it’s kinda much,don’t know if I’m gonna eat it all” and from the moment I ate some of that stuff on the liver Boom!I felt ravenous and wanted to eat all the wrong kinds of things(not giving a damn anymore,just exercise hard tomorrow etc.) which I luckily could refrain from this time again,stressed/anxious thoughts etc.

      Reply
      • ” I tried to keep it somewhat healthy,as I had salmonsteak and some veal liver with the complementary side-salad which I barely touched. I guess the tzatziki did me in once again,as in fed the wrong organisms,bc before I touched that stuff I was eating&thinking “well,it’s kinda much,don’t know if I’m gonna eat it all” and from the moment I ate some of that stuff on the liver Boom!I felt ravenous and wanted to eat all the wrong kinds of things”

        This is a great sign that your body is absolutely screaming for carbs. Not because of parasites, but because we all need carbs! My body screams for them too if I don’t eat enough. Because I eat lots of them, I now have some days where my body says it doesn’t want a lot of carbs and wants more protein.

        When I had my eating disorder, this is how it would be if I ate anything calorie-dense or sweet. I literally would binge for hours (and then starve myself the next day and exercise like a fiend, and the cycle continued). Ever since recovering (via psychotherapy and nutrition) and healing my metabolism, I have not binged even once (in a few years now), and I could care less about desserts (I can enjoy them but a few bites is plenty). It had nothing to do with parasites, and everything to do with disordered eating. I would HIGHLY encourage you to work with a professional at an eating disorder center. You deserve a happy life.

        Reply
        • And just one more thought, maybe the reason your body keeps sending you out to eat is because it doesn’t get what it wants at home (i.e., carbs). If it knows intrinsically that it will only get the things it craves eating out, that is what it will start wanting. The way to stop spending all of your money on eating out is to start cooking with more carbs at home. But I don’t think that will be possible for you without some good therapy.

          Reply
          • It’s known that the average person eats 30% more calories at restaurants than at home. Most just need to make tastier food and eat more of it at home.

        • I don’t follow your thoughtpattern of tzatziki being related to carbs….
          Just like evrybody at the Paleo sites is all about “fat&proteine”,no offense but it seems people here are only about “carbs&sugar” as a solution to everything.

          And @TheRealAmy as much as I appreciate your advice and you seeming to indicate our situations are the same and caused by the same…..it is not entirel the same. It’s not about eating dense/non-dense food,sweet foods or whatever,it is indeed very much about being steered by the wrong organisms but most people just can’t understand that. A carb/sugar or whatever is not just equal in my situation.
          I’d very much like a nutritionist/naturopath’ specialized in these kind of problems,however I can’t find one over here. Going to an eating disorder-therapy over here,basically comes down to them shoving up sweets,bread etc. up your throat…..which I really Do Not care for.

          As I mentioned with the icecream/dextrose….yes I felt stronger/less lethargic while waking up,however for this one positive point there were also lots of cons such as: constipation/foul smelling gas,light sleep&waking up at 3 at night meaning liver having to detox too hard etc. So,even if I can handle certain products,my body clearly indicates it still doesn’t like it.

          As much as I hate to admit it,the Paleo-framework is indeed a ‘way of life’ I must learn to embrace&incorporate. So,I must really seem to tackle the mental thought pattern of ‘wanting to eat out/eat something special bc it’s weekend,for one last time….or insert whatever reason here’. (which isn’t at all about the body not getting certain nutrients.)

          Reply
  19. I too was confused about the apple slices. I’m thinking, it’s McDonald’s, no one comes here to get a piece of fresh fruit. We all know why we come here. I have four daughters, and the obvious draw for them is the happy meal and the playground. But the last time we were there, they did actually eat all the apple slices, and left some french fries uneaten. Surprised me!

    Reply
  20. Yikes, I’m way behind on posts and comments here. Been workin’ on LYB.

    Anyway, good to hear that everyone came away unscathed. Well, cept for the McShart and McFlu :)

    Reply
    • Oops forgot to say… tell Em I said she looks fabulous in the vid. She’s workin’ the new hair. Lovin’ it! :)

      PS. The comments seem to be landing in random places. At least on this blogpost anyway. Don’t know about the rest.

      Reply
  21. Wesley Willis. Am I the only one that appreciates that?

    Reply

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